This is mainly about people fearing police officers and weapons rather than overall, but some of it does work in other contexts.
When to RP fear:
- When someone is close to you with a firearm: who ever it may be, if they're right behind you, in front of you, to the side of you, etc - They have a clear shot at you at point blank range which is going to almost certainly hit and seriously wound or kill you, the first thing on your mind will be to comply to preserve your own life.
- Just the sight of someone with a firearm: seeing someone with a firearm can be terrifying, you don't know what these people are going to do with it or who they're going to target. While you won't be reaching for the sky by just the mere sight of a firearm, you don't want to be hanging around or provoking the wielder to find out what's going to happen.
- Tasers hurt too: tasers are designed for gaining compliance without the risk of killing the target should the weapon need to be fired. It might not kill you, but it's going to hurt to have electricity surging through you and you're going to comply unless you're really desperate, have a superior weapon or a masochist.
- But I know you can't shoot unarmed civilians: true, and I'm sure a lot of people know this in real life, but they still surrender when confronted by a police officer pointing a firearm at them, the fact is they CAN shoot and take your life which is what is so intimidating.
- But I can endure bullets because [insert excuse here]: a head shot can kill anyone, and being shot still hurts, regardless of how powerful you think you are, firearms are still capable of ending your life if in the hands of a trained user.