In the real world, remaining vigilant 24/7 and never being surprised or caught off guard is impossible. None of us has eyes in the back of our heads and like it or not, many situations that call for you to employ deadly force probably will start off as a surprise.
Of course, it’s always important to remain vigilant and aware of your surroundings. It does help you anticipate many problems that would otherwise sneak up on you.
What is important to keep in mind is that many self-defense situations can escalate from your eating an ice cream cone to having to defend your life in a matter of seconds.
In a life-threatening standoff, there is a good chance guns will be pointed at you and there may be more than one shooter. Getting your own gun out, if someone is already pointing theirs at you, will probably get you shot no matter how fast your draw is. This probability is of course, compounded if there is more than one firearm pointed in your direction.
At the end of the day, you’re primarily concerned with not getting shot. This is why you carry in the first place — so you can shoot before someone shoots you.
When weapons are already leveled in your direction, your focus becomes the best way to avoid getting shot. Sometimes, this means getting away from the scene or jumping behind a solid object. Movement is also useful as author Gabe Suarez illustrates in his article “Some Notes from Force-on-Force” on USConcealedcarry.com:
“Most guys get shot when they stop. They initiate movement and avoid the first few shots, but then they stop to take a precise shot. At that point, they get hit. Keep moving until he’s down, you have escaped, or you are behind cover. Movement is life; stationary shooting (in the open) is death.” (Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)
When it comes to movement and agility, your physical conditioning is also a key factor. Being in good shape means you can run, jump, and get away from danger faster than if you’re overweight and in poor health.
Also as you age, your senses can gradually dull. This can happen so slowly that you aren’t even aware that your vision and hearing aren’t what they were in your twenties.
Make regular hearing and vision checks a priority. If you need vision correction, wear it. The same goes for hearing aids. Having your senses sharpened up means that you can detect threats earlier and respond effectively.