The recent blog about Open Carry versus Concealed raised a bunch of questions and concerns. I’ll get to some of them, but one I really want to focus on had more to do with the difference between a hard target versus a soft target (to use some of the verbiage from the posts).
I want you to consider the following, situational awareness is not a “combat” mentality. It’s the difference between predator and prey. I choose to use slightly different terms from my good friends at Sayok Tactical. There are feeders and receivers in life and whether you like to admit it we are all feeders to a certain extent, some are just more than others.
Situational awareness is not a combat mentality it is an everyday mentality. For example, every time you get behind the wheel of your vehicle you better have your “head on a swivel”. You stand a much higher chance of being in a vehicle accident than the victim of a violent crime. As you back out of your driveway you are checking your surroundings, making sure there are no kid’s toys (been there) to run over. You maneuver onto surface streets and now have to contend with two way traffic, street lights and pedestrians. As you continue on your commute to the highway, now you have merging at high speeds and traffic. If you are not maintaining situational awareness then you are nothing more than an irresponsible driver and have no business being behind the wheel. I think we can all agree on that point I’m sure. I mean who of us would want someone on the road behind a 3,000 pound lethal weapon with no regard for responsible driving or human life? Find me that person and I’ll show you an idiot.
So, why do things change just because you are no longer in your vehicle? What’s the difference? Do you not maintain the same situational awareness as a pedestrian or as a jogger on the street? You better, because you can be as legally right as all get out and still be broken, lying in a hospital bed on life support with tubes and lines running in and out of your body. You can point your finger and yell, “I had the right of way” all day long from that hospital bed. Let me know how that works out for you, how much better it makes you feel to know you were right. Or you can keep your head in a swivel.
Now, how does the relate to concealed carry? Simply put, personal protection by it’s nature is defensive. You are reacting to the bad guys actions in a large sense, but there is a big difference. You can keep your head down and “hope” that nothing bad will happen or you can keep your head up, stick your chest out and make it clear to the world you are a predator. The chances of being surprised are very high if you are not in touch with your surroundings. The chances of surviving a surprise attack as a soft target are not as favorable as they are when acting as a hard target. Can it really be that simple to just be heads up? Pretty much.
Maybe the worse thing we have done as humans is to try to evolve beyond being human. In an effort to be so refined, civilized and evolved we have forgotten or allowed our animal instincts to fade away. You can wish for a more peaceful society, but like it or not we are part of the animal kingdom.