Dr. Helen is talking about the issue of stress police officers are put under, especially in the wake of justified use of deadly force:
Notice that the incident itself is not what makes the officer guilty and stressed, it is the media and public making their lives miserable. If even police officers are made to feel guilty for protecting the lives of citizens by our “don’t defend yourself or anyone else” culture and media, I can’t imagine how civilians who had to use force are made to feel after an incident in which they had to protect themselves or others. The article goes on to look at why officers are afraid to ask for psychological help, but maybe the real question is: “why is the officer treated as a pariah instead of a hero for protecting others from mayhem?” For if they were treated as a hero, or at least with some respect for doing their job, then maybe, they could resolve the shooting incident a whole lot faster or on their own without professional help.
In training, they always teach you that if you’re involved in a justifiable shooting, that you should expect to be arrested, and treated like a common criminal who has done something horribly wrong.Â In the case of a civilian shooter, administrative leave would be a picnic in comparison to having to fork over your life savings to pay for a lawyer to make your defense.Â The lawyer who addressed the class for the training I did spoke of a recent case where he defended a police officer in a justifiable shooting.Â The defense costs went well into six figures.Â Police officers generally get their defense paid for.Â Civilians don’t.
There is a perception among many people that no violence is justified, and who look down upon people who prepare for it.Â It’s not right, but it’s something we have to live with.Â I’ve always thought it odd that some police officers have problems with civilians carrying firearms for personal protection.Â The root cause of the problem is that few people have had to consider the circumstances that would surround having to use deadly force in self-defense, and even fewer have actually had training in it.Â I would be a police officer’s best friend on a jury in a legitimate shooting situation, because I’ve had to consider doing it myself, and I suspect most of the rest of us who have would also be similarly sympathetic.