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Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill : A Call to Action Against TV, Movie and Video Game Violence Hardcover – October 5, 1999

4.2 out of 5 stars 118 customer reviews

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What I Told My Daughter: Lessons from Leaders on Raising the Next Generation of Empowered Women by Nina Tassler
What I Told My Daughter
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Editorial Reviews

Review

The goal of this book is to make people aware of what the prolific use of violence in television, movies, and video games is doing to our children. Teaching Our Kids to Kill calls to the table the makers of this violence to address the myriad scientific research on the subject--research that couldn't make it clearer how solid and deadly the link is between this kind of graphic imagery and the escalating incidences of youth violence--and understand and change what they are doing and the dangerous effects their products are having on our children.
Using this book, parents, educators, social service workers, youth advocates, and anyone interested in the welfare of our children will have a solid foundation for effective action. We give you the facts--what's behind the statistics, how to interpret the copious, empirical research that exists on the subject, and the many ways to make a difference in your own home, at school, in your community, in the courts, and in the larger world--so that we all can work together to help end this problem and create a safer environment in which to live. If by doing this we can prevent future Paducahs, Jonesboros, and Littletons, it will be well worth it.

Lt. Col. Dave Grossman
Gloria DeGaetano

From the Inside Flap

There is perhaps no bigger or more important issue in America at present than youth violence. Jonesboro; Paducah; Pearl, Mississippi; Stamps, Arkansas; Conyers, Georgia; and, of course, Littleton, Colorado. We know them all too well, and for all the wrong reasons: kids, some as young as eleven years old, taking up arms and, with deadly, frightening accuracy, murdering anyone in their paths. What is going on? According to the authors of Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill, there is blame to be laid right at the feet of the makers of violent video games (called "murder trainers" by one expert), the TV networks, and the Hollywood movie studios--the people responsible for the fact that children witness literally thousands of violent images a day.

Authors Lt. Col. Dave Grossman and Gloria DeGaetano offer incontrovertible evidence, much of it based on recent major scientific studies and empirical research, that movies, TV, and video games are not just conditioning children to be violent--and unaware of the consequences of that violence--but are teaching the very mechanics of killing. Their book is a much-needed call to action for every parent, teacher, and citizen to help our children and stop the wave of killing and violence gripping America's youth. And, most important, it is a blueprint for us all on how that can be achieved.

In Paducah, Kentucky, Michael Carneal, a fourteen-year-old boy who stole a gun from a neighbor's house, brought it to school and fired eight shots at a student prayer group as they were breaking up. Prior to this event, he had never shot a real gun before. Of the eight shots he fired, he had eight hits on eight different kids. Five were head shots, the other three upper torso. The result was three dead, one paralyzed for life. The FBI says that the average, experienced, qualified law enforcement officer, in the average shootout, at an average range of seven yards, hits with less than one bullet in five. How does a child acquire such killing ability? What would lead him to go out and commit such a horrific act?
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; 1 edition (October 5, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609606131
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609606131
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #698,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I've most of Col. Grossman's books. Have attended a speaking engagement with him as a speaker. And I've read with interest the 'few' detractors listed in the 'Review' section of all his writings. We've had in Ct a most terrible incident in which firearms were used (and of course 'blamed for') in the killing of many. Slowly the background of the shooter is being fleshed out and 'violent games' are a big part of that history. BUT surely the vehement detractors of Col. Grossman will again come to the defense of violent games and TV shows and protest any linking. They will use, some of them, excellent writing skills and prose to detract from the glaring facts of this books supposition... "some kids simply do not have the mental abilities to separate fact from fancy, real life from game playing and they lose any sense of compassion and human caring." To the detractors who attempt to undermine the data by saying 'there are no references to them', that 'why aren't there more killings' or that 'he just makes money off this foolishness' one could point out that few authors list all their interviews, not every person or child is effected by "anything" in the same manner and that all authors hope to make a living writing but some also hope to provide valuable information.

Too frequently in the wake of such crimes against society we see, in the criminal investigations following, that the suspect did play violent video games and was also withdrawn, isolated and 'strange.' Time and time again these descriptions are used to characterize the killers and yet a percentage of people still deny any connections. Of course people who own firearms are also reluctant to see links between 'guns and kids' but the access to guns vs.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I know the entertainment business does not what to read what is contained in this book. I know most politicians want to blame the instrument of violence rather than the perpetrator of the violence. I know it is politically incorrect to accept the conclusions Lr. Col. Grossman presents in his book. For all those reasons I highly recommend every parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, relative, friend and acquaintance of every child read this book and pass the information, if not the book, along for others to benefit from. It might just same a life or several lives someday. Well written. Extremely well documented. Well presented.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This guy knows his stuff. He is a trainer and has written extensively about how violence effects adults as well as kids. Pay attention to what he is saying, especially in the context of our current cultural issues.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent study digging into our violent society. Even though this book is written by authors who would be considered "pro-gun", the book is balanced and both praises and condemns both sides of the issue. The most important item covered is that it isn't the gun, it is our reactions to situations and what causes these reactions to vary by individuals.
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Format: Hardcover
Point: Media violence is contributing to a growing disconnect between violence and its consequences.

Path: Grossman, an expert on military training and former Army Ranger, and Degaetano, an educator, explain statistics, backgrounds, and studies concerning the effect of media violence on children. The demonstrate that media violence contributes to increasing aggression, desensitization, and increased fear. The last third of the book is dedicated to resources and action plans for concerned people.

Sources: Much of what these two present is based on statistics following major slayings in Jonesboro, Paducah, Pearl, Stamps, Conyers, and Littleton. Through a phycological grid they evaluate and explain why they believe these acts were possible.

Agreement: The information is frightening and distressing. The reality is that we are being desensitized to the reality of violence through what we willing allow in our homes.

Disagreement: One of their foundational beliefs is that children are basically good, and the environment makes them bad (10). I would not employ many of their parenting techniques. They encourage parents to help their children "feel powerful" without falling to a pseudo-power offered through the media. Children don't "need" to feel powerful.

Personal App: This was a frightening, but valuable look at some of the evidence around media violence. It has only gotten much worse in the past 12 years since the book was published. I must be careful about what I allow into my mind. Whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable. If there is any excellence, anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is a must-read book for parents and educators who desire to fully understand what motivates children and how to help them be their best selves. The scourge of violent video games is coming to bear in this country, and this excellent book identifies the issues and provides rational argument and clear solutions to this deadly problem. It is clearly and concisely written, strong in its arguments and wise in its rationale. Gloria DeGaetano is a recognized and celebrated teacher and mentor of parent coaches, parents and educators, and her expertise is showcased brilliantly along with Col Grossman's extensive experience and focus. I would highly recommend that all parents and teachers read and utilize this book.
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