Local congressman shares connection to Navy Yard shooting

The deadly shooting rampage at the Washington, D.C. Navy Yard has shocked people around the nation, in part because of the shooter’s close connection to the crime.

34-year-old Aaron Alexis was a defense contractor and a former Navy reservist, who had security clearance to enter the building, where he killed 12 people and was eventually killed himself.

The building is just blocks away from the U.S. Capitol. Michigan’s 6th district Congressman Fred Upton has played tennis at the facility for years and says security is tight.

“The question we have to ask is ‘how does he get the background check to get into this very secure facility?’” he says, citing Alexis’s criminal past.

Alexis was discharged from the Navy in 2011 after firing a bullet through the floor at his Fort Worth, Texas apartment.

The incident causes gun control legislation to resurface as a topic of national debate. Upton says the main focus must be on how he passed the background check to gain security clearance at the Washington Navy Yard.

During an interview with 16 Morning News, Upton also commented on his high hopes that Congress will reach a deal to avoid a government shutdown in October. He also spoke highly of a new program which provides money to early education in Michigan. He says the investment now pays for itself in the long run.

“If we could have identified these problem folks early on, we’re going to save lots of money,” Upton says, referencing efforts to keep kids out of jail.

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