No carjacking is ever “routine,” but places where you bring the car to a stop are more likely places to need your Active Self Protection against a carjacking!
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News story on the carjacking and subsequent shootout with police: https://get-asp.com/6aeh
What does this video teach us about defending ourselves against a carjacking?
- 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. Seeing the carjacking when the gun was pointed at her face was a bad idea!
- 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. Your car becomes a transitional space whenever you park it, until either you’re in a secure area (garage with door closed) or away from it. Carjackings happen when the car is stopped!
- In any territorial or predatorial violence, the attacker gets to set the time and circumstances of the attack. They will almost always launch that attack from ambush, or as we like to call it in Umas, from “obscurity.” Surviving that ambush is one of the most important keys to successfully defending yourself. The victim of the carjacking had time to survive the ambush and plan a counter-ambush, but most carjackings are very fast.
- If you do not have the attitude, skills, and plan to protect yourself from a carjacking, then your only option is to submit to their demands and hope it works out for the best. I would never suggest that a helpless person try to defend themselves against a carjacking or armed robbery, though of course if it’s a matter of life and death you must do whatever you can. The point, though, is not to be a helpless victim! This is the heart of Active Self Protection, to motivate you to train and help you develop the attitude, skills, and plan so that you can choose to protect yourself if it makes sense in the moment rather than being forced into compliance with a violent felon!
- In a deadly force encounter like a carjacking, decisions of life and death will be made in the blink of an eye. On the range and in class we have time to consider and to think and to reset and to make multiple attempts, but when the balloon goes up in real life you’ve got fractions of seconds to decide what the best course of action is to protect yourself. The way to be better at decision making in the heat of the moment is training, specifically scenario training and force-on-force training that is designed to work on decision-making skills under stress. It’s offered all over the country, so get training!
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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