starting a discussion....Situational awareness.

Discussion in 'Concealed Carrying & Personal Protection' started by fmj, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. fmj

    fmj Active Member

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    I have read a few threads/posts on here about what to do/not do after you are involved in a defensive shooting.

    Some VERY good and NEEDED info contained in those threads....but i would like to start a discussion of AVOIDING a shooting all together.

    We've all seen the arm chair commandos that think carrying a gun is "Cool" or "neat". I contend it is neither, as most here know it is a HUGE RESPONSIBILITY!

    It is my contention that most, not all, but most SD shooting situations can be avoided with a little thing known as "SITUATIONAL AWARENESS" or being aware of your surroundings and who is there/what they are doing at all times.

    I have this in mind due to the tale i relay below...

    ::A short tale::

    Just last week I read on facebook where one of my kids (I have known this young mans parents for 20+ years, was holding the little dude a few short hours after he was born, am friends with his aunts and uncles and grandparents. 8-9 years ago i took him and worked with him (as i have done with quite a few kids through the years) on gun safety and marksmanship. Today hes all into beating the drums in his heavy metal band, skate boarding and video as is any 16 y/o) was put in a scary situation.

    He told a tale of when he was done skating at the local skate park and was walking home. How another young man approached him and shoved a gun in his face and relieved him of his I-phone and money. He was going on about how he needed a gun ect. ect.

    I read many a scary posting from his contemporaries and became quite concerned.

    So, the next day i got up early, headed to his dads house, drank coffee with his old man and waiting for the young man to wake up. When he came down stairs, i had him relay the tale to me in all its gruesome details.

    After talking with him, and getting him into a slightly more calm state of mind, i explained to him how having a gun, even if it were legal for him to carry, would have only gotten him, one - put in jail for a LONG time or two- DEAD.

    I then had a long talk with him, explaining how the whole thing most likely could have been avoided by "SITUATIONAL AWARENESS". How he needed to start practicing being aware at all times of what was going on around him, who was in the area, and learning to read ones body language.

    One of my hobbies is watching animals in their natural habitat. Having moved to the big city some years ago, i have taken to watching the human animal in its natural habitat. Because of this hobby I have become somewhat adept at reading peoples body language. This hobby has served me well being able to see the trouble before it begins, and am able to get myself , family and friends (the ones that will listen) clear of the area before the SHTF so to speak.

    I would like to hear from others on this matter....
     
  2. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    fmj, very good post and you are so right. many situations could be avoided if people were aware of their surroundings. i think many need to think about an emphasis on avoiding trouble as much as being prepared for it. very well written and something any who carry or have a firearm needs to think about.
     

  3. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    I check out everyone, every where I go. Example, I go into a restaurant, look around first at the people, then look for the seat I'll request. From my table- 6 o'clock, middle aged lady in a business suit, having dinner with a younger woman, likely a daughter, not likely a threat. 11o'clock, physically fit man with wife and kids, adults wearing rings, likely married, man has military bearing and demeanor, gives me a nod, great, he's looking around too and has pegged me as well, not likely a threat. 2 o'clock, 5 rednecks drinking way too many beers on a wednesday night, getting a bit loud and rambunctious, possibly not a threat, but they bear close watching, method for dealing with them if they get out of hand, immediate egress via the door 10 feet to my 8 o'clock. Group of mixed race people intoxicated and yelling at each other, don't even sit down, find somewhere else to eat.
    I do this everywhere I go, gas station, grocery store, movies, it doesn't matter.
     
  4. FlBob518

    FlBob518 New Member

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    I would never go anywhere with a gun that I won't go without one.
     
  5. partdeux

    partdeux Well-Known Member

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    Our CPL instructor explained a situation where someone was literally stalking her through a parking lot. She got very vocal with the person when he got within about 25' of her. He called her a B, C, psycho, and walked away.

    Couple of weeks ago I was carrying wife was not, and I was pushing the grocery cart through the parking lot using my long legs to my advantage and focused on my goal, getting to the car and home. She was putting away her coupons and receipt and noticed two young men in hoodies on a beeline straight for her. She picked up her pace and caught up with me and they literally turned around and got into their car. Coincidence? Maybe. But, even more importantly, we really need to work on communication. She saw a potential danger and did nothing to alert me, who was not focused on my surroundings.
     
  6. BlueTurf

    BlueTurf New Member

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    Situational awareness is everything. It is the first thing to consider. Some people tend to lose their focus and put themselves at risk. Some people think they have nothing to worry about if they are packing a gun and forget about situational awareness. When we are alone or few in number we need to always be aware of where we are, who is or might be around us and what they are doing. Having an escape route is important too. Situational awareness will also help decide what type of gun or ammo to pack for self-defense. If I am up in the hills and think I might encounter a dangerous four-legged critter I will have either my .357 mag or .44 mag with hot loads. This would work for BGs also. In a situation that would involve BGs up close I would prefer my .45acp with the 230-grain HPs. I would even feel okay with the 9mm with good ammo. In short, pay attention to where you are. These days there are more and more people out there who need to support their drug habit and they may be at the point where they are willing to use deadly force to take what someone else has. Others just need money and taking from others is their first choice. There will always be those who just want to victimize others for the thrill of it. These types are found just about everywhere. Be vigilant.

    I guess I should close by saying above all trouble should be avoided whenever possible. This doesn't mean that you have to run from everything and live in fear, just be smart and cool about where you are and what you are doing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2011
  7. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    i think some very good information has been brought up here. just because a person carries, doesn't mean they are bulletproof and shouldn't pay attention to their surroundings. as someone said, don't go somewhere carrying, that you wouldn't go not, makes a lot of sense too. as times get harder, more and more people could become desperate and might even resort to violence, so pay attention to your surroundings and watch your back.
     
  8. phburks

    phburks New Member

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    The way I figure is my carry weapon is my safety net for when all else fails. Good sense is my primary defense.
     
  9. dragunovsks

    dragunovsks New Member

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    My dad preached situational awareness from a young age, not only from a ccw point of view but when driving as well. He told me assume everyone is trying to hit you and drive accordingly. When he goes into a resturant he refuses to sit with his back to the door, of course he doesnt carry so i dont know what he would do in a "situation", im trying to talk him into getting his handgun permit.
     
  10. phburks

    phburks New Member

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    My dad taught me the same thing when I was learning to drive. His advice was "Assume everyone else on the road is an idiot." Sadly, here in Orlando, his assessment is actually true. Lol
     
  11. AZL

    AZL New Member

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    I think that ANY time one discusses "situational awareness" it has to go hand-in-hand with "situational avoidance".

    You can be "aware" of some ridiculousness about to go down...but you have to be astute or smart enough to know when it's not your business, you're NOT a sheepdog, and how the hell to unass yourself from it.

    Obviously...don't walk close to alley openings or blind corners to avoid being surprised or "set upon from a place of ambush". Don't let yourself be backed into a corner. Don't walk with your head down, scanning the parking lot for a bright penny. All the "common sense stuff" that we should ALL be doing. DO NOT walk into a convenience store without first scanning through the windows as much as you are able to (some places have sale ads all over and it's hard to see into). If the store has a window full of ads...shop elsewhere. Do NOT ook like a victim....keep scanning. Make eye contact with everyone. Avoid the "challenge stare"...but use the "Duly Noted, I See You" glance. Learn to use your peripheral vision.

    Hell, I don't even think about these things anymore...they are so ingrained into me. But learn and practice them.

    Play the "hunter game" when you're in public. Look at everyone and everything, and test yourself to see what you remember about each person.

    That's how I do it. Obviously, I had a lot of years to practice this.

    Then you really need to get honest with YOURSELF and ask yourself a few questions....

    1. Am I really and truly prepared and ABLE to act decisively in defense of myself and my family? You may think because ya done strapped on yer hog-laig, that you're ready to go "into the naked face of danger" and right wrongs and foil evil and shout a hearty "Hi Yo Silver...." But are you being honest and realistic with yourself and the abilities you have developed?

    2. Do you see yourself as a sheepdog? If you do...please stop. You are NOT a sheepdog. You may want to BE a sheepdog...but the cold hard reality is, you will probably piss your pants if the worst ever happens. It's OKAY....believe it or not, it IS part of the "fight or flight" reflex. Many primates WILL crap themselves to void their bowels and bladders in preparation to "fight to the death, or flee for their life". It's okay. I done seent it happen. If you see yourself as a sheepdog, you are FAR more likely to stick your cold, wet nose into some mess that is NOT yours and cause more trouble than you bargained for, or are legally justified in getting into. Very often, being a good witness is a whole lot more useful to EVERYONE. Calling 911 is usually the better option.

    Yes, yes, I know...sometimes one MUST bark, growl, and bite and BE a sheepdog. You may only wind up being a tiny little chihuahua...but you do the best you can. For example....though it is no longer my responsibility, or my JOB...if I see a child being abused (no, not spanked on the tush...we need MORE of that), but really and truly abused, or calling for help...I WILL do what needs to be done in defense of that child. I admit to not having the ability to "switch off" my protective switch when it comes to children, elderly, the handicapped, or most women. Face it...if a crack whore is getting slapped around by her pimp...I'm going to call 911...but I am NOT getting into a legal tussle over a pimp-ho issue. No longer my job. Sorry Trixie...you and Silky bes' be workin' that out yoself.

    You MUST be able to recognize a REAL threat, as opposed to "wolfing". Wolfing is where hood rats start running the mouth TRYING to intimidate. This is usually a LONG way from actually acting out....it's part of the routine. Seen it a MILLION times, and if you WATCH YOUR BACK, and leave...you will be okay. That's NOT to say you shouldn't BE ready, but you don't need to go to guns a blazin' right away. In fact...the chances are 99.09873561567569769736117561765716257612387659182736% that you WON'T have to do ANYTHING but leave.

    Avoid stupid macho pride like the plague! Say things such as "Excuse me" with sincerity. If someone bumps into YOU...say.."Sorry man, my fault". It gives them a tiny little victory and saves YOU the hassle of having to deal with "wolfing" and howling. It costs you nothing, and if something DOES happen....YOU look a whole lot better when people can say they heard YOU say..."Excuse me...I'm sorry". YOU are now the polite feller, and the other guy is the douchetard. YOU win.

    Be smarter than "That Guy". It isn't that hard. One thing I have discovered is that PEOPLE ARE STUPID. There are INDIVIDUALS who are pretty smart...but in groups, brain cells go dormant, and the collective IQ of the crowd drops to single digits. You have seen it a million times. Look at Wal Mart....the crowds at Wal Mart are about as dumb as a pillowcase full of doorknobs. ESPECIALLLY when you get a group of welfare heifers and "Dey baby daddys" out on foodstamp day. Aisles get crowded and the kids are running wild as wildebeast herds on the plains, yelling "Momma we huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuungry! We huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuungry!". So, that when one small bag of Cheetos gets tossed into the pack of 8 chillrens...and you have a riot. You know you've seen it. It takes ONE person to "show out" and the collective group has become a danger zone. So....avoid it.

    Okay....enough coffee.
     
  12. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    AZL, thanks for bringing up some good information. i agree, we sometimes can be better at being a witness rather than an avenging angel.
     
  13. Glockpotion23

    Glockpotion23 New Member

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    Yeah, even if the young man was strapped, once dude took your stuff it was too late for defense.
     
  14. fmj

    fmj Active Member

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    Situational AVOIDANCE!

    Good call, AZL! Kinda what i was driving at.

    Being aware of a situation will allow you to act and and get the hell outta there, thus avoiding the issue all together.

    The way i see it, it aint my JOB to be a guard dog and save the world from itself.

    Its my JOB to come home at night and make sure there is a balanced meal on the table for my kids, its my JOB to bust my kids *** when they ask for it, its my JOB to be there to show my son(s) how to gut their first deer, its my JOB to be there for the birth of my grandkids.

    It is NOT my job to save some idiot from himself!

    I am sure some will flame away, some will say i am a puss bag, but the fact is, when i see the trouble coming, i am going the other way when and where possible! The gun in my pocket is the ABSOLUTE last resort! PERIOD! People that carry need to adopt that attitude as well.
     
  15. fmj

    fmj Active Member

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    Yep, thats what i explained to the young man. Thank God the youngster has enough respect for me and the things i know to see where i was coming from and understand the point(s) i was making.

    He still swears that @ 18 hes taking a defensive shooting course and getting his CCW.:cool:
     
  16. BlueTurf

    BlueTurf New Member

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    Good advice AZL. I might add to avoid letting alcohol embolden you and doing something you wouldn't otherwise. Don't get liquored up and lose your common sense. Don't let your guard down just because you are packing a gun. There is no protective shield over you while you are carrying. If you witness a hostile situation taking place don't jump into it with a knee-jerk reaction. Don't think you can handle any situation just because you are a big person. There will always be someone who is bigger, badder and tougher and we don't always know who they are or where they will be. Get as much information as possible such as descriptions, license plate numbers, etc. Be sure to make note of the exact time. Attorneys like to use any issue they can to defend their clients. Most cell phones have cameras on them and sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words.
     
  17. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    Blue turf, that reminds me if a saying I've heard. Sometimes the best help you can provide is by being a good witness.
     
  18. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    my personal view on this is not to look for trouble, avoid trouble, retreat from trouble and only take a stand if you are given no other option. it seems to me everyone that has posted on this subject, pretty much have the same idea as to what it means to have a firearm and in defending ourselves. makes me proud to be a gun owner! but seriously, as fmj said and he made a very valid point, carrying a firearm is a huge responsibility and one that if used incorrectly at the wrong time, could cause more problems than it would have solved.
     
  19. AIKIJUTSU

    AIKIJUTSU New Member

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    I agree with AZL about avoiding trouble, and using a polite response where possible. But don't let yourself appear to be afraid. The dirtbags who are out to "do" somebody will prefer to pick on someone who is afraid of them because they would assume that the fearful person would put up no resistance. So put on an air of confidence, and let your "apology" be from an attitude of "kindness" rather than "please don't hurt me".
     
  20. AZL

    AZL New Member

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    I was probably a little less clear on that than I should have been, and you are right. As I mentioned the "I see you, duly noted" look in the eye. It is a look that conveys awareness, not fear. The same with saying things such as "excuse me" or "Sorry".

    You MUST project strength, and you can't if you're a generally timid soul. My rule is "Never make the mistake of confusing my good manners with weakness".

    You also can't underestimate the predator's ability to recognize another predator. You CAN'T carry yourself as a victim. If you walk erect, syes moving like a hunter, NOT prey....you don't LOOK LIKE prey. The worst thing that can happen to a predator is breaking it's fangs or it's claws. That's why they choose easy prey and predators rarely fight amongst themselves.

    Even packs of scumbags don't want to tie into someone who walks with confidence (not arrogance as arrogance is most often a swagger born of fear and insecurity). I have seen it time and time again when I have been purposefully ignored even by groups of hood rats. I don't know if it is still that I have "cop stink" all over me, or I have just simply (I don't know how to say this without sounding like a bragging *******, and that's NOT what I am trying to do) have had "confident demeanor" for so long that I am NOT an attractive target. Either way...no alpha wolf WANTS to tangle with another alpha wolf...it's not in their best interest. THAT is why gang bangers, in my opinion, are pussies. Without fail, they talk tough, but without a group, they are NOTHING. They count on "bare fear" and intimidation. They recognize immediately that a person has "sized them up, noted their presense, and are ready" all without a word, threat or gesture...they just know, and they will most often, move on. Not always, but the great majority of the time.

    On the east side of Tucson around 29th Street and Alvernon is a crappy apartment complex. It is full of wannabe and real gang bangers, dope dealers, hookers, pimps, and other collective scumbags. Anyway...there is one guy over there who NO ONE messes with. He doesn't act up, he doesn't act out....he just goes about his business with confidence. Even the hard core bangers leave him strictly alone. It's a mental toughness that he has. I have seen him at 0200 walking back from 7-11 alone, and anyone else walking down those streets would be a target....not this guy. I have seen the 'bangers cross the street to get away from him.

    Don't be a macho turd...just learn confidence.