Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Boomsticks: Readiness check.

There's been a post up at The Cathouse that I've been meaning to comment on for the last week or two. It's all about preparation and readiness:
But are any of us actually “prepared”? And, before you get your hackles raised, quite possibly (and hopefully) you ARE prepared. But, the question begs to be asked at least generally, are you actually “ready”?
I realize that, thanks to my job and the neighborhood I live in, I have a different set of circumstances from most folks. Working where I work, it's just daily routine for me to put on a pistol with my jeans in the morning and leave it on until I go to bed at night. It's not uncommon to see more than one openly-carried handgun when invited to dinner with the neighbors; its probably to be expected, considering there's a range in the backyard and shooting is a hobby shared by most folks around here. A kid walking down our little road with a .22 rifle is nothing unusual, nor is it uncommon for the other neighbors to bust a few clays with a shotgun in the pasture across the street on a warm summer evening. But guns are only a part of it.

Are you ready? By this, I don't mean "are you walking through life in a paranoid ninja half-crouch, ready to be attacked from any quarter," but are you always at least alert and aware of your surroundings? There are few queasier feelings to have than the vertigo that accompanies "Where the f*&$ did he come from?" as the man with the drawn gun suddenly looms close in your peripheral vision and demands your car. I've been there. I don't ever want to be there again. If this means I have to give up the privilege of sitting in public completely unaware of everything going on around me, well, so be it. Just because my distant ancestors had to maintain a modicum of awareness to avoid becoming cheetah droppings drying in the sun didn't mean they couldn't stop to smell the Serengeti roses, they just needed to keep paying attention to their surroundings while they did so.

That's the largest component of "ready": Awareness of one's surroundings. It's as simple as never having to say "Where did he come from?" ever again.


Tennessee Budd said...

Condition Yellow is a minimum, not something to which you escalate.
Fortunately, we ride, which tends to lead to that sort of awareness (for those who didn't already have it).

T.Stahl said...


I'm 35 now and the only fight I've been in since leaving school I entered deliberately.

Art Eatman said...

I took a "combat handguns" course in 1980, wherein I was first introduced to the Jeff Cooper philosophy and the Four Colors. It all seemed rational to me.

So, I've tried to live in Condition Yellow, ever since. Nothing hyper or paranoid about it, IMO. About like a house cat. Ever try to sneak up on a house cat? Ever know of a house cat with ulcers from "alertness stress"?

Like Cooper said, you can't control your environment if you're unaware of what's going on around you.