The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Tactics and Training

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old December 20, 2011, 04:26 PM   #1
G1R2
Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2011
Posts: 73
Has Situational Awareness Ever Saved You?

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.
G1R2 is offline  
Old December 20, 2011, 04:32 PM   #2
nate45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 15, 2007
Location: Illinois
Posts: 3,746
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.
__________________
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms."- Thomas Jefferson
ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ
(>_<)
nate45 is online now  
Old December 20, 2011, 04:51 PM   #3
ClayInTx
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 17, 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,066
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.
__________________
.
No people should have to fear the will of their government; all governments should have to fear the will of their people.
ClayInTx is offline  
Old December 20, 2011, 05:37 PM   #4
shootniron
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 16, 2011
Posts: 1,147
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.
shootniron is offline  
Old December 20, 2011, 05:45 PM   #5
G1R2
Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2011
Posts: 73
I am sorry.

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.
G1R2 is offline  
Old December 20, 2011, 06:50 PM   #6
Ditto_95
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 9, 2007
Location: Central Kentucky
Posts: 153
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.
__________________
Finem Respice Consider the end
Principils Obsta Resist the beginings
Ditto_95 is offline  
Old December 20, 2011, 08:02 PM   #7
m&p45acp10+1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 3, 2009
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 3,307
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.
__________________
No matter how many times you do it and nothing happens it only takes something going wrong one time to kill you.
m&p45acp10+1 is offline  
Old December 20, 2011, 08:02 PM   #8
secret_agent_man
Junior member
 
Join Date: March 25, 2011
Posts: 463
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.
secret_agent_man is offline  
Old December 20, 2011, 08:22 PM   #9
G1R2
Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2011
Posts: 73
My GOD secret agent man, has America changed that much since 1980? I guess, I've been living in a time capsule.
G1R2 is offline  
Old December 20, 2011, 08:32 PM   #10
X_shooter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 14, 2010
Location: Michigan
Posts: 261
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.
__________________
X_shooter
X_shooter is offline  
Old December 20, 2011, 09:23 PM   #11
Yankee Doodle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 5, 2004
Location: NY state
Posts: 568
More times than I can either count or remember. Ask any Cop.
__________________
God Bless America
Y.D.
Yankee Doodle is offline  
Old December 20, 2011, 10:03 PM   #12
Dwight55
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 18, 2004
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 2,557
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

May God bless,
Dwight
__________________
www.dwightsgunleather.com
If you can breathe, . . . thank God!
If you can read, . . . thank a teacher!
If you are reading this in English, . . . thank a Veteran!
Dwight55 is offline  
Old December 21, 2011, 05:53 AM   #13
vaskeet
Member
 
Join Date: July 14, 2011
Posts: 71
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
vaskeet is offline  
Old December 21, 2011, 07:29 AM   #14
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,369
Quote:
Originally Posted by G1R2 View Post
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.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old December 21, 2011, 07:32 AM   #15
Don P
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 17, 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 4,772
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.
__________________
NRA Life Member, NRA Range Safety Officer, IDPA Safety Officer
As you are, I once was, As I am, You will be.
Don P is offline  
Old December 21, 2011, 08:02 AM   #16
icedog88
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 16, 2011
Location: norwich ct
Posts: 737
How would you know for sure if situational awareness "saved you" if nothing happened? We can only infer in those circumstances. True?
__________________
"The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps"-LtGen. Holland M "Howlin' Mad" Smith, USMC,1949
Have you forgotten yet? Look down and swear by the slain of the War that you'll NEVER forget. [Siegfried Sassoon,"Aftermath,"1919]
icedog88 is offline  
Old December 21, 2011, 08:52 AM   #17
secret_agent_man
Junior member
 
Join Date: March 25, 2011
Posts: 463
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-te...on-2416929.php

http://www.chron.com/news/houston-te...is-2416897.php

http://www.chron.com/news/houston-te...th-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.
secret_agent_man is offline  
Old December 21, 2011, 11:54 AM   #18
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,369
Quote:
Originally Posted by secret_agent_man
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.
__________________
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
---
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
-The Architect
-----
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old December 21, 2011, 12:02 PM   #19
Tom Servo
Staff
 
Join Date: September 27, 2008
Location: Foothills of the Appalachians
Posts: 10,067
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.
__________________
In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.
--Albert Camus
Tom Servo is offline  
Old December 21, 2011, 12:26 PM   #20
FireForged
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 4, 1999
Location: Rebel South USA
Posts: 1,186
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.
__________________
Life is a web woven by necessity and chance...
FireForged is offline  
Old December 21, 2011, 12:50 PM   #21
Hiker 1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 7, 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 497
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.
Hiker 1 is offline  
Old December 21, 2011, 12:57 PM   #22
Onward Allusion
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 17, 2009
Location: IN
Posts: 1,715
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
Onward Allusion is offline  
Old December 21, 2011, 12:59 PM   #23
farmerboy
Junior member
 
Join Date: May 16, 2009
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 1,343
Yes, probably more times than we'll even know.
farmerboy is offline  
Old December 21, 2011, 01:07 PM   #24
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onward Allusion
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.
__________________
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
---
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
-The Architect
-----
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old December 21, 2011, 01:27 PM   #25
pgdion
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 22, 2010
Location: MPLS, MN
Posts: 1,103
Quote:
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?


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).
__________________
597 VTR, because there's so many cans and so little time!

Last edited by pgdion; December 21, 2011 at 01:43 PM.
pgdion is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:43 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13335 seconds with 7 queries