An expert on violence will be the keynote speaker for the Franklin County Central Committee’s annual Lincoln Day banquet Friday, March 22.

The public is invited to the event which includes a social hour starting at 6 p.m. and the 7 p.m. dinner program.

It will be held at the Washington Elks Lodge 1559, 1459 W. Fifth St.

The keynote speaker, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, is an internationally recognized scholar, author, solider and speaker, according to a flier from the Republican Central Committee.

He is an expert in human aggression, violent crime and the roots of violence and has presented to more than 100 colleges and universities.

“He’s very well known throughout the United States and throughout the law enforcement community,” Franklin County Sheriff Gary Toelke said, adding that he has been to three of Grossman’s seminars.

Toelke noted that Grossman’s visit is timely given the focus the sheriff’s office is placing on school security in the wake of school shootings.

“He studies violence, the causes of violence,” Toelke said. “We kind of encourage the school officials to go listen to him.”

Grossman has helped analyze school shootings, Toelke said, adding that local law enforcement plan to attend the event.

“Usually, just about anything he talks about is pretty riveting,” Toelke said.

The effects of violent video games on youth has been a focus of study for Grossman, Toelke said.

Grossman is an airborne ranger infantry officer, with more than 23 years of experience leading U.S. soldiers worldwide.

He is retired from the U.S. Army and now serves as the director of the Killology Research Group.

He travels almost 300 days a year training military and law enforcement on the reality of combat.

National, state and local elected officials will attend the banquet, including some from Franklin County and other parts of the state.

U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Missouri, and Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder are among those expected to attend.

Tickets are $25 and must be purchased in advance by calling Robbie Brouk, 314-920-7900, or Joy Gerstein, 314-580-9107.