How do you check out possible threats

This is a discussion on How do you check out possible threats within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; You are going through out your daily routine, and something catches your attention, someone coming up behind you as you walk along, or someone that ...

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Thread: How do you check out possible threats

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array 4my sons's Avatar
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    How do you check out possible threats

    You are going through out your daily routine, and something catches your attention, someone coming up behind you as you walk along, or someone that you can't quit see, but other than their position (tactical advantage over you) you have no real reason to believe it's nothing more than coincidence that they just happen to be there.

    Not wanting to seem like a Paranoid skitzo, how do you casually give them a glance to asses the situation without going into full defensive mode and creating a scene where there is no need. We pass hundreds if not thousands of people every year, month or even week, there has to be some level of civility in our actions.

    The other day my wife and I were down town for a graduation, (we avoid the city like the plague) My wife was to my left and I was on the street side of her, I was able to look at her while talking and in the windows reflection on the buildings watch the two people walking behind us. Their appearance gave a slight reason to keep an eye on them, but their actions gave no indication of a threat. I myself in my younger days wouldn't have hurt a soul, but my appearance in old ripped jeans and rock t-shirts I'm sure I raised an eyebrow or two.
    Last edited by 4my sons; June 19th, 2008 at 09:13 AM. Reason: spelling, oops
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    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    "Take an interset in your surroundings." If you are observed to be someone who routinely pans and looks, it won't be abnormal or confrontational. Look just above people's foreheads, possibly adopt a faint frown, as though looking for someone at a a distance. If you do meet someone's eyes, just give a faint preoccupied smile, and move your gaze along.

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    Member Array Ebbtide's Avatar
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    We have 20 acres here in the sticks of rural FL and @ least once a week I go to check out some strange noises coming from our chicken coop or other areas. Granted they are all nuisance animal threats but it gives me a chance to hone ma skilz. ;) I grab the shotty with my surefire and step very lightly.

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    Member Array NKMG19's Avatar
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    If someone is coming up behind me and I'm not sure of their intentions I would alter my pace or deviate from my route. If the person mirrored my actions then this will alert me even more. Depending on where I am I might stop and turn around and go the other direction towards the threat. This might throw them off their plan and put them on the defensive and give me the upper hand because I would already be thinking about how to eliminate the possible threat. If nothing happens then I'll just move on and go back to my business.
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    I would turn and look...possibly change my path...I want to know who is behind me, and I want them to know that I know...no surprises...stuff happen, and it can happen quickly!
    I think that it is important to look people in the eye without appearing to challenge...just a nod and a 1/4 smile does it for me!

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    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    There is nothing wrong with glancing over your shoulder, in fact, if you do it often enough you'll realize most people don't even notice. Those that do notice are either trying to be aware like you are, or, up to no good.
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

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    Senior Member Array Moga's Avatar
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    I always make direct eye contact when people are acting shady. It lets them know that you are keenly aware of their position and that you aren't going to cower in intimidation or fear from their presence. If your adversary is incensed by this gesture, then he's already made up his mind to find a reason to bring it to you, so you've lost nothing by keeping your eyes on his hands and gained an important tactical benefit by not looking away. OTOH, my experience is that avoiding eye contact when you feel something isn't right most always gives the impression that you are easy prey and is a sign of submission to a potential attacker before any violence has transpired. That's not the scent you want to emit in the face of a altercation in the making. I also use the windows of parked cars, store front glass, and other reflective objects to give me vision other than where my eyes are pointed while I'm sizing up the potential outcomes of an encounter from distance.

    My next action depending on the approach of the suspicious person. They may range from diverting the path on which I'm traveling to taking cover for observation to preparing for confrontation. I tend to use the interview model to help me decide on the appropriate course of action. Although I've understood these behavioral ques from the street smarts I honed during many years of living in large cities, the interview model is a concise way to sum it up.

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    Member Array LoneRanger's Avatar
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    Interesting read, Moga. Thanks.
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    Member Array JudoJake's Avatar
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    Others and myself talked extensively about this in the thread I started called, "Are you eye balling me?" In your situation, you aren't necessarily being eye balled, but I think the my response would be the same. I would look at them and smile, possibly make friendly conversation, depending on the situation. I'm not going to rehash all of my thoughts. I don't have the energy. Check out the thread if you want.

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    Distinguished Member Array bandit383's Avatar
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    There is a reason why they say "check six". I prefer not to let someone follow me...it's like in a resturant, I don't like my back to the door. Usually, if the hair is standing up on the back of your neck...more than likely a reason.

    Rick

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    Distinguished Member Array snowdoctor's Avatar
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    i have no problem slowing down or speeding up, changing sides of street etc...but if I have my family, I usually just slow down and step aside, looking at the people behind me, and allowing them to pass...then you can follow them!!!
    I agree that eye contact is key, and most people don't like it.
    LOL to the OP, on the your looks as a young man...I had a similar appearance with long hair, jeans, sleeveless T's, and construction boots...Does anyone hear the song "signs" playing?
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    Ex Member Array EB31's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bandit383 View Post
    There is a reason why they say "check six". I prefer not to let someone follow me...it's like in a resturant, I don't like my back to the door. Usually, if the hair is standing up on the back of your neck...more than likely a reason.

    Rick
    I am the same way....I never sit with my back to a door or an "exposed" area. Thankfully my wife knows me all too well and this has never been an issue when sitting anywhere as she routinely takes the seat that I am trying to avoid.

    It's a pet peeve, in a way, when out with knucklehead friends that have 0 observation skills and they continually screw with my "routine" lol


    As to the OP's scenerio - Using the reflection of of a window is always an option...one I use frequently. If alone and thinking I am being followed....I might stop abruptly and plant my back to a wall....in a relaxed "Hey, I'm just chilling out here" manner. If the person following is nothing to be concerned about they will continue walking. If they might be a threat....THEY are now forced to make a choice. 1 - Stop with me and confront me (with my now having the advantage of them not being able to attack from the rear) or 2 - keep walikng anf pass on whatever ridiculous plan they may or may not of had.

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bandit383 View Post
    There is a reason why they say "check six". I prefer not to let someone follow me...it's like in a resturant, I don't like my back to the door. Usually, if the hair is standing up on the back of your neck...more than likely a reason.

    Rick
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    Member Array JudoJake's Avatar
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    I probably look like a turkey walking around town. My head is always bobbing in every direction, taking in everything. This is a habit I have to mindfully repress when doing undercover buys, it hard for me to take on the lazy doper look.

    Strategic seating? Absolutely! Back to the wall every time. My wife is trained to give me this seat. I also try and sit close to an exit, not in the main line of foot traffic(to the bathroom), and in a window where I can see my vehicle. It doesn't always work out, but I try.

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