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ccw situational awareness

Concealed Carry Situational Awareness - Find The Threat Before The Threat Finds You

Situational awareness is the perception and recognition of things and events in your surrounding environment.

Think of it like radar. Modern air defense operates by the use of radars to detect potential incoming threats. There's plenty of planes in the sky and not all of them are missiles or enemy aircraft. A radar operator is the equivalent of a neuron in a vast network of other neurons and his job is to detect the presence of an incoming threat. If you have a bunch of radars down for repair or the operator is eating a cup of ramen instead of paying attention to the screen, the system doesn't work.

The same works for the concealed carrier. Your eyes and ears are always “on”. Your mind, however, may not be paying attention to the radar screen. In this article, we'll discuss five things that limit your situational awareness and allow a potential “bogey” to fly right past your air defense.

There are also some strenuous threats to situational awareness. What are the worst of them?

The biggest threat to your situational awareness is your phone

concealed carry awareness

Everyone has a cell phone. Inside of it is a lot of useful information, entertainment, and ways to connect with others. However, when your cell phone absorbs all your waking attention, it leaves all the threats of the world open to approach you from any angle. Don't forget to take your head out of your cell phone every so often to observe what's going on around you – you'll be thankful you did!

It is unarguably the single greatest threat to situational awareness. Nothing else demands attention quite like the phone, social media and the endless amount of entertainment available through them. While there's nothing wrong with doing any of these things with your phone, there is when it comes at the cost of awareness or anything else.

Loud Music And Other Noises Rob You Of Situational Awareness

awareness for concealed carry

We all like to bump to great tunes. The louder the music, though, the less likely your ears will pick up on the distinct hints your environment is giving you. Was that a firework going off or a bullet? Are those people having a jovial conversation or an angry one? These are all things you can pick up on if your music isn't drowning it out.

Auditory distractions are also a great way to lose situational awareness or for it to be impeded, so try not to box your ears no matter how great that track is. Besides, you don't want to get hearing damage.

Situational Awareness Can Be Undone With Complacency

awareness for ccw

Just because you may assume a situation is safe, doesn't make it safe. Always verify. Verify with your eyes and ears. When you stop verifying the world around you, you're surrendering up your situational awareness. That can be a deadly mistake.

Complacency is a real killer, so make sure that you don't overlook anything that would otherwise attract your attention.

Alcohol Drowns Situational Awareness

ccw and drinking

This isn't to say you can't drink alcohol; you're an adult and free to make your own decisions. This is to say, however, that alcohol can severely inhibit situational awareness, decision making, reaction time and a host of other things.

If you're not thinking clearly, you're not going to react clearly. In the world of firearms, the most dangerous person is the one who thinks he's in the right state of mind but isn't. Your mind decides your actions and if it's not thinking clearly – you can't dependably act clearly. If you're planning on having a few, cede control of the arms to someone who isn't. It's like having a designated driver and it's the best decision you'll make all night.

Remember, you will be made accountable for shots that you fire in self-defense. If you were drinking, the prosecuting attorney is going to be that much less likely to not pursue charges.

Not Having Escape Routes

ccw situational awareness

You can't escape if you don't know where to run. As a concealed carrier, your job isn't to be the hero of the day – your job is to get out alive. And if you don't know where your entrances and exits are, you're going in blind.

Being present in the moment, letting your mind pay attention to what your senses are telling you, and keeping your mind clean and clear are all fantastic steps to detecting a threat before it arrives on your doorstep.

What are some other common ways people let their guard down? Let us know in the comments below.
James England

About The Author

James England (@sir_jim_england) is the contributing editor for Alien Gear Holsters. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and private defense contracting in Afghanistan.