September 18. 2013 12:43AM

Navy Yard shooting: What gun is to blame?


Tuesday’s shooting at the Washington Navy Yard was still underway when news organizations reported that the perpetrator was using an AR-15 rifle. Did they learn nothing from the Newtown reporting?

On Wednesday the FBI stated that the shooter entered the Navy Yard with a shotgun and might have picked up a handgun while there. “We do not have any information at this time that he had an AR-15 in his possession,” read the FBI news release. So much for blaming the “assault rifle.”

Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., helpfully kept the focus on the tools, not the perpetrators, of mass killings. She urged Congress to “resume a thoughtful debate on gun violence in this country.”

Of course. “Gun violence” is violence committed by an inanimate object. Violence committed by the dangerously mentally ill apparently need not be discussed. USA Today managed to discover that the shooter had a history of treatment for mental illness. But never mind; we must all come together to discuss the guns, preferably in an excited, emotional way. We wouldn’t want the facts to settle in before we acted.