For someone trained in violence, such as a bouncer, law enforcement officer, or soldier, the danger signs are easily recognizable: a hidden hand, bulging pocket, hunter’s glare, empty-street or new footprints in a jungle trail all have meaning, hence the transition from sign to signifier to response is a smooth one.
More importantly are those schooled in violence understand there are proper levels of force for each threat encountered. For instance, police officers draw their weapons only as a last resort, bouncers rarely strike customers unless the situation warrants it, and soldiers avoid firing on unarmed civilians at all costs.
However, for the inexperienced person the danger signs often go unrecognized, hence they are surprised by the intensity of a confrontation, or else ambushed by an attacker.
Such mental dullness leads to panic, confusion, chaos and sensory overload, along with an inappropriate response that can have fatal consequences for both victim and attacker alike.
Case in point whereas the bouncer might simply toss an unruly drunk out of the bar while experiencing the fight response, the inexperienced person would pull their pistol and shoot the drunk because they’re too frightened to consider the use of non-lethal force.
In regard to the flight response, the same applies. Whereas the soldier during the heat of battle would drag his wounded comrade to safety, the untrained person would run and leave their injured friend to the mercy of a marauding gang. Or when faced with overwhelming odds the soldier would freeze and avoid detection while the untrained person would run, thereby announcing their presence. Below is a graph illustrating trained and untrained responses.