I’m sure you have seen videos on the internet before like the one below (you know, when you are at work watching funny video’s instead of working) which shows a girl looking down at her cell phone and not paying attention to where she is going or what is going on around her. Had there been a steep cliff in front of her she would have fallen off and not had a clue what happened as she fell to her death. Fortunately for her it was just a fountain and not a cliff or a bad guy waiting to rape or rob her.
Too many people today walk around in an introverted manner trying to keep to themselves by listening to music, or texting or calling or reading an e-book. It seems to be the nature of who we have become in our electronics driven world and I think with respect to our personal safety, it is detrimental.
During my firearms training classes, I harp on the point that the best way to get out of trouble is to not get into trouble in the first place. If you want to survive a gunfight, don’t get into one, because when the bullets start flying, anything can happen no matter how highly trained and dialed in you think you are. To stay out of trouble, you must be ultra-aware of your surroundings and to identify potential trouble before it happens.
On Combat, The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace
What I am talking about is often referred to as being in a state of yellow alert at all times. I equate it to defensive driving, a term that most of us are familiar with from driving school. (And a practice that is certainly becoming a lost art based on the idiot drives I encounter everyday along the highway.)
Defensive driving means that you are always scanning for trouble so that you can react to it before it happens. For instance, as you approach a busy intersection with a green light, don’t just assume that traffic on the cross street is going to obey their red light, or that the pedestrian waiting to cross will do so only after the crossing signal says it’s safe to do so. By scanning you see the cars waiting to enter the intersection and you can prepare mentally for them to do so and formulate a plan should they do so before it is safe. The same type of thinking needs to be employed during your everyday life, be it while driving down the street or walking to your car from the grocery store.
In the above example, you see potential trouble in the form of cars waiting to turn into your lane and you mentally prepare to take evasive action if they do. As you walk out of the grocery store, you should be scanning looking for potential threats and prepare to take evasive action should you see it. In most cases, just making eye contact with a potential bad guy will be enough to send a message that you are not the person he wants to mess with. It sends a message to him that instead of trying to rob you, he should go rob the girl texting while she walks across the parking lot oblivious to the world around her.
Part of being an armed citizen is to be a responsible citizen, and paying attention to your surroundings and staying alert for potential threats is all part of the deal. The same level of alertness should be assumed whether you are walking across a busy street or walking through a seemingly deserted parking lot. Avoid a red alert situation by assuming a yellow alert posture and get out of trouble by staying out of trouble in the first place.
Don’t just survive, thrive!
Carrying a firearm for personal protection brings with it an awesome responsibility. You have the power to change a person’s world forever, and even the power to take their life. It is you duty as a responsible gun owner to always obey the cardinal rules of firearms safety and to understand the laws where you live and travel with your gun. Do your due diligence become educated on the use of force continuum and become proficient with your firearm before you leave home.