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Focus on the 25M target.

July 28, 2015

We were in town getting groceries this evening, and I witnessed two separate instances that made me physically ill with disgust.

Produce section of the local hippie grocery store:

As we’re walking in, I caught a black shirt with POLICE written in bold white letters across the upper back. Looking closer, I understood why it was so eye-catching: the shirt HAD to be a minimum of XXXL. Dude was an easy 150# overweight, with Dunlap Disease impacting his duty belt. As we walked through the produce section, we crossed paths with this dude and his young, skinny son. The LEO (with his duty belt on still) was looking through the pre-cut fruit selection, with his back to the world, including me. As a—relatively risky—experiment, I actually bumped into him from behind, with my shoulder, on his gun side.

Even when I followed it with, “Oh, excuse me. Sorry about that.” HE NEVER EVEN LOOKED UP…

Fast-forward half an hour, and we’d already left, when the wife remembered that we’d forgotten something, so I ran back in. As I’m standing in line at the checkout, again, there is another overweight dude, mid-thirties, standing in line in front of me, staring down at his phone, ignoring his young kid that was with him. The back of his shirt had a skull inside a crosshairs, and the legend, “Somewhere, your enemy is training hard to defeat you! Train HARD!”

Now, I have my issues with people wearing cool-guy motivational t-shirts, but I really can’t talk shit about that, since I wear them a lot too. What I don’t do, while wearing them, is bury my fucking nose in a cell phone, and not know what’s going on around me.

I followed dude out of the store, and saw that he was parked directly in front of my truck, so I followed him—not even unobtrusively. I actually hyped the aggressiveness in my body language, to see if he’d catch on. Nope. Not even when he stopped, and I kept walking towards him, and shoved a hand into my pocket, and got within five feet of him before I went ahead and went around.

So, what’s the moral of this?

Maybe Officer Friendly is starting a diet and training program. Maybe he just started recently. I’m not even commenting on the PT and nutrition equation. Maybe Dude #2 just finished a shooting course this weekend, and is wearing his moto shirt once before he hangs it in the closet and forgets about it. I don’t know.

What I do know, is I see this a lot. It’s not the young, fit dudes in their twenties who have their heads up their asses, ignoring the world around them. It’s the older guy who—if you asked—would be all over the “I’ve got street awareness and combat mindset on my side!” that end up being the guy who is stuck in normalcy bias. They are the guys who seem to be wrapped around this “Shit, ain’t nothing bad ever going to happen to me. I mean, I’m just going to the grocery store/movie theater/my grandkid’s school play/water park/whatever….”

If you’re taking a carbine class, or a CQB class, or a small-unit tactics class, and you don’t even have the skill set to keep yourself from getting jacked and raped in an alley? You’re probably focusing on the WRONG target.

Yes, the Apocalypse MIGHT happen tomorrow, and you’ll need to be able to shoot cannibalistic San Franciscans in the face at 500M with your tricked-out M1A. Yes, tomorrow you COULD be raided by Russian Spetznaz troops parachuted in to execute a top-secret extradition mission on you, as a leader of the “III% Resistance.” Yes, it’s POSSIBLE that, on your way to work, you could witness a vanload of MS13 gangsters carjack a Suburban full of University of Oklahoma cheerleaders, and have time to kit up and roll out heavy with your M4 and the dude who carpools to work with you might be similarly armed and equipped, so you apply your SUT training and rescue the princesses…..

But, you know what bad shit is far more likely to happen? It’s far more likely that you MIGHT get mugged at gun or knife point in the grocery store parking lot and lose your groceries, your cash, your bank card, and your pickup. It’s far more likely that—if you’re a cop or an open-carry activist—that some dick at the grocery store will grab your gun and run off with it, leaving you winded and embarrased, when you have to report the weapon stolen, and then you find out it was used in a mass murder.

This is not to say that you shouldn’t plan for and train for worst-case scenarios. I mean, if we take the “likely to happen” thing to its obvious conclusions, I don’t even need to carry a gun. I’m 6’1” tall, weigh 215#, am obviously athletic, and have no compunctions about telling someone to “back the fuck up.” I am remarkably aware of what is going on around me in public (as much a result of trying to keep track of a very independent-minded 5 year old as any inherent tactical gifts). The chances that I’m going to get mugged realistically rest somewhere between not happening and not a snowball’s chance in Hell of happening….but I still carry a goddamned gun, religiously, because I may have to step up for someone else…or that worst-case scenario could happen, and I could get carjacked by a gang of MS13 thugs.

So, to reiterate, we’re not saying “Don’t bother doing this, this, and that.” We’re saying, “If you’re doing this, this, and that, before you’ve achieved that, this, and this, you’re living in a goddamned fantasy, and you’d probably save money if, instead of buying gear and guns, you’d just take up Dungeon-and-Dragons or some shit.

Gun the fuck up and hone the edges on your ax.

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27 Comments
  1. Alfred E. Neuman permalink

    Reblogged this on The Lynler Report.

  2. Reblogged this on Starvin Larry and commented:
    I see the same shit everyday-today,I could have stolen all the AC repair guy’s tools,along with his truck that he left the keys in.
    The only things he would have had left were his tool belt,his AC gauges,and his “smart” phone that he never looked up from.
    The guy walked right past me-never looked up from his phone-went straight to the back of the condo next door.
    He’s got no idea who I am-all my tools are around the side of the condo I’m working on,he had no way of seeing that from the road-so he had no way of knowing who I was.
    I could have just been some 6’1″ long haired,tattooed guy just out of prison,looking to steal a truck full of tools.

  3. Mike Clare permalink

    That shit would be funny, if it weren’t true…see it all the time.

  4. Dungeons and Dragons, LOL !

    Its really not funny but the lack of situational awareness gets a lot of people killed. People are zombies these days with their heads up their asses in a phone screen.

  5. Excellent article!
    I once told a young woman, who was about to go off to college in a big city, to be sure and lock her car up at night. She reply to my motherly advice with; “Pssft, why? There’s not a situation that you can’t get out of.” I actually felt my hair turn white.

  6. GraveMrWhite permalink

    Fine, I’ll say it, bunch of woosies. I shoot first, then play D&D… Don’t act like ya’ll don’t do it too.

  7. Your post and comments are all valid and sadly most people, myself included have poor situational awareness as we go thru our daily routines. So yeah, definitely need to work on that!

    I do have one question for the blog followers – anyone else get a visual image of JM hanging out in the produce section of the hippie grocery store?

    That visual would move me out of condition white! LMAO

  8. Wes permalink

    Your average American does not think anything bad will happen to them, that shit only happens in other places. But if it did there would be a police officer there to take out the bad guy and save them!

    I’ve seen guys like that too, guys wearing the molan labe shirts COMPLETELY oblivious to the entire world around them and I’m sure they could tell you how goddamned badass they are with their hi-point 45. I just wonder how hard it would actual be to……Come and take it. And yeah they are usually over weight and completely out of shape. I just blow them off and keep moving, I’m confident there are more dudes out there than I think, that are packing that know exactly what they are doing behind a gun. Well, I hope so.

  9. tfA-t permalink

    Every time I go into town to shop, I can’t help saying to myself “americans are gonna get slaughtered” Most are morbidly overweight, absolutely unaware of their surroundings, and generally pretty fucking stupid looking. I mean orange shoes? WTF? Anyway, here I am 52 years old, still wearing a 34″ waist and having water cannon/balloon fights with a half a dozen of my 10 year old 3rd cousins up here at my families northern lake house. I run circles around them kids. Of course, I teach impromptu individual tactical training and SUT classes to them thru the day and test them on it. We conduct AARs around the campfire at night. Good stuff.

  10. Andy permalink

    Thank you for this rant best one yet. See it everyday.

  11. Sfmac permalink

    Word!

    …I mean… come on John, you are so oblivious. These guys were obviously in condition purple or pink or whatever cooper color condition, just waiting to lure you in…they could have had you with their split second cat like reflexes…
    Ha!

  12. Marc permalink

    10/4 Harry

    Sent from my iPhone

  13. Roseman permalink

    What about the joggers running through city neighborhoods wearing their head phones. Yeah, they know what’s going on around them.

  14. JeffSags permalink

    I just took ECQC with Craig Douglas this past weekend. A very relevant post for me.

  15. There are several reasons why folks aren’t paying attention to what’s around them.
    1) They’re focused on something else physical (phone, tablet, a person, etc).
    2) They’re focused on something else mental (work stress, marriage problems, etc).
    3) They’re too tired. As a whole, we get way too little sleep and operate in a sleep-dep mode which zombifies us to some degree.
    4) They’re just plain oblivious.
    5) They’re pussies and purposefully look away from what scares them (6’1″ bearded, tatooed dudes in supermarkets) in the hope that the bad dude leaves them alone – especially if they’re wearing an “I Am A BadAss” t-shirt, and they know they can’t back it up.

    All those can be used to your advantage if/when necessary.

    IMO, the trick to having always-on SA is to not let it consume you, otherwise you burn out.
    You know you’ve got it when every step you take outside your house, you’re subconsciously doing IMT – flowing gracefully from one covered/concealed position to the next, while observing and orienting to everything along the way. Once you can do this subconsciously, you’re no longer in fear mode (which is very draining).

  16. John Stark permalink

    Well Said Sir! Keep it coming. Please also due some podcasts of FO MAG! Hearing this stuff would also really hit home. RLTW!

  17. Swamp Fox permalink

    JM,

    A great article,

    This plays into the Texas Jade Helm 2015 thing. So 07/15/15 Came and went and who in Texas was ready to act?

    Where you going to bug out in your vehicle with the Come And Take It, Don’t Tread On Me, These Colors Don’t Burn bumper stickers. Remember no 201 files on the vehicles. Did you even have routes off the main roads?

    Where you ready to blend in to the population when martial law was declared while wearing you Crye assaulter pants and plate carrier? I have been to Texas gun shows and have seen people wearing uniforms with rank and insignias of some militia.

    These are just two points and there is a shit ton of other points on living in a non permissive environment. Getting policed up in the first week when the SHTF does this country no good. Stop living in a Rainbow Six world and start training for real life.

  18. Reblogged this on Stuff From Hsoi and commented:
    “So, to reiterate, we’re not saying “Don’t bother doing this, this, and that.” We’re saying, “If you’re doing this, this, and that, before you’ve achieved that, this, and this, you’re living in a goddamned fantasy, and you’d probably save money if, instead of buying gear and guns, you’d just take up Dungeon-and-Dragons or some shit.”

    Amen, brother.

  19. jesse permalink

    So put the phones away, pay attention to who’s around you what they’re doing do they look sketch. Where the nearest exits are. What can be used for cover or concealment. Knowing the difference between the two. Looking for paths of least resistance, choke points etc. Than what if we’re put into the world of shot and those guys that looked sketch are coming towards you will you fight run or freeze? Dam it sounds so simple but why arent “sheepdogs” actually being sheepdogs or threepers (3 percenters). I’ve noticed this trend too it seems like people who get a gun seem to think that’s all they need but in reality it’s just a tool and the person behind it is the weapon. Will the weapon be effective or ineffective?

    • We won’t even get into the whole “Sheepdog” thing……

      • pdxr13 permalink

        What’s with the wearing of clothing that “says stuff”? NBA jersey wearing always looks a little gay, unless actually on-court with orange ball and team. Fanboi clothing is always good for a chuckle. +1 on “me so tough-n-tacticool” graphic T’s, esp. when lounging with the ladies (UNLESS the person is actually attached to the Special Military Unit of the shirt, then congratulations).

        Please look up from the phone while making a left turn, or while crossing the sidewalk. Toyota makes a line of “Hybrid Synergy” drive cars/suv’s that are QUIET while going up to 35mph. Plenty fast to kill you dead.

      • HAHAHA! Sheepdog, he said Sheepdog! LOL, I know, I’m an asshole! Freaking hate that whole thing!

  20. Eh, people will learn when the time comes. Some will get the message, others will be dead. Oh, well!

  21. Braden permalink

    I agree that many people take open carry too lightly and I agree many people are unaware. But one former 6′ ish 215 lb athlete (who has since kept growing but not any taller lol) to another obvi healthier guy, and onslaught of followers on here. . . Yes those two fat guys sound like complete rejects I am just hoping you don’t start a bias that says all fat peiple are harmless, unaware, posers that cannot and will not react. My wife and kids get furious with me from all the “forshadowing” if you will, in any public or private setting where we may be at a givin time. I am one of those guys and I know a couple others, that walk on the traffic side of the sidewalk or aisle while with my family, keep the distance between us and other, ect. . So againg I agree with the post but being fat I have enough bias lol I don’t need some wanna be thug seeing or hearing something like this and then causing a situation bc he THOUGHT he could pull one over on me bc my size.

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