Handling Fear

Recent events that have made headlines got me thinking about fear among law enforcement and security professionals, and almost everyone in the U.S.


How much of what I call “bad fear” ran through the Chicago police officer who shot Adam Toledo? How much regular fear did the 13-year old feel before he was killed? How much regular fear was felt by everyone in Indianapolis last week, when Brandon Hole attacked the FedEx facility there?


How much more fear must we as a nation feel before we agree to work together on the many issues that create situations that end badly after someone has discharged a firearm?


I believe in the lawful, appropriately-regulated and trained ownership and operation of a firearm. What I do not believe in is allowing the fear that fuels too much firearm use to continue unchecked, and the “bad fear” is the worst.


As I wrote in Rent-A-Cop Reboot, bad fear is most likely the result of bad training. We have seen police training questioned in recent weeks like never before. And rightfully so. I hope security professionals of all types, armed and unarmed, are getting the message about the importance of being well trained.


If you are a security or law enforcement professional, it is clear that you cannot simply rely on the training your department or company provides. Find additional opportunities to stay sharp, and not just with your weapon. Be as physically fit as possible. Stay well rested. Have your eyesight and hearing checked. Think long and hard about ways you may be judging those who are not like you, and their difference possibly being connected to your built-in fear of them. Some of this may be so deep-seated that you didn’t know it was there. Find it and root it out.


I think it is also important to find something to believe in that is greater than yourself and let that faith support you. No matter who you are and what you are afraid of, sometimes faith is your best weapon against it.

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