A carjacking is a deadly force encounter, every time. We all need our Active Self Protection ready in the moment as we decide whether and when to protect ourselves! Would you have just let the car go in that moment?
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Original video with some details: http://get-asp.com/acz1
How do I protect myself from a carjacking?
- 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 carjacking, so keep it locked for your safety! Only unlock the door when it’s time for you to get out of the car. Otherwise let the door act as a barrier between you and carjackers.
- 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. Driveways are transitional spaces because we’re often preoccupied and spend time with our attention diverted, giving attackers the chance to spring a carjacking on us. When you’re in your driveway, take a quick look around! Better yet, pull the car into the garage if you have one before getting out!
- If you do not have the attitude, skills, and plan to protect yourself from an attacker, 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.
- Do not stay in the danger zone if you can possibly help it. So many times people get decision paralysis and freeze, but you cannot stay in a place where a deadly threat exists! Either act to leave the area, or act to protect yourself. Every second you give an attacker is another opportunity they have to do you and yours harm, so don’t allow that. If you can, get out of there immediately. If you can’t, then look for your opportunity to ensure your own safety by whatever means necessary. In this carjacking, the victim put himself back into the danger zone by firing on the carjackers after they were leaving. I don’t recommend that at all.
- We must each decide what is worth protecting. Life is always worth protecting because it is of inestimable worth; as unique bearers of the image of God, people are the most valuable “thing” imaginable. Property is something else, though. With property we always have to balance the benefit against the risk to ourselves and our families. Even where it’s legally allowed, you should consider whether it’s wise or prudent to defend your property, because doing so puts you at risk and not just the bad guy. In this carjacking the victim put himself at deadly risk again by firing on the carjackers, which is of course best avoided!
- Keep your firearm on your person! Plenty of people keep a firearm stationed near them under the counter or on a desk or in the glove compartment, but in the moment of need you can’t ever be sure that you can get to it if it’s not on your person. This man had no time in the carjacking to protect himself with anything that wasn’t on his person!
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
(music in the intro and outro courtesy of http://www.bensound.com)