(NEW YORK) — The head of the nation’s largest gun rights group says poor security was responsible for the shooting spree at the Washington Navy Yard last week that left 13 dead, including the gunman.
Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday, National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre brushed aside calls for tougher firearms control and background checks as ways of stopping deranged people from committing more acts of mass violence.
Instead, LaPierre, whose organization turns more strident with each instance of shootings involving multiple casualties, says that gunman Aaron Alexis was able to walk inside the Navy Yard with a shotgun because it was left “completely unprotected.”
Too many guns or the relative ease one is able to purchase a weapon is not the problem, according to LaPierre. Instead, he blamed weak security, lack of enforcement of federal gun laws and a faulty mental health system that lets individuals with serious issues fall through the cracks.
Alexis apparently had a problem with auditory hallucinations but was still able to purchase a rifle in Virginia shortly before going on his killing spree.
LaPierre said mental health professionals must do more to “send up the red flags…if we leave these homicidal maniacs on the street…they’re going to kill.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio