How would you have responded to these two attempts at carjacking? When a carjacking begins you won’t have much time, so your Active Self Protection needs to be ready!
Original video of the carjacking #1: https://get-asp.com/xpuy
What does this video teach us about defending ourselves against a carjacking?
- Cars are constant transitional spaces, and since they’re valuable, a carjacking is always a threat. When they are moving, they’re really not, but when standing still your car is a likely place of attack. When you’re getting in or out, your awareness generally suffers because you’re distracted, providing carjackers and muggers with opportunity to ambush you. When approaching the car when it’s parked in public, it can be used as a hiding place as well. When you’re stopped at a light you have a highly valuable commodity (the car itself) and can be the target of carjacking. Recognize the increased risk your car brings and keep your awareness high!
- People have to fight from their car more often than we care to think about, whether against a carjacking or a mugging or a kidnapping. 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.
- 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, 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. If you have to deal with an immediate carjacking threat then by all means do so, but the best bet for follow-up is to get out of there using the car as the fastest means of escape.
- As well-meaning as police officers are, they cannot protect you from danger. As the old adage says, “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away!” You—and ONLY you—can protect yourself from danger when it comes upon you. A police response time of 5 minutes is considered perfectly acceptable in most suburban departments, and times upwards of 30 minutes can be the norm in rural areas! You need to have the attitude, skills, and plan to protect yourself from harm because the police simply can’t. The carjacking in each case was over so quickly that no intervention from police would have helped.
- If you’re the intended victim of a carjacking, you need to know what effect that the car glass will have on your marksmanship if you have to shoot through it. Generally, the closer your shot is to perpendicular the less the glass will deflect it. If your shot is NOT perpendicular to the glass, it will tend to deviate toward perpendicular to the glass as it passes through. This means if you are shooting out of your car through the windshield, the bullet will deflect high and might deflect to the side as well if you’re not shooting straight in front of you. It’s not an exact science; recognize in a carjacking that you’re likely going to have to put a number of rounds downrange to fight off the carjacker.
- In almost every carjacking that we see on surveillance video, 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.”)
- It is critical to know not only how to shoot from the “press out” position, but also from high compressed ready and from retention. Being able to shoot from a high compressed ready as well as from retention are vital skills for all self-defenders to have, because drawing the firearm and using it when there is a threat within arms-length means not pressing it out to use it effectively. You must have the ability to use it in close quarters without endangering your firearm. To use your firearm in a carjacking scenario many times means compromised shooting positons and odd body mechanics, and that’s best practiced in a vehicle fighting class.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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