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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

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Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill : A Call to Action Against TV, Movie and Video Game Violence + On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society + On Combat, The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace
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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 (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #369,769 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


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?

More About the Author

LT. COL. DAVE GROSSMAN, U.S. Army (Ret.) Director, Warrior Science Group, Member, American Board for Certification in Homeland Security; Member, American College of Forensic Examiners Institute

Lt. Col. Dave Grossman is an internationally recognized scholar, author, soldier, and speaker who is one of the world's foremost experts in the field of human aggression and the roots of violence and violent crime.

Col. Grossman is a former West Point psychology professor, Professor of Military Science, and an Army Ranger who has combined his experiences to become the founder of a new field of scientific endeavor, which has been termed "killology." In this new field Col. Grossman has made revolutionary new contributions to our understanding of killing in war, the psychological costs of war, the root causes of the current "virus" of violent crime that is raging around the world, and the process of healing the victims of violence, in war and peace.

He is the author of On Killing, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize; has been translated into Japanese, Korean, and German; is on the U.S. Marine Corps Commandant's required reading list; and is required reading at the FBI academy and numerous other academies and colleges. Col. Grossman co-authored Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill: A Call to Action Against TV, Movie and Video Game Violence, which has been translated into Norwegian and German, and has received international acclaim. Col. Grossman's most recent book, On Combat, has also placed on the U.S. Marine Corps Commandant's Required Reading List and has been translated into Japanese and Korean.

Col. Grossman has been called upon to write the entry on "Aggression and Violence" in the Oxford Companion to American Military History, three entries in the Academic Press Encyclopedia of Violence and numerous entries in scholarly journals, to include the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy.

He has presented papers before the national conventions of the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

He has presented to over 100 different colleges and universities worldwide, and has trained educators and law enforcement professionals, in the field of school safety, at the state and regional level, in all 50 states and over a dozen foreign nations.

He helped train mental health professionals after the Jonesboro school shootings, and he was also involved in counseling or court cases in the aftermath of the Paducah, Springfield, Littleton, Virginia Tech, and Nickel Mines Amish school shootings.

He has been an expert witness and consultant in state and Federal courts, to include serving on the prosecution team in UNITED STATES vs. TIMOTHY MCVEIGH.

He has testified before U.S. Senate and Congressional committees and numerous state legislatures, and he and his research have been cited in a national address by the President of the United States.

Col. Grossman is an Airborne Ranger infantry officer, and a prior-service sergeant and paratrooper, with a total of over 23 years experience in leading U.S. soldiers worldwide. He retired from the Army in February 1998 and has devoted himself to teaching, writing, speaking, and research. Today he is the director of the Killology Research Group, and in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks he is on the road almost 300 days a year, training elite military and law enforcement organizations worldwide about the reality of combat.

Customer Reviews

Very well researched and written.
In this book the authors show the correlation between the violent video games, movies and TV shows that children watch and play, and the violent crimes they commit.
Beverly Sharon Bryant
Great book, it really makes you think about what we let out children of today watch on tv and about the video games they play.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 21 people found the following review helpful By RoamingDoc on December 16, 2012
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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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful By S. Grotzke on March 3, 2012
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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34 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover
As a former reporter, I'm probably conditioned to be skeptical of claims that media violence is a problem. I was skeptical until I heard Colonel Grossman, then read his book. There is no doubt in my mind that Grossman is substantially right in his assertions. I now work for Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan, who, after consulting with Grossman, successfully urged at least two national chains, Sears and Montgomery Ward, to stop selling violent video games to youngsters. The immersion of our youngsters in violent imagery is a much bigger problem than our society acknowledges and promises to grow as an issue of public concern in the years to come.
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43 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Julie Patrick Clark on August 3, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Do violent video games, television shows and movies contribute to juvenile violence? Yes, say the authors. And the facts to that answer are backed up with an extensive body of impressive research. This book thoroughly documents their assertion that violence in media does have an impact on children.
Not only do the authors document with research, but they have practical ways of showing how that research can help parents, teachers, law enforcement, society as a whole, to understand how this violence affects our children. That violence desensitizes has been proven, and is undisputed by most mental health professionals. President Clinton, in a speech on June 1, 1999, said:" [The entertainment industry] and the rest of us cannot kid ourselves. Our children are being fed a dependable daily does of violence - and it sells. Now, thirty years of studies have shown that this desensitizes our childen to violence, and to its consequences." (direct quote from the book)
Whether one believes that playing violent video games, watching violence on tv or in movies leads to violent acts or not, it would be wise to consider whether these shows and games are good for children. It has been estimated that children play these games at least ninety minutes a day, and watch tv for another several hours. All this "screen time" is taking away from reading, exercising or recreating outdoors, and playing with peers.
Many parents report that their children seem to have an "addiction" to these games, saying that their children would rather play the games than eat, play outdoors, or participate in activities that they previously enjoyed.
Chapter Five is entitled "Don't Just Stand There... Do Something!
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