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Veterans Commit Mass Shootings At An Alarming Rate. Why?
On Nov. 5, a former airman with a criminal background killed 26 people at a church in the Texas town of Sutherland Springs. The shooter, Devin P. Kelley, was armed with a Ruger AR-15 variant. The Air Force’s failure to alert the FBI to Kelley’s domestic assault convictions had allowed him to legally purchase the weapon and several others after he was booted out of the service in 2014 with a bad-conduct discharge. In 2012, a court-martial sentenced Kelley to 12 months in confinement for brutally beating his wife and toddler step-son. His shooting rampage was the deadliest mass public shooting in Texas history. Kelley died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after wrecking his car while being chased by two samaritans, one of whom was also armed with a gun.
Kelley is one of numerous veterans who have carried out massacres on American soil since Charles Whitman, a Marine Corps veteran, shot 17 people to death from atop the University of Texas Tower on Aug. 1, 1966, an event generally viewed as the first in a scourge of mass public shootings — defined as “the killing of four or more people in a public place without a connection to drug deals, gang disputes or other underlying criminal motive,” according to The Washington Post — that have rocked the country with increasing frequency and bigger death tolls over the years. As anthropologist Hugh Gusterson noted in The New York Times last year, more than a third of the 43 worst mass killings in the United States between 1984–2016 were perpetrated by veterans, though vets never exceeded 13% of the population during that period.
How do we explain this statistic? And can more be done to mitigate gun violence in America? Adam Linehan, Patrick Baker, Jack Mandaville, and Adam Weinstein enter The Warzone to hash it out.
Download episode 20 of The Warzone, “Gun Control" on iTunes. Also, subscribe so you never miss an episode.
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A Minnesota Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter with three Guardsmen aboard crashed south of St. Cloud on Thursday, said National Guard spokeswoman Army Master Sgt. Blair Heusdens.
At this time, the National Guard is not releasing any information about the status of the three people aboard the helicopter, Heusdens told Task & Purpose on Thursday.
The Pentagon's latest attempt to twist itself in knots to deny that it is considering sending up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East has a big caveat.
Pentagon spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said there are no plans to send that many troops to the region "at this time."
Farah's statement does not rule out the possibility that the Defense Department could initially announce a smaller deployment to the region and subsequently announce that more troops are headed downrange.
The Navy could deploy a second carrier to the Middle East if Trump orders an Iran surge, top admiral says
The Navy could send a second aircraft carrier to the Middle East if President Donald Trump orders a surge of forces to the region, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday said on Thursday.
Gordon Lubold and Nancy Youssef of the Wall Street Journal first reported the United States is considering sending up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East to deter Iran from attacking U.S. forces and regional allies. The surge forces could include several ships.
I didn't think a movie about World War I would, or even could, remind me of Afghanistan.
Somehow 1917 did, and that's probably the highest praise I can give Sam Mendes' newest war drama: It took a century-old conflict and made it relatable.
An internal investigation spurred by a nude photo scandal shows just how deep sexism runs in the Marine Corps
"I will still have to work harder to get the perception away from peers and seniors that women can't do the job."
Some years ago, a 20-year-old female Marine, a military police officer, was working at a guard shack screening service members and civilians before they entered the base. As a lance corporal, she was new to the job and the duty station, her first in the Marine Corps.
At some point during her shift, a male sergeant on duty drove up. Get in the car, he said, the platoon sergeant needs to see you. She opened the door and got in, believing she was headed to see the enlisted supervisor of her platoon.
Instead, the sergeant drove her to a dark, wooded area on base. It was deserted, no other Marines were around. "Hey, I want a blowjob," the sergeant told her.
"What am I supposed, what do you do as a lance corporal?" she would later recall. "I'm 20 years old ... I'm new at this. You're the only leadership I've ever known, and this is what happens."
She looked at him, then got out of the car and walked away. The sergeant drove up next to her and tried to play it off as a prank. "I'm just fucking with you," he said. "It's not a big deal."
It was one story among hundreds of others shared by Marines for a study initiated in July 2017 by the Marine Corps Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning (CAOCL). Finalized in March 2018, the center's report was quietly published to its website in September 2019 with little fanfare.
The culture of the Marine Corps is ripe for analysis. A 2015 Rand Corporation study found that women felt far more isolated among men in the Corps, while the Pentagon's Office of People Analytics noted in 2018 that female Marines rated hostility toward them as "significantly higher" than their male counterparts.
But the center's report, Marines' Perspectives on Various Aspects of Marine Corps Organizational Culture, offers a proverbial wakeup call to leaders, particularly when paired alongside previous studies, since it was commissioned by the Marine Corps itself in the wake of a nude photo sharing scandal that rocked the service in 2017.
The scandal, researchers found, was merely a symptom of a much larger problem.