Senseless Mass Killing: When Will The Next Happen?

History shows the tragic connection of war service to sudden murder. The cause of the most recent California tragedy was a Marine veteran. President Kennedy’s assassin was also a former Marine.

In 1991, Navy vet George Jo Hennard killed 22 people in Texas. Michael McDermott, who shot seven in Massachusetts in 2000, also served in the Navy. Aaron Alexis, another Navy vet, killed 12 at the Washington Navy Yard in 2014. In one of the worst tragedies, Timothy McVeigh, who killed 168 in an Oklahoma explosion in 1995, was an Army vet.

Of course, not all mass killings are connected to wartime service, but too many form a basic pattern. Since wars began, teen boys have been trained to kill before they go into battle. Many years ago I was a Navy boot camp instructor. While our program wasn’t as intense as Army and Marine basic training, much of it involved learning to kill.

War is a terrible human obsession, basically using young men and teen boys to kill enemy young men and teen boys. Looking back on history, in World War II our enemy was Germany and Japan. Our allies were China and Russia. Just five years after that ended, in the Korean War it was completely reversed.

And the mass murder of wars still goes on throughout the world, continually sending home disturbed young men who’ve been intensely trained to kill. Is it any wonder why some kill again?

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