Just about every defensive school has, or should have, a session on the importance of awareness and staying alert for danger. Jeff Cooper called it being in Condition Yellow. Only a short way into the discussion, students are nodding their heads; okay, I get it. You've got to know who is around you and what is going on around you. We all agree that is just the thing for all savvy defensive shooters to do. In one sense, it seems easy. But, friends, being alert for danger is anything but easy.
Just ask the Secret Service detail that surrounded President Reagan the day he got shot. Or talk to the guys who thought they had President Kennedy well protected. We may call ourselves in Condition Yellow, but we often are not. It is difficult. It is fatiguing. And sometimes we simply don't correctly compute what we see and hear.
The holiday season makes things even worse. There are crowds everywhere you go. Strange cars are continually using your street, as visits increase. And you are simply tired from all of the extra chores that are stacked on top of your regular work day. No, staying alert is not easy.
But staying alert is the one most important thing for us to do if we are to avoid danger, or deal with it when avoidance is not possible. It helps a little if your spouse also has a good defensive foundation and can help carry part of the load, four eyes and four ears being better than two of each. This is the time of the year to give yourself a little pep talk about being alert. It is also the time to have a short discussion with your family to remind everyone of the importance of alertness and awareness.
Friendly safety reminders don't hurt thing. In fact, they save lives.