Dave Grossman (author)
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Early life and military career
Law enforcement seminars
Following his retirement from the Army, Grossman founded the Killology Research Group to give seminars about the physiological and the psychological effects of having to use lethal force for law enforcement officers and soldiers.
Grossman also speaks at civilian events on ways to reduce violence in society and deal with the aftermath of violent events such as school shootings. As a civilian Grossman has been an expert witness in numerous state and federal court cases and was part of the prosecution team of United States vs. Timothy McVeigh.
Grossman's first book, On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society is an analysis of the psychological processes involved with killing another human being. In it, he claims that most people have a phobia-level response to violence, and that soldiers have to be specifically trained to kill. He details some of the physical effects that violent stresses produce on humans, ranging from tunnel vision, changes in sonic perception, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Robert Engen, in a paper for the Canadian Military Journal critiquing On Killing, criticized Grossman's works, saying: "On Killing and On Combat form an excellent starting point, there are too many problems with their interpretation for them to be considered the final word on the subject." Grossman's response to Engen, printed in the same journal, attempted to address the criticisms by arguing that SLA Marshall's findings that man is not by nature a killer, even after having doubt cast on their methodology, have borne out in further scientific studies and real world experience, and furthermore, “have been the cornerstone of military and police training for over a half century.”
In Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill: A Call to Action Against TV, Movie and Video Game Violence, Grossman argues that the techniques used by armies to train soldiers to kill are mirrored in certain types of video games. He claims that playing violent video games, particularly light gun shooters of the first-person shooter-variety (where the player holds a weapon-like game controller), train children in the use of weapons and, more importantly, harden them emotionally to the task of murder by simulating the killing of hundreds or thousands of opponents in a single typical video game. He has repeatedly used the term "murder simulator" to describe first-person shooter games.
His third non-fiction book, On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace, is an extension of his first, listing coping strategies for dealing with the physiological and psychological effects of violence for people who kill people in their line of work (soldiers and police officers).
University of Nebraska criminal justice professor Samuel Walker characterized Grossman's training as "okay for Green Berets but unacceptable for domestic policing. The best police chiefs in the country don’t want anything to do with this.”
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey banned what he termed "fear-based training", a designation that included Grossman's seminars, in 2019. A statewide ban in Minnesota was later signed into law in 2020.
- On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society (1995) (ISBN 0-316-33000-0)
- Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill: A Call to Action Against TV, Movie and Video Game Violence (1999) (ISBN 978-0609606131)
- On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace (2004) (ISBN 0-9649205-1-4)
- Assassination Generation: Video Games, Aggression, and the Psychology of Killing (2016) (ISBN 978-0-316-26593-5)
- Bulletproof Marriage: A 90-Day Devotional by Adam Davis and Lt. Col. Dave Grossman (2019) (ISBN 978-1424557592)
- The War with Earth (2003) (ISBN 0-7434-9877-1) (with Leo Frankowski) Book two of the series starting with Frankowski's A Boy and his Tank.
- The Two-Space War (2004) (ISBN 1-4165-0928-3) (with Leo Frankowski) New series.
- Kren of the Mitchegai (2005) (ISBN 1-4165-0902-X) (with Leo Frankowski) Book three of the series starting with A Boy and his Tank.
- The Guns of Two-Space (2007) (with Bob Hudson) Book two of the series starting with The Two-Space War.
- Sheepdogs: Meet Our Nation's Warriors (2013) (ISBN 978-0615795171) (with Joey Karwal, and Stephanie Rogish)
Entries in scholarly reference works
- Grossman, D., "Aggression and Violence," in Oxford Companion to American Military History, Oxford Press, 2000.
- Grossman, D., "Evolution of Weaponry," in Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace and Conflict, Academic Press, 2000.
- Grossman, D., & Siddle, B.K., "Psychological Effects of Combat," in Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace and Conflict, Academic Press, 2000.
- Murray, K.A., Grossman, D., & Kentridge, R.W., "Behavioral Psychology," in Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace and Conflict, Academic Press, 2000.
- Grossman, Dave, "Two Lessons from Jonesboro: Conducting Critical Incident Debriefings and the Role of Television in Feeding the Need for Enemies".
- Oladinni, Toye (June 5, 2020). "'Killology' is not a satirical field: Police Training methods and lethal shootings". The Oxford Student. Retrieved April 23, 2021.
- Corney, Madison. "Lt. Col. Dave Grossman talks violence prevention". NBC. Archived from the original on 8 May 2014.
- Freeman, Sharon Morgillo; Moore, Bret A; Freeman, Arthur, eds. (June 3, 2009). Living and Surviving in Harm's Way: A Psychological Treatment Handbook for Pre- and Post-Deployment of Military Personnel. Taylor & Francis. p. 21. ISBN 978-1-135-85934-3.
- Engen, Robert. "Killing for Their Country: A New Look At 'Killology'". Canadian Military Journal. 9 (2). Archived from the original on 21 July 2011.
- Government of Canada, Department of National Defence; Government of Canada, National Defence. "SLA Marshall Revisited?..." www.journal.forces.gc.ca.
- Wardrip-Fruin, Noah; Harrigan, Pat (January 2004). First Person: New Media as Story, Performance, and Game. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press. p. 102. ISBN 978-0-262-23232-6.
- Schatz, Bryan. ""Are You Prepared to Kill Somebody?" A Day With One of America's Most Popular Police Trainers". Mother Jones. Mother Jones. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
- George Floyd death puts spotlight on 'warrior training' for police
- Governor Walz Signs Minnesota Police Accountability Act