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“Only the government should have guns!”
 

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My oldest step daughter was almost there that day, but for some reason (her guardian angel?) something happened and she and her friends didn't get to drive the less than 100 miles from where we lived to the Kent State campus.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I haven't forgotten it at all. But I am amazed at the number of people who have or who had no idea it even happened.
It is odd this incident doesn't hold a position in any of the point , counter points being hurled at modern day opposing ideologies.
It's almost as if the left of fifty tears ago doesn't wear the same clothes today since they seem to be competing to be "The Man" they once opposed back then.
 

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Nice article, but they somehow overlooked the professional agitators running such "student protests", and failed to mention the documented ties between some of the organizers and Soviet intelligence agencies providing funding and other organizational assistance.

Even overlooking the "big picture" involved, it may be instructive to consider that the Ohio National Guard troops called out for that particular incident were, themselves, teenagers and young adults that found themselves thrust into a very stressful situation during very difficult times in our national life. It may be interesting to note that the majority of national guard troops of that era had little or no training beyond Army basic training, and certainly no training in crowd control, riot control, or civil affairs. Most National Guard troops were just kids who were trying their best to avoid being drafted for service in Vietnam, but had neither the financial ability to fund a college education or the grades to be admitted to the university they were sent to protect, so they actively competed for limited slots in national guard units.

At the same time we were dealing with SDS (Students for a Democratic Society), the Symbionese Liberation Army (Patty Hearst kidnapping, bank robberies), Black Panther Party, and a whole lot more violent radical organizations (including a couple of President Obama's early political supporters known to engage in political assassinations and bombings of police stations, etc).

It is easy to paint the canvas with a broad brush. It is far more difficult to get the little details properly filled in.

I was in Vietnam when the Kent State incident occurred. When I came home I became a cop. Throughout the 1970's (even most of the 1980's) I learned never to mention that I was a veteran, and certainly never let anyone at a nice party that I was a cop. Now, 50 years later, the same society/community that called me a baby killer, threw bags of feces at me in airports and on public streets, and called me nothing nicer than "f-ing pig" for years, they all want to say "thank you for your service" and have their little kids shake my hand.

Rant over, for now.
 

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I was at Coronado in training before going to Viet Nam as an advisor in 1970/1971.
If Coronado was anything like what I saw around several military bases of the time period in question, you may remember seeing signs posted at the "better places for people of quality": NO DOGS OR SOLDIERS ALLOWED.

Rant continuing, I guess.
 

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The general narrative about troops firing into a peaceful crowd is almost fiction. The notes above about kids with no riot training is spot on, not to mention the idiotic decision to use troops in the first place. What are they going to do with rifles and bayonets?

This was no peaceful kumbaya crowd, either.

Most of the troops fired over the crowd in any case, which showcases their inexperience. We all know that the bullet will come down somewhere; they didn’t. Most of the casualties were some distance off.
 

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Is it possible to "Like" a picture without "liking the picture". That's a great use of photographic technique.

The Kent State event has always seemed to me to be an epic failure on all sides, not just one or the other.

Looking at the pics, there was at least an O3, E8 or 9 and E6 present, not all 19 year old E1s.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
That was the reason I never joined the guard after I was discharged. Times sure have changed since then.
They certainly have. The country elected a president who seemed to be at the very least a dinner guest , if not friend, of one who was a member of a major domestic terrorist group of that time.
 

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The lesson to mike1956 in all this has always been if one isn't willing to kill for a cause or die for a cause, don't join the mob that advocates the cause.
 
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Nice article, but they somehow overlooked the professional agitators running such "student protests", and failed to mention the documented ties between some of the organizers and Soviet intelligence agencies providing funding and other organizational assistance.

Even overlooking the "big picture" involved, it may be instructive to consider that the Ohio National Guard troops called out for that particular incident were, themselves, teenagers and young adults that found themselves thrust into a very stressful situation during very difficult times in our national life. It may be interesting to note that the majority of national guard troops of that era had little or no training beyond Army basic training, and certainly no training in crowd control, riot control, or civil affairs. Most National Guard troops were just kids who were trying their best to avoid being drafted for service in Vietnam, but had neither the financial ability to fund a college education or the grades to be admitted to the university they were sent to protect, so they actively competed for limited slots in national guard units.

At the same time we were dealing with SDS (Students for a Democratic Society), the Symbionese Liberation Army (Patty Hearst kidnapping, bank robberies), Black Panther Party, and a whole lot more violent radical organizations (including a couple of President Obama's early political supporters known to engage in political assassinations and bombings of police stations, etc).

It is easy to paint the canvas with a broad brush. It is far more difficult to get the little details properly filled in.

I was in Vietnam when the Kent State incident occurred. When I came home I became a cop. Throughout the 1970's (even most of the 1980's) I learned never to mention that I was a veteran, and certainly never let anyone at a nice party that I was a cop. Now, 50 years later, the same society/community that called me a baby killer, threw bags of feces at me in airports and on public streets, and called me nothing nicer than "f-ing pig" for years, they all want to say "thank you for your service" and have their little kids shake my hand.

Rant over, for now.

Well done sir. Those were raw times.
 
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