The following message if from “Just Another Canadian” who happened to comment on a Modern Survival Blog article with some very salient points regarding security and situational awareness. Enough so that I’ve posted it separately for your benefit.

I will comment further after his story…


Here is my story.

I live in a fairly sized city, population approx 750,000. Not large, not tiny. We have the highest violent crime rate in the country per capita. We have the highest murder rate in Canada, per capita. For nearly 10 years I worked with high risk youth. Many of whom were street kids and involved in gang life. I have a unique perspective on our situations in our city.

Because of my involvement with these individuals (and the local police, I needed them more times than I can count) I was always unlisted in the phone book. I’ve always been cautious. I watch over my shoulder. I pay attention to what goes on around me.

I had an incident several years ago where I was attacked by a client. It wasn’t pleasant but all in all it ended fairly well. I had training and had mentally played through this event in my head numerous times. I was prepared and educated. If I had had a gun I know it would not have gone well.

I spent the next two years convinced this individual would retaliate and I’ve been on my guard ever since. I’ve gone to counseling to get over that aspect of the “incident” and for the most part I’m better. What I realized is that I don’t have to be hyper vigilante. Just cautious. Nothing has changed. I’m still the same observant person I always was, but more cautious. I don’t take unnecessary risks. I watch what people are doing and how they are responding to what is going on around them.

We’re not allowed to carry guns on us here (though if we believe Michael Moore, we have a higher gun to person ratio per capita in Canada than the US. Must be all those hunters) so we are forced to be more creative in our personal protection plan. Fore I took self defense, non- violence training, and personal protection training. They all sound alike but are very different. The things that I have learned have helped to spot potential problems a mile away. I now know how to avoid a situation/ confrontation.

One of the best things that I have learned in my life is to be assertive and prepared mentally. Get over feeling rude. A well meaning person will understand. A person who is not so well meaning, who cares if s/he is taken aback?

Remember, your safety, whether on the street or in your home begins and ends with you. The best defense a person will ever have is a well laid out plan. If you feel the need to protect yourself with a gun, remember you may end up using it. It may end up being used against you.

I’m not going to say right or wrong. But if you are truly so worried that you feel a gun is your only choice, take additional courses on self protection so that you will know all your options and understand all of them before you get to the point of needing to fire.

Please know that not all Canadians live in a “our world is sunshine and rainbows” kind of place. I for one see the everyday violence that goes on around me. I know that my city is not a safe place. But I am choosing to be smarter than my attackers and not be a victim through training and self awareness and situational awareness.

For the record, if I lived in the country in the middle of no-man’s land I would certainly have a gun at the ready.

[Ken adds:]

“I don’t take unnecessary risks. I watch what people are doing and how they are responding to what is going on around them.”

This is key in survival… not taking unnecessary risks. If they’re necessary, then so be it. But most (risks) in my estimation, probably are not (necessary). Survival security, to an extent is about blending in with the background while steering around potential areas of conflict.

“We’re not allowed to carry guns on us here…so we are forced to be more creative”

This emphasizes yet another very important and primary aspect to survival… adaptability. You make do with the resources at your disposal. You find another way to accomplish your goals. In this case, self defense.

“The things that I have learned have helped to spot potential problems a mile away. I now know how to avoid a situation/ confrontation.”

Spotting potential problems a mile away, exemplifies situational awareness. This is it folks… regarding personal security… being aware of what’s going on around you, and from a distance (instead of burying your head in your iPhone while texting, etc.) This awareness (and recognition of what REALLY is happening) will allow you to make decisions as to how and handle it… go around, turn around, confront, etc.

To: “Just Another Canadian”
Message: You’re right on. Thanks for the comment.

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