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Tamara Corner: Aaron Alexis

By Tamara Holder | @tamaraholder

The conservatives’ latest blame game: Mass Murderer Aaron Alexis

On September 16, Aaron Alexis killed 12 people during his Navy Yard shooting spree. Just 48 hours later, a motive is still publicly unknown.

Rather than wait for an investigative report, conservatives rushed to create a new-and-improved edition of the Blame Game. Available on, the game is easy: simply type “Aaron Alexis” in your search bar and you will find countless uneducated opinions for Alexis’ mass killing.

Warning to new players: if you question gun possession and expanded background checks, you will be ejected from the Blame Game.

Here are your pawns:

Pawn 1: The Makers of Violent Video Games

Alexis was allegedly addicted to violent video games. Many conservatives believe that violent video games, violent language in music and violent entertainment is to blame for one’s violent behavior. I love selective constitutional rights: those who do not want Second Amendment regulation often want to limit the First Amendment.

In 2011, the Supreme Court overturned California’s ban on violent video game sales. Conservative Justice Antonin Scalia ruled that video games are protected speech. He wrote, “Like the protected books, plays and movies that preceded them, video games communicate ideas — and even social messages — through many familiar literary devices (such as characters, dialogue, plot, and music)…”

Blaming a video game for a massacre is like blaming Candy Land for childhood obesity.

Pawn 2: Alexis’ Psychiatrists

Alexis reportedly suffered from paranoia, believed his enemies were using a microwave machine to prevent him from sleeping, and was recently treated by the Department of Veterans Affairs. He was never institutionalized.

The internet is flooded with a blog by “health freedom activist” Mike Adams. (Adams does not have a medical degree (and maybe not any degree) and writes about “personal and planetary wellness.”) He wrote, “The vast majority of mass shooters in U.S. history have all been on mind-altering psychiatric drugs. Those prescription medications create feelings of detachment in people, making them feel like they "playing out a video game" rather than acting out in the real world. This combination is repeated over and over again in violent mass killings: psychiatric drugs + video games = mass death.”

See how simple the Blame Game is to play? You can believe anything, written by anyone, especially with regard to science.

Unlike the self-proclaimed “Health Ranger,” Julie Holland, M.D. has a completely different opinion that is based on science, as well as her education and experience. “Typical timing for onset of schizophrenia is late teens to early twenties. Most schizophrenics are not violent but rather are more often the victims of violence. Psychiatric drugs do not cause mass murders. 1 in 4 women in America are on some sort of psychiatric medication right now and you do not see them running around killing people. Nearly 1 in 5 Americans is taking antidepressants.”

Dr. Holland also explains that “PTSD from rescuing is not unusual but delusions or auditory hallucinations are not part of PTSD.”

Dr. Holland is a psychiatrist specializing in psychopharmacology, an assistant professor of psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine, she ran the psychiatric emergency room at Bellevue Hospital for nine years, and the author of Weekends at Bellevue.

Pawn 3: President Clinton

In 1993, President Bill Clinton issued an order preventing military personnel from carrying a firearm on base. Never mind that former President George W. Bush had 8 years to strike this regulation. Never mind that Alexis’ first victims were armed guards.

Pawn 4: President Obama

Skip over Bush and now move to President Obama. It is his fault for this senseless attack on innocent Americans: “President Obama, on whose watch we might note military mass shootings have skyrocketed, was one of the first to link Monday's incident to gun control.

Pawn 5: Background Checker

Conservatives do not want the government to expand background check laws with regard to firearm ownership but interestingly, Alexis’ arrest history provided more blame…not that he was able to legally purchase a gun but because he should not have been able to obtain a security clearance. The Washington Post’s writers stated, “The military’s beleaguered background-check system failed to block Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis.”


In 2009, Douglas Belkin of The Wall Street Journal pointed out that the U.S. military employs those with criminal records. “From 2006 through 2008, the four armed-forces branches issued conduct waivers for more than 2,000 recruits with felony convictions, 3,000 recruits with felony arrests and 42,000 recruits with serious misdemeanors, according to the Department of Defense.”

Alexis was not a convicted felon. Additionally, he was not convicted of violent crimes. Possessing a gun is not a violent crime. According to a 1967 U.S. government study cited by criminologist Alfred Blumstein of Carnegie Mellon University, 50% of American males would be arrested at some point in their lifetimes. We cannot become a society that does not hire people simply because of an arrest that did not result in a conviction.

A senseless massacre on our soil, whether it’s on at a military base, a school, or a parking lot, demands that we ask how a troubled person can slip through the cracks. We as a society must stop blaming and start learning, understanding and working together.

Tamara N. Holder is a pardon attorney, co-founder of Sports Court Media, a contributor for the Fox News Channel and a frequent guest of Hannity Radio. You can follow her on Twitter @tamaraholder.