"Those who fight monsters inevitably change. Because of all that they see and do, they lose their innocence, and a piece of their humanity with it. If they want to survive, they begin to adopt some of the same characteristics as the monsters they fight. It is necessary. They become capable of rage, and extreme violence.
There is a fundamental difference, however. They keep those monster tendencies locked away in a cage, deep inside. That monster is only allowed out to protect others, to accomplish the mission, to get the job done.....Not for the perverse pleasure that the monsters feel when they harm others. In fact, those monster tendencies cause damage...GUILT, ISOLATION, DEPRESSION, PTSD. There is a cost for visiting violence on others when you are not a monster. Those who do so know one thing...The cost inflicted upon society as a whole is far greater without those who fight monsters. That is why they are willing to make that horrible sacrifice so that others may live peaceably.
Before you judge one of us, remember this...
We witness things that humans aren't meant to see...and we see them repeatedly. We perform the duties that you feel are beneath you. We solve your problems... Often by visiting violence upon others. We run towards the things that you run away from. We go out to fight what you fear. We stand between you, and the monsters that want to damage you. You want to pretend that they don't exist, but we know better. We do the things that the vast majority are too soft, too weak, too cowardly to do.
Your life is more peaceful.....because of us.
The current political climate in this country holds that there is nothing worth fighting for. Submission is the popular mantra. Warriors are decried, denigrated, and cast as morally inferior. We know how childish, how asinine, and how cowardly that mindset is.
We know this.....There ARE things worth fighting, and dying for. We know that not every problem can be solved through rational discourse...that some problems can only be solved through the application of force and violence. And, while we do prefer the former....we are perfectly capable of the latter.
We believe that fighting what others fear is honorable, noble, and just....and are willing to pay the price for that deeply held belief. Why? For us, it isn't a choice...
It is what we are. We are simply built that way."
A book I've referred to multiple times is On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society by retired Army psychologist Dave Grossman and a critical point he makes is police and military are trained to kill, but they keep this under control. Others, particularly mass shooters, have the ability to pull the trigger, but not the restraint. And yes, we run to the sound of the guns.