Christmas Wish List 2006

Every year, as I go through the mounds of equipment information I have from various manufacturers and vendors, I inevitably make that mental list of all the stuff I'd wish for if it were me getting the gifts.

Down Time Reading:

Although it may not appear so in my writing, I'm a big believer in staying educated. I was taught a long time ago that the day we die is actually the day we quit learning anything new. For contemporary warriors in the United States (and serving overseas) there are a few things I believe should be read. They are informative books that will help you in your chosen career.

  • On Killing

    Written by LTC Dave Grossman (Ret.), On Killing takes a look at the psychological cost on people and on society in learning to kill. This groundbreaking work, published in 1996, takes a look at the training provided to our soldiers and other contemporary warriors; what effects it does or may have on them; how it affects their perceptions and interactions, and more. If you are someone who works behind a gun--or someone who loves someone who works behind a gun--I highly recommend this as a gift or as educational reading.

  • On Combat

    Also written by LTC Grossman and building on his work in On Killing, On Combat expands the information about learning to kill into a wider view of how to survive after having killed, specifically in combat. As one senior NCO is quoted as having said, "The Army spent 18 years and thousands of dollars teaching me to kill. This is the first time I have been taught how to deal with it." That is the power of knowledge, and this kind of knowledge isn't easy to come by. I highly recommend both of LTC Grossman's books.

  • Terror At Beslan

    As a cop and a parent I read this book--and then doubted what I read enough to do some research and then seek out the author, John Giduck, to get some other information directly from him. What I came to believe is that if terrorists ever attempt in America what they succeeded in doing in Beslan, Russia--that being to take over a school--our current law enforcement plans and tactics are sorely under-prepared to respond. Terror at Beslan is an eye-opening, and sometimes hard to read, work of non-fiction that offers insights into terrorist actions never before available. John's ability to access on-the-ground information in Russia and integrate that into investigative information discovered after the fact are first rate and can't be found anywhere else. This is a book that every parent in America should read and every law enforcement professional in America should study.

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