Do you think about how to respond to a carjacker? This armed citizen certainly did, and saved himself. This is why we work on our Active Self Protection every day, so that in the moment of need we’re ready!
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How do I protect myself from a carjacker?
1. 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. Also, remember that you must treat your car like “public” rather than a private space, and be aware accordingly. You can’t always see a carjacker coming from a long way away, but any notice helps.
2. Transitional spaces are places where we MUST be more careful of potential attack. A transitional space is any location that (1) allows attackers to prey on potential victims with an element of surprise and (2) provides ready escape for the attackers. Here, the barricade created a transitional space because of the choke point where the carjacker could ambush a potential victim. This carjacker just picked the wrong one!
3. Marksmanship matters! The old saying is quite true: you can’t miss fast enough to win a gunfight. As a self-defender you need to practice and train to put your first shot on target as fast as you can, but the key is to put as many shots on target as possible. By putting one of his carjackers down, this armed citizen was able to get away from danger and protect himself.
4. In the moment an armed robber attacks you, you must look for your opportunity to protect yourself. It is strongly possible that the moment of the attack is not that moment. You want to wait for the time that the armed robber is not focusing on you to act with decisiveness to protect yourself. Here the victim feigned compliance to buy time to get to his firearm, and looked for his opportunity and took it.
5. I can’t believe how often I have to say this, but LOCK YOUR CAR DOORS. When you get in the car, lock the doors. If your car automatically unlocks the doors when you put it in park or shut the engine off, read your owner’s manual and change that setting. Your car door is a great barrier to keep between you and any potential carjackings, so keep it locked for your safety! This man had his car door locked and it gave him the chance he needed. Lock your doors!
6. One of the best ways to protect yourself while you’re in the car is to simply drive off. The car can get away quickly if you are ready when a carjacker strikes, taking you out of danger. So be ready to drive off if you need to! Keep the car in drive until you’re ready to get out. Keep the engine running. If you’re aware of your surroundings you can escape a lot of problems. This man did a great job of protecting himself with a firearm, but usually the best answer is to drive off if possible.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
(music in the intro and outro courtesy of http://www.bensound.com)