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View Full Version : Would Situational Awareness and CCW Even Help?


sigcurious
December 24, 2011, 07:33 PM
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45783310/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/t/knockout-king-new-brand-street-violence-targets-random-victims/#.TvZtTtRSTlg

Came across this story, and thought I would share and see what people's opinions are. In events like these where a group of people set out to do harm, how much do you all think situational awareness and/or CCW would help?

Personally I think situational awareness could have saved some of these people but that CCW would be of questionable help. As, at least the way the article portrays it, the attacks are sudden and not always would one be able to determine that the group of people is out of place, such as the train platform attack, hindering one's ability to respond with avoidance. I also wonder what, if any, effects these kinds of events will have on average citizens and the policy makers. IE if this becomes a large enough trend will people be more open to CCW?

catnphx
December 24, 2011, 07:50 PM
Yes ... situational awareness and CCW would be helpful. Large group of kids gathering or moving toward you should set off some warning bells, especially at night. I would suspect most of these happen at night, which should automatically raise situational awareness.

In AZ, we can display or show a weapon if we feel threatened and this would most likely keep them away from you before they got too close. These groups are cowards and any sign of the ability to fight back will have them choosing another victim.

I feel bad for the victims. :(

TeamSinglestack
December 24, 2011, 08:47 PM
Would Situational Awareness and CCW Even Help?

Absolutely.

Saw a discussion about this on another forum.

Even seemingly random attacks undergo a deliberate decision making process prior to the attack, and this decision making process projects non-verbal cues that can betray intent. Good SA will make these potentially hostile behaviors quite obvious, and will identify individuals and areas of potential concern long before they enter your personal space.

These signals are there if you look for them, and when you see them, you can avoid them or prepare to defend.

Ben Towe
December 24, 2011, 11:41 PM
Of course it would help. The name of the proverbial game to pick a "helpless" person (any person is helpless against overwhelming odds) so they can cause no injury to the group. Dynamics will change if the "helpless" person suddenly employs lethal force. Sudden violent death is not on the agenda for such people.

Double Naught Spy
December 25, 2011, 10:06 AM
Y'all are funny. Quain had situational awareness and got clobbered. Situational awareness isn't the same as situational interpretation and action. You can be aware of a group of people, but if you don't interpret them as being hostile or don't change your behavior to avoid them, then being situationally aware has done nothing for you.

Where I worked back in the 80s in old East Dallas, seeing groups of kids or adults loitering was not an uncommon thing. It was actually a big part of the social dynamic of the area.

Even seemingly random attacks undergo a deliberate decision making process prior to the attack, and this decision making process projects non-verbal cues that can betray intent. Good SA will make these potentially hostile behaviors quite obvious, and will identify individuals and areas of potential concern long before they enter your personal space.

These signals are there if you look for them, and when you see them, you can avoid them or prepare to defend.

Wow, that was really helpful. :rolleyes: You know the key to predicting these sorts of events but aren't sharing? Let me guess. They are looking around, touching ones face, and a change in body posture or movement. I received the lecture as well and then decided to go onto YouTube and look at the attacks made on various people see if these tells were in place or not.

The problem with such tells is that individually they are innocent. The last tell of the change in posture or movement often ends up being the start of an attack.

What I found in looking at the YouTubde security footage vids what that the tells are often not present or often not discernible from normal behavior or happen too late to be dealt with. Only rarely did folks engage in the first two traits before the change in posture or movment beginning the attack. Most common before the attack was people looking around, basically checking they surroundings like good vigilant CCWers will do. I saw a bunch of videos where the person looking around never attacked anybody as well.

Touching of the face almost never happened.

The change in posture or movement always happened because it was the start of the attack, but people often looked around and had movement and didn't attack anyone.

southnarc refers to these as a grooming cue, glance to flank or rear, and definitive weight shift. He also list a final clue of going for the waistband, apparently for a weapon.
http://www.urbancombatives.com/sn.htm

These knockout attacks won't have folks going for their waistbands when they are just using their fists, so that isn't helpful.

I guess, however, that if you have a person give you all of the tells, that southnarc is right in that an attack may be forthcoming. However, the problem is that the attacks are often forthcoming without all the clues being given and that when not in a cluster of three, are often innocuous.

Here is a classic failure of the criteria. You get the look around and the posture change which starts the attack, but no grooming face touch and certainly no action going for the waistband to get a weapon because he didn't use a weapon from his waistband area.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlP9-8f5YpE

I have been in fast food place and convenience stores with people much like the attacker in the video on numerous occasions and the folks never attacked anyone. I was actually at a McDonalds a couple of weeks ago and there was a fellow with the same posture as the attacker in the video, looking around, hands down on the counter, etc. He was there to pick up his paycheck.

Have you ever been in McDonalds or some other eatery or grocery store line and seen people looking around? It is a common behavior. Do they often make posture changes? Sure. Lots of people don't like to stand still and will often be change their posture, making definitive weight shifts as they impatiently wait.

skoro
December 25, 2011, 10:08 AM
Undoubtedly.

These punks are looking for a victim, not an opponent.

Willie D
December 25, 2011, 12:03 PM
I don't know how easily you prevent this type of thing. I guess you try to your best to keep from being caught completely unawares.


I don't know about where other TFL members live, but here in Philadelphia I might pass a dozen or more large groups of youths if I go for a walk. I'm aware these attacks happen and sometimes I might get a more hostile vibe from certain groups - but I really can't draw every time I get uneasy and honestly when you are in this enviornment day in day out without incident you probably lower your personal 'Defcon' condition involuntarily.



I have avoided a few situations when I was concerned something was amiss but I also feel that if I had bad luck I could just as easily get cold cocked passing someone on the sidewalk.

There might not even be any 'tells' because the decision could be a sudden impulse or instigated by a lone member of an otherwise 'neutral' group.

PADefenseTrainer
December 25, 2011, 12:19 PM
You never know about a given situation. Something could always go wrong.

But, more often than not, cowards like this are looking for victims. And by that I am referring to someone who acts like a victim - head down, shoulders up, etc.

If you are aware of your surroundings, armed and prepared to defend yourself, you carry yourself differently.

When I was taking and later teaching martial arts I learned a very ironic fact.
The better you are at defending yourself, the much more likely it is that you will never have to defend yourself.

Don't let the clothes fool you my friends. Like it or not, we are all still part of the animal kingdom. And many of the rules that apply on the Serengeti apply equally in Newark NJ too.

Ricky
December 25, 2011, 02:12 PM
I'm sure that if you keep your eyes and ears open you would notice something hinky going on. something as simple as where you choose to walk on the sidewalk can make a big difference. Of course if someone just jumps out of an ally at you it may be more difficult but I'm always a little more leery when walking by a dark ally.

sliponby
December 25, 2011, 02:25 PM
If you are aware of your surroundings, armed and prepared to defend yourself, you carry yourself differently.

When I was taking and later teaching martial arts I learned a very ironic fact.
The better you are at defending yourself, the much more likely it is that you will never have to defend yourself.

Don't let the clothes fool you my friends. Like it or not, we are all still part of the animal kingdom. And many of the rules that apply on the Serengeti apply equally in Newark NJ too.

PADefense Trainer you nailed it IMO. My wife has remarked to me more than once, "...you look at them (possible threats) like you don't fear them in the least". My reply to her is that I do not fear them in that I see them, am ready if they attack, and they know I'm aware and possibly ready for an attack.

This is not to imply that I think I'm invinceable and immune to attack, but I sure try to be...;)

Dwight55
December 25, 2011, 08:39 PM
If you are aware of your surroundings, armed and prepared to defend yourself, you carry yourself differently.


Just the fact that we are discussing it here is a positive thing. I had never heard of it until just a week or so ago, . . . on one of the firearm/shooting websites I visit.

Yes, . . . I will be more alert, . . . and probably more aggressively defensive in both my attitude and actions.

As also was previously stated, . . . these punks are looking for a victim, not a combatant, . . . and will most likely look for an easier mark if it looks like they may encounter resistance.

May God bless,
Dwight

federali
December 25, 2011, 09:40 PM
Maybe ten years ago (probably more), in New York City, there were a series of attacks against innocent victims by roving bands of youths. Arrested perps referred to their "sport" as wilding. They would go on a rampage, successively attack people as they were encountered, then disappear into the night. One such victim was referred to as the Central Park Jogger as she was raped, bludgeoned with a brick and nearly killed.

If I were to encounter a group of roving youths, if my street sense tells me something may be wrong, then I will avoid them at all cost. If I can't, I'll cross or change my direction to ascertain if my change in direction changes their behavior in anyway. If it does, I'll retreat. If I can't retreat, I'll break out the artillery.

Regarding use of force, they don't have to be armed with weapons as deadly force can be justified by both disparity in numbers and disparity in age or sex (female victim against male attackers).

Hiker 1
December 25, 2011, 11:21 PM
From the article: I went to the store and saw a group of kids who looked out of place, suspicious, but I shrugged it of

Denial trumped situation awareness.

Double Naught Spy
December 25, 2011, 11:37 PM
Denial trumped situation awareness.

Right. The victim had situational awareness, identified a possible threat, and he still got clobbered because he dismissed/denied it. The problem with this situation was not a failure to have situational awareness. He had it, but didn't use it effectively.

SA is only one facet of self defense and it doesn't actually do anything physical because it is information gathering and processing.

There are several victim accounts where they saw a situation develop and understood what was happening and failed to alter their behavior until it was too late, sort of like this guy.

Willie D
December 26, 2011, 10:17 AM
I don't know if it's "denial".

Like I wrote in a previous post; depending on where you live (and I suspect St. Louis might be such a place) you might pass groups of youths who appear to be up to no good every day, all year long, year after year.


You just get inured to these "threats" because when nothing actually comes of them, eventually you stop registering them as threats.


Hard to say if it's a failure of vigilance or a natural adjustment to a more stressful environment. I'd probably have lost all my hair by now if continuous city living still caused me as much stress as short visits did when I was a 'Burb dweller.

sigcurious
December 26, 2011, 12:27 PM
I concur with Willie, while I still think some of the people would have benefited from SA(like the guy who walked into an alley), other situations are harder to suss out. Beyond just becoming desensitized, practicing avoidance in some places would be beyond practical. In a lot of large cities, there isn't really an option to avoid all the shady individuals and groups.

One of the incidents from the article that particularly stood out to me was the guy at the train station. It got me thinking, if I had tried to avoid all the shady individuals and groups, I wouldn't have ever gotten anywhere while living in large cities.

Granted it seems that most of the attacks documented in the article took advantage of people who were in less than prime physical condition and/or physical presence, that is the reality for a large number of people, whether due to age, medical condition, or genetic luck of the draw being of small stature. To me at least it does beg the question, for the segment of the population that is in an urban environment and lacks physical condition/presence for whatever reason, is a reasonable solution/practice to stay safe in a time when people have decided its fun to attack others?