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Killology

Killology is a term invented by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman[?] ret. in his book On Killing. It is the study of humans killing humans.

Grossman's theory, based on military statistics, is that most of the population deeply resists killing another human. Prior to the twentieth century, most soldiers were only going through the motions of firing their weapons at the enemy. For example, Grossman claims that only about 25 per cent of the soldiers at the Battle of Gettysburg actually fired their weapons at enemy soldiers, while the rest reloaded weapons. He cites the number of loaded weapons recovered from the battlefield.

Modern military training overrides this instinct, by:

  • instilling rote reflexes
  • training to view the enemy as non-human
  • dispersing responsibility for the killing throughout the group
  • displacing responsibility for the killing onto an authority figure, i.e. the commanding officer and the military hierarchy. (See the Milgram experiment)

By the time of the Gulf War, says Grossman, 90 per cent of American soldiers would fire their weapons at other people.

The act of killing is psychologically traumatic for the killer, even more so than constant danger or witnessing the death of others.

Grossman further argues that violence in television, movies and video games contributes to real-life violence by a similar process of training and desensitization.

External Link [[1] (http://www.killology.com)]



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