Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Aaron Alexis Was a Ticking Bomb

This morning NPR is reporting that Aaron Alexis used his own ID to enter the place where he shot all those people. He did NOT have an assault rifle but used a shotgun which was apparently carried in a bag, disassembled, then later put together. The handgun was apparently from one of his victims.

But this is the interesting part -- in August police in Rhode Island sent a report to the Navy that should have set off lights and sirens at that time.
In the Newport, R.I., incident, Alexis told police he got into an argument with someone as he was getting on a flight from Virginia to Rhode Island, where he was working as a naval contractor, and he said the person sent three people to follow and harass him. 
He said he heard voices talking to him through a wall while at one hotel, so he changed hotels twice, but the voices followed him, according to the report. He said he feared they might harm him. 
He also "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." 
Later that day, Newport police alerted the Rhode Island naval station and sent a copy of the police report, Newport police Lt. William Fitzgerald said Tuesday.
So how long will it be before enough people wake up to the fact that mental health is part of health care? I already figured out there are plenty of mean-spirited people who don't seem to care if someone else either cannot or will not get insurance. It's the same indifferent attitude that sees motorcycle safety helmets and cigarettes as matters of constitutional freedom that have nothing to do with their responsibilities to society. For them the notion of a social safety net is the next worst development on the way to Communism or some other type of tyrannical government.

But when all else fails, surely even the blindest and most stubborn of that crowd (and yes, Second Amendment extremists, I'm looking at you, too) can see that in America the public safety issue is getting serious enough that principled objections are costing innocent lives.

I put this video up yesterday but here it is again.

Nearly everyone reading this post, whether or not you are aware, knows someone with mental health issues serious enough to warrant professional attention and/or medication.  Unfortunately, it's a subject not talked about in polite company, either because we don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, or in some cases risk a backlash that might come at the price of friendship or personal safety.

Denial is no longer an option. The time for a conversation about mental health is long overdue. 


  1. and is enough good care even available?

  2. Good point.
    But somewhere between extended psycho-therapy (or residential care) and the tons of mood stabilizers and sleep aids turning much of the country into substance abusers there is a range of medication and occasional office visits that could so a lot more to ameliorate the problem. I'm personally aware of one or two cases of people who might benefit from meds commonly advertised on TV (Ambien, Abilify, others). Unfortunately they are out of reach either because those who need them either have no health care orr cannot afford the price. (Not to mention the denial problem, which isn't being improved by the public debate.)