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Published:September 17th, 2013 08:21 EST
Is Aaron Alexis Forgettable? Are the American People Growing Numb to These Random Mass Shooting Sprees?

Is Aaron Alexis Forgettable? Are the American People Growing Numb to These Random Mass Shooting Sprees?

By John G. Kays


The Washington Navy Yard shooting and killing spree by Aaron Alexis on Monday morning will probably be mostly forgotten as little time passes, since Americans will view it as just another abuse of firearms (in this case, the usual suspect, an AR-15). We are collectively numb to such a mass shooting incident such as this, but why?


The reason why, is because it happens so frequently, and since these powerful weapons are readily made available to so many people who are suffering from various forms of mental illness, it seems only logical that we`d see the type of mayhem, such as occurred at the Washington Navy Yard yesterday.


As far as what specific mental issues Aaron Alexis may have been experiencing, or what his motive was, or what specifically made him crack up just at this time and place, we still have some sorting out to do. We`re hearing of an obsession with violent video games, but at the same time, we`re hearing that Aaron was a nice guy also, when working at the Happy Bowl Thai restaurant in White Settlement, a suburb of Fort Worth, Texas. Another contradiction to our character analysis of the assailant, is his recent conversion to Buddhism, a religion associated with non-violence.


This is only speculation, but one might postulate Aaron Alexis` conversion to Buddhism was an attempt to put his violent past in the rearview mirror, where several incidents (filed in sundry police reports) chronicle an abuse of firearms when put in a situation where he becomes very angry, blowing it up as bigger than it need be (making a mountain out of a molehill, possibly because of narcissistic proclivities). You can look into the particulars of each of these prior altercations, and you ought to do so, but the bottom line (for me), is the presence of powerful guns around (at the disposal of) Mr. Alexis.


As I said before, this very tragic event in Washington DC yesterday, where 13 people (12 of them innocent bystanders) lost their lives, will not be remembered by most Americans, other than a blur, in little more than a few months. This is not what I was hoping to type, but it is the truth and it is how I feel about it, not being an event of high enough caliber, worthy of the moniker `historical.` Mundane, ordinary, or prosaic would better capture this event, with our society struck down as it is with a pervasive permeation of gun violence.


I don`t know that this hasn`t been true for sometime, beginning with when Charles Whitman got on top of the observatory tower at the University of Texas and began picking people off with a high-powered rifle (August 1st, 1966). The main difference is today these mentally challenged individuals (who are usually gun nuts) have more powerful assault weapons than Whitman had, such as the popular AR-15. How did Alexis penetrate security so easily, with 3 guns in his vehicle? Why did he even have a clearance pass in the first place, since he has an extensive criminal record? 


It has to be, a real criminal background check wasn`t conducted by the Navy. How`d he get such easy access to Building 197? Wern`t there security guards posted in Building 197? A CNN article suggests that budget cuts may have compromised this usual precaution; this makes me think Aaron Alexis must have scoped out Building 197 on Friday, perhaps, and knew just exactly how he could pull off this crime. We may get more specifics on how Alexis committed this crime, but will we ever know why he did it. Will we ever learn how or why his psychological makeup took a turn for the worse over the past few months? And most of all, we want to know how when and why he was able to get his hands on such a powerful arsenal of firearms.