According to his father, Aaron Alexis suffered from PTSD since he actively participated in rescue efforts on 9/11 and was treated for mental health issues ....
The father along with the rest of Aaron Alexis family are some of the victims of the tragic events, along with the deceased, their relatives, coworkers .... regardless of the circumstances Aaron Alexis is accountable for the suffering of all those his action affected. It is natural that the father would be suffering along with others affected and would be trying t0 seek reasons why his son acted as he did. The point is that the father said his son had PTSD but we dont know the basis for that statement - we can only speculate. If he did have PTSD we dont know what he was being treated with, we can only speculate. If he was on medications we can only speculate. If he was on medication we can only speculate what medication. If he was on prescription medications we can only speculate if they were prescribed to him. If they were prescribed to him we can only speculate if he was taking them as prescribed. If both of those conditions are met we can only speculate what other non prescription drugs he was taking and what effects the interaction of drugs and his medication and medical conditions were. So in short we have speculations based on speculations ........
PTSD is normally associated with long term exposure to traumatic events - typical military active duty over time or people who are victims of long term abusive violence such as women who have suffered domestic violence over time. In the 9/11 events there were those that were involved in the rescue for a matter of hours and those that were involved over months - it is likely that it would be ones with the long term involvement that would be more likely to suffer PTSD - even then many would not suffer PTSD especially if they received ongoing counselling as i would speculate would be the case.
What the emerging body of evidence from a wide range of sources would indicate is that Aaron Alexis was suffering from a mental disorder - hardly surprising when nearly 30% of of population do in any given year. Most are not diagnosed, many are misdiagnosed and many try to self medicate often making their problems worse. Some of the reasons for this is self denial, denial by families, poor access to doctors and medication (often associated with costs in the USA). We all add to this problem by the way that we respond to mental disorders and those who suffer from them. Our actions/intentions are part of the problem - so we all have to take some responsibility for the outcomes. We have aversion to those with mental disorders - think about this in the context of what The Buddha taught, we should reflect on out own actions!!!
What the emerging body of evidence from a wide range of sources would indicate is that Aaron Alexis was abusing alcohol. this is a problem in its self as alcohol is proven to be a cause of violence through intoxication, its effects on mental disorders and the effects of its interaction with other drugs (prescription medications included). When treating PTSD one of the first things that needs to occur is for the sufferer to resolve the alcohol issues before treatment for the actual PTSD can really begin.
The tragedy of the death of the victims happens on that day but the tragedy was many years in the making. The tragedy not only consists of the action of Aaron Alexis, it also includes the actions and inaction of many others. For example the Navy discharged him because of his behaviors, they could have used their authority over him to ensure that the problem were identified and treated. The security at the yard could have prevented the guns getting into the facility. Even as a society we share in the blame for the guns - we allow people who have no legitimate right (think about the first precept) to have guns to own them. Without guns this tragedy could not have happened on the scale that it did.
When we talk about people with mental disorders we should be mindful !!!! There are many different mental disorders with many different effects and the choices that the suffers make also vary. We need to be mindful in regards to the truthfulness of what we are sayings but we also need to be mindful of the suffering that we can cause other people (sufferers, families and friends). When we make statements that marginalizes or denigrate people in such circumstances we reduce the probability of them seeking treatment making the tragedies more likely to occur. The facts are that most people with mental disorders do not engage in acts of violence, most of those who do commit violent acts direct the violence at them selves. Often the disorders themselves make violence difficult - take for example severe clinical depression - most people who commit suicide do so as they start to recover because in the depths of depression they can not get their act together to even harm them selves.
When we talk about the side effects of medications we discourage those suffering from mental disorders from seeking diagnosis and treatment. Our actions increase the suffering of other people - how does this sit with the Dhamma.
Mental disorders are a set of disabilities - failure to be able to have metta and compassion for ALL is a disability in the context of the 8 Fold Path. As ones who aspire to follow the path we should be mindful of our own action. Please!!!