Digital Version of November/December 2014 Print Edition
Lt. Col. Grossman warns the country to prepare itself for deadly violence
Lt. Col. Dave Grossman
Lt. Col. Dave Grossman does not deal in subtleties.
He has strong views about the current state of American society, and he pulls no punches when he lays out his provocative views, as he did to a packed meeting room at the GovSec security conference in Washington, DC, on May 14.
Grossman, who retired from the U.S. Army in 1998, is convinced that a generation of blood-thirsty young men, raised like zombies on violent videos and death-worshipping Hollywood movies, periodically spews out twisted individuals who truly enjoy the thought of maiming and killing their fellow human beings.
“This generation is going to give you massacres in the domestic environment and in the work environment,” he predicted, with unrestrained outrage, after ticking off a sobering list of mass murders -- particularly those that have occurred on school grounds and university campuses -- which have plagued American society in recent years.
Grossman, whose talk was entitled, “The Bulletproof Mind: Psychological and Physiological Preparation for Combat,” is an author, a former faculty member at West Point, and “one of the world’s foremost experts in the field of human aggression and the roots of violence and violent crime,” according to the GovSec conference guide.
He likes to warn his audiences, particularly when they include police officers, that U.S. society needs to devote as much energy and money to the prevention of violence in schools as it does to the prevention of fires in schools. That is especially true because no student has died in a school fire in more than half a century, Grossman noted, while dozens of innocent children have been slaughtered annually by deranged killers in the nation’s schools in recent years.
“We must prepare for violence like firefighters prepare for fires,” Grossman declared.
While many observers have noted a tendency among American youth to be hypnotized by mindless, violent video games, Grossman finds this trend worrisome and deplorable. “There is a generation of vicious, vicious killers out there,” he told his audience. “The video games are their trainers. They’ve been playing Grand Theft Auto every spare moment since they were six years old.”
With the fervor of a traveling country preacher, Grossman railed against youthful gang members who have begun murdering cops in recent years for no apparent reason. “The gangs have declared war on our cops,” announced Grossman, whose talk was long on emotion, and short on supportive evidence and detailed reasoning.
His views were no more subtle when he turned his sights to the international scene. A dozen years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the energetic and charismatic speaker sees life-threatening threats emanating from Pakistan, Russia, North Korea and Iran. What will the next 9/11 look like, he wondered aloud, before answering his own rhetorical question: “We’re going to get nuked.”
He said our society has been asleep at the switch, and has not taken the domestic and international threats of violence seriously enough. “We’re going to get nuked,” Grossman repeated, “and when it happens, it will change our world.”
In his view, apocalyptic events are drawing near. “When the last U.S. troops leave Afghanistan,” he warned, “all hell will break out.”
Grossman was not optimistic about America’s chances to reason with our most vicious international adversaries. “We cannot deter these people,” he declared. “All we can do is track them down and kill them.”