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Navy Yard Shooting Talk Turns to Guns, Politics Before It’s Even Over Navy Yard Shooting Talk Turns to Guns, Politics Before It’s Eve... Navy Yard Shooting Talk Turns to Guns, Politics Before It’s Even Ove... Navy Yard Shooting Talk T...

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Politics

Navy Yard Shooting Talk Turns to Guns, Politics Before It’s Even Over

A U.S. Park Police helicopter removes a man in a basket from the Washington Navy Yard on Monday.(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

September 16, 2013

The identity of the Navy Yard shooter—or shooters—was unknown. The casualty count remained in flux. There was no information on what weapons were used or where they came from. But pundits were already up on their collective soapbox.

A member of Russia's parliamentary foreign affairs committee sought to capitalize on the situation, calling Monday's tragedy "a clear confirmation of "American exceptionalism." Russia's parliamentary foreign affairs chief, Alexey Pushkov, tweeted out a string of insults, as Buzzfeed first reported:

 

"A new shootout at Navy headquarters in Washington—a lone gunman and 7 corpses. Nobody's even surprised anymore. A clear confirmation of American exceptionalism."

He went on to say the U.S. should part with the notion of American exceptionalism, arguing it "contradicts the principles of equal rights" and "smells of political racism." His gloating comes after the White House opted to accept a Kremlin proposal to avert a strike on Syria.

Meanwhile, CNN contributor David Frum was quick to pivot to policy and attack pro-gun advocates. 

Frum sarcastically said "it's important that we respect the feelings of gun enthusiasts", followed by a list of satirical "rules of etiquette" to "help the post-shooting conversation to proceed in appropriate ways."

Frum's tweets drew a similarly political response from Fox News commentator Katie Pavlich, who noted the shooting happened in a gun-free zone. In past shootings, gun-proliferation advocates have said that gun control policies—including gun-free zones—exacerbate mass shootings, by drawing assailants to areas where they do not expect others to be armed.

Dave Zirin, the sports editor of The Nation, a liberal magazine, suggested that the lack of gun control could have allowed the shooting to take place.

Jim Treacher, a writer at the conservative website The Daily Caller, mocked the idea that gun-control policies can avoid mass shootings.

The conversation has become a regular companion of America's mass shootings, and its cycle has grown familiar. During the tragedies, most politicians prefer to remain apolitical, confining their remarks to "sympathies" or "thoughts and prayers."

But among pundits, talk turns to politics, with both sides of the gun control debate launching into everything from arguments to vitriol.

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