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garryc
April 26, 2011, 09:37 AM
This is what to expect after a use of lethal force incident. Machismo will not see you through, John Wayne is a fictional character. Only a narcissistic sociopath would not go through some of this.

http://placerchaplains.com/Documents/Post%20Shooting%20Trauma.pdf

Double Naught Spy
April 26, 2011, 03:42 PM
Heck, I feel some of those things after a tough day in Dallas traffic.

Glenn E. Meyer
April 27, 2011, 11:10 AM
Good post. Some of the classes I've taken clearly mention this and try to educate males who posture that they won't have problems.

It's a problem with some and esp. in military and paramilitary circumstances.

We did a study on police attitudes towards PTSD and therapy and it's getting into the police psychology texts - which is really cool.

Coyote WT
April 27, 2011, 11:33 AM
I pray to gods that I never have to experience this. Thank you so much for sharing.

besafe2
April 27, 2011, 11:51 AM
Likewise.

thallub
April 27, 2011, 12:07 PM
IMO: The effects on the shooter in a righteous self defense shooting are much overblown. I've been the victim of two home invasions by gun armed criminals. Perps became deceased both times. I never had any of those problems. It's true that sleep was scarce for a few days afterward: Then it was back to normal ever since. Both home invasions happened many years ago and I seldom think about them.

Coyote WT
April 27, 2011, 12:17 PM
thallub, I respect your individual experience as well as your opinion. I'm sure everyone faced with that choice processes it in a way that is unique to that person regardles of the situation that required lethal force. IMO, the affects are not overblown simply because a single person, or even a handful of people, do not experience those reactions.

NWPilgrim
April 27, 2011, 12:30 PM
A single experience may not disprove the validity of the aadvice, but this statement is grossly in error:

Only a narcissistic sociopath would not go through some of this.

Everyone reacts differently, and different situations evince different responses. To say someone is a sociopath because they are not traumatized by a violent experience is ignorant and arrogant, smelling of its own brand of machismo.

Sound advice to give guidance on how to recognize and deal with psychological trauma, but don't paint everyone and every situation with the traumatized paintbrush.

Don P
April 27, 2011, 12:33 PM
After reading the info in the link I have to ask, is it possible that a person experiencing the worst from that list possibly been in the wrong profession? I thankfully have not had to draw on a person and shoot so I have zero experience in the matter. Just a thought.

hartlock
April 27, 2011, 01:32 PM
I shot a guy in Austin,Texas on March 18, 2004, in a bar parking lot, after he
had he had attacked me. He had threatened to kill me and I had it on my cell
phone after he had called me and left a message to that effect. He hit me
in the face, I pulled my gun and promptly shot him, just like I told him I would
if he struck me. I was arrested, of course, and taken to jail. After I had told
my story to the police, I was released. I never had any kind of bad dreams,
regrets, etc., because this guy was a real mean individual and meant what he
said. I think alot of this stuff is overblown. At any rate, it didnt bother me
in the least. I was cleared by a grand jury, and this individual is now serving
time in a Federal prison.

THEZACHARIAS
April 27, 2011, 01:44 PM
Everyone reacts differently, and often the people with the strongest psychological responses are the last ones you would expect. There's never going to be a catchall answer, but the best option is an appropriate amount of time with a mental health professional. Many people don't have their most severe episodes /flash backs until months or years (some cases even decades) down the road, so that initial evaluation and treatment is a huge step in the right direction.

Fortunately for us active duty folks, the military has (finally) started moving away from the mass-briefing with the chaplain and is actually sitting soldiers/airmen/sailors down one-on-one with a pro. Helps a lot.

Story
April 27, 2011, 01:52 PM
Thanks, that got passed along.

Glenn E. Meyer
April 27, 2011, 02:04 PM
The effect is very well documented. You are simply wrong if you think it is baloney. That you want to post that you were unaffected is nice but does not negate the need for the armed person to be aware of a significant risk. One self-report is not evidence for the nonexistence or minimization of the problem, compared to the significant numbers of reports. Research design is your friend.

Also very strong people and competent people can suffer from the effect, so the idea that someone is in the wrong profession is not useful. If you could develop an accurate predictive test of stress disorders, go do so.

Unless you can go read the psychological, criminological and police literature on stress effects and then do your own meta-analysis, spare me. Some people still think the world is flat.

hartlock
April 27, 2011, 02:16 PM
I am sure its well documented, but what I reported was how I felt about it.
I can only report what it did to me, not some other person. The guy I shot
was a crazed,drug fueled animal, and I feel nothing about the fact that I shot
him. This was MY reaction! Its been 7 years now, and I still wouldnt care if
the sorry sob died tomorrow, or at the time I shot him. I cant speak for other
people, but I can speak for my own reaction to a shooting.

Don P
April 27, 2011, 02:26 PM
Also very strong people and competent people can suffer from the effect, so the idea that someone is in the wrong profession is not useful. If you could develop an accurate predictive test of stress disorders, go do so.

Please excuse me for posting a thought, good or bad as it may be.

mnero
April 27, 2011, 02:31 PM
I never shot anyone or at anyone; I know a couple of my marines that did(over-seas) They are tough minded guys, well trained and with more discipline and morale then I ever had, but both of them experienced some remorse as they have expressed to me and a few of our old friends. Of course the fellows they shot were not "drug crazed" or felons and certainly not "home invaders" 2 times in one life time WOW! IMO It is not in any way a weakness to experience such regrets, no matter who it was; quite the contrary I would think, again that is just my inexperienced opinion.

Vanya
April 27, 2011, 02:45 PM
It is not in any way a weakness to experience such regrets, no matter who it was; quite the contrary I would think, again that is just my inexperienced opinion.
Just so... and while "narcissistic sociopath" might be putting it a bit strongly, I think one could argue that a person who did not experience those regrets might be in the wrong profession...

MLeake
April 27, 2011, 02:48 PM
I don't know....

I think there's nothing wrong with guys having remorse afterward, and that it probably is normal.

But of the people I know who've been involved in such, I think there's more instances of survivor's guilt (for those who've lost teammates) than remorse over shooting hostiles. I've heard guys second-guess any number of things, but generally not whether they should have shot.

Glenn E. Meyer
April 27, 2011, 03:05 PM
One can have a thought and state something is overblown. However, knowing something about the area, I will correct generalized statements that fly in the face of science. Since this is a very serious issue, I state things quite firmly.

About sociopaths, there is evidence that they show no remorse and have no qualms about killing.

As an aside, legal studies show that if you put forward NO Remorse in a criminal case (yes, all your shoots are good and righteous :rolleyes:), the jury is not sympathetic to you. Thus, in an ambiguous shoot - I caution you on what you say.

To summarize my lecture mode:

1. A personal experience does not prove anything about the general risk. A case study provides impetus for further careful research. Such research shows the risk.

2. We cannot predict who will suffer a stress disorder before the event. Wish we could.

3. There are people who show no emotional consequence or strong affect after taking a life. Sociopaths may be like that. Does that imply all those who didn't get a stress disorder are sociopathic - no, it doesn't. But some could be.

Class is over.

GregInAtl
April 27, 2011, 03:21 PM
but what I reported was how I felt about it. I can only report what it did to me, not some other person.

But that's not what you originally said. What you originally said was:The effects on the shooter in a righteous self defense shooting are much overblown
Which is a generalized statement

hartlock
April 27, 2011, 03:26 PM
No sir, that is NOT what I said! I said "I think alot of this is overblown"
EXACT words! You might get someone to help you READ my original statement, as you have added a few words to it that I did not say!

Hiker 1
April 27, 2011, 03:30 PM
Dave Grossman's excellent book "On Combat" discusses this at length.

Not everyone suffers from PTSD or other problems. In fact, we are told by society that we surely must "feel" bad when we must defend ourselves, so people winning gunfights sometimes do but it is also very often not the case.

It is also true that cops and soldiers who are told by colleagues that they did the right thing suffer far less than those who aren't validated in such a way. This is why so many Vietnam vets suffered from PTSD. Their actions weren't validated when they came home.

I have never been in that situation, either as a civilian or when I was in the Army, but I have close friends who have been in lethal encounters and who have not suffered lingering after effects. They are far from being sociopaths. They just chose not to let the actions of bad people affect the rest of their lives.

markj
April 27, 2011, 03:43 PM
My nephew was in afganistan and Iraq, had some bad fire fights under his belt. He was de briefed one on one, he said he hated to have to do what he did, but if he didnt something wores might come down the line. He seems OK, isnt as brash or acts as ballsy, I mark it up to maturing and growing up in a sense.

Buds were in Nam dont talk about it much, my Uncle sent pics from the battlefield and enjoyed the hunt. Diferent folks take it in differently. Some cant pull a trigger on a deer, some cant wait to kill one.

One Uncle was driving a boat in Omaha beach landing went nuts, saw his friends blown up, body parts floating in the boat, after 4 or 5 he just went in circles till they got to him, he is still in a home to this day.

Uncle Ray was also in ww2 he is in a home due to alzheimers.

GregInAtl
April 27, 2011, 03:58 PM
No sir, that is NOT what I said! I said "I think alot of this is overblown" EXACT words! You might get someone to help you READ my original statement, as you have added a few words to it that I did not say!

You are correct, I had you mistaken with someone else on this thread that said that. My apologies.

hartlock
April 27, 2011, 04:13 PM
Hey, no problem, Greg. :) had me wondering there for awhile. I had to go
back and read my post to see if I really did say that! :)

aarondhgraham
April 27, 2011, 04:30 PM
Only a narcissistic sociopath would not go through some of this.

This is not a correct statement at all,,,
It's putting a personal opinion and it's implied value as a benchmark for all human behavior.

Perhaps I am one of these "principled sociopaths" I have been hearing about lately,,,
But I experience no guilt feelings at all about doing harm to someone who is/was trying to harm me.

This is the danger of "labeling" people in our society.

Glenn Meyer stated: "There are people who show no emotional consequence or strong affect after taking a life. Sociopaths may be like that. Does that imply all those who didn't get a stress disorder are sociopathic - no, it doesn't. But some could be."

This is a true statement but people in general make the mistake of forgetting the most important part of the statement,,,
Does that imply all those who didn't get a stress disorder are sociopathic - no, it doesn't.

More often than not people will automatically assign the label without thinking of the exceptions,,,
Because it's an easy thing to do and they don't have to think very hard about it.

Aarond

chadstrickland
April 27, 2011, 05:07 PM
Some scary thoughts floating around in this thread...kinda makes you just want to wound someone if u had to draw your weapon..only problem with that is it seems like in the laws eyes wounding is way worse than killing....just saying that u wanted to wound instead of killing is a big no no...atleast this is hhear say...I dnt know the facts....and I have 2 uncles that killed people in Vietnam and it does seem to bother them some...im not around them alot but I can see it when they watch we where soldiers and stuff like that...weird thing is that I had a grandfather that was in world war 2 and it never bothered him..he used to tell me stories all the time..idk..like alot of people have already said..it depends on the said individual

MrWesson
April 27, 2011, 05:14 PM
I usually try to avoid these threads because its one of those things where dreading it may make you hesitate when taking the shot.

Id rather be alive with ptsd than dead without it so ill deal with it if it happens.

I have gotten a taste of the anxiety it may cause as a 18yr old kid died in a car accident behind my house a few years ago. He died while looking at me and it haunted me for awhile but has faded.

He was recklessly speeding going double posted speed limit and no seatbelt. We swore he had to be drunk but turned out he was the a DD pledge for the fraternity and they are pressured to get there fast(caused quite a stir).

Glenn Dee
April 27, 2011, 07:13 PM
I say this with personal conviction, and personal authority.

I must agree 100% with the information shared by Glenn E. It jives perfectly with the things I know about this subject. Not what I believe... what I know.

First off PTSD can be caused by a single shooting but is more likely to be cause by total imersion in a life and death stress situation day in and day out over a period of time.

Anyone who takes another persons life and says he feels nothing is missing a component in their personality. I'm not suggesting that they must feel remorse... but they will feel something. It does get easier to handle the second time, and even easier the third time. This person may appear to be callus, but there is a deep emotional response. It may not be remorse as most people know it... but it's there.

In the civilian world as police, and armed citizens the reaction is a whole lot more acute. Solders are trained, and usually fight a defined enimy. I'm not saying that makes it any easier on them. I dont really know as I have never been in military combat. I do know as a civilian the work is done up close and very personal. Your adversary might look like you, or look like the kid next door... or may even be the kid next door. In the civilian world your always close enough to see the other guy, smell him, notice the color of his clothes, you may even touch him, or him touch you... Sometimes you hear his last words... he may curse you... he may forgive you... You may be close enough to watch the light go out in his eyes. You may hear him take his last breath... then be still... forever. You may realise that this man is gone... his life taken from him by you. Not just taken from him... but taken from those who love him... you may have taken a father from his children, or a husband from his wife ... forever.

You would have every right to have an emotional response. Any human being would. But it may not be what you or others would expect. As were all different, with different experiences there cant be one accepted emotional response... but there should be something. Anyone who dont feel anything after such an event would scare the crap out of me...

This is one of two things a police psychiatrist looks for... some emotional response. The other thing is that the officer is not debilitated by the event. They want to know basically... If you had to... could you do it again.

Glenn D.

mnero
April 27, 2011, 10:18 PM
I knew this fellow who was a prison guard. He often was tasked with transporting prisoners to court, the hospital, and so on. Well, I was young and stupid and I asked him if he ever had to use his .38 revolver. He said 'well yes, once'. He said 'This old boy got out of his restraints and made a run for it, so I shot him in the buttocks'. I said 'still you must have felt bad about having to shot him'. He said 'Well I understood he had to run and he understood that I had to shoot him in the ass':D

I think it is not regret about doing what you had to, it is remorse about the outcome. It would have been better if they had not been killed or grievously wounded.

RimfireChris
April 28, 2011, 01:23 AM
I think chadstrickland brought up a good point, reinforcing the idea that how the people around us percieve the shooting can profoundly effect how we feel about it.

Powderman
April 28, 2011, 02:09 AM
Good points in this thread.

Society has conditioned us, in a sense, to feel REALLY bad, and to react in a certain way if we have to take a life. It has been this way for a long time, and it has profoundly affected the treatment received by the person who did the shooting.

It is for this reason that the way police shootings are handled have changed quite a bit. Nowadays, the officer's firearm is taken into evidence; however, the officer is immediately re-armed. There are lots of people who are there for the officer, to offer both moral and physical support.

I have seen the aftermath of the use of deadly force. I, too, have seen the light leave the eyes, and have heard the "death rattle" that comes when life flees the body. It is quite a sobering experience, and a reminder of your own mortality.

I will say this, however--you MUST search yourself, truthfully and completely, before you EVER consider carrying a firearm for self defense--or even on duty. To carry a firearm, you must accept the knowledge that you ight, some day, have to use that firearm to cause another human being great pain and suffering, maybe even death. And, I must warn you--hearing a grown man cry and scream, calling for his mother (mostly) or another loved one, seeing someone who has experienced a solid upper chest hit literally coughing out their lungs, or seeing and realizing exactly what high-velocity blood splatter actually LOOKS like is a sobering experience.

You must decide if you CAN cause that to occur to a human being. And--if you have any doubt...any doubt at ALL...do yourself and your family a favor. Take the gun off your belt, leave it in the safe, and take it only to the range. Because if you do not feel that you can defend yourself, but you still carry a gun---and your moment of truth arrives, you might hesitate. Then, the person who is hurt will be YOU--or someone you love.

garryc
April 28, 2011, 07:49 AM
Nobody is saying that someone would feel all of those symptoms. If they did then they would be ready for the rubber room. But some of them to some degree. The article is more of a piece of information on what to watch for.


In my case I shot a guy when I was in the Navy. He actually shot at me first. I had caught him breaking into a building. What really made me subject to the trauma at a high level was that I had seen my best friend engulfed in flames two weeks prior. I put him out, he died shortly after. And that was an arson fire. Another story for another time.

Lets just say my personality radically changed. I lost a rank for fighting a superior petty officer. At my next captains mast, again for fighting, I was ordered to see psych. I went four times and denied anything was wrong, trying not to show weakness, trying to be Mr. Tough guy. Each time the Doctor ordered me to return.


Then I got in another bar fight, one that I started I might add. I ended up in the EM room at the naval hospital after being taken there by JAFP ( which I also worked at as one of my two jobs). As it turned out, that Doctor was duty officer that night. He ordered me escorted to his office.

When I tried to deny anything wrong he ordered me to attention, then proceeded to dress me down, and I mean nose to nose screaming at me like a Marine D.I. That kind of broke down some barriers.

I saw him regularly for a time, not always in his office. That officer took me fishing several times. He also hooked me up with a CPO who picked me up on Sunday mornings and took me to church off base. I was always a christian but I had lost touch with that.

As it turned out, this Doctor had done two back to back tours as an enlisted combat Marine in Vietnam. He knew first hand what he was talking about. He was also one of the founders of using cognitive therapy, including getting out of the clinical setting, for combat related PTSD.

Glenn E. Meyer
April 28, 2011, 09:05 AM
I might have seemed strident, for which I apologize. My point was based on the problem that some folks suffering from stress disorders have been denied help as superiors, bureaucracy, etc. have made light of the problem. That is a shame and a disgrace to our emergency professions and war fighters.

When we talked to police, we found some unwilling to discuss the issue, calling those who suffered a derogatory feminine name and worried that seeking help would hurt them professionally. Then they told us symptoms.

How they almost shot a child, did shoot a child - all legit - or some other critical incident and they still have problems. Or other issues - thus, I just want those to do feel such to get help and we should accept that it does happen.

As I said and others, if you don't get stress disorders - it doesn't necessarily mean you are disordered either.

It's a complicated issue.

RimfireChris
April 28, 2011, 09:14 AM
^^Pretty much dead on man.

psyfly
April 28, 2011, 11:22 AM
Excellent thread.

People who carry the means to inflict mortal damage (and, whether they know it or not, pretty much everyone does) need to know that there may be consequences they have not anticipated.

They also need to know that there may not be.

I see post-deployment AD members of all services (as mentioned before, such debriefing is now standard).

I also occasionally debrief LEOs who have been involved in a shots fired incident.

Reactions to taking life (or related almosts) are as varied as the personalities involved and the events experienced.

I like the comment about "appropriate amount of time" with a Mental Health Professional. That may be 15 minutes, 15 days, or 15 months.

Oh, BTW, statistics are quite useful but cannot tell you (or me) anything about what might happen to us in the future.

Best,

Will

garryc
April 29, 2011, 12:06 PM
My point was based on the problem that some folks suffering from stress disorders have been denied help as superiors, bureaucracy, etc. have made light of the problem.

Yeah, we had a disturbance one time in which a couple officers got hurt. The warden at the time made some comments after that I thought discounted what we did. I pointed out that he and the deputies, and all the higher ups, headed out the main entrance to "Set up the CIM command post". Turns out it was over quick, due to the command of a lowly LT.

Sleuth
May 4, 2011, 03:28 PM
I taught a course on PTSD at our academy. In the design of the course, I consulted with the department Psychologist, a former police officer who had killed on the job. In fact, every member of his team was an officer who had either killed in the line of duty, or lost a partner on the job.

There is an inoculation effect - if the issue is discussed and studied, without the macho name calling and "it will never happen to me", the effects are usually reduced.

As noted, not everyone has all/some/any of the effects of PTSD.
It so happened that a DPS officer was killed just outside our academy, and I ended up doing some on-scene counseling for his partner, who was unable to get off a shot. He said nice things about me in his after-action debrief, so I must have gotten some of it right.

Later, I killed someone in the line of duty. It never bothered me in any way, as I am secure in the knowledge that I saved others.

For a reference and seminal work in the area, read "The Onion Field". It has a clear presentation of PTSD before we knew what to call it.

lawnboy
May 4, 2011, 04:04 PM
I have no experience with this. I was in the USMC years ago but never fired a weapon at anything but a paper, metal, plastic or other target. I've shot a couple nuisance animals but am not a hunter.

But, as a person who carries a concealed handgun and keeps a loaded shotgun in the bedroom I've thought about the topic. Its as much a part of preparation as any other training.

I remember a section of To Ride, Shoot Straight and Speak The Truth where Jeff Cooper deals with this exact topic. Cooper believes that one should not feel psychological trauma in the aftermath of a justifiable shoot. His opinion is you should feel good because you defeated your enemy. I've always hoped to be able to come up to this standard should my time come.

aarondhgraham
May 4, 2011, 04:19 PM
Glenn Meyer stated: I might have seemed strident, for which I apologize. My point was based on the problem that some folks suffering from stress disorders have been denied help as superiors, bureaucracy, etc. have made light of the problem.

That was very evident during and immediately following Viet Nam,,,
There were still a heck of a lot of WW-II vets around then,,,
I had friends who were severely screwed up by Nam,,,
But the WW-II vets sneered at then for being so.

My former father-in-law was a navigator in a B-24 for three years in WW-II,,,
My former mother-in-law said he was a completely different man after he returned home,,,
In the late 70's I heard him make many comments on how the "Viet Nam P___ies" should just man up and get a grip.

My FIL was a mans man,,,
He just accepted and dealt with the nightmares,,,
I believe the disorder he experienced was called Bomber's Remorse.

The one time I mentioned that phrase,,,
I thought he was going to hit me.

"Men don't talk about that stuff." was his oft used phrase.

Speculation has it that Audie Murphy had severe PTSD after WW-II,,,
But he was also a strong advocate for returning Korea and Nam veterans who were messed up.

It's completely different now in the Army,,,
I was talking to a student who just returned from Afghanistan.

He said there were support groups available immediately after returning from a patrol,,,
If there was any shooting on the patrol then your attendance was mandatory,,,
And it wasn't a chaplain but a trained psychologist leading the group.

Wow! I say,,,
What a cultural difference between then and now.

I do often wonder about my reactions after a violent encounter,,,
Or maybe I should say my lack of a reaction.

All I can truly say is that he was down and I was not,,,
And that's exactly the way I wanted it to be.

I was very pleased and content with the outcome.

Aarond

Sleuth
May 4, 2011, 04:24 PM
Part of the very basis of PTSD (it can be any kind of trauma), is the conflict within.
On the one hand, you feel exultant and happy at having survived.

On the other, you feel bad because you have violated societies strongest norm by taking a life.

Consider if the life you have to take is that of a young female, later found to have a toy or unloaded gun - the worst possible case, that of having shot a child.

The trigger is usually comments by your friends - for cops, it is "jokes" in the station. On officer had to leave the job and suffered for years because, after a justified shooting of an (adult) female whom he shot in the head, someone on his squad said "There goes "Joe", the women lose their heads over him!"

In the military, usually the more of "them" you kill, the more 'pats on the back' for having done your part in the mission.
In the civilian world, you can expect criticism, questioning, and the civil lawsuit alleging you are a bad person (usually in the newspaper too). Been there, done that.

These "jokes" by your friends are the hardest things to overcome.

Sleuth
May 4, 2011, 04:34 PM
Aarond,
I have read that a historian went to a WWII reunion, and after he gained the confidence of the men, they admitted that many felt the same as the Viet vets. The problem was, it was socially unacceptable. Home town folks would applaud the vet who had killed the most. If anyone expressed remorse (or PTSD), the folks who felt they had 'sacrificed' for the war effort would shun him.
So, many of the Vets who suffered PTSD hid it. Plus, there were so many vets, it was easy to sit down with your pals.

There is some evidence that it was worse for vets from Europe, who killed people who looked like them - and may have even been related. Those who fought the Japanese, who did NOT look like them, combined with the sneak attack at Pearl Harbor, had fewer PTSD cases.

Perhaps the biggest negative of Vietnam was the individual rotation policy. Replacements went alone, served with strangers, came home alone, and 24 hours after leaving combat they were dumped out on the streets with no support system, and a society that, at best, had mixed feeling about the war.

lawnboy
May 4, 2011, 04:49 PM
On the other, you feel bad because you have violated societies strongest norm by taking a life.


This is probably very true. But you hit a nail that I wonder if you realize you hit. It is societies strongest norm. In other words, it is learned behavior. Not part of your genetic makeup, at least not yet given the shortness of time since it became "societies strongest norm".

So, it should be possible, and in the opinion of many is possible, for a perfectly well adjusted, emotionally normal human being to shoot another human being with no more "feeling" than one gets from shooting a deer. It's a matter of training and preparation. Which is all learned behavior is.

gearhounds
May 4, 2011, 05:17 PM
Pick up a copy of Lt. Col. Dave Grossman's "On Killing"; it addresses any of the points and counterpoints in this thread, and brings to light the general change in society over time as to killing other human beings and the effects it has on shooters. An excellent read.

Sleuth
May 4, 2011, 05:30 PM
Lawnboy, I knew what I was writing. This is one of the problems with Islamic Terrorists - their society says it is commendable to kill non-believers!

So, the "surround, SWAT, and Talk" tactics don't work, as they want to kill all the hostages. Thus they get to sit at the side of Mohammad.

In our own society, it was OK to imprison Japanese-Americans, who looked different and whose relatives engaged in a sneak attack. But no move was made to imprison German-Americans - they looked like us, and declared war without any (major) "sneak" attacks. Of course, there were economic motives as well for taking everything from the Japanese-Americans.

And in some parts of our culture, not so long ago, it was OK to kill those whose skin was "different" from the majority.

Makes me wonder who it will be OK to kill in a few years?

lawnboy
May 4, 2011, 06:22 PM
Lawnboy, I knew what I was writing. This is one of the problems with Islamic Terrorists - their society says it is commendable to kill non-believers!

So, the "surround, SWAT, and Talk" tactics don't work, as they want to kill all the hostages. Thus they get to sit at the side of Mohammad.

In our own society, it was OK to imprison Japanese-Americans, who looked different and whose relatives engaged in a sneak attack. But no move was made to imprison German-Americans - they looked like us, and declared war without any (major) "sneak" attacks. Of course, there were economic motives as well for taking everything from the Japanese-Americans.

And in some parts of our culture, not so long ago, it was OK to kill those whose skin was "different" from the majority.

Makes me wonder who it will be OK to kill in a few years?

All true and factual. As to the last question you posed: it will be ok to kill the enemy. However the enemy is defined.

My point was that the ability to kill another human is a reflex, like blinking when something comes close to your eyeball. It can be trained out of you. And modern society has been very successful at this. Successful enough that many people encounter emotional problems when they kill a human or humans.

And, if we take at his word the man who says he feels emotional trauma after using a firearm to kill a human being are we not obligated to also take at his word the man who says he feels nothing but exhultation at the victory? My cursory read of the thread show me that the general tenor of those who feel that trauma is inevitable is to assume that those who say they feel no trauma are lying (or deficient in some way). The general tenor of those who feel that trauma is optional is NOT to assume that those who feel otherwise are lying but to point out that there is another way.

What conclusions can be drawn from that?

For those of us who intend to use firearms if the situation ever requires it these are important questions that deserve as much time and effort as the ability to perform a stoppage drill under pressure.

Glenn E. Meyer
May 4, 2011, 07:28 PM
The problem with threads like this is that there are many opinions based on anecdotes and pronouncements. There is quite a bit of study of this. One should use Google scholar and read some of the literature.

1. People who deny it happens outright are incorrect. If they state people who do get stress disorders are weak - they do no service to their professions. If it is through ignorance or bravado - who cares. They are wrong. I know of cases of folks who have impeccable credentials and then in force on force training later have a stress related incident or flashback to some previous action.

2. No, it doesn't happen to everyone. Numbers vary. We can't predict who will be at risk with enough certainity at the present time.

3. If you don't get it - it doesn't mean you are disordered either. Some small percent of folks without remorse may be but it isn't everyone.

4. Great point that folks should be educated before! Stress innoculation and knowing how to be aware of symptoms is a great step forward in critical incident education. However, I will disagree that preparation can give you a guarantee of immunity. As in all things, it can help but an absolute guarantee you get it or don't - doesn't exist. But training is essential.

5. Changing the mindset so those that need help will get is also a great step forward for folks involved in critical incidents.

6. Knowing what treatments are efficacious is also important. There are crackpots out there.

Deadly Force Encounters: What Cops Need To Know To Mentally And Physically Prepare For And Survive A Gunfight - Alexis Artwohl

Into the Kill Zone: A Cop's Eye View of Deadly Force by David Klinger

Practical Police Psychology: Stress Management and Crisis Intervention - Miller

are all accessible reads for anyone.

lawnboy
May 4, 2011, 07:51 PM
I've been thinking about this topic a lot lately. I'm currently reading A Rifleman Went to War by H.W. McBride. He was an American who resigned a commission in the National Guard to go to Canada and enlist in British Army so that he could get into WWI quicker.

He is decidedly on the "feel no compunction about killing the enemy" side of the balance. Jeff Cooper wrote the foreword to the edition that I'm reading. His account of his actions and feelings is readable, interesting, thorough and believable. He acknowledges that he is aware that his attitude towards his actions in the war makes some people squeamish, but he doesn't temper it or back away. His attitude can be summed up as "They're the enemy. Kill them or they will kill you. What's for lunch?".

It seems to me that this is a desirable attitude in a soldier. It also seems to me that this is what the USMC was aiming for when I was there. I was never tested so I don't know if in my particular case they were successful. It seems like a desireable attitude in anyone trained to use deadly force whether this is a private in the USMC or a private citizen with a CPL who has taken an NRA defensive handgun course or anyone in between.

But only you can decide where you stand on the issue.

zxcvbob
May 4, 2011, 08:00 PM
I wonder if there's a correlation between the age of the shooter and the amount of emotional trauma? When you're, say, 50 or 60, you have a lot more life experience to help put it in perspective than when you're 20. You're also old enough by then to be aware of your own mortality and by extension everybody else's.

I also suspect some PTSD is a learned response. (kind of like people who fall down dead from a non-life-threatening gunshot wound because they just know they are supposed to die.

The mind is complicated.

lawnboy
May 4, 2011, 08:42 PM
The mind is complicated.

Ain't that the truth! Especially since it may not even exist.

I shoot, therefore I am.

I threw that in just to make it firearms related.

MashieNiblick
May 4, 2011, 09:16 PM
i believe prudence and pragmatism are key in this discussion

- one must first be able to shoot and master one's firearm at a range
- then they should be able to take arms 'gainst nonhuman animals, mortally to be followed by a good, sober meal shared with family and friends
- then be prepared to use his/her firearm on an intruder into their home or property upon an unwarranted intrusion
- then and only then should they carry in public away from home in cause of self defence

- ideally only proffessionals, and ideally only after filling first of above three req's, should be called to offer public defense (i.e. LEO's)

- ideally only proffessionals, and ideally only after filling first of above three req's, should be called to take arms to other countries in the cause of Liberty

- the taking of one's own specie's life is completely unnatural and an almost nonexistent occurance in the animal kingdom.

- what are we anyway?

- unfortunately, it is often far too romantisized in modern theatre and media

- again, fulfillment of the first three may, may prepare one to take another's life

- key is that one has played such entire scenarios through one's mind- from initiation of situation, to pull, to trigger, to recipient's aftermath, to LE arriving and questioning post occurence, to family members and community of recipient arriving, to local media attention, to court perhaps, to personal shock, aftershocks, and waves of such, after incident, to possible PTSD, etc ad infinitum

- as a side note, i wouldn't doubt if the recent Pakistani Compound takedown team has already, medically, forgotten completely about the incident

Be careful out there, Gentlemen.
Regards,
- MN

lawnboy
May 4, 2011, 10:11 PM
the taking of one's own specie's life is completely unnatural and an almost nonexistent occurance in the animal kingdom

So is written language and the use of tools. Yet here we are.

MashieNiblick
May 4, 2011, 10:40 PM
written language to humans is akin to a coyote urinating in the dirt and brush for his breathren to read later

tools to humans are akin to deer and mooses rubbing antlers on birch to rid of old skin

coyotes eating coyotes. . . hmmm, don't think so. . . :( :barf: :mad: :eek:

deer eating deer- think mad cow disease

and we humans are like 75% herbivore- ImO there's a relation

MashieNiblick
May 4, 2011, 11:00 PM
to further the discussion

- there is no wrong in self protection and the protection or saving the lives of others
- there is wrong in one killing another of one's own species- again look to wild animals here
- unfortunately for us, with our overpopulation and misguided grouping and societal skills, the latter sometimes necessitates the former

- this is why our Armed Forces mandate strict adherance to ROE

- domestically, and rightly ImHO, LE and us are given more flexibility


- if ROE is not adhered on foreign soil, and it happens, be there a coverup or not- this is where severe long term disorders prevail


- one's breathren group fixating that point two above is good when obviously it is just a necessity for successful achievment of point one above- power in numbers- more power in truth. man. . .


- for us guys domestically, the same should be true with regards to our additional given flexibilities- karma, karma


- the GI's in Vietnam fought the toughest battle personally of all US wars, ImHO

- dropped in the middle of a freaking JUNGLE, i repeat- a JUNGLE, insurgents, communities, patrols, who's who's???, what's what's???, things that go creak, knock, thump, pop, pow, bang- in the day and night. years durations, rampant drug use, etc, etc. . .


anyway, just to further the discussion. . . .

lawnboy
May 4, 2011, 11:00 PM
Written language, like that used to write about firearms, requires abstraction and introspection unavailable to a coyote.

You can see a coyote urinate in the dirt and another come along an hour later, smell it, and head in the opposite direction. You can infer from that that some kind of marking occurred. Introspection allows you to put yourself in the mind of another and speculate on what is going on there. Abstraction allows you to recognize communication when you see it. You can then use these human traits to outsmart the coyote (whose senses are all superior to yours) and draw him into range to shoot him.

You can show one of those two coyotes a copy of the 2nd Amendment and he can infer nothing from it. It does not help him realize that there is a good chance that you have a rifle.

If a buck loses to another buck in a contest over females he does not leave the scene and return with a better weapon. Like a rifle.

And coyotes are scavengers. They'll eat anything. Including other coyotes. So when you shoot that coyote you called you better hit him solid. If you wing him he'll limp away and that other coyote will eat him after he drops.

MashieNiblick
May 4, 2011, 11:11 PM
i agree that a coyote of the canine variety would have a hell of a time graduating from Oxford or similar

, but think how well we'd do and how long we'd survive dropped in the middle of the wild without MRE's and water. . .

they don't introspectively understand our language- don't assume that we know much about theirs

they have a lot less free time too, so i understand why coyotes of the canine variety had no part in writing the god blessed US Constitution :D

Best Regards,
- MN

lawnboy
May 4, 2011, 11:19 PM
;)

MashieNiblick
May 4, 2011, 11:20 PM
lb,

i apologize if i sound like a smart@$$- i do not mean it.

much respect and best regards,
- MN

lawnboy
May 4, 2011, 11:23 PM
I'm bored, its late and I friggin love verbal fencing. Or, given our virtual location, a verbal shootout.

No offense taken! G'Nite

MashieNiblick
May 4, 2011, 11:45 PM
you like verbal fencing

i like corners, or getting out of them at least :)- some say by swinging from ceiling fans :D, so all's good

Good Night, indeed, Sir.
- MN
:cool:

BigBob3006
May 5, 2011, 06:06 AM
I was dispatched out of city to back up a Maricopa County Deputy.By the time I got there it was all over with. The Deputy tried to stop a speeding car and the perp didn't want to stop. This was a weekday morning. The area was semi-remote with some industrial sites. The Deputy got the man out of the car and that was when the perp started shooting. The Deputy put the man down for keeps. There were several civilian witnesses who were all eager to tell what a great job the Deputy had done up to that point. The Deputy was standing there when a loud whistle blew. The Deputy thought lunch time, pulled out his lunch and started to eat. What had happened was the Deputy who was a eight or nine year veteran went into shock. I sat him in my car along with a civilian to talk to him. Within a few minutes the civilian was out of the car telling everyone that the Deputy was in shock. So everything worked out for him. It ruined his self image of his career. Inside a month the Deputy had quit. That's why I always tell students that at some time they are going to sit in judgement of what took place. They are going to be the harshest judge of the shooting. At that time they had better have had a good reason for shooting.

Sleuth
May 5, 2011, 11:33 AM
BigBob, as I recall, 70-80% of LEO's who kill in the LOD leave law enforcement within a year. I had already put in my papers, so I don't count.

There are also the reverse reactions - like the CA officer who killed one of a notorious set of gang member brothers. After the next qualification, he shot better than usual, holstered his gun, and said "Bring on the other XXXX brothers!" He was sent to psych.

In the end, we are all individuals. Some suffer PTSD, some don't. Some have many symptoms, some few. Age, years as an LEO, prior PTSD training, moral background, etc. are all factors, but the impact of each is unknown.

And no one has mentioned the religious feelings. The depth of religious feeling may also be a factor - the early editions of the bible says "thou shall not murder", not thou shall not kill. Early religious teaching included situations when killing was allowed.

But remember this: Look down on no one for his suffering is real - certainly to him/her. I did not suffer PTSD, but if there is a next time, I might.

markj
May 5, 2011, 03:14 PM
I never shot anyone, but my nephew has. Marine soon to be out.

He said there were support groups available immediately after returning from a patrol,,,
If there was any shooting on the patrol then your attendance was mandatory,,,
And it wasn't a chaplain but a trained psychologist leading the group.


He is in san diego going thru "Debriefing" he took over a large machine gun maybe a m50 or something like it, then aimed it on a convoy just blew his best friend up and killed his sgt. He told me that gun tore up everything he shot with it, guys in the vehicles were jellied, unrecognizable. He has bad dreams, is dealing with it. He isnt the same young man, not as brash, not so fast to speak up, more introspective.

He will be a dad soon, and on to be a teacher, the marine corp was his way to get college money.

Killing a person changed him, I for one dont wish that change be made to me if I can avoid it.