Look around, then look again

Your surrounding can change in a split second…
Within the last two years or so I’ve seen more and more people approaching others and asking for something. Whether they are asking for money, gas, a ride or selling something so they can make it to their next destination. It’s almost a regular thing to see people hanging around gas stations, wandering around looking as though they have no purpose being there. Or do they?

My wife had a situation just recently at a North Phoenix gas station where a man wearing a hoodie, sunglasses, and a mask, approached her while she was filling up her vehicle. The man approached the driver’s side of the vehicle, and she quickly gave him commands to get away from her vehicle. The subject mumbled something about thinking she was someone else and my wife continued to order him away from her and her vehicle. The subject then backed away but then lingered around the passenger side of her vehicle. At this point my wife sat in the driver’s side of the vehicle and retrieved her firearm from her purse. Holding the firearm near her lap she again yelled to the subject ordering him away from her vehicle and he then walked away.

So, what do you think this subject’s intentions were? My first thought was he is what I refer to as an “opportunist”. Someone who just meanders around looking for an easy opportunity to get something. How many women leave their purses on the passenger seat when they exit to fuel the vehicle. Are the doors unlocked at this time? Are the windows rolled down and with your valuables insight?

No one knows what the subjects’ exact intentions were, but who really cares. Stop the intrusion into your space as soon as it happens. This sends a signal that you are not planning on being a victim today. Don’t be afraid to offend someone. Be stern and clear with your commands. This also alerts other people in the area of the situation.

After this situation with my wife, we had a long discussion about what if’s. The scenario could have gone many different ways, you must be ready with a plan B, C, D….. My wife expressed to me that her plan A was her verbal commands. If that hadn’t worked her plan B was to stay in her vehicle and lock the doors, plan C was to drive off. The firearm was there in case things escalated at a rapid pace. Getting the firearm out of her purse was a smart move. Remember the 21-foot rule?

I’ve talked in depth about conflict avoidance. The sooner you notice something strange happening, the better it is for you. This allows you more possibilities of getting out of the situation. When dealing with possible life-threatening situations distance is your friend. See it sooner, have more options. You have to Look Around, then Look Again, and keep Looking Around, “Head on a Swivel”.

We tend to get wrapped up in our devices and technology and focus not far beyond our bubble that we function in. We have to expand our awareness so we can see danger before it’s at our front door, or in this case your car door. The world has become a very different place and is quickly getting worse. I train my students with the skills and the mentality needed to win the fight, but I also train them to avoid the fight.

I test my skills at the shooting range, if I go through the rest of my life not having to test my skills again in a real-life situation I’ve done something right. Remember, your protection begins with the way you carry yourself. Your command presence can stop most incidents before they occur. Carry yourself in a way that advertises that you will not be a victim today. If you carry a firearm, train with it, then train again. Never Stop Training. If you train with your firearm remember to train for a defensive shooting type of incident. This is much different then just standing still and shooting at a paper target using both hands while standing straight up. Check out our Defensive Shooting Course on our website.

If you would like a free guide on Situational Awareness, send us an email, or give us a call.
Oz Johnson/Lead Instructor, NRA Certified
Karin Johnson/Operations Manager
[email protected]