Improving Your Relationship with Situational Awareness
Since there was a page limit to keep the price low on the book (“Way of the Concealed Carrier“), several stories did not get published. This is one of them.
Situational Awareness (SA) is going to be your best friend. And as your BFF (Best Friends Forever), you’ll be spending a lot of time together in building your relationship. So what can you do to further this relationship and make sure you’re investing your time and efforts in keeping it healthy?
Most people have learned to maintain their alertness through constant practice by turning it into a game which helps increase their awareness. But remember, it’s not just about thinking about it, but also living it. Perception is reality. For example, if you’re pumping gas, are you in the best position to defend yourself? Maybe you’re at a mall. Imagine that someone is robbing a store and they’re armed. Are you near cover? Or concealment? Are you able to seek safety if something does happen?
What if you’re in your car, waiting for the light to turn green and someone is standing on the corner checking out cars. You’re car is near the curb. What would you do if they approached your vehicle and try to jump in? Are your doors locked? Are your windows up? Do you have an exit plan to drive away to safety if something happens? If your life is in danger, is your firearm within arms reach? These questions should not be appearing in your mind as if you are looking for answers. You should know the answers because your prepared. It should be more like… My doors ARE locked, my windows ARE up, and I DO have an exit strategy before this person is near my door. And my firearm is right where I want it – not hunting for it.
So while your observing your environment, you also need to analyze on what’s going on and strategize just in case you have to seek cover, concealment or end up defending yourself.
Playing spatial oriented games keeps the mind alert, it stimulates new neurons in the brain, helps with strategic planning and memory formation to help fine tune your motor skills. Exercising your brain frequently to work on solving problems helps your skills increase, especially in becoming a worthy opponent. So the more you practice, the more you’ll become an expert at whatever you’re learning.
When you’re out and about, play some mental scenarios in the surroundings that you’re in. Use your SA as a game by using your imagination every time time your out or in your home. Watch what people are doing. Are they unaware of their surroundings? Can someone come up behind them and take advantage of the situation? Can you walk away in your scenario and be a good witness or do you use your sidearm?
Then think about after the event occurred – when your firearm leaves its holster. Did you make the right decisions? What will a court of law think of your actions? Did you do everything possible to deescalate and get out of that situation? Did you try everything to prevent it from happening? Like walking down a dark alley at night. Why did you not walk in the lit areas where other people are normally walking? Could you have prevented this from happening or does it now look like you were searching for trouble instead?
I have seen articles and videos about people practicing situational awareness, but some never mention about after the fact of your actions, which is very important. The choices you make will result in some type of outcome. Is the outcome in your favor or could you end up in jail? Think about the actions you take in your scenarios while playing them in your mind.
Could just leaving the area before the situation happens and becoming a good witness be a better choice? Or in your mind scenario, you just jump into the situation and get involved in a gunfight? Which is the better choice? If you perceive danger, get the hell out of there. If it surprises you, make the best decision you can and if you have to use deadly force because your life is threatened, then you must protect your life and the ones you love.
Think about your mind scenarios. Will the situation you imagine have you end up in court where you are the victim defending for your life? What will happen after your sidearm leaves its holster? Will you be judged as an irresponsible firearm owner? Or the choices you make result in a typical self-defense case where you’re not found guilty? Or it never goes to court.
So the next time you go out, take a good look around and take a good look at yourself. Because you heightened your awareness, you will notice that you are no longer the sheep, but the Shepard. Watching for those wolves and being prepared will help you live another day while the sheep are distracted by their portable electronics – ever glued to their screens. Never looking around to take a moment and really enjoy this great planet of ours.
When the wolves come out, its your job to protect your other Shepard’s first before the sheep. And those Shepard’s are your loved ones. You take care of them first before you risk your life on some sheep.
Be safe out there, be the responsible firearm owner and always follow the “Concealed Carry Creed”!!!