Lt. Col. David Grossman: ‘This Generation is Going to Give You Massacres’

Government Security News offers an interesting story on a recent speech given by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, who you may recall is the man associated with "Killology" and the man who often refers to first-person shooter video games as "murder simulators." No doubt emboldened by recent shootings in the United States, Grossman is probably finding it easier to spread his anti-video game message.

On May 14 he found delivered a speech to a "packed meeting room" at the GovSec security conference in Washington, D.C. The event is geared towards members of the government, Homeland Security, law enforcement community and first responders.

During his speech ("The Bulletproof Mind: Psychological and Physiological Preparation for Combat") he talked about how among "this generation" of young people there are twisted individuals who enjoy maiming and killing fellow human beings.

"This generation is going to give you massacres in the domestic environment and in the work environment," he said after listing mass murders at schools and universities over the last couple of years.

He also said the law enforcement and the general public "must prepare for violence like firefighters prepare for fires," pointing out that no student has died in a school fire in half a century because schools are highly prepared for such an emergency.

Grossman also said that he finds the trend of young people being "hypnotized by mindless, violent video games" deplorable and worrisome.

"There is a generation of vicious, vicious killers out there," he told the audience. "The video games are their trainers. They’ve been playing Grand Theft Auto every spare moment since they were six years old."

While Grossman dedicated a fair amount of time talking about violent video games, he also talked at length about terrorism and gangs.

Ultimately the Government Security News report came to the conclusion that most of us knew without even hearing Grossman speak: his talk was "long on emotion, and short on supportive evidence and detailed reasoning."

Source: GSN


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  1. 0
    Anonymous Tom says:

    Yet, he is a Lieutenant Colonel. If I'm not mistaken, he's associated with a conglomerate of the U.S. Government, namely the Military, which occupies territory that does not belong to them and kills innocent people (while some are not) everyday waking day… the name of "Freedom".


    This guy is an idiot.

  2. 0
    Scott1701c says:

    I have read this mans books. He does make an interesting case supporting his theory.


    I agree to some extent, but not fully. I think the number of people who commit the murders are the same. This generation will be the first too be able too kill on a mass-scale. The Internet has made many things that were hard to find just 20 years ago, very easy to find, buy, and learn too use.


    Conclusion, Video game are not fully to blame, but the Internet (and its accessibility) IS to blame.

  3. 0
    Imautobot says:

    While downloading NES roms recently I became aware of how many game properties were based on violent movies like Die Hard, Dirty Harry, or Robocop.  I guess it never occurred to me, but all that pre-dated the ESRB, and a whole generation of NES fans grew up without becoming mass murderers.  Go figure.

  4. 0
    NyuRena says:

    I would go mutilate and kill him now, but since I'm 31 and have been playing FPS/RPG/RTS/MMO/Adventures with whatever levels of violence since age 4, I may not have played quite enough to become violent myself…I'm sure it'll hit me any day now.

    Ahh those pirated Atari games I played on my Commodore 64, I had no idea! If I'd only known!

  5. 0
    Hevach says:

    Except they did. Michigan alone had more mass killings (primarily bombings and poison releases rather than shootings) in the 20's than the entire country did in the 90's, and had the single worst non-military mass killing in the history of the world in that span, and it hadn't yet become the murder capital of the country as it is today.

    The aftermath of WWI and the Great Depression were a particularly bad time for them North America but worse in Europe, where a number of governments effectively ceased to function and fascist and communist revolutionaries were stirring civil violence.

    The 60's and 70's was also a peak of mass killings, especially in schools and universities. According to the records I'm familiar with, these were the only decades where school shootings outnumbered workplace shootings.


    The per-capita rate has declined immensely by population offset, but the per-year rate has not increased substantially (if 2012 is treated as an anomaly) since the availability of affordable civilian guns suitable for this kind of crime.

    What has increased is the average amount of media attention, and thus public awareness. The Bath school massacre, the worst in the world ever, got less than a quarter page of coverage in national newspapers. Even inside Michigan, it got less coverage than Columbine would almost 80 years later. The University of Texas clocktower shooting got less than 10 hours of national TV coverage, typically in 5-10 minute segments spread over a couple weeks. Columbine got hundreds of hours, Virginia Tech got thousands, and Sandy Hook got nearly twice as much as Virginia Tech thanks to being pulled back into the news regularly for six months and counting by gun legislature and the Boston bombing.

    Don't confuse the coverage effect with actual rates. For example, last year saw an increase in the number of cannibalism related stories in the national news from effectively zero to several dozen, and from less than 1 hour of national TV coverage to almost a thousand. Last year also saw a decline in actual cannibalism related crimes, except for one bizarre police blotter report out of Florida that went viral and made the whole thing trendy news.

  6. 0

    And the Bath Schoolhouse Massacre.


    They happened but you didn't have on going "news" running stories on it 24/7 like we have today turning these people into martyrs and celebrities.

  7. 0
    Imautobot says:

    I suppose I should have alluded to the point that massacres didn't occur with the same frequency as they do today.  Saying they DIDN'T happen at all would be wrong regardless of the era.  If that's how I came across; my bad.

  8. 0
    Truec says:

    Actually, we did have massacres like this 100 years ago.  In September of 1913, a teacher in Germany shot his wife and their four children, then went on a shooting and arson spree in which he shot 20 people with a pair of Mauser C96s, and was only prevented from shooting more people and hismelf because three guys jumped him while he was reloading.  When he woke up in police custody, he confessed and asked to be sentenced to death and decapitated.  Instead, he spent the next twenty years in an asylum until he died of tuberculosis.

    No point in history has had a monopoly on people with mental health problems, and I agree with you that something needs to be done for them.

  9. 0
    black manta says:

    I would argue with Col. Grossman that the reason we're getting these kids causing mass shooting isn't because of video games, but because many of them have undiagnosed – and in other cases mis-diganosed – mental health issues.  Back in the 1970's and '80s when I was growing up, you didn't have these incidents.  But that was because we more or less had a decent mental healthcare infrastructure.  We had institutions which, poorly run as some of them were, they could be sent to if there was no further help for them.

    But then things changed in the '80s.  The Reagan administration cut funding for mental healthcare.  The institutions were subsequently closed down.  The immediate consequence of this was that many patients were turned out into the street, which contributed to the spike in the homeless population that was a big issue back in the day, as many of these people had nowhere to go.

    But as successive generations were born, many of these children growing up who had mental health issues now had no place for their parents to treat them.  And many overworked and underfunded doctors simply had no choice but to prescribe Ritalin or some other antidepressant; which we found out years later only exacerbated those problems.  If you had the money and were very rich, you could perhaps get adequate treatment for your child.  But that was the exception rather than the rule.

    So this is the situation as it stands now: Because we have not had an adequately funded mental healthcare system for 30 years, the chickens are coming home to roost in the form of these kids who have grown up psychotic; their families unable to get them the help they need.  The prisons now have become the place where those with severe mental disorders are sent, but they are poor substitutes as they lack the proper care and resources to deal with them

    Add to this the ready availability of guns, and you have a perfect storm for these mass spree killings.  THAT'S the explanation, Col. Grossman.  But of course, no one in this country seems to want to be willing to look at the problem from that angle for whatever reason.  But until we do, we are going to have more of these massacres.

  10. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    There's also the fact that 100 years ago we wouldn't be hearing about these events right away fi at all due to how slow news traveled, plus while yellow journalism was still there, it wasn't as prevalent I don't think because, well, no ratings to pursue for those who did bring news.


    On the first, it does seem like the world is finitely shittier when you have faster access to bad news.

  11. 0
    Imautobot says:

    Remember the "Winners don't use drugs" campaign?  That warning that was placed at the beginning of arcade games?  Maybe there should be something similar at the beginning of a violent game that says "Convicted felons don't get to play video games in prison."  Problem solved.

    I wonder though, does anyone stop to consider that mass killings are more symptomatic of the era in which we live?  We are churning out a new generation who will go to an overpriced college, then struggle to find work in their preferred field.  In order to be successful these kids likely have to pursue education is a field which is soul crushing.  Regardless of which path they choose, they remain on the hook for more student debt than they can possibly pay back in a reasonable amount of time.  That is a lot to assimilate for someone trying to make it in this world.  You start out with good intentions, but the real world is almost instantly set up to make you a financial slave; even before you exit college.

    Or this could be like what happens when you put too many animals in a cage.  Pigs in factory farms have been known to bite the ears and tails off one another.  This happens with chickens too, that's why they have their beaks (savagely) clipped as chicks.  In this scenario, our populations have become so dense that when one person in a group becomes overwhelmed by the voices and opinions of that group; they may just snap.  

    Of course we didn't see massacres like this 100 years ago.  Not only have we learned more efficient was of hurting one another, we've increased our ranks by 5 billion people in that time.  It stands to reason that as long as the population grows, the statistical probability of those predicated toward violence will also increase.  So let's not sit here and act like hitting the DELETE key on the gaming industry is a cure-all.  It's not, it might make things worse.

    Consider the notion that with increased mechanization the western world may not be coming home exhausted from a day full of toil.  Instead, that pent-up energy gets focused in other directions like video games or violence.  In that example, having the games as an outlet could actually be offsetting such violence.  Idle hands are the devils playthings.  I don't know about the rest of you, but I find gaming more of a relaxation technique than anything.

  12. 0
    quiknkold says:

    If he were right, 90% of the population of the US would have been wiped out, not to mention every other country that consumes videogames. he's just another idiot who cant handle that new fangled contraption. 

  13. 0
    Hevach says:

    Yes, because mass killings are a new thing. We had school killings in the 20's and 30's as a form of tax protest, peaking in the Bath, Michigan massacre which still hasn't been matched since. Or in the 70's, or 60's, or 50's, 40's… all of which were bloodier decades than the last two.

    2012 was an admittedly bad year for mass killings – there were 7 in the US, which I believe is a record, even among the more deadly decades like the 60's. Two of the killers appear to have owned and played video games. The other five did not, with racial, political, and revenge motives. Two of those killings were in schools, and only one by a student, the other by a 43 year old alum.

    2011 had 3, a more typical number. None have signs of video game involvement, the only perpetrator that appears to have played games at all was the Tuscon attack which appears to be political in nature. 2010 had one, an employee taking revenge on coworkers. 2009 had 4, two being revenge, one revenge specifically against police, and one being political/terrorist in nature.

    Of all those, only 3 killers are "this generation," most were in their 40's and 50's. And of those, only two actually appear to have actively played video games in the weeks or months before their crimes, with a third having stopped at some point while preparing for something (which may or may not have actually been the crime committed and not some other reason to stockpile weapons).

    Workplace shootings outnumber school shootings. "Neutral ground" mass killings outnumber both. Most of the perpetrators are over 30, and the top three triggers are loss of employment or revenge against employerse/coworkers, race/religion, and politics/terrorism.

    School shootings have the distinction of having some of the highest individual body counts (and thus best TV exploitability) mostly because they present some of the densest target concentrations (many people per room, and even more crowded hallways when panic sets in) – shopping mall and airport shootings also sport higher body counts for the same reason, as did the Texas shooting taking place on a military base. Conversely, office and hospital shootings have lower casualties because targets are separated fewer to a room.

  14. 0
    BearDogg-X says:

    Grossman continues to prove himself to be a mindless one-trick pony whose credibility was destroyed by John Stossel years ago in his book "Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity".

    Time to get a new shtick, Dave. Jack Thompson blatantly stole it from you and turned it into a joke by turning himself into one. Not to mention the niggling little detail that violent crime has fallen since 1991 to 40 year lows. So much for "training" to be "killers".

    Proud supporter of the New Orleans Saints, LSU, 1st Amendment; Real American; Hound of Justice; Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always

    Saints(3-4), LSU(7-0)

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