If there is no reason not to be carrying, then carry. This is a short tutorial. There’s much more to this line of thinking but these ideas give a person some solid foundations in self protection and awareness…
We were at the range much of the afternoon and evening, taking 18-plus security guards through their 6 month requalifications to keep their licenses. After that I went to a local hotel casino, the low rent type that offers lots of groceries to thrown down the neck at a cheap price.
One of the things I always do when crossing a parking lot is observe all vehicles. Entering the space means checking everyone within 50 feet. The restaurant drill is always the same Enter slowly, stop, scan everyone in the place, making like I’m looking for someone. I then chose a seat that best suits my Color Code of Awareness. If the greeter doesn’t give me the seat I want I indicate a another seat; facing the door and positioned so that I can see every patron, even the corners and who is coming and going. Going to a restaurant is a great time to practice this situational awareness drill.
Once seated I checked the table. Is it metal or wood? Thick base? Does it offer cover or concealment? Can it be moved to form a barrier?
Condition yellow remains right through the dinner.
When leaving I repeat the same drill, observing the patrons in the surrounding room and out, through the parking lot to my truck.
When I’m back to the truck I get in immediately after scanning surrounding area, fire up the truck and drive away before fiddling with seat belt or any other extraneous thing like texting someone, answering a call or other distractions. Given these basic details I have one firm rule and a few observations to share.
ABC ALWAYS BE CARRYING
If you are physically able to carry and if you live in a state that allows concealed carry, why would you not take the test and get your license? There are plenty of states that would put you in jail for years of you’re caught carrying without permission of some government agency. If your state is one where a person can carry, whether open or concealed, with or without a carry permit, why would you not carry a firearm?
You know the bad guys are carrying weapons; they travel in packs; you are their target. Doesn’t it make sense to even the odds somewhat to make sure you can counter force with force if the need presents itself. Sometimes just having a firearm can defuse a bad situation. Sometimes it can save your life.
I use what I call THE RULE OF FIVE
The FBI did an exhaustive study of over 4,000 force on force gun fights. Bad guys against good guys; cops against bad guys; bad guys against bad guys; shop keepers against bad guys, even good guys against good guys.
What they discovered might be surprising but reinforced the firm rule that a person must have situational awareness and be in Condition Yellow when out in the world. Bad things happen very quickly
This FBI discovery caused me to develop what I call the RULE OF FIVE
1. Five shots
2. Five yards
3. Five seconds
4. Five AM
85% plus of all gun fights take place in 5 seconds or less; at 5 yards or less with 5 shots or less fired by one or more shooters.
5 AM? What’s that mean? Dueling pistols at dawn?
It means most gun fights happen in low light or no light.
The bad guys like to hunt at night.
Many gun fights happen at home in the late hours.
Many happen in low light buildings.
Other gun fights happen on the street in dim light.
I’ve concluded that if you get into a gun fight in the bright light of high noon, you are probably dealing with a person who has little fear, is highly skilled with his firearm or is just plain crazy and desperate. In that case you might find yourself at a real disadvantage. But that’s a speculation on my part and not backed up by any real world statistics. Most gun fights are in low light or no light.
It does force a greater emphasis to the absolutes of situational awareness; being in Condition Yellow; avoiding areas populated with large numbers of people that you do not know. Trust your spidey senses. Those senses going to be tasked with job of seeing and hearing the nature of a crowd or various small groups of people whenever you are out in the world.
If you’ve ever watched fish, birds and prey animals, one or more of that group is always watching. If one animal senses danger they instantly move into action, flee the scene or form a defensive perimeter. For some species it’s safety in numbers. For others its a flight to safety. The fastest zebra lives the longest.
That said, if you are at distance to a quickly developing bad situation, turn on your heels and move away quickly. You’ve already been observing your immediate surroundings. You’ve ID’ed places of egress, whether in a confined space or on the street. It’s not your job to be a hero. It’s your job to get home alive and in one piece. You owe that to yourself, your friends and family.
Most of us travel from our homes to our cars; from our cars to places of work or businesses, back to our cars and then home. It’s usually when we traverse point to point that we present a soft target. Knowing that and being aware that rats travel in packs, that short distance between point A and B is the one where situational awareness is necessarily keen.
Wandering the streets is not our norm. Leave that to those who like to travel around the urban core. Taking a walk is another thing. That presents a different set of challenges. Suffice it to say, taking a walk or a jog, whether alone or with family or friends, means finding an area with the least chance of encountering an adversary. Don’t be jogging in the hood.
One thing to know when with family or friends. Unless you are all carrying and all observe the Color Code of Awareness, trained to check those areas that might present a danger, it’s a virtual certainty that you are the Sheep Dog. You are their first line of defense. Accepting this and taking necessary steps to protect those around you is job 1. As a man, it’s your main job in any venue. As a woman, it’s prudent at any time. We adults are the first line of defense when things go south. And they can go south in 5 seconds or less.
ABC when walking or jogging. ABC wherever you are. If there is no reason not to be carrying, then carry. This is a short tutorial. There’s much more to this line of thinking but these ideas give a person some solid foundations in self protection and awareness.