Suicide by cop and misinformation about violence

I remember when the term “suicide by cop” became mainstream. Before that, the general public was mostly unaware that this even happened. Afterward, there was a lot of resistance to acknowledging this phenomenon as something real. Simply because to the average person with little to no experience with violence, it is counter-intuitive (more on that below) and therefor couldn’t possibly be true. Today, we know better but there is still a lot of pushback against the mere concept.

Case in point, this example here:

I’m not going into the reasons why people try to get a LEO to shoot them. That is beyond the scope of this article.

For more details on the video above, go here. While you’re at it, read the comments for a while…

As you can see, the “they didn’t have to shoot him” or “shoot him in the leg!” type of opinions are all there. Decades of Hollywood and TV brainwashing people about violence is hard to get rid of.  By the way, I answered the “Why don’t you shoot him in the leg?” myth already so feel free to check out that video.

What’s the point?

My point is that we’ve never known so much about violence as we do know, yet so few people seem to understand even the most basic concepts about it. As always, those with the least knowledge and understanding tend to be the loudest and dominate the public (and official) debate. The result tends to be useless or counter-productive measures and laws that get put in place. In the long run, this leads to more trouble, more uninformed opinions fueled by outrage and even worse solutions get pushed through.

I believe that this trend will not slow down and at the very least, it costs lives.

I also believe there is a way to fight this trend: share accurate information to dispell the myths.

Here’s what I’m doing on my end:

1) Articles

A while ago, I wrote “Everything you know about violence is wrong.” as a basic introduction to the concept of violence and how our media leaves us misinformed. I have plans to expand this article into a book, but it will take a while to get it done given the other books I’m already working on.

Throughout my blog, you’ll find dozens more in which I try to explain the realities of violence in various situations through videos or by commenting on incidents.

2) Interviews

I also interview LEOs and violence professionals so they have a platform to not only explain their point of view but more importantly, give regular folks access to the kind of information they desperately need to keep themselves safe.

Here are a few violence professionals you might want to listen to:

Here are some LEOs that share their experience and procedures:

Podcast Episode 15: Interview with Captain Jon Lupo

Podcast Episode 13: Interview with Montie Guthrie

Podcast Episode 003: Interview with Loren W. Christensen

All these men share their expertise and experience with you for free, despite the blood, sweat, tears and trauma it cost them.

They also all give the sober truth of the many sides there are to violence and how complex this topic actually is. Far more so than the media and the entertainment industry have led the public to believe.

The information they share can save lives, including yours.

3) Violence Analysis

I’ve been analyzing videos of violence in society for years now. You can view a bunch of them by starting here and working your way through the playlist. There are a even more here on my YouTube channel. On my Patreon page, I do more in-depth violence analysis for the people who are looking for practical training advice for self-defense. Almost every time I post a video, I get messages of people saying it opened their eyes to something they didn’t know or want to see: just how ugly and extreme violence can get. But also what to do about it in a realistic fashion, which is the goal of all the above:

Through real life examples, teaching what violence is truly like and what you can do to avoid it if possible and handle it if unavoidable.

I make no claims of offering perfect solutions.

I will make a claim of trying to offer pragmatic and practical advice.

Now all of the above, that’s me…

What are you doing?

We all make our own choices as to what we feel is important enough to spend our time on. To each his own and I fault nobody for not taking me up on this. But I would suggest the following:
  • If you are a civilian, spread knowledge and expertise in the face of ignorance about violence. Instead of shouting and insulting, give dispassionate, factual information instead of outrage. You don’t have to beat people over the head with it or talk about it non-stop. But you’d be surprised how often a few well reasoned points of information offered in a non-confrontational manner can plant a seed in the minds of people, one that later blossoms into a change of mind.
  • If you are a LEO, talk about your legal obligations (no, you can’t “un-arrest” somebody and let them go, no matter how much they yell for it), procedures and their reasons (liability, safety, etc.) and the realities of the job most civilians don’t know or understand (reasons for “slow” response times, etc.) I know this is hard. I also know this is often frustrating. But I believe it can make a difference in the long run and is better than retreating into silence or bitterness. As stated above, I fault nobody for choosing not to do this.

Why do this?

I believe there is a long, uphill climb before accurate information about violence becomes commonplace, instead of the ignorance and myths we have now. Not doing anything is counterproductive and costs lives. That only leaves a handful of alternatives.

I believe speaking out as explained above is a good start to tackle that climb.

P.S.: Take the three minutes to watch this video to understand why something may seem counterintuitive to you and still be completely true. If this is so in physics, it can very much be so in other subjects, including violence…:

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