April 08, 2008


Caption: Ramses II takes aim, courtesy of wikipedia.

Believe it or not, El Cabrero used to be a Boy Scout. And as such I remember the old Scout Motto: Be Prepared.

I can't say I always am but at least I make it a practice to take a book with me when I go out the door. After all, anything can happen and one could wind up stuck someplace for a long time.

Lately I've gotten some strange looks about a book I've been carrying around. Maybe it has something to do with the title: On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, a former Army Ranger and paratrooper. The subtitle is really small so all people see is the On Killing part, which may lead some to think I'm interested in a how-to book on the subject.

For the record, that is not the case.

Actually, Grossman's book is about the resistances most ordinary people have to killing another person at close range and how societies and governments condition people to overcome those resistances. It also deals at length with the psychological damage often suffered by people who have committed violence. As such, it's an important book for people who want to make the world less violent (see yesterday's post).

Over the next few days, I'm going to highlight some of the insights from the book. Stay tuned.

LINK IMPAIRED: El Cabrero is traveling this week with very little internet access. The link features will return when possible. Having said that, did y'all see the Massey Energy/Don Blankenship story on ABC News yesterday? It was also on Nightline. I tried to find a link today without success. My guess is you'll be able to find a link at some point today at Lincoln Walks at Midnight.


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