Battleland

"Every Marine Is A Rifleman"

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That’s not a boast – it’s the truth. The average Marine is younger than those in the other military services, and more likely to be a trigger-puller. Youth and weapons probably explain this rash of recent shootings at Marine targets in the Washington area, including a second fusillade at the National Museum of the Marine Corps at Quantico, Va., late Thursday or early Friday.

The targets – the museum twice, a Marine recruiting station, and the Pentagon – suggest a severely disgruntled Marine (probably a former Marine, but leathernecks insist there are only Marines and retired Marines). He’s likely acting alone, defense officials believe. Last week, ballistics tests confirmed that the first three shootings all came from the same gun.

The FBI is on the case and is urging the mystery shooter to turn himself – generally these cases involve people of the male persuasion – in before blood is spilled. “We appreciate that he is struggling right now,” FBI spokeswoman Katherine Schweit told the AP Friday. “This guy hasn’t hurt anybody. We don’t think he wants to.”

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