September 17, 2013

"Naval Yard Gunman Is Said to Have Had Mental Ills for a Decade."

"[Aaron] Alexis, according to a report filed by an officer with the Newport Police Department in Rhode Island, was suffering from hallucinations so serious that he had called the police last month, a police official said."
Mr. Alexis told them that he had gotten into an argument with someone at an airport in Virginia. He said the person he had argued with “had sent three people to follow him and to keep him awake by talking to him and sending vibrations to his body” via a microwave machine, according to the police report.

Mr. Alexis had moved to three different hotels in a single night to elude strange voices and people he believed were sending the microwave vibrations. At a hotel at a nearby naval base, Mr. Alexis told the police that he had heard “voices speaking to him through the wall, flooring and ceiling,” Lt. Fitzgerald said.
ADDED: My God, can't we help these people? Even if only for the sake of their potential victims, we should help them, but aside from that: Help them!

32 comments:

jacksonjay said...

So many of these recent shooting incidents have two things in common!

1. Bat-shit crazy, psycho nut-jobs who were previously identified as such! Virginia Tech, Ft. Hood, Gabby Giffords, Aurora Batman movie, Newtown school and now Navy Yard shooters were all identified as unstable before they acted unstable!

2. Hysterical calls for more gun control when what we apparently need is bat-shit crazy control!

RecChief said...

anyone find it odd that absolutely nothing was done? From what I have read, he sought medical attention himself, and still nothing done. Perhaps the pendulum of mental health care swung too far away from the days of state mental hospitals.

traditionalguy said...

Those same mysterious voices have been whispering "it was an AR-15" into the heads of every news reporter working in King Obama's Media.

Matthew Sablan said...

Much like the VA Tech shooter. Where did the government drop the ball this time?

AJ Lynch said...

Matthew Saibain said:
"Much like the VA Tech shooter. Where did the government drop the ball this time?"

Unfortunately, the govt can drop the ball time after time with no consequences to the ball droppers. No one, to date, has been held accountable for 911, Benghazi, IRS bias, Snowden hiring, Colorado shooter [whose shrink reported him to the local cops], Fast & Furious, IRAQ bad intelligence, financial collapse, etc. I wish I had a job where I could f-up with no worries.

BarrySanders20 said...

Fix mental illness and you've fixed most of homelessness and non-terrorist related mass murder of strangers.

Not an easy problem to fix, of course. What we have now is due to the public cost of treating mental illness, the inability to follow through without institutionalization and forcing the ill person to take meds, and the public policy of limiting commitment to mental institutions to the violently mentally ill. They missed sending this guy away until it was too late.

elkh1 said...

Bet all his whisperers have security clearance too.

'"We had just recently re-hired him. Another background investigation was re-run and cleared through the defense security service in July 2013," Hoshko said.'

Guess the NSA and all those alphabet agencies are too busy snooping, listening in American sex talks to paying attention to those mundane "security clearance".

Michael K said...

The problem is solved. The DC mayor says it was the sequester that caused the problem. More spending and everything will be OK.

Fritz said...

He was 34 and hearing voices for 10 years? That's about the right age for the onset of schizophrenia. It's a shame it went undiagnosed despite his military time, and his time as a contractor.

Rocketeer said...

Let me get this straight: this man was deemed worthy of Top Secret clearance, and it's been reported he held a CCW permit through a streamlined process available to military personnel? Furthermore, he was investigated on at least two previous occasions for firearms violations, but never prosecuted? This incident doesn't argue for more gun control; it argues for a minimal, really quite remedial level of government competence.

I hereby call for stricter government control. I demand strict background checks for idiocy - hell, I'm beginning to think checking for involuntary muscular function would weed out some of the folks we currently have - for all politicans and bureaucrats, civilian or military, before they're given a scintilla of authority.

YoungHegelian said...

I understand that mental illness is just a difficult social nut to crack. But, for God's sake, how are guys like this getting clearances? Back in my "cleared" days I had co-workers lose their jobs for tiny, tiny infractions. I mean, you shoot out somebody's tires & you get a clearance?! How?

This guy, Manning, and Snowdon all have one thing in common --- none of them should have had clearances. The system really does appear to be broken.

CWJ said...

I believe nothing the press reports anymore.

First, they misidentify the shooter. Then the shooter was a 53YO former Navy officer whose status had recently changed. I heard that description word for word through most of yesterday afternoon. Very specific, but it wasn't true. From where did that one come, and where did that one go?

Now we know it was a 34YO former petty officer with a general discharge firing a shotgun, handgun and an assault rifle.

No wait. Now, there's no assault rifle. But how can that be?!?!? Just this morning I watched an animated reenactment of the shooting on Good Morning America with the shooter clearly firing an AR15/M16 styled weapon.

So that said, I will take note but suspend belief of all these shooter was a wacko stories for a couple of days until we have further confirmation.

Just because this is what I believe to be true, doesn't make it true. If only the press still had that same sense of skepticism for those stories that fit their own expectations.

Moose said...

We need more poorly implemented laws to combat this.

Skeptical Voter said...

Well this person apparently cleared applicable state and federal background checks for the purchase of the shotgun he took to the Navy Yard.

Seems to me you should tinker with--and correct--the background check process before you go "ballistic" on banning weapons the shooter(s)--that's a deliberate plural there--didn't have or didn't use. Or even weren't in existence such as Piers Morgan's AR-15 shotgun.

Michael K said...

This sort of thing will continue until this country finally realizes that mental illness is a serious matter. I don't know when that will be but not soon. As long as this guy makes a living selling books, it won't.

Hagar said...

Not only an AR-15, but an AR-15 shotgun, no less!

Keystone said...

People like those killers used to be locked up. Now we worry about discouraging people from seeking help.

The Godfather said...

Yes, most mass murderers are crazy. But imagining that we could prevent mass murders by more activist psychotherapy is as misguided as imagining that banning AR-15's or shotguns (which we should forever after call "Biden guns") would do the trick. Most people who exhibit the kinds of behavior this guy (apparently) exhibited are harmless or relatively harmless. His reported 2004 incident of shooting out someone's tires is too old to provide a basis for involuntary confinement. The breakdown of our system for dealing with the mentally ill resulted from an overly-exuberant application of liberal/libertarian principles. But let's not swing to the other extreme and try to lock up all weirdos. Which of us would be next?

David said...

RecChief said...
"anyone find it odd that absolutely nothing was done? From what I have read, he sought medical attention himself, and still nothing done."

I do not find it odd. It's unsurprising, considering the difficulty in forcing anyone to treatment, and the ability of people to get along without regular work due to various government benefits.

Both restrictions on the power to commit someone involuntarily and giving support to those out of work have reasonable justifications in the abstract. Unfortunately as a society we have lost the ability to distinguish oppression from genuine need in individual cases.

Kirk Parker said...

Godfather,

The 2004 incident is too old to use as a basis for confinement now, but if it had been dealt with properly back then, perhaps he wouldn't have been passing his recent background checks.

Michael K,

I offer this gun as a partial antidote to the man-with-two-sz's in his name. (No sign yet that he's being paid attention to, though.)

gadfly said...

It is time to consider the re-institutionalizing of mentally ill patients. When mental institutions began closing with the passing of Community Health Act of 1963, there was no treatments available for the mental patients now walking among us.

Not to worry, drugs would fix everything and now SSRI drugs are prescribed for everything and everyone, especially our naughty children. Drug therapy was developed because no other condition could be conceived using faulty reasoning that sounded something like "fevers are caused by too little aspirin!"

Paul said...

One of the things this incident shows us is that if a nut wants a gun all they really have to do is find a cop and plot a way to take the gun.

Yes blindside the cop and take his or her weapon.

Not a new concept as in guerrilla warfare it is quite common to attack out-of-the-way police and take their weapons and ammo.

I am sure would-be nutjobs notice this and will plan accordingly.

Maybe we need more police gun control as so many of them have 'assault' rifles and pistols.

See if we don't control the nuts, then we need to control the cops. How about that for logic.

Kirk Parker said...

Oops: "this gun" should obviously be "this guy".

avwh said...

Yeah, not a single politician clamoring for more gun control laws (can't let another crisis go to waste) will even acknowledge how screwed up and incompetent the govt is currently, that nut jobs like this get security clearances expedited.

No, they'll want more laws...so the govt can be even less competent enforcing the laws already on the books. But they'll look like they "did something".

Pathetic.

John Lynch said...

Gee, it's like no one has families anymore. How'd that happen?

Strelnikov said...

I has a young man as a client in a suit one time who was a schizophrenic. He was fine when he took his meds but, like a lot of mentally ill, when he took the meds and the symptoms vanished be would decide he didn't need them and the cycle continued. He once said to me, "I know the voices are not real...but they are so convincing!" It is a problem the solution for which is not apparent.

Cedarford said...

The snarky Russian official that called this streak of mass shootings proof of American exceptionalism was obnoxious and unwelcome, but not entirely inaccurate.
In America alone the same common traits of almost all these mass killing shooters are unchecked. Other countries rarely have this shooting spree thing happen other than a once in a blue moon thing...

1. Mental health issues.
2. The American Way of "Freedom Loving" forces society to not impede psychopath's Sacred Parchment rights until "the crime has happened that allows society to intervene (and collect all the dead bodies and search the dead gunman's home).
3. Access to guns.
4. Psychopath's "privacy rights" that bar doctors, family, university officials, police, employers from each having the same info on how dangerous a person could be.
5. Psycho is a loner that spends considerable time in immersion in violent video games and TV shows.
6. A free press hellbent on making the psychoboy famous nationally in the interest of their "sacred freedom" to hype the shooter for ratings and money.

This suggests that America needs fixes to solve this that of necessity will "trammel the precious rights and freedoms of the mentally diseased". Too bad.

It's time for serious changes. Not from Russian mockery..but from a public fed up with this happening again and again with nothing but conservatives saying more people need big well-oiled powerful guns with huge magazines and "serious stopping power" and liberal idiots that think the gun is the problem rather than psychos getting guns.
Only stable people should have access to a gun, only stable people have any business buying Megadeath 2120 video games.
Restrictions need to be imposed on the media's "Mass Killer Superstar" fame machine so others wanting fame and importance as a reward for ending their miserable lives are not tempted to become the next Alexis, Lanza, Holmes, etc.
The well meaning initiatives to mainstream all mentally diseased and protect them in cocoons of HIPAA and doctor-patient confidentiality and cops and employers and gunshops barred from compiling accessable data on dangerous individuals who are short a felony conviction needs to be overhauled. Perhaps even a database of people barred, even without a crime, from guns or violent video - on mental disease.

**And perhaps America society has to pull back from worship of violence, gun-wielding heroes, whole TV shows devoted to murder, serial killers.**

Eric said...

What the hell is DIA doing these days? How did this guy get a security clearance? How did Bradley Manning get a security clearance?

Mark said...

Dealing with schizophrenia runs into a real politically charged problem; African American males are much more likely to be struck by it than any other demographic.

Even in politically correct journals the difference in rates can't be ignored.

The obvious answer is to identify it in everyone and deal with it in everyone earlier and more effectively. But that would mean
"disproportionate" interventions in the male African American community.

Much easier to take guns away from everybody who actually functions well in society.

ErnieG said...

I don't think that the DSM-5 has a diagnosis for "Batshit Crazy," but maybe it should.

SJ said...

Ann,

During the 1960s and 1970s, the focus (and methods) of mental health care in the U.S. changed radically.*

Most of the change was in the direction of increasing rights of the mentally-ill, and changing treatment strategies from State-run Mental Health Institutes into regional Community Mental Health centers.

Somewhere along the way, the advocates of better treatment for the mentally ill lost sight of the fact that many mentally-ill can't be trusted to stay on their meds if they are not under direct supervision of a nursing staff.

It's hard to find the best way to discuss this problem. So far, only one author I know of has even approached the subject.

That man is Clayton Cramer, who is better known for his work on the history of gun rights in the U.S.

The book is titled My Brother Ron.

---------------------------------
*Two different factoids, presented in the intro to Cramer's book, give a shocking summary of possible results of the de-institutionalization process.

When did "The Homeless" become a noticeable problem?

When did public spree-killings become a roughly-annual event in the U.S.?

Are these related to mental illness, and the rights given to mentally-ill by the courts and legislatures?

Cramer thinks so; so do I.

ken in sc said...

I used to work at Brice state hospital in Tuscaloosa Al, before Federal Judge Johnson decided that mental patients did not have enough civil rights and unleashed them on the public. The vast majority of the patients I worked with were perfectly happy and better off as long as they were locked up.

The same type of people today are living under bridges and/or working for the US civil service.