Hotair has some interesting video of a shooting by police, captured by witness phones not the dash/body cam. I first saw it over at Grim’s blog.
I’ll describe operant conditioning, what may be behind the trigger pull reflex in many police scenarios that end up with either too many civilians dead or too many LEOs dead.
Operant conditioning sidesteps that issue of martial arts training and time requirements, because they don’t teach people to “kill” humans. They teach people to “pull the trigger” X times when Y, Z, and B happens. To the people being conditioned, they aren’t thinking in the higher combat state of mind, they’re just reacting to stimuli. If they ever thought about what they were really doing, they might hesitate and stop themselves from pulling the trigger, which would mean their conditioning had failed. In those instances, the story would be about some crim killing police officers instead.
As for what I mean by combat state of mind, I can illustrate a few incidents.
1. A certain staff sergeant in a national guard (forgot which) unit, was writing online about his experiences in Kosovo or Iraq. One time he saw some guy on a building’s roof, qualified the target as a threat because he was carrying some kind of shoulder rocket thing like an rpg, and he took the target in his sights and was about to pull the trigger. He said he could remember his movements exactly. Right as he was about to pull the trigger and terminate the target, something in his eyes told him that the threat was not a threat, and he stopped. Later on he, reflected that it looked like the man was actually carrying some kind of construction equipment on his shoulder that just looked like an rpg. How did he detect the minute differences in the time of heartbeats between pulling the trigger and not pulling the trigger? Now that was the un explainable part. Time compression, was the default response. Time just compressed and he had a lot of time to consider it, but he always said he worried and feared what would have happened if he hadn’t stopped himself.
2. The second one would be me, trying to determine whether a car that stopped at an intersection and had yelled out, was a threat or not. The number of potential threats in the car equaled about 2-4. I dropped from Green or White, as frontsight might call it, directly into orange, skipping past yellow or the in between warning stage. No cover. No direct lines of concealment to cover escape. Only option is to pull range on the target and verify the threat scale and nature. So I walked up to the stationary car, at an angle, to ensure that they can’t easily pull any gun on me, so that I could get close enough to them to either neutralize or determine their lack of threat. I didn’t yell out. Speech centers are irrelevant at that stage of alertness. Hearing isn’t necessary either. I ascertained the nature of the potential threat via their body language. When I obtained sufficient proof to convince my instincts, I turned around and continued my walk.
There’s no need to yell. There’s no need to wave your biggest weapon around and use it before even ascertaining the threat level. The problem with having other people set your triggers, is that you become their tool. You can’t turn off the triggers. You can’t modify them. How does that make you in control of anything? Some of these LEOs fresh off the academy are told “shoot first, we’ll back you up, better than being dead in this war against the crims”. And they are fresh off the academy for police, and they soak it up, along with their operant conditioning to pull the trigger. That’s all they need to do, pulling the trigger isn’t hard to condition.
Yes, the heartbeat goes up past 150, but so what. The test to determine how people can think well in emergencies is how fast they can get their heart beats down from the 180-220 survival state. The woman filming the video, was calm, until she had some time to think about it in the police box at least… The police officer may have the excuse “well, I just acted instinctively”. Like the BART guy who pulled out his gun and shot the black kid on the ground, when restrained by 3-4 others. He was supposed to pull out his TAZER but I guess his incomplete training made him forget momentarily which holster it was in, so he pulled out the one he normally used. The one he was qualified to use on range, his normal lethal force holster. One shot, dead.
But this LEO can’t use that excuse, because after he realized what he did, he just stood there waiting for backup. Obeying procedural rules of his society, at the expense of a life he knew he shouldn’t have taken. At that point, it wasn’t instinct any more, he was starting to think, even if his heart rate was up.
Speech, hearing, and even emotions are sometimes de-prioritized in the combat state. The LEO has conditioning, but he wasn’t able to get into the combat state, to obtain clear mindedness and self control. He and others like him, are guilty of obeying the authorization of his superiors, which end being evil. Then when his free will returns and he can make a choice, he made the choice of staying there and waiting for backup to tell him what to do.
Anyone can blame their training for a mistake. How you recover from the mistake, is the test of moral character and free agency, which is a test from God, the supposed creator of humanity at large. Yet Lucifer also gets his pick of a test as well. People can choose which path they want. Do they save lives and restore the civic body through family and order, or do they choose to destroy the family unit and anything else, in favor of creating hundreds of criminals that will kill even more LEOs in the future?