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A lot of paranoid people view situational awareness as a security solution. That’s like saying radar is an excellent way to prevent bombing. Early threat detection is great, but it’s only the first step in a successful self-defense, whether that’s running or fighting or fighting and running. Mr. Stratfor above offers but a single response to a potentially lethal threat: a flashlight. For sure a Surefire is better than nothing. And yes, they make damn fine blunt instruments. But an edged weapon, tactical pen or hmmm firearm might be more helpful. Assuming we’re not talking about foreign countries. If so, the more bribe cash back at the hotel the better. [/rant] Fred Burton’s very very right about at least one thing . . .

Don’t text and walk. That’s just dumb. And my step-daughter does it ALL THE TIME. If you have to text while you’re walking, find a defensive position. No seriously. Put your back against to the wall (m f’er). Do it somewhere relatively out of the way but not completely hidden. Scan for threats and text. Look up between texts. If you see someone watching you, shut down the device and move in a purposeful manner towards other people.

I know this sounds silly, but in the same way you should practice drawing your weapon and not firing, practice not answering texts, Tweets, Facebook alerts, emails, phone calls, etc. If you put your head down for every single electronic communication right away, you train yourself to be a Pavlovian eDog. Stimulus – phone. Response – ditch situational awareness.

The cell phone is a miracle. It allows you to call in the good guys or make sure you’re recognized as the good guy after a defensive gun use or some other self-defense situation. But it’s a double-edged sword. My ring tone is Dave Edmunds’ I Won’t Bail You Out. You got yourself in, you get yourself out.

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  1. Living the first half of my life in NY City (where the options to defend yourself are limited by law), I can tell you SA is absolutely invaluable. Where to walk / not walk; where to stand / not stand on a subway platform; How to spot a threat from a distance and making sure you have that distance; and making clear that they know that you know who they are. Often, if they know they’re made, they’ll move on to lower hanging fruit. I still have the spidey senses and I use them even when walking out of a supermarket in my sleepy little town on Long Island.

    As I walk through the City today, my only distraction is I can’t believe what I see. People everywhere in an electronic stupor, oblivious to their surroundings. Aside from seeing people walk in to parking meters, fire hydrants and protruding air conditioners, they are unwitting prey.

  2. I caught this video before this post and I’m pretty sure the Stratfor people made this for visitors to foreign destinations where there is no ability to transport a weapon internationally.

    My airline uses Stratfor Intel reports for a lot of our destinations in Mexico where our crews overnight. We get a lot of stuff like this video here, but it doesn’t assuage some crews’ worries about an out-and-out gun battle between cartel folks. One crewmember recently has an overnight in Veracruz and saw someone on the side of the road all shot up in a pool of blood. I’m sure it wasn’t some random act but it certainly doesn’t give you and warm n’ fuzzies.

    I’ll be in Guadalajara in a few weeks. I’ll let you know if I witness anything crazy.

  3. Texting and Driving is even worse. I had a guy who was texting smash into my car at above highway speeds. He just about wasted me.

  4. I receive a text and will fish my phone only after looking around. Partially because pulling out somethin expensive makes it a target and partly for the SA reflex we spend so much time talking about. My method for SA while moving is to make a game out of it.

    See how many people you can keep track of while not deviating from your task. When I get a text I either back up till my butt hits a wall and habitually look up every so often or I stop walking and turn my back to who I’m with so that they watch my six automatically.

  5. As stated above, I don’t think that this video was made for purely domestic consumption, but rather for those who are going abroad. I don’t think it’s intent is to be a defensive firearm training video, so it’s unfair to ridicule him for the flashlight bit. All in all it offers very practical advice that anyone can (and should follow).

    On a side note, Fred Burton was a DSS agent for many years until his retirement. He wrote a book about his time with the DSS, which I purchased and read maybe a year or two ago. I don’t recall the title right now, but it was an okay read. Not great, but okay.

  6. Ah, Stratfor. I stopped paying attention to them when that Chinese attack on Taiwan they were predicting 10 years ago never happened.


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