"Trained to Kill"

By Lt. Col. Dave Grossman. Christianity Today, August 10, 1998
Original Source

....... We all know that you can't have an argument or a discussion with a frightened or angry human being. Vasoconstriction, the narrowing of the blood vessels, has literally closed down the forebrain--that great gob of gray matter that makes you a human being and distinguishes you from a dog. When those neurons close down, the midbrain takes over and your thought processes and reflexes are indistinguishable from your dog's. If you've worked with animals, you have some understanding in the realm of midbrain responses.

Within the midbrain there is a powerful, G-d-given resistance to killing your own kind. Every species, with a few exceptions, has a hardwired resistance to killing its own kind in territorial and mating battles. When animals with antlers and horns fight one another, they head butt in a harmless fashion. But when they fight any other species, they go to the side to gut and gore. Piranhas will turn their fangs on anything, but they fight one another with flicks of the tail. Rattlesnakes will bite anything, but they wrestle one another. Almost every species has this hardwired resistance to killing its own kind.

When we human beings are overwhelmed with anger and fear, we slam head-on into that midbrain resistance that generally prevents us from killing. Only sociopaths--who by definition don't have that resistance--lack this innate violence immune system......   .....

In the light of recent events of tragic mass murders, this article although written twenty years ago, contains a detailed opinion concerning what factors are involved surrounding murder. Views on reasons for such happenings will always vary but there are certainly a great many things to consider - unfortunately, as usual we know that "the gun" receives most of the blame and not the perpetrator.


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