Hello my friends, and welcome to another Guardian Broadcast. I’m your host, and founder of the Concealed Carry University, Patrick Kilchermann.
Okay, last week, we got started with specifics on what kinds of pre-positioning habits we all should work to ingrain every single day. A ‘new normal’ or ‘new reality’ for each of us. And I want to continue that this week. But first, let me put all this back in perspective.
Remember that key takeaway from Volume 3 of 3 SECONDS FROM NOW. That idea that we can separate all violent encounters into two groups:
1. Those where, the moment you decide deadly force is or may very soon be 100% justified and required to save your life, the attention and focus of the attacker are primarily on you, and,
2. Those situations where, the moment you decide deadly force is or may very soon be 100% justified and required to save your life, the attention and focus of the attacker are NOT primarily on you.
So, an example of situation #1 is the ‘by the books’ ambush attack. You are walking along, and suddenly you are being attacked. An example of #2 is where you are in an area, you hear a series of gunshots, you spin, and you see that someone is shooting and people are falling. Or, where you are at a stop light, and someone rushes to the car in front of you. They start trying the door handle, banging on the window, then they turn in your direction. Or, the guy mumbling to himself and twitching in the restaurant who you think just has a mental disorder, but who start to think might be on some serious drugs. Or ANY situation, literally any situation where, again: where, the moment you decide deadly force is or may very soon be 100% justified and required to save your life, the attention and focus of the attacker are NOT primarily on you. All it says is “may very soon be”. ANY time our eyebrows raise – this stuff we’re talking about, this process of pre-positioning, needs to kick into gear. It could be as mundane as a car driving slowly by your house late at night. Or a guy crossing the street 50 yards in front of you. Maybe he had a good reason to do so and it’s absolutely nothing – or maybe he wants to get in your path. Maybe he’s still sizing you up, or maybe he’s already made his decision.
So the idea behind pre-positioning is this: Sometimes, attacks begin as blind-side ambushes. In order to win and survive, you’ve got to be able to draw from a combination of three factors. Remember what we discussed? LUCK. Right? SKILL. Right? And PRE-POSITIONING. You can’t control luck, or chance. But you can control skill and pre-positioning. Skill describes your ability to use the resources available to you at that moment. But pre-positioning describes everything else. How much you’ve trained and practiced. Where your gun is on your person, and how quickly it’s possible to get it into play from there. What kind of gun it is. Whether you’re strong enough to keep that attacker at arm’s length while you draw with one hand. How flexible you are. How many half-seconds of warning you had before the attacker made contact with you. ALL that ties into how effectively pre-positioned you are. So, when you are attacked in a blitz ambush, your passive pre-positioning and skill are what will save you, and how passively pre-positioned you were before that attack is probably going to be a lot more important for your survival than your actual skill level. And remember – about 55% of concealed carry defensive uses of force happen in situations where the first warning of an attack is the attack itself. For all the rest, the victim – you and I – did have some warning. And in those situations, that is when active pre-positioning comes into play. That is where Timing and the Windows concept also comes into play.
Alright, I think we’re all on the same page. So, let me continue giving practical examples of passive pre-positioning habits we need to work to form, and if I get through all these, next week we’ll begin talking about specifics related to ACTIVE pre-positioning.
Alright. First, the idea of ‘keeping tabs.’ Make it a habit to stretch your mental awareness radius and strength for staying tuned and keeping track of who is around you and what they’re doing, without turning your head, or without letting the other person or people in your party know you’re doing it. Practice it. You will get better and better. Things like this can stress you out and wear on your mind if you try to do too much at once, but if you practice stretching that radius slowly, over the course of months, it’ll make your brain and mind much healthier and stronger. It’ll keep you younger.
Next, remembering that the police are YOUR resource. Having them on the way to a scene before it kicks off is infinitely better than calling them afterward. Just last Sunday after church, I called the police to report an intense domestic argument between two young people at a playground where I stopped to let my kids run around. I mean, this was a *screaming* match, hands waving frantically, nearly to blows. Two people with no kids, who never should have been there in the first place. We packed up and left, and I called and reported them. And because I saw the old van they arrived in, I gave the police their plate number. Calling 911 isn’t a big deal. The police need us as their eyes and ears, and they can always choose to not go check it out.
Next in line is just that: leaving when you sense the slightest discomfort in that regard. Naturally, I had some curiosity to see how the situation would resolve. Sometimes, pride can keep us planted. “I have a right to be here: they should leave.” Or, we may feel an urge to referee or guard the weaker half of an altercation like that. Or, we may deny our intuition and say: “nobody else seems disturbed by the tweaked guy sitting alone in the restaurant, so I’m sure he won’t get violent.” But we need to listen to that intuition, and err on the side of avoidance. If other people in our party are giving vibes that their intuition alarm bells are going off, we should listen to that, too.
Another item related to gear is: travel and mobility. Most Americans think nothing of hopping in their cars are making long drives with, really, little to no supplies on them. We carry plastic instead of cash. We have no water on us. No food. No blanket. 20% battery on our phones, and no charger. Or while wearing shoes that would kill us to walk 20 miles in. For every minute you drive, you could be adding 15 minutes to your walk back to help and safety. Make sure your vehicle is well stocked. Put it in there, and never think about it again until you’re glad you have it. Carry cash, some cash, always. At least $100 worth, preferably in bills no larger than $20s.
Carrying a first aid kit. If you only carry a pair of surgical gloves, you could save yourself a lot of heartache or disease. A few years ago, a young man overdosed on heroin and died in the bathroom of a coffee shop I was in. Now, this guy’s death sentence was probably given a few minutes before we unlocked the door and drug him out, or tried doing chest compressions, but this guy was in bad shape, and his hygiene was terrible. There’s a reason the professionals put gloves on before touching the people they help. But beyond that, what if I’d had a $20 Narcan kit? Could I have saved his life? Or a few aspirin tablets, to give to someone who thinks they’re having a heart attack. Or a firemask to give you a fighting chance to escape your burning workplace building. All of this pre-positions you for effectiveness and success.
The way you dress pre-positions you. It can dissuade or invite and attack. It can smooth your interactions with everyone, especially law enforcement. We should dress professionally.
Being aware at all times of other resources around you that may be useful during an attack. Cover. Concealment. Things that can be used as weapons or barriers. Fire alarms. Other people who may come to your aid, or who you may want to distinguish yourself to as a good guy, should you ever have to act. I think of that often: “that guy is likely to be carrying: I would want to make contact with him very quickly before or right after I had to use my gun, because if he doesn’t see the threat and only me shooting, he may take me out.”
Keeping a spare $20 bill in your pocket to toss away toward or past a threat – to give you a window; to either escape or fight through.
Seating yourself strategically in any and every establishment and room: even your living room and bedroom. You want to be able to escape quickly. You want to be able to fight without knowing anyone is behind you. You don’t want to be immediately visible to anyone entering the room.
Keeping tabs on the local news for what kinds of violence and threats are active and current in your particular area, and pre-positioning yourself more effectively for those things.
How you have your phone set up, so that calls for help or emergency are easy and fast, regardless of how crippled you are or how much stress you’re under.
Awareness of redlines, as we talk about in Volume 3, both universally and conceptually, and in every situation you’re in.
The ability to blend into the crowd you’re with – that’s effective pre-positioning.
Keeping safe principals for your daily activities. We all know to not walk around bad neighborhoods at night, but also be mindful of realities such as when tempers are the hottest during high traffic commutes. It’s amazing how a road can go from tense and edgy to peaceful, if you just kill 30 extra minutes during rush hour, before leaving.
And as we talked about last time: always making sure you’re carrying and seating yourself in such a way that makes quick action more likely, whether that means mobility for your physical person, or drawing and shooting your gun. If you ever find that it would take you more than 2 seconds from wherever you are to be actively shooting at someone with accurate fire, that’s too long. I can’t think of too many times in my life during the last ten years when that would have been true. It certainly happens. We all have to let our guard down now and then. But if we master the idea of habits and systems, we can make that level of preparedness and action the default for us. It doesn’t have to be stressful. It doesn’t have to feel like work.
Okay, next week, we’ll discuss ACTIVE pre-positioning: the things you can do AFTER you begin getting the feeling of being threatened, or of feeling the presence of a threat, in any given situation.
Stay safe, and have a good week!