Scenario : Carjacking Self Defense

During the 1990’s, carjacking became a buzz word, and as a self defense instructor, I had people asking how to deal with these scenarios in class. Over the last 20 years I’ve heard less and less chatter about this topic both in my classes, and also on the news, but it still doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be aware and know what to do if this situation arises.

In the past, I’ve covered the topic of Road Rage, and how to be both proactive and reactive in these circumstances. In this article, I would like to cover the scarier, more specific situation where someone is pointing a gun directly at you to hijack your car.

Being in a car, with a gun pointed at you, is a double sided sword.

It is a plus, because you can get away fast by pressing on the gas pedal. However, the downside is that while you are sitting in a car, most likely with a seat belt on, you are isolated and “stuck” in a vulnerable fixed position. Unlike standing alone with a gun pointed at you, when you are in a car, your movement and flexibility are limited.

Like all defensive situations when assaulted by a gun, you must choose if you are going to give up whatever the perpetrator is wanting. If it is your wallet, watch or phone, can you throw it one way, and run in the other direction? If it is your car, do you believe you can give it up, get out of the vehicle safely and escape without the person shooting you? Will they want you to get back in the car or trunk, to take you to an isolated location, or use you as a hostage? These are all decisions you will have to make. If you do decide to fight back, here are some techniques which can help you disarm an armed attacker.

If someone is greater than arms length away from you, outside of your car, pointing a gun in your direction and you want to escape immediately, the good news is that you are in control of a car which can drive faster than they can run, and even provide cover if they decide to shoot. Stepping on the accelerator, even at the price of side swiping cars and traffic poles around you, may be your best shot.

However, if the person is within arms length of you, pointing the weapon at you, you have the option of disarming them. First clear the weapon, and make sure the line of fire never crosses you or a passenger and then slam and pin it in the corner of the window (as shown in the pictures). You can either continue to slam the hand holding the weapon in this corner until they release, drive off or a combination of both.

Obviously, there are several other factors, positions and variables which could create even bigger questions and more dangerous situations. The point is not to cover them all in this short article, but to pre-emptively ask them, and to start thinking of options before a situation goes down. Hopefully, this one situation will give you some ideas for others you think of.

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