by John Boch and Doug Morton
reprinted from the May 2015 issue of GunNews Magazine with some additional information.
(Guns Save Life) – David Grossman is a world famous former West Point professor of psychology and military science who is probably the world’s foremost expert in the study of human aggression and the roots of violence and violent crime.
His research has been ground breaking and two of his books are required reading for many US military members.
Today, he spends a lot of days preaching mindset considerations in a powerful lecture series that attendees describe as somewhere between profound and life-changing.
He was at the NRA Convention in Nashville delivering his “Sheepdogs! The Bulletproof Mind for the Armed Citizen” presentation.
It’s so good that the anti-gun leftists sent at least a couple of reporters (1 2) undercover to take pictures and twist the lecture into a pretzel to proclaim, “‘Killology’ Expert Accidentally Admits NRA Is Creating More Mass Shootings”. It’s obvious he’s effective when the fringe left is going out of its way to discredit him and his message, much as they have done with Chris Kyle of American Sniper fame.
Repeating past mistakes
He opened by talking about how repeating past mistakes, without learning from them, is fool’s play, but that’s exactly what we’re doing when it comes to school safety and by extension public safety in general. Banning good guys with guns from schools makes them easy pickings for lunatics and terrorist fanatics.
In fact, gun control advocates who work to ban good guys with guns everywhere are depriving us of the one thing that’s proven to stop bad guys with evil in their hearts: good guys with guns.
He spoke of growing numbers of schools across America who are arming staff and/or bringing cops into the schools and they’ve proven to help keep kids safe. Grossman also spoke of the deterrence value of armed good guys in schools to thousands of sicko kids considering a school shooting spree. We also detect hundreds of others who aren’t so deterred and take action to stop attacks in order to defeat others who try to attack.
The problem is under-stated by the deaths we’ve seen in schools as modern medical technology saves lives. He says that with 1970s technology, the numbers of deaths would be four times as high. With 1930s technology, it would be ten times as high.
Spree killings, his research suggests, are a direct result not of drugging our kids, but of violent video games that celebrate criminal violence. Back in the early 20th century, nobody wanted to be the “bad guy” in role-playing and games played as children.
Then graphic video games came along, desensitizing children and pre-teens to horrific violence. In fact, the games rewarded committing graphic violence. Grand Theft Auto was cited specifically, as players play the role of violent criminals, raping, robbing and murdering their way through the virtual world.
It’s games like this that affect the development of young minds. It’s also the same training the military uses to desensitize troops to killing the enemy. Only Grand Theft Auto has no associated “rules” about only committing these acts against the enemy.
Consequently, we get social misfits who have been fed a steady stream of violent video games who one day decide to try to rack up a new “high score” in a public spree killing. Given that most schools are “gun free” by statute and by practical matter that there aren’t enough cops to put one in every school, these lunatics know they will have free rein to commit their atrocities until the cops show up. Of course, they usually self-terminate once meaningful resistance shows up because ultimately, these bullies are really just cowards.
These kids, Grossman says, who gave us elementary school massacres initially, are growing older now and they have since graduated to middle schools, high schools and universities. He says public spree killings are inevitable as well.
It’s not just domestic spree killers that are a threat to our children and society at large. Muslim terrorists, killing in the name of their “Allah”, are also a growing threat here in America if past actions are any indication.
When we finally leave Afghanistan and Iraq, the Muslim extremists will come for our children. They always do.
They are doing it with Russia for the Sovient invasion back in the 1980s. Muslims have attacked thousands of schools, killing tens of thousands of kids in the past few years in that part of the world.
They committed six hundred attacks on “their own” kids in Afghanistan in one year alone! Just think of what they would do to America if they had the opportunity!
A handful of attacks would destroy our way of life. “What parent will send their kid to school after a series of school atrocities committed by Muslim terrorists?” It will cripple our entire economy and way of life.
Unlike American spree killers who off themselves at the first sign of resistance, these Muslim fanatics are going to fight fiercely to the death. Negotiation is futile and will only result in additional atrocities and deaths.
Grossman talked about the Beslan school massacre and how terrorists will use fire in addition to guns to maximize the carnage and mayhem.
Armed good guys – including police, administrators, staff, even the janitor is the answer. Quick, decisive violent responses are the only way to save lives. “In ten minutes, you’ll have 100 kids soaked in gas. Give them 30 minutes and you’ll have 500 kids soaked in gas,” Grossman said.
Armed citizens are the answer, because there aren’t enough cops to be everywhere. It took Norway cops two hours to get to the world’s most prolific firearm spree killer and he killed 69 and wounded 120 more before they caught him.
Mental preparation is crucial, Grossman noted. So too are practical skill development and maintenance. Competitive shooting, hunting, target shooting, training… they all help make you better. So do airsoft, paintball and martial arts. At the same time you must be aware of your surroundings and carry life-saving tools (weapons) with which to thwart evil.
We are at war with terrorists and lunatics.
Our motivation is our children, Grossman said. “Who wouldn’t take a bullet for your kids to protect them?” he asked.
Good guys prepare because we don’t want to leave our kids a legacy of death, despair and darkness. We are determined not to be the generation that loses our nation and our freedom.
Don’t give up on our nation, we’ve been through trying times before. Good guys pulled us through.
“Piss on golf,” he said to chuckles. He said if you’ve got 20,000 rounds squirrelled away, you need to be shooting that, for the one bullet you fire at the moment of truth is the only one that counts. “Is it perfect because you practiced with those other 19,000 rounds?”
Grossman said that if you have no propensity for violence yourself, then you’re doomed. If you eschew violence, you’re a sheep and you’re going to get slaughtered by violent predators. “Baaaa,” he chuckled.
It takes a predator to stop a predator.
In addition to sheep, there are predators and sheepdogs. The sheepdogs are indeed predators, but unlike criminal predators, sheepdogs have empathy and a love for the lambs.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Mitigation
Research shows that after 60 straight days of combat, 98% of people will have psychological problems. What about the other 2%? 1% were crazy before they started combat. 1% survive and are strengthened.
Who doesn’t get PTSD? Prisoners of War, Holocaust survivors. And people defending their children/family.
Resiliency is critical, along with the belief/ faith that you are needed and are doing the right thing. Believe in yourself, don’t second guess yourself.
Don’t worry about what you cannot control. Focus on what you can control/do.
Training helps a lot. In the moment of crisis, if you do the right thing as you have been trained (or try to do the right thing and fail), you are less likely to get PTSD.
Denial has no survival value, Grossman noted repeatedly. In fact, it kills you twice:
1. You can’t stop the bad person.
2. You then live with the guilt for life.
Preparation, on the other hand, saves you twice:
1. You can defend/stop the bad person.
2. You can live with yourself after the fact.
A positive attitude is tremendously important. Attitude will affect your performance. For instance, if you believe that combat will destroy you, then it probably will.
You must believe combat will make you stronger. Nietzsche said, “If it doesn’t kill me, it only makes me stronger.” The whole concept of post-traumatic growth comes from the Bible (Rom 5:3-5):
And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us
World War II vets demonstrated this. They persevered and were stronger for it. This made them the “greatest generation”.
The returning Iraq & Afghanistan vets are our next “greatest generation” for the same reason.
What happens at the moment you defend yourself? 20% lose bowel/bladder control. Less likely if you have prepared/trained. Don’t worry about it. Just change your clothes and move on.
Some people have a “selfish” self-preservation response, which is also common during violent encounters and may cause guilt/shame after the fact. This response is absolutely normal. We are built this way. You should not feel guilty or ashamed about it.
While the bullets are flying, most folks have auditory exclusion and don’t hear the shots. Once again, this is normal. Tunnel vision and time moving in “slow motion” are also very common. Knowing about these and understanding that they are normal will help you during the encounter and in the aftermath.
Also common under extreme stress, memory gaps, inaccurate memories and hallucinations (i.e., remembering things that didn’t actually happen).
It’s customary for cops to wait a day or two before giving a statement. You should do the same.
You will also have heightened reactions to some stimuli. These are normal self-preservation responses. Recognizing these responses, knowing they are normal will help you deal with them. Understanding that you are not going crazy is key.
Beware of the extremes of self pity and the macho man who won’t get help. Get help if you need it. You must believe that getting help will indeed be helpful for it to work.
PTSD is very treatable. The key is separating the memories from the emotions associated with the memories.
You can’t deny or erase the memories. You must think about them and make peace with them. This won’t happen all at once. You must work through it. If you have a visceral reaction (heart racing, adrenaline release, nausea, etc.) then take deep breaths.
Drinking water as you allow the visceral reaction to pass is very important. Drinking is only done when you are safe. Taking a drink and breathing slow deep breaths signals your nervous system that you are safe and helps you dissociate the emotion from the memory.
Grossman also tackled the common lies about combat vets. They aren’t suicidal – the biggest risk factor for suicide is sleep deprivation. They are not murderers and in fact, are only 10% as likely to murder as the general population. And 40% don’t have PTSD – the true number is easily in the single digits.
If you have a deadly force encounter, then you too will be the “experienced veteran”. You can help others be better prepared at that point.
Why do the good guys win? Because of sheep dogs – people who will selflessly put everything on the line, stand out in front and said, “It’s safe behind me.”
Heroes don’t sacrifice their lives, they live lives of sacrifice.
Might is not strength. Compassion is not weakness.
Courage and honor will defeat hate and terror.
GROSSMAN COMING TO MT. VERNON
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Mount Vernon, Illinois
Saturday, May 16, 2015
- Lt. Col. Dave Grossman
- Police Officer and Minister Jimmy Meeks
- Carl Chinn
- Tommy Ishmael (United States Air Force – ret.)
Carl Chinn will be discussing the massacre at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, CO (2007). Tommy Ishmael will talk about the killing of his pastor in Marysville, Illinois (2009). Tommy’s pastor, Fred Winters, was gunned down in the early morning worship service.
Saturday, May 16, 2015
$99.00 PER PERSON (SIGN UP FOR $99 – BRING A FRIEND FREE. THAT MEANS YOU PAY 49.50 TO ATTEND. For every person you register, you may bring an additional guest at NO charge!)
8:00 – 5:00
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