Dave Grossman is the author of “On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society” and “Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill”
So, the brutal, merciless, savage mass murder of first-graders in Connecticut was another in a long line of avid videogame players who turned their sick fantasy into our tragic reality. Surprised?
I train military and law enforcement nationwide, on the road almost 300 days a year for 15 years. I was an Army Ranger and a West Point psych professor. An author of many very successful books on this subject. This is the perspective that I come from.
Bottom line: From a military and law enforcement perspective, violent videogames are “murder simulators” that train kids to kill. They act just like police and military simulators, providing conditioned responses, killing skills and desensitization, except they are inflicted on children without the discipline of military and police training.
Research on the background of our juvenile mass murderers show they have one thing in common: They all dropped out of life and filled their lives with nothing but violent movies and violent videogames. The sickest videogames and the sickest movies are very, very sick indeed. And the sick, sick kids who immerse themselves in this “entertainment” are very sick indeed.
The Sandy Hook massacre has been building for years. And there is much, much worse yet to come. They are not shootings, they are massacres.
If we intentionally tried to raise a generation cocked and primed to kill, we could not have done a better job.
The answer? Parents must enforce the rating system. They must understand the danger. To do that, they must be informed by our media! And the schools must begin to educate their kids! Go to http://www.TakeTheChallengeNow.net to learn about a school TV-turnoff curriculum pioneered by Stanford Medical School and demonstrated to cut school violence and bullying in half!
Not all of the kids who play these sick games will become killers, but they will all be desensitized to human death and suffering, intentionally and realistically inflicted by themselves, for their own entertainment.
Don’t lose your sense of outrage if kids in America had to do lock-down drills, practicing “hunkering down and hiding” for when other kids come to kill them. Dont lose your sense of outrage if all of our cops practice going into our schools with “active shooter response plans.” These things may be necessary, they might work, they might deter violent acts and they can save lives and hold down the body count when it does happen, but they are not normal. This is not just another day in America. This is not “business as usual” in America … something is very, very wrong.
And you think it’s over now? The worst is yet to come. We will reap what we sow for a generation to come…. Until we stop teaching our kids to kill.