Last night, Beck asked viewers to consider the root of the horrific Newtown school shooting that left 28 -- including 20 innocent children -- dead. Rather than look to America's gun laws, the outspoken Beck turned his attention to something more subtle, and perhaps deeper that may be at play: the detrimental psychological effects violent video games and movies are having on impressionable children.
To help delve into the matter, Beck hosted special guest Lt. Col Dave Grossman, West Point Psychology Professor, Professor of Military Science. The Army Ranger is considered one of the nation's foremost experts on PTSD and is a scholar in the field of human aggression and the roots of violent crime. He noted that what today's video games do is provide a reward for killing each target until there is none remaining that it has conditioned human beings to derive "pleasure from human death and suffering."
The veteran also observed that since technology is advancing, by logic, people dying of gunshot wounds should be rapidly on the decline, but disturbingly that does not seem to be the case. He also pointed out that mass-murderers like Adam Lanza should not be referred to as "shooters" as it places a negative connotation on everyday people who simply know how to shoot a gun.
In comparing the innocence of yesteryear with the more jaded bent of society today, Beck recalled that when he was young, it used to be about "cops and robbers." The lines were clear as to who the "bad guys" were and not blurred as they are today. He then asked if it was possible that Lanza had a moment where reality set in before he turned his gun on himself.
The discussion was fascinating and the insights provided by Grossman were both scientifically founded and informative. For instance, the Lt. Col observed that in 5,000 years of trained combat, there has never been "one recorded time in the history of the world" where a juvenile has committed crimes such as those brought to bear at Sandy Hook.