First thing in the morning
Last thing at night
I look, stare, everywhere
And I see everything in sight

Elvis Presley 

One of the more useful things I learned from my time at Front Sight last month was in the “Color Code of Mental Awareness” lecture (the one where they DIDN’T mention Jeff Cooper). Our instructor mentioned that if you’re a “people watcher” by nature, you’re well on your way to having good situational awareness and staying in Condition Yellow most of the time. 

I like this approach to mental awareness because it’s so non-threatening to new shooters. Yes, “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.” sounds all tacticool and oh-rah, but that’s probably the last thing a young woman in a defensive handgun class needs to hear. She doesn’t want to become GI Jane, she wants to be safe and free from fear and the minute she sees wall-to-wall 5.11 gear and hears things like that, her fear level doesn’t decrease, it increases.

Not the desired outcome. 

Finding the points of commonality between leading a life of personal self-protection and our current lives has to be a priority for any successful “gun-culture 2.0”- centric training course. People aren’t looking to become Dirty Harrys or Harriets overnight, they want to keep safe in an uncertain world. Adding to that uncertainty with unfamiliar phrases and methods will make you as an instructor feel more tacticool, but it won’t help your students.