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Why government can't protect you

The story of Aaron Alexis, the Washington Navy Yard mass murderer, is a clinic on why government, despite all its resources and laws, can’t protect you.

Here was an obviously deeply disturbed human being who gave every indication of being a walking time bomb but was nonetheless permitted to walk into a high-security military installation in the nation’s capital and kill 12 people.

He was hearing voices, he told police in Newport, R.I.

He believed someone was jamming him with a “microwave machine” to keep him awake at night.

He accosted a family in the airport because he imagined they were laughing at him.

He had two previous firearms incidents, one in which he shot out someone’s tires and another in which he discharged a weapon in a residence. Neither was prosecuted.

Rhode Island police even called the Navy Yard to warn them of a possible attack by the volatile character.

In other words, all the indications were there that this guy needed watching.

Nevertheless, if we believe what we’ve been told, he somehow managed to access a secure military facility for the sole purpose of shooting it up and spilling innocent blood.

Much to the dismay of the media and political establishment, he was not some right-wing militia person with a grudge against government. This guy liked Barack Obama. His “beef” was with George W. Bush. It seems like the voices in his head were those of Obama himself – who blames all of America’s woes on white racism and the sins of his predecessor, taking no responsibility at all for his own actions.

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But to the larger point, doesn’t Aaron Alexis persuade every American that government is never going to protect us from harm? If government can’t do it in the Pentagon, which was attacked on 9/11, and can’t keep civilian workers in a military facility safe from outside attack from a lone gunman, can you really count on government to protect you and your family and your home?

Of course not.

That’s why individual ownership and possession of firearms remains such a critical right for every American. Had the Washington Navy Yard not been a “gun-free zone” within a larger “gun-free zone” known as Washington, D.C., Aaron Alexis could never have taken 12 lives armed with a shotgun. It’s not possible. It’s inconceivable.

After the mass shooting, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said he was going to order a review of security at all military facilities. You think? Will that review include the crazy idea that even military bases should be “gun-free zones” – as was the case at Fort Hood, allowing one terrorist posing as an officer to kill another 12 people on an Army base?

You mean we can’t even trust soldiers to carry weapons?

This is government at work. It’s nothing short of madness. Yet this is the institution we’re told is going to make us safe. We needn’t worry about protecting ourselves. We don’t need to be self-reliant. We’re safer without guns, they tell us.

How many disasters like this do we need to see to understand government is not the solution, it’s the problem?

Government’s idea is to incrementally take away the individual right to bear arms, while neglecting to prosecute offenders who use them inappropriately.

On Sept. 4, 2010, Alexis allegedly discharged his firearm through the ceiling of his Fort Worth apartment through the floor of his upstairs neighbor.

Was he prosecuted? No.

On May 6, 2004, Alexis fired three shots into the rear tires of two construction workers in Seattle because he was upset with the parking situation near his home.

Was he prosecuted? No.

For years the National Rifle Association has been calling for tougher and more rigorous prosecution of gun crimes. But instead government just keeps passing more laws that have no effect because they are not enforced.

What’s the lesson here?

Don’t count on government to protect you in any emergency. It’s not going to happen. Not even on government’s own premises.

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