When you conceal and carry a firearm, you’ve got a lot to think about. You’re considering where your firearm is positioned, whether you’re carrying extra ammo, and if you can bring your firearm into certain buildings. These things, in addition to the litany of things that weigh on our minds throughout the day, can leave us distracted and disoriented.
But part of being a responsible firearm owner and carry a weapon concealed means pushing these distractions out of your head. In developing a concealed carry mindset, you have to improve your situational awareness. Not sure what that means? On Your 6 Designs has you covered.
Situational Awareness and Concealed Carry
Simply said, situational awareness is your observation and analysis of people, places, and things around you. In a sense, it’s like an early warning system for your brain. When something sticks out to you in an environment, you can take the steps necessary to get away from it or manage it.
Developing your situational awareness is one of the most vital parts of concealed carry. When properly trained, you can start to avoid conflicts before they even begin, ensuring your safety, and the safety of your friends and loved ones.
Take In Your Surroundings
This can be done anytime you enter a new space. The world is always shifting around you, and while you can’t keep track of all of it, you can look for key elements like:
- Entries and exits
- Distinct features and objects
- What’s going on
- Notable people
You’re already doing this subconsciously, but simply being more cognizant of it means you’re more situationally aware. Taking quick mental notes of these things can make a difference in an emergency.
Update and Observe
Taking a few mental notes of your surroundings doesn’t mean that you can say, “I am aware of the situation,” and then shut down. In fact, you have to constantly be observing the space and update your assessment of what’s going on.
Once you’re oriented to your surroundings, you can start to look for things or people that don’t seem to belong. For instance, take a look around you and look for people who don’t seem to fit. For example, you’re out at a farmers market and there’s a general atmosphere of relaxed fun. If someone seems to stand out from the crowd for the wrong reasons, then they might have other motives for being there.
Regularly checking your surroundings ensures you’re aware of any changes that may threaten you.
Make an Assessment
After a few rounds of observations, it’s time to start actively assessing the situation. Your assessment will vary from location to location and your familiarity with that space. For instance, you’re more likely to feel safe at your own home than you are in a sketchy diner downtown. That’s because you know where all the entrances and exits are in your home, whereas in this sketchy diner, you’re not aware of all of your routes out of trouble, and the guys two tables down might be glaring at you. In this situation, you’re likely more alert and cautious.
We’ve all had that moment when we walk into a space and instantly feel like we don’t belong there. In these moments, it’s important to trust those instincts. Instincts and “gut feelings” are an integral part of situational awareness, as often your body is reacting to something you might not have observed yet. Don’t feel bad for acting on these feelings and leaving a situation you’re not comfortable in. You’ll find that you relax the moment you’re somewhere familiar again.
Just like carrying a firearm, situational awareness is something that has to be practiced every day. With time and patience, you’ll find yourself making faster and more complete assessments of environments and events. Simply being aware of what’s going on around you is an easy way to keep yourself and your friends and family out of potentially dangerous situations.
To eliminate distractions that might interrupt your situational awareness, consider how you’re carrying your firearm. On Your 6 Designs offers custom Kydex firearm holsters, handmade in the U.S. We offer both inside the waistband and outside the waistband options, all backed by a lifetime guarantee. Browse our holsters today.