Question about escalation...

This is a discussion on Question about escalation... within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Ok, this is a little odd, but since it happens to me fairly regularly, I thought I'd ask peoples opinions. I have a three year ...

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Thread: Question about escalation...

  1. #1
    Member Array Tegan's Avatar
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    Question about escalation...

    Ok, this is a little odd, but since it happens to me fairly regularly, I thought I'd ask peoples opinions.

    I have a three year old, said three year old is in a car seat still (and still needs to be buckled in by an adult.) On many occasions I've had the driver of the car next to me (car seat side) get in and start backing up WHILE I was buckling my daughter into her car seat. This means door open and INCHES from their car while I'm standing behind the open door. In other words, if they back up and their car catches my door I will be injured, perhaps seriously injured.

    Normally when the driver starts backing up I quickly turn around and give their car a thump. Enough to get their attention but not to damage the car. Sometimes I get a sheepish "sorry" look and they wait for me to finish (note, I'm not being slow about it, I get her in there and buckled as fast as possible), sometimes it leads to a verbal argument between me and the driver. I've never had someone get out or threaten me but I realize that this could be a possibility.

    I realize that a gun is a LAST resort. (I don't currently carry but I'm working on that.) And that this situation shouldn't EVER lead to me having to draw, but....their are crazy people in this world. Could my thumping their car be considered an escalation? My gut tells me yes, but I don't know how to get their attention and keep me safe otherwise in this instance.

    I'm willing to be the lesser "man" always. (I'm a woman.) I have no problem with them starting to rant at me and saying "Sorry, I didn't know if you were aware I was there and I didn't want to get caught between my door and the car if your car were to hit it. I was just trying to get your attention, not damage your car. I'll be done in just a second, thanks for understanding and being patient."

    I do try to park with the car seat side twords a non-car (curb, cart return, etc) or to park a few stalls away from others at the end of the lot, but its not always possible.

    Anyone have thoughts on this or how to handle it? Like I said, it should NEVER lead to a weapon being drawn, but crazy people being what they are, I could see me thumping a car leading to a 6'4" 300lbs A-hole jumping out of his car with a tire iron. Just looking for alternate ideas from those with a good level of SA.

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array smolck's Avatar
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    If you tap on their car, then you will likely be viewed as the aggressor. I personally wouldn't care much for it if you did it to me. Why should I have to wait for you to buckle your child? Do what I do when I have my kids, wait till they back up and then buckle them in.

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    Ex Member Array azchevy's Avatar
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    If you are carrying a weapon it is your responsibility to ensure that things do not get escalated and to go out of your way to make sure it doesnt. That goes tenfold when you have children with you. You have a big responsibility now.

    What happens if the guy whose car you just thumped is snapping already and that sets him off and instead of going home to kill his wife he decides you and your kid will do? Don't instigate things. Ever.

  5. #4
    JD
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    I hate buckling the kiddo in....I really do. What we've found to work best is to get in the car and close the door and buckle him up from in the back.

    This serves a couple purposes.

    1: It prevents us from being in a vulnerable position: Rear end out of car, head and hands inside car focused on the little guy.
    2: It will prevent our door from being hit

    If both of us are out one will buckle in Speedloader in the normal fashion while the other "keeps look out"

    As for what you're doing, don't thump the car unless you're really about to be hit by it, an armed society is a polite society and while it's annoying just let them back up and go about your business.

    As for escalation of force...if you feel you are at risk of great bodily harm or serious injury you can use reasonable force including lethal force to prevent such actions. If someone comes out with a tire iron, I doubt they're looking to help you change a tire and are armed with intent, but you have to look at the fact that you instigated the incident.

    There are specific potions of Iowa code that cover this that I will post shortly.

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    JD
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    Here's what Iowa Code has to say:

    704.6 When defense not available.
    The defense of justification is not available to the following:
    1. One who is participating in a forcible felony, or riot, or a duel.
    2. One who initially provokes the use of force against oneself, with the intent to use such force as an excuse to inflict injury on the assailant.
    3. One who initially provokes the use of force against oneself by one’s unlawful acts, unless:
    a. Such force is grossly disproportionate to the provocation, and is so great that the person reasonably believes that the person is in imminent danger of death or serious injury
    or
    b. The person withdraws from physical contact with the other and indicates clearly to the other that the person desires to terminate the conflict but the other continues or resumes the use of force.
    A prosecutor could claim that you "set up" the driver with intent to use lethal force,

    Someone jumping out with a tire iron for you bumping their car is using grossly disproportionate force in response to your actions. And just bumping their car is probably not an illegal act.


    Reasonable force
    04.1 Reasonable force.
    “Reasonable force” is that force and no more which a reasonable person, in like circumstances, would judge to be necessary to prevent an injury or loss and can include deadly force if it is reasonable to believe that such force is necessary to avoid injury or risk to one’s life or safety or the life or safety of another, or it is reasonable to believe that such force is necessary to resist a like force or threat. Reasonable force, including deadly force, may be used even if an alternative course of action is available if the alternative entails a risk to life or safety, or the life or safety of a third party, or requires one to abandon or retreat from one’s dwelling or place of business or employment.
    Pay special attention to the part in bold, Iowa law is tricky on duty to retreat, you would have to be able to articulate that you had no other safe choice, as your child would be in your vehicle with an angry, armed attacker advancing it would not be hard to articulate your case for having no safe alternative.

    Deadly Force
    704.2 Deadly force.
    The term “deadly force” means any of the following:
    1. Force used for the purpose of causing serious injury.
    2. Force which the actor knows or reasonably should know will create a strong probability that serious injury will result.
    3. The discharge of a firearm, other than a firearm loaded with less lethal munitions and discharged by a peace officer, corrections officer, or corrections official in the line of duty, in the direction of some person with the knowledge of the person’s presence there, even though no intent to inflict serious physical injury can be shown.
    4. The discharge of a firearm, other than a firearm loaded with less lethal munitions and discharged by a peace officer, corrections officer, or corrections official in the line of duty, at a vehicle in which a person is known to be.
    As used in this section, “less lethal munitions” means projectiles which are designed to stun, temporarily incapacitate, or cause temporary discomfort to a person without penetrating the person’s body.

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    Tegan, your situation is not unique as many of us are parents. I (used to) treat my kid like a prize Easter egg in a parking lot. Putting us between my car and another car that is being driven by a complete stranger was something that I just didn't do.

    However, you are on the right train of thought (with good replies above). The name of the game is avoidance. The goal is to go your entire, long life without ever having to draw on someone. This means letting others go first, flip you off, cuss at you, verbally threaten you, say disparaging things about your SO, everything short of physically threatening your life after you've done everything that you could to avoid the situation in which they did.

    Good post.
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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Listen to your gut. Also try looking for ways to park that limit a car next to you on the carseat side. If that's not possible, JD has a good plan to copy from.
    I would Also carry pepper spray so you have options should the need arise.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

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    Member Array nhcruffler's Avatar
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    I agree with smolk on this. Thumping peoples cars is not a wise thing to do. Especially when you have your child with you. FWIW, If I was starting to buckle junior into the car seat and someone jumped into the car next to me I would hurry up with what I was doing. If they start their car I would close my door so they could pull away without incident. Its the polite thing to do.

  10. #9
    TVJ
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    Quote Originally Posted by nhcruffler View Post
    I agree with smolk on this. Thumping peoples cars is not a wise thing to do. Especially when you have your child with you. FWIW, If I was starting to buckle junior into the car seat and someone jumped into the car next to me I would hurry up with what I was doing. If they start their car I would close my door so they could pull away without incident. Its the polite thing to do.
    The OP was there first.

    The polite thing to do is for the other driver to WAIT a second or acknowledge verbally that shes there, let her move/close door, etc.


    Where the hell did our manners go?

    This is a MOTHER buckling up her CHILD.

    Having said that:

    Many people could care less nowadays. So what do you do.

    I suggest getting fully in the back seat with child from the side opposite the carseat.

    You can close the door and lock it behind you since your situational awareness is only on your child.


    Rapping on the car....how does that escalate anything legally against OP if no damage occurs to the other's car. You're letting him know you are there as the other driver pulls out literally right next to you...possibly inches. Her action seems reasonable in light of the potential "danger"

    Tactically, maybe a couple of knocks on the side windows is less surprising for the other driver.

    What is the vehicle code in your state regarding pulling out of a parking spot with someone next to you, a door open. etc.

    From a self defense standpoint, if you were my sister, my concerns are as follows: Getting hit by the other car. Stop being there to avoid the issue.

    The safest place for you from an escalating other driver is: doors locked inside the car with your child.

    Other driver has to get out of his car, and come around to car. Turn car on and drive away.

    What are your Iowa Castle Doctrine Laws regarding inside vehicle defense from attack.

    Knowing the law and your application of it tactically is key.
    "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."
    - Frederic Bastiat

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    JD
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    Quote Originally Posted by TVJ View Post


    Rapping on the car....how does that escalate anything legally against OP if no damage occurs to the other's car. You're letting him know you are there as the other driver pulls out literally right next to you...possibly inches. Her action seems reasonable in light of the potential "danger"

    Anything involving more than one party is subject different points of view, some true, some slightly true, and others totally outrageous. What one describes as "rapping" can later be described as kicking, punching, striking with an object, attempting to beak a window etc. by the occupant of the vehicle. It's a matter of he said / she said unless there's witnesses/video that can show what really happened. If someone's head is rectally challenged, they could even try to claim that you hit their car with your door etc.

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    Member Array Tegan's Avatar
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    They are working on changing the Castle Doctrine Laws, but right now they are if I can flee I MUST. No stand your ground, period. Including in your own home or business. (Unless in defense of self or others.)

    Yep, in my instance I'm always in the MIDDLE of buckling my kid up when someone jumps into their car and starts backing up (probably without even checking if the lane behind them is clear....) If I get there and someone is sitting in their car with or without motor running I wait to make sure they see me and give them time to back out, then when they're gone or have acknowledged me and given me the go ahead I start buckling up my kid.

    I'll have to look at the laws regarding backing with someone next to your car. Thanks, never thought to look into that. I'll also have to clear out the back passenger side and try to keep it that way. We often take our dog places (park, vet, etc...) and so I just keep the stroller and bags and stuff in the back seat instead of the cargo space, makes it hard to crawl across the seat and buckle her in. I also like having her on the same side as the driver so that I don't have to buckle her in, crawl out, walk around the car and get in. Just makes it a little safer in my opinion.

    Thanks for the feedback, it's something I'll definitely keep in mind. Like I said, don't see this ever being an issue that will require a gun drawn, but crazies are crazies (I once had a lady go off on me because my kid wasn't wearing shoes....in the middle of summer....in her stroller.....) and I want to make sure my actions don't set them off.

    Where the hell did our manners go?
    I know right? It always amazes me when someone does this to me. I've only had one guy get super pissed about me calling him out on it. Like I was questioning his superb driving skills.....seriously...ego much? (My response ended up being, "I don't know if you're a great driver or not, most people aren't, so sorry I told you to stop, but isn't it easier to wait the 60 seconds that it takes me to finish then it is to argue with me for 5 minutes about if you were going to hit me or not? If you're in such a HUGE rush, maybe stopping at Target would have been a trip better saved for later.")

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    JD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tegan View Post
    They are working on changing the Castle Doctrine Laws, but right now they are if I can flee I MUST. No stand your ground, period. Including in your own home or business. (Unless in defense of self or others.)
    Not really, see my post above...

    04.1 Reasonable force.
    “Reasonable force” is that force and no more which a reasonable person, in like circumstances, would judge to be necessary to prevent an injury or loss and can include deadly force if it is reasonable to believe that such force is necessary to avoid injury or risk to one’s life or safety or the life or safety of another, or it is reasonable to believe that such force is necessary to resist a like force or threat. Reasonable force, including deadly force, may be used even if an alternative course of action is available if the alternative entails a risk to life or safety, or the life or safety of a third party, or requires one to abandon or retreat from one’s dwelling or place of business or employment.
    \

    If fleeing puts you or another at risk, you may use lethal force. It boils down to that risk. As an FYI, pick up "On Combat" by Dave Grossman and see what he has to say about the numbers killed while in retreat in a combat environment and how predatory nature reacts to retreat.

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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    While I am sympathetic to the op, I am not grasping the problem. While admittedly, it has been a long time since I buckled in children. What does it take to buckle a child in a car seat 10-15 seconds tops. You look around, nobody within ten to fifteen feet. Open door, place child in seat. buckle child up, close door. Unless they (other poeple) are running and quicker than most, they will not get to their car, unlock, get in, start motor and back out, before you are finished. Am I missing something?
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

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    JD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guantes View Post
    While I am sympathetic to the op, I am not grasping the problem. While admittedly, it has been a long time since I buckled in children. What does it take to buckle a child in a car seat 10-15 seconds tops. You look around, nobody within ten to fifteen feet. Open door, place child in seat. buckle child up, close door. Unless they (other poeple) are running and quicker than most, they will not get to their car, unlock, get in, start motor and back out, before you are finished. Am I missing something?
    Car seats now days are worse than NASCAR rigs, straps get tangled, sat on, wresting around, stupid buckle get flipped over backwards... spouse didn't loosen the strap when taking the kid out. ...it can be a pain in the rear. Sometimes it's 30 seconds, sometimes it's 5 minutes.

  16. #15
    Member Array Tegan's Avatar
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    Car seats now days are worse than NASCAR rigs, straps get tangled, sat on, wresting around, stupid buckle get flipped over backwards... spouse didn't loosen the strap when taking the kid out. ...it can be a pain in the rear. Sometimes it's 30 seconds, sometimes it's 5 minutes.
    And that's IF your kid is cooperating....which mine never does!

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