Road Rage and my LC9
This is a discussion on Road Rage and my LC9 within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; It is you who are full of it (speculation, that is).
You speculate that you will get away by ramming two cars. In your panic, ...
October 1st, 2011 12:02 AM
It is you who are full of it (speculation, that is).
You speculate that you will get away by ramming two cars. In your panic, you probably would puncture your radiator or bust something else.
You totally disregard the question whether the driver in the car behind is going to just sit in his car and be amused by your antics when in fact he will probably be more angry that the instigator.
Think about it. The guy in the car behind you sees the other guy jump out of his car mad as hell pounding on your widow. At this point he has no idea who is right and who is wrong.
Now you start smashing his car.
I think at this point he will take sides and you now have two guys that want to massage your scalp.
OP was in a bad spot. No question about it, but his solution worked. Yours would have escalated it beyond repair.
October 1st, 2011 12:02 AM
October 1st, 2011 12:15 AM
I would be disinclined to do anything with the car window. As long as it's up and secure, it's structurally sound. Lowering it, even a fraction of an inch, weakens the barrier substantially.
If bozo road rage guy wants to bang on the window a few times, let 'em. No big deal.
I would open my console compartment and draw my LC9 (which I keep there), and hold it beside the door, out of sight, at the ready. Brandishing the weapon is iffy at this stage. This point is arguable.
If you are truly in fear for your life, then yes, present and point the weapon. For some readers here, that standard has been met. Personally, until my vehicle has been breached, I don't see the "afraid for my life" standard being met yet. But I wouldn't touch the window button at all.
This does raise the matter of road rage drivers and defensive motoring skills. Can't armchair quarterback this one - I wasn't there, I don't know what the traffic pattern was - but I do know that defensive driving courses, the type they teach to professional chauffeurs, people who have to escort high-priority targets, learn to drive in a manner to evade and avoid traps like being pinned between vehicles.
"It may seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first."
October 1st, 2011 12:23 AM
Personally, I wouldn't follow him. Make, model, color, and BG description are enough for the police to look for, if they have the time for a hit and run and assault. BG didn't display a weapon or crack the safety glass of the window (maybe it was rolled down). It was close, but deadly force wasn't indicated. I probably wouldn't have let him see the gun unless I had to pull the trigger. Now if he had gone back to his vehicle to retrieve a weapon, I'd exit the passenger side, take cover behind the engine block and rotors, and the balloon would go up. One of our car drills is getting out of the seat belt and depending on the line of force, dropping out the driver's side or sliding head first out the passenger side to keep a low profile. How's that for speculation?
Liberty, Property, or Death - Jonathan Gardner's powder horn inscription 1776
Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito.
("Do not give in to evil but proceed ever more boldly against it.")
-Virgil, Aeneid, vi, 95
October 1st, 2011 12:43 AM
"I don't know what the traffic pattern was - but I do know that defensive driving courses, the type they teach to professional chauffeurs, people who have to escort high-priority targets, learn to drive in a manner to evade and avoid traps like being pinned between vehicles."
That is good thinking, but it only goes so far. There are situations where you can be pinned no matter how aware you are.
One of the rules is never stop with your front bumper so close to the car ahead that you can't go around.
Fine, but if he backs up and the driver behind does not drive defensively and is too close to you, a curb is on your right with sign posts, fire hydrants, light poles and maybe even pedestrians.....and the left lane is an opposite direction lane will cars lined up going the other way...you are trapped.
I agree that one should be situational aware, especially if another driver is aggressive, but if there is any traffic it is hard to avoid getting boxed in.
Back to the OP: I think he did everything right. The only thing I would have done differently is I would have waited just a little longer to raise my weapon. I would have kept it low, close to the door and out of sight until the BG demonstrated violence.
However, in his judgment that threshold may have been crossed. He was there and we were not.
Road rage is a serious problem. In this area, there have been three shootings, two of which were fatal, in the past maby 5 or 6 years.
The two that were fatal have never been solved. Both early in the morning. Victims on the way to work.
And this is not considered to be a high crime area. Neither is it Mayberry.
October 1st, 2011 12:49 AM
That is great advice.
Road rage could, although it did not here, take the form of the instigator getting out of his vehicle with a gun in hand, maybe even a long gun, and blasting away. Just sitting there would not be the thing to do.
October 1st, 2011 02:36 AM
I would've been auto-dialing 911 right after the first incident & not let myself get close enough for him to play the bumper tactic. I also keep a canister of Saber Magnum for the type of situation where an idiot wants to get out of his car & approach. Unless he comes strong with some type of weapon, I gotta go with the pepper spray. If that's not possible, keep the windows up & give details to 911 until the cavalry arrives.
"Historical examination of the right to bear arms, from English antecedents to the drafting of the Second Amendment, bears proof that the right to bear arms has consistently been, and should still be, construed as an individual right." -- U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings, Re: U.S. vs Emerson (1999)
October 1st, 2011 02:54 AM
TN_Mike, I agreed with you. The escalation of force is important in these situations. The OP handled the situation correctly. He remain calm and in mostly important in control. MadMac assumption is that what a non-carrying individual has to do to survive the conflict. Thus why people carry to protect themselves and stand our ground! If the OP while attempting to un-pin himself damages others, when he has other means available using his weapon to de-escalate the situation is a serious liability towards the bystanders. Since MadMac is playing what-if. What if the Aggressor seeing OP attempting to drive away produces a gun? The OP is at a serious dis-advantage while "Un-pinning" and now a armed aggressor.
Originally Posted by TN_Mike
Hats off to OP for using his available tools in the situation.
October 1st, 2011 02:55 AM
Usually, I'll criticize the person pulling and brandishing, but I can see why this would cause you to be very fearful. I don't know how you would have proved you had ample reason. If you'da had a LEO in the car with you, the moment after the aggressor's fist hit the glass with intent you could have pulled the trigger.
-I- like to think I would not have pulled, and I would have instructed my partner to have begun filming the event and when he pinned my car I'd have called 911. In fact, though it's in retrospect, I think I'd have pulled over and stopped the car after he went into the grassy berm - but no one knows.
I did have a 'brake check' that almost happened to me just yesterday, and I did exactly what you did, anticipated and braked hard - when the guy did the brake check - to his horror (lol) I was 10 car lengths behind him and Boy did he look like an idiot, brake checking someone that far back. We were laughing almost to the thigh slapping level.
I'm glad you got out of it safely and thanks for relating it - it definitely taught me some more about RR.
October 1st, 2011 03:08 AM
It seems MadMAc needs a class on de-escalating with a firearm :/ Displaying ones weapon to an aggressor has the same effect as hearing a Shotgun being chamber. The BG pucker factor is high and they normally re-consider their next action very carefully. Both a great BG behavior modifiers to control the situation. :)
Originally Posted by 9MMare
October 1st, 2011 03:21 AM
I didn't read the other replies before posting mine, but bear in mind, there are TWO events here and you should never brandish to solve a problem. And, to the poster above, there is no class for de-escalating with a firearm, but PERHAPS there should be.
The first event is as related, but the aftermath is what's difficult to process.
In the aftermath it's all about what you can prove in court.
Let's consider what the law does - it makes careful and lawful people behave like cowards - it only allows a LEO to use their firearm to make a person back off. If you follow the law, you'd pull over at the first incident and cower, and not even call it in since no contact had happened and the dispatcher would have accused you of abusing the 911 line. It's outrageous that we are subjected to that.
So what the OP did was perhaps morally right, it was legally in a gray area, sad to say. Let's hope we can all learn from this and think of ourselves as a professional limo driver (as one poster mentioned) and not let one's self get in a position to be pinned. I have to say that for a road rager to think of that tactic is almost brilliant, as was to remove his rear plate. Too bad he can't put that intellect to less evil purposes.
October 1st, 2011 03:21 AM
Yep. Not every display of a weapon is considered brandishing, and having the attitude that the gun is only drawn if you are going to shoot, and must shoot is a rather rigid stance to take considering the very fluid nature and rapidly changing dynamics of a lethal force encounter.
It's obvious you shouldn't point your gun at anyone unless you are prepared to shoot. But that is a far cry from must shoot. Dynamics and situations change in the blink of an eye and if you are so rigid in your core beliefs, that discipline and rigidity is likely to fail you one day.
"The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."
October 1st, 2011 03:23 AM
Ditto. You forgot $10,000.00 in lawyers fees. If an unarmed man is throwing a temper tantrum outside my INTACT vehicle window, and I am in a locked car with a loaded gun, I am no longer fearing for my life. I would have placed my pistol at the ready, in the passenger seat and dialed 911 the first second he started driving aggressively. I have done so in the past and it has been very effective so far. My idiot was driving aggressivly next to me in the other lane, and saw the cell phone go to my ear. If he is stupid enough to pull a stunt like that I guarantee that he is drunk or on drugs, or has a suspended license, or no regist/insur, or warrants, or too many moving violations, etc. Most will back off when they know the cops are on the way. My idiot literally slammed on his brakes and broke off contact imediately.
Originally Posted by MadMac
October 1st, 2011 04:11 AM
Here is why I don't like the "demolition derby" plan: Do you think a guy who is that angry with you is going to let you shove his car aside and drive away into the sunset? What's to stop him from running back to his car and chasing you in hot pursuit? How fast are you going to drive to get away? 20 MPH over the limit? 30? What if your speed causes a crash? What if he catches up and tries to spin you out or run you off the road? What if a cop sees you and busts you for "racing"?
I like what Bark'n and ArkhmAsylm had to say. Speed dial 911 and get your OC spray ready. 911 gets a play-by-play recording of the guy screaming and banging on your window, which I would keep rolled up. If he pulls out a tire iron, then the pistol comes out.
What do you do if you are the 3rd car and you see all this happening in front of you? Be a good witness?
October 1st, 2011 04:53 AM
I've posted on similar scenarios before (altho this is the OP's RL situation). And generally if someone were to exit their vehicle and approach mine, unarmed, my first choice is to use my 4-wheeled lethal weapon to leave, harmlessly. If that isnt an option, as it wasnt for the OP who's car was pinned in, then my plan is to have my gun ready but undrawn in my purse on the seat, and to pull out my phone and take his/her pic thru the window. I expect that to diffuse a situation because they are no longer anonymous. If possible, I'll get a pic of their license plate or at least their car and I'll let them see me take that pic too...again, there goes their anonymity....is their temper tantrum worth legal trouble? They'll see me calling 911 and most likely leave before they get there.
If they are so crazy or violent that they are willing to risk that, then that is a very dangerous individual and my firearm's visibility as a deterrent is justified. I wouldnt go to pepper spray/gel because I would still be trapped, enclosed in my car and subject to blowback. I've used it in open areas and it's not pleasant. (Not to mention that I think most attackers would laugh at that thru a closed window).
I think that anyone that exits a car to verbally chastise or attack someone else cant manage their anger well enough to control themself and that right there shows their judgement is out the window.
When you factor in that the OP was trapped in his car, between the other vehicles....I see legitimate fear for safety and justification of drawing a weapon. If that's all you do and it works....then you have witnesses in the vehicle behind you that can describe the nutter's actions and the fact that you didnt make the situation worse by 'reacting' to him. He'd have to break the window and be coming thru before I would fire. (And how crazy would he be to do that in the face of a drawn gun? It's not likely but only indicates that they mean real harm).
I can see some men choosing to defend themselves with fists/hand to hand and that's fine but I'm not trained to do that and would still be at a disadvantage agaisnt a man....and now you've turned things into a brawl that can get even more people involved (passersby) and it may be viewed as escalation.
Fortune favors the bold.
Freedom doesn't mean safe, it means free.
The thing about "defense" is that it has practically nothing to do with guns. (As passed on by CCW9MM)
October 1st, 2011 06:10 AM
WOW. You already have a RRD banging on your window for whatever reason he felt you violated is day, then even simply pushing his now parked car froward a few feet so you can safely drive up on the sidewalk or into the median to escape...think that is gonna calm the RRD from his current level of irritation? You just escalated the situation...criminally... to vehicular assault, willful destruction of property, leaving the scene of an accident, hit and run, and a host of other traffic violations. Never mind the "Ram the car behind me (innocent bystander) then ram the RRDs car to make room". Whole new list of charges you just racked up.
LEOs get to shoot the driver of the car doing that, and it's justified.
IMO, the OP handled the situation well. Hope he keeps us up to date. If he is gonna get in trouble for "brandishing" we'll find out in a day or two.
Grasseater // Grass~eat~er noun, often attributive \ˈgras-ē-tər\
A person who is incapable of independent thought; a person who is herd animal-like in behavior; one who cannot distinguish between right and wrong; a foolish person.
See also Sheep
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