Well it depends on your view point.
Initiating combat with a ship that's not a war target and does not have a severely negative security status (-5 or less) gets you a ticking off from CONCORD.
The form that this takes is to reduce your security status for each offense. This is a % , I believe of the difference between your current and -10.0. So the higher your status the quicker you fall, and the blacker your soul the less it hurts...
As an example John had a security rating of 1.4 before embarking on shooting people. Not massive but good enough. Now 15 ship kills and 6 Capsule kills later it stands at -4.4. You seem to lose 10 times as much for shooting capsules.
I have also been belt ratting in this period, which raises security, usually by 0.01 a time(see below). That's not a huge amount and it only counts every 15 minutes. So 0.04 an hour. Kill a pod and I lost 0.8 in one go. So 20 hours of dedicated belt ratting. Per pod. Oops.
A security status gain occurs for the HIGHEST value outlaw NPC you kill within a 15 minute time period PER SYSTEM. So the bigger the ships you kill the better your increase.
Now I believe that if you are in Factional Warfare, you can shoot the other side without this loss, as technically you are at war. However, you tend to get a lot of non Factional Warfare corps and players trying to shoot you. So to avoid the security loss you almost have to give them the first shot, and hope your defenses can hold while you lock and shoot or run. Consequently you see a lot of players running around low sec systems that are a solid red colour. Basically a neon sign saying shoot me! Something that in High Sec the various Police forces do quite capably.
Where You can be shot freely depending on Security status:-
-2.0 or lower will be attacked in 1.0 space
-2.5 or lower will be attacked in 0.9 and above
-3.0 or lower will be attacked in 0.8 and above
-3.5 or lower will be attacked in 0.7 and above
-4.0 or lower will be attacked in 0.6 and above
-4.5 or lower will be attacked in 0.5 and above (all of highsec)
So John is just that one or 2 kills from being barred from High Sec.
Interestingly enough the various Police forces will not shoot a pod. Any player however can pod you in high sec freely once below -0.5. So as long as you do not get caught by an armed player you are fine. There are no armed players of course in Oulley. Come and visit. Bring a freighter....
How to repair the status
1. Stop shooting Pods. These have the highest negative impact.
2. Stop shooting other players. (unless they are Pirates or war targets) (Or your bored)
3. Rat a belt in system every 15 minutes.
4. Change systems and back to point 3.
5. Do missions, Shoot the rats in these missions.
6. Scan out anomalies and do these.
7. Find the elusive clone soldiers that drop tags. These can be traded for an increase in status at a concord station. Best systems are those that are 0.2 and below.
8. Continue to be good and polish your halo.
Remember be good....