By: Greg Chabot
2020 has been a tough year for all of us. With riots perpetuated by radical leftists breaking out in many of our cities, it has become a common occurrence to see innocent motorists assaulted and sometimes murdered in cold blood by these animals. The goal of this article is to help readers with some simple safety measures they can take if caught in one of these riots. Hopefully, these tips will help you, the reader, develop your own SOPs (standard operating procedures) if caught in your vehicle by these dangerous mobs.
I base some of this advice on my own experiences dealing with unruly mobs in Iraq. Even with trained soldiers and armored vehicles, a riot is a dangerous experience for all involved. I can only hope readers do not find themselves in this situation.
Know your State and Local Laws
Many states consider your vehicle to be an extension of your dwelling, giving you rights under the stand your ground or castle doctrine laws if your state has them. It is important you do your research and know the law. If traveling to a new city, check the local ordinances, as some may differ from state laws.
Threat Assessment and Route Planning
Doing a threat assessment is not as daunting as one may think. If you live in an area that has already experienced riots, you know what areas to avoid. If traveling from outside an urban area, do research or ask friends that live in the area how things are. When planning a route to your destination, arriving safely trumps convenience, so twice about that “short cut.”
Social media is a great tool to get information on what is happenings in most areas. RLMs (Radical Leftist Mobs) use social media to organize/coordinate riots, and you can use it to avoid them. Please, do not be afraid to cancel plans if the situation dictates.
Basic Safety Tips
1) Have an escape route. I always leave at least one car length between my vehicle and the one in front of me. That gives me the ability, in case of an emergency, to either make a U-turn or go around the vehicle in front. While driving, I am constantly scanning for escape routes. You need to stay mobile and not get boxed in. Avoid the center lane if possible, to avoid being trapped by other vehicles. If confronted by an RLM, I personally have no qualms with running a red light or driving over a median/sidewalk to get away. And yes, I will risk some damage to my vehicle. I’d rather fight an insurance adjuster than a mob.
2) Stay in your vehicle! Your vehicle gives you some protection from foot mobiles. These animals cannot be reasoned with. There are plenty of videos of motorist getting out of their vehicle to “negotiate” with rioters. It is not worth the risk, as most end up being assaulted and seriously injured by RLMs. Keep your windows up and your doors locked. Even if they are damaging the vehicle, stay in it if you can. Vehicles repairs are cheaper than funerals.
3) Have passengers get down on the floor and cover up. If windows are broken, doing this could prevent an injury. If the passengers are armed, have them ready to defend themselves, if it comes to that. Stay calm and reassure passengers, especially children.
4) Have a plan and rehearse it for yourself and passengers.
5) Know the location of the nearest hospitalin case of injuries to yourself or passengers.
Is your vehicle organized? If you must abandon your vehicle, are your weapon, phone, etc. in easy reach? Being caught in a riot is not the time to be scrambling for items. The key to surviving these scenarios is putting distance between you and them, and, of course, hopefully avoiding a deadly force situation.
Do you have a first-aid kit? In my opinion, every vehicle should have one with a tourniquet in case of severe injury. I also recommend taking a class in basic first aid.
Fuel is another consideration; the last place I want to run low on fuel is in a rioting urban area. Gas stations are usually some of the first places attacked/looted by RLMs. I top off the tank before entering an urban area. Fuel = Mobility = Options to get to safety.
Deadly Force as a Last Resort
Deadly force should, of course, always be a last resort. Your best weapon in one of these situations is your brain. Keeping calm and collected goes a long way in dangerous situations. Your one and only goal is to survive at all cost.
I can only hope that readers have learned something from this article. As we see on the TV, many people fail to be situationally aware and become victims of RLMs. We can only hope law and order prevails, and it becomes safe to travel through urban areas once again.
Stay alert! Stay alive! Have a plan.
Bravo Zulu to my friends at SN!
Greg Chabot is an Iraq Combat Veteran freelancer, writing from New Hampshire.