The investigation is ongoing, and there are still many unanswered questions about the shooting rampage that took place Monday morning at the Washington Navy Yard.
All Americans join in extending their thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families. And in expressing gratitude to the first responders who rushed to the scene. President Obama rightly described the shootings as “a cowardly act,” as were other mass shootings that have taken so many innocent lives.
But as with the 2009 massacre of 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas, there’s a troubling difference in this most recent atrocity. It didn’t occur at a school, movie theater or shopping mall. The Navy Yard is a secured military installation in the heart of the nation’s capital, home to the Navy’s top admiral, a ceremonial and administrative center, the Navy’s oldest shore establishment. The gates are manned by Marines and security personnel. It is located less than 4 miles from the White House.
As authorities work to piece together just what happened and why, this latest senseless act of violence is a sad reminder that such a tragedy can hit anywhere at any time.