Have you trained on the effective use of car cover and concealment in your defensive training? Americans spend a lot of time around their car, so making that part of your Active Self Protection is important!
Original video of the use of car cover and concealment with some details: https://get-asp.com/htgh
UPDATE: News story puts this incident in Johannesburg, South Africa: https://get-asp.com/vcdo
What does this video teach us about using car cover and concealment?
- 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. I think that this man was pretty aware of his surroundings before the assassination attempt, and being able to see it coming was evidence that he was thinking and processing as well. Awareness always pays! This is doubly so around your car.
- 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. The attackers used the transitional space to hide and launch the assassination attempt from ambush.
- It’s dark for half the day, and bad guys of all kinds love to launch ambushes from the dark. That means, as a self defender, that part of having good situational awareness involves keeping a flashlight on your person. That flashlight doesn’t have to be crazy tacticool and shouldn’t be firearm-mounted, because its purpose is to help you see at night to give you better awareness of any potential threats far before they can hurt you. A VERY compact option that runs on AAs is this Streamlight: http://amzn.to/1U9S39H and I carry this 1000 lumen Fenix: http://amzn.to/1S73jjb which is rechargeable and has multiple modes of brightness. I highly recommend a flashlight for everyone, simply as an awareness tool at night.
- There is a significant difference between territorial and predatorial violence. (I learned these terms from Marc MacYoung) Territorial violence occurs when an aggressor wants something from you; they put a line in the sand and tell you that you will give it to them, or they will hurt you. Muggings and rapes fall in this category among others. Predatorial violence occurs when the attacker wants you dead and there is no ability to comply with demands to live. In territorial violence compliance might get you out alive, but a predatory attacker will not be stopped short of your death or you having the attitude, skills, and plan to stop them. This was predatorial violence, plain and simple. Sometimes the attacker just wants you dead!
- If you have a partner with you when you’re attacked (be it a LEO partner if you work on a team, or your spouse or martial artist buddy), you want to do everything you can to work as a team. Knowing each other well and communicating clearly will help you protect yourself from danger. This takes training and practice and commitment, but two partners working together present a formidable challenge to any attacker. The intended victim HAD a partner in the car, but I don’t know if that partner had any training and it doesn’t appear they worked in tandem much.
- In a gunfight, movement is your friend. You must be ready not only to draw and fire, but to draw and fire while moving laterally, back, and diagonally. You simply will not stand still in a gunfight because it is against every instinct you have when in mortal danger! People who focus too much on stance or isosceles vs. Weaver forget this fact, but as self-defenders we must know that we will be moving. So practice and train movement on the draw and fire. This is a great reason to have airsoft trainers and practice draw and move in your dry-fire regimen as well. The car cover and concealment in this incident shows how important it is to move and shoot!
- In a gunfight, cover and concealment are important tools to know and use. Cover is anything that will stop bullets; concealment is that which will not stop bullets but will hide you from being seen by the aggressors. In many instances concealment works as well as cover against attackers who are not highly trained because they won’t shoot through it. Even so, cover and concealment only work for a few moments before the bad guys will start to work around them, so use them judiciously to buy you time and give you an advantage in a gunfight.
- You must know what parts of your car offer cover, and what parts of your car are only concealment. Car doors and windows are no help against bullets, friends. They are concealment. The engine block provides cover, as do steel wheels and the transmission and axles. If you have to use your car to protect yourself from incoming fire, movement is your best friend and you must be ready to shoot from unconventional positions. Taking a course on using a handgun in a vehicle is much advised.
- If you can use your car to escape, that’s normally your best bet. If you CAN’T use your car to escape for whatever reason (you’re blocked in, it’s dead, etc.) then it becomes a mobile coffin where you can’t really move, and you can’t freely maneuver to engage threats all around you. In that case, do what you can to get away from the coffin. Use the car as cover or concealment if you can, but don’t stay in the car if it’s not going to be moving.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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