WASHINGTON -- Last week's Navy Yard shooting massacre highlights the need for tighter security at military bases, more attention to mental health care and better enforcement of criminal law, but doesn't have anything to do with a need for stronger gun control, says National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre.
"The whole country ... knows the problem is there wasn't enough good guys with guns," LaPierre said during an appearance on NBC's "Meet The Press." "When the good guys with guns got there, it stopped."
LaPierre accused "the elite media and the politicians" of drumming up outrage by tying the latest shooting spree to a push by some in Congress for tighter gun control laws. Instead, he argued, firearms had nothing to do with what happened.
The shooter, Aaron Alexis, killed 12 people and injured eight others after bringing a shotgun onto the military base and opening fire.
"The outrage ought to be placed on an unprotected naval base," LaPierre said. "On a criminal justice system in Chicago that doesn't even enforce the federal gun laws when we could dramatically cut violence. On a mental health system that is completely broken. On a [background] check system that is a complete joke in terms of stopping the bad guys."
The NRA chief executive said Alexis and other gunmen behind recent shooting massacres were able to get around background check laws because the mental health care system is broken. If that system had been fixed, he suggested, some of the shooting sprees may have been prevented because the shooters would have been flagged and never sold a gun.
"They should be committed. And if they should be committed, they shouldn't be at the naval yard," LaPierre said. "But here's what happens: The Aurora shooter in Colorado gets checked and is cleared. The Tucson shooter is checked and gets cleared. Aaron Alexis goes to the federal and state check and gets cleared because the mental health system makes this person completely unrecognizable."