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Thread: "OC reduces situational awareness"

  1. #1
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    "OC reduces situational awareness because the person thinks having a gun strapped to their hip will automatically deter the BGs. Thus they don't have to pay attention"


    I've had that argument thrown my way in other forums. My answer is, I don't agree. One still must be vigilant in the places they go, when they go (after dark, daylight), who is around and so forth regardless of what is or isn't in your possession.

    I guess by the same (flawed) token you can say that CCers are relaxed in their situational awareness because they perceive no attention based on the visibility, or lack there of, of their firearm.

    Now, I don't believe that one bit. Up to this point I've only carried CC. After the initial nervousness of carrying, my level of awareness has not dropped. It actually increased. The act of carrying brought responsibilities that I expect myself and am expected to uphold, personally and lawfully.

    Now going the other way, its been my experience that I'm even more aware of my surroundings when I am 'naked' and not carrying any means of protection because I am more vulnerable and know it I've never felt relaxed when I'm not carrying and the awareness meter is pegging red.


    I'm just one person, and those were my experiences. But I do not believe that carrying OC makes a person relax to their surroundings. If carrying OC is like carrying CC for the first time, then it certainly is not relaxing!

    Relaxing is laying in the shade on a beach, getting a massage from a good lookin' therapist :P




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    I'm surprised someone hasn't blamed OC on Global Warming.

    Oh! That's right, It's been cooling for the last decade.

    Ok, maybe they claim that OC causes the spread of VD.



    Seriously though. It seems like some CCer's think that handguns OC'd standout like neon signs. They don't. BG's don't have X-ray vision that enables them to stand on a persons weak side and see their holstered firearm on the strongside hip. Nor can they see through another person that may be standing between you and them. Not all BG's thoroughly scope a place out before they carry out a crime. A holstered gun that has a slim profile isn't that easy to spot right away. (Look at Lori's picture at the top of this page. If her shirt were black, one might mistake her holstered gun and mag pouchfor an Ipod or cellphone.)


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    Well, that's a unique twist, and one hard to actually prove/disprove. I can tell you my SA goes way up when I OC. I'm not counting on the deterrent effect, I am looking out for the mythical gun grab. Granted, it's never happened, but it's the more dangerous of the two possible outcomes. I'm also (and this is not a good thing, but I tend to do it anyway), looking out for police. Aurora PD is not exactly OC friendly, and in the interest of keeping my day rolling along smoothly I tend to avoid them if possible. Again, perhaps not the best additude to have, but it's what comes from my extremely non-confrontational personality.

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    My SA skyrockets when I holster OC.. just because I have an ins ID card in my truck don't mean I quit looking out for other drivers..

    J

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    I would say that I am more aware when I OC.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    Much more aware when OC-ing. Why? That retention device behind my eyes needs to be working.

  7. #7
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    FogRider wrote:
    Well, that's a unique twist, and one hard to actually prove/disprove. I can tell you my SA goes way up when I OC. I'm not counting on the deterrent effect, I am looking out for the mythical gun grab. Granted, it's never happened, but it's the more dangerous of the two possible outcomes. I'm also (and this is not a good thing, but I tend to do it anyway), looking out for police. Aurora PD is not exactly OC friendly, and in the interest of keeping my day rolling along smoothly I tend to avoid them if possible. Again, perhaps not the best additude to have, but it's what comes from my extremely non-confrontational personality.
    Same here.

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    FogRider wrote:
    Well, that's a unique twist, and one hard to actually prove/disprove. I can tell you my SA goes way up when I OC. I'm not counting on the deterrent effect, I am looking out for the mythical gun grab. Granted, it's never happened, but it's the more dangerous of the two possible outcomes. I'm also (and this is not a good thing, but I tend to do it anyway), looking out for police. Aurora PD is not exactly OC friendly, and in the interest of keeping my day rolling along smoothly I tend to avoid them if possible. Again, perhaps not the best additude to have, but it's what comes from my extremely non-confrontational personality.
    Another +1

    I am looking out for signs that I might need to fight or flight. . . that is intent of criminals for a fight, or intent of people or LE for flight.

    I am FAR more aware when OC. . . but as stated before because I fear the cops more than I do the criminals.

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    I have been working on my SA level when not carrying, but I'm certainly not perfect. While carrying it stays better, and I find myself consciously making certain that my strong side hand is not encumbered (when possible).

    The mechanism of stainless and springs on my hip serves as a strong reminder to remain aware.

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    squisher wrote:
    The mechanism of stainless and springs on my hip serves as a strong reminder to remain aware.
    I have noticed that when I conceal I will when sufficiently distracted forget I even have a gun on me. Out of sight, out of mind so to speak. With OC, I am constantly aware of it. Not exactly constantly thinking about it, it's more like the feeling of a new pair of boot that don't fit well yet. Always there in the back of my mind. That in turn keeps me constantly aware of my surroundings.

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    Shorts wrote:
    "OC reduces situational awareness because the person thinks having a gun strapped to their hip will automatically deter the BGs."
    oh oh i love this game. ok heres the rules, you tell me what am i thinking, then i will exploit your ignorance and win

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    I know my sensed will be heightened when i can carry. I've even been racking my brain trying to think of the places that i go to where it will be against the law to carry one.

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    squisher wrote:
    ... and I find myself consciously making certain that my strong side hand is not encumbered (when possible).
    I find myself doing the same thing. I rarely carry anything in that hand while OCing. Perhaps a level II or III holster would change that. My SA is much higher during OC. Probably 50% due to concern about a negative encounter (LEO or otherwise) and the other 50% on securing my weapon.

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    Honestly, my SA sucks. Raised as a sheep, trying very hard to overcome a lifetime of complacency habits.

    I know my SA has gotten better, but I still find myself lapsing into condition White. When I OC, I find myself more aware of my surroundings than usual, but still working on it.

    ...Orygunner...

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    I would say the opposite is true. Knowing that other people know I got a gun means that I'm going to non-chalantly being watching everything all the more closely.

    For some reason, when I CC, which I normally do for my own reasons, I have much higher state of awareness too. I haven't been able to pinpoint the reason yet. Perhaps it's because guns are still new to me.

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    cynicist wrote:
    I would say the opposite is true. Knowing that other people know I got a gun means that I'm going to non-chalantly being watching everything all the more closely.

    For some reason, when I CC, which I normally do for my own reasons, I have much higher state of awareness too. I haven't been able to pinpoint the reason yet. Perhaps it's because guns are still new to me.
    I totally agree with cynicist. If i was open carrying,my situational awareness would be raised. Knowing the same thing that law enforcement is taught. "everyone that you come in contact with has a gun in there reach, YOURS". I would pay alot more attention to my surroundings in this situation. Also, Would be using a retention holster to help keep my gun in my possession.

  17. #17
    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    "OC reduces situational awareness" - the words of a person who has never OCed.

    Which, of course, just goes to show that people shouldn't speak while they remain ignorant.

  18. #18
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    My situational awareness always goes way up when I OC. I always want to know who is within close proximity of me, and I am very aware of the stares I am getting. I am especially aware in Michigan, since there are a lot of cops who STILL aren't familiar with the right to OC.
    Answer every question about open carry in Michigan you ever had with one convenient and free book- http://libertyisforeveryone.com/open-carry-resources/

    The complete and utter truth can be challenged from every direction and it will always hold up. Accordingly there are few greater displays of illegitimacy than to attempt to impede free thought and communication.

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    centsi wrote:
    squisher wrote:
    ... and I find myself consciously making certain that my strong side hand is not encumbered (when possible).
    I find myself doing the same thing. I rarely carry anything in that hand while OCing. Perhaps a level II or III holster would change that. My SA is much higher during OC. Probably 50% due to concern about a negative encounter (LEO or otherwise) and the other 50% on securing my weapon.
    I make a conscious decision to place NOTHING that I don't want to drop, damage, abandon on my strong side and that is WITH a Serpa Blackhawk Retention holster when OC'ing or CC'ing.

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    If the above makes me a RADICAL or EXTREME--- So be it!

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    Situational awareness has more to do with your personality than with how your gun is situated on you. However I promise any CCer that when I'm OCing I am FAR more self conscious of myself and therefor aware of how people around me are perceiving me. That is part of the effect of OCing and most people will pay attention to it when entering or exiting a popluated area. When I CC I get a bit too comfortable with myself and my surroundings and sometimes find that my attention is easier distributed to other things than the people around me.

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    marshaul wrote:
    "OC reduces situational awareness" - the words of a person who has never OCed.

    Which, of course, just goes to show that people shouldn't speak while they remain ignorant.
    Bingo. Every anti-OC argument I have ever witnesseed is entirely speculation. Usualy the conclusion is incorrect due to flawed speculation... "You will scare the crap out of people". "You will get all kinds of negative attention".... Etc, etc.
    Reality is hardly anyone notices and the vast majority that do don't give it two looks.




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    It is amazing how many people do not notice my sidearm. I just spent 3 hrs walking around Big Lots and Winco without panic and mayhem ensuing. In fact it wasn't till we were almost done that my g/f even noticed I was still armed. (Shes not totally convinced about guns in general) In this day and age it is places like this I watch carefully, very crowded and hectic parking lots.. do we have any stats on parking lot crime? I believe I have seen it referenced before.

    Do any of you notice a difference in awareness between a small crowd where you can kinda keep track of each individual and a very dense crowd where you might have to trust your instincts? (almost said the force.. sorry )

    Me: to BG1, "We are not the victims you seek.."

    BG1: "Hey BG2, I was gonna jack that truck.. but when I walked up there saw his .45 and wound up over here again..??"

    BG2: "The Force is strong with this one."



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    Just to chime in on SA while carrying.

    While CC'g, I find my SA can more easily lapse, as it did recently when approached while travelling.

    While OC'g, it's usually like I've just had a jug of coffee. I'm very aware of the chunk of metal on my hip and seem to be in constant scan mode. Condition yellow seems to be much easier to maintain.

    Back to my recent lapse in SA. It was late in the day, cold, windy, the sun was near setting (nice glare), and I was quite tired having driven ~400 miles with truck and trailer on sometimes very slick winter roads.I waspeaved that I was forced to make an unscheduled stop as it was putting me in the barn later and later. I was preoccupied withthe next 200miles (running the route in my head). I was CC'g because of where I had been earlier in the day and had not returned to OC condition. I simply chose not to take the time to make the change cause it was easy not to. Yeah, a lousy excuse, but that's the main reason.

    All that to say this: SA is directly related to mental acuity and physical condition regardless of training. It simply takes a bunch more energy to process info when you are tired and admittedly, poor decisions can result. Or at least poor relative to your own standards. Certainly one is less observant and can be more easily distracted.

    Conclusion: Training is likely the best ally to combata drop in SAas we simply can not always control how fatigued we are and where we will be. Coffee ain't enough.


    edit:sp

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    Orygunner wrote:
    Honestly, my SA sucks. Raised as a sheep, trying very hard to overcome a lifetime of complacency habits.

    I know my SA has gotten better, but I still find myself lapsing into condition White. When I OC, I find myself more aware of my surroundings than usual, but still working on it.

    ...Orygunner...
    Here is an idea that might help. I teach my students to do this in order to increase their situational awareness. Most of the ladies I teach have NEVER practiced being aware of their surroundings before and it's hard for them to remember.

    So, I set it up as a game for them to play - and incidentally, to teach their children.
    Carry a small notebook. When you get in the car, try to make a list of everything you saw within 5 or 10 feet from the time you left the door until you get into the car. Do the same, if you can, when you leave the car and get into the building or home.

    When you get comfortable with that, extend that space to 20 - 25 feet. Start to identify things that would serve as cover, as well as areas that might offer a hiding place for a BG. Identify people and things to avoid as potential dangers. Pretty soon you won't need the notebook to remind you to do this.

    When you go into a store or other business, be aware of these things as well. Don't sit with your back to the door or the room. Don't let yourself be trapped in an elevator or narrow hall with people pressing up behind you.

    I could go on and on, but I'm sure everyone can think of other things to practice.

    It takes time to work up to being aware all the time, learning to avoid distractions and daydreaming. But it is probably one of the most essential self defense tools we have, and every bit as important whether or not we are armed.
    I will not knowingly initiate force. I am a self owner.

    Let the record show that I did not consent to be governed. I did not consent to any constitution. I did not consent to any president. I did not consent to any law except the natural law of "mala en se." I did not consent to the police. Nor any tax. Nor any prohibition of anything. Nor any regulation or licensing of any kind.

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    As a CC'er for around 20 years and an OC for about 3 months, I can say that my SA is the same, "but" my SA is different as an OC, why , because I am in an 80% liberal community and I love to eat *organic ( that means grown in @#$% ) veggies so I am always in the most anti gun hostile public environments surrounded by very psychotic very resentful lost souls and thus the focus of my SA had tilted towards the judgmental liberals and not so much for scum bag's who mite try to snatch my FireStar.

    Since I was raised in very high crime mixed race & gang territory / neighborhoods I have always been on guard duty every second of the day.

    Nowadays since I have been meditating ( NO not Hindu or Yoga transcendental ) any ways, since I have become very objective I now have a mixture of street wise predator SA and higher intuitive awareness all of this allows me to stay out of my mind and stay in the moment to see and watch everything around me, its like having the latest psychological and spiritual radar. I am always on "sweep".


    I see and know the most obvious yet very subtle things about everyone instantaneously.

    I am a "watcher", and to some it is scary, it's almost a form of mind reading but without thoughts or words, just "knowing".

    I know who is harmless yet verbose and who is dangerous, who is acting tuff and who "is" tuff and who is scared but compensating, etc....etc....

    That is as good as I can explain it.


    What I have also noticed is that I have have an ego and so to watch it so I dont "get off" on walking around strapped trying to piss off or subtly intimidate the local hairy armpit women or intimidate the leg shaving men , by asserting my 2A by jamming it into their vision, so I am aware of myself too.

    OC for some guys is like a new set of plastic boobs on a woman, now she is aware and but is it a good SA or just an ego based SA & a need to be noticed ?

    SA is not just a "tactical" thing, it is a "life" thing ; were by you can be awair of any and all situations inside and out.

    P.S. Please don't be fooled into thinking because you are obviously armed that a pissed off meth freak , a criminal who has has dead bodies notched on his stolen gun belt will back off, not at all, in fact they may take the gun on your hip as a sign of a challange to there ego and be even more bold out of sheer stupidity they may challange "your authority".

    Remember hardened criminals shoot hardened cops all the time, so whats to keep them from shoot Casper Milktoast walking around his Glock

    Another catagory is the demon possessed blood hungry maniac; who has not one 2nd thought to challenging you make you suidice them by your gun !!!!


    All the scum listed above WILL challenge your guts, they don't care about what gun you are wearing, as far as they are concerned you just posted a sign on your forhead that says "Hey Criminal Focus On Me"


    The best you can do is have ultra objective SA down home common sense, & God on your side, at a minimum they always look to see the red light - fearlessness or the green light- fear in your eyes and your body posture.

    Fear and a certain niave soft look of a person who has never done a lick of heavy lifting of lack of the look of a fighter is what they will notice right off the bat.

    The sharks & wolves are closeer to the lower animal nature way of living & being that criminal exist in, they live in pure alpha pack leader dog eat dog on down the line way of existing, just like Arab Islamists do.

    If you are "green" and easy to run over the it doesn matter, gun or no gun, they look for a fearlesness & willingness to pull that gun and actually use it.

    Side Line: I will soon relay to this forum in another section about "real life defense experiences" a few of my "draw down" experiences were I had to pull my FireStar and found out real fast 1) Having it is good but not good enough and 2) Pulling it with high SA is good but also aint good enough, .


    At least my SA ( I believe as part of God ) was always there *on high. ( no pun intended )



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