Part of Michael Yon's "Gates of Fire
" ["Kurilla, though down and unable to move, was fighting and firing, yelling at the two young soldiers to get in there; but they hesitated. BamBamBamBam! Kurilla was in the open, but his judo roll had left him slightly to the side of the shop. I screamed to the young soldiers, “Throw a grenade in there!” but they were not attacking. “Throw a grenade in there!” They did not attack. “Give me a grenade!” They didn’t have grenades.] came to mind while I read this observation from 1947*
"To clear up this point, it is necessary to take a somewhat closer look at the average, normal man who is fitted into the uniform of an American ground soldier.
He is what his home, his religion, his schooling, and the moral code and ideals of his society have made him. The Army cannot unmake him. It must be reckon with the fact that he comes from a civilization in which aggression, connected with the taking of life, is prohibited and unacceptable. The teaching and the ideals of that civilization are against killing, against taking disadvantage. The fear of aggression has been expressed to him so strongly and absorbed by him so deeply and pervadingly - practically with his mother's milk - that it is part of the normal man's emotional make-up. This is his great handicap when he enters combat. It stays his trigger finger even though he is hardly conscious that it is a restraint upon him. Because it is an emotional and not intellectual handicap, it is not removable by intellectual reasoning such as 'Kill or be killed.'"
I know not whether the above applies to what Yon saw, but it did make me wonder - do those words still apply today? Is American culture less restrictive on the prohibition of violence than what Marshall once saw (violence in movies, video games, and rap lyrics, abortion, assisted suicide, etc) or is it more restrictive (banning any form of aggressive play in grade school, restrictions that fall under the rubric of "PC")?*S.L.A. Marshall, Men Against Fire, p. 74, 1947