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Former Homeland Security director reacts to Naval Yard shooting

OREM Utah (ABC 4 Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - The nation's first Homeland Security secretary says America can't turn into a fortress as the latest mass shooting.
OREM Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – The latest mass shooting has the attention of a former Homeland Security.

Tom Ridge who served under President George Bush during 9-11 was keynote speaker during a constitutional symposium at Utah Valley University.

“It's painful to see another mass killing of innocence without any apparent explanation.”

He says it's too early to tell what's behind the massacre at the naval yards in Washington D.C.

“It raises the whole question of both security on the base (and) trust,” says Ridge. “Were the weapons lawfully obtained?”

Investigators in Washington D.C. still haven’t solved the issue of motive. But D.C.’s mayor doesn’t see this as an act of terrorism.

But the Associated Press is reporting that the alleged shooter Aaron Alexis was being treated for mental health issues.

“If someone is known to have a mental health problem by the professionals, are the professionals obliged or should they be compelled to tell the school or university like at Virginia Tech,” he says.

Authorities say Alexis a contract worker at the naval yards still had clearance.

“My gut reaction is if it was that bad I would probably reveal it and face the consequences later,” he says.

But he says constitutional and privacy issues stand in the way of opening up mental health records.

“Time will tell but at the end of the day there are 13 families who are suffering from the loss of innocent men and women,” Ridge says. “(They) actually went to work defending our country and that's why we need to look at it.”

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