Oct 22, 2010

A little exercise, Part II

In my last post, I asked what you'd do.

First: the driver of that car was in a lousy spot. Not her fault; it's traffic. It's not *always* possible to leave yourself an exit path, but try hard. (Pro tip: sidewalks are perfectly acceptable exit paths when you are in fear of death or grave bodily injury.)

Always keep an eye on what's around you when you're stopped in traffic. Watch the panhandlers, window-washers, etc. Drive with your doors locked. (Many cars lock them for you when you put the car in "D" - those of us who drive stick don't have that feature.) The driver in that video had NO IDEA what was coming, as s/he rocked out with Garrison Keilor.

Crazy dude with bat takes a swing at my truck while I'm stuck in traffic? I'm already reaching for the carry piece while I'm moving forward. Your BEST defense is ALWAYS to BE SOMEWHERE ELSE. The car in front of me? So I mush it's bumper. So what? Maybe I do hop the curb; flatten a sign pole or something. So what? Sheet metal is cheap.

If Mookie there steps in front of my truck while still swinging - well, he stepped into traffic outside a marked crosswalk. Darn shame what happened! In all honesty, though: you are making an honest effort to RETREAT from a deadly threat. If he is moving to prevent that escape and gets injured or killed, that was his decision.

You're driving a 20,000,000-grain bullet, kids. One that kills 45,000 people in the US each year. I know the deep-seated instinct to not hurt the car (beginning the first time Dad let you borrow it - "If you bring this back with ONE scratch on it, you'll wish you hadn't come back!") but always remember that things are replaceable. Use the tool you have available to you.

When he swings his bat at the driver's window (I can't tell if it breaks; it's irrelevant), it's time for him to be staring down the barrel of something. That is crystal-clear fear of imminent death or grave bodily injury.

If a look at the smiling face of Mssrs. Smith et Wesson doesn't convince him that perhaps this was a victim selection failure, they will be required to speak up on the matter.

If you're going to carry a gun, make sure you know you can do that. Make that decision well ahead of time. You can't bluff with a gun; if the situation warrants pulling your gun you must be willing to use it. Most states don't distinguish between the "threat of" and the "use of" deadly force.


Anonymous said...

My stick-shift car locks its doors when it hits 10mph.

Bubblehead Les. said...

Gunsite's Ed Head steals the phrase "Shields Up" from Star Trek to remind everyone that doors are to be locked and windows are to be up before leaving the Driveway. Seems to work better with the kids than "Because I said So!"