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Instinctive Reaction

"Situational Unawareness in the private marketplace or on the battlefield will cost you your livelihood or your life." — Michelle Malkin - American conservative blogger, political commentator, and author.

Quickly answer this question. What do you do before you cross the street?

You probably answered: I look to my left and then to my right, to make sure there isn't a car coming.

It's something you do without thinking. You do this for the sake of survival because if you didn’t, you might die. The knowledge you've acquired tells you that someone getting hit by a car going 50+ miles an hour usually doesn't survive the encounter.

You knew the answer to that question immediately (I hope) without even thinking about it. You were able to do that because the knowledge was passed on to you in some form. What was once a precautionary act to our grandparents, has become an instinctive survival technique to us. You did it almost every day growing up because you were told to by your parents. After a while, it became a habit, and after that it became instinctive.

We all need this type of knowledge to survive in these modern times. It’s a part of the society we live in, so when we cross the street, we check for that car. We probably do it every day of our lives, and we don’t feel the least bit stressed about doing it. We don’t become paranoid about checking for cars, it’s something we do automatically without thinking about it.

There are a lot of precautions which we take, and other actions that we perform, every day, to survive. We do most of them automatically and without a second thought. Think about what you do on a daily basis to protect yourself, and those you love, from being hurt or killed.

When you're driving, you, automatically do what is necessary to avoid a collision. You don't think about it; you do it automatically. When you put your seatbelt on, you do it without thinking. You don't panic because you could be killed in an instant by a careless driver, you get in your car, put the seat belt on and go.

Two hundred years ago, there were no cars. Our ancestors looked out for wild animals, stampeding buffalo, horse dung, and I don't know what else. No one thinks about stampeding buffalo anymore. Because nobody in the United States is being killed by stampeding buffalo.

Now we look out for cars. It’s part of everyday living, part of our daily survival routine. The world has changed again, and now we citizens need to start performing some other acts automatically to survive. We now need to start learning how to look out for active shooters and terrorists, like we learned how to look out for cars without thinking about it.

I don't mean we should do it fearfully, and certainly not in a paranoid way either. Our forefathers instinctively looked out for the dangers of their time, and they survived. We, their descendants, are proof of that. Now we must develop the instinct to look out for the dangers of our time.

As a Society, We've Become Lazy

Americans have become too complacent. Citizens sit in front of the TV or computer and watch reality shows that aren't real. Most people know more about their favorite football, baseball, hockey, or basketball team than about how to stay alive during an active shooter or terrorist attack. It's been my experience that, most of the time, people don't even know what's going on in their own neighborhood.

If my mentor Nunzio were alive today, he would probably pull me aside and say something like, "The majority of the people I meet on the street are ignorant and oblivious."

Thinking back on our time together, he would say that most of the people we observed on our walks together were either ignorant or unaware.

The average citizen needs to learn to keep his head out of the sand. People need to be awake and aware if they want to survive a violent or lethal attack.

Acting Instinctively

When a bird flies too low and gets too close to your head, your instinctive reaction is to duck. It happens in a nanosecond. You don't consciously think about it, it just happens.

If someone throws something at you, your reaction is to move out of the way. You don't stop to think about what you are going to do; your body just reacts instantaneously.

That’s your bodies survival instinct kicking in. It perceives there is a danger, and it reacts automatically and accordingly without conscious thought. However, humans are not born with this knowledge, these and many other "automatic" reactions are not instinctive, they are learned responses.

If an animal has never seen a car before, it can be run over while crossing a road that it has crossed a hundred times before without incident. A human being who has never heard a gunshot before will react a lot slower than someone who knows what a gunshot sounds like. When it comes to an active shooter or terrorist attack, it's the person who reacts the fastest that has the best chance of surviving.

As an example, the other day I was watching a show on TV, where someone had been dressed up to look like a bear statue. People would walk into the store, and the "statue" would roar and lunge at them.

Most of the people jumped or cringed in fear, except for one young man. He instinctively threw a punch at the bear. It was obvious to me that the young man had been in a scary situation before and learned that it was safer to react than cringe in fear. That’s what survival is, responding to a situation quickly and instinctively.

That young man is who I want by my side if there is an active shooter or terrorist in the building.

Do I know what to do to increase my chances of staying alive in an active shooter or terrorist attack? Most definitely. I wasn't born with that knowledge, but I spent a lot of time and effort in learning how to react.

Do I know what to do if a home invasion happens?

I'd bet my life on it!

Again, I wasn't born with the knowledge, but I learned what I have to do. I have a firearm, and I am trained on how to use it safely. I'm not afraid to use that gun to defend myself and those I love, be it outside or inside my home.

Be honest with yourself. Do you want to be the person who will cringe in fear or the person that acts instinctively?

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