DVD Review: Bulletproof Mind – Mental Preparation For The Coming Hard Times
with Lt. Col. Dave Grossman and Rob Pincus
Published by the Personal Defense Network as part of the Personal Firearms Defense DVD series
Many people are already familiar with the work of Lt. Col. Dave Grossman. He’s the author of several notable books, including “On Killing” and “On Combat”, and is a frequent lecturer and seminar leader around the country.
Grossman’s first works dealt with what he says is mankind’s natural phobia against violence, and the kind of training and indoctrination it takes to get human beings to overcome their seemingly innate reticence to killing other human beings. He calls the study of this phenomenon “killology”, and the name of his company is Killology Research Group.
This may seem an odd background for someone speaking to the legally armed citizen, but he presents two parallels between his study of military conflict and the needs of the private citizen to protect him or herself: first, that the kind of training and indoctrination that soldiers go through to modify their reluctance to kill the enemy is very similar to what violent video games have done to a full generation of American children; second, that the citizen who wants to protect him/herself (or their loved ones) from life-threatening attacks also need to be able to get over their natural inclinations to save rather than take a life.
In the first segment on the DVD, titled “Understanding the Problem of vViolence in America”, Grossman details what he believes to be a linkage between frequency of mass murders in this country (which are, he points out, on the increase), explains why the data is skewed to hide that fact, and then shows how these acts — massacres, as he correctly terms them — are generational in nature.
His contention is that the age groups responsible for these kinds of mass murders are those whose inhibition against killing has been modified through the targeted violence of first-person video games, which desensitizes the players to egregious violence. This is where that first parallel occurs: he makes the case that the same techniques used to train away a soldier’s inhibitions regarding violence are the same as those used to make video games exciting. If this is true, he says, it explains the changing nature of mass murders around the world and predicts what we can expect to see in the future as these generations age.
He believes that it’s important for the average person to wake up to these threats in their everyday lives and to be prepared to address them when they occur. Knowing their genesis is, to him, a natural part of that preparation.
(Grossman makes one point that I definitely agree with: these are not “active shooter” events, they are massacres in the truest definition of the term. He admonishes the viewer to call them what they are rather than a sanitized or misleading term. “Not active shooter,” he says, but “active massacre.”)
Having established the increase in violence and the source, the remaining segments deal with the individual’s preparation to face and overcome violence. He makes the case that violence in defense of the innocent is a righteous violence, and that fact should help strengthen the average person to be able to, as he puts it, visit violence upon those who would prey on the weak.
He introduces what is perhaps his most famous concept, that of the sheepdog (his seminars are called, appropriately enough, Sheepdog Seminars.) The sheepdog, in his view, is the person who has made the decision in advance to use violence to protect others. It’s a mindset (and segments of the DVD deal with mindset directly) he presents as a way to protect yourself, your loved ones, and — in the aggregate — your country from those who would use violence in evil ways. He explains how that mindset should affect your training and how internalizing that decision helps you deal with the aftermath of a defensive incident.
Grossman is always good for a quip or two; I believe he was the first to say “a golf course is the willful and deliberate misuse of a perfectly good rifle range”, a quote I’ve occasionally repeated. In this DVD he provides a couple of others: “Piss on golf!”, the start of a series of admonitions to make protecting others your hobby instead of spending your free time doing something inconsequential; and “if you have more ammo than you can carry, you need to use some of it up in training!” to remind people that hoarding isn’t necessarily being prepared; being trained and practiced is being prepared.
There’s a lot more in this DVD, and I think it will be popular with both fans of Lt. Col. Grossman and those who have yet to experience his unique brand of motivational speaking.
-=[ Grant Cunningham ]=-
Disclosure: This DVD was supplied by the Personal Defense Network for review. I am affiliated with PDN as a contributor and have taught with Rob Pincus in the past. I receive no compensation should you purchase this DVD.