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The condition color codes — levels of situational awareness — were conceived by Jeff Cooper decades ago. He opined that much of society perpetually spends their time in Condition White – essentially oblivious to the potential for threat. Some folks (particularly those who have martial arts, firearms, and/or other weapons background) are more likely to operate in Condition Yellow – essentially relaxed, but always mindful of the possibility of a threat materializing. Interestingly, as children, we are often taught to operate in Condition Yellow, always on the lookout for potential threats such as cars coming while crossing the street and being wary of strangers in vans and offers of candy, etc. But as we age, it seems that this conditioning seems to fade as complacency sets in.

In actuality, I would suggest that most people are constantly subconsciously performing periodic risk assessments, but their definition of risk is generally flawed or incomplete. Sure, when using an ATM at night or walking though a deserted parking lot to your car, etc., most (but not all) people move into a heightened state of alertness. The problem is that while they may correctly gauge the potential for risk in those scenarios, they incorrectly gauge the potential for risk in other seemingly less threatening everyday situations.

The person who is hyper vigilant while walking on a deserted street late at night is frequently blissfully ignorant of the risk that something bad might happen while they are in a restaurant. While some folks on this blog have talked about how they always like to have a seat with their back to the wall and conduct a brief assessment of potential exit strategies should something happen, they’re in the distinct minority.

Here’s a simple test: the next time you are out with friends, bring up the question of safety when they go to a hotel. Ask how many of them take a few moments to scout out the emergency exits. Or how many have clothes and necessary items near their bed should a fire alarm sound in the middle of the night.

When you’re on a plane, look around during the safety briefing. How many people are really paying attention? How many actually pull out the safety card out of the seat in front of them and study it? In the event of an emergency, how many would know how to get to the closest exit? How many could successfully convert their seat cushion into a floatation device? How many really understand they need to give that oxygen mask a good tug to start the flow? Not many is my guess.

Robert Barrows of the New York City Police Department holds up a “gun free zone” sign during a City Council meeting Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022. (William Alatriste/NYC Council Media Unit)

One hundred and fifty years ago, when many of our ancestors lived in frontier societies, there was no question of carrying firearms and other items when you left the house. There were bad people and dangerous animals about and only a fool would leave their cabin without the means to protect themselves.

Fast forward to today and most people simply don’t believe that there are any credible, immediate threats when they leave their houses. In today’s urban environments, we may read about something bad happening to someone else, but we’re great at rationalizing things and convincing ourselves that those things simply can’t happen to us. Until they do.

It’s this abrogation of personal responsibility for one’s own safety that has gotten us to where we are today. As a society, many of us don’t feel that it’s up to us to protect ourselves. An offshoot of this way of thinking is how we are never at fault when something happens to us – today we are all victims, but that’s a topic for another day.

We pay taxes to have people like police and fire fighters whose job it is to protect us, so why should we have to do it ourselves? Question: how many of your friends have fire extinguishers within easy reach in their homes? How many have fully-stocked first aid kits in their homes, cars, and place of business? How many have a reserve supply of food and water for even a few days should there be a disruption or disaster such as hurricane/blizzard/ice storm/earthquake, etc?

The simple fact is most of our fellow sheep citizens simply don’t believe that something bad could actually happen to them and as such, they make no effort to prepare for it.  Furthermore, preparing makes us face the reality that there is a possibility that something bad actually could happen and we don’t like to think that way. So we avoid it.

Everyday carry pocket dump
Tim Stetzer

I’m one of those people who never had a problem with firearms, but until not very long ago, I simply didn’t own any. Neither did my parents until a hurricane was headed towards Houston a few years ago. And in the aftermath of Katrina, my father decided that it would be a good idea to have a couple of guns in the house just in case someone decided to try to take advantage of the situation.

In fact, the catalyst for me getting my first gun was a visit to see him and, at 82 years of age, he decided he wanted a semi-automatic pistol to complement the revolver and shotgun he already owned. I figured if he could get one, then dammit, so could I.

My wife wasn’t thrilled with the idea. We have two young children and the idea of guns in the house is not something she was comfortable with. We’ve reached an accommodation, but it necessitates my guns being locked up. I can pretty much forget about home carry as the kids don’t even know the guns exist. At 6 and 5, keeping things under their radar is pretty easy, but that will change as they got older.

I have a pistol in a safe in my bedroom, but my wife simply prefers not to think about it and it’s not a subject for discussion. Before I get the inevitable questions and helpful suggestions, let me say that my wife has shot guns before. She just didn’t like it. Also, anyone who is married will tell you that simply trying to put my foot down on a matter such as this – something she feels strongly about – is an invitation for trouble of the lawyer/divorce/custody hearing kind. Not someplace I want to go. So I live with the compromise and bide my time in hopes that she gets more comfortable with the whole thing.

She’s also the sort of person who looked at me a little funny as I started to stockpile a modest supply of food and water for us should there be a problem. She was bemused when I purchased a couple of fully stocked disaster “go bags” to keep in the cars just in case. I’m far from a full-fledged “prepper,” but my neck of the woods is subject to power outages due to weather, so having a week’s worth of supplies doesn’t seem like such a bad idea.

She also didn’t initially see the need for a generator until the first winter that took out electricity for a few days, also killing the pump for our well and depriving us of water. Never mind heat and light. Now she thinks it’s a good idea.


Unfortunately, she’s like many others who only learn the value of preparation after something happens. A power failure is usually pretty innocuous – inconvenient, yes, but not typically a life-changing event. Other things could happen that might fall into that latter category and it seems that it would be foolish to wait for them to happen before learning the value of being prepared.

Prior to 9/11, many people would have resisted the idea of armed pilots, but following that tragedy, the idea gained a lot more support by the flying public. I don’t relish the idea of something similarly tragic happening to change her world view.

The fact is that strongly pro-gun people are still outnumbered by the population of anti-gunners and the ambivalent. As long as that remains the case, we’ll continue to see people put their faith in things like gun violence restraining orders and gun-free zones. And as long as the majority of society seems bound and determined to operate in Condition White, things aren’t likely to change.

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  1. I wish I had a $100 bill for everytime I heard, “He came out of nowhere.” No he didn’t. He was there all along. You were not paying attention and that was his advantage. I took a report. They were lucky if I didn’t have to call EMS.

    • S­t­a­r­t w­o­r­k­i­n­g f­r­o­m h­o­m­e! G­r­e­a­t w­o­r­k f­o­r-E­v­er, ­S­t­a­y a­t H­o­m­e M­o­m­s O­R a­n­y­o­n­e n­e­e­d­s­ a­n e­x­t­r­a i­n­c­o­m­e. G­e­t s­t­a­r­t­e­d. Y­o­u o­n­l­y n­e­e­d­ a bgh computer a­n­d a reliable c­o­m­p­u­t­e­r c­o­n­n­e­c­t­i­o­n­ s­o d­o­n’t g­e­t l­a­t­e t­r­y…….

  2. The most heightened situational awareness that I experience routinely, is on a motorcycle. I mean, I’m aware of a lot of stuff that most people miss, all the time. I don’t know where I fit on a scale of 1 to 10, compared to other people, but when I get on a bike, I jump from whatever, to about 12. I notice inconsequential things, like leaves blowing beside the road, because, believe it or not, leaves can be dangerous to a rider.

    I wish that I were equally aware at all times, but honesty forces me to admit that I am not. That could cost my life one day.

    Oh well – life is risk.

    • like watching for the slightest movement of a wheel on a vehicle about to enter the traffic lane or the subconscious act of constantly checking rearview mirrors… Funny how time seems to slow down as your level of awareness rises…

        • You dress for the fall, you read the road, you watch for azzhats, deer, etc. And when things are go its W.ide O.pen T.hrottle.

        • @Debbie W

          Obviously you are too young to remember Super Hunky from Dirt Bike magazine in the 70’s.
          It’s not W.ide O.pen T.hrottle.
          It’s W.ide F._[¢!ng O.pen
          As in you realize you’re in over your head, so you default to WFO and either horsepower and inertia pulls you out or….
          it’ll be an epic crash your buddies will talk about for years.

        • A knew two stunt bike ryders.
          One of them committed suicide and a tornado killed the other one.

        • a tornado killed the other one.

          Riding a motorcycle into a tornado is like trying to roller skate in a Buffalo herd… Just another form of suicide…

  3. I think there are way more people on the ambivalent list than there are on that anti-gun list, and I also believe the pro-gun population far outnumbers the highly visible, highly vocal anti-gunners… Aware and alert however IS a very limited category among even firearms carriers… Vigilance is not a natural state it must be practiced just like using a firearm until it becomes second nature…

    • Highly visible because the media adores them, covering every protest no matter how few “moms” or students actually participate.

  4. I used to travel A LOT. Weekly flights.

    Booked the exit row whenever I could for the extra room. One, the Flight Attendant asked me to review the emergency exit card. I replied, “No worries, I’ve got this.” She smiled and started quizzing me, thinking she would trip me up. I scored a hundred percent. Like I told her: Every week.

  5. Yep, a lot of people are just ambivalent to the whole subject of personal safety. This is strongly encouraged by the anti-gun bunch because it helps them push the new law that will fix the problem (and the next) and by the political class since an engaged voter base limits their power.

    Decarceration, defunding, and refusal to prosecute even violent criminals are helping to put people on notice that their safety and that of their children ultimately rests in their own hands.

  6. “I can pretty much forget about home carry as the kids don’t even know the guns exist.”
    1) If your pistol is holstered & on your body, how are they at risk?
    2) Why don’t your kids know about the firearms? Train them. Train your wife. Ignorance makes no one safer.

  7. One of the things you are taught early on in most martial arts training is to see in all directions,
    listen, and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Of course, at times that is easier said than done but situational awareness is important for safety. The same applies to when carrying a firearm. It never hurts to go through “what ifs” no matter where you are or where you are traveling. Think of yourself as a secret service agent guarding someone (yourself) and that should paint a good picture for you.

  8. All one has to experience is a hurricane or two and it will (or atleast should) make you want to have some sort of a stock pile of extras. Particularly for nonparishables and water. There are lessons to be learned from Harvey and Katrina. Then there are the supply chain issues from shutting down the planet. Being a hoarder is not required but if you don’t currently have a few extras of things then you have missed the point.

    Part of being an adult is making sure you can handle various problems as they come up in life as they absolutely will.

    • The Boy Scout motto, “Be Prepared” is a good rule to live by.
      Being prepared involves but not limited to tidiness, doing now/today instead of putting off, anticipation of bad events and taking action to mitigate or decrease the effects.

  9. For the most part in today’s society the vast majority of people are in condition Gray. Walking around in a fog with their faces buried in their cell phones. I call it living in the 1meter box. Outside of the box the world for the most part doesn’t exist, unless it comes in direct contact with them. Which can be to late to react, thus making them easy prey.






    • Tex.
      At 75 my raggedy old ass is still out here working the homestead, teaching 20 and 30 somethings how to work a forge, work with horses and helping raise the grandkids.
      I’ll admit I’m not as strong, fast or capable as I was 30 or 40 years ago. But, what years and miles have robbed in ability, they have replaced with wisdom and skill.
      No need to run or live in fear. Just pay attention to the world around you and have the tools needed should something go wrong.

    • YOU might be a target, I WANT some punk ass bitch to think I’m a target.. At 73 I still put a minimum of 100 miles a day on my motorcycle and road trip at least 1000 miles 25 weekends a year, I still lift three times a week but had to give up the running due to hips and back (new hips coming this fall)… I can still hold my own in hand to hand but I have to end it quickly so no more “dancing and sparring”… If the attitude you expressed is how you really feel then all I can say is saddd…

  11. Last night was a nice spring weekend by the river in St. Paul. While waiting for a left turn arrow to turn into a parking lot, I noticed two cars blocking the road in the lot with the drivers ” conversing” with each other. I didn’t get a good vibe from the sitch, so I hesitated entering the lot. The car behind me honked, flipped me off and went into the lot after going around me as I did a youey. My wife saw the carjacking going down as we were driving away from the lot when a third car pulled behind the car, blocking it in. Nothing on the news last night or today … guess it’s becoming common enough to not even be newsworthy. And she didn’t get much sleep last night after admitting she had no idea what was up.

    • I wouldn’t be too sure that the SPPD even had time to come and take a report, being there was a big concert in town and it was HOT there yesterday, they had their hands full. I worked as an electrician for that city for 20 years and saw shit going down daily about the last three years before I retired and moved (45 miles) “up North” in 2020… wish I’d have ” moved West” about another 600 miles, but that’s another story. About the nicest thing I can say about the Capital City is “it’s not Murderapolis….yet” .
      Watch your back, Skinny Rhino !!

      • … so, you were at the public lot off of Shepard Rd. by the landing?… Were you trying to buy crack or land a camping spot at the homeless camp? I’ve avoided going back there since retirement, and carried in my lunchbox while I was there at the risk of being terminated. Something something something about being carried by six verses something something something…
        Oh, and now directly out of lil’ d’s ass….

  12. quote————The fact is that strongly pro-gun people are still outnumbered by the population of anti-gunners and the ambivalent. As long as that remains the case, we’ll continue to see people put their faith in things like gun violence restraining orders and gun-free zones. And as long as the majority of society seems bound and determined to operate in Condition White, things aren’t likely to change.———quote

    And thank God for that as most people are not panoids and live a life in perpetual dread and fear. That is no way to lead a normal life and sane people know it.

    The majority of Americans know that the sea of second hand unvetted firearms available to anyone who wants one which includes criminals and psycho’s are the cause of all the gun violence in the U.S.

    Studies also show that the people most likely to carry a gun, even legally, are the type of people who should not be permitted to even own a gun as most are paranoids, racists, bigots, xenophobes, bullies and extremely violent naked apes.

    The amount of gun ownership in the U.S. has shot up dramatically since 1950 and as to be expected so has the violence with guns. Capitalvania, where even children’s lives are now considered cheap and expendale, has become the most dangerous industrialized country on earth to live in. Husbands shoot wives on Saturday nights (its traditional) , neighbors shoot neighbors because the others dog pissed on their lawn, or someone took their favorite parking place or cut them off traffic proving that gun ownership and concealed carry cause more deaths than they save and that is exactly why civilized countries have outlawed both open and concealed carry. No, you cannot trust a naked ape with a weapon in his hand, ever. We have 21st Century technology but we still have the mind of the primitive, and savage Neanderthal of which all of us still have vestiges of their DNA.

    With the largely uneducated populace primitive beliefs such religious superstitions, bigotry, racism, tribalism and xenophobia proven beyond all doubt that no naked ape can be trusted with a weapon in his hand.

    • LMFAO
      The reason most of the people everywhere took the Covid shots was out of fear. Regardless of what your political views or any reality involving the illness, it was reacted to very strongly with fear. MOST people did that. It had nothing to do with guns. None of it had anything to do with how many people were carrying or how many owners. To suggest that most people are not paranoid is ridiculous. THAT is exactly what everyone does.

    • @dacian

      go away.

      nobody here wants to listen to your wahwah bullshit.

      better yet, move to one of those enlightened “civilized” countries why don’t ya.

      oh yeah

      in the immortal words of Curly Bill Brocius (Tombstone) ….


    • I carry a sidearm for much the same reasons I have a first aid kit in each vehicle, or fire extinguishers as well. Same reasons I have a jack and spare tire. Should something happen, I want the proper tool to handle the problem.
      Cell phones are nice to have. But don’t bring instantaneous help. It will take time for the fire dept. ambulance service, police dept. or roadside service to show up. Until they do it is best to have the tools and basic ability to deal with the problem.
      Your foolishness of anyone who isn’t in my camp is a violent thug/red neck, or whatever phobe says more about your racist and fearful existence than about the real world.
      The reason you hear about the violent crimes you mention is two fold. First is the media. If it bleeds it leads. Second is simply because they are not regular occurrences and are news worthy. What is even more telling is the simple fact that the majority of violence and mayhem comes from the very Progressive/Leftist controled heavily regulated shithole cities you hold up as being such wonderful utopias.
      Don’t bother with red versus blue states when it is still the cities under Dementiacrat control in those red states that drive up the stats.
      My personal theory is too many people in too small an area along with the Marxist mindset of the limousine liberals running those cities are more of a danger to humanity than any number of firearms in the hands of us dumb red necks out here in flyover country.

    • dacian the DUNDERHEAD. Situational awareness does not mean living paranoid. It does mean to be aware of your surroundings and what is going on around you.
      I am sure that you live in a perpetual fog. I doubt you know which end is up?

    • proven beyond all doubt that no naked ape can be trusted with a weapon in his hand.

      Yet you claim to be a gun owner? So, when did you give yours up, I mean how can you trust yourself with a weapon in YOUR hand…

        • All “naked apes” are the same to me, they all bleed the same and if they bleed enough, they cease to exist… At least the moron has changed his game a bit with that “naked ape” thing instead of “Jethro” and “Hillbilly” still hanging on that fucking Capitalvania crap though, I’ve searched the internet, maps from modern AND olden times and I cannot find anything even resembling Capitalvania… Thought it might be some little shithole in Eastern Europe but no luck, maybe the moron would share its location or STFU about it…

        • He may be referring to Pistolvania made locally popular by rapper Vinny Pas (various groups involved) but it’s really just the various democrat run cities of DelMarVa and Pennsylvania.

        • He may be referring to Pistolvania

          Hmmmmmm, spell check doesn’t like THAT one either… If that’s what IT (it’s never declared its pronouns) meant, then the fuking moron should say that…

  13. Ahhh contraire meenio la pla meino.
    The minute I wake up I know something bad is going to happen to me. When I crawl out the door it does.

    • The minute I wake up I know somthing bad happened. No matter how much choco chip ice cream I eat my sheets are always stained brown

  14. S­t­a­r­t w­o­r­k­i­n­g f­r­o­m h­o­m­e! G­r­e­a­t w­o­r­k f­o­r-E­v­er, ­S­t­a­y a­t H­o­m­e M­o­m­s O­R a­n­y­o­n­e n­e­e­d­s­ a­n e­x­t­r­a i­n­c­o­m­e. G­e­t s­t­a­r­t­e­d. Y­o­u o­n­l­y n­e­e­d­ a bgh computer a­n­d a reliable c­o­m­p­u­t­e­r c­o­n­n­e­c­t­i­o­n­ s­o d­o­n’t g­e­t l­a­t­e t­r­y…….

    • Hi Theresa. ASL baby.
      Single MXYTZWGBLHAQUID here.
      To see nude pictures of a possum go to

  15. I learned as a very young kid to pay attention to the world around me. Growing up working with large animals, old farm machinery and older siblings demanded it.
    Nothing like an 1800 lb cow leaning over on you against a stall divider or a nervous horse kicking the crap out of you to show you that you need to watch out for subtle hints.
    Missing a meal because the rabbit or squirrel showed you his tail before you noticed him is also a good teacher.
    How many people are wandering around blissfully unaware of the guy standing in the shadows? or the punks walking up from behind? How many are paying more attention to their cell phone instead of the bus rolling towards them in the crosswalk? And of course the ever popular,” But officer, I didn’t see the motorcycle.” The motorcycle that weighs 800lbs. is lit up like a christmass tree and can be heard half a mile away.

  16. I see this daily, condition white. Even ten years ago I did not see it was as prevalent as it is today. The young people today are about 95% stupid about the real world. Have you actually had a real conversation with anyone in their 20’s. It is stunning how stupid they are. One thing is amazing is that they have no five year or ten year plan. As a nation I think we are screwed. Just my olds ass opinion, your mileage may vary.

    • No, I think that we’re all seeing the same MPGs…. Morons Per Generation.

    • Have you actually had a real conversation with anyone in their 20’s

      That is not even possible…

      • It’s possible you just need to keep things to tweet length and end the sentence with “no cap” if you are trying to convey basic facts. With that said out of 8 student assistants I have had over the years 3 have been untrainable and 2 we’re slow but willing to try. For a position where you had to compete with other students for being able to apply then pass an interview so some gloom and doom is warranted.

    • “As a nation I think we are screwed”.
      No way man, the new generation is like triple double techie with dayglo flavors and we’ve got the best president America will ever need.

  17. I learned early after a couple of incidents to start learning martial arts. A big part of those MA classes was situational awareness. If you aren’t aware of threats you can’t defend yourself from them. Since those early classes I now find being in condition yellow to be a superior way to live, seeing more of the world around us, bad and good.

  18. Can’t have a ‘code white’ color any more, its racist. Now it has to be ‘code subdued rainbow’ to be inclusive of all idiots.

  19. The main reason why divorce is so expensive is because it is WORTH it.

    Take your blinders off, stop pretending you don’t KNOW what you need to do. You chose POORLY when picking a mate and now you need to bite the bullet and pay the piper to get yourself out of a bad situation only YOU got yourself into. Talk about situational awareness all you like, but turn the lens on yourself and this dead end road you are traveling down. The further you drive down it the longer and harder the trip back out will be.

    • I put a ten watt stereo system in my Tesla and it was so loud even at half volume you couldn’t hear the motor. I’m a thumping boom box king.

      • I put 10,000 watt stereo system in my Tesla it wont make it around a city block.

    • Divorce is definitely a financial reset back to zero for most people. It’s the rare exception that gets out with little more than dignity (for either side). Not to mention what it does to the kids, the rest of the family, or other friendships and business relationships. There is a reason why it’s said that ‘it’s cheaper to keep’er’. It might be worth holding on to if both sides can be mature enough to work with the differences without it all descending into complete chaos, hatred, and vengeance.

  20. In some marriages one of the spouses may simply refuse to get a divorce and murder the other spouse.

  21. 18 year old male shot and killed by PA State Police… Stand by for rioting, looting, burning and general may-h–e—… What? He was WHITE? AND heterosexual? AND identified as male? AND used he/him PRONOUNS?… Fuck, never mind…

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