Using Placement to Improve Your Defensive Possibilities

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

Even though I was in the Army, I was never a snake eater. They tried to get me to switch over, but as the old joke goes, “I couldn’t because my parents were married and I knew how to read and write.” But joking aside, I’ve learned a lot from my various snake eaters through the years, especially from a former Navy Seal who used to work for me.

One of the things you can count on, from those who are true warriors (and every snake eater I’ve ever met fits that description) is that they are always ready for anything. This is one of the things that makes it hard for them to assimilate into civilian life when they come home. But it’s also one of the things that makes them so dangerous.

When you’re working behind enemy lines, you have to be ready to come under attack without notice. That means not only keeping yourself in condition yellow, but often staying in condition orange, ready to move into action at a moment’s notice.

An important part of this is their placement in any given situation. These people will always sit or stand with their back to a wall, where they can see what is happening in the room, store or restaurant. They will want to especially keep an eye on the entryway, so that they can see potential threats as they come in.

This is important. If we are going to operate in condition yellow, looking for potential threats, then we have to be able to see those potential threats at the earliest possible moment. The more advance warning we have that a problem is about to occur, the more time we have to mentally and physically prepare ourselves for it. We’re only talking seconds here, but those seconds are important.

But just sitting in the back corner of a restaurant isn’t enough. You have to pre-determine how you will move, in order to confront any danger. Sitting in that corner might give you a great view of everything going on, but it also puts everyone else in the restaurant between you and any bad guys coming in the door. That means that even if you are armed, you probably won’t be able to take a shot until you move through that crowd or wait for the crowd moves past you.

When I go to church, I sit on the end of the back row, across the sanctuary from the entrance, roughly 50 feet away. There is only one entrance, and it is behind the back row, to my right. If a gunman was to come in the door, I could instantly move into the aisle behind the back row of seats and have a clear shot towards them. I also have ready access to concealment, about six feet away.

That concealment, or if possible cover, is the second important part of placement. Unfortunately, there is little within a home, office, restaurant or store which will provide effective cover. So in most cases, the best we can hope for is concealment. But that is valuable in and of itself, as few criminals are good enough shots that they will attempt to shoot at you through a wall.

What we have here are three interlocking elements that help to determine the best placement so that you have a chance of defending yourself and others with you, if a bad guy comes in the door:

  • Ability to see what is happening
  • Clear line of fire from where you are to where the bad guys are
  • Cover or concealment to fight from

Unfortunately, you will rarely find a situation where you can have all three. You usually have to sacrifice one or the other, in favor of what you determine to be the most important. My situation in church is very unusual in this regard, in that I have all three.

Considering that you will probably have to make a compromise, how will you handle the factor that is weekend? If, for example, the factor that is weekend is a clear line of sight, where can you move to easily, which will provide that? If you have the ability to see and a clear line of fire, where is the nearest cover or concealment that you can move to?

Making these determinations has to become automatic for you. Ideally, you want to be able to do it without conscious though. That means making it a habit. So start working today on developing that habit. Everywhere you go, figure out those three factors. After about 40 days of doing that consistently, it should be a habit and you won’t have to consciously make an effort to figure out your placement.

And in the mean time, be sure to keep your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand.

Dr. Rich

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