I want to remind you that the definition of “Tactical” is “a planned action for accomplishing an end.” What is the end result you want to accomplish at the end of each day? I think for most of us, we want to get up, go to work or school, and return home safe and enjoy our life. That is the end result we want to accomplish. What is it that will help us accomplish that goal? It is the little things or “planned actions” that we take throughout the day that will help us achieve that goal. All of us at the end of the day want to just go home, relax and tend to our own business, and not bother or be bothered by anyone. Unfortunately there is always a small element of people who for whatever reason would like to rob, steal, rape or just be a general nuisance. And it is because of these people we must have or should have a Tactical Mindset. You may even call it “Tactical Living.”
What do I mean by “Tactical Mindset or Tactical Living”? It is constantly being aware of your surroundings and always being alert to any potential danger and doing the necessary things or taking the necessary actions to keep you and your loved ones safe.
The Tactical Mindset is remembering to do the simple things at night before you go to bed such as drawing the shades one hour before dark and making sure all your windows are latched properly and a dowel rod cut to length is wedged upright in the inside track of each window frame. It is making sure that the doors are locked (both the outside storm door and the inside entry door) and double checking all locks including the dead bolts. It is making sure that no door key is left in the locks at night and that any keys you hang are 3-4 feet away from the door. It is also having door jammers in place at every door each night. It is setting the house alarm each and every night without fail.
Having a tactical mindset is sitting with your back to the wall each and every time you go to a restaurant. It is having your pepper spray in your hand when you get out of your car to walk into the store and discreetly putting it back into your purse when you get into the store safely. It is remembering again to have the pepper spray in one hand and your car keys in the other when walking out of the store and back to the car, especially at night. It is understanding that most crimes happen at night and planning to get your shopping done in day light hours if possible. It is remembering to park in well lit areas at night and as close to the building as possible.
One of the most difficult challenges we all face on a daily basis is that of complacency. I am talking about not paying attention to what is going on around us. When you stop to put gas in your car, do you just open the door, get out and start pumping gas without first stopping to look around to be sure everything looks normal? For instance: Are other people pumping gas? Are people coming and going in and out of the store; are the people inside the store all standing around with their hands up in the air as though they might be getting robbed? Are people dressed according to the weather? Is it hot summer time? Is anyone wearing heavy coats? Do you hear yelling and screaming? Do you see people relaxed, laughing and having a good time? Are people running out of the store as to get away from danger? Are people walking out of the store normally? When you go in the store to use the restroom or buy a snack, do you carry your weapon concealed with you every time you enter the store? What if, while you were in the store, a gunman entered? Would you be armed, or would you be at his mercy? This is what I am talking about when I mention the Tactical Mindset.
Having a Tactical Mindset is wearing your pistol and extra mags every day. This should be as common as putting on your socks and shoes each morning. It should be a part of your dress. It is also realizing the need for proper training and maintaining a high level of proficiency. It is disciplining yourself to dry practice your draw stroke, speed reloads, tactical reloads, clearing stoppages, etc.
Having a Tactical Mindset is not paranoia. It is not living in fear. It is living prepared. It is simply fighting the biggest enemy each us have which is “complacency.” It is preparing for the unthinkable as though it were the inevitable. It is living in a state of heightened awareness. It is refusing to be a victim. As one person put, “it is being polite to everybody, but having a plan to kill everyone you meet.”
There is so much more that could be written on this subject. I hope this short piece will help provoke your thinking enough that you will start implementing a Tactical Mindset. May God bless and keep you safe.
Black Ops School of Combat
West Plains, MO