I'm new to this site,so this may not be a good post to get to know everyone with. I have often thought about this topic, because killing gets easy over time. After saying that, let me explain. I'm a combat vet, avid meat hunter and a professional trapper by trade. I have harvested thousands of animals over the years and been in some bad scraps with people. I remember shooting a bird with a new BB gun when I was very young. I had no reason to shoot the bird, and killing the bird never entered my mind. But when I held the dead bird in my hands, I felt sick, sorry and so repentive. Since then I have played in the "sand Box" in the middle east, taken a lot of game and trapped (killed) thousands of animals. I know animals and people are different, but I have noticed some things over the years. I have also talked to some close trapper friends of mine and taking the life of an animal comes up time to time.
I can no longer even remember dispatching an animals a few moments after the fact. I can remember the feeling of seeing the traps set I used has worked, I can remember admiring the animal, I can even remember talking calmly to the coyote or bobcat and letting him calm down before using a 22 pistol. After the fact I can even thank the animal weather for food, fur or both and remaking the set. This "blank" spot is more common than I thought, when I have talked to other trappers about the subject. I remember the thrill of hunting a deer or hog, but i have to force myself to remember the kill. Killing has always been in the process of meat or fur. If i could explain to a coyote not to eat the 200 plus inch breeder deer or sheep, this would suit me fine. i know people with blood lust and it makes no logical sense to me. killing to me is never the goal.
After explaining all that, shooting a MT lion, hog or coyote does not even seem to register any more. I'm just working. Killing has an effect on anyone, no matter how macho that person thinks they are. I have done it so much, that my brain has excepted that it is normal. I do not think about it, it just happens. I worry about soldiers that have 3-6 deployments in war zones. I also have to wonder about what our humanity would be like if things did really get out of control in this country. As close as I can tell, once your brain excepts killing and it gets used to it, killing gets easy to do. Saying that, if killing has never entered the head of a person, they are in a big disadvantage to a person that has taught himself to kill and is use to the idea. One person will think and hesitate and the other person will not.