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General News    H4'ed 12/19/16

Military Recruiting in the United States - a new book

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Cover - Military Recruiting in the United States
Cover - Military Recruiting in the United States
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Pat Elder, a leading activist confronting deceptive military recruiting practices in the nation's high schools, has written a new book, Military Recruiting in the United States. The book has been praised by prominent antiwar and civil rights activists. This explosive and consequential book exposes the underworld of American military recruiting. Two brief excerpts follow:

Violent video games conspire to make Americans warlike, especially extraordinarily graphic games where the player holds a weapon-like game controller. At least that's what about half of the country believes. A 2010 Rasmussen survey finds that 54% of Americans believe violent video games lead to more violence in society. Some studies link violent video games to aggressive and risky behavior among teens while others show that violent video games may have a calming effect on youth.

Believe what you want to believe. After all, this is America, where free enterprise creates "research" that substantiates and disseminates pretty much anything for a price. Red meat doesn't lead to heart disease and climate change is not caused by human activity. There's research to "prove" it. One thing is certain. The military, for its part, believes violent, first person shooter games are an excellent way to recruit youth. The military is looking for killers.

The Pentagon embraces the seductive power of the trigger as a recruiting device. Mass murderers practice their craft and become numb to their premeditated killing while playing first-person shooter video games like the taxpayer-funded America's Army game, rated Teen, Blood, Violence. Realizing the potential, the military exploits the technology to recruit and cultivate adolescent killers.

Lt. Col. Dave Grossman offers a chilling indictment of violent video games in a widely circulated and deeply influential article, A Case Study: Paducah, Kentucky, published in the fall of 2000. "A fourteen-year- old shooter fired eight rounds in fast succession at a high school youth prayer group, killing three and wounding five. I train numerous elite military and law enforcement organizations around the world. When I tell them of this achievement, they are stunned. Nowhere in the annals of military or law enforcement history can we find an equivalent 'achievement.'"

Where does a 14-year-old boy who never fired a gun before get the skill and the will to kill? - Video games and media violence.

Grossman argues that youth who pull the virtual trigger to slaughter thousands become hardened emotionally. He calls these violent military shooting games "Murder Simulators." There's an undeniable appeal, an enticement, an attraction to taking virtual human life, and although America's Army can't quite match the gore of Mortal Kombat or the splattering blood in Manhunt 2, it's not bad for free, many adolescents contend.

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Pat Elder is the Director of the National Coaliton to Protect Student Privacy,, NNOMY

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