The Mind of a Sniper

Among others, the BBC interviewed two snipers. Both have killed many people, but they are very different men. One affirms the humanity of his targets, and worries at how ideology sends them into battle. One considers them subhuman, and worries about himself.

Here's Chris Kyle:

"You're running everything through your mind. This is a woman, first of all. Second of all, am I clear to do this, is this right, is it justified? And after I do this, am I going to be fried back home? Are the lawyers going to come after me saying, 'You killed a woman, you're going to prison'?"

Married with two children, he has now retired from the military and has published a book in which he claims to have no regrets, referring to the people he killed as "savages".

Here's Anon:

Snipers almost never referred to the men they killed as targets, or used animal or machine metaphors. Some interviewees even said that their victims were legitimate warriors.

"Here is someone whose friends love him and I am sure he is a good person because he does this out of ideology," said one sniper who watched through his scope as a family mourned the man he had just shot. "But we from our side have prevented the killing of innocents, so we are not sorry about it."

Guess which of these two men tallies more than a hundred kills whose circumstances are unaccounted for by the military.

What goes on in the mind of a sniper? [BBC]