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 list itself is a bit odd, since there’s a fourteen-year gap between 1996 and 2010 where not a single veteran or serviceman carried out a mass-shooting. Now usually, that’s a pretty good indication that your trend is nonexistent. But NBC dug up three shootings from two decades ago, and if you’re going to smear America’s veterans, why not go the full mile?
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 debateon whether there’s acorrelation 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.
The implication that military service somehow causes mass shootings is even worse considering most of the veterans listed had known motivations entirely devoid of their military background.Micah Johnson was a black militant who believed in race war, Wade Michael Page was a white supremacist who wanted the same. Nidal Hassan… hmm, the timeline forgot to list his motive. Guess it was workplace violence.