This is one of those “Firearms Safety” tips you can use anywhere, and everywhere, at all times. In fact, and while arguably some situations demand more attention than others, you should use this tip everywhere. You should also teach it your family have them do the same.
So then, why is this a “firearms safety” tip? Because you need to be extra aware and extra careful whenever you are carrying a firearm… whether you are carrying concealed, going to or from the range, going to or from a hunt, and even when leaving the gun store excited and happy about your new purchase.
Situational Awareness is being in tune with your environment. Put in harsher terms it’s , “don’t walk around with your head up your ass… ” or with your nose in your iPhone, iPad, Android, etc. (the same goes for driving…)
- Know what is around you.
- Know who is around you.
- Identify possible dangers and threats.
- Avoid putting yourself in dangerous positions.
- Put some thought into, “What am I going to do, or where am I going to go if….”
- Have a plan, and discuss it with your family.
- Try to anticipate other people’s moves, especially if you perceive them to be a threat.
Think about your everyday life and your own “Situational Awareness”. If someone were following you home, would you even know it before they pulled into your driveway right behind you? If you suspected someone was following you, would you know what do to do to help confirm it – and where to go if in fact you determine they are? Would your wife? Would your kids?
Dad’s been instructing our family on “Situational Awareness” and other common sense safety tips my entire life, but I recently watched an episode of “The Best Defense” that covered exactly the “being followed home” scenario. First and foremost, they advised using many of the concepts described here in this post on “Situational Awareness.” As you leave the shopping malls, the stores, the bars & restaurants and other places, casually scan the surrounding area, taking notice of other cars, drivers and the people walking around. As you walk up to your car, casually make sure no one is hiding under, around or even inside of it. As you drive home, keep a casual eye on your rear-view and side view mirrors. Know what vehicles are on the road with you, and what is behind you. (Even if you are not being followed, this tip alone can greatly help Law Enforcement, EMS and Fire Fighters get where they need to go…) Back to possibly being followed, “The Best Defense” recommended making three right turns as a litmus test to determine if someone is following you; 1 – no cause for alarm, 2 – could be coincidence, 3 in a small residential neighborhood? Put on the 4 way flashers, get on the cell phone with a family member or friend and drive to the nearest police station.
Realize many of these same concepts are equally employed when going for that exercise run or walk, when in the mall, and when just casually strolling around. Again, while arguably more general, common sense safety than specifically “firearms safety”, “Situational Awareness” is significantly more important when firearms are involved.
You don’t have to be overboard or even obvious about it, but be in tune with your surroundings. Put some thought into it this topic. The greatest and the best of all safety devices is one between our ears – and we all have it.