Thoughts on situational awareness

We all try to be aware of potential threats and seek to avoid being inadvertantly placed in dangerous situations, but how many of us consider potential places to take cover as part of our situation?

I’m thinking about gang violence and/or multiple terrorist threats.

In some places, humungous magazine capacities that you can load on monday and shot all week aren’t an issue but in other areas with magazine restrictions, they are.
Also many conceealable handguns are light on capacity—5 shot revolvers, 2 shot derringers etc… so with multiple bad actors having a safer place to reload (if you’re lucky enough) becomes an issue. Even with a large magazine standing the open inserting a new magazine, no matter how fast you are—unless you’re speed freak—isn’t going to stack the cards in your favor and if suffering an injury, will slow things down even more.
Do you keep an eye out for places to take cover if needed? Is it a part of your situational awareness protocol?

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We did have a topic/ thread going about a week ago regarding situational awareness which may help you here.

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Absolutely I do. In an active shooter situation taking cover might be the smart move. Taking a few seconds to gather information could save your life. Maybe the exit is to far away, maybe they’re between you and the exit and you’re out gunned.

I look for good cover spots just like I look for exits.

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Always have my head on a swivel. Identify egress routes, exit signs, rest rooms (tunnels a bad guy into only 1 point of entry), who is around, where do employees gather to shoot the breeze (usually near a breakroom, another 1 entry location). Etc., etc.

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I’m always looking to get off the x into concealment at a minimum, but truly looking for cover.

Just realize there are alot of things that modern day ammo turns from cover into concealment.

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If the place looks funky then it is funky. If you have a feeling in the gut that something isnt right then leave. I was going to pull into my local stop and rob one morning when these two salty looking skells gave me the hard stare. I decided whatever was needed couldnt be gotten someplace less sketchy.

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Yeah mostly on the ball, but after thinking about this I don’t consider where I’m going to go (for cover) in a parking lot. Obviously behind a vehicle perhaps I should add this to my thought process.

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Always have an alternate route for escape and evading. Even when I am driving, I have a way out. Areas that I put myself in like a gas station, I have procedures like my doors are locked and I stay alert of people around me and what is going on. Going to stores I know where exits are and different avenues of escape are. In my house I know where the best places for standing my ground are. At work I know the different ways to get out are. Be ever vigilant on your goings on and ways to get around. I have six ways to get to work and back home. I always try to change the times I go to fro. I also keep an eye on cars behind me and watch for being followed. I have been followed before, found out later that my fiancés parents had a private eye following me because they thought I was working on the black market. I was repairing guns for people back in the day. We did not get married, by the way. Trust goes both ways.
I carry my EDC and in my car I have a back up gun too as well as my get home bag. Be vigilant, be safe, practice and carry.

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Two situations:
A. I travel throughout CONUS as a medical courier…frequent trips to major medical centers…no checked baggage…thus I’m at the mercy of my cell phone and Lyft driver to and from hotel to hospital to airport…I have to keep my SA up at all times. I enjoy reading some of the SA articles in CC magazine regarding SA whilst traveling.
B. At home…different story…I control when and where I travel, which dictates G19 or my Sig 938. around the house, I am fortunate to live in a small conservative county…but make it a point to keep my 938 on me at all waking hours. My SA remains constant and consistent likewise as you never know when duty calls.

YMMV.

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@Todd30 mentioned parking lots…I have fallen in the habit of not unlocking the doors until I am upon my vehicle. Unlock, enter, lock, then put the key in the ignition. When my lovely wife is with me, unlock, open her door, close & lock, then unlock again when I get to the driver’s door…

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None of us can be aware of danger, cover, concealment, etc all of the time. Generally I try to be aware enough to see danger coming. THEN I would look for cover or if none concealment or maybe an exit (not always in that order).
If I enter a place, I look for exits. No, I don’t always know where cover is, but I do try to know where exits are.
If danger threatens, MOVE! Then you know which side of cover is needed, or where to run or where to hide.
Yes, I may fight but not out in the open.

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I know it is not always possible, but think about your day and what you will be doing. Take the path of least resistance. As far as possible, avoid confrontation before it happens. Stay away from places you are unsure of.

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“None of us can be aware of danger,cover, concealment, etc all the time”

I am of the same cut of cloth as you. I stay aware enough of my surroundings and situations evolving to extricate or defend myself if need be. I’ve found that I subconsciously make note of those things and am confident in my ability to immediately find an exit or cover if need be. No disrespect meant to others but frankly I feel that much conscious forethought and planning of every step when you’re not in an active warzone borders on paranoida. If that’s your bag so be it, I can’t live like that.

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About situational awareness, it is crucial I believe at all times. Just like when driving your car, you should always be looking for an escape route due to an accident that might happen, and for emergency vehicles in route to an emergency. I always make myself familiar with exits and places to take cover, no matter if indoors or outside…and if I don’t have my pistol with me I check out what could be used against an attacker in a situation; what could I throw at an attacker to stop them, for instance. My family is virtually all the same way, always checking out unfamiliar places and the where exits are, etc. Although we don’t expect trouble to happen, you just never know.
And lastly, train with BOTH of your hands when it comes to shooting…in case your strong hand can’t be used for any reason.

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If I did that I’d never leave my bed.

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Just like playing a game of Chess, you should always be aware of what your next move should be. Since the late 70’s, for instance, changing times means to be self-aware of what is surrounding you and what could affect you and your safety. It isn’t being paranoid to be self-aware but rather, it makes you more a more secure and responsible citizen, able to effectively protect yourself. I find it amazing that someone could “forget” that they were carrying a loaded firearm into an airport, for example…signs are abundant in airports about NOT doing so. If you are NOT self-aware of your surroundings AND you are carrying at the same time, then you should probably NOT carry. A tremendous amount of responsibility comes with carrying a firearm to begin with, and I always carry with “one in the pipe” and ready to smoke…I pray I will never have to use my sidearm to defend myself or innocent others, but I will with a clear and responsible decision.

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First off unlike chess don’t look like a victim then worry about the rest & always remember Murphy’s law. Confidence is good, over confidence not so much

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