The Dave Grossman Debate
He is very popular with police and
He is a very likeable guy.
But, are there problems with his
And, are some of his stated opinions
actually detrimental to the law enforcement community?
READ & DECIDE!
August 11, 2001
The following is a detailed analysis of
ideas that were exchanged between Lt
Col. Dave Grossman, and
Tom Aveni between August 8th and 11th, 2001. The questions and comments
raised were pertinent to Grossman's stated positions, from various sources,
though many were derived from his 4-hour presentation at the Southern Police
Institute's Annual Alumni Conference, in Palm Beach Gardens, July 27, 2001.
NYPD: What I said was: "John Farnam recently released data reworking the
NYPD data. After you factor out the suicides and accidental discharges, the
average number of rounds fired from the average revolved was 6 shots." My point
was the same as yours: Training is the problem. John Farnam is (for my money)
one of the greatest minds working in the field. I might have misunderstood him,
or he might be mistaken. Certainly I would encourage you to follow up on the
matter with him. I would politely and respectfully ask you to consider the
possibility that you might be mistaken in this matter.
I have had numerous
contacts with John over a 23-year span. I have immense respect for all that he's
That's NOT what John Farnam said!!!!!
I spoke with John Farnam
(most recently on 09/10/02), and he states that he never took such a position
regarding the number of shots fired by police. He stated that his view is that
police are firing far FEWER shots than many had anticipated we'd see. In fact,
he sent me his position on this issue, along with permission to post it. You
can view John Farnam's TRUE views here:
Now, from my vantage
You say that the
average that I used (2.7 shots fired, per gunfight, per revolver-equipped
officer) was flawed since it included "accidental discharges," "suicides" and
"shots fired at dogs."
NOT SO DAVE!
You need only scrutinize
data set to exclude the shots fired in incidents other than gunfights. John
Farnam makes this distinction also.
Having said that, let me
provide you with GUNFIGHT statistics that I've archived over the years. You
probably won't find this data online, except for our website. NYPD SOP9 is now
semi-privileged data. They only provide it upon official request, to people with
The Early Years:
NYPD SOP9 (data not
broken down to number of shots fired per incident, or by MOS) Though there is no
data referencing how many shots they fired that year. It does contain this
"The SOP 9 study reveals that the
average number of shots fired by individual officers in an armed
confrontation is between two and three rounds, less than half the
capacity of the service revolver. The two to three rounds per
incident has remained constant over the years covered by the report.
It also substantiates an earlier study by the L.A.P.D. (1967) which
found that 2.6 rounds per encounter were discharged."
The later years I am providing below begin to show
gradual increases in the number of rounds fired, per officer, per gunfight. Why?
During this time-frame, we begin to see the manifestation of newly incorporated
conditioning. So-called "double-taps," "vertical tracking." and "fire until your
foe falls" became thoroughly ingrained in firearms training in the 1990's.
Therefore, I would submit to you that a paradigm shift in handgun training has
more to do with slight increases in the numbers of shots fired (per officer
armed with even a revolver) than with what you describe as "panic."
Panic COULD be a thread influencing the
number of shots fired, but there is no definitive data to illustrate to what
extent this issue influences firing behavior among individual police officers .
But to reiterate, the average number of shots
fired is still way below that which you claim to be true. Are you beginning to
get the picture? If not, please look at the table below:
NYPD GUNFIGHT STATISTICS
NYPD SHOTS FIRED PER GUNFIGHT
NYPD SHOTS FIRED PER OFFICER
The above time frame
encompasses a period in which NYPD had gradually transitioned from revolver to
pistol. By 1995, most officers were carrying issued pistols. As you can see, the
statistical average of 5.2 shots per officer shows a surprising degree of
consistency throughout this period of handgun training upheaval.
If you'd like to compare
revolver vs. pistol shots-fired data, during this same time frame, you should
this article from the Portland "Oregonian" newspaper. It is (to this
day) one of the most illuminating articles regarding the pistol vs. revolver,
shots-fired vs. hit ratio, etc. investigative reports that I've ever seen. Here
is one pertinent item from that article:
"There appears to
be a relationship between the amount of ammunition a weapon holds and a
tendency to shoot more. Twelve officers firing six-shot revolvers
fired an average of 2.6 times each. Nineteen officers using
semiautomatic pistols with capacities ranging from eight to 18 rounds
shot an average of 4.6 times apiece."
All-in-all, the facts
clearly suggest that shots
fired per MOS haven't come anywhere near the characterization that you made,
that they are, "firing their magazines empty in a panic mode."
Now, combine the above dangerous
rhetoric with this Dave Grossman quote, from "Trained
and law enforcement community have made killing a conditioned
saying that all police officers kill as a matter of "conditioned response"
Do you understand what you are implying
here? Do you realize how inaccurate and inflammatory this is?
IS NOT merely innocuously inaccurate.
imply that deadly force is routinely employed in a manner that is the product of
a conditioned response. The troubling implication is that police don't use
professional judgment on a case-by-case basis..... they merely pull triggers as
a matter of conditioning!
In that light,
you may wish to not only reconsider your "data," but your publicly espoused
conclusion (from such questionable data) as well. You are doing law
enforcement no favor by voicing erroneous and potentially divisive opinions.
SWAT Team Weapon: The FBI HRT does use the Les Baer .45. The FBI's
regional SWAT teams use the Springfield Armory .45. Single stack, M-1911.
I have taught at the FBI Academy on several occasions, and had the privilege of
presenting to personnel from their HRT and Behavioral Sciences Unit. The HRT
people gave me a tour of their facilities and equipment, including a chance to
check out the Les Baer and the Springfields. I would politely and respectfully
ask you to consider the possibility that you might be mistaken in this matter.
Let's get this straight
Your premise, as openly
espoused in your SPI presentation, was that:
"FBI SWAT uses a
single-stack .45 so that they have to reload before they can fire double-digit
numbers of rounds."
Dave, are you
misinterpreting something here? Do you really believe that is the reason why a
mere handful of agents went to a single-stack gun? Additionally, since FBI HRT
(the Bureau's best trained people, who are issued Les Baer double-stack .45's)
and special agents assigned to the field (their least-trained personnel, issued
mostly double-stack Glock 22/23's and double-stack SIG P226's) are generally
issued high-capacity handguns, what does that do to your thesis?
It emasculates it, of
Remember, it was the 1986
FBI Miami-Dade gunfight debacle that persuaded the Bureau that low capacity
handguns were often one component of being on the losing side of a
gunfight. That isn't the only reason why they had their tails handed to them,
but it did compel them to adopt pistols, the vast majority of which are now
Please, do everyone in law
enforcement a favor; quit demonizing high-capacity handguns, especially in the
presence of a large audience of Chiefs and Sheriffs, as were present at the SPI
conference. Although your observations have no factual basis (as I clearly
illustrated above), most police administrators don't know your sources and
conclusions are flawed. They could therefore easily buy into this
Medical Technology: The American Medical Association says that, if you
arrive in the hospital emergency room alive, the probability that you will die
from a trauma wound today is half what it was just 10 years ago. I
presented this information in a paper to the annual convention of the AMA.
Although the steady progress in trauma work is not well know to the general
public, the point was not at all controversial to them. I would politely and
respectfully ask you to consider the possibility that you might be mistaken in
Our staff MD,
Czarnecki, couldn't find anything to support your claim about the
reduction in trauma-related fatalities. Interestingly, Fabrice is an emergency
room physician, and a TAC-MED specialist. One would suspect that any major
advance in trauma medicine would be known to him.
You can view Dr.
Even if your data were
found, and corroborated.......
....................... IT IS ABSOLUTELY MEANINGLESS!
It does absolutely nothing
to support your assertion that there are currently more assaults and shootings,
and that only through the efforts of modern medical science, saving more lives,
do we have murder rates going down.
The fact is, gunshot
wounds have declined, and declined sharply. That probably throws a monkey-wrench
into your marketing strategy. Do I have the facts to prove it? You bet. Merely
check out these links:
Report: Gunshot wounds fell almost 40 percent during mid-1990s
And while we're on the
crimes have increased from 1960-2000. However, talking about dramatic
increases in property crimes won't sell your books, will it?
However, the data suggests
that the 1998
murder aggregate is roughly equal to the 1970 murder aggregate,
which is quite amazing when one considers the
increase in population from 1970 to 2000, as well as the dramatic shift
in demographics in this period. Indeed, looking at the bottom of that linked
page reveals that the murder rate (per 100,000 population) peaked in 1980 at
10.2, but has fallen to 6.3 per 100,000 by 1998. Here are some other recent
headline to further illustrate my point:
U.S. Crime Rate Holds
at 30-Year Low
Murder Rate Hits 40-Year Low
And so, what is Dave
Grossman's last line of defense (as presented at the SPI conference)?
"We shouldn't be using
the decline of murders as an accurate barometer of where we are. We should
be using aggravated assault rates, which would include everyone seriously
assaulted yet possibly saved by medical advancements."
OK Dave, let's look at
The aggravated assault
aggregate in 1998 (974,402) is roughly equal to that of 1989 (951,710).
In 1989, the ratio of aggravated assaults
(per 100,000) was 384.4, while in 1998 it was 360.5.
Yes, the ratio peaked in 1991 (441.8). but
it's clearly time to update your "data" Mr. Grossman, as well as your marketing
For an interesting update to this
argument, you should view this article:
Violent Crime Rate Falls To Record-Low Level
Now, having disassembled your flimsy
thesis, am I suggesting that America is safer than it was in 1960?
Of course not.
Am I suggesting that America won't see an
up-tick in violent crime if we plunge into another recession?
Of course not.
I'm merely suggesting that what you
present is self-serving, and very misleading.
In the future, you might wish to
consult with a reputable criminologist before you stake your reputation on
misunderstood statistical data, and the absolutely bizarre causal
theories you then derive from them.
Firing Rates: I would be very interested to know what WWII soldiers did use
humanoid targets. I am sure there must have been some (although I think we both
agree that the number is comparatively small) but I have not been able to find
this info. Your knowledge in this area would be very valuable to me.
you served in the Army for over twenty years, and you freely boast about having
taught at West Point, yet you never came across evidence of the Army using
humanoid targets going into WWII? You've made so many wild assertions based on
this issue that one would have thought that you'd researched it to some degree.
retrieved and digitized just a few minutes of a U.S. Army, WWII training film (War
Department Film Bulletin, F.B. 152). I attempted to upload a larger clip
from this film, but the server hosting this site repeatedly rejected the size of
the file. If you wish a full version of this film, I'd be more than glad to send
it your way.
I have also digitized snippets from a
segment of "Tales Of The Gun: U.S. Guns of World War II." As with the
above War Department film, I had to abbreviate these enough to upload them.
However, nothing is taken out of context. You can purchase this video
directly from the History Channel's website, as I did.
In addition, your
interpretation of SLA Marshall's studies, pertinent to soldier firing rates, is
in serious need of re-evaluation!
What did SLA Marshall
actually suggest in his writings?
And, was SLA Marshall's work reliable enough for
Grossman to have based his book "On Killing" upon?
the differences in the nature of fighting in RVN, you are quite correct.
However, in the Falklands, the Brits, trained in the new style, were getting a
95% firing rate, while the Argentines, trained in the old style were firing at
approximately 20%. (I am a graduate of the British Staff College, where this
matter is addressed extensively.) We can see this in many other wars. I wrote
three encyclopedia entries and the entry in the Oxford Companion to American
Military History on this topic, all peer reviewed at the highest levels by some
of the world's most distinguished academics. I would politely and respectfully
ask you to consider the possibility that you might be mistaken in this matter.
I'm a bit confused here
Dave. When you admit;
to the differences in the nature of fighting in RVN, you are quite correct,"
implicitly admit to the fallacy (of your stated position) regarding Vietnam-era
soldiers having a higher firing rate as a matter of what target medium they
trained upon. You have proven no causal linkage here.
Since I contested only
your comparison between Vietnam and WWII (which is the only comparison you made
at the SPI Conference), I won't submit anything further. I have no detailed
knowledge of firing rates in the Falkland War, nor have I seen anything
published in this area. However, judging by the multitude of
mischaracterizations made regarding the firing-rate propensities of soldiers in
Vietnam and WWII, I would approach any such Falkland "data" with justified
The issue I raised about
Vietnam, regarding whether visible ethnic differences might contribute to a
higher firing rate, might also be a factor worth considering in the Falklands.
The Argentine troops, as I
recollect, were cold, wet, hungry and demoralized by the time the British landed
(in force) to retake the island. Troops in such condition seldom fight very
well, or very cohesively. On the other hand, the British landed on the island,
fresh, motivated, and with very high morale.
Interestingly, this is
corroborated by SLA Marshall himself.
More importantly, the British
have, from an historical perspective, never demonstrated much hesitation to
shoot what they've perceived as, "heathens," "rabble," "whirling dervishes,"
etc. who had the audacity to resist the Crown. This mindset has little to do
with what target medium they trained upon, and long predates the influence of
movies and video games.
You do allude to
some of this in Section VII, Chapter 1 of your book ("Desensitization and
Conditioning in Vietnam") although I believe soldiers are less reluctant to
shoot people from a vastly different ethnic and cultural background. Aside from
the obvious reasons that might cause a soldier to hesitate to shoot someone who
looks very much like himself, there are other practical reasons why soldiers in
Korea and Vietnam may have fired with greater frequency than they did in WWII.
committed very few atrocities against Allied soldiers in WWII. Soldiers and
marines facing the Japanese (WWII), Chinese/North Korean forces, and VC- NVA
forces, understood with great clarity that cruelty, starvation, torture and
possibly death awaited them if captured by OPFOR.
There is no
greater motivation for a soldier to fight than knowing the inhumanity of his
enemy, and how his enemy might treat him if he were captured.
considered that? You loosely skirt this issue in your book when you reference
demonizing one's enemy, but oddly don't mention how an enemy might demonize
himself (in our eyes) through his treatment of POWs and non-combatants.
One would be wise to
consider whether soldier firing rates, for which there still remains a paucity
of hard data, have much more complex underpinnings than merely which target
medium they trained upon. I would love to see someone compile truly exhaustive
firing data that contrasted the firing rates of soldiers from countries with
Judeo-Christian value systems, against the firing rates of soldiers from
atheistic or agnostic countries.
Heart Variability: What I said was: "For the average person,
around xxxx BPM, xxx begins to happen. This data is taken straight
out of Bruce Siddle's material, which we presented in an encyclopedia entry that
we co-authored. I would politely and respectfully ask you to consider the
possibility that you might be mistaken in this matter.
I am not a physiologist.
Nor am I a licensed psychologist. Even though I have more formal
education in the field of clinical psychology than you do, I fully recognize my
limitations in this field. However. most of the body of empirical evidence that
we have in this field is inconclusive at best.
Video Games: Just firing at flat, e-type silhouettes was a significant
step forward from bullseye targets in WWII. The humanoid targets in Doom are
certainly a significant step forward in putting military quality enabling in the
hands of children. I would encourage you to go to the local video arcade and
play some other games besides Doom. The realism of the (human) opponents gets
ever greater. In July, 2000, the AMA, the APA, the American Academy of
Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry made a
joint statement to a bipartisan, bicameral Congressional conference. This is
the national representatives of all of our doctors, pediatricians,
psychologists, and child psychiatrists making a statement to our Congress. What
they said was: media violence causes violence in children, and "the negative
impact of interactive electronic media [violent video games] may be
significantly more severe than that wrought by television, movies or music." I
would politely and respectfully ask you to consider the possibility that the
medical community would disagree with you on this matter.
For the record, I have
been playing numerous video games for 12 years now,
as does a huge segment of the U.S.
population. Your characterization of these games is far too broad. I
used the Klebold-Harris-Doom example simply because pseudo-social scientists
have seized upon this linkage as an alleged "smoking-gun."
Within this arena, It
would seem that you've sparked an interesting intellectual offering in Salon
Games don't kill people -- do they? This was insightful reading.
There is yet another
article that questions the validity of so-called "studies" pertinent to whether
video games have nearly the influence upon adolescent behavior that you claim
they have. You might wish to read, "The
shooters and the shrinks,"
which is an article that seems to specifically target your thesis. It would
seem as though there is an abundance of qualified people who don't buy
But, wait-a-minute Dave!
It Looks Like You Got
Smoked In This Case!
Judge Dismisses Lawsuit in Columbine Case
Regarding media influence, there is
also this revelation, released by the "Center
for the Study and Prevention of Violence," which released the results of
"A two-year study was conducted by
the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence and commissioned by
Mediascope, Inc., a nonprofit public policy organization. The study
revealed that during a 21 year period from 1972-1992, the depiction of
weapons in newspaper movie advertisements were portrayed less frequently
than ever before, despite public belief that movies are more violent
today." (emphasis is mine)
Dave, in case you missed this article, you
may wish to look at what a school-shooter is saying, five years after his school
shooting rampage in Kentucky.
Years Later, Kentucky School Shooter Still Can't Explain Crimes
'One thing that did not
influence him, he said, is video games or violent movies.'
'The families of the slain girls filed a $33 million lawsuit blaming
entertainment companies for the shootings. Last month, a federal appeals
court panel unanimously affirmed the dismissal of the case, saying the
companies couldn't have known that somebody would commit such a crime
after viewing their products.'
'Carneal said the video games he played were no more violent than the
articles on the front page of a newspaper; he said he only watched a
portion of the movie "The Basketball Diaries," in which a drug addict
dreams of shooting students who had laughed at him when he was paddled
by a teacher.'
"It was just another movie," he said. "It really didn't stick with
(bold emphasis is mine)
Dave, you've gone on record as blaming video games and "the availability of
firearms" as the impetus for school shootings. If you had actually had a
legitimate background in psychology you might have had a different perspective
on the majority of US school shootings. Did you know that 8 out of 13 of the
most recent school shootings - most prominently the Columbine High School shooting in
1999, were committed by teens who had been taking psychiatric drugs? But,
we have to suppose you've found it more profitable and politically palatable to
blame these shootings on video games and the Second Amendment. Right?
Dave, do some literature review in
Gunman Tests Positive for Manic-Inducing Drug,” ABC's Colorado Affiliate
KNBC News 4 reports, 4 May 1999, Goddard's Journal: http://www.erols.com/igoddard/journal.htm,
“Shooting Spurs Debate on Prozac's Use by Kids,” The Oregonian, 1
Robert A. King,
M.D., et al., “Emergence of Self-Destructive Phenomena in Children and
Adolescents during Fluoxetine Treatment,” Journal of the American Academy of
Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 30:2, Mar. 1991.
Fornes P “Suicide among youth and young adults, 15 through 24 years of age.
A report of 392 cases from Paris, 1989-1996,” Journal of Forensic Science,
1998 September: 43(5):964-8; Internet website, http://www.nebi.nlm.nih.gov.
Prescription Drugs Help Trigger Winnetka Shootings?,” The Doctor's People
Medical Newsletter for Consumers, Vol. 1, No. 1; “Experimental drug was used
by child's killer,” Los Angeles Times, 3 Jun. 1988; “Suit against Laurie
Dann's parents to proceed,” UPI Executive News Service, 8 Feb. 1990.
Kills Girl, Wounds 10 at School,” Los Angeles Times, 27 Sept. 1988; “School
shooting probe continues,” The Newton Kansan, 27 Sept. 1988; “Psychiatric
Drugs Create Killer,” Freedom, Nov./Dec. 1988.
Harpster and Kathleen Salamon, “Schoolyard Massacre, 5 Kids Die In Shooting,
Gunman Injures 30 Others, Then Kills Himself,” The Sacramento Union, 18 Jan.
1989; “Chronological Life History of Patrick Edward Purdy,” prepared by
Special Agents Allen Benitez and Phil Lee, Bureau of Investigation,
California, Dept. of Justice, 1989, p. 17.
There is reason to suspect that the pre-existing psychological
condition that prompted medication was the underlying reason for the shooting
rampage - not the medication itself. Video games? Guns in homes? Dave, how badly
have you over-simplified this issue? How many other factors have you
there are many other problems associated with what you espouse Colonel Grossman.
Anyone who takes the time to examine the facts quickly recognizes that the
gun and video game paranoia that you peddle (for cash) is doing society a big disfavor. Why? By
projecting so much distorted focus toward problems that aren't what you make
them out to be, scarce criminal justice resources can easily become allocated
disproportionate to their degree of severity . Ironically, the media that you
frequently malign is just as much as a part of the disinformation campaign as
The latest data released by the U.S.
Surgeon General and National Institute of Health suggest that youth violence has
just dropped to its lowest point in the 25 years it has been chronicled. But,
what do we get from Dave Grossman and the liberal media? Misinformation!
From the study, "Off
Balance: Youth, Race & Crime in the News"
"Despite sharp declines in
youth crime, the public expresses great fear of its own young people.
Although violent crime by youth in 1998 was at its lowest point in
the 25-year history of the National Crime Victimization Survey , 62%
of poll respondents felt that juvenile crime was on the increase. In
the 1998/99 school year, there was less than a one-in-two-million chance
of being killed in a school in America, yet 71% of respondents to an
NBC/Wall Street Journal poll felt that a school shooting was likely in
their community. Despite a 40% decline in school associated violent
deaths between 1998 and 1999 and declines in other areas of youth
violence, respondents to a USA Today poll were 49% more likely to
express fear of their schools in 1999 than in 1998."
Hollywood Pushing "Avenger" Mentality:
You are quite correct that
Hollywood is teaching disrespect for authority. Michael Medved, one of our
nation's most respected commentators, has written extensively on how Hollywood
is also teaching this "avenger" mentality. There have always been some old
movies that lived on the edge, but the old Hollywood code limited them
significantly. The number and degree of movies that undermine authority and
make a hero out of the criminal (something that was forbidden by the "code" that
Hollywood lived by up until the early 1960s) has increased dramatically. What I
said was, "Starting in the late 1960s with movies like "Dirty Harry" and Charles
Bronson in the "Death Wish" movies, we began to tell ourselves a new story:
"The system is broken, and if I want justice, I have to take the law into my own
hands." Then you mention the "Death Wish" movies to rebut what I said. (?)
Could it be that you were distracted, or were in an area where you had
difficulty hearing all of what I said?
So, your very strong conclusions in this topical area are based upon what
Michael Medved says?
Michael Medved is a
stand-up guy, no doubt. However, his qualifications as a social scientist
ARE a bit in doubt. His book, "Hollywood Vs. America" is a
beneficial contribution in the cultural debate that consumes people like you and
However, Medved goes far
beyond indicting Hollywood for pushing the "avenger" mentality. In fact, that
issue is a mere footnote within a much broader context of his allegations. To
take but one thread (the "avenger" thread) from his thesis would be shallow (in
the least), if not disingenuous.
In fact, a
mere glance at the outline of this text illustrates the broad, sweeping nature
of his invective against the Hollywood establishment.
"Hollywood Vs. America":
Part I: The Poison
A Sickness in
A Bias for the
Part II: The Attack
Part III: The
Assault on the Family
Kids Know Best
Part IV: The
Glorification of Ugliness
Part V: An
Hmmm..... the "avenger"
issue doesn't seem to get very high billing in his book index, does it? Where is
But, before you
take everything that Medved says to the bank, you should examine more closely
some of his admitted errors in
judgment. His admitted affection for Hillary Clinton, and his past
service to California Democratic Congressman Ron Dellums (a politician that
Medved himself describes as a "Stalinist") might make many among us wince at his
past political naiveté.
In addition, he
makes some sweeping generalizations that are patently absurd, and that I take
In his text, he
writes that there are people who,
to see heads blown up and limbs chopped off. That exists in America.
That audience is composed primarily of drooling, sub-literate,
hormone-addled, violence-prone, adolescent boys. And you know who you
Does that mean that if I
enjoyed watching the graphic violence portrayed in "Saving Private Ryan,"
Braveheart," "Gladiator," and a host of other such movies, that I fall into any
or all of his descriptive categories?
If so, who on earth is
going to fight America's wars? Guys like Michael Medved?
I don't think so!
If inclined, take a look at an
alternative cultural perspective about changes in America.
Where Are All The Guns?
Atrocities. As to your question about, "the class-inspired slaughters in
Cambodia, China, Haiti, etc." I spend a whole chapter in my book addressing the
dynamics that enable mass murders and atrocities throughout history. My book
was nominated for a Pulitzer, is being used as required reading at West Point,
the US Air Force Academy, the Police Corps program nationwide, "peace studies"
programs in Mennonite and Quaker Colleges, and in Berkley. This is just a
few of the hundreds of military, law enforcement, and academic institutions
where the book is being used as required reading in classes. I would hope that
you can agree that this large and diverse body of individuals would disagree
with you on this matter.
Don't let your inflated ego further cloud
your judgment Dave.
Firstly, that "whole chapter" that you claim to devote (in your book, "On
Killing") to the "dynamics" of mass murders and atrocities is an anecdotal "air
biscuit." There is absolutely no data anywhere to be found in Section V,
Chapters 1-5, which I presume that you are alluding to. There is nothing
anywhere between these pages that even remotely approaches empirical research.
It's story-telling, nothing more, nothing less. And, there is even an apparent
paucity of stories to tell on this issue, judging by how little one finds here.
my assertion still stands, that bloody, ritualistic killing is much more
prevalent in countries where Hollywood and video games are MIA. I would also
assert that the most notable thread common to all of the preeminent violent
cultures is their lack of faith in God.
your book was nominated for a Pulitzer. <yawn>
know how many people have actually received Pulitzers based on fraudulent
writing or with fraudulent credentials? Take a look here for a few examples that
I quickly came up with.
Nomination for a Pulitzer does NOT
serve as validation for anything you've said!
Some might argue that a Pulitzer
nomination is merely grounds for heightened suspicion!
Your credibility should
stand apart from any Pulitzer nomination!
Wait a minute Dave, you're actually
boasting that your book is, "required reading with .....'peace studies' programs in Mennonite and Quaker
Colleges, and in Berkley."
get this straight. You take pride in being snuggled-up to by the Mennonite and
Quaker folks who've advocated ducking out of every war we've fought in recent
generations? And, my God, you gloat over having the folks in "Berzerkley" in
your philosophical corner?
Dave, what do you do for an encore, seek thesis validation from Jane Fonda?
OK, so your book is
required reading at West Point and the Air Force Academy, as well as with the
UN-inspired Police Corps? Unfortunately, given the globalist political drift
(toward peace-keeping and "nation-building") of the upper echelons of the U.S.
military, I'm not surprised.
As the facts illustrate unequivocally,
your book ("On Killing") is pure, unadulterated garbage. Many of the
bizarre endorsements you offer as forms of validation only attract added
Other questions you
may wish to resolve:
'Grossman pulls out a .22-caliber
pistol. This, he tells me, is the same model that fourteen- year-old Michael Carneal stole from his neighbor's house in Paducah, Kentucky, on December 1,
1997. Carneal took the gun to a high-school prayer meeting and opened fire
on the group.'
"He fired eight
shots and got eight hits on eight different kids. He killed three and
paralyzed one for life," Grossman notes grimly in his slight Arkansas
accent. It was an astonishing piece of marksmanship-a hit ratio
that many highly trained police officers can't achieve. Last year, for
example, four experienced New York City cops shot at unarmed Amadou Diallo,
firing forty-one bullets from barely fifteen feet away; fewer than half hit
QUESTION #1: Mr. Grossman, are you
comparing the hit probability of a kid, armed with a .22 caliber pistol,
who is calmly shooting unarmed
victims, with officers who are likely shooting
within the influence of a limbic system reaction?
Are These Grossman Quotes In Conflict?
Grossman ..... also claims
kids' access to guns hasn't increased, so guns can't solely be responsible
for the rise in shootings. "I grew up with a twelve-gauge shotgun in my
bedroom," he notes. (http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a3884cc38373a.htm)
"It sounds like a Second
Amendment issue to me, and as such these things (video games) should be
regulated just like guns," Grossman says. "Anybody who
gives a child a gun is a criminal. Anybody who gives unrestricted access to
these devices are criminals."
Comment: OK, so which is it Dave? Your parents gave you
"unrestricted access" to a 12 gauge shotgun (at least, that's what we infer from
it being in your bedroom), does that make YOUR parents "criminals"?
Judging by the quote below, are you suggesting that we be "weaned" away from the
"We are trapped in this
spiral of self-dependence and lack of trust. Real progress will never be
made until we reduce this level of fear. As a historian, I tell you it
will take decades--maybe even a century--before we wean Americans off their
Comment: It sure sounds that way. (So, you're an "historian" too?)
appeal to the ignorant masses who cannot grasp complex problems. You also seem
to offer the ignorant masses absolution from their complicity in societal
Study Says Broken Homes Harm Kids More). Avoiding the most serious
societal problems may have been a marketing decision on your part. One can only
However, your most
egregious sin may well be the shameless, "me-myself-I" marketing of yourself at
every possible opportunity. You can't form a sentence without somehow injecting
"me", "myself" or "I" into its structure. You use questionable "data" from
questionable sources. Upon that foundation, you reach unscientific
conclusions. This is nothing from which anyone should derive an inflated ego.
There is one remaining
issue to address. For God's sake, cease proclaiming that you "TRAIN" police and
military personnel. Do you honestly believe that you are actually training
people? You are a lecturer. More accurately, you are a storyteller. No one
walks away from any exposure to you any better "trained" than when they walked
in the door.
train 50,000 people a year, 10,000 cops every year for the last 3 years."
...is pretty darn silly!
You are probably a great
guy, who sincerely believes in what he proclaims.
I have no personal grudge
against you. I neither envy you nor despise you.
We've never even met.
And, I'd would rather work
with you than against you.
I didn't just stumble into
the field of police/military training yesterday. I expect to have my assertions
challenged by police and military personnel, and have been challenged in the
types of forums that I've trained them in.
You (apparently) have
never had the benefit of that interaction. You walk in a room, do your "hooah"
routine, tell a few USMC jokes (no, I've never been associated with the USMC),
advance some sweeping, untested generalizations, AND LEAVE!
Dave, do yourself and
everyone you touch a favor. Consult with reputable people who have a range
of expertise that might augment your own. Bruce Siddle is one such guy, and
there are many more you should be doing more than merely rubbing elbows with.
Secondly, corroborate your "data." We all make mistakes, but as widely read as
you are, any errors you might make become memorialized for many years to come.
Lastly, the people you
touch deserve much more than untested platitudes. Some of the people you touch
will never live to see the pensions they toil for. Your marketing impulses
should always take a backseat to that reality.
As I said previously, I
mean you no harm. I would hope that you'll one day look back upon our exchanges
as being thought-provoking, and perhaps even beneficial.
You made me dig deeper to
substantiate the remarks I had made previously to you. I did benefit from that.
Will you benefit from anything I've offered you?
Thomas J. Aveni