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American Sheepdog Online CCW Resource Magazine - Color Codes
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    by Published on 12-10-2009 03:00 AM  Number of Views: 4045 


    Color Codes of Awareness
    There are four levels of awareness for Armed Americans.





    1. WHITE
    2. YELLOW
    3. ORANGE
    4. RED

    This is a concept originally conceived by Jeff Cooper. A.K.A. the Cooper Color Codes. It is an adaptation of the Marine Corps system. The USMC system included "Black" but Mr. Cooper did not feel it was needed. Let us explore each color & what it means. Every citizen falls into one of these levels throughout the day. It is a great concept to understand & practice if you carry a concealed weapon.


    Before making the decision to carry a concealed firearm, one must ask of themselves; "Can I face violence, with violence?" We must consider the fact that in a violent encounter, a life will likely be taken. We must answer this honestly. If you cannot accept the taking of a life to defend your own, you are not ready to bear the awesome responsibility of being a legally armed citizen. Violence is not natural to us as law abiding citizens. It is natural for us to have compassion and concern for others. Surviving a violent attack by those with no compassion or concern, may require you to act with violence equal to or greater than that of your attacker. We are not speaking of murder, we speak of meeting the wolf head on to survive a life threatening situation. We must be prepared, willing and able to meet lethal violence, with lethal violence.


    If you are faced with a violent encounter that threatens your life, or the lives of your loved ones, your/their survival could depend on three factors.

    1. Being aware and recognizing the threat in time.
    2. Quickly coming to terms with the fact that your life is in grave danger and this person is about to violently attack and possibly KILL you.
    3. Making the decision to leave the area (if possible) or overcoming your fear and hesitation to act with lethal violence against a fellow human being.



    "The Color Code refers not to a condition of peril, but rather to a condition of readiness to take life" - Jeff Cooper


    Condition White:
    (Oblivious) This is the first level in which you are absolutely calm. You are relaxed and oblivious to your surroundings. You have no clue as to what is going on around you. This is where most people operate, and where you become a victim.

    Condition Yellow: (Aware) At this level of awareness, you are still relaxed, but you are observant to your surroundings. Aware of people and movement, not paranoid. You are calm & cool. This is the level we should be in more often than not. You do not want to find yourself in level White while in public.

    Condition Orange: (Alert) At this level, one of two things has happened. The first of which, is something has caught your attention and you sense that something is about to happen. The other is, you didn't see anything in particular, but you are very uncomfortable. The environment is unstable. In this level, you must choose a course of action. Law enforcement refer to this as "fight or flight." If you can safely leave the area, this is the best choice for you and your family. Stress builds in this level as you consider what could happen, while trying to decide what to do. Adrenaline begins to flow and your heart rate increases. Your attention becomes focused on the threat.

    Condition Red: (Engaged) If you find yourself at this level, you are actively defending your life. There is a direct and immediate threat to your life or a family member. This is where shots get fired. An intense level of adrenaline is flowing in your body. You will get tunnel vision between yourself and the threat. This is where all your training and preparation will pay off. Instead of blinding panic, you will revert to your highest level of training. The manner in which you train, and how often you train, will be a direct factor in the outcome of the fight.

    The transition between yellow-orange-red could be a few minutes, a few seconds, or it could be instantaneous. The things we notice in Yellow could determine how quickly we find ourselves in Red or out of the area all together. Be aware of aggressive behavior and take a mental note of routes to exit the area. Suspicious behavior and anything out of the normal should be a red flag that things are not right with your environment. A man walking into a store with a heavy coat or trench coat in warm weather is a red flag, or an Orange flag.


    We must be alert at all times. Keep your eyes open, and question the things that are out of place. Your life depends on it!

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