Are you paying attention?

As CPL holders and people who carry, I would bet good money we are a little bit more aware of what goes on around us than the average person on the street. I would like to think that most of us walk around in a relaxed condition yellow (thank you Jeff Cooper) where we are aware of our surroundings, but no specific threat is detected. Just an enhanced level of awareness really. Meanwhile, we have all seen the videos of people walking into doors, fountains, etc. A certain level of awareness is necessary to deter an attack (go look for an easier target) as well as allowing us more options to avoid, de-escalate, put distance, etc. So, lets start a list of things that we see in our normal lives so we can all think about our actions to make sure we do not fall into the same scenarios and drop our awareness to white.

I notice this all the time. This surprises me due to the videos of people sneaking into cars and stealing purses, hiding in back seats, etc. And of course, I am talking about the gas station. When I get gas, I am there a little longer than most. My F250 has a 35 gallon tank and I usually don’t fill up until I am at least down to my last quarter tank. So, when I am there, I have ample time to people watch. It is amazing to me to watch most people fill up with gas. Most people, i would bet 95% of people get out of the vehicle with their phone in their hand, jam their card into the reader (no checking for skimmers, tampering, etc.) and grab the pump all while most of their focus is still on their phone. They spend the entire time it takes to fill up their vehicle never once glancing up from their phone. Many of these people are so engrossed in their phones, that they don’t notice when the pump clicks off for a minute or two. I get it, filling up is not the most mentally stimulating experience, but it seems like a prime place to make yourself a target.

So, what about you? What have you seen people doing that creates a situation of unnecessary vulnerability?


Smartphones are the most disrupting things ever made.
Once you focus on it in public, you become defenceless piece of meat. It doesn’t mean every time you use your smartphone you are going to be attacked, but you lose at least 75% of your awareness.
If you are in bad location - focusing on smartphone is like asking for the troubles.


At the pump, I’m the predator. I’m constantly scanning and looking for the joker that might make a wrong move on the wrong person (me). I’ve been in a situation where a joker thought I was an easy mark. Sorry, but people in conditions less than white deserve what they get. They are empowering the jokers. Now, it’s more of a relaxed condition orange!


Concur with the phone issue. Plauge of our modern times. I think we can be a bit vulnerable at stop lights too. Again, people on the phone and not paying attention to their surroundings. I am at least condition orange in any parking lot. Lots of bad things happen to people coming to and from the car. Yet again, they are on the phone.

Forget gun control, phone control is clearly a public safety issue. Lol.


The other day I got agervated by the tv screen at one pump playing commercials, first just for normal products then jumping over to sports. It is so loud you can hear it from other customers pumps as well. Why is this a good idea??


Agreed! Is the gas station liable for my safety while distracting me to make a buck? I’m getting older and the warranty on my ears is up, I let my eyes and my gut be my ears!




I am thankful for ubiquitous smart phones. I am thankful, because I pay more attention than most. That makes me more informed about my surroundings than most.


The pump is definitely a high alert situation, especially late at night. Personally my eyes are constantly scanning and my head is on a swivel. Also, being a right hand draw, I pump gas with my left.

At red lights, I always leave enough room between me and the car in front of me to get around it if necessary.

Awareness is half (or more) of the battle my friends.


I agree 100 percent with the cell phone distraction. Hey I know because I’m human, been there done that. I observe people in a vehicle stopped at a red light on there phone then the light turns green and people behind them are blowing there car horns. On the line at the grocery store, a robbery can go down and they weren’t aware it was happening.


I will stick to smartphones only. I remember myself using regular cellular flip phone… I’ve never been distracted. If you only talk to the phone you still pay attention to surroundings. Big screen causes you lose awareness.


I completely agree with you. I for one have learned to be more aware of my surroundings while driving as well as walking and doing every day tasks since I have gotten my concealed carry permit.


Absolutely! I live in the country, closest gas station is 15min away, next to a casino! I always fill up my wife’s car for her so she doesn’t have to deal with it. I usually fill it up early like between 4-5 am. So all of the upstanding citizens are out at that time(joke). Anyway a couple of guys were trolling the pumps, doing exactly what you were explaining. Head is always on a swivel, so we made eye contact, I guess they figured I was not worth it, and went to the other side of the station and started trolling again…
If memory serves me, I think your not supposed to have electronic devices while pumping,? Yeah haha!


You guys can make fun of me. I leave space to get away if I am stopped at a stoplight. If you make more than a couple of turns behind me, we are taking the scenic route to the PD. I check windows for anyone paying to much attention to me. Watch for others who are trying to disguise their alert level.

I’ve said before I’ve seen to much that I pretty much stay at low orange and yellow asleep. I know what normal sounds are in my home are. Can ask my daughter about catching her trying to sneak a kiss to her boyfriend after he dropped her off and she came in.


Haha! I do the same thing when coming up to a red light! My wife is always asking, what are you doing?! Lol! I give her the side eye and she says oh yeah, that’s right. Ok.


So, true! I try to stress that to everyone around me!


Making fun!? Of what? Oh, you doing your part to keep you and your family safe? NOPE! You know what has happened in your life. You are the human that can best defend it. Personally, God is the one that keeps me from going crazy in the meantime :joy:.


Just making eye contact can be an amazing deterrent. My wife has a habit that works well for her and she has shared it with some other women who found it very helpful. She is friendly. She engages and says hi to people or waves. Lets people know that I see you, I am aware of you. You are not catching me off guard.


Here’s what I’ve seen myself doing!

Habits create vulnerability. Example: Living in the country, we walk our dog at roughly the same time, around dusk, every night. A perfect opportunity for a miscreant to lay in wait for us, or to rob our house while we’re out. I always CC, and finally have my wife in the habit of carrying pepper spray. We’ve started mixing up our routes and times.

Technology creates vulnerability. I’ve made a conscious effort to wean myself from my cell phone any time I’m not at home or work. We watch much less TV, and when we do it’s for short periods at lower volumes. I’ll often turn off my car radio and just listen. It’s amazing what your senses can detect when the noise of every day life is removed. God gave us amazing capabilities, if we don’t drown them in the morass of every day life.


I really like that last statement about forget gun control, phone control is clearly a public safety issue. I hope you don’t mind if I use it?