Trusting Your Gut and Staying Alive


Armed American Radio host Mark Walters

Self-defense is more than just carrying a firearm, a stun gun, being a black belt or carrying mace. It starts with trusting your gut. 


Have you ever had “that feeling” in the pit of your stomach, that feeling deep down in your gut that tells you something just doesn’t feel right?  Have you ever ignored that feeling only to regret your decision later to learn that your gut instinct was in fact, right? 

Of course you have, probably many times. You have also probably told yourself that you are going to start trusting that feeling more often only to make the same mistake over and over to be reminded almost every time that you should have trusted your gut in the first place.

Learning to do so may save your life.

When it comes to our own personal defense there are certain things we absolutely must do to control our environment as best we can to assure that we remain safe. Learning how to distinguish our own body’s reactions to certain events and acting upon, “that feeling” we get when something seems out of place or the decision we are about to make just doesn’t “feel right” might actually save our own life without our ever knowing it. 

Trusting your gut can be tough to do and it is something that may have to be learned.  From my own experiences in life, I have found that it has gotten easier to do with age as I have matured and become more cognizant of my own mortality. 

We all fight our gut instincts from time to time, especially when our gut is telling us something that our minds simply don’t want to believe.  In many of those cases we succumb to what our minds would like us to believe rather than what our “gut” is actually telling us and viola’, we soon find out we should have learned from past experience! It’s human nature.  Most of us like to see the best in people and by doing so we may ignore the reality of what someone’s true intentions might be or what an otherwise friendly person may truly be capable of. 


For me it was a game changer.

Many years ago, I pulled myself from the horrors of corporate life and started a small business of my own. I soon found the mundane tasks of running the business, the paperwork, payroll, taxes, supplies, etc. paled in comparison to managing real people…and real people were necessary to the success of my business.

One of those “real people” was a man I had befriended about a year earlier who worked at a local country club and was decidedly unhappy with his current position.  He wanted more, was aggressive and friendly with a great personality and a ton of personal charisma and charm.  His wife was a wonderful lady, soft-spoken and extremely friendly with the same charm and charisma of her husband.  He hammered me for a job for well over a year and eventually I hired him.

It wasn’t long that another side of my new employee began to emerge.  His charisma and charm gave way to bitterness and anger. He was unhappy with his place in life, his living conditions and what he felt the future held for he and his wife. As a result, he began asking for personal loans, insisting on certain paid holidays that the company didn’t recognize and wanted to change the hours he worked to better fit his own schedule. He became loud, angry and accusatory when he was denied personal loans or advances above his paycheck and his demeanor was making others in the office uncomfortable. Like the rest of my employees at the time, I too had “that feeling” in my gut that something wasn’t right and that it was incumbent upon me to take action.  


Like most employers (I hope), I had taken the threat of workplace violence seriously and always kept a gun in my office in the event something catastrophic were to occur. This was due mainly to the fact that my office was down the hall from the State of Florida Probation and Parole office that shared space in the same building. The hallways and parking lots, especially near the first of every month, were always teeming with sexual predators, violent offenders, burglars and the rest of the finest citizens that Hillsborough County, Florida was capable of producing. 

Needless to say, I always had a gun somewhere nearby and when it came time to fire my employee for his un-nerving behavior, I made sure to have one on my person as well as in my desk next to me. My partner and I were becoming growingly concerned with his irrational statements and actions so I had decided to “trust my gut” and error on the side of caution.

His firing was uneventful. 

Afterwards, I met with the staff to remind them to be alert, and instructed them on what to do if they saw him near the building, inside the office or if he should show up unannounced during working hours.  He never did and several months later I would find that they (he and his wife) had moved to the Valdosta, Georgia area to start a new life.

My former employee now sits in a Georgia State penitentiary having pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter for brutally and viscously shooting his beautiful wife multiple times in the back of her head in their apartment. 


Hours later he called police claiming that he came home from work and found her murdered. That story didn’t sit too well with investigators who quickly nailed him and charged him with her killing. 

Georgia Prison Guard Badge

His plea agreement resulted in 20 years in one of the toughest penitentiary systems in the nation with no hope of leaving until the year 2021 when he will be near 72-years-old. 

Of course the benefit of hindsight always results in high definition vision and in most cases we’ll never know if by “trusting our gut” we have actually averted a potentially lethal situation or not.  One thing though is certain and I’ll bet good money on the fact that my former employees wife had “that feeling” about her husband on more than one occasion and never did a damn thing about it. 

We see where it landed her. 

Trust your gut.

If guns intimidate you for some reason, join me over at Armed American Radio ( or give me a Like at Armed American Radio over on Facebook and we’ll help cure that problem! Follow me on Twitter @AARMark

Mark Walters is the nationally syndicated talk radio host of Armed American Radio, Concealed Carry Magazine Columnist-The Ordinary Guy and Co-Author of the highly acclaimed book, Lessons from Armed America. Mark encourages listeners and readers to email him at [email protected]


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