Vehicular And Travel Security!
PART ONE: VEHICULAR AND TRAVEL SECURITY -
:) So let’s talk about those places where you’re most likely to run into trouble: At your vehicle, in parking lots, and on roadways! Most people know the basics:
(1) Always keep your gas tank above 1/2 full.
(2) Keep your windows rolled up; and, do not lower a window more than a crack in order to address ANY stranger.
(3) Always stop your own vehicle with enough distance between you and the vehicle in front to allow you to clearly see ALL of the rear tires on the lead vehicle.
(4) Never pullover and stop for an unmarked vehicle with a flashing red light. Continue driving to a busy populated area before you stop. (You might want to use your cell phone to describe your predicament to county dispatch.)
(5) In parking lots: look around carefully before you park. Do NOT park next to a large van – Especially one with sliding side doors! Always SCAN YOUR WAY TO AND FROM THE VEHICLE. If it doesn’t feel right, stop and, either, go back or call for assistance.
(6) At stop signs and stop lights, if there is a left-hand lane available, pull into it and use it to stop in. (Because we live in a right-handed world. You’ll increase your reaction time; and, if you have to, you'll be able to make more accurate shots.)
(7) Use your mirrors – All of them! If you’re sitting in a vehicle, not 30 seconds should pass that your eyes haven’t done a rolling 360 degree scan.
REACTION TIME IS EVERYTHING! If you so much as SUSPECT trouble, draw and conceal your pistol well in advance of the threat. One of the best ways to do this is to secret the drawn pistol underneath your support arm.
I will always believe that I once save my life by secretly drawing on a very angry man who suddenly pulled into an almost empty isolated parking lot and parked right next to me. He sat there for a few moments while he glared at me, hard, before finally getting out of his van and beginning to approach my window.
The guy was as alert as he appeared to be angry – much too alert! He immediately stopped trying to approach me when he noticed my right-hand drop from the wheel to my side.
(Yes, I was, ‘baiting’ him. He’d parked on my left side; and, I’d already drawn and secreted my pistol when he momentarily turned his back in order to get out of his vehicle.)
‘Mr. Angry’ suddenly froze in place for what seemed like an eternity and – without showing any of the normal social graces - actually stared and craned his neck in an effort to see what I had in my hand.
He, also, completely ignored the fact that I was quietly glaring right into his eyes! His face continued to show no other emotion except anger. When he made up his mind, he slammed his fist into the sliding door on his van, turned around, got back into his vehicle, and quickly drove off at an odd angle so that I couldn’t read his license plate.
So what do I know? Look, it can be an evil world; and, there doesn’t necessarily have to be a rational reason, ‘Why’? I’ll never really know what this guy was up to; but, he left me feeling, ‘cold’. I had an overwhelming impression that I’d just missed experiencing something wicked. :p
(8) Proper, 'mount up' (departure technique) requires you to, first, scan your way to your vehicle. Carry your key in your support hand. (A key is, also, an, 'eye gouge weapon'; and, if it’s wintertime you should keep a BUG in an outside coat pocket, too.) Start your vehicle immediately upon sitting down – Don’t do anything else, first. When your butt hits the seat the doors should be locked, and you should have begun your first 360 degree scan while the engine is running.
Do NOT immediately fasten your seat belt. The right time to do that is during the first 100 yards that your vehicle travels down the road; and, when you fasten that belt, do NOT pin your weapon underneath your belted cover garment! Pull the jacket front out and place it on the outside of the seat belt.
(9) Proper, 'dismount' (arrival technique) requires you to, also, scan your way into the spot where you intend to park. Personally, I begin an arrival scan from about 100 yards out. The right time to remove your seat belt is at the same time as you begin the dismount procedure.
Do NOT wait until after you’ve parked before you try to remove that belt. All passenger cars have interior dome lights. Unless I really need them, mine are always turned off. Do NOT remain inside the vehicle any longer than you have to. Once the engine shuts down, the quicker you get yourself outside the vehicle the better!
(10) As a general rule: Try not to be entirely predictable! Vary your daily routines, occasionally take different routes to and from common destinations, and try not to park in exactly the same parking spot every time. If you have a choice between parking in a space with front and back access, or another space that you have only one way access into or out of, always choose the space that offers both ingress and egress. Remember that maintaining an open, 'field of view' is, also, important!
PART TWO: COMMON VEHICULAR SECURITY FAUX PAS -
(1) Should you take your pistol out while in a moving vehicle? Nope! Do NOT do it. Simply uncover and prepare to draw.
(2) Should you attempt to elude or outrun the bad guys? If an armed attacker falls in behind your vehicle and begins to pursue, DO NOT do what you see in the movies and try to outrun the other vehicle. If you’re facing a driver/shooter team or if the other driver is even reasonably good with a weapon, you won’t make it! Happily, the decision to engage has, now, been made for you: Stop abruptly at the first opportunity and engage!
(3) What should you do: Go for the pistol, or go for the phone? There is a right time to use a pistol, and there is a right time to use a cell phone. Do NOT confuse the two. You don’t want to be caught holding a phone when you should be holding a pistol.
(4) Should you attempt to use your vehicle as a weapon? Yeah, sure, but you probably won’t have a viable opportunity to do this. It’s always better to attempt to run, first, and do everything you can in order to quickly, ‘GET OFF THE X!’
(5) Should you obey all of the normal traffic patterns and safety signals when you’re being pursued? No, you should not. If anything, there might be a small opportunity at the beginning of a chase to evade an attacker.
If you’re going to be able to successfully escape it will, probably, be during the first 30 seconds after initial contact is made that you’ll have the best chance. Slow down at intersections; look both ways; and, then, proceed on through the moment traffic is clear. (Use the shoulder or sidewalk if you have to.) It’s always a good idea to know where your local police stations are located! (Nowadays, you can plug the coordinates into your GPS!) Moreover - and, perhaps, more likely - if you become involved in a road rage incident, THIS is where you should immediately drive straight to.
We could, also, talk about PIT and evasive driving techniques; but, right now, I think that would be going too far.
Whatever else you do with a vehicle (besides travel around in it) always remember that you’re never more vulnerable than when you’re trapped inside one of these rolling, ‘tin coffins’! Don’t do stupid things like sleep in parking lots, or frequent highway rest areas. Always get in and out of highway rest areas as quickly as possible. The only thing worse than prolonged parking in a highway rest area is attempting to use one of the public bathrooms.
I’ve actually faced urinals in these places at 1 or 2 o'clock in the morning with a pistol secreted underneath my support arm. The other thing I am scrupulously careful about is getting jumped, ‘over the top’ and hit on the head while using a public toilet stall. (Which may, or may not, be the best way to relieve yourself in public.) Anyway, whenever I stop to eat while on the road, THAT is always the best time to take care of, ‘other business’ too.
It should go without saying that you should always be alert for, 'choke points' on walking paths; and, NEVER ALLOW strangers to approach you whenever you’re out and about on the road. They’ve got nothing good to offer you; invariably, it’s going to be the other way around! Remember the drill:
‘STOP! DON’T COME ANY CLOSER. I HAVE NO BUSINESS WITH YOU; I HAVE NOTHING FOR YOU!’ (This should do it for you. If not, stand your ground, and prepare to brush your coat or reach into your bag. There’s, still, more that you could say. :)
‘GO AWAY! I DON’T WANT TO TALK TO YOU! GO AWAY, NOW!’ Watch the hands; watch for an accomplice; (The smartest operators always have, at least, one!) and watch for any sign of noncompliance. It’s rare to get a second chance to do things right in this sort of situation.
If your instructions aren’t promptly followed, well ……… you know the rest of the drill: ‘I HAVE A GUN; AND, I’M READY TO USE IT!’ This final sentence should be uttered with your hand on the pistol; but, wait a moment, don’t draw right away; and, do NOT give the other guy(s) a good look at whatever you’re carrying because that might be used to fabricate a BS complaint against you later on.
‘Hello, 911?’ ‘A guy driving a late model white Chevy Blazer just pulled a small black pistol on me.’ ‘It looked like a Glock automatic!’ ‘All I did was ask him for the time; and, next thing I know I’m looking at the muzzle of a Glock!’ (I’ve read stories on the internet of several genuinely frightened – but, otherwise, completely innocent - people to whom something like this has actually happened.)
Life out on the road ain’t easy! The most important thing you can do in order to protect yourself in a situation like this is to KEEP THE OTHER GUY AWAY FROM YOU! (Me? I like 15 to 20 yards.) ;)
I would add- When you must stop at a red light try to be in a position that allows escape. Never get yourself boxed in. Be in the left lane or the far right lane (depending on the exact layout of the intersection). Be either the first iin line at the light or leave enough room between you and the car in front of you that you can steer out and escape. Predators want easy prey. Many if not most will abandon their plan if you do something unexpected (like drive away from them). Being #2 or more in line with cars stopped to each side is a VERY bad situation that leaves you only one option, engage.
I prefer to have engage as my second option (when off duty).
Eye contact is vitally important. Predators look for prey. Prey does not make eye contact, predators do. If a predator knows he is facing another predator, he will be forced to re-evaluate his situation and perhaps abandon the plan. Wolves, Sheep and Sheepdogs is an analogy that I am VERY fond of. I am not a sheep, I am not food.
Vehicular And Travel Security!
As a former correctional officer. I am always on the alert.
My wife used to think it was silly. Until a friend of hers got
mugged. She live in New Hampshire. Now my wife is a beliver.
Good looking out, thanks for posting this up.
War story for ya, I was in Fayettenam, NC several years back and a creep stopped two lanes over and forward of me. I had been watching him so I saw him get out of his car. He came straight toward my truck (stupid mistake on his part, F250 super duty) so I had 3 options. 1. run him over; I had left the requisite stopping space between me and the next car so I had room to do so 2. put two .45s in his chest when he grabbed my door handle or 3. throw it in reverse and back away since no one was behind me. I chose to back up and "run away". Very un manly but I think it was the best thing to do. It worked. He retreated back to his car and drove off (couldnt get the plate). I was pretty satisfied with my reaction, it was one of those times when I didnt have to AAR myself and think "I should have done this, should have done that". Your post is a great example of leaving options open, great advice.
IMHO there is only one way to win a gun fight....Don't get shot. If you manage to avoid any shooting at all you win. If you shoot the otherguy and you don't get shot, you win. If you both get shot in an exchange of gunfire, you both lose...even if you survive.
Not getting shot, that's the ticket.
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