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View Diary: Kent State's 40th Anniversary (2010) (65 comments)

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  •  I was there, too (7+ / 0-)

    I was a school kid then, on campus; I've posted my own small story in previous years so I won't repost now. But thanks for keeping this alive. It's important. How we came to be the kind of country where armed troops open fire on unarmed protesters is critical for making sure we don't head that way again, permanently.

    I know there are new theories about this from the acoustic evidence, and some possible evidence of an agent provocateur with a .38, but in terms of ultimate culpability, I think it's fair to make the following conclusions:

    (1) there was no conspiracy to issue an order to shoot. To say otherwise is to reject both evidence and reason.

    (2) there was a complete lack of command and control; an undertrained Guard, and likely lack of unit control by the officers and non-coms, is responsible, and this is a court-martial-level offense but not a capital one.

    (3) responsibility ultimately rests on Gov. Rhodes, who made the very poor decision to militarize the situation for political reasons. Had there been no attempt to restore order with units not trained for civil order, there would have been no shootings.

    I think the explanation in the end is fairly simple. A small, undertrained unit was put into a situation it had no business being in, in a politically-charged atmosphere, which lead to both individual and collective panic. If the only tool a man has is a gun, that gun is going to get used. It was the people who created that situation who deserve almost all the blame.

    Some people are intolerant, and I CAN'T STAND people like that. -- Tom Lehrer

    by TheCrank on Fri May 04, 2012 at 01:05:43 PM PDT

    •  not sure I totally agree (8+ / 0-)

      As for the new evidence, I do think the evidence about Terry Norman is the most interesting aspect of that analysis ... although I am still confused about the possible shooting by him having occurred a full 70 seconds before the fatal volley.

      As for "no conspiracy to issue an order to shoot," I think I do agree with that .... but whether there was a conspiracy to shoot, I am not convinced that there wasn't. I believe a small group had pre-determined that they would shoot when they reached the top of the Hill ... and that they counted on the other confused & frightened guardsmen to fire with them, which is indeed what happened. But it is hard for me to figure out how so many people with guns and fixed bayonets can spint around 135 degrees, virtually in unison, and open fire without any of their own getting hurt unless there was some sort of general understanding that this would be the maneuver they planned to execute at that location.  

      "The fools are as plentiful as ever." Albert Parsons, Haymarket martyr

      by kainah on Fri May 04, 2012 at 01:13:37 PM PDT

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      •  I think Myron Pryor deserves a lot of the blame (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kainah, hoof32, kaliope, ohiojack

        too.  The photographs indicate he seems to be the first one to shoot.  In one of Howard Ruffner's photographs, the others are just getting turned around with their equipment and gas masks on, and Pryor is already aiming his pistol towards the first victim.

        "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." - John Kenneth Galbraith

        by wildcat6 on Fri May 04, 2012 at 08:49:57 PM PDT

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        •  Oh yeah (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          hoof32, kaliope, ohiojack, wildcat6

          He is definitely one of those who would have had a story to tell. He died several years ago so we will never hear it from his mouth. But if you believe in "ultimate rewards" or something, he's reaping them now.

          "The fools are as plentiful as ever." Albert Parsons, Haymarket martyr

          by kainah on Fri May 04, 2012 at 09:58:05 PM PDT

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