Importance of Situational Awareness and Question About Resources

Hey everyone!

Had a scenario happen last weekend at our county fair. Long story short, wife, kid (not quite 2) and I were in the parking lot talking to my aunt about to leave when we heard a gunshot followed by screams and kids running from the carnival area. At the time we didn’t know it but I guess there was a fight and some idiot pulled a gun and fired it in the air. We just assumed that there was a shooting and got out of there. Kinda proud of myself because I knew to keep behind the cars so there was at least something between us and potential strays. Really glad we left when we did because it would’ve been substantially more difficult to get to our car while pushing a stroller with a stampede of panicked people going every which way. I was actually in condition orange when we started leaving the place. Worst part about this is I couldn’t carry at the time because my CCL wasn’t approved and made active until, ironically, two days after that lol Regardless though I think sometimes people focus a lot on the shooting part of carrying a firearm and not on other aspects such as situational awareness.

Now I’ve been doing stuff to train my situational awareness for awhile mostly just by going on walks around the building at work, the neighborhood, different stores, etc. and noticing things. I was curious if anyone knew any good resources to help improve this. I’m reading The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker right now and ordered Left of Bang, What Every Body is Saying and When Violence is the Answer after seeing them recommended on Reddit. Also curious what you all do to train!

16 Likes

Situational awareness has been a part of many of the self defense courses I have taken but Indont have any specific resources to point out.

A good drill you could do to train your mind to be on the look out for things is once or twice a week you can tell yourself to be on the look out for something specific. For instance one day it could be red cars. Another day it could be people wearing black shirts. Make a note on a piece of paper or your phone every time you spot what you are looking for. Also try to notice something specific about each of the things you see. Like model of car or what the person is carrying.

9 Likes

That’s actually a really good drill I’ve just done kind of general observations while I’m out or making a point do using the reflection of windows to see behind me etc. I like your drill though. Definitely going to try that out and try and make it a regular practice!

7 Likes

You just keep doing what your doing Brother Wrigley
You sound like you have a good head on your shoulders
Training , Sit Awareness and Trigger time are VERY importante!
You kept calm during an outing, you are ahead of the game Sir.
Listen to the EXPERIENCE HERE, This isn’t fun N Games all the time.
We mean Business, You have Questions ask them we do our best
to get you the TRUTH.
Welcome to the Fold.

Stay Chocolate Frosty!
adonde nosotros vamos uno nosotros ir todo!!!
Nessun passo sul serpente

8 Likes

R and I do this one. Drive from one stop light to the next, when you get to the next stop light ask yourself “What color was the car that turned right at the last light, before the light turned green?”. You’ll quickly find out how specific your view of your surrounding are. Another one, “What color was the shoes of the gal walking with her boy friend?”. I find it helps me look at details more and people less.

9 Likes

Thank you! While I can’t go out and shoot every day I can at least practice some situational awareness and train that! Much appreciated my friend!

5 Likes

That’s actually a really good one! I’m gonna try that!

2 Likes

4 Likes

Glad you and your family were alright.

I had a similar experience last year, when the shots fired were too close for comfort.

Later, when I told the story to a mate, who I thought at first was not knowledgable, suggested if it ever happens again, that I consider hitting the ground and getting behind a car’s engine.

It made sense to me, as in the heat of the moment, it’s so stunning, it can be challenging to think fast in situations rarely enountered.

I once heard, “How can the body do where the mind has not yet been before”? As you all shared, practice, train, such as physically doing mock/play scenarios.

4 Likes

Glad you were ok!

That’s about what we did but went more towards flight to the car since we were far enough away. I think having my son in the stroller really effected our decision to head for the car. It is crazy how the mind can operate in situations like these. Like there was a marked difference between how we reacted, how some of the other people we saw leaving reacted and the sheer terror and confusion from other people. In fact, from what the Sheriffs Dept. and my brother-in-law (on the fair board) reported the only person who was injured was someone knocked down and stepped on by the stampede.

Definitely practice, train and apply! We can’t predict every scenario but just being able to remain calm and observe your surroundings can mean life and death or injury!

1 Like

My awareness training is quite simple.

  1. Whenever I walk into facility I scan and then try to recall all details. If I’m not sure if I remember something right I scan again.
  2. While driving - I always count 3 or 4 cars behind me and regularly check if those are still the same
  3. Range time - I always check every shooter around me and each time I’m doing drills I verify their position and firearm status / condition

So far these simple procedures worked great and already save my ass in bad situations.

6 Likes

Good training practices! I do the first one. Started after we received a number of threats at work and just kind of continued it. I’ll have to do the other two! Honestly number 3 seems like a good range practice just in general. I’m guilty of just kind of tuning out what’s not going on in my own lane which is probably not the best idea.

I can see how those could do that!

2 Likes

My wife and I play a game every time we are in public. Particularly in parking lots and street fairs.
Spot what’s wrong or worth taking note of.
How many people were in their cars, how many dogs, were there any people smoking, how many license plates began with the letter “B”, how many phone numbers did you get from people at the pharmacy, how many children were in cars alone!?

Everyday this game changes. What numbers were on the jerseys, how many men were wearing hats, did you spot anyone concealed carry, how many fire extinguishers did you see in the new store, how many ways can you exit a restaurant, what color sneakers is the bank teller wearing?
Using mirrors, reflections. But we have to do this without being noticed!

You’d be really surprised at what is actually going on around you!
We are not Jason Bourne, but we have fun with it!

On my own I practice in my home with these little gems, have volumes…

They keep you keenly aware of changes in the norm. Intuition is a very powerful sense, we use it all the time. It’s become heightened.

4 Likes

So yesterday I was forced to go to downtown Orlando. I phuckin hate Orlando. I had my usual business dress clothes with my little 5 shot J frame as my only weapon. I had gotten on the wrong street looking to get on to I-4, so I let my Garmin direct me. It pointed me down a street toward Orange Blossom Trail (alternative route to what I had planned) that within about 3 blocks suddenly turned to a situation where 2 out of 3 houses were either burned out or boarded up, gang-looking graffiti was everywhere, including on the houses, and no cars in the street. I went one block forward and saw ahead a barricade in the road and about 5 or 8 not-so-nice looking young “men” standing around in the middle of the road, wearing clothes totally inappropriate for summer in Florida. This is all in the space of 15-30 seconds, or so of driving, and the whole time I had been on the phone with my wife.

I realized I should NOT go any further forward, nor should I let these guys see me stopping and doing a K turn with my big old truck, so I hung a hard left at the last side street before I got stuck down near the road blockage. Fortunately the side street was a through street, and I was able to circle back out of the area.

Big lessons learned: 1. my conversation with my wife was distracting me, and I went further into that neighborhood than I should have gone, and nearly stumbled into a bad situation for a gray haired old white guy in business clothes and an old 4X4 redneck truck. Lesson 2, the revolver may be fine when I’m in my normal work stomping grounds, but it would have been useless against that gang had the SHTF. Reverse gear and drive over anything in my way would have been my only hope. I may need to reconsider how I might conceal my pistol in dress clothes and move up to better daily capacity.

7 Likes

I think the vehicle is the best weapon for potential situations like this even if you had a full size high capacity pistol. As long as you can keep it moving and you don’t have one of the new vehicles that will auto break to keep you from running over the nice gangbanger firing bullets into your window:/

Sounds like you handled the situation better than most people would. I don’t drive in cities very often so I likely would have been totally flustered long before I found myself in the US version of a Favela.

5 Likes

That’s actually really awesome. I think I might be able to get my wife into that by making it a game!

2 Likes

Any way you could rig up something in the truck? I usually carry my J frame when I’m in the office (which is “gunfree” so it doesn’t get to come with me). If I’m driving the Crown Vic it’s got a lockable glove box so I could put the Glock int here if I wanted. Either way those are good lessons learned!

1 Like

I have found it has helped me to watch other people and see what I would do differently. Recently, while waiting for my wife in the car, I saw a younger girl leaving work. Her car was parked in the back lot. It was sunset, so the parking lot was beginning to get dark. She came out the door having an animated discussion on her cell. This continued all the back to her car where she put her purse on the hood to dig for her keys. After apparently finding the keys, she walked around to the back, lifted the hatch and put a bag she was carrying in the rear. Then finally she got in the car where she sat with the door open. It was a warm night and she was apparently waiting for the car to cool. Short of a lit sign I am not sure what else she could have done to invite a robber or a car jacker. Then no doubt she would have told the cop that she had no idea what happened! Then I realized it was time for my wife and our kids and grandkids needed to learn about situational awareness. And, from having used the USCCA materials and videos, I realized a great way to learn was to watch others do it wrong! It’s like defending your home. Make it a lot harder than someone else’s house to burglarize.

9 Likes

Makes sense to me! Honestly learning from others mistakes is a pretty good way to go about things! My wife loves watching those “gone wrong” videos. I’ve seen her applying some of it too lol

4 Likes

Cover your eyes. use your sense of smell and hearing to scan your surroundings and identify sounds and smells.
Learn to manipulate your firearms in a dark or blindfolded environment.
Many times, your ears will identify a sound before your eyes identify it as a threat. Train your ears.
I had a good sense of smell before, but when I quit smoking 3 1/2 years ago my smelling acuity has doubled. Try it. :slightly_smiling_face:

7 Likes