By Sheriff Jim Wilson, Shooting Illustrated
I have heard some folks comment that if they were surrounded by a crowd of rioters they would just step on the gas and drive right on through them, running over rioters if necessary, in order to make their getaway. Now, I don’t think it’s a stretch of the imagination to assume that plowing through a crowd in your car might be construed to be using deadly force.
My suggestion would be to check with your local prosecutor’s office to see if your state law permits the use of deadly force to prevent damage to private property. It might be that there is a big difference between someone banging on your car, causing damage, and someone who is trying to drag you out of your car to administer a (potentially fatal) beating. Using the car in this manner is probably no different than employing any other kind of deadly force, including the defensive firearm–you have to keep your head on your shoulders, and you have to know the law.
Since we’re talking about our cars, I have to say that I’ve never liked the idea of putting any kind of stickers on one of my vehicles. Firearm-related stickers might suggest to a thief that there could be guns in the car. Political slogans and stickers might make one a target for the overzealous opposition.
Having done a fair bit of undercover work, I can also tell you that too few people pay any attention to who is following them while they are motoring along in their car. They don’t realize that a good number of home invasions begin with the crooks following you home.
While we are being observant and driving defensively, we also need to keep an eye out for someone tailing us. When a suspicious vehicle is spotted, it might be time to make a few turns to see if it is still following. If it is still following, the last thing you want to do is to go home. It is far better to drive to the nearest police station, or find a police car stopped along the road.
In short, I think that too many people think of their car as a safe place. And that is simply not the case. Giving thought to your safety while in your car should be an important part of everyone’s personal defense plan.