We can now add Aaron Alexis to the list of mass murderers who have taken innocent lives for no apparent reason.
This latest act of violence played itself out on Monday at a military yard in our nation's capital. In a matter of mere minutes, 12 innocent lives were taken, before law enforcement officials were able to fatally stop Alexis, bringing the death toll to 13.
Washington DC now takes its place with Columbine; Virginia Tech; Newtown, CT; and far too many other locations to list. This time, the slaughter wasn't at a school with innocent children and minimal if no security, but rather at what should have been a secure U.S. military base.
It seems not to matter what the locale, or what the level of security, it is impossible to stop an armed maniac on a mission.
This time, it wasn't an assault rifle or other automatic weapon, or a firearm obtained illegally, but rather a legally purchased shotgun that started the mayhem.
Now, I'm not going to use this forum to take a position on the gun control debate. No matter what my position may be, sharing it publicly would most likely result in a flood of emails, pro and con, that I do not want to instigate. But it's clear that something needs to be done. Violence is becoming a much too frequent event, almost a regular occurrence, and innocent people are dying in places that are supposed to be safe.
It's chilling to think that any of us or our loved ones could be leaving home for the last time while going about life's daily events - school, work, shopping, movies, all places where these heinous acts have occurred. These are all places we expect to be safe, not mowed down by a lunatic with a weapon.
I certainly don't have all the answers, and I'm sure that many of my own suggestions would provoke debate. But all else aside, it's way past time that our elected officials, whether federal, state or local, must make stopping violent acts such as what occurred at the Washington Navy Yard this week a priority.