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American soldiers shooting American civilians

  1. Aug 26, 2004 #1
    What ever became of that shooting at Kent State University? Were the soldiers charged and convicted? Was their CO?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 26, 2004 #2


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    They were charged and found innocent of any criminal charges. Finding them innocent doesn't mean anyone approved of the way they handled things. The way the university had handled the May 4 weekend and demonstrations in the past also took a lot of criticism - the 'norm' at Kent St was primed for a situation that would go out of control.

    The State of Ohio was sued and found 'innocent' in '75, but eventually an appeal resulted in a new civil suit trial. The state settled with some of the injured for $675,000 rather than face another trial.

    Two of the students pleaded guilty to rioting, one was found guilty of a misdemeanor 'interfering with a fireman' charge (the shooting was just a culmination of a weekend that included burning down the ROTC building). The charges against 20 some other students were dropped (the order of the cases had the state's strongest cases first, so they quit after they lost a couple cases). Ironically, the only one to serve any time was the student guilty of the misdemeanor charge - he was wanted on a drug charge at the time and wound up doing 10-20 on the drug charge.

    I lived near there and in was junior high school when that happened. Nearly 30 years later, my daughter joined the Ohio National Guard. :uhh:
  4. Aug 26, 2004 #3
    If you are really interested (and I doubt you are) you should read James Michener's book Kent State.

    Since the soldiers were wearing gas masks (they had used tear gas earlier on the crowd) no one knows who fired the shots. Simply put, one of the soldiers, after having to wear a hot gas mask all day and being continually taunted by a crowd of college students, lost his cool and fired a shot. (No one knows if he aimed at a student, or just fired a warning shot.) Somone else, having heard the shot, must have thought the order to fire had been given and opened fire as well.

    If a man is carrying a fully loaded rifle, don't taunt him. I guess that's the lesson that should be learned.
  5. Aug 26, 2004 #4


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    There was a movie made called 'Billy Jack' which sort of depicted the scenerio Jdubya portrayed.
  6. Aug 26, 2004 #5
    One of the worst movies ever made.
  7. Aug 27, 2004 #6
    My God, we actually agree on something.

    That can't be right. Maybe I should watch Billy Jack again.
  8. Aug 29, 2004 #7
    four dead in O HI O

    Here are the names of those who died at Kent State, so that they may not be forgotten:





    it was murder plain and simple
    whitewashed by the goverment in a BOGUS trial on civil rights charges
    in federal court
    no state charges were ever filed

  9. Aug 29, 2004 #8
    Talk about government education !
  10. Aug 29, 2004 #9


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    Defines "oxymoron"!
  11. Aug 29, 2004 #10
    No one was charged because no one knew who did it!

    To file charges, you have to have more than a suspect. You have to have evidence. All of the soldiers were wearing gas masks, and no one ever was able to make a positive id of the shooter(s).

    The entire event was unfortunate. The ROTC building should not have been burned. The students should have dispersed as they were told. The students should not have thrown rocks at the Guardsmen. The Guardsmen should not have opened fire.

    It's basic human nature. They have been wearing gas masks all day. It's hot. Students burned down their headquarters the night before. They are insulting them and throwing stuff at them. Sooner or later, someone is going to lose his cool. And it happened. No excuse, but certainly no surprise.
  12. Aug 30, 2004 #11


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    Only one correction - the National Guard unit wasn't headquartered on campus. The ROTC building contained classrooms for students training to become officers in the reserves or possibly as active duty officers.
    Demonstrators had also harassed students that were participating in the ROTC program, sometimes physically, resulting in superficial scrapes and bumps. (ROTC stands for Reserve Officer Training Course and provides a pretty good tuition assistance program starting with a student's second year in the program).

    That weekend marked the end of the Reserves supporting a ROTC program at Kent St. It took a long time before the Reserves were interested in starting a ROTC program back up at Kent St.
  13. Aug 30, 2004 #12
    Adam, I don't understand why nearly every thread you start has the purpose of bashing the USA. Sure, we have our share of problems, but so do all countries. There are many much worse human rights records.
  14. Aug 30, 2004 #13
    I think the C in ROTC stands for Corps.
  15. Aug 30, 2004 #14
    WTF are you talking about?
  16. Aug 31, 2004 #15


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    He's probably talking about the fact that nearly every thread you start in this forum has the apparent purpose of bashing the USA.
  17. Aug 31, 2004 #16
    Ah, assumptions. Very clever. I'm accustomed to it though.
  18. Aug 31, 2004 #17


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    So what was the purpose of this thread then? You were curious and didn't feel like googling? Do you honestly think anyone believes that? This incident happened 30 years ago. Why bring it up? What is the relevance?
  19. Aug 31, 2004 #18


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    Thanks. Twenty years in the military and I never could get the hang of all the acronyms.

    Granted, neither did the military. I remember when I first joined I had to look up TBD in the glossary and all it said was "To be determined". Twenty years of eager anticipation to no avail - twenty years later, they still hadn't determined what it meant. :confused:
  20. Aug 31, 2004 #19


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    BOBG- HAHA Thanks!
  21. Sep 1, 2004 #20
    I usually don't sit here searching through the internet using search engines. I generally post what I know or already have bookmarked or such. So, as you suggested, I didn't feel like "googling".

    Why bring it up? Since it was raised in another thread, I was curious. I did not know what happened after the incident.

    Now perhaps you could leave off your obsesssion with me (although I'm flattered, certainly) and focus on the topic?
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