Dave Grossman, Lt. Col. USA (ret.)
Author of On Killing, On Combat, Warrior Mindset, and Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill
So, the brutal, merciless, savage mass murderer of children in CT was another in a long line of avid video game players who turned their sick fantasy into our tragic reality. Surprised?
I train military and law enforcement nation-wide, 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 US:
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 six 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. 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, alch, 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.)
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 save lives and hold down the body count, 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 world-wide 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 form the Batman movie. (All those European gun laws made THEM real safe, eh?)
And we though it wouldn't happen here!?
And you think its 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.