View Full Version : attentiveness

April 30, 2009, 12:45 AM
So, I started carrying recently and I noticed that the whole mentality of going out for me has changed. As I read more and see more videos about self defense, tactics, and CCW it dawned on me that I am way way more attentive to the environment now. Is this a permanent thing? Or does this pass?
Im like looking behind me and around me and everything. I think to myself, "man I hope nothing happens here" sometimes. And after I look around I make sure to check a bit later as well. Is this a new carrier syndrome? Do I need to lighten up?

April 30, 2009, 05:28 AM
You should stay aware and alert all the time, whether you're carrying or not. Some of what you're experiencing is part of being a new CCW holder. After sometime your gun becomes part of your wardrobe. Its almost like your wallet or cellphone...you know you have it, but you don't think about it every minute.

April 30, 2009, 05:30 AM
Sorry, did you say something?

Darn, is this Sunday......

Gotta get to my Alsheimers anonamous meeting :D

April 30, 2009, 06:54 AM
Carrying for years and years as a civilian and LE my awareness shield was always up, but, without paranoia, your awareness should become part of your natural instinct.

Conceal Carry smartly.

April 30, 2009, 08:16 AM
I have a habit of scanning an area that I enter, sitting so that I can see entries, walking with my wife and daughter and making sure I am the last one in the car...

Call me paranoid, but the family have mentioned that they appreciate me being aware and protective of them.

April 30, 2009, 08:27 AM
if you carry, you probably are more inclined to stay in condition Yellow than in condition white.

If you have not read Jeff Cooper's State of Awareness Color Code System, I recommend it. It helps with threat assessment and being alert.

Just Google: Jeff Cooper Color Code System

April 30, 2009, 10:31 AM
its a fine line tween aware and paranoid for some folks. sounds like you are doing fine. mindset is first on the list and generally being aware of your surroundings will keep you out of the way of stupid people doing stupid things.

one of coopers first principles is alertness...read that book a few times :P

April 30, 2009, 10:42 AM
As a person who takes the responsibility of carrying a weapon, attention to detail, situational awareness are mandatory. You need to know size, color and location of that insect that farted in the bushes in the yard.

April 30, 2009, 10:53 AM
yea it already is part of the wardrobe. Yes, I know what the color code is. When I am out I would say I am in constant yellow. just trying to have a good time while in that stage of awareness.
I mean, am I supposed to be subtle while looking around? Cause I just look one way, the other way, behind me while Im talking/walking/anything. I don't think I make it that subtle. Im not staring or anything, just taking a few seconds to take in the environment. guess its a good thing.

Glenn E. Meyer
April 30, 2009, 10:54 AM
Attention varies due to the cognitive load you have. Many signs of danger can be appreciated preattentively - or automatically. What increases your ability to those is training such that the perceptual signs of evil move from something that needs focal attention and cognitive capacity to ones that rely on quick and automatic schema.

You can also learn things like checking your six and other ways to orient your attentional spotlight and unhook it from one target.

Practice is what is need to accomplish the move to automaticity of threat assessment.

Capt. Charlie
April 30, 2009, 11:53 AM
Glenn speaks words of wisdom, Kyo, but let's look at another facet of this: Your environment most likely hasn't changed; you have.

Training is essential, but occasionally, there are negative side effects. Have you ever known anyone that decided to start reading medical textbooks? Most start centering on every ache and pain, and assume they've contracted some rare and lethal disease.

The same thing can happen with defensive training, (although I'm not saying this is true in your case.) People begin to imagine threats where there are none.

The hard part is reaching a happy, reasonable medium. Awareness is crucial, but if you find yourself worrying about it everywhere you go, you're approaching paranoid, and that's not a good thing for you or anyone else. Constant worry should be your key indicator that something ain't quite right in your approach to the whole carrying thing.

Remember that your gun is a tool, your ultimate tool and final option, to be sure, but still nothing more, nothing less. You now have a new tool to deal with specific problems, if they arise, but those problems aren't likely to increase simply because you added another tool ;).

April 30, 2009, 11:56 AM
you are right. my mentality changed not everything around me. I do realize that now. But I do live in Atlanta. Ill take paranoid over non attentive any day! :D
I will work on finding that happy medium. Actually today I went to the UPS store and came back home to vacuum and do some dishes, all the while I forgot I had my rig on. Surprised me for a minute. I guess its just one of those things I need to get used to. I am sure I will progress fine on the whole thing.

April 30, 2009, 01:10 PM
"Just Because I'm Paranoid Doesn't Mean They' re Not Out to Get Me".:eek:

April 30, 2009, 04:00 PM
Kyo asks "...it dawned on me that I am way way more attentive to the environment now. Is this a permanent thing? Or does this pass?"

Let's hope it doesn't pass. Being aware of your environment is a good thing, whether armed or not. Much is made of not being caught in the wrong situation when carrying, but it's just as important when not carrying. If being armed is a constant reminder of good habits, so be it. As far as being "conspicuous" about being aware, that too is not a bad thing. Who do the goblins search for as victims? The meek, the unaware. If they pass you by because you're obviously controlling your immediate environment, you've done a good job. Conversely, the average citizen will never notice, let alone appreciate, your awareness in casual meeting. As long as you're not hunkered down in a fox hole surrounded by barbed wire :D


Old Wanderer
May 1, 2009, 10:25 AM
There is another thing that comes with awareness and attitude.

I have always been an adrenalin junkie, very self confident, so have walked paths I maybe should not have. What I noticed when I would have the muggers start to move in on me, I would just lock eyes, smile and sort of shake my head no...95% of the time they would get that sense they probably should find an easier person. Trouble will usually avoid you if it senses confidence in you. Sort of like dogs, they can sense fear.

A short story of how sometimes I wonder how I have survived...

Met a young lady while in Los Angeles. (I lived 700 miles away near Lake Tahoe, this was in the late 1970's). We talked a few times on the phone and I flew my little plane down to have a date. I usually stay with a friend that always has a spare room at the beach. I had a CA CWP, and normally always carried my 45. As I was dressing I left the gun lying on the bed....thinking, I will pick up my date, go to dinner come back to her place or mine...what could go wrong :confused::confused:

I pulled up in front of the house, and she immediately came out to my car...Told me she could not go out with me....(This did irritate me, having flown 700 miles for this date). Then I notice a guy peek around the side of the building...I asked if that was her old boy friend she had told me about and was sort of afraid of him....No answer.

I got out of the car and started walking for the corner of the building when this jerk took a shot at me...BANG.....I immediately yelled; you SOB and started running right at him, he turned and ran out the back and down the alley...(I am so happy as I have aged, that I have gotten over thinking I was immortal)

Finally the mind engaged, and I saw how stupid it was to chase an armed jerk with nothing more than a bad attitude. Ran back to the car, drove 45 minutes back to the beach, grabbed my 45 and a couple of magazines and headed back out. As I was going through the living room, some friends sort of slowed me down, and go the story about what had happened....then pointing out the obvious, "Do you really think this guy is going to wait for your return??" They were all laughing at me....I decided better to stay and have a few beers with them. (Besides there was an Oriental girl that had come over to meet me....:p so best stay were I am wanted)

Point of the story was not that I used to be terminally stupid at times, but the effect a confident attitude has on a potential assailant. Here was a jerk that was armed, had taken a shot at me, and ran away when I became aggressive.....Always take the fight to other person. The intimidation it generates is a huge advantage.

May 1, 2009, 09:58 PM
Your environment most likely hasn't changed; you have.

I cannot CC yet (need practice/training, a carry pistol, and the class), but even becoming a regular gun owner and participating in this forum has made me similarly hyper-aware of potential threats.

The other day, I was stopped in an unexpected traffic jam in my parking garage. I was grouchy, anxious to figure out why no one was moving so that I could get to where I was going. When I pulled up a little closer to the car in front of me, I looked to the front of the jam and sawing a large man spewing expletives at a young female student. He had been pulling out of a spot against the flow of traffic, almost hitting her, and was somehow blocking her from moving on. He got out of his car and was increasingly aggressive within a 10-second span - and as I reached for my cell phone to call the police if it got worse any minute, I suddenly REALLY wished I had a CCW (and the ability to carry lawfully on campus!) in case this irrational guy pulled a weapon or otherwise got violent. It is not a very large garage.

Nothing happened - the guy made some childish crack about the woman's inexpensive car, and his girlfriend came out and started calming him down. We all moved on, but my blood was pumping as I looked him in the eye and passed him to continue through the parking garage.

My friends have always joked about my pre-gun-ownership "paranoia" (several alarms in the house, always carrying my mace and scanning the area, refuse to go to events downtown or on campus if I have to walk to and from my car alone in the dark, etc.), but I know my hyper-awareness keeps me from being an easy target. An since becoming a card-carrying member of the gun community (literally - my NRA materials came in the mail today!), I am very aware of how much better protected I would be if a threatening situation near me turns violent - if I were armed.