Kent State University is in Ohio. 3n 1970, after riots there in protest against the war in Vietnam, any further demonstrations were banned. When a group of about 1,000 students defied the ban, they were fired on by soldiers. A tcn-second burst of rifle fire killed four students and wounded another ten.
The Kent State tragedy showed how deeply the Vietnam War was dividing the American people. “After all, bullets against a gang of unarmed kids,” said a student. “Too much, man, too much!” But when another student asked a passerby why he was holding up his hand with four fingers extended, he was told that it meant “This time we got four of you bastards; next rime we’ll get more.” “The volley of gunfire served its purpose,” said a writer to a local newspaper. “It broke up a riot and I say the same method should be used again and again.”
But most Americans were shocked by the killings and many were ashamed. They agreed with the father of one of the dead students, a girl named Allison Krause, when he asked bitterly, “Have we come to such a state in this country that a young girl has to be shot because she disagrees deeply with the actions of her government?”