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Author Topic: The Dave Grossman thread  (Read 1822 times)
fistful
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« on: December 20, 2010, 09:32:52 PM »

What are your thoughts on Lt. Col. Dave Grossman?  What are his positive contributions to the study of lethal force, and training of "warriors"? Where does he screw up?

I have been listening to his Bullet Proof Mind lecture on CD, and find it very interesting. I deeply respect what he is trying to do, and wish him well. Then again, at least on stage, he tends to oversell some of his points. I would imagine he is more balanced in print.
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« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2010, 09:53:25 PM »

I've read his On Killing a couple of times and found that he had to, by virtue of the topic, speak in generalities.  The failing(s) was that his only exception - that I can recall at this hour - was for the psychopath.  In other words, if someone did not fit his category du chapter they were lumped and dumped inro the bin marked "psychopath".

Additionally, if I hear, or read, or get referred to his essay on sheepdogs one more time I am going to chew through the restraints and go out and hurt someone.  Yeah, some of the folks who become cops are "sheepdogs" as opposed to "wolves" or "sheep", but there is a whole tribe of folks out there who do not give a darn about the flock.  They may not even be the alpha of their extremely small pack, but that group is the limit of their circle of concern.  Grossman and almost everybody else seems to have totally ignored them.

What I'd like to read is Grossman updating himself on the post-Obama military and police/firefighter/EMS folks.  Ihace a strong suspicion there are some rather different motivations at play.

stay safe.
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If cowardly and dishonorable men sometimes shoot unarmed men with army pistols or guns, the evil must be prevented by the penitentiary and gallows, and not by a general deprivation of a constitutional privilege.

Hey you kids!! Get off my lawn!!!

They keep making this eternal vigilance thing harder and harder.  Protecting the 2nd amendment is like playing PACMAN - there's no pause button so you can go to the bathroom.
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« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2010, 02:47:22 PM »

I've read On Combat.  I really did not have a problem with the majority of the work, but his thoughts on video games and culture in the US bothered me somewhat.
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« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2010, 05:46:24 PM »

I've read On Combat.  I really did not have a problem with the majority of the work, but his thoughts on video games and culture in the US bothered me somewhat.

Operant conditioning is operant conditioning.  Get kids used to pulling the trigger and seeing simulated gore and they will do it for real.  Even the .mil understood that.

My problem is how far he extends the effects of video games.  Even the .mil had to help out the gangbanger wannabes who were extra-uber operators on Grand Theft Torino or whatever the name is.  And when those gamers got into real combat and found out it is "different" than the TV screen they needed a bit of help.

As I said, my problem is his thesis is too much all or nothing.

stay safe.
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If cowardly and dishonorable men sometimes shoot unarmed men with army pistols or guns, the evil must be prevented by the penitentiary and gallows, and not by a general deprivation of a constitutional privilege.

Hey you kids!! Get off my lawn!!!

They keep making this eternal vigilance thing harder and harder.  Protecting the 2nd amendment is like playing PACMAN - there's no pause button so you can go to the bathroom.
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« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2010, 06:06:04 PM »

Me too. I don't doubt that video games can have bad consequences, FOR SOME KIDS. But one could even accuse common Sunday School stories of desensitizing kids to violence. (David bashed in a guy's head with a rock - killed him. Then he cut off his head and took it with him.) The point being, all cultures have their violent stories and fantasies for a juvenile audience. Video games no doubt have a more powerful effect. But I think Grossman oversells it. Also, I have had a personal experience in teaching a video game junky how to shoot a real-life pistol. He had a hard time getting on the paper.

I have more of a problem with the conclusions he draws from the Gettysburg weapons. He says that vast numbers of guns were found dropped on the ground at Gettysburg, with multiple loads in the barrels. I don't think a reluctance to pull the trigger on the enemy can be considered as anywhere near the top tier of explanations for this. A much more likely explanation is that the guns weren't loaded correctly, or the powder was wet, or just defective, or some other hardware issue.
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« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2010, 09:35:47 PM »

A
Quote
much more likely explanation is that the guns weren't loaded correctly, or the powder was wet, or just defective, or some other hardware issue.


Gotta disagree with you on that one.

From reports from other armies of the period using massed ranks and muzzle-loaded firearms, many of the cannon fodder stood there like a rock, and followed the commands regarding reloading and presenting, but were so traumatized by the thunder and smoke of volley fire that they just did not pull the trigger.  Apparently, at least according to the Brits and Germans serving as advisors to the world, it had much to do with the fact that the cannon fodder had little/no experience with being aggressive.  In other words, never having gotten into a fight before they had no concept of wanting/trying to hurt someone.  Yes, they could shoot paper targets all day long, but were actually worried that they might injure a real person.

One of the better anecdotal records is from the 54th Massachusetts, the famed Negro brigade of the movie "Glory".  The recruits, once they overcame their initial reaction to the noise and smoke were yoemen marksmen but had a great deal of difficulty overcoming the (supposedly ingrained) fear/reluctance of harming a white man.  Some of the Irish senior NCOs helped resolve that situation, but a a certain cost that followed the careers of those who stayed in the service after the war.

stay safe.
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If cowardly and dishonorable men sometimes shoot unarmed men with army pistols or guns, the evil must be prevented by the penitentiary and gallows, and not by a general deprivation of a constitutional privilege.

Hey you kids!! Get off my lawn!!!

They keep making this eternal vigilance thing harder and harder.  Protecting the 2nd amendment is like playing PACMAN - there's no pause button so you can go to the bathroom.
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