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Ft. Hood

12 dead and 30 wounded. No one knows why - just that the shooter was a Major, that he was in charge of psychiatric care of patients, and that he was a Muslim. It's horrifying, particularly since this man was, apparently, in charge of making sure soldiers never reach a state when such an act would be possible.

I empathize particularly with those members of the military and their families who came safe home from the war, only to die a senseless death at home. 12 dead and 30 wounded on the battlefield is probably not a remarkable number, but at home? It's shocking and horrible.

One of my coworkers, on hearing the news, said, "You can bet they will make everything politically correct and not mention that it's because he's Muslim." I questioned him, and finally he agreed that he believed that yes, all shootings that had occurred on military bases in the past decade were committed by Muslims. He's a knuckle-dragging right-winger, the kind of guy that thinks torture is a great idea, that the death penalty is only wrong because we don't use it enough and that it's not painful enough, and that any international problem can be solved with guns and bombs. So naturally I discount his opinion as valid...but I do not doubt that others will share his opinion, and this will make life harder for the millions of Muslim Americans who lead peaceful lives - another wrong to attribute to this mass-murderer.

As a veteran, I think in some ways soldiers live with the fact that their lives are on the line, and a soldier who dies a violent death is not necessarily a tragic figure. But at home? On a base in the United States? At the hands of a fellow soldier who was supposed to be sure this kind of thing never happened? It's a terrible, bitter irony - and if any good comes of it, let it be that the stress of military life and post-traumatic stress is taken far more seriously, and soldiers get the help they need, when they need it, without being castigated or stigmatized.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 7th, 2009 04:17 am (UTC)
Eloquent and beautifully stated...I'm sure your co-worker is also following the "response criticism."
Nov. 7th, 2009 05:08 am (UTC)
Unfortunately your friend is not alone in his reaction.

Something about the human psyche wants to read more into the actions of a lone nut then "just a lone nut."
Nov. 7th, 2009 04:20 pm (UTC)
great stuff, thank you for posting
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


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