Posts Tagged ‘Situational Awareness’

We are winding down the days until Christmas. Everyone is finishing up their shopping and making those last-minute shopping trips to the mall or big box stores. I just wanted to toss out another quick post on keeping aware of what is going on around you. We have covered situational awareness many times before on here and this time of the year it is even more important. Lets face it times are getting tough and desperate people will do desperate things. Just a few days ago we had a robbery at gun point in my town which is almost unheard of. There are a few quick tips for safety I wanted to toss out there today for everyone.

First when pulling into the parking lot and scoping out a prime spot try to choose one close to a light pole. Being winter the days are shorter and you have a better chance of wandering through a dark parking lot. Keeping you car under the light makes it easier to see what is around it when walking towards it and keeps you lit up as well. Criminals want easy targets and if there is a chance they are seen doing their dirty deeds by a witness or two the likely hood of an attack goes down.

Second keep your head up. The craziest thing I see when I do end up in a mall or store is the amount of people with their heads down looking at their cell phone, a shopping list, or even a receipt. If I ever have to check my phone or something while in a crowd I like to move to the side and put my back against the wall or a pillar so I only have to worry about one direction instead of 360 degrees.

And lastly listen to that little voice in your head. You know the one I’m talking about. It is the one that always pipes up when you get that funny feeling about something. Nearly all victims of violent crime start out their story by saying “I had funny feeling about ____ but I ignored it.” or something similar that line. Fear is a gift up to a certain point. For example, if you are walking to your car and there is a windowless van parked 3 spots down chances are good that the little voice inside your head is going to be shitting kittens and setting off alarms…. Don’t ignore it. And I know what they nay sayers are thinking now. “Brian you are just paranoid!” Well guess what I would rather be wrong 100% of the time when it comes to listening to that little voice than to ignore it once and find myself in a life or death situation. If you get that “feeling” listen to that little voice in the back of your head and get out-of-the-way. Let someone else be the victim.

That is all I have for you today. I was working diligently on a lengthy post covering Ohio’s HB 203 and I realized it is going to be a long one. I am actually thinking about breaking it up into a couple of parts because there is a few things I think need to be covered and a lot of stuff that I think needs said but nobody else is wanting to say. Hopefully I can get at least some of it finished up and have it for you tomorrow. Remember to like the Absolute BS Facebook page. It was bought to my attention yesterday that if you search “Absolute BS” on Facebook the blog is nowhere to be found under that search term so if you could pick a picture of article I have written and share it to make it easier for your friends to find me. Thanks for your continued support!

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When I am teaching a class I like to make sure I cover the Cooper Color Codes. I have touched on them quite a few times because I feel it is the best way to avoid trouble before it happens. Lets face it, the best gun fight is one that you are never involved in. I always enjoy when I am going over mindset and how to stay aware by utilizing the codes and there is usually one person who just doesn’t get it. The person generally can’t see themselves ever in “condition white” while a spouse or friend sits beside them laughing and making fun of the doubtful’s false reality.

September 23 on a San Francisco commuter train a man managed to pull a gun out multiple times all while going unnoticed by everyone around him. Every commuter on the train was so wrapped up in their cell phones, tablets, or just completely oblivious to their surroundings to even notice when the gunman wiped his nose with the hand holding the gun.

This is a prime example of Conditions White. It is sad that the majority of Americans live their lives completely asleep and could fall prey to the exact same scenario. As concealed carry members we need to try to look one step ahead and understand that action is always faster than reaction. We don’t have the fortune to decide when, where, or how an attack will occur; that is up to the bad guy.

If this story doesn’t prove that people move throughout their day completely oblivious to their surroundings a fun little exercise I like to do when my wife drags me to an overly crowded place such as a mall is sit and people watch. You will quickly change your mind.

The moral of the story is don’t live in white. Detach yourself from your cell phone. If you need to check Facebook or see what the blog is up to at that moment find a safe place and don’t become so engulfed that you lose sense of what is going on around you. Always be trying to see things before they happen so you aren’t so far behind if the brown stuff does in fact start hitting the fan.

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So I had an interesting experience on Saturday night that had gotten me thinking as usual. My wife and I met up with some friends in the evening at a restaurant for some pizza and wine at a quiet little bar in a historic part of town that is in a good area. When I say my wife and I it really means I drank wine since she is 7 months pregnant at this time. So knowing we were meeting friends and I was more than likely going to have a glass of wine, I left the firearm at home. Ohio law states that it is legal to carry in a place that sells alcohol as long as you are not drinking. It was a good night with lots of laughs but every night has to come to an end. Our friends went the opposite direction to their car as we went our way. The street was very dim and we had quite a walk to our vehicle so we were talking about the night and our plans for tomorrow when suddenly from the tree we were walking under is a shout “HEY WATCH OUT FOR THE TREE!” and a person leans out of the tree toward us. What happened in the split seconds following was the topic I wanted to touch on today.

We humans are extremely advanced creatures that have made great discoveries, sent people to space, and continue to solve scientific mysteries, but we are still a primal animal with primal instincts. No matter how advanced we are we still resort back to those natural instincts regularly. When we are startled it is our bodies natural reaction to lower the center of gravity while at the same time shielding the face or head. It instinctual to protect our eyes, throat area, and most importantly the main computer sloshing around inside our head. Think about a time when you have been surprised or startled, what did you do? It might have just taken a split second but your shoulders came up while you lowered your center of gravity by bending your knees, but as soon as you realized it was just your little brother jumping out from around the corner and there was no mortal threat the reaction stopped and you sprang into action of kicking his ass.

Rob Pincus teaches around this concept in his Combat Focused Shooting and his Counter Ambush book. Here is a short video breaking down what happens to give you a better visual example.

Back to the dark quiet sidewalk where we left off in our story, my wife screamed and jumped off to the side. I felt my shoulders go up, my left hand come up about chest high but I did something that surprised me. My left knee bent and I stepped offline and turned towards the threat. Last week we covered training and it is no secret that I spend  a bit of time on the range with my buddies running drills and different scenarios. The time it took me to recover from the initial flinch to action was very minimal. Understanding the responses your body is naturally going to revert back to no matter how much training you have had is also a big help. Training cannot beat instinct it can only minimize it. You will always flinch but it is how quickly you recover from the flinch is where the training comes into he equation.

In the video we saw the student take roughly 3 seconds to flinch, recover, and react to the threat with a draw. Last night I realized incorporating your body’s natural reaction into your draws and other training is important. Instead of starting your drill with a hand beside your gun, how about we start with them up high where they would be in a flinch situation or incorporating a stepping of the X? Just a thought.

Before my wife was done screaming I had flinched, stepped off the X and had my CRKT M-21sf halfway out of my pocket. The high school aged kid hanging out in the tree with his buddy probably thought it was a funny prank and most likely got some good laughs out of startling people at 12:30 at night while people made their way to their cars. Heck, they might have even got some videos because I am still pretty certain that the one was videoing with is cell phone. That would have made great evidence for a jury when they pushed the prank a little too far and caught a case of lead poisoning or a face full of mace from a terrified passerby or a startled gun carrying citizen.

What do you think? Will this be something you try to focus on in the future? Let me know on the Facebook page or over on Shooters Legion.

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They say the goldfish and the hamster are neck and neck for the animal with the shortest memory. Some days I think that the typical American is right up there in that race. Why, you ask? Well both the hamster and the goldfish never forget that the world is a violent and dangerous place for them, Americans seem to forget rather quickly. The bombings in Boston are a perfect example of getting complacent with your surroundings and falling into what is known in Jeff Cooper’s color code as “white.” I covered situational awareness awhile back, but today I want to throw my thoughts out there on the bombing and bring up a few points that I feel are not being covered.

Who remembers Chris Dorner? Former cop, Barack Hussein Obama supporter, staunch anti-gun (according to his manifesto), cop killer, kidnapper…. Anyone? He sparked a huge man hunt that spanned California and even into Mexico. The people of Big Bear Lake were terrified for days as the man hunt went on. The memory of a married couple getting tied up in their home easily escaped America’s memory.

Sandy Hook was in December. We saw evil on a whole new scale. Barry even went as far as dragging the parents of the dead children to Washington last week to remind Americans that we needed to give up some gun rights to make sure it never happened again…. but America forgot there are evil people among us.

Fast forward to last week we have a huge crowd of people collectively unaware of their surroundings. Nobody noticed two bags left unattended sitting among the crowd. Nobody noticed two men lay down their backpacks and walk away without even saying “Sir, you forgot something.” American’s forgot about the new rules put into place after the September 11th tragedies about unattended bags in airport terminals. If one person would have been more aware, lives would have been saved.

As Americans need to be thankful that the Boston bombing was just two kids with no plan. People with a plan don’t knock over a 7-eleven and steal a car. We, as Americans, were very fortunate that it wasn’t a group of 20, well-armed with bombs and a plan. It took thousands of militarized cops and agents from the entire alphabet soup of government organizations to find one 19-year-old kid. The Truth About Guns hit the nail on the head when they wrote,

No disrespect to the law enforcement officers chasing after terrorist Dzhokar Tsarnaev. They’re doing what cops gotta do. But let’s think about this. Nearly 10,000 heavily armed cops and soldiers chasing after one guy with a million-plus Bay Staters in lockdown. The bad guy’s image is all over the media. Mass transit? Shut down. Businesses? Closed. Colleges, schools? Empty. Street traffic? Non-existent. And yet Tsarnaev’s nowhere to be found. Now imagine a few thousand armed Americans resisting government tyranny. What are the odds that militarized police could hunt them down? Wolverines? Well exactly.

Shelter-in-place? Let’s call it what it was. Martial Law. “There’s a wolf on the loose!  So all you sheep must stay in your pens and barns.” Get in your house and wait for the friendly police to stop by and ask you a few questions…. Sit and wait. How many people do you think were happy they had a gun in the house at the ready to defend themselves and their family if need be? Or “I wonder how many Boston liberals spent the night cowering in their homes wishing they had an AR-15 with a high-capacity magazine?”

Americans forget. We see things like the Dorner incident, the tragedy of Sandy Hook, along with the Boston bombing and some people will be vigilant in keeping an eye out on their surroundings for a month or two but others will forget in a week and go back to their haze of social media and technology. Most people who are going to be reading my blog are switched on enough to know what things to keep their eyes out for, like suspicious bags dropped in the middle of a crowd of folks. I had an exchange with a girl I knew in high school on Facebook shortly after the second bomber’s capture. She claimed that now more than ever she didn’t want to have kids for fear of bringing them into such a scary world. I responded it is up to us as parents to teach our kids enough that situational awareness is natural. She responded that there was no way to stop such an atrocity.

The hamster and the goldfish know there is scary evil shit out there naturally, we need to make sure other Americans realize it and don’t forget it. Until every American remembers America will continue to be a soft target and events like this will continue to happen and we will continue to collectively give up our rights bit by bit to the “professional sheepdogs” to keep us safe. We need to change the mindset of people and it needs to happen sooner than later.

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We are seeing more and more incidents where “flash mobs” are showing up and causing a havoc. The latest being in the gun free utopia of Chicago. With these becoming more prevalent we need to remember to keep our eyes up and aware of our surroundings.

Remember Jeff Cooper’s color code’s

Photo courtesy of

If you see an alarming number of youths and they looks like they are collectively up to no good, get out. Don’t hang around and see if something is about to happen. You can see it when you are watching the evening news or when you read about it the next day on here.

In today’s age it is easy to fall into white. With cell phones and technology it is very easy to get distracted, but we can’t fall into white for large amounts of time anymore. At the same time we cannot live in orange without giving ourselves a nervous breakdown. We need to be in that yellow zone, know your surroundings and environment. By doing this it will keep you out of situations like we to linked to above.

Head over to Facebook and let us know if you have ever fallen into white and paid for it. While you are there click like to get yourself enrolled into the next giveaway.

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