I recently read the book “Sheep No More” by Jonathan T. Gilliam. The book is outstanding and I highly recommend it.
Gilliam (www.jonathanTgilliam.com) is a former US Navy SEAL and a former FBI Special Agent. He applies his experience to helping the average citizen understand how to analyze the critical times and locations in their life where an attack or crime could occur, then how to devise strategies to mitigate the risk or manage a situation.
When I first started reading the book, I grabbed a highlighter and decided to highlight all the best points that I wanted to remember. The book is almost entirely highlighted; it’s that good.
I’m not going to give out too many details, because I think you should buy the book, and the two outstanding workbooks that go with it, for your own use and knowledge. However, I want to discuss a few key points from the book that align with what I teach in my self-defense and active shooter response classes.
First is the nonsensical idea that the average citizen in America has that it can’t happen to them. In the book, Gilliam likens this idea to that of winning the lottery. In other words, the average person thinks that their likelihood of being attacked is on par with that of winning the lottery, but someone ALWAYS wins the lottery and your chances are just as good as theirs.
I teach a similar concept, pointing out that no one wakes up and says, “Today, I’m going to be aware because today an attacker is going to enter the grocery store while I’m there” or “Let’s be careful tonight, because our house is going to be burglarized”. Crimes and attacks happen everywhere, and I urge awareness everywhere, especially in our current crisis, with rioters and looters vowing to “take it to the suburbs”.
A second point from the book that I also teach is that action is faster than reaction, and that if you have already devised a plan, you are able to act quicker and overcome shock. I can assure you that the attacker or criminal has already devised a plan.
The key premise of the book is to break your life into areas and times where an attack could occur, and then apply Gilliam’s process (buy the book to learn it, you’ll love it) to develop strategies to mitigate or eliminate that risk, or at the very least, devise a response plan.
As my readers know, I always compare what I’ve learned to the ultimate tactical handbook, the Bible. How do the awareness principles in Gilliam’s book conform to God’s Tactical Guide? 100%:
Be alert and of sober mind, your enemy the devil prowls around
like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
-1 Peter 5:8
Sounds like awareness is a biblical command, to me.
In the book, Gilliam points out that by simply being aware, you can detect an attack long before one occurs. I also advocate awareness, as you can read in some of my other articles. Awareness may add an extra minute or two to your trips, but it could save your life and the lives of the ones you love.
Gilliam has also produced two workbooks that compliment the book and his “Attack and Defend” philosophy. The workbooks contain a review of the methodology from the book and checklists to apply the lessons from the book.
The book contains a complete methodology for analyzing every area of your life and location you frequent, to develop plans and defenses to keep yourself safe.
Gilliam and I agree on the point that the person most responsible for your protection is YOU. The police do not exist to protect you, as the US Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly. Their role is to investigate what has already happened and prosecute the guilty. That’s why we are currently seeing them let rioters burn and loot, they have no legal duty to protect.
As an example, there was a protest yesterday near my house. Because I am into situational awareness and take responsibility for my own safety, I went to the location and observed the protest. While it was peaceful, because I am aware, I noticed several things. First, several people in the crowd were wearing gas masks and helmets, which indicates that they considered not remaining peaceful. Second, the group had several medics with them, indicating that they had considered that violence may occur. Third, they had their own video team documenting the action. What all of this told me is that the group had intended to take some action worthy of documenting that involved potential violence, but the large police presence and proactive police response didn’t give the crowd an opportunity to engage in whatever their secondary plan was.
Had I just remained unaware, that crowd may have become violent and began a rampage through my suburb without me even knowing it was happening, until they were on my block.
Awareness doesn’t mean paranoid, it means being aware that bad things can indeed happen to you.
The book also conducts case studies of several terrorist and active shooter situations, pointing out how awareness either helped or could have helped.
In closing, I highly recommend that you buy and read not only Sheep No Moore by Jonathan T Gilliam (www.jonathanTgilliam.com), but also both companion workbooks.
Stay aware, stay safe. Be alert and of sober mind…..