Fear is NOT a gift. Fear, no matter how many books it sells, it is an emotional reaction that leads to poor decisions and to over reaction. What we want instead is coolness under stress...now that is a gift. But far too many gun people are driven by fear. Their training is based on being afraid and their entire defense posture is built entirely on fear because that is what those who trained them knew best. One generally teaches what one knows and understands. But fear-aggression often leads to fear-shooting. And fear-shooting is rarely clean, well done, or justified shooting. The attitude that is most desirable is not the snarling little fear-aggressive dog with the emotionally-driven outburst of words, and often over-reactive gunshots. The attitude that is more desirable is the attitude of the predator. Now by "predator" I am referring to the animal kingdom example that differentiates the snarling little ankle biter dog, and the wolf on the hunt.
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. Having justified the outcome with his rules of engagement, he has already decided to kill the target and is merely waiting for the visual or audible signal to launch. There is nothing defensive about him once the signal has been recognized. Moreover, should the contact be initiated by the adversary and the predator be on the defense at the outset, his entire plan of action revolves around turning the tables, taking away the adversary's initiative and counter attacking.
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. And how you see yourself and your role in relation to it.
The Fear-Aggressive will see these events far differently than the Predator.
I tell the students that my job is to teach them at three levels. One is the mind as they need to know why they will be doing what they are doing. Two is the hands, or technical mastery. And three, most importantly is the heart, or how they should feel.
I am not teaching them sport, I am teaching them how to kill evil men. If you carry a pistol with you daily it is in anticipation of, perhaps that very day, of killing another man, or men, bent on killing you. Thus all men who carry a weapon are killers, or anticipating becoming killers. A part of this has been labelled mind set, but there is so much more to it than just a mere thought process. It is more of a "self-image".
Theodore Roosevelt, a life all men should study, wrote: All men who feel any power of joy in battle know what it is like when the wolf rises in the heart.
He was right. There is a sentiment behind it...a joy. The French called it Joie de Guerre. But it is a sentiment that modern society is extremely uncomfortable with.
Does the lion weep over killing the zebra? I doubt it. So how do you see yourself? What is your self- image? Prey, or Predator? When the evil men come with threats of violence are you afraid? Or do you inwardly smile and your heart leaps at the justified opportunity to express your warrior nature once again? Today we cultivate our warriors to feel bad about their victories and we brow beat them with labels and counseling. And if they dare say they enjoyed the fight…that it was fun, they are excoriated and expelled from the mainstream.
But consider the lion. When the zebra presents himself to the lion, the lion is not afraid. Even if the lion was outnumbered by armed and belligerent zebras. The lion smiles inwardly, pleased at the opportunity to manifest his existence and being as a lion. So he is happy when he chases, catches, and kills the zebra.
He is happy to be the lion.
He is happy at the opportunity to express his “lionhood”.
And it has nothing at all to do with one’s profession. "Professional" and "amateur" are words that have lost all original meaning. Predator and prey is far more descriptive than mere occupation. One self selects or he does not (even if they are assigned to a role that does not fit them). I have found during my past life in LE and my present life often training LE that many of them are not self-selected predators of evil men. Rather they are assigned to that task once in a while and if all goes well, and the numbers are on their side, they succeed. But if not, we see events like we have seen around the nation of men tasked with attacking the demons disengaging and hiding under the desk. Truly, in the modern age of LE, the mentality I am discussing is not welcomed at all and the ethos of "community helper" is far more accepted than "hunter of demons". And when a smiling community helper, who has been raised in and motivated by fear, faces a terrorist or a moderately trained and skilled evil adversary, well...the news is filled with such events.
The lion does not warn the zebra he is coming to kill him. There is a great deal of importance as to how one sets his perspective on things...about how one gets their mind right. We need more predators and far fewer prey.
Which one are you?
Next Time - The Secrets: Developing Gunfighter Skills