What’s the best way to respond to a carjacking attempt? (I suppose in this case it’s a motorcycle jacking) Knowing what you’re willing to fight for, when to respond to a carjacking with resistance and when to let it go, is an important part of our Active Self Protection pre-planning!
Original video of the carjacking: https://get-asp.com/vnds
What does this carjacking teach us about defending ourselves against an attack?
- You must accept that danger exists and that it can happen to you. This is the foundational core of spiritual fitness and the first step in taking proactive steps to protect yourself and your loved ones. If you live in a fantasyland that nothing bad can happen because nothing bad has happened in the past, you’re setting yourself up for a terrible letdown. Most of us live our lives thinking that a carjacking like this could never happen to us, and for most it won’t happen. But if it does, you need to be ready.
- Situational awareness is your best friend, because if you can see a carjacking attempt coming you can probably avoid it. 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.
- Cars are constant transitional spaces. When they are moving, they’re really not, but when standing still your car is a likely place of attack (mostly carjacking or kidnapping). 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 ambushed and carjacked. Recognize the increased risk your car brings and keep your awareness high!
- 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.
- 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, and this carjacking brings this point to the forefront. 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.
- Spiritual fitness is an important part of Active Self Protection. You don’t often get any advance notice of the last day of your life as we see in this carjacking, but we see over and over that self-defense isn’t a guarantee of winning every fight you might be placed in. You want to be at peace with your loved ones and with God, because you’ll need that peace on the day that you meet Him. Since you can’t guarantee advanced notice, make peace today.
- 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. Before your Kung Fu, and before your Gun Fu, you should consider whether your best defense is Run Fu! This carjacking turned into a murder in part because the victim stayed in the danger zone.
- If you don’t have a force multiplier in the fight but the attacker does, to defend yourself you must know how to close the distance to get your hands into the fight. A firearm has significant distance advantage, and a smart attacker will keep it out of range from your hands. If you do choose to fight back, you MUST close the distance to get the gun out of the fight before he can use it against you. That usually will involve feigned compliance and redirection as well as waiting for the right opportunity to move. In this carjacking, if the victim was going to effectively defend himself, he had to close the distance with speed and with intent. He didn’t and paid for it.
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.