News Release

Are Mass Shootings in U.S. Blowback from its Perpetual Wars?

Coleen Rowley — a former FBI special agent who exposed some of the FBI’s pre-9/11 failures and was named one of TIME magazine’s “Persons of the Year” in 2002 — writes on Facebook: “It looks like this latest Florida school shooter besides having a number of psychological problems was in JROTC. Most reporters are not mentioning the connection between mass shooters and military training/service. Research shows a significant correlation. I’ve been saying for years now that the steep increase in mass shootings in the U.S. can be traced to blowback from the extreme ‘war is the answer’ militarism (all over social media, Hollywood, violent video games, etc.) used to sustain and promote U.S.-NATO-Israel’s perpetual war.”

Rowley criticized media coverage that “lauded the ‘great show of force’ (showing dozens of police running into the school when the shooter had already escaped). And again TV anchors asked the ridiculous question about ‘motive’ as if it’s a detective mystery when that term really has zero relevance to vulnerable people turning into senseless violent copycats just shooting up public places because they have come to think that’s the American way of solving problems and becoming heroes.”

See Rowley’s piece “Recipe Concocted for Perpetual War Is a Bitter One,” which states: “Given our somnolent acceptance of the notion that this unprecedented state of perpetual war is somehow protecting our safety, it’s ironic that military service is emerging as significantly correlated with, if not a cause of, America’s dramatic increase in mass shootings and other domestic terror-type killings.(PTSD-related murders overall also remain uncounted.) Researchers studying recent lists of mass shooters find veterans are over twice as likely to be mass shooters. Post-combat related ‘copycat’ homicidal violence might be a direct externality of training and then assigning young people to commit murder overseas.”PAT ELDER, [currently in Florida, five miles from Parkland, Florida], pelder at, @studentprivacy

Author of the recently released book Military Recruiting in the United States, Elder is director of the National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy, an organization that confronts militarism in the schools. He notes that the alleged shooter was “in the JROTC program as early as 9th grade. They practice shooting in the cafeteria. He was apprehended wearing his JROTC shirt.”

DAVID SWANSON, david at, @davidcnswanson
Swanson just wrote the piece “Florida Shooter’s JROTC Took NRA Money, Excelled at Marksmanship.” He writes that “35 percent of U.S. mass shooters are military veterans, as compared with 14.76 percent in the general population for the same gender and age.”

Swanson is director of and campaign coordinator for Swanson’s books include War Is A Lie and When the World Outlawed War. He is a Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.