Saturday was my monthly outing to interact with people. Always a stressful thing for me.

Part of that stress was aggravated because I couldn’t find the holster for my preferred firearm for “polite company that isn’t Gun People.” Which meant that I was carrying a 1911 instead of a Sig. That Sig is so small it doesn’t print at all.

So I’m speaking with some friends, but move on to introduce myself to the man my wife is talking to. He introduces himself and I do a threat assessment.

Not enough information.

He appears to be from the Middle East and talks with an accent that matches. threat += 1

We banter about not having met before. He claims to have been going to these events for multiple years. This is the first time I’ve seen him. threat += 2.

When I ask about his accent, he tells me he is Egyptian. threat += 0

I say something to like, “Oh, I thought you were from the Middle East.”

“No, I’m from Egypt. Egypt is not part of the Middle East.” threat += 1

He then explains to me that Egypt is part of Northern Africa, not the Middle East. Ok. This is a true statement. I’ll accept this on face value for now. He is attempting to distance his country from the Middle East. threat -= 2

He then tells me that the Middle East consists of the following countries: Palestine, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Yemen, and Oman. Basically, everything west of the Red Sea but nothing on the continent of Africa. threat += 5

There is no country of “Palestine”.

We are in polite company, I’m not interested in him anymore. The threat level has hit 7.

He had not done anything to suggest ill intent on his part. But the entire conversation left me feeling uncomfortable.

The numbers I’m using are made up. They are in this article for illustrative purposes only.

A different example of a threat assessment: Older adult male, white, heavy smoker, day labor/handy man. The threat assessment was so high that he was never and would never be invited into my home. The sort of person who if I were to sell him a firearm, I would do it through an FFL, regardless of what he said about his background.

A different example, a number of dark skin females wearing head coverings. No increase in threat level. An angry black man with a skull cap comes out and starts speaking in angry tones to the women. Threat assessment goes high enough that I reposition myself and make sure he is under observation at all times. Verified egress path.

We all do threat assessments. If you can’t do a good assessment rapidly and then trust yourself you need to practice more.

The thing to note that more people have been injured or killed trying to avoid offending people than have been from avoiding people and situations that raise that threat assessment.

This has been a difficult article. None of us want to be racists. We would rather not judge people by the color of their skin or the culture they come from. We would rather not appear to be the sort of people who do judge people by their outward appearance.

But we are judged by what we look like. We do judge people by what they look like. When people see me, they will make assumptions about my past. Typically, they are mistaken. Some of that is because of how I present. I have three favorite hats I wear. A woodland camo Boonie Hat. A military issue watch cap.

And a black and white knit cap made from the yarn I spun from raw wool. My wife dyed the wool before I spun it. I had a friend make the cap.

If I’m wearing any of them, people assume. That’s fine with me. The only issue is when somebody thanks me for my service and I have to say, “I didn’t serve.”

Are you part of that paranoid group, like I am? Do you walk into a place and immediately find all the exits? Even exits that are not assessable to the public? Do you look for the seat where you can watch the people and there are few or no people behind you? Do you give every person who enters the once over?

Do you blade yourself to keep your firearm that much further from “them?”

Or is that just my paranoia?

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By awa

7 thoughts on “Threat Assessment”
  1. My wife and I have been married for 43 years.

    When we go out to a restaurant for example, my wife pretty much will automatically work the seating arrangements so I can have a view of the door, and if possible, have my back towards a wall.

    She also knows I like to have my carry side obscured by the table, if possible.

    After all of this time, we almost never have a ‘conversation’ about it, it just ‘happens.’ (Well, most of the time, anyway! 🙂 )

    And, when she is out clothes shopping for me, she pretty much sizes stuff to minimize ‘printing,’ and she says that right up front. Well, at home anyway, or not within earshot if we’re in public… So does my adult daughter, who occasionally will drag home something for me to try on.

  2. AWA, the fact you are consciously aware of yourself doing this says good things about your self-awareness and internal process monitoring.
    Does it make you a bad person? I tend to think not. A key element here is, you are willing to adjust the threat perception up or down based on the interaction.
    We all go into things with preexisting assumptions – prejudices. Part of that is simply human nature; we evolved an inbuilt set of biases for certain situations (is or is not this person part of my tribe? first long range assessment is what does he look like, etc.) as part of survival running back hundreds of millennia. It’s whether those assumptions can be altered after the initial contact that determines whether one is racist, I think.

  3. “dark skinned women with head coverings “- threat assessment- are they acting nervous, furitive, do they look unnaturally “plump”? or are they nattering away in thier native language shopping?.. Its not “racism” to be aware of who is around you and what they are doing and acting. fear of “racism” got us in this mess to begin with… pc bullshiite is used against us. the older I get the less and less I want to be around people…

  4. Life, properly conducted, is a series of threat assessments, most conducted at a low enough level that many do not consider them “threat assessments”; some are inconsequential – “which toothpaste will protect against tartar and cavities better and help prevent large dental bills” – and some are burdened with deep import.

    There are many who do not conduct any degree of threat assessment, usually because they are ignorant of the concept. Those people are called “Victim Candidates” and whether they suffer frequent cavities or more serious life impacts is, reasonably, a personal choice, as is one’s association with them.

    Individual threats, even in quantity, can be evaluated and dealt with, the real hazard occurs when a large group of Victim Candidates assemble to form an Attractive Opportunity; I can smile and excuse myself from Suspicious Individual X, but I’ve learned different behavior is warranted around large groups of VCs and often immediately departed without excuse or apology when they have manifested themselves near me.

    Interestingly, non-VCs can easily be spotted in such groups, which makes me aware that they are probably spotting me as well. As to what alliance such non-VCs may possess, that’s a more difficult assessment.

  5. Although I was engaging in Situational Awareness; reading Left of Bang helped me develop it better. The survival perspective I have is Avoid, Escape, Evade.

  6. Awa, congrats on being an intelligent normal responsible firearms owner with a lawful safe mindset.
    There is not one person anywhere who does not analyze everyone they see and come to conclusions and assumptions. And with unknown individuals the only assumption to make is the worst-case scenario type. Plan for the worst and plan for the best and everything in between. But start with the worst case and build up to zero (neutral) from negative seven–to use your scale.
    Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they are not out to get you. And the “They” in American Society is increasing daily, as enemies of the US citizenry disguised as illegal immigrants are paid to travel through the fifty states to preplanned areas as organized by NGOs which are operating under the Obama-Biden administration.
    So yes, if you’re not expecting and planning for the worst, the odds of The Worst coming into your personal space today are high. Why? Because no one is able to know positively where the enemies of America are. There are millions of them here and no one is able to know when they arrive, and where they settle to accomplish their plan—and make no mistake they have a plan and it’s not to become Constitutional Patriots of the USA.
    As you stated Awa, true lawful pro-USA individuals are profiled, identified as threats, deadly threats, to all anti-American, anti-White, anti-European, individuals illegally here or legally here, for purposes and reasons no one has vetted nor understands nor has knowledge of.
    To be the Grey Man, always standing fully armed to the teeth, at the entryway of your home, as a constant natural mindset, no matter where you are in the public domain. Always having the mindset of guarding your castle which is in the state of an Open House Event where everyone is invited to attend. You know you can prevail because you own it outright—but no one knows you’re the owner.

  7. Whoever told you you’re paranoid is not to be trusted. DO NOT let them into your head; never let an incompetent tell you how to be a better person.

Only one rule: Don't be a dick.

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