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The Iraq War eats its young again. There are an estimated 22 suicides by veterans each day. The Imperial misadventures of Bush, Cheney, and company continue to bear ill-fruit.

Chris Kyle, author and former U.S. Navy Seal sniper with (at least) 160 kills in Iraq was killed at a Texas gun range by a fellow veteran who he was trying to help with overcoming his post-traumatic stress disorder.

I extend my condolences to all parties involved.

As I wrote here, I was never a fan of Chris Kyle. I respect his skill at killing. But, the way in which he was feted by the Right-wing media for his deathly exploits struck me as typical, distasteful, chicken hawk cheer-leading. Kyle also seemed too proud of his exploits. He also profited from them. In all, I have more respect for quiet warriors like Alvin York, men who do their work, and want to have peace after their service is done.

Kyle's murder at a Texas gun range has invited some obvious--and well-deserved--snark from those who oppose the Gun Right's fetish for firearms as a cure all for society's ills.

If guns lead to a polite society why was Kyle killed at a gun range--surrounded by all of those guns? If guns make us safe, why couldn't an expert shooter, surrounded by others who are ostensibly very skilled with their guns, fight off his attacker? If teachers can be expected to fight off armed shooters, why couldn't one of the most lethal men on the planet use his gun to stop his murderer?

While those questions score cheap political points, we cannot forget that anyone can get got, as the saying goes, if they let their guard down. Omar from The Wire was killed by a kid at the corner spot. If it can happen to Omar (or Chris Kyle) it too can happen to me, you, or other folks far more dangerous.

War casts a long shadow. Between the blowback, a wrecked economy, and the many tens of thousands of wounded warriors returning home from battle overseas, there are likely to be many more Chris Kyles felled during peacetime.

The ancients have much wisdom to offer here. It is time we started listening to them.

The gods fail not to mark
Those who have killed many.
The black Furies stalking the man
Fortunate beyond all right
Wrench back again the set of his life
And drop him to darkness.

--AESCHYLUS, Agamemnon

Originally posted to chaunceydevega on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 01:05 PM PST.

Also republished by Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

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Comment Preferences

  •  The thing that got me (23+ / 0-)

    I mean seriously, you got a guy with PTSD and you put a gun in his hand and take him to a range as some sort of therapy?

    That is nearly as stupid as having a kid with mental problems  that you don't trust yourself entirely and teaching him to shoot and giving him access to semi military grade weapons.

    I am a gun owner and shooter but honestly some of the stuff some of these people have done who claim to be for gun rights that gets into the news have done hurts gun owners rights more in the long term than any liberal politician they fear.

    •  You'd think (11+ / 0-)
      The 25-year-old man accused in this weekend’s killing of Navy Seal Chris Kyle and another man was taken to a mental hospital in September after “threatening to kill himself and his family,” according to a Lancaster police report.
      “Eddie stated he was hurting and that his family does not understand what he has been through,” the report said.

      Police spoke with Routh’s mother, Jodi, who told police that he had been drinking and that he had become upset when his father said he was going to sell his gun.

      http://crimeblog.dallasnews.com/...

      Of course, other coverage has explained the probable rationale. Kyle and his friends had reached out to other vets with PTSD. He had spoken of the concern that other vets could understand in ways that non-vets could not. He was formally involved in a project providing vets with excercise equimpment for their homes, on the theory that regular physical exercise would help them mentally as well. The shooter is reportedly also a very capable marksman himself, and it would very possibly seem that some time practicing that skill, bonding with some fellow vets, etc. would all be a therapeutic experience. There are any number of ways things could have gone wrong, and we may never know what that was in this instance.

      "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

      by Catte Nappe on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 01:22:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Had there been no guns when Eddie felt the (12+ / 0-)

        urge to kill, the other two would still be alive.
        It takes only a second to pull the trigger. Anything else and the two who died would have had more than a fighting chance.

        Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

        by JoanMar on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 01:29:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  why didn't all the other people with guns (8+ / 0-)

          save them?

          •  It Probably Took Only a Second or Two (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Over the Edge, coquiero, aitchdee

            Article doesn't say however.

            We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

            by Gooserock on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 01:49:20 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Nobody else was there n/t (7+ / 0-)

              "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

              by Catte Nappe on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 01:54:17 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Probably shot them in the back, or from ambush (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                43north

                Why is that hard to figure out?
                Or they were standing close to him when he was firing nd he just turned and fired them up? The Lindsey Lohaan award for Poor Impulse Control is in order here.
                More than one believable scenario and if there was no one there, thats how he got away.

                I am a combat vet (Vietnam) with a VA PTSD rating with---and follow this closely---a lifetime spotless criminal record. Screw everybody dummb enought to think that PTSD+ bad behavior. PTSD is not a good excuse for bad behavior, tho plenty of people wnt to pretend it is.
                Some of the friends I go shooting (and golfing) with are lso Vietnam cmbat vets, some of them are retired military and law enforcement also.
                I have no problem shooting with these people. Are you kidding me? these are the best, most knowledgeable people you'll ever go shooting with. Everybdy you serve in combat with has PTSD day to day, both then and now. I knew many WWII vets who had PTSD I know now and they were good people..

                I have been hearing much on the tubes from old pals, he was pretty well respected. I like what he was doing with PTSD people.

                The notion that a gun will protect you from all things at all times is  wishful thinking. I don't know anyone who believes it.  I always try charm first, then diplomacy.

                Happy just to be alive

                by exlrrp on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 08:01:30 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  cosign but so many (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  blueness

                  gun fetishists on the Right do believe this:

                  "The notion that a gun will protect you from all things at all times..."

                  •  I know a lot of gun people, different types (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    43north, happy camper

                    none of them believe it.
                    No weapon will save you all the time.
                    They just like to carry guns and come up with any excuse.

                    there's a lot of people besides rightwingers  that like lots of guns, like gangsters. There's a whole thug culture that has nothing to do with rightwing that idolizes guns, sings about them, brandishes them, uses them.

                    If youre for gun control you don't believe in No Snitching, right?  be really inconsistent to do so.

                    Happy just to be alive

                    by exlrrp on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 08:33:32 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  ummmm logical non-sequitor? (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Silvia Nightshade, blueness, Recall

                      "If youre for gun control you don't believe in No Snitching"

                      how does one follow the other? me confused. why would you ask me about some ghetto criminal faux mafia no snitching mess?

                      •  Didn't ask you about ghetto anything (0+ / 0-)

                        the thug culture I'm talking about runs through our whole society, every race, and I'm not claiming its in any one location or one race or even all ghetto--you are.
                        And it affects us all, at least as much as RW guns, maybe more!

                        You seem happy poiinting to the RW as a major problem with guns and that is right but there's also major problems in other places. Not to look at them is wrong. you don't want to dodge major issues.

                        If you want to look at the issue, you first need to determine how many people are killed and hurt by RW violence and how many are killed by thug culture. then you know whee to spenfd your time most effficently.
                        I'll be the first to say its a lot more fashionable to look at the RW and complain than look at thug culture---whixh affest us all.

                        If you believe in gun control you  believe that the cops should have more power. Fact is fact. In order to enable them to do that, youre going to help them do their job, or why even talk about it?

                        Happy just to be alive

                        by exlrrp on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 04:09:28 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  "stop snitchin" is a phrase common to a certain (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Sharon Wraight

                          social cohort/hip hop/etc.

                          Again, why ask me those questions?

                          "You seem happy pointing to the RW as a major problem with guns and that is right but there's also major problems in other places. Not to look at them is wrong. you don't want to dodge major issues."

                          How is that relevant here? Again, separate conversation for another time.

                          Interesting deflections and chaff here.  Listen to my podcast with Prof. Slotkin at my own site to here the range of concern I have about American gun culture and nihilism in general.

                          But, you showed your hand with your questions here. Once more, the white racial frame is one hell of a drug.

          •  There weren't any other people (7+ / 0-)

            The range, besides being part of an exclusive resort, was in a remote location of the resort campus.. Nobody else was using it at that time, just the three of them. No staff were present, either.

            "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

            by Catte Nappe on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 01:53:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  we all know (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BlackSheep1

            Guns don't make you a super hero. You don't suddenly get x-ray eyes and super speed, nor the ability to determine what's going to happen before it does.

            But that question won't get asked, will it? No one is going to suggest that if only more people at that gun range had been armed, then the shooter could have been subdued, or even cowed by the knowledge that everyone were armed. Would they?

          •  chauncey - they were in a remote part of the range (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            43north

            by themselves. Had they been in a supervised part of the range it's possible that others could have intervened but not until the someone was shot. When everyone has a loaded weapon in their hands anyone can kill one or two people before the other people could intervene.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 05:09:35 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Goes to show how clueless Kyle was (0+ / 0-)

        about PTSD.  Of course, what do expect from a guy whose job was to shoot people hundreds of yards away from the safety of a sniper's nest, and not experience death up close?

        There are very few subjects which do not interest or fascinate me.

        by NYFM on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 03:22:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  What I expect from any member of a civilized (5+ / 0-)

          community is to refrain from libeling the dead. Sadly, here again I see that Democrats and Kossacks won't do it.

          LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

          by BlackSheep1 on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 03:45:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Your post disgusts me (5+ / 0-)

          as someone who was married to a vietnam war vet who did much the same work for the united states military during his service.

          He was there doing a job that OUR GOVERNMENT trained him to do. Then he had to leaarn to live with it so he could go on.

          He was also spit on by war protestors when he returned home.

          He spent the rest of his shortened life using all of his considerable mental resources just trying to forget and stay sane.

          It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

          by PSWaterspirit on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 04:09:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  no one is blaming soldiers for the policy of their (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NYFM, dream weaver, blueness

            government. what we are discussing is the real impact of said policies on soldiers and more generally the criminal lack of resources they are faced with when home.

            this is also a chance to consider the behavior of a man who was "proud" of killing people and as I pointed out earlier had sociopathic tendencies--which is what made him so good at his job.

            we do our soldiers no service or favor by recycling tired group-think lines like "support the troops" when we do not ask hard questions about policies, outcomes, and the human cost. Moreover, should every war be supported? I think not. But among the sheeple such rhetoric silences truth telling and real patriotism.

            •  He was doing a job (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Buckeye54, 43north

              the government conditioned and trained him to do. A government that gave zero thought to the mental destruction it causes.

              What ever he had to tell himself to keep being able to put one foot in front of the other works for me. How he handled it may offend you but then you don't have to live with his memories do you?

              My view on war is we should never get involved in it unless we have exhausted every other option and the we better think long and hard.

              The toll on those who actually come home and the lost of their potential is huge.

              Now we are left to try to make sure those who need help get it. Do not confuse our governments war with the people who actually have spent tour after tour in a war zone until that is what seems normal to them.

              Because they don't say what you want them to or think like you think does not make them undesrving of life.

              The old saying don't judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes comes to mind.

              It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

              by PSWaterspirit on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 04:37:34 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  i think we can judge given we have to live (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                dream weaver, blueness

                in the same society with folks who have been asked to do horrible things and have not been sufficiently deprogrammed. given the fact that he had to dehumanize his foe in order to kill them is a given, moreover it is psychology of killing in war 101. we can still ask hard questions about his morality, ethics, and gloating about such matters.

            •  Dude I peeled one fucking lot of spuds in th Army (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              43north

              Thats all you need to know

              Happy just to be alive

              by exlrrp on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 08:25:34 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Your husband (0+ / 0-)

            was then evidently light years ahead of someone like Kyle who apparently lacked the ability to actually reflect upon what he did.  But I'm also sorry your husband suffered and was denied a full life.  
            And I'm sorry my post disgusts you, but Kyle's attitude about what he did was pretty disgusting.

            There are very few subjects which do not interest or fascinate me.

            by NYFM on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 04:22:39 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  He wasn't accepted in the VFW for quite a while. (0+ / 0-)

            They said Vietnam wasn't a foreign war.   So it wasn't only the war protesters that dissed the vets. (I never saw any do that but I wasn't everywhere) WWII vets didn't especially like Vietnam vets either, they thought they were hippies.

            guns are fun v. hey buddy, watch what you are doing -- which side are you on?

            by 88kathy on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 07:48:36 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I would not call it safe (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          43north

          Historically, captured snipers were summarily executed.  It also does not help that although the ammunition used by US snipers is not intended to expand and therefore violate the Hauge convention, it has an open tip and therefor could be confused.  

          http://www.thegunzone.com/...

          The reality is that if anyone is captured with OTM ammunition and the enemy forces do not use OTM ammunition, there is a decent chance the POW will be tried for violating the Hague Convention.  Additionally, sniper fire tends to result in the sniper being targeted by whatever heavy weapons (mortars, artillery, airstrikes) are available.  

          I respect the skill and am saddened by his death but am also disturbed by Kyle's cavalier attitude towards the destruction he wrought.  

          Under capitalism man exploits man, under communism the roles are reversed.

          by DavidMS on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 05:41:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Look through the scope, pull the trigger (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          meagert, wishbone

          get back to me.  'til then, your moral outrage rings hollow.
          Same for your understanding of PTSD.  I know five combat-wounded Iraq vets who blow off 500 rounds via their AR-15s at least once a month.  None incurred papercuts for their Purple Hearts.

          Snipers aren't clueless about the damage and death they wield.
          We're not talking about dropping bombs from 25,000 feet and watching the jungle turn into a flaming trail of death.
          That's abstract.  

          Look through a 10X rifle scope and see what the bullet, you just sent by your personal actions, did.  It's like sticking a knife in someone by surprise.  YOU did it.

          As to safety of snipers?  Have you heard of mortars, or RPGs?
          Do you know the number of overwatch snipers who were shot from behind, discovered after minutes of firing in support of their team?  
          Only certain snipers use spotters, who have a self-defense weapon.  Others, are usually so focused on communications, spotting threats, and making certain their team comes home whole, they get assassinated in-postion.

          So by all means, bite me.

      •  Catte Nappe: it looks like some low-level (4+ / 0-)

        anti-panic therapy that did, indeed, go wrong. Sadly.

        LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

        by BlackSheep1 on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 03:43:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And worse (5+ / 0-)

          I heard on the radio on the way home that in addition to being taken in for psych eval last September, the same happened within the past month. So the evidence of MH problems potentially rising to the level of "danger to self or others" was quite recent.

          Dallas police say Eddie Ray Routh also had a run-in with them just last month.

          On Jan. 19, a woman had called police to an apartment complex in the 7600 block of Churchill Way in North Dallas because she feared for Routh’s safety.

          Routh was in distress and wanting to get help, so officers took him to Green Oaks for a mental health evaluation.

          It was his second trip to the psychiatric hospital in four months.

          http://crimeblog.dallasnews.com/...

          It's one thing to try to get someone out of their scary mental space with activities that might absorb them - horseback riding, or exercise, or bowling, or playing the saxophone, or whatever. But with guns? And even those effectively using other activities for therapy have some modicum of training, which I suspect Kyle lacked. Good intentions paving the oft cited road, I'm afraid.

          "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

          by Catte Nappe on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 04:52:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  “threatening to kill himself and his family” (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marina, NYFM

        That should have prevented him from getting hold of a gun.

    •  Some Biblical Wisdom as well (10+ / 0-)

      Live by the sword (gun), die by the sword (gun). This story gets told daily in our news, and many of its victims -- shooter and shot -- are often still kids. The answer to violence is not more violence; it is community, trust and love.

      I emigrated from a country with very strict gun control, and I never felt lacking in freedom because I could not hide behind a barrage of weapons. On the contracry, I never owned a gun and I never will because I refuse to live a fear-based life. I am always surprised how much Americans who claim to be so exceptional seem to distrust and fear each other. In all my 40 years of living in this country, I have never experienced a single situation that could have had a better outcome if a gun had been present. But boy oh boy, I can tell you that there have been many, many situations that could have turned into ugliness and tragedy if a gun had been in the mix.

      If money is speech, then speech is money and I should be able to pay my bills with witty social commentary, astute political analysis or good old blarney

      by heiderose1 on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 02:59:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This: (14+ / 0-)
    Kyle also seemed too proud of his exploits.

    Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

    by JoanMar on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 01:19:45 PM PST

  •  Given that the Iraqi military was disbanded and (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mungley, coquiero, marina

    the so-called "insurgents" were Iraqi citizens resisting the occupation of their land, the U.S. military having snipers to stand on buildings and shoot anyone that moved after they'd been ordered to stay in or leave their homes (sometimes it was one, sometimes the other) is nothing short of murder. The Iraqi people gave no offense, other than not wanting to be compliant with U.S. demands.
    I suspect one of the reasons the veterans are having such a hard time is because the lying goes on. They know they participated in wanton death and destruction and the country does not want to acknowledge the truth.

    Unfortunately, making people participate in horrific actions to make them feel guilty is a tried and true strategy for keeping them in line. The Mafia does it by having a new recruit commit a senseless killing so they can hold it over his head should he ever want to get out.

    The Pentagon made a big mistake when, in the interest of saving time and money, they went with audiio-visual recordings instead of having the troops write after-action reports. Now there's all that visual documentation just waiting to be released. It's my sense that when that one video from the helicopter gunship was released, the leaker didn't give it much thought, since there are probably thousands of similar tapes or disks. The guards at Abu Gharib likely thought nothing of doing for themselves what was being done officially all the time.
    We had embedded reporters and camera crews.  What happened to all the footage they shot? Of course we know that free-lance journalists were picked off one by one.
    The media were supposed to persuade the Iraqis to behave. Same as FOX here at home.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 01:41:09 PM PST

  •  Live by the Sword (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coquiero

    Die by the Sword Mr. Kyle...

  •  Warriors? They are not. (0+ / 0-)

    Racists taking out their Christian hatred on mostly innocent civilians in a false war is probably a better description. Now some of them are sprouting a conscience and it is not letting them sleep at night for the heinous crimes they committed when they blew up children, women, and men to smithereens with their high powered, telescopic guns.  And hence the count of one suicide every hour. They are not warriors, they are soulless, depraved, and satanish beings, in the skin of humans.

  •  War is never pleasant (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coquiero

    and I'm sure that theologically none of them are soulless, and few are depraved or satanic.  They are victims as much as anyone, having been told the profession of arms in the service of one's country is honorable.  It may not be always honorable, but it is unfortunately necessary.

    Nevertheless, I am disturbed that all returning soldiers are referred to as "heroes" in popular culture these days.  That puts the ones who risked life and limb to save his or her comrades in combat on the same level as a the proverbial REMF who spent a tour unloading pallets or maintaining jet engines at Kabul air base.

  •  Reading Ron Paul (4+ / 0-)

    I saw that Ron Paul is getting flamed for a tweet that echoes the opinions here. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.
    In my church, we read the names of those who died in our wars, and acknowledge that they are there in our name. Chris Kyle was sent there by all of us.
    He and his murderer were both victims and perpetrators, sent to war and shaped by it.
    Ron Paul said he who lives by the sword will die by the sword, and you don't treat PTSD on a shooting range. He'll pay for saying that.

    •  According to one of Kyle's friends, (0+ / 0-)

      Kyle was not trying to treat anybody, just to give them somebody understanding to talk to and hang with from time to time in what he considered one familiar setting, among others. From an interview on CNN last night.

      Moderation in most things.

      by billmosby on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 08:29:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  A cheap and misleading use of veteran suicide (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlackSheep1, 43north

    data to make an otherwise valid point. While it is indeed true that more than 20 veterans commit suicide every day, the vast majority, 69%, are over 50 years old. The linked NYT article, moreover, begins by stating that the percentage of veterans commiting suicide is shrinking vis-a-vis the society at large.

    You're better than needing to twist data to fit a convenient meme.

    “Perhaps the most 'spiritual' thing any of us can do is simply to look through our own eyes, see with eyes of wholeness, and act with integrity and kindness.” Jon Kabat-Zinn

    by DaNang65 on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 03:23:55 PM PST

    •  no twist, the article did say that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueness

      the percentage as a gross amount of the aggregate is going down--but is still high. i chose the most recent statistic about vet's suicide rates from a newspaper of record.

      either way, even the pentagon admits the suicide rate is out of control with more vets being killed by their own hands now than in Iraq or afghantistan.

  •  War is Insanity (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coquiero, blueness

    and anyone involved is affected by it.

  •  I've always had the feeling that the notion... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aitchdee, blueness

    ...that "an armed society is a polite society" was mainly from the point of view of those who were armed.

    But maybe it's not even a polite society for them?

  •  Kyle knew as much about treating PTSD as (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NYFM, blueness, Recall

    Tom Cruise knows about ADHD.  

    guns are fun v. hey buddy, watch what you are doing -- which side are you on?

    by 88kathy on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 07:55:12 PM PST

  •  well, thats very nice (0+ / 0-)
    The gods fail not to mark
     Those who have killed many.
     The black Furies stalking the man
     Fortunate beyond all right
     Wrench back again the set of his life
     And drop him to darkness
    And sometimes you may see him walking down the street whistling a cheery little tune * with a very happy look on his face. Wouldn't that blow everyone's stereotype all to heck? It could happen!

    And then they all lived happily ever after

    ( * my favorite: Beethoven's Ode to joy)

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 08:14:10 PM PST

  •  Generals Reimer and Chiarelli on suicide and guns (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueness, Recall
    ... This year, more soldiers, seamen, airmen and Marines died by their own hand than died in battle. Suicide was the No. 1 cause of death for U.S. troops. More than two-thirds of suicides involved firearms, and nearly three-quarters of those cases involved personal weapons, not military weapons...

    One of the most effective measures of suicide prevention is to ask those perceived to be under duress: “Do you have a gun in your home?” If the answer is yes, we might then suggest that the individual put locks on the weapon or store it in a safe place during periods of high stress — things that any responsible gun owner should do.

    Unfortunately, that potentially lifesaving action is no longer available to the military. A little-noticed provision in the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has had the unintended consequence of tying the hands of commanders and noncommissioned officers by preventing them from being able to talk to service members about their private weapons, even in cases where a leader believes that a service member may be suicidal... (continues)

    (emphasis added)

    Gen. Reimer (Ret.) was chief of staff of the Army from 1995 to 1999.
    Gen. Chiarelli (Ret.) was vice chief of staff of the Army from 2008 to 2012.

    REIMER AND CHIARELLI ON THE MILITARY'S EPIDEMIC OF SUICIDE IN WASHINGTON POST

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