Sure, some military veterans are bad guys. A few are probably really dangerous, as the following story reports. But the focus on the background of the killer as an “Iraq war veteran”, rather than any other aspects of his background, speaks volumes about the prejudice and pandering of the coverage of these murders.
An Iraq war veteran charged with stabbing to death four homeless men in a weeks-long rampage in Southern California was a thrill seeker who took pleasure in killing his victims, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas told reporters outside a jailhouse courtroom that 23-year-old suspect Itzcoatl Ocampo appeared lucid, calm and intelligent and showed no signs of mental illness.
“He gets a thrill out of it,” Rackauckas said. “This is a serious, vicious killer who went out there intentionally going about killing people and terrorizing a whole area.”
Later in the story reported here, we’re told about another recent violent crime by a vet.
Ocampo’s arrest was the latest violent crime involving a veteran. This month, an Iraq War veteran fatally shot a ranger at Mount Rainier National Park and died later as he fled police across the mountain’s snow-covered slopes.
Well, now we get the picture. Those war vets are dangerous people. After all, they volunteered to go into military service and kill people, didn’t they? We’d better keep our eyes on them, and travel in groups. Those guys are dangerous.
Or maybe not so dangerous. For the most part, our nation’s military is a microcosm of American society generally, except that it mostly behaves better, on average. Sure, the military has some proportion of nutcases. So does any large population. But generally, if I am being approached by a young man at night, I’d prefer it be someone who had served. I have more reason to trust him, and his motives, and his self-discipline.
But can you imagine what would happen if all the murders committed by 20-somethings who hadn’t served were headlined as follows?
Killer who never served in the military stalks and murders helpless old people
Military service evader kills young mother in car-jacking gone wrong
Well. THAT would get some attention, wouldn’t it? And wouldn’t all the decent people who never served in the military be right to resent the implication?
Anyone who picks on the fact that a particular cretin happens to have served in the military, and uses it to draw attention to a headline, is despicable. Isn’t there anything else to identify about the killer? It might be different if there was any link between the military service and the crime…. oh, I forgot. In the minds of lefty reporters, it’s automatically assumed that military vets must be half-cracked, and probably dangerous (maybe with PTSD and bad dreams), and so of COURSE there’s a link between that service and any crime that vets may commit.
Come to think of it, I think I know who the cretins are in this tale. The by-line.