Aaron Alexis’s case could have been avoided if gun laws had been more reliable. Investigators believe that the victims of Aaron Alexis, the navy yard shooter, were selected at random because there was no evidence that a single event triggered Alexis’s violent outburst. Alexis shot twelve people with no indication of a motive. (Hermann) What he did have, though, was a mental illness. He had showed signs of psychosis, but never received any treatment. (Tanfani) Police knew about his delusions and were worried about them; however, there were no reports that he had been hospitalized, although he spent time in the Veterans Affairs Hospital for Insomnia. When doctors there asked if he was depressed or suicidal, he said no.
Because there were no reports of Alexis ever receiving mental help, there was no way he could have been entered into the federal database. Upon deciding to commit a mass violence, he purchased a Remington 370 shot gun, the gun he used during the navy yard shooting, in Newington, Virginia. (Hermann) Aaron Alexis fell outside the bounds of background check standards, which was common for the perpetrators of other mass slayings. One of which, was named Jennifer San Marco.
Jennifer San Marco shot six people and then shot herself and also passed a background check to purchase a gun. In fact, San Marco had no trouble passing the background check in a New Mexico pawn shop, even though she could not legally buy a gun in California. She had been admitted to a hospital for three days in Ventura and had a history of paranoid and bizarre behavior. (Tanfani) Two months before the occurrence, the police were alerted to the behavior by Darlene Hayes. Cibola Counseling Services manager, Darlene Hayes, said she saw San Marco alone in a post office parking lot, while she was kneeling by her car and speaking to herself. Hayes approached San Marco to ask if she was alright to which San Marco responded, “They play before they get in.” San Marco had been talking about her brother and sister who were there according to her; however, there was nobody around her. The police said the department had no record of Darlene Hayes’s call. It was not new behavior for Jennifer San Marco, it had been that way so often that her neighbors labeled her as “the woman who shouted furiously to herself, who ordered food at restaurants and bolted before eating it, who knelt in prayer at the roadside, and who peeled off her clothes in random parking lots.” Yet, she was still able to purchase a gun with no problems because states are not consistent in gun law regulations and therefore had no way of knowing that Jennifer San Marco was mentally unstable and considerably dangerous. (Frosch)
Mental illnesses such as major depression as well as schizophrenia have a tendency to change perspectives on a person’s outlook. Someone who is severely depressed might have a very negative view on the world and could contemplate ending their own life. If he/she were able...