DC Naval Yard Shooter Was Hearing Voices, Security Clearance Was Not Revoked.

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http://news.yahoo.com/gunman-navy-yard-rampage-hearing-voices-142217356.html

More information out on the DC Naval Yard Shooter:

Alexis had been suffering a host of serious mental problems, including paranoia and a sleep disorder, and had been hearing voices in his head, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the criminal investigation was still going on.

He had been treated since August by Veterans Affairs, the officials said.

The Navy had not declared him mentally unfit, which would have rescinded a security clearance Alexis had from his earlier time in the Navy Reserves.

Despite the fact that this man had clear and present mental issues, and despite the fact that he had previously gotten in trouble for discharging a gun round through the ceiling of his apartment and into a neighbor's apartment as well as shooting out the tires of someone's truck and claiming that he "blacked out due to anger", the man's security clearance was not revoked, which allowed him access to the "highly secured area" in which he carried out his shooting. Furthermore: he was apparently/obviously not stripped of his right to carry guns despite showing a history of "unlawful" (to use a polite term) use of them and a clear history of mental illness.
(Source for things mentioned in this paragraph: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/sep/16/navy-yard-gunman-identified-fbi/ )

Thoughts? Are the guns still the problem or is it the people that carry them? Is it the fact that are background checks our too lenient? Why do people who clearly should not be allowed to own guns keep ending up with them legally? Why didn't the Navy revoke his security clearance when he was diagnosed with "serious mental problems, including paranoia and a sleep disorder, and had been hearing voices in his head"?

I'd like to point out that people with mental illnesses, as a whole, are not more likely to commit violence, and are, in fact, more likely to be the victims of it. I'd expect this is taken as another excuse to demonise them, though. I can't say if his mental illnesses were severe enough to have been a concern prior to this. "Serious mental problems" may or may not mean serious problems that pose a danger to others.

OTOH, if he's going round shooting things he shouldn't be, that's very obviously posing a danger to others.

thaluikhain:
I'd like to point out that people with mental illnesses, as a whole, are not more likely to commit violence, and are, in fact, more likely to be the victims of it. I'd expect this is taken as another excuse to demonise them, though. I can't say if his mental illnesses were severe enough to have been a concern prior to this. "Serious mental problems" may or may not mean serious problems that pose a danger to others.

OTOH, if he's going round shooting things he shouldn't be, that's very obviously posing a danger to others.

And that's what this topic's about. The guy was clearly a danger to others given his past history (discharging a round into the ceiling of his apartment and shooting out the tires of a truck during which he claimed to have "blacked out due to anger"), now he's been diagnosed with paranoia and hearing voices in his head and they didn't even bother to at least suspend his security clearance for a while? Just seems that things could have been handled better, and that this shooting could have been prevented much easier than Sandy Hook or Aurora.

RJ 17:
And that's what this topic's about. The guy was clearly a danger to others given his past history (discharging a round into the ceiling of his apartment and shooting out the tires of a truck during which he claimed to have "blacked out due to anger"), now he's been diagnosed with paranoia and hearing voices in his head and they didn't even bother to at least suspend his security clearance for a while? Just seems that things could have been handled better, and that this shooting could have been prevented much easier than Sandy Hook or Aurora.

Oh sure, I get that, just that I'm worried it'll turn into yet another attack on the mentally ill for the nominal security of "normal" people.

Clearly, this particular mentally ill person was showing very obvious signs that he is a serious danger to others.

RJ 17:
Are the guns still the problem or is it the people that carry them?

image

I really don't want to see us get to a point where we crucify mental illness in order to protect our bloody firearms. The vast majority of mentally ill people pose no danger to anyone, except possibly themselves in a few sad cases. Clearly in a case where an individual is demonstrating violent instability, that violent instability is a huge part of the problem. However, guns are an easily accessible tool that make it possible to cause extraordinary mayhem in a very short period of time. Give the same man a knife or a baseball bat or another common improvised weapon and it's extraordinarily unlikely they can cause the same degree of mayhem before being restrained.

thaluikhain:
I'd like to point out that people with mental illnesses, as a whole, are not more likely to commit violence, and are, in fact, more likely to be the victims of it. I'd expect this is taken as another excuse to demonise them, though.

Yep. =(

Threads merged because they're both on the same topic.

BloatedGuppy:

RJ 17:
Are the guns still the problem or is it the people that carry them?

I really don't want to see us get to a point where we crucify mental illness in order to protect our bloody firearms. The vast majority of mentally ill people pose no danger to anyone, except possibly themselves in a few sad cases. Clearly in a case where an individual is demonstrating violent instability, that violent instability is a huge part of the problem. However, guns are an easily accessible tool that make it possible to cause extraordinary mayhem in a very short period of time. Give the same man a knife or a baseball bat or another common improvised weapon and it's extraordinarily unlikely they can cause the same degree of mayhem before being restrained.

I appreciate that you're viewing the gun for what it is: a tool for violence. But just like how not all mentally ill people are ticking time-bombs waiting to go off and commit mass murder - in fact the majority of them aren't - the same can be said about the majority of gun owners.

I'm pro-gun-rights, but at the same time I'm also pro-stricter policies on them. That is to say that I don't think they should be outright banned, but rather I think there should be much stronger and regularly enforced guidelines on who can and cannot have guns. For instance and as I mentioned to thaluikhain: this man was clearly a danger not only to himself but to others as well. There's absolutely no reason that this man should have been able to keep his guns, let alone security clearance to a highly secured military facility.

sky14kemea:
Threads merged because they're both on the same topic.

Sorry, I skimmed through the topics and, finding nothing with a title that mentioned what I felt to be the big point of this article (the shooter hearing voices) figured it was fresh news.

RJ 17:
I appreciate that you're viewing the gun for what it is: a tool for violence. But just like how not all mentally ill people are ticking time-bombs waiting to go off and commit mass murder - in fact the majority of them aren't - the same can be said about the majority of gun owners.

I would assume the vast majority of gun owners are perfectly sane and safety conscious. The guns themselves remain extraordinarily dangerous. I've actually finally had the opportunity to handle and fire some guns, and it was incredibly stressful (more stressful than fun for me, alas, although my GF loved it). I do wish there was a more salient argument to be made about the value of guns as tools OUTSIDE of killing, because it's a bit late to put that particular cat back in the bag. There are already countless guns in circulation. Those most apt to use them for violence are unlikely to obey a ban.

RJ 17:
For instance and as I mentioned to thaluikhain: this man was clearly a danger not only to himself but to others as well. There's absolutely no reason that this man should have been able to keep his guns, let alone security clearance to a highly secured military facility.

Well...doy, yeah. It's pretty evident that someone dropped the ball on this one. Possibly many someones.

BiscuitTrouser:

Topsider:

United States: 94.3
Australia: 15

That might have more to do with it than gun laws. The cat's already out of the bag. We could stop all gun sales in this country today and we'd still be number one in the world in guns per capita 50 years from now.

While im extremely EXTREMELY happy i live in a nation with VERY little gun crime where guns are heavily restricted i agree that its too late for America to do anything about their guns. When we banned guns in the UK it was 1920 when the gun culture, effectiveness and cost of guns were WILDLY different. We had also just exited an extremely bloody and brutal war where millions and millions of people were shot like cattle in disgusting muddy fields pretty much solidly for about a decade. The time was pretty ideal and the people spoke and said that guns in our nation should be heavily restricted (Its weird how often people dont seem to understand that we DEMOCRATICALLY CHOSE TO GET RID OF OUR GUNS). Gun ownership was hardly as endemic as it was in the USA today meaning removing the firearms was a lot more straight forward. Frankly America has long passed the age where a gun hand in would be remotely possible. In the UK we had a good head start and a vast majority support for the ban meaning internal conflict was minimal. The USA not so much.

The USA should probably keep its guns as its the most sensible thing to do in their situation. I dont envy them though and im extremely happy my nation isnt stuck in their situation. School shootings in the UK are far less prevalent even when you scale it to population.

Uhhm guns aren't banned in the uk.
They are heavily regulated, handguns and semi autos are banned but guns are still legal with proper certification.
Hell you can even own a .50 caliber rifle for target shooting!
I'm not an expert in the rules and regulations of firearms acts but your version of the 1920 act dosen't sound like what I have read on it.
Not having a go mind, just saying.

Oh boy, another shooting in a gun free zone, nothing new to see here. The same argument, the same situation, just somewhere else... Pro Guns Vs Pro Gun Laws and the joy that comes from that.

Off Topic:
image
CNN... what the hell, we expect this kind of crap from Fox News. Seriously, you need to get slapped right now.

Tsaba:
Off Topic:
image
CNN... what the hell, we expect this kind of crap from Fox News. Seriously, you need to get slapped right now.

Wow...they're THAT desperate? I mean I fully agree that private citizens shouldn't be able to have military-grade "assault" weapons (and I'm a pro-gun-rights guy), but this is just ridiculous. First the media was saying it was an AR15, then someone came out and corrected them saying it wasn't, then the sheriff and mayor said it was, then the FBI announced at a press conference that it wasn't, that the guy just had a shotgun and a couple of handguns. Now the media is calling it an AR15 shotgun? Wow, way to invent guns that don't exist.

And Tsaba, you got that wrong. MSNBC would be who you'd expect to come up with something like an AR15 Shotun. Fox would say it was a shotgun, but that the gunman was a muslim gamer.

Topsider:

wombat_of_war:
its weird when you compare australia to the usa. we had a similar period of exploration and settlers, etc, we had criminals who are glamourised like ned kelly, heck we even had a civil insurection with the eureka stockade but for some reason we lack that cultural love for guns, its honestly like part of the american identity from an outside perspective.

i do agree that gun laws are pretty pointless for the usa at this point due to the number of guns in circulation and they dont seem to have any way legally apart from asking nicely to remove guns from the population

I think it goes all the way back to the differences in origin. Australia wasn't birthed from revolution. The US came about due to a bunch of hick farmers with guns -- and a little help from the French navy -- beating a superpower. We had the notion that it's the people's right to overthrow their government when it becomes tyrannical, with force of arms if necessary, enshrined in our founding document. Hell, Jefferson said some pretty out-there stuff about it being preferable to have a misguided bloody revolution every twenty years than to have an indifferent, apathetic, or cowardly populace.

We also have the much-mythologized gunslinger of the Old West.

Rightly or wrongly, we view the gun as playing an essential role in winning and keeping our freedom.

id say you are pretty much right there about the gun being viewed as winning and keeping your freedom.

its interesting looking at the facts too about the american revolution how it wasnt just french naval power and hick farmers against a global super power. the brits were stretched thin.. 40,000 red coats defending the whole of north america, the french sent 9000 troops, supplied the americans with 90% of their gunpowder, a good chunk of their muskets, cannons and uniforms, not to mention the spanish landed troops in florida to help and both raised a hell of alot of money to fund the revolution and on top of that the weapons suplied were better than the british ones, and world wide the british army was 96,000 strong facing 300,000 french troops alone. the british army was that stretched thin they couldnt even send anymore reinforments

hardly suprising in the end the british lost. the french played them well until of course they pretty much bakrupted themselves fighting it and queue the french revolution..

i love history :)

RJ 17:

Thoughts? Are the guns still the problem or is it the people that carry them? Is it the fact that are background checks our too lenient? Why do people who clearly should not be allowed to own guns keep ending up with them legally? Why didn't the Navy revoke his security clearance when he was diagnosed with "serious mental problems, including paranoia and a sleep disorder, and had been hearing voices in his head"?

It's actually kind of sad to say, but I think that a major problem here could actually be empathy.

No one took away his guns even though he was clearly unfit to have them because maybe they thought "well how would I feel if someone took my guns over a misunderstanding?", and no one took away his security clearance even though he had serious mental problems and was a possible security risk because maybe they thought "well, how would I feel if my entire career was ruined by something completely beyond my control?"

There are laws and protocols in place that should have stopped this, and the problem wasn't the laws themselves, it was the fact that the people who enforce them didn't follow them, and I'm guessing it was out of a misplaced sense of empathy.

Tsaba:
Oh boy, another shooting in a gun free zone, nothing new to see here. The same argument, the same situation, just somewhere else... Pro Guns Vs Pro Gun Laws and the joy that comes from that.

Off Topic:
image
CNN... what the hell, we expect this kind of crap from Fox News. Seriously, you need to get slapped right now.

Really, you expect that from Fox News? If I could expect anything from Fox news actually, it would be them getting the name and classification of the gun correct.

It actually scares me to think that this guy, with his history, could still obtain a firearm. Is it really that easy?

RJ 17:
MSNBC would be who you'd expect to come up with something like an AR15 Shotun. Fox would say it was a shotgun, but that the gunman was a muslim gamer.

Dirty Hipsters:
If I could expect anything from Fox news actually, it would be them getting the name and classification of the gun correct.

First off you are correct, Fox would get the fire arm correct, but, they have this way of, how do I put it lightly? ****ing up hardcore.

Second, your right other than the fact MSNBC is not a respectable news outlet. They make up news, they don't report it.

Remus:
A guy on MSNBC already started blaming violent videogames for the shooting, saying the shooter would hole up in his room playing online while his friends were right outside playing cards.

MSNBC was harping on about that all day today, with the worst point being a rant by Ed Schulz about how horrible GTAV was... followed almost immediately by a straight faced bashing of the NRA for trying to shift the blame from guns to... videogames. Yeah, he actually did that. I agree that it's stupid of the NRA to try to shift the blame like that, but apparently the guy accusing them of it doesn't, it boggles the mind.

Fortunately Rachel Maddow is on now, and she isn't even mentioning videogames. She's talking more about how the shooter had some pretty danged obvious mental issues (like, hearing voices mental issues) and talking about how it was possible for a guy like that to get a military security clearance, forget owning a gun.

RJ 17:
Now the media is calling it an AR15 shotgun? Wow, way to invent guns that don't exist.

You probably could get a shotgun upper receiver for an AR15, though.

thaluikhain:

RJ 17:
Now the media is calling it an AR15 shotgun? Wow, way to invent guns that don't exist.

You probably could get a shotgun upper receiver for an AR15, though.

You actually can, there's receivers for everything from .22LR to 12 guage shotgun shells for the things, it's a very versatile platform.

For that matter, there's a semi-auto shotgun out there with a design based on the AK-47. I actually got to shoot one because a friend of a friend (who also had a .22 chambered AR-15) had one, and he took all of us to the range one day. That thing was fun as hell to shoot, but I can also imagine the kind of damage it could do, and it's not a pretty thought.

thaluikhain:

RJ 17:
Now the media is calling it an AR15 shotgun? Wow, way to invent guns that don't exist.

You probably could get a shotgun upper receiver for an AR15, though.

You can. It is called a T-14- http://www.midwayusa.com/product/971002/ati-ar-15-a3-t-14-upper-assembly-410-bore-20-barrel-chrome-moly-matte-with-flash-hider-5-round-magazine-pre-ban

However, I doubt a t-14 was used in the attack. By all reports it was a typical shotgun.

Well of course they didn't take his security clearance. You can't discriminate against the mentally ill and such a heinous manner.

Owyn_Merrilin:
For that matter, there's a semi-auto shotgun out there with a design based on the AK-47. I actually got to shoot one because a friend of a friend (who also had a .22 chambered AR-15) had one, and he took all of us to the range one day. That thing was fun as hell to shoot, but I can also imagine the kind of damage it could do, and it's not a pretty thought.

You mean something like the Saiga, or an AK47 that had been modified?

thaluikhain:

Owyn_Merrilin:
For that matter, there's a semi-auto shotgun out there with a design based on the AK-47. I actually got to shoot one because a friend of a friend (who also had a .22 chambered AR-15) had one, and he took all of us to the range one day. That thing was fun as hell to shoot, but I can also imagine the kind of damage it could do, and it's not a pretty thought.

You mean something like the Saiga, or an AK47 that had been modified?

I'm pretty sure it was the Saiga, although the guy who owned the gun claimed it had been made in an actual Kalishnakov factory. It /was/ modified, but just to add a pistol grip, and maybe a few other minor things like that. Nothing that actually affected the firing mechanism.

Tsaba:
Second, your right other than the fact MSNBC is not a respectable news outlet. They make up news, they don't report it.

Exactly my point: which is why you'd expect them to come up with a fictional gun called an AR15 Shotgun. :P

they guy had a flawless record then out of the blue starts acting impulsively, explosive anger, suffering blackouts, hallucinations and then goes on a rampage.. id like to hear the results of the autopsy as this sounds similar to charles whitman the university of texs tower shooter who they found had a brain tumor. the bloackouts make me think its organic rather than a pure mental illness

as for the reference to an AR15 shotgun. its obviously a typo that got missed

Okay. So this time, the guy was fucking hearing voices, practically already admitted that he was crazy, and someone fucked up by not revoking his security clearance. There are far better reasons why this happened than "Oh, GTAV was coming out".

But of course...that's gonna be completely ignored.

To do such "news reporting" should just be goddamn illegal in my eyes. To cut so much of the facts that nothing remains but a body and an assumption isn't just morally wrong, it's crappy reporting.

When I was in the US Air Force I had a Top Secret clearance due to access to Nuclear materiel and weapons as well as working at the Air Force headquarters building for the European Command. If we even went to the doctor for a cold it was written into our record and any drug use above antibiotics level things caused an immediate suspension of our clearance. Hell I was once suspended access to my normal duties and weapons access because my wife's mom died. They were very serious about things. I saw people have their security clearance revoked over anything from an alcohol use related arrest to DUI and getting arrested for a domestic dispute. Someone royally fucked up in not revoking this guys access to the base once they were notified of his mental problems.

RJ 17:

Tsaba:
Second, your right other than the fact MSNBC is not a respectable news outlet. They make up news, they don't report it.

Exactly my point: which is why you'd expect them to come up with a fictional gun called an AR15 Shotgun. :P

That, and they would tell us there is a mass shooting every day of the year.

Also, he was buddhist:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/shooters-interest-in-buddhism-prompts-debate-about-stereotype-of-peaceful-faith/2013/09/18/f0ecd938-1fcf-11e3-94a2-6c66b668ea55_story.html

Woo...scary buddhists are going to destroy Western civilisation. Or something. Way to dig a whole in the bottom of the barrel there.

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