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"Violent Video Games are 'Murder Simulators' that Train Kids to Kill," Says Author of Killology

"Stop Teaching Kids to Kill," says retired Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, author of On Killing, On Combat and Warrior Mindset. This American writer and trainer specializes in the study of the psychology of killing—which has been termed 'kil

So, the brutal, merciless, savage mass murderer of first-graders in Connecticut was another in a long line of avid video game players who turned their sick fantasy into our tragic reality. Surprised? asks Dave Grossman, a Mascoutah, IL, resident who is a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army and now speaks internationally about human aggression and the roots of violence and violent crime.

Editor's Note: The observations in this guest editorial/opinion piece were offered to Eureka-Wildwood Patch by Dave Grossman, international trainer and creator of a program to prepare people to help survive brutal attacks:  www.GetBulletProofMind.com 
Grossman was introduced to Patch by an area firearms' instructor, Greg Pugh, who was interviewed for Monday's article: 'School Gun-Free Zones Paint Big Targets'  
See why Grossman says the worst is yet to come.

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 video games 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 video games. The sickest video games and the sickest movies are very, very sick indeed. And the sick, sick kids who immerse themselves in this "entertainment" are very sick indeed.

Jonesboro in the middle school, Columbine in the high school, Virginia Tech in the college, and now this generation gives us Sandy Hook as adults…   

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... five died in the "Boston Massacre," which touched off the American Revolution … six murdered in the "St. Valentines Day Massacre" … many times more were murdered in Sandy Hook, and we hide the reality from ourselves by calling it a "shooting" … "shooting" is what happens on the range … a "shooter" is the guy who got lucky during deer season! These are brutal mass murderers, committing savage massacres unlike anything seen in human history.) 

This has all been building up for years. Consider the stats on officers murdered in the line of duty in the United States: 

  • '08: 42
  • '09: 48
  • '10: 56
  • '11: 72

Anyone see a pattern here? Medical technology is holding DOWN the murder rate. The number of murdered cops should be going down every year. 

These are criminals who practiced killing cops since they were 6 years old, every day of their lives, playing Grand Theft Auto, and now they are primed to kill cops as adults.

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 www.TakeTheChallengeNow.net to learn about a school TV-turnoff curriculum pioneered by Stanford Med School and demonstrated to cut school violence and bullying in half!

An "M" (mature, 17 and above ONLY) rated game is the same as an "X" rated movie! The people who manufacture the game say so. Their own industry says so!  

A "T" (teen) rating means no child under 13 should play the game. Period. It is a very tragic, horrendous situation when adults let their children immerse themselves in M-rated games! Just like, sex, gambling, porn, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, guns and automobiles:  these are all things that adults must not give to kids! 

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… 

If YOUR child is one who commits a brutal crime, and YOU let them play these sick games, then the blood is on your hands too… (And YOU may well be the first one to die, as with this most recent incident.) 

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This is NOT business as usual in America. Never lose your sense of outrage that every kid in America has to do lock-down drills, practicing "hunkering down and hiding" for when kids come to kill them. Never lose your sense of outrage that all of our cops practice going in our schools and shooting our kids with "active shooter response plans." These things are necessary; they work, they 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 it is a worldwide phenomenon! Germany has had two mass murders in their high schools with body counts that beat Columbine. England had a massacre in the kindergarten class in Dunblain, Scotland, tragically forecasting Sandy Hook. Canada had the Taber, Alberta, school massacre. Finland has had three school massacres. In Norway, the killer got on an island and killed all their kids. In China, killers are going in the classrooms with knives and gutting and hacking the kids. In Belgium, a sicko got in the day care center and hacked 12 babies in the cribs, dressed as the Joker from the Batman movie. (All those European gun laws made THEM real safe, eh?)  

And we thought it wouldn't happen here!?  

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.

FedUpVet December 19, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Finally, someone with intelligence with an explanation that makes sense. The same thing happens all over the world and usually without firearms. I guess those of a liberal nature won't like these facts since they always want to blame the weapon and not the horrible person who commits these acts.
Jim Descher December 19, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Once again a gun advocate has spoken. He makes several good points about video gaming and certainly let's explore mental health issues and their place in these horrible events. My problem is that he wants everyone to dissociate guns from gun violence. You can't have it both ways! If gun advocates continue to be unbending with their stance that people have the right to own any weapon, including assault weapons, then they have to accept some responsibility when these weapons are used in massacres. I find it laughable that he doesn't even want these murderers called shooters. Please. The guy in Connecticut used legally obtained guns and apparently spent time at shooting ranges with his mom honing his skills. Well, one correction, the guns were legally obtained up to the point when the shooter stole them from his mom and shot her in the face before heading to the school...
Caffeinated December 19, 2012 at 02:39 PM
"Once again a gun advocate has spoken." One in a series of many such "articles" provided by the Patch editors. Makes me think there's an agenda. Surely they can get ahold of some organization, activist, or author that actually thinks a ban on large capacity magazines and semiautomatic weapons might be a possibility.
Jim Descher December 19, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Caffeinated...I agree and have noticed the same thing. Sorry Patch, there has been no balance at all on this subject. It has been one pro gun story after another. Unfortunately I have read recent stories which put the number of guns in America at somewhere north of 300 million. Do we have anywhere to go but up? I am picturing schools in the near future with a military dressed guard holding a machine gun. Perfect atmosphere for the kids huh? I don't want everyone's guns. I want some sanity and real discourse on the subject of hunting and personal protection.
Jim Descher December 19, 2012 at 05:33 PM
JBP I messed up the last sentence of my last post. Here is the correction: Caffeinated...I agree and have noticed the same thing. Sorry Patch, there has been no balance at all on this subject. It has been one pro gun story after another. Unfortunately I have read recent stories which put the number of guns in America at somewhere north of 300 million. Do we have anywhere to go but up? I am picturing schools in the near future with a military dressed guard holding a machine gun. Perfect atmosphere for the kids huh? I don't want everyone's guns. I want some sanity and real discourse on the subject of semi-automatic weapons of war verses those guns for hunting and personal protection.
Ann Martel December 19, 2012 at 07:42 PM
I do agree that the Patch is one sided and I've noticed that on political issues as well. I also agree wholeheartedly with this article, though. I have been afraid of this for a long time. Violent games, movies, and televisions shows are being used as babysitters and true parenting and interacting with our children has been slowly put aside as unimportant. Even sports are becoming more violent. I have to wonder about our culture's view on mental illness and the fact that we would prefer to pretend that it isn't out there rather than treat it with the importance and respect that it deserves. I also wonder if mental illness and congenital mental problems, such as autism, are on the rise because of the toxins that we put in our and our children's environment. Toxins that have been tested already on animals and are known to cause neurological problems. On top of that, it is waaaay too easy to get semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles. I do not understand why anyone feels the need to own a weapon that is designed to kill as many people as possible in as little time as possible. I feel as though our children are all just guinea pigs in a giant experiment that has been creating the perfect environment for some pretty scary scenarios...scenarios that are playing out now.
Tim Jordan December 20, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Without peer reviewed studies, Grossman's conclusions are conjecture at best, and fraudulent at worst. I'd be interested to see the positive results of MMORPG's.
Julie Brown Patton (Editor) December 20, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Before accusing of biases, please understand the difference between content that is offered as, and clearly labeled as opinion, as this piece was. It wasn't offered as a news article. It was the opinion of a person who is internationally recognized as an expert in this area. He wanted to share his views after what happened Friday. We at Patch don't "serve an agenda," politically or otherwise. We react to the news, and provide information based on readers' interests and feedback. Readers don't always agree with each other perspectives, but America is still a free country, so that is allowed. We ask that you don't shoot the messengers (reporters and editors) just because you have a different view or don't care for the topic. Patch is open to all to blog or to comment, regardless of race, religion, gender or political affiliations. Some individuals and some groups are more vocal and more active, but everyone has a fair chance to be on Patch.
Caffeinated December 20, 2012 at 11:04 PM
Julie, you have also authored a number of other articles which present a largely homogenous viewpoint. These have not been offered as opinion as this piece was. Interviewing Greg Pugh for an article titled 'School Gun-Free Zones Paint Big Targets' is one example. The statement that Gun-Free Zones attract violent crime is stated as fact in the title of the article, and the inclusion of Greg Pugh as your "expert" on violent crimes presents his opinion as fact. Did Greg Pugh approach you for that "article?" When presenting Greg's viewpoint, it may have been more substantive to counterbalance it with an opposing expert viewpoint to fairly frame the argument. You have a group of people that you are writing editorials for (some of which are classified as "Schools, Public Safety" not "Opinion"), that are clearly connected and present a unified viewpoint. It's your right as granted to you by the owners of this website to curate the content as you see fit, but let's not pretend the content you're providing is in any way "fair & balanced." I think Patch is wonderful community resource, but your particular contributions on this subject have been entirely one-sided.
Jim Descher December 20, 2012 at 11:17 PM
Sorry Julie...I think any news outlet has an obligation to report/gather/seek opinions on both sides of any issue. I have made the suggestion several times that you report only from a conservative point of view. I have seen nothing in the Patch since last week's shooting massacre that even acknowledged that guns had anything to do with it. I did notice that Rockwood rejected arming teachers, thank God.There are many things that must be examined including mental health, video gaming violence, funding for school officers, and others. In my opinion, and what has been lacking in Patch coverage, semi automatic weapons of war which allow maximum kills in very little time is number should be at the top of the list. Now, I must ask for clarification...do you not look for articles to put into Patch? I am asking because it appears in your comment above that you only put blogs in Patch. If that is so, then I finally get why Patch seems to slanted to the right. Some are more vocal.
Julie Brown Patton (Editor) December 20, 2012 at 11:35 PM
Jim, as you know, there are at least five to nine fresh articles published daily on Patch. News articles are produced by those of us on staff. When someone submits a letter to the editor, it is designated as such and labeled opinion. When someone submits a guest editorial, it also is labeled as such. Those are all different types of content, and it's essential to keep them straight from one another. My point was that readers have 24x7 opportunities to directly post announcements, events, comments and blogs. We have explained that many times and constantly invite a variety of people to do so. I have presented those communications tools to local groups as well as individuals. I have invited you personally to contribute blogs during the political election cycle. Democrats and Republican candidates were given equal opportunity to participate on Patch; we obviously do not control who does or does not take advantage of the opportunity and shouldn't be blamed for that. Time is often a factor regarding which sources are available or who responds prior to our deadlines—which, by the way, are among the fastest in the industry. What you don't see is the people we reach out to who choose not to publicly share their views. To your point, this person wanted to bring out what he believed to be the influence of violent video games on shooting tragedies. It seemed to be a good part of the overall conversations, and was shared with that intent. Nothing more.

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