I’m gonna need future mass shooters to be responsible enough to write a “suicide note” and keep it on their person before flipping out and killing innocent people.. Yes, because listening to the media speculate motive in the wake of this latest shooting, and bring up stuff like, “That one time at band camp,” irritates the crap out of me. Like everyone else I’d like to know the motive for Aaron Alexis’ actions, but could it not just simply be that her acted on his paranoia as a result of his mental health and nothing more? I mean come on, is this hard to believe?

By now I’m sure that you are aware that 12 people were shot and killed this week at Washington DC’s Navy Yard by Aaron Alexis. If you’re melanin-afflicted like myself, you were probably shocked to find out that the shooter was indeed a black man. That said, watching the media coverage in the wake of the shooting kind of has my racism antennas going off quite a bit. Don’t get me wrong, Alexis being a black doesn’t mean he gets an automatic pass for his action. Nope, what he did was indeed deplorable, reprehensible, and is nothing to be championed by anyone.

In fact, even Alexis’ mother mourbs for the victims:

However, with Alexis being black I can’t help but to notice what I see as a double standard in commentary by media pundits. Let’s be honest, folks; we have had mass shooters go on a rampage before here in America. If you ask some people, they would say that such shootings have become all too common. But looking at each individual shooter, it’s quite apparent that mental health or mental illness is the common denominator.

aaron-alexisWASHINGTON — A month before he went on the shooting rampage that killed 12 people, Washington Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis complained to police in Rhode Island that people were talking to him through the walls and ceilings of his hotel rooms and sending microwave vibrations into his body to deprive him of sleep.

The account, contained in an Aug. 7 report from Newport, R.I., police, adds to the picture that has emerged of an agitated and erratic figure whose behavior and mental state had repeatedly come to authorities’ attention but didn’t seem to affect his security clearance.

Alexis, a 34-year-old information technology employee at a defense-related computer company, used a valid pass Monday to get into the Navy Yard and then killed 12 people before he was slain by police in a shootout that lasted more than a half-hour.

A day after the assault, the motive was still a mystery. U.S. law enforcement officials told The Associated Press that investigators had found no manifesto or other writings suggesting a political or religious motivation.

Alexis, a former Navy reservist, had been undergoing mental health treatment from the Department of Veterans Affairs since August but was not stripped of his security clearance, according to the law enforcement officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the criminal investigation was still going on.

He had been suffering from a host of serious mental problems, including paranoia and a sleep disorder, and had been hearing voices in his head, the officials said. (source)

As such, in the wake of these shootings the issue of mental health has always been a part of any conversation on gun control and access to guns by certain people among us. In this case however, though it has been revealed that Alexis was indeed seeking treatment for his mental issues, the conversation seems to be more focused on his violent criminal record, and how he was able to get security clearance for his job. I hate to throw down the race card here, folks. But, the only thing different about this shooter and the typical run of the mill mass shooter, is that Alexis is black.

aaron-alexis-shootingA statement released Wednesday by the VA said Aaron Alexis was treated on August 23 in Providence, R.I. and on August 28, in Washington, D.C. Both times, the VA says Alexis was given medication to help him sleep and instructed to follow up with a primary care provider.

“On both occasions, Mr. Alexis was alert and oriented, and was asked by VA doctors if he was struggling with anxiety or depression, or had thoughts about harming himself or others, which he denied,” the statement said.

The VA also said Alexis never sought care from a mental health specialist.

The department said that Alexis, a former member of the Navy Reserve, had a 30 percent disability rating based on orthopedic problems and tinnitus.

Last month, Alexis complained to Rhode Island police that people were talking to him through the walls and ceilings of his hotel rooms and sending microwave vibrations into his body to deprive him of sleep.

The police account, contained in an Aug. 7 report from Newport, Rhode Island, police, adds to the picture that has emerged of an agitated and erratic figure whose behavior and mental state had repeatedly come to authorities’ attention but didn’t seem to affect his security clearance. (source)

Of course I’d hate to think that the media would be this insensitive, and instead be fair and balanced. Surely they would investigate and report on the alleged PTSD suffered by Alexis as a result of working rescue down and Ground Zero om September 11th, 2001. Surely there would be more investigation and reporting on Alexis calling the police to report hearing voices, or that someone was using radio waves to make it hard for him to sleep in his hotel. Call me crazy, but I think this would be the focus of reporting as opposed to a violent criminal record which doesn’t contain any convictions? Again, I am in no way suggesting that Alexis be given a pass because of his mental issues. I am, however, suggesting that if we are to be concerned with prevention, that maybe we ought to spend our time talking about the obvious which as I see would be mental health.

To that point, check out the following: