Thursday, April 03, 2014

4 Killed And 16 Injured In Ft. Hood Shooting

For the second time in five years, Ft. Hood has been the location for a mass killing. Yesterday, a Iraq war veteran opened fire on the Texas base and killed three people and injured sixteen before turning the gun on himself and also dying.

The gunman served for four months in Iraq and had previously sought help for depression. He had been undergoing tests to determine whether he suffered from PTSD. The gunman was married and had been at Ft. Hood since February. He was taking medication and there are reports he suffered from a massive brain injury but the military says he was never wounded in action.

I'm wondering why a soldier who suffered from depression and was taking medication to possibly treat that depression had access to guns. I feel like this is going to be something we see repeated over time as these veterans enter civilian life after being involved in combat and there needs to be better treatment options available to them and for their claims to be taken seriously. Too often I think it is seen as an excuse and not something that needs to be treated.

53 comments:

Cleodacat said...

RIP to all.

LottaColada said...

RIP.

Enty is baiting the gun discussion this morning.

sandybrook said...

RIP to the victims. TV is also baiting with the guns today and asked the exact same question.

Renoblondee said...

Terrible. RIP

discoflux said...

My heart and thoughts go out to the families of those who have lost loved ones and the ones that are on the road to recovery.

Cleodacat said...

One of my best friend's suffered from PTSD after serving in Iraq. The military hospitalized him for a month and then required him to see mental health daily. He repeatedly threatend to kill himself but denied it when asked by professionals and the company commander assigned him to the barracks but would 't assign someone to watch him because it was deemed too intrusive. Bottom line, he bought a gun off base and killed himself in front of the base mental health treatment center. More needs to be done.

Vera L- said...

Cleo - agreed, more needs to be done. Heartbroken for those impacted by this tragedy.

Bacon Ranch said...

This is bait,
4 people are dead.
RIP

Leekalicious said...

.

Karen said...

@Cleodacat, I'm so sorry about your friend!

RIP to the dead, and best wishes for speedy recoveries to the injured.

Jacq said...

I think it's stupid that it's a MILITARY BASE and it take FIFTEEN MINUTES for another person (other than the shooter) to show up with a firearm. There should be some kind of MP SWAT team ready to roll all f the time, as opposed to having to go to the armory, get a gun, then load it. Civilian police are armed, why can't we entrust our military servicemen and women with the same? The cops could respond to my home faster and with more firepower than they can at a base. Sad.

8=====D aka Lil Tool. KermitGosnellKnobJockey said...

RIP.

I hope this doesn't start any fight, but that base needs changing in its psychiatrist answer to the problems of the soldiers (2 shootings in 5 years deserve some investigation).

__-__=__ said...

Drugs are supposed to make people better or do no harm. FDA should look into that. I'm bothered he did this on medication.

LowKey said...

Sadness. The way this country treats its veterans is a disgrace.

auntliddy said...

Well rip to the dead, and all healing to wounded. The mind is a fearsome, unpredictable place. You have zero defense against a determined mentally ill person. I honestly dont know how to help these peoples, much as we sll want to. Agree too with responce time post too.

JSierra said...

I'm sorry Cleo :(

Kermit I think everyone can agree that the entire nation needs to change how it handles veterans. These people risked their lives and had to do unspeakable things, why don't we reward them for that by taking care of them and their mental health? Regardless of your thoughts on the military and war these people shouldn't be left in the cold once they return home. Mental health is serious and ptsd is debilitating.

ElleBelle said...

Out of respect for the victims, I will be selective in what I say.

As a veteran myself, who now works at a center to help treat PTSD, TBIs and MST, I ask that you educate yourselves on WHY vets do not receive mental health care. Educate yourself on the culture of the military..,,

But please, do not assume that every vet with PTSD is going to snap and shoot up the workplace.

Cleodacat said...

Very eloqoquently put.

Leekalicious said...

@Cleo, that is heartbreaking.

@ElleBelle
I agree. The extreme 'Suck it Up' attitude of superior officers who may never have even been on a battlefield is unforgivable. Until they treat military veterans as human beings instead of machines, nothing is going to change.

Babs said...

Longtime lurker, taking the bait.

This is not about guns. It's a military base, for crying out loud. Our soldiers should be allowed to carry a sidearm on their person while they are on base. They are trained in weapons usage and safety, and it just makes sense. That said, we (not just our military, but our culture in general) do a piss-poor job of taking care of the mentally ill. It would seem reasonable that people with depression or other forms of mental illness should not have access to weapons. Guns don't kill people, troubled people kill other people.

And Kermit, et al - let's not forget something about the previous shooting. As much as our administration wants to label it an act of "workplace violence", it was terrorism, pure and simple. Shooting your co-workers while shouting "Allahu Akbar" is not because of depression or mental illness. It's caused by extremism trying to send a message to the U.S./non-Muslims that they want to end us.

Its just U said...

Awful, sad and tragic. My sympathies to all affected.

Murphy said...

Why was he in Iraq for only 4 months? The answer might be revealing

Kristin (Wiglet) said...

@Jacq The shooter was on the move on the largest military installation in the country. Not easy to track down someone who is actively evading the MPs and has a shit ton of terrain to do it.

ElleBelle said...

@Murphy, there could be many explanations, it does not mean something happened; one of my deployments was only four months, while I was due to rotate commands.

Please, be respectful, and stop making assumptions. The shooter also has a family, and you do not how is wife is suffering today.

ElleBelle said...

@Babs, no, just no. You cannot have every person walking around a military base armed. People have different weapons qualifications, different force protection conditions....Families live on base, day cares are on base, civilians are on base...there are too many things that go into the discussion.

Cleodacat said...

I was amazed when I went on base a couple of months ago. I was feeling pretty low and went to the MH clinic for assistence. The building was a fortress: receptionists behind buliit proof glass and swipe key doors beyond the waiting room. I managed to see an E4 tech that day and the soonest appointment was 3wks away. Then it got canceled (by them), rescheduled 2 more weeks later only to be cancelled 2 more times. Thank God I was able to pull myself through on my own because they certainly were not available.

Cornbread said...

@Cleodacat, hugs to you. Someone very close to me, whom I love very much, is suffering from PTSD after a four month deployment to an undisclosed location near the Turkish border. I am so very saddened and angry with the lack of care he is receiving now that he is serving the remainder of his six year contract in DC.

@ElleBelle, you are a good soul. So much goes on that many are unaware of; not all assumptions are true. We are blessed to have vets such as yourself helping military.

Sorry for the ramble, this one just hits very close to home today. Peace to the all affected.

Jeannie said...

I don't comment often but I too had an acquaintance who served in Iraq and struggled with depression and PTSD once he returned home. We weren't close and I don't know all of the specifics, but he committed suicide in January. It's tragic to see so many men and women serve their country but are unable to adapt to civilian life due to struggles with mental health, from the the toll of what they experienced.

Snapdragon said...

The state of mental health care is appalling in the US, and the state of medical treatment in general for vets is even worse. This shooting, and the stories in the comments, saddens me to no end.

Tina Mallette said...

One does have to ask why we didn't hear about World War I and World War II veterans gunning down people and they faced just as horrific if not more horrific circumstances - in World War I you were still fighting eyeball to eye ball.

Tina Mallette said...

And you can bet those soldiers were not getting any support at all for the PTSD.

And weren't most of those soldiers conscripted vs volunteer?

I can't remember was it a Vietnam veteran who did the sniping on a Texas campus?

ElleBelle said...

@Tina, just stop.

First, the rate of PTSD in WWII, Korea and Vietman vets is just as high as the OIF/OEF/OND generation, but the understanding and screening process is a recent development. More and more of the patients the clinicians at my office see ARE the older generation. The one thing that has not changed, is the self-medication through drugs and alcohol.

Second, please stop attributing 100% of the "blame" to PTSD/TBIs and combat stress. If you are genuinely concerned about the issue, let me know, and I can help educate you on the facts & myths and help you better understand PTSD.

This is also a decent article that was released in response to yesterday's event.

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/fort-hood-shooting/vets-docs-worry-fort-hood-shootings-will-deepen-ptsd-stigma-n71046

FlirtyChick74 said...

@ElleBelle: thank you for insight and for your thoughtfulness

JoElla said...

This happened in my neck of the woods. We are all very saddened and heartbroken in Central Texas. I ask kindly that you please send up a good thought for everyone in our area. Especially for the Military.

@Jacq, google Ft Hood, maybe then you will understand the size of it. To give you a clearer picture, 10,00 civilians work there daily, and it can have 100,000 active duty stationed there.

Funny side note.. one of my dearest friends was channel surfing, and on CNN, they said people in my town do not go near windows and stay inside. She totally freaked and contacted me. Umm CNN does nobody in the network know how to read maps?! I live about 40 miles north of Killeen. #epicfail!

JoElla said...

Oh and Enty (or Enties) the shooter bought the gun off base. Please remember that this is a very real trauma, and you are dealing with real people.

Kristin (Wiglet) said...

Thanks @ElleBelle for your explanation, service, and continued work. I worked at Wramc for years; that's hard stuff. Glad our guys and gals have good people like you looking out for them.

Looziana Magnolia said...

Agreed. In addition to commissaries, BX/PX, our base has a elementary school and a Jr. High. There are just too many places something tragic like this could happen.

AKM said...

@ElleBelle - Well-said. I'm a finishing MSW student and social worker currently planning a PTSD presentation for veterans' families in May, and I plan to work in military mental health when I am done with school this year. (May is Mental Health Month and Military Appreciation Month, but I'm sure you know that.) Are you familiar with the work and/or books of Dr. Edward Tick? Very wise counselor, speaker, and writer. I'm also currently reading his book WAR AND THE SOUL; it's eye-opening about the holistic treatment of PTSD. I had no idea, for example, that PTSD is almost unheard of in Vietnam, despite the fact that they lost 1 million soldiers and 2 million civilians in the Vietnam War. (And of course that doesn't count their conflicts/wars with France and China.) The reason? Differences in spirituality and community support. Anyway, it's a great read, and his work is fascinating.

RIP to all who lost their lives at Fort Hood yesterday, and prayers for those wounded.

MadLyb said...

We need to change our name to "Gunmerica" and substitute the 13 arrows and olive branch depicted on the eagle of the great seal of the United States for double barreled pistols. Coincidentally, 25% of Americans would jump off a cliff if told to do so by one of their right wing authoritarian daddies. Apparently Americans are fine with allowing the NRA and the USSC to fuck this country up beyond recognition.

Seven of Eleven said...

@ElleBelle, I'm a little tardy to the party, but I wanted to say thank you for your comments. My dad is a vet, and my SO is a vet (from a long line of military veterans, each of whom have served in a war). An uncle on his side has PTSD from serving in Vietnam. The stigma surrounding it is incredible.

auntliddy said...

Rlle belle-rest assured I and mist people I know do not think that.

clearly4you said...

The way this article is written makes it sound like people with depression are prone to kill people, which is absolutely ridiculous and further stigmatizes people with mental health disorders. You have to have something else wrong with you to be homicidal. I've suffered from depression most of my life and I've never wanted to kill someone because of it. And yes, I am a legal gun owner with a CCW. The only way someone will get killed by me is in self-defense. I'm sick of people thinking it's a good idea to take away guns from everyone with some type of mental health diagnosis...you might as well disarm half the populace then. Oh, I forgot, that's the goal...

auntliddy said...

All,well most of you are making intelligent well thought out information, which I appreciate. I remember in Gulf War, they had given solders some sort of anti malarial meds, and they blamed it for alot of pstd, esp suicides and family violence. Anyone remember anthing about that?
This pstd is most certainly not a new phenom, just diff name for it. The lical manager of our 5&10 store had what was then called bomb scare. A friend of ours went to vietnam very early in 60's, and took some hostages one night in a bar, holding people at gunpoint. Mostly people wonder how can we help these people? I know I do.

Lisa said...

My thoughts are with everyone in Ft. Hood tonight. As an Army brat I know that this tears at the very fabric of the base and hurts everyone. I lived there for 3 years when I was younger and have some wonderful memories of my time there. Now living outside of Ft. Knox I can say the sense of shock and sadness that reverberated here today was heavy.
@ElleBelle I want to thank you for all that you do. As I said I am an Army brat but I am also proud to say that my husband was a Marine. My family has a long line of military service and it continues to this very day with my own nephews and cousins presently serving. I have seen people suffer from PTSD and either deal with it through alcohol, drugs or try and get help. I wish there were more people like you to help these men and women.

Erik said...

Arming everyone won't do much good. Someone starts shooting they can empty a magazine in a few seconds. This guy had mental health issues and was still able to buy a gun (at the same store where the other Ft Hood shooter bought his gun). That's the problem.

CarriOn said...

They call it "workplace" so they don't have to pay the victims more $$ and benefits- they victims are suing to get the status changed to act of terrorism

CarriOn said...

I saw that today on the news channel 25( that is all that has been on since yesterday) and it was the same place that sold it to Hassan. Ooo they in danger girl! Anyway shout out from Lampasas

Sprink said...

@ElleBelle...Mutphy wasn't making assumptions by asking why the shooter was in Iraq for only four months. Murphy was asking a question. We're allowed to do that, right?

Sprink said...

RlleBelle and Looziana are right--the movies always showing bases that are used for training or black ops or big strategic decisions because, ya know, that's the exciting stuff.

What they don't show is that a lot of bases are basically self-contained suburbs!

Dingle Barry said...

As was briefed by Ft. Hood commander, LTG Milley, SPC Ivan Lopez (the gunman) had only been prescribed the sleeping aid, Ambien and had just arrived to the post three weeks prior to this event. He lost his mother and grandfather last fall. He was extremely close to both. There is no record of him ever having seen combat or involved with any incident while serving in Iraq. That does not mean that he doesn't have mental health issues or that he does. It's an unknown factor.
As far as anything else it is all speculation and nothing more at this point and until a thorough investigation has been completed, it is unfair to come to any preconceived ideas or news room theories on why this tragedy has occurred.
Please keep the victims, their families, the comrades of these victims, Ft. Hood and surrounding communities, and the gunman's wife, child, and family in your thoughts and prayers. This is a very tragic event for all military personnel and their families, but especially for those stated above.

For the record, don't go bashing a reputable gun store owner who sold those weapons legally. He has got to be devastated yet again by these turn of events.

You want an answer to why this and every other shitty thing happens in life? Sometimes it just happens and we never have the answer we seek. That's okay too. Yet we desire to have control over outcomes and when we don't we become fearful.

Bad things happen and we want to instantly solve the problem. Life doesn't work that way. It's up to each one of us to dig a little deeper, let go of fear, and try our best to understand one another.

However by focusing on the gun debate it takes away from the debate for better mental health care for all, but in particular Veterans. They risked everything and have endured much, so that we can have our worst day on the computer.

Refocus your fear into a creative, thoughtful approach to people, not legislation. Legislation, more so, the over extension of it's use and power, will be the end of civil order.

-END OF-

AKM said...

@clearly4you - You make an excellent point, and I agree. That assumption is very hurtful and incorrect. Stats show that people with MI are more likely to the VICTIMS of abuse and/or violence rather than the perps. People just don't get it and want to believe what the media shows them, I guess. SMH.

@Dingle Barry - You are correct about speculation and how it can incorrect and foolish. However, when it comes to PTSD, one does not have to have engaged in hand-to-hand combat to exhibit symptoms. I'm not certain when he was Iraq, but if it were after those losses in his family, that makes a HUGE difference. Being in a different country, the possibility of danger, the possibility of what one might have to do (i.e. kill or be killed)...that's a lot on the mind of someone who is already possibly ill. Just a thought.

(Also, I hope it goes without saying that PTSD is not exclusively a MI caused by military service. Assaults, abuse, trauma from accidents or "acts of God," etc. can all be precipitating factors. We hear so much about PTSD today and it's usually in a military context, but again, it's not exclusive to combat.)

Slim Peachy said...

I served and no you do not have any reason to carry on a base in country unless you are an MP. We sure as hell were not allowed to at that point. Guns were in the armory, and an armored car escorted by MPs brought them out to your unit for training. That is where I learned proper respect for firearms and would never ever allow one in my home unless it was trigger locked and unloaded with the ammo locked up separately.

Slim Peachy said...

Also to add, although I didn't see combat, some friends did. They are clearly having issues but refuse to see help for PTSD. Why? They are afraid that if they get flagged as having a mental health issue the Gov will blacklist them from owning guns. Yes Guns matter more to them than getting help. I'm sure they are not the only ones thinking that too. It's sick the importance of fire arm ownership is to some people. Sick of society as a whole.