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Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill: A Call to Action against TV, Movie and Video Game Violence Hardcover – 31 Oct 1999

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Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill: A Call to Action against TV, Movie and Video Game Violence + Violent Video Game Effects on Children and Adolescents: Theory, Research, and Public Policy
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 196 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Publications; 1 edition (31 Oct. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609606131
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609606131
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 2.1 x 21.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 487,128 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
IN A FULL-PAGED AD in the June 13, 1999, Sunday New York Times, the National Funding Collaborative on Violence Prevention said this: "It should not have taken the Littleton tragedy to focus the nation's attention and energies on preventing violence....It should have been enough that children and adults in our society are victims of violence every day....What is it about violence that we refuse to understand?" Read the first page
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By VS on 30 Dec. 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book is not only poorly written, but poorly thought out. Most of the conclusions reached are not supported by proper evidence, and even when evidence is given it is not explained or elaborated on.
For example (quote): "In 1982 the National Institute of Mental Health issued a pivotal report, in its review of over 2,500
studies of the effects of TV violence, it concluded, " in magnitude, television violence is as strongly
correlated with aggressive behavior as any other behavioral variable that has been measured."

The authors fail to take into account any other studies that have been given. They fail to fully elaborate on what tests where done in the study. They fail to describe fully how television violence leads to real-world aggressive behavior. They look too much at the fictional media world, without thinking about how people, especially children, would realistically react to violence.

The authors of "Stop Teaching Our Kids To Kill" set out with one set conclusion already reached, and simply cherry-picked facts to suit this conclusion. They didn't research, they just wrote. They failed to take into account ANY counter-arguments. I sincerely hope that no-one takes them seriously.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 112 reviews
16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Hindsight is Always Accurate but Many Will Not Hear or See 16 Dec. 2012
By RoamingDoc - Published on
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. videos is a bit tilted towards the ease and public acceptance of violent video games either in the home or at arcades. While the detractors would demand 'proof', it seems that videos are far more accessible to kids than guns and laws exist to keep firearms locked up while children are almost encouraged to play those games and keep quiet. Young minds, investigated by so many fields of psychology and behavioral studies, have proven very malleable and young eyes and hands have been shaped by some of the most violent games to be capable and quick in their manipulations of real firearms (when they are able to obtain them). We see proofs of such in the hit ratios at nearly all such shootings. Accurate, fast and seemingly indifferent to the results. But some will say 'oh how could a stupid little game with a mouse and keyboard provide any benefits in any of those areas' and thus discount or completely dismiss the possibility and then they walk smugly away.

For those who will learn, will see and hear and absorb the correlation of 'violent games' to 'violent behavior' and 'repeated, memorized actions' to 'eerily professional ability and kill ratios', Col. David Grossman's books will be a valuable tool in hopefully curtailing their kid's exposure to such games. It should be noted that Grossman calls for such restrictions for younger kids and not adults, he's not suggesting a curtailing of 1st Amendment rights in any way but saying that young people should be protected from impacts and influences that are better coped with by adults. Of course some detractors would say that is unnecessary and even foolish as they see nothing in anything that is even potentially malevolent. Those types will always be around and trolling for responses.

For parents of children this is a must read book as are "On Killing" and "On Combat" - both helping parents to understand the portions of their children's psyche that can be wrongly influenced by their repeated activities over even short times - don't be put off by a small number of negative reviews who cry unfair or foul. Buy it, look at the current events of today and recent history, and ask yourself what has changed in the raising of kids and what is the biggest sole occupier of kid's time today versus 25 years ago... and how is that all working out for society? Great book, good information for parents and an honorable author.
12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Thought Provoking 3 Mar. 2012
By S. Grotzke - Published on
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.
A Must Read for Parents and Educators worried about Video Game Violence! 6 Oct. 2014
By Constance Anderson - Published on
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.
34 of 52 people found the following review helpful
A powerful, coherent book 10 May 2000
By Amazon Customer - Published on
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.
43 of 66 people found the following review helpful
Video games culpable? 3 Aug. 2000
By Julie Patrick Clark - Published on
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!" It is a chapter that is full of information on why these violent shows and games are damaging, and what parents can do to limit their children's exposure. They discuss the various ages and developmental stages of children, and have guidelines for what is appropriate for each. They say that, the younger the child, the more important it is to protect them from all forms of violence in entertainment. They address the question: "How do we protect our kids and at the same time empower them to to know what is going on?" Buy, beg, borrow, or steal (just kidding! ) this book to find out the answer!
This book was one that helped me to reinforce my belief that very little is to be gained from children having access to these form of "entertainment," and there is much to lose. I believe all parents, teachers, etc., would benefit from this well-written, thoroughly researched, scholarly-but easy-to-understand book. I refer to it often, and recommend it heartily!
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