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POLICE-TREXPO 2011: Grossman on Media Violence

In his presentation, Lt. Col. Grossman decried the effects of graphic video game and movie violence on children.

October 27, 2011  |  by - Also by this author

Photo: Mark W. Clark
Photo: Mark W. Clark

Author, scholar, and warrior Lt. Col. Dave Grossman (U.S. Army Ret.) returned to POLICE-TREXPO East this year with his presentation "The Bulletproof Mind."

The former West Point psychology professor spent much of his presentation decrying the effects of graphic video game and movie violence on children saying that the mass media was repeating Pavlov's dog experiment with predictable effects.

"Children are learning to associate violent death with candy bars, popcorn, and soft drinks at the movies," Grossman said. About video games he added that children "are being operantly conditioned to associate violent death with pleasure."

Grossman explained how video games are murder simulators for a new generation of hyper-violent criminals and terrorists. He said Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik used video games to train for his murder spree earlier this summer that left 77 people dead.

In America, Grossman said, the influence of mass media violence on children has led to more and more threats by school-age conspirators, many that are not publicized. "We are dang good at deterring these little killers. We deter these little killers by the thousands. We detect them by the hundreds," he explained.

Grossman said police officers have to be ready to respond to mass-killing attacks at schools whether they be from terrorists or from deranged students. He stressed the importance of officers carrying off duty and being ready to respond to what he calls "active killer" incidents, eschewing the term "active shooter." Grossman explained, "Shooting is an honorable act. You call this what it is. It's slaughter. It's massacre."

Grossman warned officers that the effects of media violence on young children make it more dangerous for them to deal with teenage and young adult criminals. "They're going to come out shooting at you rather than submit to arrest," he explained. "They've been programmed to kill from their earliest days."


POLICE-TREXPO 2011: Overview

POLICE-TREXPO 2011: Iraq War Vet's Memoir

POLICE-TREXPO 2011: Tactical Gear

Comments (2)

Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

Joshua Robbins @ 11/6/2011 9:53 PM

In video games you get "lives". In life, you get A life. If they are conditioned to fight without fear of losing their "life", they are going to be much more aggressive and dangerous. Boggles my mind.

Adam Bussell @ 11/10/2011 10:11 PM

I do not agree with the LTC. My opinion on this matter is that it is a Psychological effect. There are many individuals in the world who play violent video games and watch violent movies and have little to no psychological effect, myself included. I am currently counting the days until Grand Theft Auto 5 comes out, and I am also counting the days until I graduate from OSU and join the United States Marshal Service. There are sick and mentally ill and or weak individuals in all cultures, and yes they will probably be affected by the violence in the media. But you can't expect to regulate the world media around mentally ill individuals. The people that are being affected negatively by violent medial are people who are weak minded and susceptible to clouded judgement. Any "normal" person knows that a video game is just a video game, and a movie is just a movie. We can't presume that the common teen of 18 is going to embody the ideas in media. Another huge precursor to violent media is the real world and it's "gang violence" and other violent acts that the media is only reinventing based on real world functions in place before the media itself.

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