MONTGOMERY VILLAGE, MD., February 24, 2015 – Two current events in the news appear unrelated, but illustrate the damage caused by the American gun cult.
The two cases involve Eddie Ray Routh, found guilty of killing of Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield, and the shooting of Tammy Meyers, a 49-year-old mother of four, by Eric Nowsch.
The shooting of Kyle and Littlefield by Routh
Eddie Ray Routh, a veteran suffering from PTSD and apparently other mental illness, had been befriended by Kyle at the behest of Routh’s mother. Kyle, a famous sniper had made it his quest to help other war veterans suffering from PTSD, as he also did. Kyle’s “therapy” for Routh included the visit to a target range.
Evidence in the Routh trial indicate that the accused shot both Kyle and Littlefield at the gun range. He then took Kyle’s vehicle and fled. He was eventually talked out of the vehicle by police and arrested.
Routh showed complete absence from reality when he was interrogated by the police. He told police that he was afraid of Kyle due to bizarre reasons. He also appeared to come back to reality at times and seemed to express remorse for the killings. Routh apparently also talked about being made fun of and ignored by Kyle and Littlefield. Evidence also showed that Routh had smoked Marijuana earlier that day with a family member.
Routh’s attorney’s based their defense on insanity. The prosecution claimed that Routh knew right from wrong and was responsible for the crime.
After a short deliberation, the jury convicted Routh on 25 February 2015 and sentenced him to life in prison with no opportunity for parole.
There are no reasonable clues why Routh shot Kyle and Littlefield. By all accounts, the former idolized Kyle and was benefiting from Kyle’s good deeds.
The shooting of Tammy Meyers by Eric Nowsch
The case of Tammy Meyers continues to evolve.
Eric Nowsch, a young neighbor of Meyers, says he felt threatened by Meyers and her daughter while they were practicing driving in a parking lot. Nowsch asked a friend to assist him, and he cut off the two females after they exited the parking lot in route to their home. Someone – either Nowsch or his friend – then got out of the car and threatened the females.
After arriving home, Meyers called on her son Brandon to help her locate Nowsch and his friend. Brandon said his mother told him that if he did not go with her, she would go by herself. At the time, Brandon was armed with a nine millimeter pistol.
Meyers and Brandon located Nowsch and his friend, and Nowsch fired at them. Meyers and Brandon retreated, going back to their home. Nowsch followed them and fired a number of times, killing Tammy Meyers. Brandon apparently returned fire but did not hit Nowsch.
What is wrong with these pictures?
Kyle was not responsible for his own death, but there are many questions about his choice to take Routh to a shooting range. While Kyle may have had the best intentions, it is somewhat difficult to understand the choice. Mixing a PTSD-suffering veteran with guns seems incomprehensible. Taking a person suffering from mental disease to a gun range, where some of the root causes of PTSD could trigger negative memories, does not make sense to many. These many are people that don’t think gun therapy is the answer to PTSD.
Many of us veterans who suffer from PTSD to any degree know that explosions and other gun-like events can cause stress. I discovered many years ago that fireworks, like for the fourth of July, cause me stress. I have stopped attending these events after I was able to convince my wife and children of my feelings.
In the case of the killing of Tammy Meyers, it reads like a bad novel. The fact that young men in urban areas regularly carry weapons is is bad enough. The fact that they appear ready to use them for any perceived slight is completely irrational.
The gift that keeps on giving
Taking vulnerable young men and women and exposing them to combat is a big responsibility. This should only be exercised in case of dire emergencies. Were we in a dire emergency when we started wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? Could Routh have committed the horrible crimes that he has been convicted without his war experience?
We can only speculate.
What is obvious and right in front of us is the common thread linking these two cases: The US gun cult has turned things upside down. We have regressed to frontier times when we used weapons to solve disputes and settle scores. It seems some have never had the normal brain growth to make them realize that gun-fettishism should have been left behind with Cowboys and Indians or Cops and Robbers.
Would using fire arms to solve problems be the norm in a civilized society?
Mario Salazar, the 21st Century Pacifist, hasn’t fired a fire arm since his combat service and planned to remain that way. He is in Twitter (@chibcharus), Google+ and Facebook (Mario Salazar).