Missed, Ignored or Systemic Failures

There were a number of red flags that were either missed, ignored or fell through the cracks with Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis. He clearly had a troubled history going back to his Navy service. 

As best we can discern there was an effort to issue him a general discharge, typically issued for unacceptable military behavior as he had a number of incidents during his service, but he ended up receiving an honorable discharge. A general discharge would’ve brought into question his ability to maintain his security clearance. 

There are issues with our mental health system and the reporting by police or other authorities of people exhibit potential problems. 

Tragic as this and other events are we cannot turn around and cast a wider net on anyone who may or may not exhibit some form of unstable behavior. A very low percentage of mentally ill commit violent crimes. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 698 people in a nation of 300+ million were killed in the  workplace last year by intentional injury. We must also be mindful even in light of the public safety issue of the individual rights and privacy of all Americans is guaranteed in the Constitution. 

I would take a closer look at the report of the officers at the Newport base and why there wasn’t some follow through. It’s possible there is and a system in place and that’s where the ball was dropped. I’m not a big fan of these officials who are not supposed to speak but yet it seems many are weighing in with their opinions. Let’s have a forensic process and then come to determinations rather than getting caught up in assumptions and sadly even a political narrative.