Focus on the 25M target.
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.