Awareness: Train and Practice

Awareness = the state or condition of being aware; having knowledge; consciousness.

When you are at the grocery store, do you know who has just joined you in the aisle? Do you think the woman who left her purse in the cart, while checking coupons, in the cereal aisle, is aware of people near her?  Just think how far she has to walk away from her cart, before she makes her final decision.

Situational Awareness = ”is the act of paying attention to what’s currently going on around you, understanding how it affects you, and using that information to make decisions and take action if needed”, per Ron Bergeron, in an article from the US Concealed Carry Association. Bergeron adds details to explain the definition, and then outlines Jeff Cooper’s Awareness Codes.

For more information on Jeff Cooper and his Color Code of Awareness go to our blog post “Jeff Cooper’s Color Code of Awareness”.

In an article from the US Concealed Carry Magazine, Tom Givens, owner of Rangemaster firearms training school in Memphis, stated, “Alertness and awareness are not innate behavior traits” for most.”  ”It takes practice to become more aware of your surroundings, whether you’re cooking, driving, or trying to keep your family safe.”  Givens cites easy-to-do exercises for you to become more aware of what you see.

One awareness exercise is similar to the game our kids played when we would be travelling by car.  At first the girls had to count the red cars.  Later, they had to tell us what state the car was licensed in.  They had to pay attention.

Givens suggested that you glance at a car as it goes by. Without checking your mirrors, can you describe it? What about the people you that are shopping near you? Can you remembering anything about anyone? How many houses are in your block?  At this point, you are probably saying, “I don’t really care how many houses are on my block.” Remember this is just an exercise in becoming more aware of your surroundings. Do you know if people are walking near you? How many? Have they been near you for a while?

Givens cites the reason for awareness training: “By taking the time to train yourself to become more aware of your surroundings, you’ll naturally start paying more attention to them within a few weeks, decreasing your chances of becoming a victim, should the unexpected occur.”





Awareness While Christmas Shopping

Awareness while Christmas shopping is really important.  Here are just a few things to consider:

  • Will you be carrying your handbag?
  • Do you have a purse with a long enough handle to use it as a cross-carry shoulder bag?
  • Do not put your purse into your trunk in the parking lot of the mall.
  • Lock your car.
  • If shopping at night, park in a lighted area.
  • Pay attention to those around you while you are in the parking lot and in the store.
  • When you are ready to go back to your car, have your keys in your hand. Do not wait until you are next to your car, to dig in your purse for your keys.  Once you do that, you are no longer aware of your surroundings.
  • Look around before going directly to your car.  Are there people lingering in that area?
  • Look in the backseat.
  • If you have a ‘horn’ button on your car keys, use it to bring attention to the fact that you are in danger.
  • Shop with a friend.
  • If you feel that someone is following your car, just start driving to the nearest police station.  If you are able, dial 911, provide your location, and a description of the vehicle following you.
  • If you have a GPS in your vehicle, make your HOME address, be the address for your local police station.  That way, no one can get your actual ‘home’ address.


We have discussed Jeff Coopers’ Code of Awareness in an earlier blog post, but it is time to do it again.  In article titled,

Color Codes of Awareness

Color Codes of Awareness

“Cooper’s colors: A simple systemfor situational awareness” by Richard Fairburn, trainer and experience law enforcement officer, provides more than the brief definitions listed below.  Remember, Fairburn is training police officers, but the words below can be beneficial in our safety also.  Think. Be Safe.


In condition white, you are relaxed and unaware of what is going on around you.

In condition yellow, you remain relaxed, but are aware of who and what is around you. This merely means that you are paying attention to the sights and sounds that surround you whether you are at home or moving in society.

In condition orange, you have identified something of interest that may or may not prove to be a threat. Until you determine the true nature of whatever has piqued your interest, your “radar” is narrowed to concentrate on the possible threat and will remain so focused until you are satisfied no threat exists.

If the focus of your attention in condition orange does something you find threatening, you will shift to condition red.

Notice here that condition Red IS NOT the firing stroke, as some instructors have misconstrued from Cooper’s teachings. Instead, condition red simply changes the focus of your attention from a potential threat to a potential target.

If possible, in both conditions orange and red, move to a position that will give you a tactical advantage.

If you are attacked in red, you should be fully prepared to defend yourself. Whether or not you have a gun in hand or on target will depend on the circumstances, but mentally, you are already ahead of the game.


CONDITION YELLOW should be our main focus while we are shopping.  Just be aware, not fearful, just aware!


And yes, we realize that this post has not included information on concealed carry issues or ideas.  But, being aware of your surroundings provides personal safety also.


We at ConcealedCarryPro continue to have monthly drawings for a variety of  items.  To be eligible to win, just register on our website, no purchase necessary, or Like us on Facebook.   Happy Thanksgiving!






Is a Back Up Gun Necessary?

Here are some thoughts based on a number of articles:

1. Is it really necessary?  It certainly is if you are in danger and your primary gun fails.

2. Should it be the same as your primary?  If you go with this option, you only have to train with one, and your ammunition is the same.  Competition shooters will say, “Yes” to this option.

3. Should it be smaller? Where you choose to carry it might decide this.

4. Where you carry your primary weapon will help you determine your placement of your back up gun.  If you use a shoulder holster, you might consider carrying another in a belt holster.  If your primary is on your belt, IWB or OWB, then you have the option of an ankle holster.  Others have found carrying a handgun in your t-shirt or holster shorts is a great option.

5. Is your method of carry secure?

6. And, before I make this statement to women, let me just say, that in many cases, women are just adjusting to carrying their first handgun.  Ladies are you comfortable with carrying one gun?  Are you ready to carry two?

7. Still talking to the ladies, if you carry two hand guns, one can be in your bra, and another on your belt, in a holster t-shirt, or holster shorts, or on your ankle.

8. Men and women have found off-body carry necessary in some situations.  They use their purses, briefcases, day planners, and vehicles.


In an article called “What to Look for in a Back Up Gun” in “Police” The Law Enforcement Magazine, is a list which includes the following considerations:  Reliability, Simplicity, Conceal-ability, Access Ability, Stopping Power, Ambidextrous, Light Weight, Capable of Contact Shots, and Rust-Proof.


Another view in The Truth About Guns, “Back Up Guns Suck”, also cited the extra responsibility and time required to be proficient with two guns.  Don Curton ended the article with this statement, “Safely and responsibly carrying one gun is enough of a hassle without adding a second to the mix. Training to be able to draw and fire, under pressure, accurately, quickly, is best accomplished with just one gun. If you’re worried about gun reliability, do you really want to magnify that times two? Instead, spend your limited range time on one gun, one carry, and then spend some quality time with the family.”


 ”A True Back Up Gun!” is an article in the US Concealed Carry Magazine.  Dave Workman describes a Back Up Gun as “The pistol upon which your life, and the lives of your family or companions, may depend should feel like an old friend, rather than a last minute blind date whose reliability is questionable.”  Another statement he makes is, “A true backup gun is one that requires no additional training, fits your existing holsters nicely and is ready to go to work when you need it. A true backup gun will also fire the same ammo in order to avoid confusion.”


We at ConcealedCarryPro have only presented a small amount of information regarding this subject.  You must decide whether you have the need for one, as well as the time to train and practice at a shooting range.  Also consider your comfort level in safely carrying a second handgun.


The video below is titled “The Case for Back Up Guns”.   He shares his views and just provides more for you to think about.



Video Source:  Compliments of suburban sentinel on youtube.