Given that today is the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination, it seems like good time to address something I have yet to see seriously address: the case against Oswald’s ability to make the shots he is claimed to have made. So, as a former Marine who is qualified to be a PMI (Primary Marksmanship Instructor) and a shooter of some ability, myself, allow me to offer a few observations and then leave you to make of them what you will.
First, let me offer my qualifications to speak with some authority on this issue. I was a Marine for nine years. I obtained the rank of Sgt. My last three years, I was the maintenance chief for our tank company and the commander of the recovery vehicle. I had twenty-three Marines under me. When I was younger, I kept a 3 in group at 500 yrds with open sights. I qualified in boot camp on a day where we were forced to shoot in a rain storm. By the time I had to fire on the 500 yard line, we had a 45+ knt wind blowing 90 deg. Across the range, from left to right. The M16A1 I was using did not have sufficient left windage in the rear sight aperture to adjust, so I sighted on the right edge of the target to the left of my own. I kept a 5 inch group that day on a target I could barely see. I was 1 of only 2 shooters to qualify expert in our series that day (250-something men). The longest shot I have ever made was at 800 yards. It was a head shot, across a desert valley in the middle of a summer day. I made it with a standard M16A2 with open sights. I have witnesses that I can shoot skeet with an M16. I once hit two at one time with three rounds. I also hit a 12 in square target from 276 yrds 30 times in less than 30 seconds without using the sights. I was firing over the sights. I have witnesses to all of this. Now, why do I tell you all of this? Because, after all this, I do not think I could duplicate what Oswald is supposed to have done!
Before we address the re-enactments that have supposedly ‘proven’ that it is possible, let’s look at Oswald for a moment. He qualified as a marksman. This is the lowest of the three rankings in the Marines (marksman, sharpshooter, expert – I was an expert). To graduate boot camp, all Marines must qualify with their rifle. What usually happens is the ‘unq’s’ (unqualified) fire a second time – after those who can actually shoot have earned their rating. If you are in the butts (pulling and marking the targets), you realize real quick that you will be there until the guy shooting actually makes marksman, so, sooner or later, the old pencil comes out and you start providing the shooter with a little ‘help.’ Every time the unq misses, you poke a bull’s-eye in his target. If you pay close attention to the information we have on Oswald and what type of Marine he was, you will find he was not a stand out. In fact, as a former Sgt. In the Marines, I have heard enough to suspect Oswald was an unq who got a little help.
My suspicion is furthered by the weapon he chose to use. Frankly speaking, it was a POS! An AK-47 would have been a better choice, and the AK is not exactly a weapon people chose when they want to hit a pin-point target. It is accurate enough, but not for the job Oswald was contemplating. This means we are being told to believe that an unq using a POS weapon made three very well aimed shots on the President of the United States in about seven seconds. What’s more, he did it while Kennedy was moving away from his position, which makes the shot even harder. I’m sorry, folks, I simply do not believe it.
But this is the point where we have to deal with the TV shows where they took an expert to show you it is possible. Well, I never said it wasn’t possible, I said I do not believe Oswald could have done it. I base this on my own experience. I could have certainly made the first shot, and maybe the second, but three shots in seven seconds under those conditions… Well, if I doubt myself, then why should I accept the official story? And before you accept the re-enactments, look at whom they have shooting: an expert. In the re-enactment I saw, he was a shooter better than myself. This is not apples-to-apples, and therefore, not ‘scientific.’ If we wanted that, we would take a guy off the street, train him at Paris Island (Marine boot camp) for two weeks; give him a POS rifle and let him ‘practice’ for a week or tw; and then we would place him in a high-risk position – where he is feeling very real stress from risk to life and limb — and then we’d ask him to duplicate the shot. That would be apples-to-apples, but they have not ever done their test under these conditions. Instead, they always stress that Oswald was a Marine ‘marksman.’ Well, excuse an old vet if he finds that to be cause for doubt, not to accept the official story.
Anyway, make of this what you will. I just thought I’d share some thoughts on the subject with those who were interested.