Let me start out by saying I am a huge adherent to what is known as “Situational Awareness” To make things fairly short and because there are better articles out there on the subject let me go over the phases of situational awareness.
WHITE – You are completely unaware of your surroundings completely absorbed in your phone or listening to music with your earphones or just plain day dreaming.
YELLOW – You are on alert looking for things out of place or possible threats. Your head is on a swivel and ears are listening.
ORANGE – A threat or possible threat has been identified and you have begun to take an action that will put you into a better position to deal with that threat. That might mean crossing the street or running or beginning the reach for your concealed weapon.
RED – Game on you are in the fight you have been attacked and now must meet the threat head on or be beaten or killed.
It has been said that condition orange is a luxury afforded only to those who live their lives in condition yellow. People who live in condition white (which is far too many of us) typically go from white to red and all too often do not prevail in an encounter.
We have all heard about the “knock out game” where a young thug selected out of a group of friends walks up and sucker punches an innocent person. Many times doing tremendous physical harm to that person. Without exception my studies show that all of the victims were in condition white when they were hit. Distracted – head down – not aware of anything going on around them. Worse yet being completely non confrontational. How very sad that we have come to this point in society but the fact remains here we are!
So about my trip to Walmart on Monday well actually Tuesday. I get off work very late so I shop very late. I was in our local Walmart at about 1 AM Tuesday and as I was leaving I was quickly approached by a wild eyed man with his right hand in an inside (chest high) jacket pocket. As he approached me he said “Hey Mister can I ask you something?”
Because I live in condition yellow I had the luxury of what happened next. I took one very large step back increasing my distance from him, put my left hand out all the way, swept back my outer garment and got a combat grip on my concealed handgun and forcefully and loudly said “BACK OFF DO NOT GET ANY CLOSER” He took one look at what his mark was and decided I was much too hard of a target and quickly turned tail and scurried back to what ever shadows he was lurking in earlier all the while saying I was lucky he didn’t kill me.
Let’s break it down:
Condition Yellow – Knew the area and time it was dark and the parking lot is noted for high crime. Saw and identified a man I did not know approaching me faster than normal. Took note that he might have had a weapon as his right hand was inside his upper jacket. Heard his comment and knew that it was a ruse to allow him inside of my personal space.
Condition Orange – Created space between me and possible threat. Prepared to fight with the best weapon at my disposal. (In this case my trusty Glock 19 carried at 4 o’clock on my belt) Created a barrier with my left arm.
Condition Red – Startled him by yelling and gave powerful verbal command to not get any closer. Now you may say that is not the most exciting fight you ever heard of. GOOD! As concealed weapons holders our goal is to NEUTRALIZE THE THREAT! His running off like a scared rabbit ended the threat. No one took a beating or got shot. That is the very best kind of engagement.
I learned much about this about 35 years ago – another dark night but I was in condition white. When the man who at that time asked me for a cigarette and by the time I answered I had a knife at my throat and he had 2 friends along side him. That cost me my wallet, a movie camera and quite a bit of blood. I think that I really enjoyed the luxury of condition orange.
So tell me what condition are you in? Do you plan on making any changes?
Keep your powder dry and stay in condition yellow!