In fear for your life

 Deadly Force.

The standard for legal justification of deadly force is the same for police and civilians, but it is interpreted and applied differently. Therefore, following the law and exercising your rights must include adherence to the application of the law and the procedures or scrutiny if deadly force is used by you or against you, whether civilian or law enforcement.

The standard default declaration is to proclaim being in fear for your life. It has no meaning but is generally understood to mean something that is subjective but not specific to the situation. You only think you know what it means but it has a different meaning to everyone projected upon and applied to a situation. It is vague and supports a spectrum of fear levels based solely on fearful anxiety.

The time when that is acceptable as the primary justification for using deadly force has passed and defies objective reasoning or quantification. Thus, fear should no longer be sufficient or a factor for using deadly force. Instead, the actual circumstances should constitute a code red threat or tactical disadvantage creating an imminent danger of serious bodily harm or death, not to gain compliance or quell any fear.

Being in fear for your life is very subjective. It can primarily reflect your psychological frailty instead of the actual circumstance you are in or confronted with actually being a serious bodily harm threat. Specific physical and mental allowances must be made for a variance of vulnerabilities, the prevailing circumstances confronted with, and the objectively reasonable response. Still, an actionable threat must be the primary reason for any legal lethal force response.

Realizing that most civilians have uncertainty regarding when deadly force is appropriate and required lends itself to a tendency to erroneously use deadly force based solely on fear, not the threat. Sometimes law enforcement being unaccustomed to high risk or confronted with unfamiliar situations, can react with certainty but erroneously or prematurely from fear or anger, not the threat. Force must be reasonable and unavoidable, and prudent in its exercise where your actions did not create or escalate the threat.

When deadly force is used, the standard for reasonableness, even when justified, requires it must remain within that which is not excessive. The standard applied by law for both civilian and law enforcement is to use the minimal force necessary to neutralize a threat based upon the known or reasonably perceived circumstances at that time but not to your level of fear.

Your perception is formed by the actual events or circumstances existing at that time and the threat’s ability to carry them out, resulting in serious bodily harm to you. According to the law, it is explicitly forbidden to use deadly force to protect property regardless of the value of that property. Deadly force is only supported as a counter to serious bodily harm.

The subjective factors that influence deadly force use are age, size, gender, physical limitations, specific previous victimization, etc. The list is long, but the actual justification must be supported and based on specific factors justifying the action to be warranted and always from a defensive perspective.

These many considerations are supporting factors of articulation but not justification for deadly force. The harmful threatening act is the only primary justification that can be legally considered. The rest is just supporting elements of that action or threat. The perception of a serious bodily harm threat must also be of the nature to be carried out at the time of your reaction.

You must have the fundamental knowledge of what perceptions of a threat you were responding to, why you reacted that way, and whether you can legally respond that way with a force that will likely cause serious physical harm or death. It must be a reaction to their actions supported by a reasonable response to a specific pending or imminent articulated threat.

Being in fear should not be the emotional state you are in; instead, the apprehensive projection of the threat if allowed to progress to a reasonable conclusion. You cannot instigate or agitate a confrontation and claim to be in fear of the situation you created. It would be best if you remained near blameless in your contribution to the circumstances causing the conflict.

For example, a vehicle moves forward and backward, not sideways. If law enforcement knows this places themselves in the forward or reverse path of a vehicle without escape options, they have essentially created their own danger. Therefore, deadly force should not be used. Instead, better judgment should.

Everything articulated should be their actions and your response. You must only do what someone’s actions force you to do. Reacting for your safety must be warranted and justified by your right not to submit yourself to the discretion of whatever misfortune, harm, or criminal intent that may be forced upon you.

If placing yourself in harm’s way and then the assumed harm is attempted, then by default, you ultimately initiated that attempt. If it was expected to possibly occur, knowing the risk and danger, you actually allowed it to happen by your actions.

Deadly force must always be reactionary to a threat unforeseen or unavoidable. Knowing the standards under which you will be judged, feeling confident in your response, and committing yourself to restraint as necessary increases your advantage of legally responding to a deadly threat with little hesitation and minimal scrutiny.

Understand that fear is where your concerns and insecurities overcome your confidence and commitment. What may weaken your resolve to resist or survive is strictly subjective to your fear of inadequacy and not a response to the actual threat. Reacting to the actual threat is responding to the resolution of the threat and not the resolution of your fear. Under this perspective, fear has no place in the equation for consideration of your actions.

There is a distinct difference between a response for your life or being scared and frightened. Fear is from within; it is something that you choose to accept and project. Fear is closely related to your level of preparation, familiarity, comfortability, and any unfavorable circumstances present. When these levels are low, your anxiety is high, so fear is more of a reflection of your personal state of mind than the threat confronted with, even when lethal action is necessary and unavoidable.

Anger is fear projected outwardly, and fear is anger projected inwardly upon yourself. No one can account for your or another’s fear, biases, or insecurities. No one should have to account for why you or anyone is afraid of the dark or an impending danger that does not exist outside your mind.

Fear is often a stereotypical or conjured projection causing an irrational override of reality. So, fear must be removed as the primary criterion for using deadly force. Fear is an admission and display of irrational behavior and most likely an indictment of your confidence.

Legal justification is the principal standard and level of responsibility that anyone carrying a firearm consent to by carrying that firearm and definitely by using deadly force. Insinuated by implication and association are also all bullets fired being accountable to the shooter. It has nothing to do with the shooter. Instead, the person getting shot to provoke and justify that action of being shot.

What did they do to get shot that was a reaction to and material reflection of their behavior? From the shooter’s perspective, they did this, and I reacted as such. Not, I did this due to my fear of unwarranted anticipation of an unobserved action or being absent of any overt indication of danger. Much like chess, only one move is made then the opponent must make a move until checkmated. Your move is executed only after the opponent has made their move which you then counter or prevent.

When deadly force is used, there is a legal responsibility to stop when it is no longer necessary, even if initially justified. As the threat level changes, force adjustments must change, adhering to minimal force necessary to discontinue the threat. Excessive force occurs when the adjustment is not made or justified in the beginning. That standard applies to less than deadly force as well. Passive resistance is not a justification for deadly force.

The standard criteria already legally established for deadly force should be firmly applied and enforced with violations fully prosecuted to discourage the motivation and occurrences of its violation by civilians and law enforcement. Law enforcement and vigilantism must especially be scrutinized to diminish violations of publicly accepted legal expectations and legally established statutes.

Even cowboys recognized in the wild west that shooting someone in the back or from behind was inherently wrong because it was cowardly and suspect of the threat they posed with their back towards you or running away.

Multiple gunshots to the back should be assumed murder absent some extraordinary circumstances and articulation to justify the nearly indefensible. Possessing a gun that is not in a position to be used most certainly falls under the same reprehensible cowardly actions since it is legal in most places to possess a firearm.

In the use of deadly force, there needs to be fully transparent investigations and personal accountability according to the governing state and federal laws, police department general police orders of operation, the departmental expectation of conduct and tactics, and civilian or officer-initiated encounters. In addition, civilians should be vigorously held to the same factually based reactions rejecting their reckless behavior, frivolous encounters, and fear of situations they created or had no legal standing to enforce instead of an imaginary justification of fear.

Being comfortable in situations requires mental preparation to visualize likely scenarios prior to encountering them. Lack of knowledge and preparation manifests itself in panic and fear, which is prone to overreaction. Memory retention and muscle memory are then trained by conditioning them where your only concern is logically and methodically dealing with the threat or circumstances without panic.

Proficiency in your craft, whatever it is, breeds confidence, even if it is baking a cake. Target acquisition is the next issue of paramount importance. You must be sure before firing what you are shooting at, why you are shooting at it, with what you are using to shoot at it, can you strike the intended target, and how many times is reasonable to fire to eliminate the threat but not necessarily the person.

You should not just unload on someone out of fear without articulating why it was necessary. At this point, it becomes suppressive fire without a confirmed target or justified circumstances. Controlling your anxiety avoids reckless behavior and unreasonable actions which are regrettable or debatable.

Recent news examples that illustrate the lack of these principles are the Breonna Taylor, Jacob Black, and Duante Wright shootings. In the Taylor case, the lack of target acquisition and discipline under stress laying down suppressive fire. The Black case poor tactics and poor suspect control to prevent him from moving contrary to risk aversion.

Mainly seven shots to the back being excessive to repel the perceived knife threat, which had not yet become direct. The Wright case where panic and overreaction mentally short-circuited the motor skills and muscle memory familiarity to perform an act your body knew was wrong but that your mind overruled to grab the wrong weapon.

You can train for stress, but only stress simulates stress and fear is always present with the uncertain where you feel unprepared, even taking an exam or a critical event. Still, fear must be processed and redirected to heighten the ability not to immobilize it. The first consideration is always to minimize risk to yourself by your tactics to maneuver to minimize danger.

You must be proactive to predict, eliminate, prevent, or minimize the risk, escalation, or damage you must do to someone by limiting their opportunity to harm you before deadly force has to be used. You cannot account for other’s actions but are responsible for your tactics and actions, so control what you can control, yourself.

Excessive force and deadly force must be responsive to the deafening outrage and continued advancement of transparency and accountability regardless of who the violators are. The public now demands it, and the law requires it to be applied equally without prejudice or reservation, thereby minimizing the fear that others have for their life in these encounters.

The police must now also police themselves to raise their shared duty of accountability to these known standards and restore public trust to the previous levels enjoyed and beyond. Ongoing training should reflect this, and violations should be exposed to protect the integrity of the uniform and profession to establish a law enforcement culture in line with the changing times and respect for life. Civilians must adhere to a standard of conduct that does not initiate or invite deadly force to stay out of the gray zone subjecting themselves to fear.

Remember to eliminate fear; you can practice until you don’t make a mistake but can also practice until you can’t make a mistake to be genuinely proficient and eliminate fear. It is about taking life seriously to invest the time and resources into training yourself lessening fear and promoting better judgment when carrying a firearm.

Taken from my forthcoming book, the Pointman.

Thurston K. Atlas
Creating A Buzz

Elephant restrained by a peg

 Unparalleled Strength.

The elephant is majestic and revered across many lands, cultures, and over time. The elephant is the largest land mammal globally, with species that grow up to 13,000 pounds in weight. It symbolizes wisdom, loyalty, reliability, power, and good luck with an incredible memory and observable traits and behavior that contradicts its colossal size and raw strength.

The elephant knows no bounds in the wild, but it is taught limitations that ensure its control and ignorance of self in captivity. It is controlled by the only means capable, itself, by being subjected to psychological conditioning to ensure its own psychological bondage. That is why a small cord or twine can tether a fully grown 13,000-pound elephant to a small peg knocked only inches into the ground.

It is imprisoned not by physical force but by confinement of its mind. It is manipulated into complicity by limiting the processes of the mind that would enable it to recognize and use its great strength against the bondage of a feeble restraint. It is conditioned to remain restricted and accept a power other than itself, believing it is hopelessly outside its grasp to attempt resistance.

The initiation is started much like kindergarten, where this must be embedded before a level of confident resistance can be exhibited; it must be extinguished early. The elephant must be trained at an early age to accept tethering calmly. This is done by tying one front leg to a peg and then the opposite diagonal rear leg to a different peg, thereby restraining the “baby beast.

This technique alone cannot restrain a baby elephant, so the deterrent or restraint must be stronger than the elephant’s young strength at that time to reinforce that there is no escape or resistance against the force that binds it against its will. Chains will do just fine for this. It will continuously and repeatedly test the chains imposed upon it until it learns that its size and strength are futile against the constraints that hold it physically.

No matter how hard or how long its effort to resist is, it becomes useless. Once its determination is broken, and the elephant “realizes” this uselessness, it gives up any further or future attempts believing that it is powerless against that which controls it for its entire life. The physical chains then become the psychological chains that bind the beast even into adulthood.

Confinement of the mind once achieved will be self-imposed in most instances, with only minimal reminders needed. The elephant’s determination is then replaced by calm compliance. It becomes no longer necessary for strong restraints that surpass the elephant’s young strength or its two legs to be restrained because now it is adequately conditioned. Sounds familiar?

The limitations of the mind work on all animals (even human animals too) when once conditioned and with the supporting reminders as constant behavioral reinforcement to maintain a reality that is believed by most to really be your actual limitations. It is a clever and sinister trick long used before Pavlov Theory.

Using the opposite of Pavlov, a penalty can be avoided by compliance. The absence of stimulus to elicit a response instead of anticipating a reward. The old go along to get along or else is still in full effect.

Even with elephants, peer pressure is used as a continuous reminder of how to behave, like crabs in a barrel to keep you confined with them. However, older conditioned elephants demonstrate their compliance instilling a level of acceptance that soothes the young elephants into accepting that’s just how it is, no questions about it.

The use of that which is most impressionable to someone is a highly effective tool of implementing behavior and beliefs because it comes from a trusted and relied upon source. So once the “baby beast” becomes fully grown and the chains and diagonal leg restraints are no match for their tremendous strength, they are still chained psychologically to their old circumstances.

The old circumstances were when much younger their resistance was useless had in reality long ago changed, but their mind had not changed, making it indeed their current reality with no longer a good reason why. Their size and strength had long ago multiplied to overcome their constraints, but their desire and mentality remained confined conditioned by a small rope and a faulty belief.

The young elephant knew no different but was taught this with no examples or allowances to suggest otherwise. Captivity of a generational herd mentality naïve of self and the unquestioned acceptance that clings to a vastly different fate from the reality of its true power and destiny. This is the taming of spirit and dousing of determination where no right to do so existed. Justified by the need and ability to do so but to no benefit to the elephant, only its exploitation.

Let’s change the subject name from elephants to people, human beings, not races. The name changes, but the game stays the same if you choose to stare at the truth and not flinch. Maybe you have been made into the very thing you despise the most by being trusting and naïve. Unaware of the reality thrust upon you that is not at all what you believe it to be, much like the elephant.

What peg restrains and controls your mind? Regrettably, you got it the same way the elephant did, unknowingly and without an understanding of your strength or how. As the elephant grew, it still held onto outdated beliefs embedded early on when it could have easily freed itself from captivity. If only it realized that it had the power not only to resist its restraints but to overpower it and choose its fate.

The will is what sustains you when the road gets tough but only when you prevent it from being compromised and allow it to expand untethered by the limitations of others regulating influences. Those who poorly regulate themselves would seek to regulate others by their word but not by their deed, indicating if you are clever, what is good for the goose may not be so good for the gander.

By what right is this recognized as being above your sovereignty, only for the comfort and amusement of another? Consider another’s gain you contribute to without fair compensation? Is it a reflection of your true importance to their elevation and accumulation? This power is not negotiated but given away and, in many cases, squandered or, much worst, not recognized or exercised.

Absent of lies and deceptions, power over oneself is the only authority a person has that does not involve consent and cooperation. If you want to lead, then be an example and possess that which others would be willing to follow that does not demand a subordination of them to your will against their good.

Time brings about a change one way or another, so everything must change and will change constantly, but the idea for change is the catalyst. We see as the captive elephant’s circumstances changed over time, he remained stagnant. As time passes, we should evolve to not invade others’ personal boundaries and human rights to conform to foreign beliefs that are not of their choosing or benefit. Persuasion is the proper tool, not suppression. Mutual benefit, not exploitation.

The techniques used to control the masses are driven down in your mind like a peg tethered by faulty socialization, now using more advanced processes than physical abuse. This may be shocking, but it is just not the “undesirables” of color that are the victims.

Like piranhas, the elite feeding frenzy has turned on their very own as if cannibals to ensure their elite survival. The middle class is eaten along with the lower class regardless of color. Fear, scarcity, and divisiveness are frequently employed to generate the ignorance of crash dummies to camouflage how you, too, have been programmed with lies and social engineering. They then conceal their influence and have you turn on each other in a futile attempt chasing your tails while they prosper.

Like Pavlov’s theory, when the bell rings, you salivate on cue without substance, having been socially conditioned but never realizing the basis for your slobbering. Petty distractions abound, motivations fabricated, and conditioning regulated by design to keep us preoccupied against each other instead of the pegs that bind us.

The elite has always tipped the scales for themselves since antiquity. Advancing the lies and flat-out misrepresentation of facts and history in America about America. It has created a narrative to bolster the image and perception of the accomplishments of a colonial populist Anglo-Saxon protestant society. It has concealed the degenerate deeds and wealth heist greater than the war criminals of ill repute held in the highest contempt.

This cannot persist as an elitist entitled privilege in this day and age where knowledge cannot be hidden so easily. For example, the likes of a homicidal genocidal Christopher Columbus are widely celebrated with a holiday.

Likewise, a scientific fraud and racist such as Charles Darwin is not exposed for his detrimental impact on society, honoring his absurd debunked biases of sexism and eugenics. These are two of many things that tether the masses to traditional nonsense.

This is not to expose matters of racism that are obviously practiced today due to this nonsense but the tethering of minds on both sides of the equation, whether beneficial or detrimental to your existence.

This goes on around the world where an endless number of people and circumstances can be substituted or exposed for the propaganda of nonsense presented to tether, condition, and control their people against the people’s greater good while exploiting this brand of social engineering for their own gain.

The general public or we the people have always been subject to exploitation going back to the beginning of time. Now worldwide, the realization and the awakening of oppressed people everywhere are challenging the status quo. Power only exists when recognized as such, but fear and cajolery can only control the masses for so long.

I almost forgot, the tethered elephant routinely breaks its binds when suddenly aroused by fear or agitation despite its psychological conditioning displaying the power to uproot large trees or remove obstructions.

Fear evoking action and resistance. A child has the strength to rip one piece of paper, but enough paper bound together even a strong man cannot tear apart. The strength of unity is a strength not to be disputed or squandered.

Limitations are, on average, learned and reinforced behaviors systematically imposed for the good of a hierarchy. Mental control is the most effective manner of control when it is voluntary. You think and feel it is your choice or, even worst, that you have no choice. You always have a choice but are you willing to pay the price for that choice. The conditioning kicks in as fear of reprisal instead of the satisfaction of a reward, contrary to Pavlov.

This was engineered in you to feel better about yourself if you can hold someone else down beneath you. So, instead of restricting someone, release yourself from this mindset of tethering whether it is others or yourself. Square yourself away first from the social programming that you believe to be a reality, and that will make at least one less purveyor of ignorance in the world based on these deceptions.

Supersede your constraints and promote honesty, knowledge, and compassion to strive for the vastness of your possibilities while recognizing and enhancing the radius of your understanding. Escaping the psychological bondage, we the people individually and collectively untethered expanding beyond limitations and conflict. That is why there is a need for tethering deceptions and division as a peg to control our minds. The size and strength of the elephant are unparalleled but the mind of a person is without bounds. Free your mind from the voluntary bondage that confines and restricts it as only you can.

Thurston K. Atlas

Creating A Buzz