Have you thought about or trained for a carjacking attempt? This armed citizen certainly practiced Active Self Protection in defending himself against this carjacking attempt, and we can learn from him!
Original video of the carjacking attempt, with scant detail: https://get-asp.com/8yz9
What does this carjacking attempt teach us about defending ourselves with a firearm?
- Evil exists in our world, and no amount of wishing it away does so. This carjacking shows that well! Evil people do evil things, and good people must be ready and willing to stand between them and innocent people and do enough violence to stop them definitively. No amount of negotiation will make truly evil people change their ways; only those willing and able to stop them who use attitude, skills, and plan effectively can.
- Situational awareness is your best friend. It doesn’t mean that you always are paranoid or living in “condition orange,” but it does mean that you know Col. Cooper’s color code of awareness and you live by it. Pay attention to your surroundings, and recognize that when you’re in public places you need to be more aware of your surroundings than when you’re in private. This armed citizen was able to be ready when the carjacking started because he saw them with a bit of notice before the attack formally launched, and that situational awareness was an important part of him winning the fight.
- This carjacking certainly shows that if you have spiritual fitness by knowing what you’re willing to fight for and that you’re willing and ready to win the fight no matter what, you place yourself way ahead of most attackers. Attackers are looking for victims and not looking for fights, so many times when an intended victim puts up a significant fight they will disengage and find other prey. This makes sense even in the animal kingdom where we often see an apex predator disengage from feisty prey for fear of injury. Being ready to defend yourself is a key in self-defense because that defense will often cause the bad guy to run. This is part of why spiritual fitness is so important to self-defense including carjacking defense.
- It is very easy in a deadly force encounter to get tunnel vision and forget that there might be additional threats nearby. That can be a deadly mistake to make! Make sure to break that focus on the immediate threat once it’s been sufficiently stopped and scan and assess for any trailing accomplices or additional threats that might be coming your way. In this carjacking the bad guy with the gun is clearly the first threat to be dealt with, but don’t completely forget about the second guy!
- We must never settle for being able to protect ourselves against a lone attacker because of how common multiple attacker engagements are. Rats travel in packs, so we must always be prepared to face multiple attackers! Most carjacking attempts that we see involve at least attackers, sometimes more. Multiple attackers make the fight more difficult, but not impossible if you train and prepare!
- In most instances that we see on surveillance video such as this carjacking, the first person to put shots on target wins the gunfight. That’s not 100% because injured people can stay in the fight a long time, but it is a good “rule of thumb” because once someone gets shot they usually stop thinking about whatever it is they were doing and start thinking about the pain they’re in and how not to get shot again. The lesson in that is clear: be the first to put shots on target. (this is the corollary to Joe Frick’s Rules for a Gunfight #3, “Only hits count. The only thing worse than a miss is a slow miss.”)
- Never leave your life-saving tools at home. Having attitude and skills to protect yourself with your firearm will not help you if you do not have it on your person when you need it. Leaving your gun in the glove compartment, on the night stand, or in your safe could be a fatal mistake. Keep your tools on your person whenever you legally can so that if (God forbid) you need them, you have them. This is the same reason you wear your seatbelt every trip in the car, and keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. You need to have it ready before you need it. This armed citizen needed his gun RIGHT NOW when the carjacking started, not in 10 seconds.
- People have to fight from their car more often than we care to think about; it’s a definitional issue in a carjacking! You should consider and prepare for fighting for your life and freedom while in the seats of your car. These kinds of skills can be practiced in a good force on force class and should prepare you to win against a determined attacker who means to harm you and yours in your vehicle.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
Copyright Disclaimer. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.