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Monday, September 23, 2013

Current Events Lesson - Navy Yard Shooting

I wanted to focus this week on discussing the tragic mass shootings that seem to invade our country’s sense of safety and stability every few months.  The latest of these, of course, is the shooting at the Washington, D.C. navy yard.

According to, the U.S. experienced several mass shootings in the 1990s, several in the 2000s, but in the last three years, we have suffered from 12 of these tragedies.  Even one shooting is obviously too much, which is why this topic should elicit some passionate discussions amongst your students.

On the morning of 16 September 2013, Aaron Alexis opened fire on employees at a U.S. navy yard in Washington, D.C.  Before being finally gunned down by police, he killed 12 people and injured 8 more.

He was able to gain access to the naval yard because he had a security clearance.  In the time leading up to the attack, investigators have discovered several disconcerting episodes in Alexis’ past, which many believe should have raised a red flag.  As a result, the conversation about how to prevent further such attacks has focused on improved background checks for government contractors and possible new gun regulation.

The video for this lesson is included here and a link is also included in the PowerPoint presentation on the free download.

  • The wording of the Second Amendment
  • Other rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights
  • Supreme Court cases related to the Second Amendment, especially District of Columbia v. Heller
  • How lobbies influence legislation (in this case, most notably the National Rifle Association NRA)
  • Current gun regulation proposals, such as a firearms registry and the limiting of magazine sizes

Download from my TpT page
Download from my Google Drive

I hope you and your class find this lesson engaging and invigorating.  Enjoy!