Many gun control advocates are pointing out that at the time he was killed, suspected Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis was armed with an AR-15 rifle. [Editor’s note, 9/17/2013: CNN’s Pamela Brown now says that according to the FBI field office, the suspected shooter didn’t use an AR-15.]

To those hostile to Second Amendment rights, Alexis’ possession of an AR-15 demonstrates the need not only for universal background checks (which he surely would have passed) but also a nationwide “assault weapons” ban.

NBC News, however, is reporting that Alexis stole the AR-15 from a gun safe inside the Navy Yard:

Others say he took the AR-15 from one of the police officers he shot.

If either of these reports is true — that is, if Alexis didn’t obtain the AR-15 until after his shooting rampage began — it seems obvious that an assault weapons ban would have made no difference whatsoever.

* * *


CNN’s source says the AR-15 was purchased at a store prior to today’s shooting:

Either CNN or NBC is going to have egg on its face.

* * *

Editor’s note: This post has been updated with additional tweets.

* * *


No, universal background checks wouldn’t have stopped Aaron Alexis