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Released January 31, 2003

By David Tisdale

HATTIESBURG – Treating terrorists like they're 10 feet tall is the wrong approach in preparing for more attacks on American soil, a former U.S. Military Academy psychology professor and Army Ranger said Friday.

"They're cowards," said retired Lt. Col. David Grossman, founder of a new field of study known as "Killology" during remarks at Hattiesburg's Lake Terrace Convention Center. "They're not looking for a fair fight."

Grossman's presentation was sponsored by The University of Southern Mississippi-based Mississippi Police Corps.

He is widely sought as a speaker and trainer for both military and police personnel, and travels 300 days a year conducting training programs.

In his address to a group of area police officers and cadets in the Southern Miss-administered program, Grossman warned that preparations need to be made for the next type of attacks, which could target schools or cripple the country's economy.

Comparing the four airplane hijackings of the 9-11 terrorist attacks, Grossman said four such attacks on schools in this country could grip the country in fear – shutting down schools for nearly a year while preparations are made to provide heightened security.

"It would shut down every single school until they put squad-sized security in every school," said Grossman, predicting 50-million students would be out on the street for a year, causing mothers to drop out of the work force to care for kids and teachers to lose their jobs – all factors that could undermine the national economy.

Grossman said that while attending an international conference he learned that Turkey, faced with hundreds of attacks on its schools by Islamic extremists, turned the country into a war zone in order to hunt down the terrorists who committed the acts. "They (Turkish representatives at conference) were asked ‘How did you make them stop?' and the response was three words: "We killed them."

As an alternative to turning schools into armed fortresses, Grossman suggested that schools put lock-down procedures in place in the event of such an attack and place well-trained armed guards within the school to prevent success by the terrorists.

"We don't have to re-institute the draft" or take other excessive measures, he said, saying that terrorists "99 percent of the time" will run when faced with a minimum of trained, opposing force. "They will go where there is not security," he said. "They are not looking for a gunfight.

"You are the lion and they are the jackal," Grossman said to his audience. "They will run like cowards, the little scum that they are."

Grossman also discussed the spread of violence brought on by American citizens, citing the school shooting incidents of recent years as predictors of future violence in the workplace. He cited how terrorists, both international and domestic, are supported by a culture that affirms their violent behavior. International terrorists, he maintained, are given a green light by leaders who hate America, and domestic terrorists are driven by a media and entertainment culture that glorifies violence and makes them famous.

"His (terrorist) objective is a body count," Grossman said. "You must grasp that. They're not interested in hostages. Their goal is to kill as many humans as humanly possible. Undying fame is their reward. The sick culture of violence combined with the sick culture of fame gives us the mass murderer."

Grossman is the author and co-author of two books, respectively: On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society and Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill: A Call to Action Against TV, Movie and Video Game Violence.

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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM