Continuing with our study of the mental aspects of gunfighting and killing I want to discuss a topic we see with dogs, but has rarely been ever used to describe humans in conflict. That is Fear Aggression. Look at the two images above. Before reading the rest of the article look at them and see the differences in demeanor, posture, emotion, as well as the outward manifestation of those emotions.
On the left we see a small dog baring his teeth. If a picture could have sound you could almost hear the little growl coming from the little throat rolling into a full blow little bark. The little dog is afraid and if he was a human, we would say he was emotional, angry, and loudly acting out those emotions. A fear aggressive dog is dangerous because he is unpredictable and uncontrollable and his fear will lead him to bite even if biting is not what is called for...and even then, those bites will be applied hesitantly and poorly.
On the right we see a wolf on the stalk. Look at the image again. There is no fear in the wolf, no emotional arousal, no anger nor hate. There is no snarling or growling. In fact, if there is any emotion involved it is contained as any show of emotion would compromise his objective. If he was a human we would say that the wolf is poised for action. He is calm, but sprung for action. Something is about to happen and the wolf is making it happen. When the wolf bites, it is deep, concentrated and focused.
Now lets shift the discussion to humans. I said in the first installment of this discussion that a vast number of gunmen (a collective term I plan on using to describe good men and women who carry weapons ostensibly to fight evil gunmen) are fear-aggressive trained. In other words they are trained to be the little dog on the left rather than the wolf on the right.
From the first article:
"I think the majority of LE guys and armed CCW guys today are raised in fear. They are afraid of everything and are in essence "fear aggressive" when faced with danger. And that being the case, they are terrified – always.
You see that in the various videos where the officer is heard screaming for several seconds...often unintelligibly before shooting. It is as if they are trying to talk the killer into not getting shot even if that is what is clearly required at the time."
I think they are trained to be Fear-Aggressive because that is what those who trained them knew best. One generally teaches what one knows and understands. The attitude that is most desirable is not the snarling little fear-biter with the emotionally-driven outburst of words, and often bullets. Fear-aggression often leads to fear-shooting. And fear-shooting is rarely clean or well done shooting. The attitude that is more desirable is the Predator Mindset.
The Predator does not show emotional arousal, or anger. The Predator does not yell or posture and does not develop a relationship to or with his adversary. He has a cool-minded determination to overcome and defeat the adversary. The adversary is in fact, nothing more than a target. The predator has a situational awareness and is planning his positioning and maneuver to take advantage of the environment at the time he launches his action. The exchange is not a give and take as would be seen in a sparring match or a sporting event. He moves decisively and with finality. He has already decided to kill the adversary and is merely waiting for the visual or audible signal to launch. There is nothing defensive about him once the signal has been recognized.
There are many gunmen that cannot let go of the fear-aggressive model they have been trained and indoctrinated in. They will say that we cannot be predators and that the laws say this or say that. Actually, they and their trainers, are wrong. There is a difference in creating an event, and reacting to an event presented to you. Once the event has been presented to you vis-a-vis the actions of the adversary, you are free to do as you wish. The key and important thing here is the recognition of the unfolding event.
The Fear-Aggressive will see these events far differently than the Predator. That is the key to success and what we will discuss next time.