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I have always been fairly aware of what was going on around me, but since getting my CHL I have tried to maintain condition yellow at all times. Now I am in charge of the "security" team at the congregation I attend. I generally walk the halls, parking lot, and check doors, during services. Nothing fancy, just a presence in case something happens or to deter wrong-doers.

Tonight I was walking the parking lots. Usually I stay on the sidewalk that runs around the perimeter of the building. I can see up and down the aisles and generally have a good view of the lots. Since it is getting darker earlier, I decided to swing out into the lots and walk a couple of the aisles as it was difficult to see all the way across the lot, even with the street lamps on. I had moved into condition orange, no indication of a threat but a dark parking lot is enough.

As with many parking lots, ours has directional head-in parking with the next aisle running the opposite direction. This puts head-in cars in a straight, diagonal line. I started walking up one aisle and got a funny feeling, but I didn't know what it was at first. I stopped, trying to get a tangible grip on the feeling. What was I missing? Again, still no indication of a threat but I just felt funny. Then I realized what it was, I was walking by the back of the cars so that I had to pass the left rear bumper before I could look back between the cars. I was walking against the direction of travel for the aisle. If anyone would have been between the cars, they would have the jump on me. I immediately cut through the cars and walked so I could look between the cars before I passed off the right rear bumper.

The rest of the night continued uneventfully (thankfully) as usual.

I guess I learned a couple of things tonight or at least reminded myself of them;

1) Trust your feelings. If it doesn't feel right, stop (or run as the case may be) until you figure it out.

2) Move up conditions as situations change. Sounds like a no-brainer but I have to remind myself sometimes. We are in a "good neighborhood among good people" so sometimes I become too relaxed.

3) Positioning is very important. By moving to the other aisle I improved my line of sight, moved my carry side opposite of the likely attack direction (thereby offering my off hand to fend/block), and made it easier for me to see the driver if they were backing out (to keep from getting run over).

4) Flashlight stupid. I don't normally carry one (for many reasons we could argue about, but not here or now). But I will now, at least to services I know are going to be during the night hours. Even the lighted parking lot is still dark. I may not carry it shining around but it would have been nice to have if I needed it. I may become a full-time convert to flashlights...with time.

5) And maybe most of all...be thankful when you make it through the day and get to go home, say your prayers, and sleep in your bed.

I don't know what I hoped to accomplish with this post. Certainly most of you already know this stuff but I felt compelled to share it...for whatever it is worth.

Thanks for listening,
Trog
 

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If you're nearest Costco still has them, Dorcy's Spyder flashlights are xenon bulb, lithium battery driven. $20-$27 or so for 2.

Not bad flashlights, I try to remember to carry one. Very bright. Rubber grip so cold shouldn't be an issue.

I'm saving for a Surefire though. The grip is more flexible for gripping between fingers.

Its always a good idea to have a good flashlight.

Friends joke about me being afraid of the dark, but one quick flip of that light near their eyes, during the day and they start thinking about getting them.
 

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Congrats - you are becoming more aware, and (it reads like) looking for a place to vent. Good Job.

Take the next step: Stop by your place of worship some time, and look at how YOU would try to make entry/attack it. Does the drive come right next to the building? Could you throw a rock (or a molotov cocktail) through a window? Talk to the local police about risks, intelligence about attacks on other places of worship in your area or state. Meet with the officers whose beat you are on, and ask for an occasional "drive by" during services, or whenever the building is occupied.

Oh yes, remind those who 'work' there about not blocking doors open, passing out keys, etc. No need to scare folks, just a gentle reminder that there is a lot of valuble stuff there, the most importent being your people. So take a second and lock up.

Once again - good job.
 

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I'm an LEO and carry 24/7. For the last six or seven years I've carried every day, everywhere I've been. In that time, I've felt the need to draw my pistol once. I've used the Surefire I carry countless times - its one of the most useful tools you can carry.

I recently did a class with Pat Rogers and he related the experiences of those in the 9/11 terrorist attack. From the experience of many folks, you need to always carry three things - a cell phone, a flashlight, and some type of multi-tool (or knife) like a Gerber or Leatherman. A lot of folks were rescued or saved themselves because they had these tools.

FWIW, when I leave the house I carry: Sig P220ST, 2 magazines, OC spray, Surefire Z2, plastic "handcuffs," and a mini-LED light with constant on feature. While you can't be totally prepared for anything, these items take care of a huge percentage of the imaginable scenarios.
 

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1) Trust your feelings. If it doesn't feel right, stop (or run as the case may be) until you figure it out.
That should be rule #1 for anyone whether they carry a concealed firearm or weapon or not. If the situation doesn't dictate having to hold ground or investigate, if you get a bad feeling, listen to it.

You can laugh about it later.

Hell, there are days I don't leave the house (thankfully I work from home except for emergency service calls) because of that.

It may be paranoid, but I can be paranoid and be wrong as many times as I want.

Just one time the opposite and I may not get a chance to regret it.
 
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