I know that when I started carrying concealed that I became immensely more aware of my surroundings and the individuals around me. To my way of thinking, going armed isn’t just the exercise of a personal right. When I carry, I also have a responsibility to those around me to know what is going on, just in case I need to deploy with weapon.
The “knowing” is situational awareness, and while I have it when I’m carrying, I all too often find myself distracted with thoughts about chores, work projects, family, when I’m not carrying, and that leaves me open… a near perfect victim.
Eric Puryear at Learn About Guns wants to correct that in his article,
Situational Awareness is Vital to Self Defense.
I suspect far too many people have become victims because of a myth he would dispel:
I’ve noticed a recurring myth, often perpetuated by those who oppose gun rights and believe effective self defense to be impossible for ordinary citizens: The idea that having sufficient situational awareness is incompatible with enjoying life, and that one must choose between being aware enough to defend oneself and leading a normal life. Such people seem to believe that the only way to be safe is to wall oneself up inside a house that has been converted to a virtual castle, and never leave the house for so much as getting the mail. That is not the case.
There is a significant difference between awareness and paranoia, but far too many seem to confuse the two.