View Full Version : This bugs me

Rob P.
February 10, 2006, 03:01 AM
In most of the hypotheticals that get tossed around one factor that goes unmentioned is the training aspect.

If I run through various "situations" in practice, then I'm preparing myself to deal with those situations or variations should they occur in reality. Part of this planning is to educate other members of the household so that they are also on the uptake and can deal with emergencies if/when they happen.

But, most of the time it seems as if I'm the only one in my household who practices situational awareness. There have been times when I've asked my spouse: "Did you see that?" and the response was "HUH? See what?" Yet she is supposed to scan and observe her surroundings and she KNOWS this. There have been times when things suddenly and unexpectedly went "bump" and the nearby people all stopped and stared while I moved. Including my spouse who is supposed to know better. They didn't act because they hadn't envisioned needing to act or react.

And even here I see people trying to create situations where they are asking "what do I do" in a training mode and evaluating their potential response by the responses of others on this forum. And again, I see people who are SUPPOSED TO BE situationally aware who yawn and make derogatory comments about fantasies and overlyzealous hero types.

This really bugs me because we're supposed to be prepared and I see so many of us who aren't. Worse I feel that many of us are UNprepared to act in an emergency because of complacency and laziness.

To me it's incomprehensible that anyone could be that way. And that's why it bugs me when I see it happen.

February 10, 2006, 07:18 AM
I dont know if this helps or not, but heres how I see it. As much as my girlfriend and other family members have discussed wanting to be more situationally aware, they just arent able to put it into practice. Often times I think its a self defense mechanism. Its one thing to know that bad things happen in the world, its another to be on the look out for them. I see it as my responsibility to be the one that makes sure everyone knows to keep the doors locked, and Im the one that keeps the hedge trimmed, lights on, etc.. I am the one thats carries. I am the one that stays alert when they choose to be blissfully ignorant.

Sure in a perfect world all of us would take responsibility for knowing whats happening in our surroundings (then again in a perfect world we wouldnt have to), but in the real world we often choose not to. What can you do other than totally terrify your SO? They can only do what theyre willing to do.


Chris Phelps
February 10, 2006, 09:01 AM
This is definitly a good post. I can't speak for all but I can answer fro my situation threads. My actions will not be dictated by others on this forum. My posts (unless specifically asking for advice) are only to make other people think about situations that haven't crossed their mind yet. It's always better to play out these situations while you have plenty of time to think about it than it would be to wait and see what happens if the situation ever really occours.

February 10, 2006, 10:05 AM
You can run all of the hypothetical scenarios through your mind that you want, but chances are, none of them will be very beneficial to you when the actual SHTF. They ARE, however, worthy of bringing up and discussing, but more for the purpose of exercising your thinking mode, then going over options that might be available. It's really difficult to practise scenarios in a meaningful, life-like way.

Having said that, I'll add that we all shoot at targets of some kind, and I'm sure that a few of us practise on moving targets. It's altogether different when shooting at a HUMAN target! Even the best "Hogan's Alley"-type of shooting can't realistically simulate human actions/reactions...
just side-to-side or pop-up targets made of PAPER.

Even the best shooters at the range might "freeze" when they get involved in an actual combat situation. Martial arts? Someone posted awhile ago about being a "black belt" in one of the martial arts. That expertise didn't mean squat when he used it in a real-life situation, for his training caused him to hold back from a full power body kick!

You're armed with a BRAIN! Use it! Keep mentally AND physically fit! Sure, you may be armed, but in a real-life situation, you might not be able to justify using your firearm. Think through the other options that you might be able to deploy.
Distractions are often quite useful. Perhaps the use of a ruse of some sort? Using some common item as a weapon? I'm no martial arts expert, but I have thought a lot about what a "weapon" is, and it could consist of nothing more than a sharp pencil, a tightly-folded newspaper, or thrusting a pocket comb into the face of a bad guy.

This is old, but if you think about it, try it the next time you're in a crowd. Simply look upward, as if something is coming out of the sky, and make your upward viewing obvious. There WILL be others that turn their attention to the sky!

Think of an off-the-wall ruse. For instance, a bad guy is holding a gun on you, and you know that you're compromised. How off-the-wall would it be to look at his shoes, then exclaim, "Hey, your shoe is untied!" If the bad guy looks down at his shoes, it MIGHT give you a "window" moment to strike or duck for cover!

Just exercise and USE that brain to benefit you.
It will keep you situationally aware of things, and may turn out to be your BEST weapon!

February 10, 2006, 07:18 PM
I fully empathize with you, Rob, . . . as I see the same thing. A long time ago, I just chalked it up to the old sheeple, wolf, sheepdog deal, . . . and let it go at that.

I cannot begin to tell you all the different people I have tried to bring into the awareness fold, . . . and most are just simply too busy with their "other" lives to even bother.

I have resorted to dropping back and awaiting something that happens in the community, . . . letting one of the sheeple comment on it, . . . then grabbing the moment and using it as a teaching point. That alone has shown a little bit of promise.

As for TooTall's comment: "It's really difficult to practise scenarios in a meaningful, life-like way." Sorry, pal, . . . but there really is no other way to practice for possible engagements other than through "scanarios". Whether it is in a full fledged FOF school costing thousands of dollars, . . . war gaming in the back yard, . . . or trying to think/position your way through on the internet, . . . it is all "scenarios" that have an infintessimally small chance of ever occurring exactly as you play them out.

They, . . . though, . . . in themselves give you the tools to REACT when reaction is needed. If you decide that you are going to try to "think" your way through every possible situation you may come up against, . . . you are going to lose. BG's play on the "expected reaction" and use it against their targets (that is why bank robbery is so common, . . . let the next 100 bank robbers all be shot in cold blood, . . . on the spot, . . . and bank robbery will take a definite nose dive in popularity).

Reaction to events and situations is the pattern used to train all LEO's, all soldiers, all Marines, all sailors, . . . and it works. That is why training is so, so, so, so, important, . . . and all training involves scenarios that have to be played out.

May God bless,

February 10, 2006, 07:55 PM
I have to agree that playing out scenarios is a good thing to do. Not only does it help to get your thinking in line, but it also draws very good opinions of others on this board. Gives you other things to think about, and possibly incorporating into your training.
Rob, I am about as bad as they come when it comes to scanning the area and knowing who is around me, evaluating who may be a threat, knowing what cover is around, etc....My wife says I am paranoid, but I always see things that she overlooks. We are in the same place at the same time, and I always ask her "did you see that", and it's always no.
I can tell you this....I am a Police Officer working 3rd shift, and when I am going to a call, making a traffic stop, or even just on routine patrol, I am constantly playing scenarios out in my head. I feel that it keeps me sharp. And out of the thousands of scenarios I play out in my head before doing these things, only a handful have been the right ones. But I won those. And most of the time the scenarios are not accurate, because I always think the very worst, that I am going to walk into an armed encounter. And luckily this has not been the case! We always talk after shift about those moments when everything plays out exactly how you anticipated it, and they are few and far between. But they do prepare you.
Case in point:
2 weeks ago I pulled up beside a car downtown, and I recognized the front passenger, and he had an Indictment Warrant for 7 felonies. He'd been on the run literally for months. The car they were in had no plate light, and I asked for another unit to respond quick. About 2 blocks later, I had a cruiser behind me, and he kept asking when I was going to light the car up. I told him I was waiting until we got beside the park, as he was going to run. When we got beside the park, I lit the car up, and lo and behold, he bails out and runs, and the foot chase is on. End of story. He had no place to go, beside an open park with scattered trees. I didn't want to be chasing him through back yards, over fences, etc....Thought the scenario out and played the circumstances to my advantage. Knew I was better trained, and any open sprint or lenghty run I was winning. This is a benefit of anticipating, even though it did not involve shooting.
Scenarios can be very good as long as you do not get one-tracked, and you encorporate reactions and responses into your training.

Double Naught Spy
February 10, 2006, 11:08 PM
Training is not taken into account for many of the hypothetical scenarios because few of the scenarios posited take place during training. The scenarios assume that once the event is taking place, you operate in the scenario with whatever background you had before the scenario started.

As for those that should be situationally aware and claim to be situationally aware, contrary to all the bravado, nobody is in condition yellow 24/7 regardless of what they tell you. I have had particular fun sneaking up on firearms trainers at the range. They don't like it. They don't like it because they were caught in condition white where they were feeling safe. This can be embarrassing for them as they are the instructors and yet end up showing that their situational awareness isn't as great as they thought. Strangely, I got the idea from an instructor of my first defensive handgun class who chewed out for poor situational awareness during a time when the students were on the firing line as a group and focussed on learning the gun skills provided by the instruction. While on the line and following range commands from the instructor, the students had no reason to be concerned of the instructor as they perceived him as a person providing instruction and fellow good guy. So we all missed seeing the red gun the insructor had produced and was pointed at the students.. So we were chewed out for out poor situational awareness.

Tom Givens of Rangemaster pulled the same stupid stunt on my wife's class, except he produced a large knife that nobody noticed. As my wife pointed out, if you have to be so wary of everybody in the world around you including those you trust, then you can't function in society. My wife shot Givens several times with her finger gun when he turned his back on her. As she noted, it was easy. He often led the students up to the targets to inspect the targets. Givens was critical of the students for not being situationally aware of the potential threat posed by a trusted person, and yet he violated his edict several times. After all, they ran a hot range and my wife was armed. She could have produced her Browning and shot Givens just as easily as she produced her finger gun. Unlike me, my wife felt it most prudent not to point out to Givens how badly he was situationally unaware or how often.

In my Rangemaster class, we had the honor of Dane Burns to provide us with some of the instruction. Dane pointed out how he had oh-so-much martial arts training and that he had actually developed a 6th sense to sense that which was going on around him that provided him with his situational awareness. At lunch in the local Subway sandwich shop, I walked up behind him while he sat and chatted with two other students. I was able to stand within inches of his person and make gestures above and around his head as he blindly continued sharing his views of the world with the two students. To their credit, the students did not stare at me. It took a couple of minutes and Dane did finally sense my presence...after I tapped him on the shoulder.

The lack of sit awareness stunt pulled by instructors is really an underming cheap shot pulled to show the students how inept they are at situational awareness because they failed to recognize a trusted fellow good guy as a threat. About all the stunt did for their education is to try to show the students that she cannot trust anybody at any time. So, the students are being taught to be paranoid of everybody.

February 10, 2006, 11:53 PM
How off-the-wall would it be to look at his shoes, then exclaim, "Hey, your shoe is untied!"

I don't remember what movie it was in.........but what was said, I thought was a good reaction: Someone walks up on a person slowly in a low light area to thier surprise and the person (stalkee) says in a ghastly voice, "I've been waiting for you!". Don't know what kind of reaction this would render in real life, but it gave me chills when I first heard it. :eek:

February 11, 2006, 12:56 AM
Being prepared is each of our responsibilities. But for me to expect that the next person is going to be prepared to the same level of preparedness as myself would be unrealistic. We can only be responsible for our own actions. I hate to sound like a psychologist but going through life expecting everyone to meet our personal expectations and standards is going down a road full of nothing but disappointments. All we can do is try to impress upon our loved ones the reasons why we don't want harm to come to them and ourselves, help them to we aware of their environment and protect them when we can.

February 11, 2006, 02:06 AM
I'm with you on the lack of situational awareness amongst family members even though we've discussed this many times before. My wife recently had the shtuff scared out of her by 4-6 young punks converging on her,one of our church friends and her son when they left practice late one evening (short detail, none of they good guys/girls were hurt here, prob. only due to the fact that the 20 yr old son recognized the threats and prepared defense for all...) Despite that experience, last time I took her to the store for a few groceries, she went in ( I stayed in SUV w/ babies asleep), and saw that when she came out she was carrying the two light weight plastic grocery bags with her head down and turned a little to the side, looking exactly as I envision folks in NYC, SF, Richmond, etc. do to avoid eye contact and "trouble". Victims in the making in other words. Admittedly, she was born in Long Island, but has since lived in Florida, Idaho, and TN, all "we're not gonna take this" states. :cool
I do think Talon66 is correct though, in that you cannot always expect everyone (in your family) to live up to your expectations. Just hope and pray that they do when it really matters. One thing I have learned is that families function waaaayyy differently than your best friends in your team, squad or platoon when the balloon goes up.

February 11, 2006, 05:03 PM
My two boys have developed a "situational awareness" that has for the most part impressed me. I've talked to them about "positive pre-visualization", condition yellow, etc. My youngest son, 12 years, chooses not to listen to his mp3 player while riding the bus because he's aware of the "crazies" that ride it and realizes his need to be able to take a position of advantage should something hazardous present itself. My oldest son is very similar. Thanks to me. My wife on the other hand is good at recognizing when things are not right but she has the habit of running in without a plan. In the kindest and gentlest way, I try to go through the situations with her after the fact and point out where she could have put herself in a better position to deal with unknowns. It's a touchy subject because I don't want them going through life paranoid. There's a difference between paranoid and being aware of your surroundings. One is healthy, the other is not. If you go about it in such a way that you present yourself as a positive role model instead of a paranoid delusionalist, you can often get them to come around. How's that saying go? "Be nice to everyone you meet but always....". You get the picture;)

February 11, 2006, 10:55 PM
At home, my brother and I are into guns and practice a lot, I used to drie a cab in a very bad area of Los Angeles and developed some street smarts and it made me very aware of my surroundings, I done my best to share that wiht my brother evendo he is more awake than me by nature. my mom, we take care of her now but let her think is the other way around can also defend herself, her dad was a condecorated detective and she learned to handle his 45 early on.

But yes, a well prepared team is always better, or as they say: a team is only as strong as it weakest member.

Going the direction away from trouble if you made the mistake of walking into it or letting it into your circle is always the best policy. Second to that is taking cover and fighting. Becoming a target holding a gun should not be one.