This is a discussion on Road Rage and my LC9 within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by ArkhmAsylm - I would've been auto-dialing 911 right after the first incident & not let myself get close enough for him to ...
Rereading the original post and taking into account all of the follow up comments, there are a few things that the OP could have done to improve their response to the situation. To the OP, please remember we are playing after the game, arm-chair quarterback here and I mean absolutely no disrespect by the comments in this post. I think you handled the situation admirably and I would hope to do just as well in a similar situation. My intent is to analyze what we can learn from the events and use train ourselves to be better prepared.
With that, here is what I see as summary points from the thread:
1 - the comment ""Sir, get back in your car or I will be forced to shoot." An alternative approach would be to call 911 to get on the record and make multiple statements like, "sir, please get back in your car", "sir, please stop hitting my window", "sir, please don't break my window", "sir, if you break my window I will be forced to defend myself".
2 - Use your phone camera to take pictures of the RRD, their vehicle, and their actions. This could both defuse the situation and provide evidence if it escalates.
3 - OC is an option to consider here. It is, however, not without significant risks including: blow back, requiring you to open your window to deploy(*see #4), further empowering or enraging the RRD while also taking time away when events may happen fast.
4 - consider not opening your window as this greatly reduces it's strength. The RRD will be able to hear you through it. If they do break your window, they have clearly violated your space with harmful intent. At this point, the choice between OC spray and a lethal weapon becomes critical and also depends on state statutes. As has been pointed out in other threads, you may be before a jury if you shoot and it would be advantageous to show that you were harmed and tried to use non-lethal alternatives first. This too carries significant risk, At a minimum, I wouldn't want to be sitting in the drivers seat facing forward when this occurs as it would leave you too vulnerable. Practicing alternative vehicle exits is a prudent exercise.
5 - This stresses the importance of defensive driving to the extent possible, which it isn't always. The question has been raised as to whether or not it would be better to play demolition derby to get out or to deploy lethal force. This is a valid question. The consensus, with which I agree, seems to be that causing vehicular damage to 3rd parties would escalate the situation and make you an accessory aggressor. In most locations, especially, with castle doctrine, it is more legally clear cut to shoot the RRD.
6- Brandishing considerations. In my opinion, the OP was justified in their actions. Showing a weapon makes it clear to the RRD that things are unlikely to go according to plan and that they should seriously reconsider. Could the OP have made an equivalent statement without pointing his gun at the RRD? As has been pointed out, there are over 2 million known instances where display of a firearm diffused a situation without a shooting taking place. While it may not be strictly legal, I think a defensive display as a warning of capability to use lethal force does not violate the intent of brandishing laws. Some follow the rule of don't show your weapon until you need to use it and then fire it. Others think that this is too rigid of a stance that doesn't accommodate the fast moving, fluid situations that these types of encounters tend to be. Also, if a threat of force stops an aggressor this is a superior outcome even if lethal force were completely justified.
7 - LEO considerations. As has been pointed out, being the first caller to 911 is usually an advantage, however, a point I would like to ask the LEO community here to consider as a discussion point for their own departments, is that this doesn't necessarily mean that they are the victim party. The BG may be aware of this fact and use it to his advantage. It is important to take the specifics of the situation into account.
Always remember that others may hate you but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself.
Richard M Nixon
Owning a handgun doesn't make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician.”
I think this situation is being WAY too over thought and analyzed. As I said in another post I dont know the laws of other states, so all i can speak for is here in Kentucky. If this situation would have happened in Ky. After the ramming of the parked vehicle, especially, the Op would have been justified to not only present his weapon, but to USE that weapon..PERIOD. The act of ramming the vehicle is an act of wanton endangerment that would have justified a PERCEIVED threat that loss of life or serious injury would follow.
To even mention the possibility of brandishing in this case is crazy. What more would this lunatic have to do in order for this to be justified? If we have to micro analyze open and shut cases such as this to be sure we can defend ourselves, we might as well throw our guns away and forget about them. Not only would they be useless in a legal sense, but by the time we analyzed whether we could defend ourselves from a lunatic like this, we'd be dead.
If this would have happened to me, as the OP described it, after he rammed/ lodged my vehicle, and exited his vehicle, the first thing he would have been looking at was the muzzle of my G19. If he would have kept coming toward me, it would have been the last thing he would have seen.
Last edited by tcon67; October 1st, 2011 at 12:10 PM.
Sounds like a text book example of what to do when you encounter one of lifes many unstable morons. I don't think that the situation could've been handles any betterat all. Great job keeping your cool and not letting things turn to the worse scene scenario.
"Fear is nothing more than an emotional response to the perception of danger coupled with the belief that I can't handle it."
"If you change that belief to 'I can handle it', you'll no longer experience FEAR. You'll simply see what you are facing is a challenge... an opportunity to test yourself.
I personally believe that your suggestion is much more dangerous and reckless than what the OP did. If I'm in the car behind you and you played "demolition derby all day" on my car while I'm in it, it would be pretty easy for me to believe that my life was in imminent danger from you! After all, I don't know the "history" with you and the car in front - maybe you're actually the BG and now you're ramming my car. You can certainly bet that my 911 call would be about someone ramming my vehicle with theirs, and the reported vehicle would have your license number.
While I understand some of your points, I simply don't agree. You said in a different post "Understood. Then simply shoot the guy in the head. Why waste the time/effort trying to scare him off?". That is exactly the same as saying "if I have to draw, I WILL shoot, regardless of the BG's reaction". I may be wrong, but I believe that the OP's intent by drawing was not to "scare him off". He was preparing to defend himself and issued a verbal warning - something that could be very important to a jury. If that action happened to have the effect of scaring the BG off, then so be it.
That's your solution, and I wish you the best of luck with it. I wasn't there so I don't know all of the minute details and can't say exactly how I would have reacted. But IMHO, good job OP.
I had a similar incident happen to me. Was coming home from the library and got stuck behind an old guy in a Oldsmobile. Then this guy in an F150 comes up behind me and gets right on my bumper and stays there. The Oldsmobile finally turned off a side road and I accelerated up to the speed limit. He stays right with me. Then I start to slow down to make the turn into my subdivision, and (because he was rubber necking me) he starts swerving back and forth to avoid hitting me. As I turn off and he speeds past he sticks his arm out and flips me off. Lucky he wasn't in the mood for more than just a rude gesture, cause I wasn't carrying anything but OC.
"I then pulled my LC9, pointed it at him, ..."
This could easily be construed as aggravated assault or assault with a deadly weapon in some jusidictions if he was making no effort to enter or to remove you from your vehicle.
Retired USAF E-8. Avatar is OldVet from days long gone. Oh, to be young again.
Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield
I waited awhile before responding with my own take on this situation.
First off, we were not there. We did not know what the OP felt at the moment he realized this nut job was going to escalate the situation to the point of where the gun comes out.
The road rage guy's vehicle and himself are weapons, he used the vehicle in a manner not consistient with opperating one, so now it becomes a weapon. He gets out to confront the OP, now he has made himself a weapon. We also do not know if this guy was actually packing a gun either.
In the few seconds the OP has to react, this clown could have caused serious harm or death to the OP. We all can say what we would have done etc, but unless it happens to us, we won't know how we will actually react to such a situation. I can say that I have never been pinned up by a road rager and hope it never happens this way.
However, having a firearm and showing it, got the agressor to leave without further confrontation and stopped the threat. Isn't that what having it is all about? Self-defense is just what it means.
I hope I could do equally as well considering the situation.
"A Smith & Wesson always beats 4 aces!"
The Man Prayer. "Im a man, I can change, if I have to.....I guess!" ~ Red Green
Sadly for us, the law does not appear (to me, and IANAL) to give me the luxury of taking any type of firearm-related preemptive actions based on what might happen, or what the guy might have on his person. I can only react, and can only legally deploy my firearm in the face of imminent grave bodily harm, sexual assault or death. I wasn't there, but my reading of this scenario does not rise to that standard in my humble opinion.
Feel free to disagree with me as many have, but please avoid ad hominem slurs about how old I may or may not be as they don't aid in the discussion.
"THREATS AS JUSTIFIABLE FORCE: The threat of force is justified when the use of force is justified by this chapter. For purposes of this section, a threat to cause death or serious bodily injury by the production of a weapon or otherwise, as long as the actor's purpose is limited to creating an apprehension that he will use deadly force if necessary, does not constitute the use of deadly force."
"PROTECTION OF ONE'S OWN PROPERTY: A person in lawful possession of land or tangible, movable property is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to prevent or terminate the other's trespass on the land or unlawful interference with the property."
I would just like to point out that citing Texas law is an outlier. IIRC, Texas is the ONLY state in the US that allows for deadly force to protect personal property.
DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY. A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property:
(1) if he would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.41; and...
(2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:
(A) to prevent the other's imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or(B) to prevent the other who is fleeing immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the property; and
(3) he reasonably believes that:
(A) the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means; or
(B) the use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.
If after brandishing the BG Broke your window and reached in, then I believe the following applies:
. DEADLY FORCE IN DEFENSE OF PERSON. (a) A person is justified in using deadly force against another:
(1) if the actor would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.31; and
(2) when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:
(A) to protect the actor against the other's use or attempted use of unlawful deadly force; or
(B) to prevent the other's imminent commission of aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery.
(b) The actor's belief under Subsection (a)(2) that the deadly force was immediately necessary as described by that subdivision is presumed to be reasonable if the actor:(1) knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the deadly force was used:
(A) unlawfully and with force entered, or was attempting to enter unlawfully and with force, the actor's occupied habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment;(B) unlawfully and with force removed, or was attempting to remove unlawfully and with force, the actor from the actor's habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment; or
(C) was committing or attempting to commit an offense described by Subsection (a)(2)(B);
(2) did not provoke the person against whom the force was used; and
(3) was not otherwise engaged in criminal activity, other than a Class C misdemeanor that is a violation of a law or ordinance regulating traffic at the time the force was used.
(c) A person who has a right to be present at the location where the deadly force is used, who has not provoked the person against whom the deadly force is used, and who is not engaged in criminal activity at the time the deadly force is used is not required to retreat before using deadly force as described by this section.
(d) For purposes of Subsection (a)(2), in determining whether an actor described by Subsection (
c) reasonably believed that the use of deadly force was necessary, a finder of fact may not consider whether the actor failed to retreat.