No...I am not going to get all sensitive with you guys. But lets talk about what Bruce Lee called "emotional content". Nobody ever killed an adversary without some sort of emotional involvement.
There are several codified responses to violence. They are fight - flight - freeze - posture - submit. The right response can be cultivated and I am a believer, very strongly, that you will react as you program yourself to react. Unconsidered, your reaction is unpredictable.
As a young man entering police service I sat and listened to all the Cop Shrinks tell us about PTSD (it wasn't termed like that back then) and all of that sort of thing. But crazy me...I had ideas about how things ought to be. Perhaps my Conquistador blood...perhaps my time fighting full contact, I don't know but the idea of feeling sad at the death of one who had moments earlier just done his best to kill me seemed, well...stupid.
My first clear contact...where we could see each other's eyes...was a guy on the beach shooting people. I moved to contact and killed him with a shotgun as he turned towards me with his Beretta. Technically not a difficult shot at all. Emotionally I felt excitement and a rush. I went to that gun fight...I did not "get into it unexpectedly". Later, I went home and slept. No big deal.
Six months later was the 7-11 shooting where I discovered the moving off the X concept. A harrowing 3-1 to say the least. As I shot, and as I was shot at and missed, I will tell you that I was not afraid in the sense of "modern fear". Sure I was "in the fight", but there was more...I wasn't wishing I was elsewhere. There were three bad guys...as skilled as they could be (they each had already killed a few other guys). There was stress...but there was something else...something I never told the Internal Affairs guys or the Homicide Investigators...even though in those days they really were on your side.
I felt happy to be in the fight.
The French have a term called Joie de Guerre. It connotes a very Old European attitude or attribute, at least traditionally. I would describe it a kind of love of battle, the pure joy of a good fight. It may be somewhat of a lost art in these days of post-chivalric sissyness, but I felt it strongly as those gangster bullets flew past me.
Later that June there was another. A crazy son left his father's side with a butcher knife and ran towards us. I was confident in what I could do. I dropped him with other means and spared his life. I recall the father's face at seeing his crazy son unconscious but still alive, I thank God that I did not kill him in front of his father...but it was a choice based on a cool analysis of the event.
And that September...I chased three violent home invaders into deepest darkest L.A., in a pursuit that would have made Wambaugh have to leave the room. My driver was a man named Gary Barbaro who had ice water for blood and drove like Mario Andretti on crack and Red Bull. We returned the car with both mirrors gone and the sides scraped on semi trucks as we threaded the needle to get the shot.
The bad guys crashed and I leapt from the still moving police car, laughing like a little kid on a roller coaster as I shot the first home invader, and stepped over him as I aimed in on the other. I felt delight - strong and clear and obvious.
A while later, in another place, and another life - some may say - the bad guy jumped from the darkness with a pistol, I moved offline and killed him where he stood. I felt nothing as I reacted...only the drilling of countless repetitions...this time with a degree of greater urgency...but the same. Then smiles, and relief as I saw him dead and me alive.
"Every man that knows the power of joy in battle knows what it like when the wolf rises in the heart"
If I could speak to Teddy Roosevelt, the author of that verse, I would say "yes...I know what you mean brother".
Much of this is extremely Un-PC, but in my fifties I don't care about any of that (I am the same age as Van Damme....maybe I will lift one of those Volvo trucks). My goal is to make sure that those who are coming into the fight know that it is not only acceptable, but also expected that you should enjoy the fight.
My council is this. Do not fear the bad guy. The bad guy must fear you. YOU are their worst night mare...you are what they fear...a creature far deadlier, far colder, far more willing to go to violence than they...and not only that, but laughing with delight and glee at the fight and that the Lord God of Hosts in His Mercy gave you yet another target to send to hell.
Stay dangerous my friends.