Kat Ainsworth

Photo credit: Kat Ainsworth

The first thing my mainstream media alert feed was filled with this morning was reports of shootings. CNN reported that in Henderson, Nevada it seems some suspects drove around randomly shooting at people, leaving a trail of injured and one dead in their wake:

In Evansville, Indiana there was a shooting at a nightclub in the wee hours of the morning:

Officers say they found a man who had hurt his head during a fight.

While a group gathered around him, police say someone did fire a gun and a different man got shot in the foot.

And in Texas the guy doing the shooting found out self-defense is a thing in the Lone Star State:

According to police, the ex-husband was upset because his ex-wife had a new lover, so he was going to confront the woman and her new lover.

The man got into an argument with one of the family members and then shot toward the home, hitting the ex-wife in the hand and her aunt in the buttocks, police said.

Another person at the home had a firearm and returned fire at the suspect, hitting him in the stomach and chest area.

So are the holidays worse than other times of the year for shootings? Yes and no. Around the holidays tempers can run higher and some family gatherings can be rife with tension. Throw in a little extra alcohol for loosened self-control and you’ve got the potential for an explosive situation. But frankly, most of us should be more concerned with the actions of complete strangers than we are with what Aunt Edna is doing at the dinner table.

This all falls under the general heading of remaining aware of your surroundings and actually carrying your EDC. Your gun does you absolutely no good if it’s at home in your safe or if you’re so clueless about what’s going on around you that you fail to notice trouble heading your way. Yes, we’re talking about situational awareness.

Don’t glue your eyes to your cell phone. This isn’t just a tip for women, it goes for everyone. Quit walking around oblivious to your surroundings because you’re more concerned about what’s happening in the TTAG comment section than what’s going on two feet from your shoulder. Your phone (and that bone-headed commenter) can wait. Keep your head up and eyes moving. Be alert. Be aware.

John Farnham’s advice is always good to repeat: don’t go stupid places with stupid people and do stupid things. This goes for everything from wandering around in high-crime areas, taking shortcuts through alleys, and doing things that might sound cool in the moment but really just prove you’re a few cards short of a full deck.

Give some thought to what you do, where you go, and who you’re doing it with. It really does matter. For example, my teenage daughter wants to go Black Friday shopping with friends. I relented, but only if they go during daylight hours and only if they shop at stores in a specific, safer location. Sound paranoid? Tough. You are responsible for your own safety. Act like it.

This is where something Mas Ayoob tends to say also comes to mind. If you can’t carry a gun somewhere, why are you going there in the first place? Yes there are going to be times you have no choice, but you can also frequently avoid those situations. Again, your gun does you no good if it isn’t on you. (Does this fall under the heading of going to a stupid place? You decide.).

If there is trouble, walk (or run) away. You are not John Wayne and this is not a movie. When you can avoid a problem, avoid it any way you can.

Exceptions are going to be where you’re stuck with no way out or maybe your significant other or kids are in that location and you can’t leave them behind. But in cases where you can get the hell out, get out. Conflicted? Decide well in advance of a serious self-defense situation what your boundaries are and when you will and will not get involved. Having a plan in advance makes life (and decision-making) easier.

Carry your gun. Enough said.

I’m not going to get into the specifics of situational awareness, OODA loops, or Jeff Cooper’s Color Code. Does knowledge and taking classes improve your understanding of danger and how to respond to it? Absolutely, but common sense also goes a long way.

Be safe. Let’s make sure all TTAG staff and readers make it through the holiday madness in one unperforated piece.


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