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Old October 11, 2000, 01:11 AM   #2
Staff Emeritus
Join Date: September 15, 1999
Location: Where am I going? Why am I in this handbasket?
Posts: 4,194

Most people are taught from early childhood that it is wrong to hurt someone else. Mom or Dad was there to shake a finger in your face when you hauled off and dotted a sibling in the eye with your fist. Sunday School taught Thou shalt not kill, and the law teaches that to take anothers life is so bad, that it deserves the Ultimate Price -- the Death Penalty.

You are further taught that those who kill, and particularly those who enjoy killing, are the epitome of evil.

There is...a certain...exultation in the act of taking another persons life, even in the act of self-defense. Some psychiatrists believe that it is a relief factor. You were that close to death, you survived, ergo you are feeling a great sense of relief. Others feel it is more primal -- you have faced the ultimate challenge, and you have won. Still others are sure that it is nothing more than the side effects of the chemicals produced by the body in the 'fight-or-flight' reponse.

However it is explained, it is a factor in the sense of shame following a self-defense shooting. You have just taken a life, and you are happy about it. Hell, you're ready to tip your head back and howl at the moon. Then you remember that people who like killing are evil. Big crash. Mondo Big Crash -- I'm talking depression, self-loathing, etc, until your mind manages to successfully rationalize the killing.

Side track here: Your mind not being able to rationalize your taking of a life is, I believe, a big factor in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Anyhoo, back to the subject, I believe that most people don't pull the trigger because a) their minds are hard-wired to the fact that taking a life is evil and/or b)they may have an inkling that they might enjoy it, thus becoming evil -- and death for themselves is far better than becoming a monster that enjoys killing.

That's just $.02 from a tired LawDog

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