Overlooked bad signs

Posted Monday, Sep. 23, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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There’s been excellent reportage and editorials written about the Washington Naval Yard shooter, Aaron Alexis. This man was an introvert, had post traumatic stress disorder and other mental problems — all exacerbated by the fact no one wanted to be the first to inform a superior about Alexis’s pervading deterioration of his mental health.

The Veterans Administration and Alexis’s employer, “The Experts,” should share culpability for this tragedy, too, since they overlooked or dismissed red flags flying, police reports on incidents of anger and firing a weapon. Yet no jurisdiction went on record to investigate and get Alexis mental help for his inexplicable violence, hallucinations, blackouts and hearing voices. This went on for nine years. Now, 13 people are dead.

One of the etchings carved into Alexis’s weapon, a shotgun, was “better off this way.” That is apropos — at least he’s passed and his problems are over.

— Fred Ream, Fort Worth

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