This originated with another thread, so I'll just begin with that, and continue with what I originally posted there, plus the 90% of additional material I did not post there.
So, please keep the comments coming! And thank you for them. As I've said before, I'm learning as much from the comments of others as anyone.
As some movie line went, "You don't have time to think out there." Well, on rare occasion, no, you don't. But most of the time you do, so I think the biggest thing I could add here is that it's wisest to learn to recognize the difference between the two, and if you do have time to think, take that time.
I recently heard that 11% of mistaken killings are by police officers while only 2% are by responsible gun owners, despite the fact that most responsible gun owners don't go around wearing body armor. Then again, most responsible gun owners aren't "primed and ready" while it appears some police officers are, particularly in two tragic, but avoidable occurrences which occurred in 2010.
Over-training? Possibly. In the Air Force we called it "negative training," whereby training in the wrong direction or way could lead to worse overall consequences than better training.
I think the training in most police departments is excellent. I think some of the departments in SoCal need some "tuning."
In the Air Force we used to "chair fly" our training missions before actually doing them. That was training, and good training, as we memorized ourselves with most aspects of the mission before heading out for a long 8 to 12 hour flight the next day. Some aspects were unforeseeable, and we coordinated as crews/flights to get the job done. But most aspects of the missions were coordinated in advance, and most of the training occurred in advance, as well, including simulator time, which has drastically reduced the accidental death rate in Air Force missions by a factor of 3 over the last 20 years.
Today, without that nature/aspect of training, I'd have died three times over. As it was, I lost four friends in avoidable accidents, none from having been shot down in combat.
We talk about these things here on OCDO because instinctively, a desire for training is built into the human psyche as a means of avoiding a greater failure later. When we discuss these issues, we're training for what will hopefully will never happen, but for what, if it does happen, we'll be ready to face it, and the correct response isn't always "BLAMBLAMBLAM." In fact, OC/CC stats show that more often than not it's not that, but rather a response appropriate to the threat.
As we get older, with more experience, we slowly transition from learners to teachers. Heck, this past Thanksgiving I witnessed my 10-year-old showing my 4-year-old nephew some moves! They both loved it, and to them they were simply playing, but isn't that what we all do?
Until it becomes for real.
In 1985 I was attacked by someone who had far greater strength and mass than I. The only reason I wound up winning round 1 in about 7 seconds is that I had "played" around with various martial arts on just enough occasions to be able to deliver the winning blow before he did. That, adrenaline, and desperation allowed me to deliver a blow 99% of people would never deliver, even if their lives were in immediate danger. However, because of the "playing around" I did, I knew that if I didn't cross that line, I'd definitely suffer even more severe injury and might very well die.
This underscores the importance of training. It's not how best we can deliver that final blow. Any idiot with a firearm can do this. It's knowing how far to take things, and when.
And yes, sometimes there is no time, and things come down to instinct, and you simply have to act. Training, however, will keep you from unnecessarily putting yourself in harm's way or unnecessarily harming others, while at the same time maximizing the likelihood of a better outcome than without it.