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Mass shooting at Navy Yard in Washington D.C.

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.
September 16, 2013 1:59:21 PM PDT
I kept waiting for the debate over gun control to flair today after the bloody rampage at the Washington Navy Yard this morning.

We know little about the gun(s) used to kill 13 people today, but I was waiting for both sides in the gun rights battle to raise their flags. Do away with all guns and ammo, one faction would argue. From my cold dead hands, would wail the other.

But nothing. At least not yet. This was the 20th shooting during the Obama Presidency with at least 5 deaths. More than 160 people killed in those shootings, and the issue of gun control has been raised high in the wake of the carnage. If these senseless killings haven't led to meaningful gun control, many wonder what it will take.

Last week in Colorado, two elected officials who tried to do something about gun control were booted out of office during a recall. The NRA claimed victory. New York Mayor Bloomberg, whose organization helped lead the original control effort, suffered a defeat.

Anyone wondering what the gazillionaire Mayor will do when he leaves office in January might well look to gun control as his issue of passion. But even with all his discipline and resources, one also wonders how intractable this gun control problem might now seem to him.

Meanwhile, we're learning more about the man the FBI says is was the killer: 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, born in Queens, lived for a time there and in Brooklyn, and was most recently from Ft. Worth, Texas. But what we don't know remains the bigger question: Why would this former Navy electrician's mate do this? We have Kemberly Richardson and Carolina Leid in Washington for us tonight at 11, and Jim Dolan here in New York looking into Alexis' background and how the NYPD is responding to the military base attack.

Also at 11, we're in Seaside Park on the Jersey shore, where the town council is meeting tonight for the first time since last Thursday night's devastating fire. Still no cause of the blaze that destroyed or damaged at least 30 businesses ? small businesses that have now suffered two major calamities in the past year. Our New Jersey reporter Toni Yates is there for us.

And the New York Mayor's race is now settled on the final two candidates Republican Joe Lhota versus Democrat Bill de Blasio. The second-biggest vote getter for the Dems in last week's primary today conceded the race. But Bill Thompson can't just back out if the final count ? expected this week ? shows de Blasio received fewer than 40 percent of the vote.

He missed that deadline last Friday at midnight in something called, of all things, the "Weiner Rule" from when Anthony Weiner ? yes that Weiner ? conceded defeat in 2005 rather than face a run off.

Strange, the sight of de Blasio hugging Thompson today on the steps of City Hall. Weren't these guys just sniping at each other last week? I'm just sayin'.

Ah, politics. Such strange bedfellows.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER

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