Carly's Reviews > On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace

On Combat by Dave Grossman
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Mar 24, 12

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bookshelves: 2012
Read from March 18 to 24, 2012

While the main audiance of this book might be designed to be police officers or those in the armed forces, it was a very interesting read from any perspective.

A few of the chapters go into detail into the effect of video games on children (as well as TV and movies). This was really fascinating to read because talking to my students, I can see how much they love those games, and while I never thought highly of them, I may also have underminded their importance (or destructiveness, as it were) on children.

That is a portion of this book, but the main points of the book describe what it means to be a 'warrior'--and what a warrior might expect before, during and after combat. Combat can be described in many ways. Before it takes place, it's important to be prepared mentally and physically. Training is key, as our bodies literally shut down when we are stressed, and one sinks to the level of their training. Mentally and emotionally, we need to know what we are willing to do, so we are not cursed with indecision at the moment of crisis.

During the crisis, it is important to try to keep our bodies within a healthy heart rate (breathing techniques help), because physiologically speaking, if our heart rate gets too high, we shut down. (Not desired!) After a crisis, we need to debrief. We need to talk with others to either share our pain, or share our joy. We made it, we are alive. The debriefing is only as important as your mental health after a crisis is to you. There is catharsis in talking about what happened.

While I am not a police officer, or in any branch of the armed forces, this book gave me a lot to think about in relation to school safety and shootings, and how adults (myself included) should respond to such a threat or actual event.

I think the message I am taking from the book is: whereas I would absolutely hate to be in a position to need the infomraiton in this book....I would much rather be prepared if I'm ever forced into such a situation!
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message 1: by Criss (new) - added it

Criss You're absolutely right. I am a police officer and I spend every year trying to teach teachers & the local high school admin how to be more aware of their surroundings and how to prepare for the very real possibility that violence will occur. I always recommend Grossman's books to them.


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