No doubt most folks reading this are students of defensive living. Many of you are advocates of concealed carry or open carry on a daily basis, and I couldn’t agree more with that lifestyle. However, living defensively begins with practices you should develop or hone on a constant basis and none of these mandate gun carry on a daily basis.
What am I getting at? Before you jump ahead and crucify me for suggesting to not be armed…that is not my intent or practice. What I am suggesting is that there are several core concepts that MAY allow you to side step a violent confrontation altogether.
This should be your ultimate goal in the first place. No confrontation means no police investigation, no possible criminal charges, no civil liability, no court dates, no media persecution and no loss of sleep.
Do not get me wrong, I am a firm believer in your right to self-defense and use of deadly force to protect yourself, family or another person from a life-threatening attack. But, if possible, we all rather not go there in the first place.
The following defensive lifestyle concepts get to the heart of the matter:
Stay aware of your environment
This concept is one that all of you have heard for years. Otherwise known as situational awareness, it means simply to be cognizant of what is going on around you to the extent possible. It is not walking around paranoid.
Rather it is seeing and registering in your mind a potential problem so that you can stay out of the danger zone if possible.
Staying aware is not always easily accomplished. With some practice you will begin to develop an everyday awareness of your environment and all without really thinking about it. For example, we all go to the gas station/convenience store to fuel up every week or two.
Consider this, convenience store gas stations are one of the most targeted areas by criminals.
Because people get tunnel vision while fueling their cars. They start the fuel pump and then often get on the phone to text or whatever.
You are vulnerable and certainly not aware when your head is down focused on some mundane tasks. You are an easy target as compared to the person with their head up and looking around to see what is going on in their environment.
Avoid a potential confrontation or problem area
By staying aware you are hopefully preserving the ability to avoid the problem altogether. This concept is not the same as if you were already in the danger zone, but rather observing what looks to be a problem and side stepping or going the other way all together.
Let’s use the same gas station example as above. As you’re pulling into the station, you notice two men hanging around the side of the station who appear to be watching cars and people as they pull in. It’s good that you have been aware and noticed them. But better that you avoid the location altogether because your gut feeling is telling you something is amiss.
Leave or escape if you can do so safely
In this case something happened so quickly that even if you had your awareness radar on that you still were caught in the middle or the actual focus of an attack. Obviously, you could not have avoided the issue but perhaps you find a window of opportunity to escape, leave or run.
Take this option if you can do so safely, but be prepared to fight for your life at any second. An active shooter scenario comes to mind here.
Hiding in place may or may not work, and it may or may not be an option. Staying put or escaping would be your call, but again always be ready to fight. It’s OK to be violent when you have to, in fact your survival may well depend on it.
If you find yourself caught in a confrontation, especially one that the attacker is intent on making you the victim, it is logical to create some distance between you and the problem. If the attacker is brandishing a weapon other than a gun, then a show of force while creating distance would be appropriate.
In other words, if you have your pistol, and the attacker is advancing with say a knife, then drawing your sidearm is not only reasonable but may, in fact, discourage the attack.
The point to remember is that an attacker with a striking or stabbing weapon must get within reach of you to carry out the attack.
The greater the distance you have between you and said attacker will buy you time. However, a person that is determined and runs at you full speed leaves you little time. A distance of seven to ten yards can be closed in 1.5 – 2 seconds, blindingly fast.
Posturing is a no go
Although both sexes can be guilty of this, it’s mostly males that tend to go down this path. Posturing often leads to a hand on a weapon during the confrontation which can end with one or both parties placed under arrest, injured, or dead.
Good verbalization skills can often correct this problem, or better yet don’t get drawn into a stare off. Be the bigger person and move on, or yield the right of way.
Yes, I carry a handgun on a daily basis, but the above concepts are always being practiced and honed. My goal is always a non-confrontation day. Yours should be too.