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How the Kennedy assassination impacted baby boomers

The assassination of JFK: Why?

When Pres. John F. Kennedy was murdered, I was student teaching at Pullman High School.

JFK-White-House-585x456I couldn’t believe that he’d been shot. I was certain that the next radio report would say he was wounded, but would survive.

Instead, it said President Kennedy was dead from a massive head wound.

Like most Americans, I struggled through the many emotions of losing a beloved leader. I thought when we find out what happened, I could get over it.

Well, conspiracy theories abound, but we still don’t know what happened. And, now, we’re marking the 50th Anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination.

Recently, I was stunned to read accounts which speculate that if Marina, Lee Harvey Oswald’s wife, had taken him back when he went to visit her, he wouldn’t have killed Kennedy the next day.

What?

Did a disgruntled husband in a right-wing, convservative state where gun laws are lax cause the history-changing loss of a talented, charismatic president? Could it be that simple?

Back then, before deranged individuals began committing mass public murders in America, there wasn’t an awareness that a person could easily get a gun and start killing people.

Today, now that gun violence happens so frequently, Kennedy’s assassination could be seen as gun violence in a pro-gun state.

Is that a better theory than conspiracy theories?

Articles leading up to Friday’s anniversary blame the CIA and FBI, the Mafia, Castro, the Russians, and Lyndon Johnson.

David Horsey, cartoonist and political commentator, doesn’t think there’s any truth in conspiracy theories. Horsey said:

In the real world,… conspiracies tend to unravel. Somebody squeals, somebody leaks, somebody betrays. We always find out – and usually because a conspiring collective of humans is bound to screw up. Any 50-year-old conspiracy to kill JFK would have to be an exception to that rule.

He concludes:

For me, it is easier to accept that the truth is exactly what it has long appeared to be: A history-shifting tragedy occurred because one inconsequential misfit with a mail-order rifle got a clear shot.

Maybe he’s right. Maybe not.

Copyright 2013, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist

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