Alex Horton: Veterans Feel Anxiety, and Relief, After School Shooting

| December 18, 2012

Our buddy, Alex Horton, formerly the blogger at Army of Dude, and currently a public affairs specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs, wrote a piece at the New York Times yesterday about how we all (veterans) silently prayed that the shooter in Connecticut wasn’t one of us;

Call it the Rambo Effect: when a war veteran returns home and faces conflict, for the uninformed, it seems no stretch that he would respond by killing everything in his path, just as he did overseas.

It’s an embarrassing, inaccurate, yet pervasive trope that percolates throughout entertainment and mass media. This year, when two Iraq veterans committed unrelated murders in Washington State and California, journalists quickly and incorrectly connected their crimes to post-traumatic stress as a result of their combat experiences.

Yeah, well, it’s not just that. Remember how the media tried to connect Jared Loughner to the military because he’d once gone to a recruiting station? The media also tried to connect that shooter in Portland last week to us, Jacob Tyler Roberts, because he couldn’t join the Marines due to an injury. Yeah, I don’t know how many times someone would tell me that they’d have been airborne if it wasn’t for some phantom injury.

But, Alex ends his piece;

One Afghanistan veteran summed up the strange acquittal many of us felt when we heard that Mr. Lanza never served.

“I am relieved,” he said in response to my post on Twitter. “What does that mean? I don’t know, honestly.”

Well, just wait…maybe he talked to a recruiter at some point in his life which will somehow explain it all to the media.

Category: Veterans Issues

Comments (11)

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  1. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    Okay, I’m sure he surveyed many Veterans to gauge his surmise that we are relieved. Coincidentally, I just completed a sampling this morning along a somewhat similar line and the results are as you might expect: Most lefties are disappointed that the shooter was not a Veteran.

  2. USMCE8Ret says:

    For some reason, my spidey-senses told me this was a young kid and not a veteran. It had the whole “Dylan Klebold, Eric Harris” thing going on.

    Weird, huh?

    Since the media can’t blame the military on this one, I’m sure they will force the dots to connect, and make the leap that it was because of his (the shooter) playing 1st person shooter games on XBox.

  3. Cajun says:

    When the media established background of the Oregon Mall shooter, my wife gasped audibly a sigh of relief that he was not a vet. I find it somewhat amusing in a macabre way that my in-laws eagerly anticipate my self-destrction/descent into disfunction

  4. Nik says:

    I cannot disagree with the sentiment. I was very glad to see it wasn’t a Vet being accused of this.

  5. FatCircles0311 says:

    Being public enemy #1 does suck. Problem is public enemy #2(gun owners) consist of plenty of veterans so any relief was short lived because not only does our government think we are #1 threat to the nation but so does your average hysterical citizen that knows nothing about guns, other than anyone who wants to own one is just a mass murderer waiting to strike.

    The old cliche regarding video games aka “murder simulators” is also being mentioned more and more because ANY individual that plays a first person shooter, is interested in military hardware, and might like firearms is guilty before they’ve committed a crime now.

    I think a lot of vets all into all 3 of those categories and don’t feel relieved at all especially when they’ve voluntarily sacrificed for a nation that continues to question everything they do as a threat.

  6. USMCE8Ret says:

    @5 – Agreed. Sadly, many folks who have never served may have developed negative pre-concieved notions of what the military is about. That, coupled with biased opinions of firearms can be a bad mixture in some cases.

  7. Common Sense says:

    I have to admit that until I saw this post, I never once thought that the shooter in any of these cases may be a vet. I guess that validates me as NOT a member of the loony left.

  8. JP76er says:

    I’m not a vet and I think it’s sad that you guys have to think this way. I have never thought any of these shootings would be a vet. I have some very close friends that are vets and they just aren’t built that way to me. I thought at first was a young kid just like USMC8RET did. I also felt it was going to be horrible at the very first announcement.

  9. PALADIN says:

    Any turd who thinks such nonsense (mostly liberals ) should be deeply ashamed.
    Makes me think that the next time the shit hits the propellar and ALL the sheep start crying for the sheepdogs , just like they did after sept 11/01 , i would’nt blame one veteran or any of our soldiers if they said “F” you !

    F’ing media are the worst of the perpetrators when it comes to sterotyping our Members.

    God and the soldier we like adore
    In times of trouble
    but not before.

    When troubles are ended
    and all things righted
    God is forgotten
    And the soldier is slighted.

  10. Ex-PH2 says:

    You know, I do not recall ever seeing any connection between Vietnam in-country vets and murder/crime rates in the media after that was all over with. When someone went ‘postal’, it started off with a postal worker taking out bottled up anger on his co-workers in the beginning, and became an expression (going postal) when someone at work did the same thing.
    Does anyone besides me remember the guy who stole a tank from a nearby Armory in San Diego, California and drove it through several neighborhoods, destroying everthing in his path, until he got it hung up on a concrete median block and the cops shot him because he wouldn’t get out of the tank? There was some speculation that he was/was not in the Reserves (wasn’t) or had a fight with someone in the Reserves (not), and/or whatever other speculations there were. It was 1995. It made for fascinating TV until it was over with. He just went on a rampage. The media never did get the facts right on him.

    Sometimes, that’s just what people do — go on a rampage.

    I don’t know what’s behind this bent toward blaming the military right off the bat, but the lousy reporting and internet panicky packs don’t help. It kind of feeds on itself. It’s the biggest gossip generator on the planet. The benefits should outweigh the crap, but it frequently becomes the crap outweighing the benefits.

  11. CAs6 says:

    “For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Chuck him out, the brute!”
    But it’s “Saviour of ‘is country” when the guns begin to shoot;
    An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;
    An’ Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool — you bet that Tommy sees!”

    Rudyard Kipling.