Self-Defense from Your Car

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

As most of us know, carrying concealed is a great way to protect yourself and your family. Even so, it has limitations. When Stephen Paddock opened fire on the Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas, there was little that anyone could do, even if they were carrying concealed. Shooting down on the crowd from the 32nd story of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino negated the ability of anyone to do much of anything, short of having a sniper rifle and the skill to use it properly.

But we don’t need to look to that extreme an example, in order to find circumstances where the use of a handgun for self-defense might be limited. Shooting in a crowded room, for example, is not a good idea, even if there is some crazy gunning people down. The chances of you missing and hitting an innocent bystander, thereby adding to the death count, are just too high to risk it.

Here’s another one for you; shooting from your car. Let’s say that you pull up to the ATM machine to take out some cash. Right after you finish telling the machine what you want and are waiting for it to count the bills, someone sticks a gun in your window to hold you up. What do you do?

If you’re like most of us, your gun is going to do absolutely no good in that moment. Why? Because you can’t draw a gun from a belt hostler while sitting in a car. Try it sometime. The only way you can draw that gun is to lean forward in your seat, which will telegraph your actions to the criminal, prompting them to take action against you.

The reason for this is basic body mechanics. For your hand to draw that gun out of the holster, the elbow needs to go back farther than your back. However, there is one way around it; that’s to allow your elbow to go out to the side, rather than straight back. If the assailant is standing slightly back of you, on the driver’s side of the vehicle, they probably won’t be able to see what you are doing.

There’s a Better Solution

But even trying to draw like that is a bit risky, especially if they’ve already got the drop on you. I don’t think I’d be in the mood to take any unnecessary chances at a moment like that. Better to give them the $300 and let it go.

However, there might be more at stake than $300; like the lives of your family. In that case, you need to be able to do something; but what? Well, that “what” is going to be extremely limited, if you don’t have a ready way to draw your gun.

One solution is to have a vehicle-mounted holster that you move your gun to, when getting into the car. There are a number of places in a car or pick-up where you can mount a holster, which puts it at a much more convenient location than on your belt. Probably the best of these is the front of the driver’s seat. That puts your gun in an easy  to get to location, while still being hidden from view.

Before doing something like that, be sure to check on your state’s laws. Firearms related laws vary considerably from state to state. Where I am, any adult who can legally own firearms can carry them in their vehicle; but they have to be concealed. The front of the seat does that, whereas some other locations, such as the underside of the steering wheel column won’t.

Another good location is in the door pocket on some cars. A lot depends on the design of your car doors and where this pocket is located. Some cars have the pocket too far forward to reach the gun conveniently; but if yours is convenient, this is an ideal location, where you can draw the gun without telegraphing your intentions to an assailant.

But there’s a Better Way

But there’s something that’s even better than having your gun holstered in such a location; that’s to draw your gun before something happens. While that might seem a bit melodramatic, it’s the only way you can beat someone getting the drop on you. If the first time you know that you’re at risk is when you feel the gun barrel in your ear, you’re in trouble.

Of course, the other part of this is maintaining situational awareness. Ideally, you don’t want to allow anyone to get that close to your car, without you knowing they are there. While that may not always be possible to accomplish, it sure shouldn’t happen because of your or my fault.

Don’t Eliminate Any Options

While your gun is your weapon of choice, don’t think of it as your only option. You’re sitting in a ton or more of metal, powered by more potential force that you or I can ever hope to create on our own. That vehicle is a pretty good weapon, when you use it that way.

I came to this realization when all the drug cartel violence started in Mexico. At the time, I was going into and out of Mexico on a regular basis. But I couldn’t legally bring my sidearm with me. Not only that, but if I got caught trying to bring it with me, I’d get slapped with a 20 year prison sentence. There’s no Second Amendment to the Mexican Constitution.

Because of that, I came to realize that to a person who understands weapons, anything can be a weapon. So, I put myself to thinking about how I could use my full-sized van as a weapon, if I needed too. While that wasn’t as precise a weapon as my pistol and was much harder to swing around to a new target, I decided that I could definitely put the fear of God into someone, if it looked like I was going to run them down, even if they were holding a gun. So don’t limit your thinking. If you can’t use your gun, then use what you can. Yes, your gun is your first choice; but it’s not the only choice you have. Nevertheless, keep your gun ready, your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand, just like your vehicle.

Dr. Rich

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