Taking Risks and False "Bravery" vs. Safety and Fear


March 15, 2003, 01:31 AM
Hmmm. Okay, I was just browsing a website tonight, and I came upon an interesting point.

Before I post it, I'll remind the group that, for 24 years, I was anti-gun. And never attacked. I'm currently pro-RKBA, but not carrying/owning/etc for many reasons. And I kinda agree that the fear of the reality is part of what has kept me from being attacked (knock on frickin wood).

I personally think that carrying weapons or taking martial art, self-defense classes etc. are a bad idea for most women. The most effective way to survive is to be scared; anything that makes you brave makes you more likely to walk into a dangerous situation. If you have a gun in your purse you might be more likely to take that shortcut home, or take a ride with a man you don't know very well or any number of risky things. If you're scared you're careful, if you're careful you don't get into trouble.

Hmmm. Your thoughts?

(oh, and btw, the website where I found this paragraph is: http://stripper-faq.org/safety.htm)

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March 15, 2003, 01:46 AM
My opinion? It sounds like a dangerously distorted idea that does have a germ of truth in it.

It's true that being overconfident can get you killed. If you are aware of your surroundings, aware that violence is possible, aware that there are Bad People out there, you are less likely to do stupid things, go stupid places, and hang out with stupid people. Doing stupid things gets you killed. In that sense, fear is your friend and anything that makes you less fearful is not your friend.


Confidence is not the same thing as overconfidence, nor is confidence -- rightly placed -- going to get you killed. It is more likely to save your life.

A criminal is a criminal because he wants to do things the easy way. If he wanted to do things the hard way, he'd get a job and join the rest of society instead of taking the back-alley shortcut of mugging people for their cash or raping and murdering them for his pleasures. So when he goes looking for a victim, he is going to look for an easy victim, not a hard one. He'll attack the nerdy-looking wimp in a business suit, not the 6'11" ape wearing biker duds. Given a choice, he'll choose someone who looks fearful and unable to cope over someone who looks confident and prepared.

That is why I say that confidence, rightly placed, is more likely to save your life than it is to get you killed.

How does confidence get to be rightly placed? Simple. Develop the mindset and physical capabilities to deal with trouble when it comes, and you will radiate the confidence which causes a Bad Person to look for easier victims and leave you alone.

So if you want to stay safe, learn how to take care of yourself if trouble comes. And stay out of dark alleys, too.


A committment to avoidance, deescalation and deterrence is your number one option for personal security. -- Andy Stanford

March 15, 2003, 02:05 AM
I disagree with the statement. In my opinion, a person is more carefull while armed. I'm one of those that believe when a person carries a firearm, they go out of their way to avoid situations that may require them to use the weapon.

Part of this comes from the process of becoming an armed civilian. A person with a CCW has (or should) thought out his actions for self-defense prior to strapping on the gun. He now has a higher awareness of his surroundings and pays close attention to any possible threats and thinks of ways to minimize those threats before an encounter can happen.

The other part is the person is aware of what is going to happen if he does in fact shoot someone in self-defense and this will also cause them to go the extra mile to stay out of any situation that may cause that shooting.

March 15, 2003, 02:30 AM
Sometimes, it's just necessary to take risks in order to live life.
There's a reason "maximum security" isn't a place most folks really want to live.

So heck yes, I'll admit I've taken risks while armed that I wouldn't have while unarmed.. stopping one night to help a family stuck by the side of the desert road, for instance. There's other risks -- riding in a car with a man I just met outside a strip joint for instance -- I'd never in my life consider, not even with air support on call.

The way I see, martial skills and the tools to equalize a conflict are a way of expanding one's options in the world. Going armed adds a good margin of safety to what are already calculated risks. Bad risks however, remain bad risks, whether one is armed or not.

(As a side note, I think your author's right on the money when she emphasizes how physically superior men are in that domain. Something I don't think many women, especially those in the "sport" martial arts and weekend self defense seminars adequately appreciate. )

But again.. ya just got to evalutate your risks, prepare appropriately, and play the game of life. Likely you'll get through relatively undamaged, but if not.. better to go down fighting, with the odds tilted as much in your favor as possible. :)

Finally.. there's some risks that well.. just don't make sense to me. Gettin' mostly nekkid and dancing in front of men I don't know for money is one of them. Personally, I think in the author's place, my risk assessment would start with my career, not whether I went armed or not.

As incredibly "un-PC" as it is in some circles to say.. the behavior your author recommends in her "making money" section seems to me about as close to "asking for it" as I can imagine.


March 15, 2003, 03:03 AM
I'm currently pro-RKBA, but not carrying/owning/etc for many reasons.

If you know the answer to why you don't care to protect yourself then you need to start working for a solution to that problem. I don't think there is an in between stance with someone who visits pro-RKBA discussion forums and engages in pro-RKBA discussions. You either are or are not.

March 15, 2003, 03:16 AM
But scared people do get into trouble. Fear is no more of a magic solution than a gun.
A gun can give those so inclined false confidence. Those who thought out the issues should not have that. I do carry, and I really do not want to be in a situation where I must harm another to defend myself. If I have to, I believe I will, but I also know I will try to avoid or diffuse the situation first.
As in all things, the result is individual.

March 15, 2003, 04:08 AM
The most effective way to survive is to be scared
Well, that's one heck of a way to live...:rolleyes:

If you have a gun in your purse you might be more likely to take that shortcut home, or take a ride with a man you don't know very well or any number of risky things Now this is plain crap. How could a lady carrying a gun, who knows how to belt out kung-fu kicks lead herself to doing such stupid things. This is a statement obviously coming from a "scared" individual... :banghead:

Somebody better tie down this person before he hurts himself using a spoon... :neener: :D :cool:

March 15, 2003, 04:19 AM
I disagree with the statement.

I'll say again ,criminals "ain't wired" like most persons. We all have impulses, the difference in the clinical definition of sane and not sane is how one--or if one reacts to these impulses.

Like the animals, humans can percieve weakness, sterotypical is the female gender being the weaker of the two.

All prefaced to say one can exude confidence, awareness, and strength, all that is needed sometimes to erase the 'prey' from the "predator's" mind. Regardless of gender.

Since the BG's ain't wired right, and REALITY happens , and many here believe in personal responsibility, anything one does to improve the odds in their favor is good.

Yes, many times when a person makes the choice to carry firearms, martial arts,...etc., self esteem and confidence is boosted. One becomes more aware, more responsible, and appears less of a 'prey' because of the way they conduct themselves.

No that one takes more chances, per se, but leveling the playing field. I had every right to be able to go the grocery store after I ended a midnight shift in a former job. I just leveled the playing field by choosing to CCW. Any BG's thinking 'they owned the night', had to think...humm, this fellow is going to the store at midnight, he doesn't look crazy,he is paying attention, maybe he isn't the'prey' I thought he was . Many times a female co-worker (whom CCW also) and I would go together before she went home to hubby and kids. She and I used the strength in numbers to raise the ante' and decrease the odds, much the same as the animal kingdom.

Something I recall from psych:

" You teach people how to treat you"

All these passive victims are teaching predators they can act on those impulses...sadly the female gender is more vulnerable to some particular impulses. I support the idea of the females, "re educating"...;)

March 15, 2003, 06:11 AM
If you're scared you're careful, if you're careful you don't get into trouble.

In reality, no matter how careful you are, you might find yourself in a life-threatening situation. At which point, fear will be of little help in fending off an attack by a 6'3" 230-lb assailant -- but your carry piece may just do the job.

Caution is good, being aware of your surroundings is good, avoiding dangerous situations is good.

Being prepared to deal with danger when it presents itself is equally good.

The two are not mutually exclusive.

Scooter .45
March 15, 2003, 08:35 AM
Newbie here...what does RKBA stand for??

I figure concealed carry just allows you to live a normal life without fear. Freedom means going ahead to that fancy downtown restaurant after dark rather than staying home where it's "safe," or taking a shortcut thru a bad neighborhood rather than driving 30 mins. out of the way. Of course, crime occurs in suburban McDonalds' and in good neighborhoods too. It's random, so concealed carry stacks the cards more in your favor.

El Tejon
March 15, 2003, 09:02 AM
There's a distinction between fear and concern. We should all be concerned (condition yellow), however fear and panic, in the words of Steve Rodriguez, "ain't nothing but a lack of a plan."

We learn to fight, so we do not.:)

March 15, 2003, 09:16 AM

R ight to K eep and B ear A arms.

See "US Constitution", Second Amendment to.

And I think the first three replies pretty much covered it all.

March 15, 2003, 09:25 AM
Welcome Scooter!

RKBA is activist shorthand for the 'Right to Keep and Bear Arms'.


Good to see you! Listen to Pax when she says:Develop the mindset and physical capabilities to deal with trouble when it comes, and you will radiate the confidence which causes a Bad Person to look for easier victims and leave you alone.I am a firm believer that the single most immediate benefit society reaps from individuals packing heat is this raising of awareness and confidence and the associated shrinking of the vicitim pool. The confidence that Pax talks about is a real social and tactical benefit. People simply forget how to be a victim. Deep thoughts about how to best turn tail and run or beg for mercy cease to be part of the equation.

Living in fear is an 'option' for some people. I pity them greatly. Fear will make you small and weak. Fear will make you look and act like prey. Fear is like a vampire draining you of confidence, and you will surely whither away under the constant pressure of it. People need to make a choice how they are going to live their lives. We are either, forgive the analogy - it's all that is coming to mind, men or mice. Mice are fearful. Because of it they are skittish and will never do great things. Men are proud and confident, and this fortifies men to live without fear.

People who are confident and sure are better neighboors. They pay attention to their world rather than shutting off from it. I'm not a religious man, but I believe very stongly that there is a battle going on between good and evil on this planet, and there always has been and always will be. The more people fear and shut themselves off from their environment, the more they duck their heads and avert their eyes instead of holding them high and looking people square in the face, the more evil takes a foothold. This evil expands to fill the space that goodwill retreats from. That is it's natural state, to expand to fill empty space. People get raped in these empty spaces that have been abandoned out of fear. Communities die because of it.

The more people we have in society that are confident, able and sure the more this expansion is held at bay. Every little bit helps. Someone walking down the street in fear, when they had the choice to walk that street with confidence (perhaps by arming themselves), is contributing to the death of that street.

The passage you quoted is nothing but a classic rationalization of a hoplophobe (that's a person who fears weapons, Scooter ;)).

It's a life choice that extends far beyond the RKBA.

- Gabe

March 15, 2003, 09:33 AM
Nobody is fearless, it doesnt matter what gun or knife they have or whether they are a 9th dan black belt taekwondo, most people have the common sense to know that just because they hav some advantage in a conflict situation, it doesnt mean they are invincible. And not meaning to sound sexist, but especially women for the simple reason that they dont hav the little testosterone induced machismo that says "im tough enough to go down the back alley, bring it on!". Well maybe not to that extreme, but the simple fact is pretty much everyone would rather catch a taxi than go down the dark alley, its purely human instincts and usually the posession of a lethal weapon, or anything else for that matter can cloud it. Its not a matter of clouding judgment, i believe its mainly instincts that tell us to catch the cab.

Sean Smith
March 15, 2003, 09:34 AM
RKBA= Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

My thought is that the article is based on false premises.

I'd think that any woman who is interested in existing as anything other than a target of beatings and sex crimes would find the whole thing an exercise in depowering double-speak. Fear is security. Defenselessness is safety. Vulnerability makes you secure. Live that way, and you live in an Orwellian hell hole.

Even if you don't have a weapon, confidence serves a positive purpose. It marks you as a tougher target than the meek, timid little mouse that is scared by everything, but really aware of nothing but an indistinct fear. Look like you might actually fight back, and you improve your odds of not being the target in the first place.

Remember, sexual criminals profile you the same way the FBI profiles them. Scared and timid makes you a target, because you are pre-terrorized before they even attack you. Takes less effort on their part to manipulate, dominate and control you once the rape starts. Going through life scared and wary is like painting a red bulls-eye on your forhead, before we even take into account using a weapon.

What you really need is genuine situational awareness, not fear. Fear without cause is just background noise that drowns out the real signals that your reason and intuition give you that something specific is a threat. Be aware of your surroundings and critically evaluate them. Also, educate yourself about what violent criminals are really like (as opposed to pop-psych Oprah B.S. we always hear).

Ironically, there is a book called The Gift of Fear that is very good reading on just this topic. Contrary to its title, it is a book that is more about self- and situational-awarness than anything else. It has little to do with defending yourself and alot to do with not having to defend yourself in the first place. Of course, that sort of thing might strike some people on this forum as a bit soft. But the fact of the matter is, a gun in civilian life is mainly what you use when you failed to analyze a bad situation before you got into it. Because you can't know everything and be infallible, being armed for those situations is wise. In the meantime, though, it is only sensible to educate yourself - arm your mind - with something other than target-speak.

I'd further suggest that a stripper web site is probably not the best source for information on how to avoid sexual attack. You might as well take advice from the Pinto Owner's Club of America on how to choose a good car. :rolleyes:

In fairness, though, not all of her advice is bad. She DOES advocate some basic common sense (e.g. don't take stupid risks), and even says getting a gun is OK (though only under very limited circumstances). The problem with that advice is that it puts the whole purpose of having a weapon on its head, i.e. something you use for those bad situations you can't predict, control or avoid. However, she holds the ability of women to defend themselves, even with a weapon, in almost complete contempt, which to me suggests contempt for the abilities of women, period. Not a surprising subtext from a stripper, I guess. :(

Oleg Volk
March 15, 2003, 12:31 PM
Read comments by John Farnam (http://www.defense-training.com/quips/quips.html) who follows up even successful self-defense stories with advice on how to avoid borrowing trouble. Being trained and armed also elucidates a person on the subject of personal limitations and possible back luck, so that pretty much everyone I know would strive to avoid a fight. Even if one is ready for a fight with a rifle at the ready, avoidance is generally best.

Oleg Volk
March 15, 2003, 12:34 PM
I don't think there is an in between stance with someone who visits pro-RKBA discussion forums and engages in pro-RKBA discussions. You either are or are not.

My web site arguing in favor of gunownership predates my ownership of a weapon by almost two years, and my carry of one by three. WildOne might be in the same position.

March 15, 2003, 12:35 PM
Going armed makes me even more risk-averse; the absolute last thing I want to do is to have to shoot somebody.

My first line of defense is still Nike-Fu. (I have passed my Black Belt exam, proving that I can effectively run screaming like a little girl...) ;)

March 15, 2003, 12:54 PM
Wrong, wrong, wrong. Fearful or scared people make very bad decisions. Look at anti-gunners, their disarmament talk is based on emotions, fear.

Appropriate decisions can only be made with rational, logical thought. Fear releases a lot of chemicals into the brain and triggers the fight or flight reflex. Depending on the situation, neither may be appropriate.

I taught full-contact karate for 10 years. It is true that at some point in their training almost everyone becomes overconfident. However, with continued training they all overcame that overconfidence. I kept an eye on my students and when they started becoming overconfident I set up a situation to take them down a peg or two. I think every good martial arts instructor, armed or unarmed, does the same thing.

I know personally that I have been in situations a couple of times that had I been scared or overconfident, either one, would have turned out badly. My training had taught me that I had other options than fight or flight. As the situations developed, I was continually thinking, considering options. I didn't have to fight and running would have made the situation even worse.

March 15, 2003, 01:07 PM
WildOne might be in the same position.

I don't think so, Oleg.

March 15, 2003, 01:11 PM
If you know the answer to why you don't care to protect yourself then you need to start working for a solution to that problem. I don't think there is an in between stance with someone who visits pro-RKBA discussion forums and engages in pro-RKBA discussions. You either are or are not.

Give me a friggin break. :rolleyes:

Unless you care to give me hundreds of dollars with which to buy a gun, some guarantee that the BOSTON POLICE DEPARTMENT will give me a permit, when they repeatedly say that they won't, and somehow give me some superpowers that make me a far better shooter than I currently am, Get Off Your High Horse, Sir. I am pro-RKBA. I cannot, however, currently carry a gun. If you cannot respect other people's less-fortunate-than-yours situations, than I absolutely pity you.

To the rest, thank you. Your input has helped tremendously. :)

March 15, 2003, 01:12 PM
oh yeah.. forgot my manners..

welcome back WyldOne! It just ain't the same without you around here. :)


March 15, 2003, 01:15 PM
Thanks Kaylee!! I've missed this place. :) (Well, for the most part, anyway ;) :rolleyes: )

March 15, 2003, 02:58 PM
first off...nike - fu,,,lol

short profile of me = middle 40's - 5'8" 240 lbs mostly muscle, ex wrestler boxer, aau weightlifter, navy vet, ran 6 minute miles at 26, don't run anymore cause of bad back and knee, can't climb no mountains lately either, uuuhhhh swapped running for swimming and swim at least 1/2 mile twice a week. except for lately i been a lazy,,,well you know.

anyhow my point is that even with all that behind me and my peashooter in my pocket i'm still smart enough to know i'm not invincible and that if i'm not real, real careful i could get knocked on the head from nowhere and my peashooter is now in the wrong hands. now THAT scares me. hence, yes, i am a much more careful person when i'm armed and i also watch my driving habits and obey the traffic laws a little more because i don't feel like getting stopped and dealing with showing my gun and all to the police people. of course we could end up spending a 1/2 hour or so yakkin' about guns and shootin' and then he or she might let me off with a warning this time...

it's happened before!


March 15, 2003, 03:02 PM
In my opinion, a person is more carefull while armed. Me, too. All the rules about staying out of dangerous places and not talking to strangers still apply. The gun just allows you to react positively if you are attacked in your normal walk of life. It does not give you a license to take chances.

March 15, 2003, 04:57 PM
someone once said:

"A man who does not know fear is not brave, he's a fool! A man who is afraid, and does what needs to be done in spite of his fear is a brave man."

The fool will get into trouble regardless. The wise will prepare for the worst, and then being so prepared. will do everything within reason to prevent the worst from happening.

March 15, 2003, 05:01 PM
I disagree with her premise. The best way to stay alive is not by being scared, it is by being cautious The two can be confused but they are far from interchangeable.

As others have said here, merely being afraid could easily make you more likely to be victimized. Like most men I have seen situations where an isolated woman would not make eye contact when passing by me. Of course she had no way of knowing that I was no threat to her, but she was unintentionally sending out passive signals instead of portraying confidence.

A little heads up situational awareness goes a long way toward safety. The gun should be the last resort.

"Feets don’t fail me now", Lowell George

March 15, 2003, 05:35 PM
Well now that I went to her web site I have to say that she is saying pretty much what I just said. She just uses the word scared to mean cautious.

WyldOne, I hope you're not considering a carrer change:(

March 15, 2003, 06:31 PM
I guess Wyldone's friend might be right ...

I routinely go hiking and camping (sleeping out on the ground) in thick bear country, which I wouldn't consider doing unarmed.


March 15, 2003, 06:57 PM
I would have two points to make regarding the original post, but the one about human predators, like animal predators, being able to "smell" fear and perceive an easy target has already been made.

The second point is, what is your quality of life if you must go around in fear all the time? While I don't advocate placing yourself deliberately in dangerous situations or locations, whether armed or not, neither should you have to constrict your life's activities out of constant fear of violent crime. That's what carrying a weapon does for me.

Don Gwinn
March 15, 2003, 07:46 PM
My opinion? Remember that you asked to hear it:

That's a bad joke, not an idea deserving of serious consideration. Being scared is healthy, sure, but by definition it cannot keep you safe.

If, by training in martial arts or the use of weapons, you take away the lesson that you don't need to be as careful as you used to be, then either you had a terrible instructor or you were a terrible student. I know my instructor made a habit of constantly reminding us that he was not turning us into supermen, only teaching us some mindset and techniques that could help.

Let me give an example. Today, I was working on the bathroom door and the boys were playing with cars on the front porch. My son came inside and told me "There are people outside with us. They're standing around."

Without much thinking about it, I picked up my pukko, put the blade up my sleeve, and put my hand just inside the top of my pocket. Put my other hand in my other pocket and walked out casually to see who was out there. It turned out to be a local cop knocking on doors for a city council candidate. When I recognized him, I just let go of the knife and let it fall into my pocket, and he never knew I had come out to greet him with a knife in my hand. (Don't reach for your keys after doing this--the blade is up in your pocket and must be removed carefully.) What I should have done was put my Glock on, but it was secure in the bedroom. Guess it shouldn't have been.

Now, according to the logic you encountered, that was a dangerous thing to do and the sensible thing would have been to stay in the house, maybe check the view out the window but definitely not go outside until I knew who or what was out there. The knife, far from being a security measure, made me overconfident and caused me to walk out for a duel like a cowboy. However, there's a very important hole in that logic in the real world. Can you spot it in my example?
(Hint: You might make a conscious choice to be scared and cautious and whatever else. Your children will not be capable of it!)

March 15, 2003, 08:12 PM
WyldOne, I hope you're not considering a carrer change

Awww, well I am, but that has nothing to do with the website. :) Don't worry, I'll probably just stay a secretary forever....The reason that I was on the website was that it came up in an online discussion re: feminism and stripping, and was an extension of other conversations about.....um, other things. Long way to say, consider it more of "issue research" rather than "job prospects" :D

You guys all make sense in theory, but I realized tonight that the practice of using common sense to be safe is actually harder than ya'll make it out to be. What happened was, I had a meeting this afternoon/evening. I take a shortcut to go to the meeting by walking down an alley. Not very long, not very dark (in the daytime), and there's usually no people. Just litter. :) There's an alley on the other side of this building thingy, and that one usually has people, so I avoid it.

Tonight I was leaving with a couple of my friends, and I was about to go down "my" alley, but they stopped me and made me defend my choice. Basically to get them off my back, I just took the long way. But it got me thinking. There are probably a couple dozen idiotic things that I do over the course of an average day, which raise my risk level.

Are there classes or trainings or something that teach you how not to do this stuff? How do you get "the mindset", or does it just take practice?

March 15, 2003, 09:16 PM
There are probably a couple dozen idiotic things that I do over the course of an average day, which raise my risk level

I think most people fall into that catagory. It can be difficult even to realize that you are doing something that carries with it an elevated risk. For instance some people will stroll up to an ATM at night without even a glance to see who is around. Try this; think what you would do if you were an evil man then think of a way to prevent that. In the ATM example consider that a robber would be attracted to a source of cash.

Are there classes or trainings or something that teach you how not to do this stuff? How do you get "the mindset", or does it just take practice?

I have heard of two.
The NRA’s refuse to be a victim program. I have no experience with this but I understand it isn’t just a gun thing, its main focus is awareness.
The second is by a former LEO named J. J. Bittenbinder who now makes a living teaching this kind of thing. I have seen a video of his class and he is good teacher. Here is his site:


Here is another I found by searching for personal/security/awareness. No experience with this one:


And lastly, please don’t think this all means you have to walk around the rest of your life being paranoid, it’s much simpler than that. Like you said, a lot of it is just practice. It sounds like you have taken a huge step by realizing that there are things you can easily change that will help a lot.

If I may quote my own sweet Mom, "be careful".

Joe Gunns
March 16, 2003, 01:05 AM
NRA Refuse to be Victim is good starter class. Little to no emphasis on firearms, but strong on awareness issues and various techniques, devices to make self, car and home more secure, from body language to large dog bowl and heavy chain on front porch. Went with my 18 year-old daughter so she would be willing to go. I learned some new things, and she picked up a lot.

Gavin de becker's "The Gift of Fear" is very good book on trusting your instincts, with lots of real-world examples, from crime victims and clients he has worked with. (He is not pro-gun ownership, however, thinks it more important to rely on your inner voice to avoid bad situations/people, but book is not an antigun polemic and his ideas are useful.)

Better gun shops/ranges can hook you up with training in your area. Most of the instructors I am aware of do good job in beginning classes of teaching proper attitudes.

As for original question: What nonsense. Does having a smoke detector make you more prone to play with matches? Does having a first aid kit make you more likely to run with scissors? Does having air bags in your car make you tailgate?


March 16, 2003, 01:35 AM
Tonight I was leaving with a couple of my friends, and I was about to go down "my" alley, but they stopped me and made me defend my choice. Basically to get them off my back, I just took the long way. But it got me thinking. There are probably a couple dozen idiotic things that I do over the course of an average day, which raise my risk level.

Are there classes or trainings or something that teach you how not to do this stuff? How do you get "the mindset", or does it just take practice?
To develop the mindset takes time and thought. There are good books out there -- someone mentioned Becker's The Gift of Fear as a good one -- which can help you along the path once you are ready to walk down it.

But take a look at the paragraph you led into your questions with. Your friends realized you were doing something dangerous. They stopped you. They told you that what you were doing was dangerous. They made you defend your choice of routes. You decided it was easier to go the long way around than it was to defend what you were doing. And you were safer for it.

Now if you can get to the point where your own brain does for you all of the things your friends did, you'll be going in the right direction.


We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. -- Plato

March 16, 2003, 01:16 PM
Condition Yellow. It's a way of life.

When you understand the difference between Condition Yellow and paranoia, you will have taken the first step. After that, it is the practice of developing a habit. Then it becomes habit, becomes a natural way of life and is no longer a conscious effort.

Start with basic observational skills. Pay attention at a level above what you normally do now. Not just to threats but to everything. Try to be aware. Make an effort all through the day. Walk like you drive. While driving you are aware of the cars on all sides of you, what speed they are travelling at, how they are behaving. What the road signs say, what is coming up farther down the road and when you will get there based on your current speed. Road conditions. Determining a maximum safe speed without looking at the speedometer or the speed limit signs, not only for the part of the road you are on but for the part of the road coming up and positioning yourself accordingly. Escape options. Is any car an obvious potential hazard? Can you assign a 'threat number' to each car based on how the person is driving, the condition of the car, etc? You do all this while listening to the radio and thinking about what movie you are going to rent when you get to the movie store and you don't even think it strange or difficult. You can do this all day long, too. Not just in the car.

Eventually you will do this without thinking. Living in a heightened state of awareness. Condition Yellow. It is a state of perpetual awareness and observation that creates preparedness. It's the difference between living 'heads up' and not 'head in the clouds'.

It's not a burden, but you have to work at first to develop the habit. It's my belief that living in Condition Yellow leads to a happier, healthier life. Not just because of safety, but being aware of your surroundings increases your energy and increases your connection to the world around you.

The few people I've spotted packing heat out and about I noticed first because of the subtle way they were more 'tuned in' to what was going on while everyone around them just plodded forward oblivious. Once you noticed it, they stood out like sore thumbs.

My cousin is a Sensei, he told me that the ancient masters understood that since if you stop breathing you die, learning to breathe well would lead to better health. Walking through the world is something we have to do, so if you can learn to do it well...

Situational Awareness is tactical-speak for 'paying attention'. There is nothing wrong with taking risks. But if you take risks, at least make the it a conscious decision. Don't end up in a risky situation by accident.

- Gabe

March 17, 2003, 05:24 PM
Thanks guys. :)

I actually had requested information on Refuse to be a Victim classes a loooong time ago; I'll have to go dig up the stuff they sent me.

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