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."