January 9, 2017 12:00 am -

NBC has a timeline of veterans and active duty soldiers committing mass shootings in America.

Let’s get the obvious point out of the way: no, NBC New York has never made a timeline listing every mass shooting carried out by those who follow a certain ideology. When people of those ideology commit those shootings, we are buffeted with assurances that is is wrong and immoral to stigmatize millions based on the actions of a few. That courtesy evidently does not extend to our men in uniform.


The clear impression a reader would get is that serving in the military somehow causes one to carry out a mass shooting (I guess they’re going for PTSD?). There’s actually a lively debate on whether there’s a correlation between the two, but there’s nothing academic or nuanced about a listicle. Missing from a timeline is the fact that correlation does not imply causation: for one thing, mass shooters are nearly all men, and 24% of U.S. men are veterans.



D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.