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Videos increase willingness to kill

Published: December 19, 2012

When we think of the violence in our society we seem to always focus on inanimate objects such as guns or explosives. According to retired Lt. Col. David Crossman, professor at West Point, during World War II as few as 15 percent of combat soldiers were willing to kill. Most people have an instinctive aversion to killing. The combat troops in World War II were trained to shoot at circle-type targets. During Korea, the troops were trained to shoot man size silhouette-type targets; there was a marked increase in the willingness to kill. During Vietnam, troops were trained to shoot silhouette targets that fell when hit; again, there was a marked increase in a willingness to kill.

Today, video games are used to train not only combat troops but law enforcement as well. These videos add realism and have greatly increased the willingness to kill in combat troops and law enforcement officers. What's life saving and beneficial to the military and law enforcement can be detrimental to children. This realism is available to children in video games. The violence on television and in the movies contributes to a desensitization toward killing. I watched one of my grandson's video games and couldn't believe what I was watching. This makes it difficult to determine if it's guns or video games that are dangerous. Perhaps a mixture of the two is a recipe for disaster.

Rick Jerman, Oklahoma City


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