When you pack up your carry pistol, wallet, knife, keys, and cell phone to head out the door, this is referred to as your EDC or Every Day Carry. One aspect of EDC is one that we tend to always have with us but seldom practice with–our MENTAL EDC, or your mental readiness and the cognitive skills you take with you out into the world.
Part One – Mental EDC.
In the wake of mass shootings, the current political atmosphere seems to always lead to more unreasonable laws, restrictions and rules that will not change the actions of a deranged individual with the intent of doing harm. I have been asked by several friends how someone could prevent this type of incident. Although we do believe that an individual should always posses the right to arm themselves for the defense and protection of themselves and others, in this and future articles, we will be covering methods that do not require the “direct engagement” of the problem individual and more of the preparedness mindset.
Our first level of protection is our Mental EDC. These are methods and techniques that we use throughout our daily routines and train ourselves to keep on the lookout for threats and dangerous situations. Even if you feel completely comfortable in a situation, your subconscious should always be providing security by listening for alert noises, watching what’s around you in your peripheral vision and remembering an escape route or how to react. Believe it or not, these are things that have been instinctively ingrained into our subconscious through centuries of evolution. Because of a safer society, technology and human evolution, we are not as in tune with these skills and have become less “instinctively reactive” and more “active thinkers.” In other words, thousands of years ago when humans were in the unforgiving wilderness fighting to survive, we reacted instinctively to threats. We would run or prepare to defend ourselves almost instantly, thus allowing us to survive. Fast forward millions of years to today, now when we are faced with a threat, most will stop and consider if it is actually a threat or if they are mistaken. If we had that delay as humans first evolved, we wouldn’t have survived to become the dominant species on this earth. What we can do to bring back that mentality and get us away from the relaxed stance of denial is to look around and take notice of our surroundings.
An article from “The Art of Manliness” dives deeper into the topic of situational awareness and can be found here: The Art Of Manliness – Situational Awareness
This article talks about how to asses your situation through observations, noting Baselines and determining what Anomalies would be. Examples are:
- Baseline Questions: What’s going on here? What’s the general mood of the place? What’s the “normal” activity that I should expect here? How do most people behave here most of the time?
- Anomaly Question: What would cause someone or something to stand out?
Start by putting the phone in your pocket and be observant of what’s around you. Listen to your surroundings, look for reflections and take note of things and people who are out of place and how you would react. For practice, imagine a particular person you see as a threat and mentally go through your actions. Situational awareness is not something that can be totally obtained, but it is something you can work on every day.