About that “Biggest Mass Shooting”

As Butler Shaffer has pointed out, there are myriad examples of the U.S. government’s mass shootings of its own citizens that are many orders of magnitude larger than the horrific carnage in Orlando over the weekend.  Butler mentions some of the more deadly “Civil War” battles, with emailers rightly pointing out such incidents as the government’s mass murder of some 80 people in Waco.  The slaughter of about 45,000 Plains Indians, women and children included, under the supervision of such “Civil War luminaries” as Grant, Sherman Sheridan, Custer, and others for twenty-five years, beginning during the war, is another example.  Just one example, taken from my article, “The Culture of Violence in the American West: Myth versus Reality,” is the November 29, 1864 Sand Creek (Colorado) massacre, supervised by U.S. Army Colonel John Chivington.  As described in the book Crimsoned Prarie: The Indian Wars by S.L.A. Marshall, the official U.S. government historian of the European theatre of World War II who wrote 30 books on U.S. military history:

“Chivington’s orders were: ‘I want you to kill and scalp all, big and little; nits make lice.'”  Then, Chivington’s 750 U.S. Army troops (part of Lincoln’s “army of emancipation”) “began a full day given over to blood lust, orgiastic mutilation, rapine, and destruction — with Chivington looking on and approving.”

Marshall wrote that the most reliable estimate of the number of peaceful Indians killed “is 163, of which 110 were women and children” (p. 39 of his book).

In another incident described by Dee Brown in Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (p. 169), Custer’s murderers “killed 103 Cheyenne, but only eleven of them were warriors.” This was all done, said General Sherman, to “make way for the [government-subsidized] railroads.”


6:43 am on June 13, 2016