Situational Awareness

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

Carrying concealed will go a long ways towards protecting yourself and your family. But don’t let yourself fall into the trap of thinking that carrying a gun will make you safe or even that the high marks you make on the shooting range will. It’s not all that hard to become a victim, even if you’re carrying the best concealed carry pistol in the best possible holster and are the best shot in your neighborhood.

Recently, another writer, who happens to write extensively about firearms found himself in the unenviable position of staring down the muzzle of his own pistol. He had been in a store, where a criminal disarmed him and then threatened his life with his own gun. How could such a thing have happened?

It’s actually quite easy.

The mistake that this man made was not keeping track of what was going on around him. Like everyone else out there, he was inwardly focused, not outwardly. So all the criminal had to do is come up behind him and draw his gun out of the holster. Most holsters don’t have safety catches to prevent that from happening, so it’s rather easy to do. Since he was unprepared for that to happen, the criminal had his gun, before he could react.

Can that happen to you? It depends.

More than anything, our ability to protect ourselves doesn’t depend on the weapons we have or even our ability to use those weapons, it is our ability to anticipate a potential threat and mentally prepare ourselves for action. Going from a peaceful mindset, grazing amongst the rests of the sheep, to being a sheep dog squaring off against a wolf takes a few seconds. Not because it takes that long to draw your gun, this is before that. Those few seconds are what it takes to trip the switch in your mind, going from sheep to sheepdog.

But you can eliminate these few seconds, taking away the advantage of the bad guys, if you stay in sheepdog mode all the time. In other words, keeping your head on a swivel, looking around you, seeking out and evaluating the threats there might be.

There are four different levels of situational awareness:

  • Condition white – Everything is okay and you’re not paying attention. This is where most people live.
  • Condition yellow – You are aware of your surroundings and evaluating potential threats.
  • Condition orange – You see a potential threat and are keeping an eye on it, ready for action, without ignoring everyone else around you.
  • Condition red – The threat looks like it is about to manifest and your hand is poised for the draw.

You and I should never be in condition white; that’s for the sheeple out there. Rather, we should be living in condition yellow, constantly looking around us to find whatever threats there are and then evaluating those threats. If that firearms expert had been in condition yellow, it’s doubtful that the criminal could have taken his gun.

Being aware only some of the time isn’t enough. You’ve got to be aware every minute of every day. So, you’re going to have to form some new habits. Ones that will allow you to see who is around you and what they are doing, finding the potential threats that are out there.

  • Not looking at your phone all the time; but rather looking around you.
  • Taking a moment to “check six,” looking behind you from time to time as you are walking or standing in a checkout line.
  • Sitting with your back to a wall, facing the door, when you are in a restaurant.
  • Standing in a way, in public places, where nobody can come up behind you.
  • Stopping for a moment to look around, when you step out the door.
  • Checking to see who is around your car, before opening the door.
  • Looking outside, to see who is there, before opening the door.
  • Looking outside to see what is happening, whenever your dogs bark (assuming you have dogs).

Don’t take this list as being complete, because it isn’t. Look for other ways that you can increase your situational awareness as well. Eventually it will become a habit and you won’t even think about it; you’ll automatically see what’s going on around you and evaluate potential threats.

I know that profiling is politically incorrect, but I’ve been politically incorrect all my life. The fact is, that some groups of people are likely to have a higher percentage of criminals amongst their population than others. If you see young men dressed in the “gangsta” style, it’s safe to assume that they aren’t Mother Theresa. It really doesn’t matter what color their skin is; if they’re dressed that way, chances are they’re either trouble makers or they look up to trouble makers. Therefore, they warrant a good close look by you.

Are there criminals who don’t look like criminals? Of course. That’s why you shouldn’t just look at the people who you think look like thugs. Look at everyone, including granny and the woman pushing a baby carriage. While they are less likely to be a threat, that baby buggy could be loaded with C4 and the woman pushing it could be a terrorist.

Be aware. Don’t be a victim. And be sure to keep your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand.

Chris and Dr. Rich

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