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G1R2
December 20, 2011, 04:26 PM
Situational awareness is simply "knowing what is going on so you can figure out what to do" (Adam, 1993). Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Situation_awareness

The purpose of this post is to share experiences on how members have avoided potentially violent confrontations with their firearm through situational awareness.

Here is one of my experiences, what is yours?

I have avoided several potentially dangerous situations in the past thirty years while living on my farm in the countryside in South America. Here is one which happened at night while walking back to my farm after buying some stuff at the local store about a mile away. I take the walk because I enjoy it. When I left the store and headed home, my red light flashed on. Why would the stranger walking in front of me, walk out of the street lights and into the darkness in the same direction I was going? The few people who lived in that direction would already be in bed. Ah, maybe he was just going to the brick factory for the night shift or he was walking to the next village four miles away – umm, not likely. As I entered the darkness, I stopped, to water the weeds, adjust my eyes, and to spot the guy ahead of me. Yup, there he was, about fifty yards ahead of me. I waited to see if he was gaining distance on me, nope, he had stopped too. OK, maybe he was just watering the weeds like I had done, I waited longer, he waited too. After about fifteen minutes of this standoff, the guy yelled some obscenities at me and moved on. The game was up, he knew that I knew his violent situation was not going to happen.

I think, if you can see it coming far enough in advance, by all means avoid it so you don’t have to use your firearm. I think having to use your firearm to kill someone in self-defense would be a very traumatic experience, first by surviving the attack and killing your perpertrator and second, surviving the legal nightmare that would soon follow. I have avoided numerous situations that I preceived as potentially dangerous, sometimes at great inconvenience to me.

It is better to be alert than going to heaven because you weren’t or going through hell because you had to survive the legal consequences.

nate45
December 20, 2011, 04:32 PM
Did you ever think that maybe he thought you were following him with bad intent? He might very well have been thinking the same things you were and after all you were the one closing from behind.

ClayInTx
December 20, 2011, 04:51 PM
To see if someone is stalking you:

1. If you’re in front you detour, if possible, and keep going.

2. If you’re behind you stop and see if the other person also stops.

What the OP described seems like stalking to me. Especially the cussing. I didn’t read where the OP was “closing behind”.

I’ve been stalked. Took me awhile to figure out it was so. I was on the road and dropped into a line of trucks and stayed there. The perp saw he’d been made and left.

shootniron
December 20, 2011, 05:37 PM
It saved me on one occasion fjor sure about 14yrs ago. Also, I am sure it has saved me several times since because of my looking a situation over and deciding to go elsewhere rather than take a chance on it.

G1R2
December 20, 2011, 05:45 PM
Did you ever think that maybe he thought you were following him with bad intent? He might very well have been thinking the same things you were


I am sorry Nate, I forgot to say that I am an American over sixty-five and after thirty years, everyone in the area knows who I am, where I live, what I do, probably where I am and many have worked for me. Small rural communities know who everyone is, unless they just arrived. I suspect big city folks don't know who their neighbors are.

after all you were the one closing from behind.

I am sorry, I didn't find that in my post

You got it Clay! I do the same here, but I am usually walking and not in a car.

Ditto_95
December 20, 2011, 06:50 PM
My wife and I had a person following us in Nashville. I was watching him out of the corner of my eye. I was pacing us until we passed the bus stop. Then as he started to make his move, I turned and faced him with my hand on my knife. (couldn't carry as we had been drinking) When he saw that I wasn't going to be a victim, he cussed and turned away.

Another person walking told us we were lucky. I felt like it was situational awareness that kept us from being hurt.

m&p45acp10+1
December 20, 2011, 08:02 PM
More than once situational awarness has saved my behind.

Once I was working as a cable contractor in a place that 2 of the other guys I worked with had been beaten and robbed. (No suspects had been caught.) I saw 3 people triangulating me when it was starting to get dark. I was 25 feet off the ground on a ladder at the time. I climbed down, left the ladder on the pole, got in the truck drove a block away. They turned and started towards me again. I drove to a well lit parking lot a few more yards away keeping an eye on them, and my ladder. I called a friend that is the cop that patrols the area. He drove up in, and they started to walk away when he was pulling up.


My friend the cop covered me while I finished my work, and put the ladder back on the rack of my truck. My friend the cop told me that a few hours later the 3 guys were arrested for agrivated robbery. They beat a guy, then took his money, and cell phone. Someone saw it happen, and called 911.

Oh by the way I did have a compact .45 acp on me at the time. Did not feel the need to draw it. I would have drove farther away if they started to close on me.

secret_agent_man
December 20, 2011, 08:02 PM
There are places in many American cities where you would never make it home from a two-mile nighttime trek to the grocery store on foot.

G1R2
December 20, 2011, 08:22 PM
My GOD secret agent man, has America changed that much since 1980? I guess, I've been living in a time capsule.

X_shooter
December 20, 2011, 08:32 PM
Oh heck yes! Three times in college alone saved my bacon. Countless times afterward. It has become more developed as time went on. People I am with often look at me strange if I divert or pause until I clue them in and they see the situation unfolding (sometimes). I'm nothing special, just been in some close call that taught me things that others have yet to experience. If they listen, they won't need to.

Nothing beats interfering with someone up to no good and watching them stomp off knowing you avoided an altercation for yourself or someone else.

Yankee Doodle
December 20, 2011, 09:23 PM
More times than I can either count or remember. Ask any Cop.

Dwight55
December 20, 2011, 10:03 PM
There have been any number of times where I was concerned, . . . took evasive action, . . . nothing happened, . . . but I don't know how many would have been real trouble had I not evaded.

I did have a guy follow me one night on the way home from work. Without getting into specifics, . . . let's just leave it that his vehicle was not muscle enough to keep up with an Olds 442 in my hands.

Never did find out who he was or what he wanted, . . . but I do know he couldn't catch me :p

May God bless,
Dwight

vaskeet
December 21, 2011, 05:53 AM
I could not have survived 20 years working on the flight deck of aircraft carriers without situational awareness. Its not just for self defense its all aspects of life Randy

Brian Pfleuger
December 21, 2011, 07:29 AM
My GOD secret agent man, has America changed that much since 1980? I guess, I've been living in a time capsule.

No. While there certainly are places that are "dangerous", even most people who live in those areas die from heart disease and other age related diseases.

As to situational awareness, I have never been in a situation that I thought might turn violent. I try to be aware and notice if someone is being suspicious but beyond thinking "Hm, that guy is acting odd." I've never felt in danger.

Don P
December 21, 2011, 07:32 AM
Probably saved most of us more than we know of. BG usually will seek those who appear to be in la-la land unaware of there surrounding. As they say condition white. If appearing to be with the program and aware they very well may have passed you by because of appearing aware.

icedog88
December 21, 2011, 08:02 AM
How would you know for sure if situational awareness "saved you" if nothing happened? We can only infer in those circumstances. True?

secret_agent_man
December 21, 2011, 08:52 AM
G1R2,

The situation in urban America is becoming grim. It's becoming more and more like a combat environment. Headlines today from one of the largest cities, Houston, TX. Back in the 80's, Houston was still a cowtown coming up. I reckon it has arrived in the New Millennium:

http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Fatal-shooting-near-downtown-Houston-2416929.php

http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Father-killed-children-tied-up-in-west-Harris-2416897.php

http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Police-seek-leads-in-UH-student-s-death-2414733.php

Allow me to recall from memory a little publicized event before the dawn of the internet circa 1986 in Calumet City, Il. Two black cops took a young white man to a corner downtown whereupon he was released from police custody after dark. He was found beaten to death less than two hours later.

Like I said, grim.

Brian Pfleuger
December 21, 2011, 11:54 AM
The situation in urban America is becoming grim. It's becoming more and more like a combat environment.

Boulder dash!

The violent crime rate in America as a whole and in almost all localities has been on the decline for YEARS, probably decades.

Comparing American cities to combat zones is ludicrous.

Even in places with higher than average violence the majority is criminal on criminal and very often drug or gang related.

Obviously, things happen, but "becoming grim" and "combat zone" is beyond exaggeration.

Tom Servo
December 21, 2011, 12:02 PM
It's hard to quantify, since I can't verify with complete certainty that a situation would have turned out violent otherwise.

That said, I've had a few occasions in which unsavory characters have taken an unusual interest in me, and in which firm eye contact and command voice have convinced them to go bug someone else.

FireForged
December 21, 2011, 12:26 PM
Isnt Situational Awareness just simply paying attention. We have all heard it a million times from our Parents, Grandparents, Teachers, Coaches when they say... "pay attention or someone might get hurt". No matter where you are, you are in some sort of situation. It might be driving in traffic, slicing a tomato, walking down stairs... to answer the question: Paying attention has probably saved me from a problem too many times to realize or even count.

Hiker 1
December 21, 2011, 12:50 PM
Isnt Situational Awareness just simply paying attention.

Yes, but it is also not allowing yourself to be in denial: "I'm being paranoid" or "He's probably just walking home like I am". Denial is a killer.

Onward Allusion
December 21, 2011, 12:57 PM
peetzakilla

Boulder dash!

The violent crime rate in America as a whole and in almost all localities has been on the decline for YEARS, probably decades.

Comparing American cities to combat zones is ludicrous.

Even in places with higher than average violence the majority is criminal on criminal and very often drug or gang related.

Obviously, things happen, but "becoming grim" and "combat zone" is beyond exaggeration.


No, not boulder dash. The reality is that it depends on where you are. If one can believe the FBI statistics, violent crime decreased in the 1st half of 2011. However, I want to point out that supposedly unemployment has dropped as well. If one were to dig deeper, one will understand that there are a lot of numbers that go under-reported and/or misclassified.

In any event, here's a link to the 2011 1st half FBI stats.

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/preliminary-annual-ucr-jan-jun-2011/data-tables/table-4/table-4/view

Just glancing at the numbers it looks like top-tier cities are lowering crime rates but smaller cities are increasing.

farmerboy
December 21, 2011, 12:59 PM
Yes, probably more times than we'll even know.

Brian Pfleuger
December 21, 2011, 01:07 PM
Just glancing at the numbers it looks like top-tier cities are lowering crime rates but smaller cities are increasing.


"Combat zone...."

"Becoming grim..."


Boulder Dash.

On the whole. violent crime is down from high levels and is not increasing. "This" locality or "that" locality not withstanding.

I am addressing the assertion that "The situation in urban America is becoming grim. It's becoming more and more like a combat environment.", which is absolute rubbish. Nonsense.

pgdion
December 21, 2011, 01:27 PM
his vehicle was not muscle enough to keep up with an Olds 442 in my hands.

Gotta love that American Muscle ... man what great cars!!!
Still have it? I still have mine (Pontiac Firebird). My wife says I'm clinging to my youth ... yea, so? :rolleyes:


Just one case where it saved my bacon. Came out of the garage one night late and found a kid going through my stuff. I yelled at him and as he took off and gave chase. Very weird feeling, kind of surreal and my legs went rubbery. Took me all the way down the driveway and across the street before they were solid again (body chemistry must have finally evened out) and it takes a good deal of effort to keep aware of your surroundings. Caught the kid about 2 houses down. He gave me the 'I'm sorry, all I took was this flashlight, I'll never do it again sir' lines. I checked is bag and indeed all he had was my flashlight. At this time I could see 2 shadows approaching from the NW. The kid again said 'I'm sorry, please mister' and I took the flashlight and told him to get lost. He took off running and as I started home met up with the other 2 who kept coming towards me. They handed me a line of have you seen a kid steeling? They had some stuff taken from them too. I'm sure all 3 were together. I kept the tough image up and just said yea, he took off that way. They very phony like said lets get him and took off running. It's one of those feelings but I'm sure all 3 were together. Had I not seen the other 2 coming I might have held the one kid and called for the cops but 3 on one, I don't think my Karate is that good. Maybe, but I don't want to find out over a flashlight. Last time I ever left the garage open (goes to show you good neighborhood doesn't mean squat).

Alaska444
December 21, 2011, 02:06 PM
Today, 09:57 AM #22
Onward Allusion
Senior Member

Join Date: November 17, 2009
Location: IN
Posts: 1,011
Quote:
peetzakilla

Boulder dash!

The violent crime rate in America as a whole and in almost all localities has been on the decline for YEARS, probably decades.

Comparing American cities to combat zones is ludicrous.

Even in places with higher than average violence the majority is criminal on criminal and very often drug or gang related.

Obviously, things happen, but "becoming grim" and "combat zone" is beyond exaggeration.
No, not boulder dash. The reality is that it depends on where you are. If one can believe the FBI statistics, violent crime decreased in the 1st half of 2011. However, I want to point out that supposedly unemployment has dropped as well. If one were to dig deeper, one will understand that there are a lot of numbers that go under-reported and/or misclassified.

In any event, here's a link to the 2011 1st half FBI stats.

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr...4/table-4/view

Just glancing at the numbers it looks like top-tier cities are lowering crime rates but smaller cities are increasing.
__________________
"With great power, there must also come great responsibility." - Stan Lee

"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

My small city does not report the actual crime stats according to one of my old patients who was chief detective. They kept two separate lists. The real version and the reported version. He told me if people knew the real stats, there would be vigilantes on the streets from such anger.

Long way of stating I seriously doubt the dropping crime stats. If that is true, why do they keep building new prisons and keep filling them up at an alarming rate? Go figure, crime is down, but they keep convicting more and more criminals. How does that happen?

Cities compete against other cities and crime stats are one of the determinants if folks will move or start a business in that area. Like many things in govn't, they plain and simply lie.

markj
December 21, 2011, 02:58 PM
I see a lot of shootings here in the Omaha area but they are almost all gang related and in one main part of town. A few down south but almost all are in a 2 mile radius.

No need to panic tho. Todays media is so hungry for a story they will come up with some and embellish it to the point folks hide in their houses in fear.

Sure there have been isolated acts of huge badness but it isnt an every day situation.

I prefer to belive most folks are good at heart and will behave as they are treated. Be nice and they are nice. Is my opinion only, others may feel differently and thats OK.

230therapy
December 21, 2011, 03:16 PM
Yes! Both times I noticed them very early on and stopped the encounter with a "NO!" and the universal open hand "Stop" signal. One location was in front of the video store and movement to the far side of the car was easy. The other location was at a gas station when I was pumping gas. I could have been easily pinned between the car and gas pump.

The trick is to "keep your head on a swivel" and watch reactions. If they are looking at you and react, then you've been selected!

See John Farnham's Quips.

JustThisGuy
December 21, 2011, 04:05 PM
Wierd timing, this post.

Just a few days ago I had to go quite some distance to a not-so-great part of town to pick up something that could not wait till the next day. I had just enough time (and fuel) to get there. Leaving their office, I had to gas up at the nearest gas station as by that time, I was sitting just over empty. I usually fuel up at 1/4 tank but that time the remaining fuel did not get me there and back.

As I was fueling in this part of town, a car pulled up on the other side of the gas pump and a young woman got out. She approached me and said she needed money for gas. I reached into my pocket and gave her the bill on the outside of my folded cash, which I knew to be a $5.00 bill. I did not take out all my cash, keeping the remaining bills in my pocket.

She started cussing at me saying she needed to fill her tank and that I was a cheapskate (modified wording). While I was struck at her total lack of gratitude, I quickly swiveled my head and glancing over my right shoulder I noticed a rough looking young male approaching me from behind.

I quickly swept back my jacket and put my hand on the grip of my Sig Sauer P229 and moved to a more defensible position.

She yelled to the young man "Don't mess wit' him he got a gun!" and they both took off in a very big hurry.

Lesson learned. Now I refuel at 1/2 tank.

aarondhgraham
December 21, 2011, 04:11 PM
There I was,,,
Sittin' in a bar in Tae Jon Dong, South Korea.

I had Yobo's to the left of me,,,
I had Yobo's to the right of me.

But was I scared?

Hail no!,,,
But I wasn't aware either,,,
'cause when one lifted my smokes,,,
I chased her out the door and ran into her "friends".

Who then proceeded to happily whup my hind parts,,,
And rob me of all my valuables,,,
Along with my manly pride.

Alcohol and Condition White seem to go hand in hand.

Aarond

ripnbst
December 21, 2011, 04:16 PM
Just more proof that smoking is bad for you :)

Mr. James
December 21, 2011, 05:36 PM
aarond, "yobos"? Can't say as I ever heard that one afore!

As to the OP, more times than I can possibly relate. A real hairy experience in South Africa, which my own stupidity got me into, another in downtown Kiev, another in a small town in Brazil, another in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon. That's not counting the times here in the states.

compglock17
December 21, 2011, 06:42 PM
Situational awarenes has saved me time and again! Its more than just knowing where you are and who's around. Weapons availability, improvised weapons availability, cover/concealment locations, entrances, escape routes, facing the room, hands, hands, hands, and of course..... CY6!

Stevie-Ray
December 21, 2011, 06:51 PM
Once for sure, two times probably, and countless times arguably. I've relayed both these here before, but once at an ATM, which faced a main thoroughfare by the way, at night, 3 guys suddenly appeared on the sidewalk walking behind me. One seemed to be getting too close and I spun around, throwing my jacket back and gripping my Kimber. His exaggerated step toward the sidewalk and back to his friends told me he was up to no good, though he was giving me a what's your problem look. They continued down the sidewalk and I finished my transaction.

Another time I was biking at night past a rather large dog sitting unrestrained on his front grass when I heard his owner murmer get im! I put my hand on my G26 and yelled BIG F-IN MISTAKE! The dog hadn't gotten much more than several steps before he was called back. This time I reported it, but since I couldn't give them an address they said they wouldn't do anything but drive by.

Nnobby45
December 21, 2011, 07:36 PM
Boulder dash!

The violent crime rate in America as a whole and in almost all localities has been on the decline for YEARS, probably decades.


There are too many neighborhoods in my community that were once safe, but are no longer--especially (but not limited to) at night.

Personally, my first concern is what things are like in my community. There has been NO violent crime drop where I live. It's still a fairly safe place to live, but home invasions have increased. So have robberies on the street where the wrong car drives by, spots a victim, and assaults them (or murders, as has been the case, also).

Use to be I could go to a carwash, or a day night teller (especially, but not limited to, at night) without being overly concerned. Hasn't been that way for a long time in the world of decreasing crime you allude to.

Doesn't matter if the crime rate increases or decreases slightly. There's more crime than there used to be in MANY places. Not just border states.

I'm curious to know about these communities you refer to where the crime rate has been decreasing for years.

Brian Pfleuger
December 21, 2011, 07:44 PM
Violent crime has been on the decline as a nation wide average for years. "Your" town may not follow the trend.


Regardless, that's not even the point. The person to whom I was responding said that situation in American cities is "grim" and they resemble "combat zones".

Argue crime rates and find exceptions for sake of argument all night long, "grim combat zones" is asinine.

Here are some charts that get the point across:

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_the_United_States
(http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_the_United_States)
Notice the peak in the early 90s with a steady decline ever since.

Mr. James
December 22, 2011, 12:11 AM
You know, I have to jump in here to agree with peetzakiller. I'll accept as a given Alaska444's caution about crime statistics being understated. Still, it would appear that violent crimes are falling, even if the actual levels of crime are higher than reflected in the FBI statistics. I think most of us have presumed that to be the case, given the manifold incentives to under-report violent crime.

But to the point, the idea that American cities, overall, are "grim" and "combat zones" is risible. I believe that was the point.

Oh, and the worst American urban crime I ever knew was New York in the 1970s. While New York may be a hell-hole for gun owners (or for any American), it's a better place, violent crime-wise, than the mid-seventies.

Nnobby45
December 22, 2011, 01:57 AM
Argue crime rates and find exceptions for sake of argument all night long, "grim combat zones" is asinine.

Perhaps, but there are sections in every major city where the crime rate is extremely high, the danger for the people who live there is very high, and the danger for a person who'd inadvertently enter the area is extreme.

There are sections in the same cities where gunfire can be heard on a nightly basis, and even during the day. There are places where people sleep behind sandbags, or put children in the bath tub to protect them from stray bullets.

How assinine is it to refer to places like that as "combat zones" when I know, for an absolute fact that many LE officers refer to them as the very same. And no, I don't mean the whole city, unless maybe you refer to Oakland Calif., or Detroit after they won (or lost) a big sporting contest. At least the down town sections and rapid transit.

THE POINT:
If he'd said every major city has it's war zones, then he wouldn't have been so extreme. Just a little where some cities are concerned, and on the money with others.

By referring to the whole cities in general, then yes, rather extreme.

Except maybe DC, that has a per capita casualty rate that exceeds that of our troops fighting in a WAR ZONE called Afghanistan!:D

PADefenseTrainer
December 22, 2011, 05:45 AM
It's hard to know for sure. But at least a few.

I'm a big believer in the Jeff Cooper Color Code


White - Unaware and unprepared. If attacked in Condition White, the only thing that may save you is the inadequacy or ineptitude of your attacker. When confronted by something nasty, your reaction will probably be "Oh my God! This can't be happening to me."
Yellow - Relaxed alert. No specific threat situation. Your mindset is that "today could be the day I may have to defend myself". You are simply aware that the world is a potentially unfriendly place and that you are prepared to defend yourself, if necessary. You use your eyes and ears, and realize that "I may have to shoot today". You don't have to be armed in this state, but if you are armed you should be in Condition Yellow. You should always be in Yellow whenever you are in unfamiliar surroundings or among people you don't know. You can remain in Yellow for long periods, as long as you are able to "Watch your six." (In aviation 12 o'clock refers to the direction in front of the aircraft's nose. Six o'clock is the blind spot behind the pilot). In Yellow, you are "taking in" surrounding information in a relaxed but alert manner, like a continuous 360 degree radar sweep. As Cooper put it, "I might have to shoot."
Orange - Specific alert. Something is not quite right and has your attention. Your radar has picked up a specific alert. You shift your primary focus to determine if there is a threat (but you do not drop your six). Your mindset shifts to "I may have to shoot that person today", focusing on the specific target which has caused the escalation in alert status. In Condition Orange, you set a mental trigger: "If that person does "X", I will need to stop them". Your pistol usually remains holstered in this state. Staying in Orange can be a bit of a mental strain, but you can stay in it for as long as you need to. If the threat proves to be nothing, you shift back to Condition Yellow.
Red - Condition Red is fight. Your mental trigger (established back in Condition Orange) has been tripped. "If "X" happens I will shoot that person".

Many times when I "think" there may be an issue, simply watching will often make it go away.

icedog88
December 22, 2011, 07:18 AM
I'm gonna go out on a limb here and also agree with peetzakiller. Contrary to some who believe we are "under siege", in a "combat zone", I don't see it this way. Using buzz words to get a point across is sensationalism. Been to a few combat zones and they didn't really remind me of any US cities I've been to ;)

As for situational awareness saving, unless there is a specific threat, how does one know if they have been "saved" by their actions? Because someone follows me, and I turn in a different direction, was I "saved"? Do I know the intent of the follower to classify it as a legitimate threat? Hell, If I was walking behind someone and they put their hand on gun, I'd take off too! Just curious as to how some classify a legit threat.

Colonel Custer
December 22, 2011, 07:33 AM
If the good old USA is not a warzone then explain overcrowded prisons. Explain the persistant felony offender charge? I'm not advocating trenches and walls around every home but with the current generation of children born from 1990 on the amount of ADHD related medicines out there due to parental drug use during conception leads to a grim outlok. High drug use goes hand in hand with high crime.

MLeake
December 22, 2011, 07:42 AM
Colonel Custer, in some ways I agree with you... However...

If drug possession and use were de-criminalized, that over-crowding problem would probably be gone next week.

Related crimes, IE thefts, assaults, etc by addicts would still exist - but those would be crimes in any case.

Point being, if you want to increase the crime rate, legislate more things into crimes. If you want to over-crowd your prisons, toss in some non-discretionary minimum sentences.

There can be more than one cause for any number of problems.

icedog88
December 22, 2011, 08:12 AM
How does ADHD tie in with parental drug use?:confused:

Overcrowded prisons don't only include violent criminals. Since what was stated was the violent crime rate has been on the decline, and we know overcrowded prisons don't only have criminals convicted of violent crimes there, then the argument of overcrowded prisons equating a warzone doesn't add up.

Onward Allusion
December 22, 2011, 03:25 PM
peetzakilla
Violent crime has been on the decline as a nation wide average for years. "Your" town may not follow the trend.


Regardless, that's not even the point. The person to whom I was responding said that situation in American cities is "grim" and they resemble "combat zones".

Argue crime rates and find exceptions for sake of argument all night long, "grim combat zones" is asinine.

Here are some charts that get the point across:

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_the_United_States

Notice the peak in the early 90s with a steady decline ever since.

Violent crime OVERALL has decreased in this country (if you can believe the numbers) BUT also has shifted from big cities like NYC to 2nd tier and smaller cities. I tried to upload a denormalized spreadsheet of the FBI Crime Stats for the 1st half of 2011 to TFL but it would not take Excel spreadsheets. Go to THR, I'd posted it there. Anyone with a basic knowledge of MS Excel can filter through and sort the data to their liking. Some results are truly surprising.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=632375

This is only speculation, however, I believe one of the main reasons why big cities have experienced a drop in the violent crime rates is due to policing and surveillance (cameras). This is something that the budgets of smaller cities lack. So, if you live in a big city the news is good. If you live in a budget stricken 2nd or 3rd tier city - things ain't so good.

MLeake
December 22, 2011, 03:31 PM
Onward Allusion, I think you'll find that meth has been behind a lot of that shift. People can build a meth lab in a trailer or small apartment.

We just moved from an area near a nice city that frequently makes "Top Ten places to live in America" lists (at least three or four times in the last 20 years). It's still nice.. but its hospital has a very large meth clinic, that is typically operating at capacity.

I have friends in rural Washington state who complain about meth labs near their neighborhoods; also rural NC; rural KS; rural TN... You get the idea.

markj
December 22, 2011, 03:46 PM
http://www.bestplaces.net/docs/studies/secure.aspx


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Top large metro areas
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Top small metro areas

Large Metro Areas (500,000 or more residents)
1.Madison, Wis.
2.Des Moines–West Des Moines, Iowa
3.Syracuse, N.Y.
4.Austin–Round Rock, Texas
5.Portland–South Portland–Biddeford, Maine
6.Rochester, N.Y.
7.Honolulu, Hawaii
8.El Paso, Texas
9.Bethesda–Gaithersburg–Frederick, Md.
10.Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash.
11.Pittsburgh, Pa.
12.Minneapolis–St. Paul–Bloomington, Minn.
13.Nassau–Suffolk Counties, N.Y.
14.McAllen–Edinburg–Mission, Texas
15.Bridgeport–Stamford–Norwalk, Conn.
16.Raleigh–Cary, N.C.
17.Albany–Schenectady–Troy, N.Y.
18.Wichita, Kan.
19.Buffalo–Niagara Falls, N.Y.
20.New Haven–Milford, Conn.
Mid-Size Cities (150,000 - 500,000 residents)
1.Olympia, Wash.
2.Sioux Falls, S.D.
3.Bellingham, Wash.
4.Kennewick–Richland–Pasco, Wash.
5.Fargo, N.D.–Moorhead, Minn.
6.Rochester, Minn.
7.Duluth, Minn.–Superior, Wis.
8.Binghamton, N.Y.
9.Lynchburg, Va.
10.Burlington, Vt.
11.St. Cloud, Minn.
12.Green Bay, Wis.
13.Yakima, Wash.
14.Appleton, Wis.
15.Spokane, Wash.
16.Bremerton–Silverdale, Wash.
17.Boulder, Colo.
18.Cedar Rapids, Iowa
19.Fayetteville–Springdale–Rogers, Ark.
20.Las Cruces, N.M.
Small Towns (Fewer than 150,000 residents)
1.Lewiston, Idaho–Clarkston, Wash.
2.State College, Pa.
3.Ithaca, N.Y.
4.Bismarck, N.D.
5.Logan, Utah
6.Wenatchee, Wash.
7.Morgantown, W.Va.
8.Billings, Mont.
9.Corvallis, Ore.
10.Midland, Texas
11.Sioux City, Iowa
12.La Crosse, Wis.–Winona, Minn.
13.Elmira, N.Y.
14.Rapid City, S.D.
15.Oshkosh–Neenah, Wis.
16.Eau Claire, Wis.
17.Mount Vernon–Anacortes, Wash.
18.Fond du Lac, Wis.
19.Blacksburg–Christiansburg–Radford, Va.
20.Grand Forks, N.D.–Crookston, Minn.


There are places in this world far worse than anywhere in America.


Keep your eyes open and ears on, avoid bad places.

armed_librarian
December 22, 2011, 05:52 PM
Situational awareness has kept me out of trouble plenty of times. I also find it hard to believe how many people are oblivious of what is around them. This particular instance was before I had my LTCH but I still made sure I had a knife on me at all times. (Yeah I know, school trip and I'm carrying a knife. What can I say? I don't trust people. I kept it to myself and turned out I was happy I had it.)

I was on a school trip in Washington DC and towards the end of the week a bunch of us had gone to a mall. Myself and one other buddy and been walking around and we ran into a few of the girls who were in our group. We started talking when a man walked by real close (the mall wasn't terribly crowded and the proximity just seemed weird) and eyed one of the girls rather intently. Over the next 30 minutes I noticed the same man maybe 3 or 4 more times. Somewhere in there I went from yellow to orange. At this point we go to the food court and grab some lunch. The same girl I mentioned earlier gets up to use the restroom which is down a hallway close to where we are sitting. The hallway had, I think, a row of payphones, followed by the men's bathroom, then the woman's bathroom at the end. As she is walking to the bathroom I noticed the same man, once again eyeing my friend and walking towards her. At this point I'm standing but not doing anything yet. He turns down the hallway and I'm starting to walk towards him, deciding not to act further unless he walks past the men's bathroom, for all I know the whole thing is just a weird coincedence. The moment he walked past the men's bathroom door I started running. I went from orange to red and remember grabbing the knife from my pocket (I never did open it though). I remember yelling at him to get away from the door and get lost (I won't repeat the actual phrasing). He turned around and at first looked ready for a fight, he saw me (I'm a bigger guy and at the time I was hitting the gym 5 days a week) and my buddy who I guess realized what was going on and followed me. The guy then gets all apologetic and gives the whole "I'm sorry," "And I'm not looking for a fight," and "its not what it looks like." I told him to get lost, waited for the friend, who never noticed anything and looked completely bewildered to find us both standing outside the bathroom when she walked out, and we phoned the chaparone and left. I reported it to mall security and gave a description, in hopes the same thing could be prevented in the future.

I think what got me the most is that had I not noticed him, who knows what may have happened. Everyone else in the group said they hadn't noticed a thing until I was out of my chair and running.

Stevie-Ray
December 23, 2011, 12:21 AM
I believe one of the main reasons why big cities have experienced a drop in the violent crime rates is due to policing and surveillance (cameras). Another is that the trash is moving out of the big cities for the suburbs. For example, witness the drop in crime over the years in Detroit, but the rise of same in it's surrounding cities. Detroit hasn't been the murder capital for quite a while as it spreads it's refuse to it's neighbors. Our housing crisis has had a lot to do with the flight of Detroit's worst.

Alaska444
December 23, 2011, 12:51 AM
Yikes, if Spokane WA is the 15th most safe place in America, wow, we are under siege. I have most of my medical appointments in Spokane while up in Idaho. Spokane is a town that I would not want to venture after dark, period. Here are some crime stories from earlier this year. Home invasions seem to be one of the biggest things we always hear about on the news and radio while up in Idaho.

http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/sirens/tags/home-invasion-robberies/

Here is the latest from today:

http://www.khq.com/story/15976623/early-morning-home-invasion-attempt-thwarted-by-resident

Home invasions are one of the most dreadful crimes, and that is what we hear all the time while up there. We only hope that the folks in Spokane never learn how to drive down the road to Idaho anytime soon. In any case, up in Idaho, too many rednecks armed to the teeth. Maybe that is why they don't drive down the road to our neck of the woods 30 minutes away.

In any case, I am not impressed with how "safe" Spokane is and I am always on condition yellow in that town.

firespec35
December 23, 2011, 02:24 AM
Not me really but it saved my partner once. We were enroute to an event and had to fuel the ambulance. We stopped and my partner who was driving got out and was fueling. All the sudden I hear him talking to someone. I look in the back and all of my crew is in the truck. I quietly open my door and walk around back of the truck. I find 1 guy chatting up my partner and 3 others on the corner staring at him. Now we've got the first guy between us and I'm between him and the other 3 guys. He realizes I'm there and watching him. He now knows the jig is up, ends his conversation and rolls out. He rejoined his buddies and they all walked down the street together. I'm sure we were gonna get jacked for our drugs. If it wasn't for my partner getting hurt in the process it might have been funny for them to try (i said might, obviously we don't know if they were armed. Unlike a normal ambulance with just 2, there was 6 young guys in the truck (we were shuttling to the event).

Nnobby45
December 23, 2011, 02:56 AM
Some of the "situational awareness" incidents that some have mentioned, would have been hard to miss.

Maybe true awareness is avoiding those things that aren't so obvious, but are there if you're really aware. We may never know what might have happened had we not picked up on those subtle signs and gone the other way or taken some avoidance action.

Nnobby45
December 23, 2011, 03:02 AM
Yikes, if Spokane WA is the 15th most safe place in America, wow, we are under siege. I have most of my medical appointments in Spokane while up in Idaho. Spokane is a town that I would not want to venture after dark, period. Here are some crime stories from earlier this year. Home invasions seem to be one of the biggest things we always hear about on the news and radio while up in Idaho.


Don't be irrational, Alaska444. Didn't you hear that the crime rate is dropping ALL over America? :D

While you're out and about in various places, really experiencing what's happening, others are sitting home looking up official statistics that say you shouldn't be experiencing what you are.:p

OK, I had to get that out of my system. I'll go have some Kava to calm me dow.;)

Single Six
December 23, 2011, 04:03 AM
My answer: Yes. More than a few times in my LE capacity, and on one memorable occasion while on my own time. My girlfriend and I were sitting in her parked car in the parking lot of a local Recreational Center, after dark [I was in my early 20s and didn't know any better]. Her car was parked near the building, with the front of the car facing the street, and the rear of it facing the building's front. While we sat talking, I noticed two guys walking by in front of us, about 30 feet away. They pretended to pay us no mind, and they walked on, going behind us and disappearing around the corner of the building. However, I kept my eyes open and about 30 seconds later, I noticed one of them peeking at us around the corner. His buddy reappeared with him, joining him as they both watched us intently. I was armed; I had my S&W 645 with me. But I was also armed with something else, namely situational awareness. We immediately made a very hasty retreat, and that was my last time "parking". As I've said before: Mighty hard to lose the fight if you're gone when it starts.

OuTcAsT
December 23, 2011, 10:45 AM
I was armed; I had my S&W 645 with me. But I was also armed with something else, namely situational awareness. We immediately made a very hasty retreat, and that was my last time "parking". As I've said before: Mighty hard to lose the fight if you're gone when it starts.


This is the most important part ^^


The most important weapon is between your ears. You may be armed to the teeth but, knowing what is going on around you, and reacting to it can save your life.

paranoia911
December 23, 2011, 01:31 PM
as an active duty veteran with 3 all expenses payed trips to the Middle East I can say that many things come into play when it comes to evading danger. A hard target being the main thing in my opinion. For a more practical example, someone who is walking around texting and talking into their bluetooth head set all day paying no attention to anything but the "important" text or phone conversation is a much softer target than someone who is legally carrying a firearm, (or two) watching his or her 6 o'clock, and generally being aware of everything and everyone around them. When I was overseas in a combat zone, I never pulled the trigger or hammered down on the butterfly because I never had to. My head was on a swivel, constantly scanning potential danger areas and people, both with my eyes and my weapon system. My unit never engaged in major combat because we at all times presented a hard target. Very unfortunately, not all the other units were so fortunate. If it walks and talks like a duck, future predators will most likely assume it is a duck~me

farmerboy
December 23, 2011, 02:41 PM
Im wandering about these statistics some are talking about, who are putting these out anyway. Our news media, maybe our government maybe? How many would actually believe this from anyone of these two??? haha I can pull a statistic right now out of my butt too, would you believe it because I said it was so?

markj
December 23, 2011, 04:59 PM
others are sitting home looking up official statistics that say you shouldn't be experiencing what you are

Thats funny. They are from a insurance company, has no relation to real life. Most police forces arrange stats to make their post look safer than it is.

Where I work, in the north omaha area 30th and fort st to be exact, I see a lot of gangster types, had a shooting right outside the office last year 2 guys were shot up.


But to say we are in a battle zone or something, well I just dont see that.

TFU
December 23, 2011, 05:48 PM
Im always watching everyone everything everywhere I go, I try not to put myself in any situations where I'm cornered, and I never let myself be a soft target.

A couple times recently I have had people make obscene moves in traffic such as accelerating around me just to cut me off and slam on the brakes (Arizona drivers). I drive a Miata by the way, this guy makes his move I swerve pass him and he follows me like hes on a mission to get me, keep in mind I am 155lbs and 5'11" basically the definition of skinny white kid, the guy chasing me was a heavy set Latino fellow in a camry, I took a few quick turns ran a red (taking a right) and got away. This has happened a couple of times with the person giving chase disappearing around a corner behind me.


A couple years ago I had been jumped by a group of Mexicans in my low income housing neighborhood (they cornered me) , it wasn't too bad just a black eye and a few bruises. Two weeks after I moved out of the "hood" my old roommate was walking down the same street, he is the same size and build as I am, the same group of guys walks towards him and one says "what size shoes are those" he had my CZ40p on him and he presented it racked a round and said ".40 cal" they backed off and he walked home. I later told him that he could have been shot and it would have been the five of them vs him in court, if he was still alive, and to keep it loaded next time.

From this I learned to always be aware of my surroundings and to avoid anyone that looks even remotely suspicious. Since then I haven't had any real notable issues.

BGutzman
December 23, 2011, 05:55 PM
Without situational awareness I would have been in the grave long ago...

dyl
December 23, 2011, 06:50 PM
No assailants yet as far as I know but I was glad to have been watching out for a few times that could have turned into trouble. Ever have a car pull up behind you at a parking lot ATM and the 2 young males leave the engine idling?

The biggest returns from situational awareness so far have been while driving. It usually involves keeping more distance, noting other people's sudden stops and turns, poor signaling, and erratic speeds and poor lane position when turning. Some like to creep into other lanes. Once I was driving on the interstate and the U-Haul unit someone was towing came unhitched so the runaway unit drifted across several lanes before crashing into the median. I was polite and let it pass in front of me.

jreXD9
December 23, 2011, 11:58 PM
I was getting gas at a station between Riverdale, Ga and the airport one day when a lowlife type started circling the pumps on foot, coming closer and closer each time around. When he came around the third time I had my coat off, arms crossed and positioned so that there was no way he was not going to see my weapon now OC'd. Sure enough, he saw it and his eyes got big, he spun on his heels and headed in the other direction. Was he up to something? If he was he changed his mind.

Steviewonder1
December 27, 2011, 05:54 PM
A couple of months ago I went to have lunch in one of my most favorite restaurants that I have been to all over the US and over the world (last name rings with Bock), came out the front door with a purchase of goodies that I always get and did a 360 degree scan, noticed a couple of "Boys" on the other side of the street at this major intersection in Atlanta, Ga., and started down the sidewalk to my car which was parked a block and half away. One of the boys started across the street not in the ped lane, and approached me. I put up the Fence and said "I don't have the time of day". That froze him as he did not expect a response like that. I continued toward my car with my coat now unbuttoned for access to my G-19 I was CCW in the city. I do not go downtown in Atlanta without being armed. This was also not a stupid place to do stupid things at stupid times. I did the 360 degree scan, found the BG and handled it right into him and froze him. He did not follow as I did check twice on the way down the block. You just do not know what will come up to you when you least expect it. BE AWARE of your Surroundings. If you don't feel comfortable, there is a reason.

bigfug
December 28, 2011, 01:52 AM
Didnt save my life, but probably that of my wife and daughters. We were out for dinner, as we were going out of town the next morning for a dance competition, and didnt want to have to mess with dishes. My wife realized that she forgot something and needed to stop on the way home. The store in the nice new well lit strip mall didnt have it, but we knew a store in the not so great mall on the way home did. I parked by an entrance near a vacated anchor store, under a light. Wife took off with daughter in tow, I grab little man out of his seat. I come around the corner of the car and try to catch up with them. They are 30-40 yards ahead of me. I see an older pick up, driver turns off his lights, rolls down his window and start creeping up on them at barely more than an idle. He didnt notice my son and I, the parking lot was pretty much empty other than that. I hollered at my wife to wait up. The truck tore out of the parking lot. I caught up to my wife and asked if she was worried about the truck. She said "What truck?"

ltc444
December 29, 2011, 04:30 PM
With 40 years of working in hazardous environments, EOD, Explosive Manufacturing, and Acid Plants, I believe in the hair on the back of my neck. When it stands up I listen.

While a Part time Deputy in South Ar I had an incident which illustrates this.

My Partner came to work in a Bad Mood. He wanted to get into a fight.

A guy in a 440 road runner showed out in front of us and the chase was on.

We finally caught him at a bar. My neck hair was standing up and I was on full alert. I new my partner would instigate a fight. My goal was to prevent an encounter with a subject that would end badly.

I jumped out of the cruiser walked up to the guy, maintaing a safe seperation, threw my hat on the ground an loudly said "you dummy you know we can't allow you to get away with that"

I then asked him about the car. I switched back and forth from talking about the car and interviewing him to find out about his situation.

I determined that he had just been released from Cummings Prison after serving a 5 yr sentece for battery of a Police Officer. He was an expert at hand to hand combat and a very real threat to us.

When My partner finally came up he was laughing so hard that he put his hands out to be cuffed.

We let him go.

When we got the printout on the guy we learned that he had killed a least 2 men in fights and had over 20 charges and / or convictions for assualt.

I honestly believe that my situational awareness saved one or more of us from severe injury or death.

bkoll
December 29, 2011, 06:03 PM
The poster who has mentioned Omaha a few times, I know exactly where you are coming from. My mom grew up in Bellevue and whenever we go to Omaha she refuses to even drive through North O.

On topic... Went out for a late night jog on a path that runs through the middle of the city last year or freshmen year of college. There is a very sketchy/dark part that has 15 foot hills on each side of the path and one side has lots of trees lining it. After running to where my halfway point is and turning to come back I had to reenter the area where I could easily see someone getting jumped. Neighborhoods around it are lower income, many apartments, and a trailer park. Saw 2 figures about 150 yards ahead of me that appeared to be males about my age (19 at the time) and didn't appear to be in workout attire. So when I got an odd feeling something wasn't right I quick got off the path into the trees and waited a few seconds. Then looked back down the path and the 2 guys were gone. I was suspecting they hid off in the trees to ambush me if I got back on the path. Since I wasn't 21 (and still not 21) and not able to get CCW, I only had a stun gun with me and had it ready to use but didn't even want the opportunity to use it. So I went up through the trees and found a neighborhood with some street lights and hauled a** back to the fraternity. Who knows what would have happened, but better to avoid a confrontation that is controllable.

KC Rob
December 29, 2011, 07:19 PM
I drive a Miata by the way...

Well, there's your problem right there. No court in the land would convict someone of giving you the beat down for driving one of those. ;) (Sorry, couldn't resist taking a jab)