On PTS and Chris Kyle's murderer

With the trial of Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield’s killer now winding down, it should be amply clear to all that Post Traumatic Stress was NOT a factor in the murder.

I wonder if everyone who reported that it was will issue an apology to sufferers of PTS.

I won’t hold my breath for that.

PTS is a serious ailment that affects many who have suffered trauma. We know many things about it, but not everything. Like much of medicine, doctors have made major advances in treatment recently thanks to our experiences with war, but PTS is not a condition that comes solely from combat. Its mechanisms have still to be fully understood.

One thing we do know: PTS does NOT turn people into killers. Nor does it relieve them from personal responsibility. If sufferers of PTS are a danger to anyone, it is to themselves – PTS is suspected of being a factor in many suicides.

One of the greatest barriers to its treatment is the stigma still attached to what are commonly believed to be mental conditions. The pre-trial publicity here unfortunately reinforced that stigma; hopefully that will be corrected in its wake.

Now that the case is almost concluded, I also wonder if Chris and his family will receive an apology from those who wrote the ridiculous stories that made far too much of the random parallels between his life and that of the murderer. I can’t conceive of two more different men.

Earlier this week, the Navy released part of Chris’s military record. Anyone who has any doubt about what he accomplished on the battlefield and does not want to take his book as proof, can read it here.

If he were alive, Chris would be angry that I supplied that link; he was a humble man. But he can chew me out when – if – I get to heaven, where I know he surely is. In the meantime, it would be a good idea for people to actually consider the facts before they make facile assessments.

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