Yet another mass murder by a deranged gunman. The tragedy in Sandy Hook, Connecticut has rekindled the debate about how to prevent tragedies of this type from occurring again. There is no doubt that we all want to do something to stop this type of violence. Unfortunately, the simple minded view being espoused by many of the talking heads in the media is to control guns. Gun control is being positioned as the “obvious solution” despite the fact that there is no evidence that restricting private ownership of firearms has ever been effective in controlling violence. There is in fact evidence to the contrary.
As a survivalist, I have no intention of ever turning my guns in. However, I think there are effective answers that we may all agree on.
Improved access to adequate mental health services is certainly part of that answer. I am pleased to see this becoming part of the national dialogue.
However, there is one aspect of the solution that is conspicuously absent. That “piece of the puzzle” is about the types of video games that young children are allowed to play. In his book “On Killing”, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, a former U.S. Army Ranger and Professor of Psychology at West Point, discusses how military organizations train their soldiers how to overcome their natural human resistance to killing another human being. The techniques used have proven remarkably effective in modern warfare. Grossman goes on to outline how certain types of video games closely mirror the techniques used by armies to train their soldiers to kill. He makes a compelling case that children that play violent video games, particularly those which use a weapon shaped game controller, systematically breaks down an individuals natural reluctance to kill. This is an important factor that drives the “culture of violence” that plagues our country and leads to this type of meaningless violence.
Understanding the psychology of killing is something that every survivalist should grasp. There may be times in the future when we must kill and it will be just to do so. However, killing should never be a game. I hope it will make you look at the type of games that you allow your children and grandchildren play. In addition, I hope that after you have informed yourself, you can help make this part of the national dialogue.