As the nation begins the healing process following the deadly mass-shooting at the Washington, D.C. military facility Navy Yard that left 12 dead, the gunman Aaron Alexis killed in a police shootout, and 14 wounded, more information is coming to light about the mindset Alexis was dealing with when he legally entered the Naval Sea Systems Command headquarters at building 197 and opened fire on workers. According to new reports and the latest update from NBC News, Alexis was dissatisfied with U.S. government and wanted to leave America. He also frequently spoke to friends about his dissatisfaction with the nation as he felt was repeatedly victimized through racism due to being black.
NBC spoke to one of Alexis’ friends Kristi Suthamtewkal who owned a Thai restaurant where Alexis worked as a waiter in exchange for free room and board.”He was tired of dealing with the government.”
Continuing, Suthamtewkal explained, “I knew he was not happy with America and he felt slighted as a veteran and he was ready to move out of the country.”
Another report by ABC shows that Aaron Alexis was losing touch with reality in the weeks before the shooting. Citing a police report from Newport, Rhode Island, ABC reported, “Alexis called police in Newport, R.I., on Aug. 7 after he switched hotels three times because he heard voices in the walls and ceilings talking to him, trying to keep him awake, and he wanted to file a harassment report, according to police documents.
“Alexis told police that he heard voices that he feared were "sending vibrations through his body" and were out to harm him, noting that he had gotten into an argument on a plane to Rhode Island and he was convinced the person he argued with had sent three people to follow him.
“Alexis "stated that the individuals are using 'some sort of microwave machine' to send vibrations through the ceiling, penetrating his body so he cannot fall asleep," officers wrote in the police report.
Police questioned Alexis about whether he had any prior mental issues or episodes and any family history of mental illness, but Alexis said he did not. They then notified the Navy police and faxed a copy of the report to the Navy about Alexis's complaints.
“The episode showed a disturbed Alexis battling mental issues just weeks before he went to the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., and opened fire on workers there, killing 12 individuals Monday morning.”
What is becoming increasingly clear, is that Aaron Alexis never should have been given minimum security clearance or access to the Navy Yard as a contractor, and most importantly, never should have been allowed to buy a gun before the killings.
According to police, the gun battle with Alexis on Monday, Sept. 16, 2013, lasted approximately half an hour.
There are many debates that have and will arise from the Navy Yard shooting. Some will argue that had more military personnel (including civilians) been armed, it wouldn’t have taken nearly an hour to subdue Alexis. Others counter the argument by pointing out that if Alexis shot an officer and took his gun, more armed personnel would have meant more weapons for Alexis to access. Others address issues in regards to military security procedures.
Alexis had legal clearance and entry into the Navy Yard, but he carried with him a gym bag. Inside the gym bag was a disassembled shotgun that he promptly assembled once entering the building and relocating to a bathroom. Some will point out that his bag could have been scanned, thereby preventing the tragedy. However, it should be stated that it takes time and money to scan everyone entering a facility. One can only think of the civil rights’ questions and concerns that arose of airport body scanner then think of every government office in Washington, D.C. (and then nationwide) following pursuit; to see this is highly implausible.
While there are many “what ifs” in the Navy Yard shooting massacre, there is one area where it specifically seems the ball was dropped. Aaron Alexis was a U.S. veteran who had trouble with the law, and multiple reports state he was hearing voices and suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (P.T.S.D). There are reports that Alexis sought help.
Our veterans need help and the government is not doing its best to address this issue. Before the matter of gun control, it seems crucial that the issue of caring for our veterans as they return to civilian life must be at the forefront.
A veteran who has reached out for help, is clearly delusional, and has subsequent calls to police for violent acts should have been treated. It was our government’s responsibility to do whatever was necessary to help Alexis. If any issue of “gun control” should be addressed, it should begin with not selling weapons to veterans who seek help for P.T.S.D., are hearing voices and have subsequent, violent acts with the law.