So now we know. An analysis of the audiotape made on May 4, 1970, at Kent State indicates that the National Guardsmen were ordered to fire. So much for the “young, untrained, panicky troops” argument. That one always seemed fishy: Â howÂ does oneÂ explain the Guard kneeling in formation and the fusillade of 67 shots?
The Guardsmen were ordered by a superior officer (and maybe ultimately by Governor James Rhodes) to fire onÂ students assembling on their own college campus to protest President Nixon’s decision to expand an unlawful war in Vietnam into Cambodia.
Four unarmed students died. TheÂ gunfire killed Allison Krause, an honor student. Jeffrey Miller was shot in the mouth and died instantly. Bill Schroeder was shot in the back.Â Sandy Scheuer was merelyÂ walking to class; she bled to death from a bullet wound in the throat. Nine others were wounded. Their average distance from the National Guard position was well over 300 feet, too far away to pose a threat.
It wasn’t an accident. It wasn’t a “mistake.” Someone gave a command.
Let me know what you think.