THEODORE KIRK

STOP TEACHING OUR KIDS TO KILL
By: Dave Grossman

Dave Grossman is an American author who has specialized in the study of the psychology of killing, which has been termed “Killology”. He is a retired lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army.
Biography:
Grossman was born in Frankfurt, West Germany. His career includes service in the U.S. Army as a sergeant in the 82nd Airborne Division, a platoon leader in the 9th Infantry Division, a general staff officer, a company commander in the 7th (Light) Infantry Division as well as a parachute infantry, a U.S. Army Ranger and professor of military science at Arkansas State University. Grossman has served as an expert witness in numerous state and federal court cases and was part of the prosecution team of the United States v. Timothy McVeigh.
There is perhaps no bigger or more important issue in America at present than youth violence. Columbine, Sandy Hook, Aurora: We know them all too well, and for all the wrong reasons: kids, some as young as eleven years old, taking up arms, with deadly, frightening accuracy, murdering anyone in their paths. According to the authors of Stop Teaching Our Kids To Kill, there is blame to be laid right at the makers of violent video games (called “murder trainers” by one expert), the TV networks, and the Hollywood movie studios… the people responsible for the fact that children witness literally thousands of violent images a day.
Authors Lt. Col. Dave Grossman and Gloria DeGaetano offer incontrovertible evidence, much of it based on recent major scientific studies and empirical research, that movies TV, and video games are not just conditioning children to be violent and unaware of the consequences of that violence, but are teaching the very mechanics of killing.
In Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill: A Call to Action Against TV, Movie and Video Game Violence, Grossman argues that the techniques used by armies to train soldiers to kill are mirrored in certain types of video games. The conclusion he draws is that playing violent video games, particularly light gun shooters of the first-person shooter-variety (where the player holds a weapon-like game controller), train children in the use of weapons and more importantly, harden them emotionally to the task of murder by simulating the killing of hundreds or thousands of opponents in a single typical video game. Grossman uses blunt language that draws the ire of gamers- during the heights of video game controversy, he was interviewed on the content of his books, and repeatedly used the term “ murder simulator” to describe first-person shooter games.
Conclusion:
In Paducah, Kentucky, Michael Carneal, a fourteen-year old boy who stole a gun from a neighbor’s house, brought it to school and fired eight shots at a student prayer group as they were breaking up. Prior to this event, he had never shot a real gun before. Of the eight shots he fired, he had eight hits on eight different kids. Five were head shots, the other three upper torsos. The result was three dead, one paralyzed for life. The FBI says that the average, experienced, qualified law enforcement officer, in the average shootout, at an average range of seven yards, hits with less than one bullet in five. How does a child acquire such killing ability?
What would lead him to go out and commit such a horrific act?