Avoiding Confrontation

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

Some time back, I wrote to you about the need for situational awareness; being aware of everything that is going on around you, so that you can be ready for a potential confrontation. In that discussion, I listed the four different levels of awareness and how we should all strive to stay in condition yellow, so that we are aware of any potential threats and are not surprised by them.

Condition orange and condition red dealt with reacting to a pending threat as it is manifesting. Essentially, those two conditions deal with the mental act of preparing to defend yourself. However, those aren’t the only thing you can do with a pending threat. You can choose to avoid it altogether.

Many of us are more likely to try and take on an attacker, rather than flee. I know I’m that way. I see any potential attack as something to be dealt with, not to be avoided. But that doesn’t mean that I’m always right. If it is personal, the individual might have to be dealt with directly; otherwise they might just come back again. But if it isn’t personal, something like a robbery, then it might be best to just avoid it if you can.

There are no guarantees in any altercation. I don’t care how good a shot you are or how good a fighter you are, you are putting yourself at risk. There is always someone who is better. Even Chuck Norris has taken a few hard hits in his life. Each hit, whether with a fist or a bullet, has the potential of causing harm, even serious harm.

Avoiding a confrontation is a much safer course of action in any and all cases. Yes, you could beat that assailant, but you might not. But if you can use your awareness that something is about to go down to give you an opportunity to escape, then you avoid all risk.

Whether you can avoid the pending confrontation may be out of your control, especially if you don’t have a good escape route. But part of situational awareness is being aware of any means of egress from wherever you are. You should always have multiple paths of escape mapped out in your mind. That way, if you need to get out, you don’t have to stop and look around for the nearest exit.

Of course, the other part of that equation is that by leaving you are not there to protect others. That’s the part that really bothers me, personally. I believe that carrying a firearm gives me a social responsibility to protect others, especially the weak. But that’s something I have put on myself. Nobody else has laid that charge on me. Society has not given me that responsibility.

Leaving others to suffer and even die could be especially hard to accept in a mass shooting situation or terrorist incident. At least to some extent, that’s what has motivated me to carry concealed. I don’t want to be in such a situation and not able to do anything in response; not just for me, but for everyone else around me. My natural inclination, as well as my training, are to attack the assailant in such a situation, protecting everyone else that is there.

But if I see something about to happen and leave, protecting myself, I have actually done well. I am not guilty of anything that happens to the other people who did not leave. It isn’t my fault if they get hurt or even killed. It is their own fault for not being aware of what was going on around them, as well as the fault of the criminal who hurt them.

The problem there is that I’m not sure that I could convince myself that I had done the right thing by leaving. There would probably be a great sense of guilt for not protecting them. That’s something I would struggle to deal with. I know, because I know myself. But even that feeling of guilt doesn’t give me the responsibility of protecting those people. It’s literally not my job.

I would suggest thinking this trough for yourself and deciding at what point you would feel that you have to take direct action to protect others, or whether you are good with the idea of escaping and leaving confronting them to others. When and if the time comes, you won’t have time to stop and think about that, you’ll have to react in one way or the other. Otherwise, you’ll just put yourself in even more danger.

So think it through and make a decision. But in either case, be sure to keep your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand.

Chris and Dr. Rich

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