News Release

Why Are So Many Shooters Military Veterans?


Journalist Michael Tracey writes: “DeWayne Craddock, the Virginia Beach mass shooter, enlisted in the Virginia National Guard in April 1996 and served for 17 years. Increasingly seems the most predictive trait for mass shooters is not race or religion, but a military/law enforcement background. (And gender: male.)

Tracey cites other cases:

“Ian David Long (2018): Marine, Afghanistan war vet
Nikolas Cruz (2018): High school Army ROTC
Devin Patrick Kelley (2017): Air Force
Stephen Paddock (2017): Worked for Defense Dept., Lockheed Martin
Omar Mateen (2016): Private security guard, wanted to be a cop
Aaron Alexis (2013): Navy”

DAVID SWANSON, davidcnswanson at, @davidcnswanson
Swanson is director of World Beyond War and just wrote the piece “You Can Almost Count on Each New Mass Shooter Being a Veteran.”

See news release: “Are Mass Shootings in U.S. Blowback from its Perpetual Wars?