Planning And Avoidance: Going Beyond Situational Awareness
I’ve noted in several videos, that the best gun fight to win is the one you didn’t get in. True story. I’ve never been in one. I hope never to be in one, and I think most people would agree, but we continue to train for that day that we don’t want to come.
Good planning and avoidance are two good practices to keep yourself safer and lessen the likelihood of needing to use your firearm for defense; yet, so many people still don’t get it.
How often do you see people mindlessly walking along texting or talking on the phone and paying absolutely no attention to what’s going on around them? Pretty often. I live in a college town, and way more than I want to admit, I see young co-eds walking along poorly lit streets using their cell phones, completely oblivious to what’s a few feet in front of them. Some even walk into parking meters. How in God’s name will you ever see a threat coming toward you?
Cell phones are the biggest distraction jeopardizing safety in our society today. This constant need to be connected to EVERYTHING, from social media feeds, incessant texting, weather updates, Trivia Crack or editing photographs is almost addicting. Why? I’m not sure how the brain craves this like a drug, but it’s placing lives at risk.
So many writers and trainers in this arena preach situational awareness, yet the message still is not getting across to the masses. This entails keeping your head up, looking at your surroundings, looking at people who are approaching you and making cool, confident eye contact with them, looking at people who are sitting in cars next to yours, taking the path MORE traveled and avoiding dark public places, especially when alone. Putting the phone away while you’re in public will sharpen your safety skills immensely. You just have to say “no, that can wait. My safety is more important.” It’s almost a 12-step program for many people.
Likewise, taking action around your home can help you to avoid potential threats. Criminals like it dark and easy, so they can keep out of view and make a quick score. Keeping your exterior lights on at night, making sure all the doors and windows are locked, making it known that you have a dog in the house, by leaving bowls or a leash outside are all really simple ideas that can deter a threat. You can also order fake home security signs online to put out front in the yard if you don’t have the money for a true home security system. Some folks store ladders in the backyard or against the shed. I recommend not doing that. Keep ladders locked up so criminals can’t climb up on the roof. For ladies living alone, you could leave a big pair of men’s muddy work boots on the porch, that makes it look like a big dude lives in the house that someone might not want to tangle with (even though I know they won’t want to tangle with most of us gals anyway.) Make yourself and your home a less attractive target by showing that you’re aware.
The whole point is that you want to take steps to lessen the chances that you’ll be in a critical situation in the first place, because using your firearm is the method of last resort, and not an attractive prospect. Every bullet has an attorney attached to it and your life will never be the same should you have to actually pull the trigger to save your life or someone else’s. Make practicing situational awareness a daily routine, regardless of where you are. And put down the phone and look around.