Shooter at DC shipyard was Buddhist

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Shooter at DC shipyard was Buddhist

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:48 am

Today Aaron Alexis shot and killed 12 people at a Naval shipyard where apparently he worked or was about to work.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/ ... story.html

Reports just in indicate that he was a Buddhist and learning the Thai language at a Buddhist temple. He was working at a Thai restaurant for free to learn the language better.

As far as I know, this is the first time a Buddhist has done a serial killing in the U.S. (and hopefully the last) and perhaps the first mass shooting by a Buddhist in any non-Buddhist country.

:candle: :candle: :candle: :candle: :candle: :candle: :candle: :candle: :candle: :candle: :candle: :candle: :candle:
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Re: Shooter at DC shipyard was Buddhist

Postby Viscid » Tue Sep 17, 2013 3:15 am

Truly bizarre.. It'll be interesting to see how it led to this-- how someone who is attracted to a religion which so emphatically denounces violence can murder so many people.
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Re: Shooter at DC shipyard was Buddhist

Postby Ben » Tue Sep 17, 2013 3:46 am

Metta and my merits to all those affected.
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Re: Shooter at DC shipyard was Buddhist

Postby Kusala » Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:27 am

David N. Snyder wrote:Today Aaron Alexis shot and killed 12 people at a Naval shipyard where apparently he worked or was about to work.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/ ... story.html

Reports just in indicate that he was a Buddhist and learning the Thai language at a Buddhist temple. He was working at a Thai restaurant for free to learn the language better.

As far as I know, this is the first time a Buddhist has done a serial killing in the U.S. (and hopefully the last) and perhaps the first mass shooting by a Buddhist in any non-Buddhist country.

:candle: :candle: :candle: :candle: :candle: :candle: :candle: :candle: :candle: :candle: :candle: :candle: :candle:


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Re: Shooter at DC shipyard was Buddhist

Postby pilgrim » Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:32 am

People practise Dhamma to be better people, not because they are already good. May he have the circumstances to practise better in the future.
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Re: Shooter at DC shipyard was Buddhist

Postby Digity » Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:25 pm

This guy obviously had some deep and disturbing issues about himself. Going to a Buddhist temple isn't going to solve that. The guy probably needed some serious therapy and didn't get it and now this. This has become a pretty common occurrence in the US.
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Re: Shooter at DC shipyard was Buddhist

Postby mirco » Tue Sep 17, 2013 3:03 pm

Viscid wrote:Truly bizarre..

Kusala wrote:The Dhamma ending age...


Dear friends, it's the actual progress, that counts, not the imaginary perfection.

For him it is better that he turned towards Buddhism before this happend than he if didn't.

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Re: Shooter at DC shipyard was Buddhist

Postby Benjamin » Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:42 pm

He has been compared to Charles Whitman, who had a very similar occurrence happen. His case did not involve any Buddhism, but in his own writing (he wrote a journal) he seemed to indicate that he didn't know at all why he was having such thoughts dominate his mind. It was like someone/something turned on a switch in his head. I'm wondering if this case and autopsy will find something similar with Alexis. Most friends of his spoke well of him, and were apparently shocked of the news yesterday.
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Re: Shooter at DC shipyard was Buddhist

Postby appicchato » Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:58 pm


http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/ ... story.html

Reports just in indicate that he was a Buddhist...(and) this is the first time a Buddhist has done a serial killing in the U.S.


Reading just the one article (above), and not to dissect this too much, I see/saw no indication that he was Buddhist...basically he hung with Thais and meditated a little (for a while)...not too unlike Novak Djokovic when playing Wimbledon...

A sad, senseless mess nonetheless... :candle:
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Re: Shooter at DC shipyard was Buddhist

Postby Digity » Wed Sep 18, 2013 2:17 am

I think it said he quit the temple in 2011 and was known to be a heavy drinker, starting at 9:30 am. This guy was no Buddhist...it's just the news people trying to play up an angle.
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Re: Shooter at DC shipyard was Buddhist

Postby mirco » Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:24 am

Digity wrote:I think it said he quit the temple in 2011 and was known to be a heavy drinker, starting at 9:30 am. This guy was no Buddhist...it's just the news people trying to play up an angle.

You can't know, if he was a Buddhist.

He could have taken the Five Precepts each morning.

Not to break them is another deal.

We all do our best, no matter what our Kamma has in store for us.


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Re: Shooter at DC shipyard was Buddhist

Postby Digity » Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:55 am

Now they're saying he heard voices in his head. Seems the guy had schizophrenia.
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Re: Shooter at DC shipyard was Buddhist

Postby Doshin » Wed Sep 18, 2013 12:24 pm

mirco wrote:
Digity wrote:I think it said he quit the temple in 2011 and was known to be a heavy drinker, starting at 9:30 am. This guy was no Buddhist...it's just the news people trying to play up an angle.

You can't know, if he was a Buddhist.

He could have taken the Five Precepts each morning.

Not to break them is another deal.

We all do our best, no matter what our Kamma has in store for us.


I do agree with you in general.

But I don't see the precepts as something you can break; they are training-goals, not rules. As with all training we all have a (individual) starting point, in time we improve our skills, sometimes we do worse; but in the long run we aim to be better.

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Re: Shooter at DC shipyard was Buddhist

Postby mirco » Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:51 pm

Dear Doshin,
Doshin wrote:I do agree with you in general. But I don't see the precepts as something you can break; they are training-goals, not rules. As with all training we all have a (individual) starting point, in time we improve our skills, sometimes we do worse; but in the long run we aim to be better. _/\_

yes, I see that.

To me, formally 'taking' the precepts comes with or builds up a certain energy. If I have done so, the alertness rises, for when I am about not to behave in harmonious way. It kind of strengthens the 'remindive' factor.

The same, when I behaved unharmonious. Forgiving myself for having done so and not knowing better and 'taking' the training vows again, helps.

The 'rules' to me are but precious training aids.

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Re: Shooter at DC shipyard was Buddhist

Postby Jhana4 » Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:48 pm

Buddhist community ponders apparent link between their faith and Navy Yard shooter
http://tinyurl.com/n4tczhh
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: Shooter at DC shipyard was Buddhist

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:53 pm

I believe he was a Buddhist. From the reports I have read on the news he attended a Thai temple, meditated and chanted with other Buddhists. He was learning the Thai language and according to some reports was already fluent. Who knows, maybe at one point he was considering ordaining in Thailand? Being Buddhist does not (automatically) make one a Buddha, arahant, or even sotapanna. Noble levels come with much effort after many lifetimes. Every Buddhist is at different points on the Path.

It is good to keep the precepts, but how many Buddhists really keep all 5 precepts all the time? I imagine many Buddhists struggle to keep the alcohol abstention precept all the time, violating it for social encounters. And I am sure many Buddhists sometimes tell some white-lies. I am not condoning or approving the breaking of any precepts, just stating the reality.

edit:

I see from J4's link that his interest dropped off a couple of years ago.

Alexis told his Buddhist landlord he wanted to be a monk, but his attendance at temple services slipped from several times a week in 2010 to about once a month in 2011, before largely fading altogether.
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Re: Shooter at DC shipyard was Buddhist

Postby Jhana4 » Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:18 pm

I do not see a reason why to discuss the shooter in terms of Buddhism ( other than for journalists to have something to write about ).

People who go on planned shooting sprees are mentally ill. Mentally ill people of all religions do these sort of things. These kind of shootings have nothing to do with anyone's religion and any given religion's rule against murder isn't likely to stop a mentally ill person from killing. Those rules don't even stop mentally healthy people from killing.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: Shooter at DC shipyard was Buddhist

Postby Digity » Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:31 pm

The guy "heard voices". See source here: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/ ... DN20130918

I guy had schizophrenia and something snapped and he did what he did. We've seen this story over and over again. This is nothing new and it'll happen again and again and again...

The whole Buddhist angle has nothing to do with this story. This is more a story about mental health and the lax attitude Americans have towards guns.
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Re: Shooter at DC shipyard was Buddhist

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:39 pm

Yes of course, this has nothing to do with Buddhism, even if he were still a Buddhist. It has to do with mental health issues and yes also gun control issues (why did a mentally ill person with prior gun related police events have ability to purchase assault weapons very recently). It is just good to discuss to come to these points, that it is not about his religion. There are some who think religion is a factor in some violent crimes (not necessarily anyone here, but someone lurking through the news reports and this forum) and this is clearly not the case in this incident. So it doesn't matter if he was Buddhist or not.
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Re: Shooter at DC shipyard was Buddhist

Postby Buckwheat » Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:21 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:Yes of course, this has nothing to do with Buddhism, even if he were still a Buddhist. It has to do with mental health issues and yes also gun control issues (why did a mentally ill person with prior gun related police events have ability to purchase assault weapons very recently). It is just good to discuss to come to these points, that it is not about his religion. There are some who think religion is a factor in some violent crimes (not necessarily anyone here, but someone lurking through the news reports and this forum) and this is clearly not the case in this incident. So it doesn't matter if he was Buddhist or not.


Just a small point to make here: He did not buy the assault rife. He bought a shotgun (still a deadly weapon, and your question is still valid in regards to the shotgun) and then used the shotgun to kill somebody who possessed an assault rifle, then stole the dead man's weapon.
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