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Old January 29, 2009, 10:07 AM   #1
BMW Racer
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Didn't even consider my gun

I was driving on a local interstate last night, in the middle of three lanes. Heavy traffic but everone was moving along, doing their thing. I saw that the far right lane was ending just ahead and the Magnum wagon to my right (his rear bumper was about at my passenger door) needed to move into my lane pretty soon so I looked in the left side mirror to move over one lane. There was a car just ahead of me in the middle lane, and just behind me so if I move over to the left lane, the Magnum can have my spot in the middle lane. The Magnum then turned on his left turn signal.

I see a Mercedes coming up in the left lane but he's still about 10 car lengths behind. I signal left, let it flash twice, and move to the left lane (still signalling) to make room for the Magnum, which immediately sees me move over and then takes my spot in the middle lane. It takes a few seconds for the Merc to catch up and he drives right up to my rear bumper. There is a car right in front of me but it is moving past the slower cars in the right lane. I see that the Merc driver wants to get past but I'm boxed-in. I then turn on my right signal to let the Merc driver know that I'm planning to move to the right lane as soon as there is room. After we get past a couple of cars in the right lane, I move over. The Merc starts to pass me so everything's cool. After a few seconds, I notice that the Merc is matching my speed, right besdie me. I glace over and the Merc driver is looking at me, mouth going fast. I guess he's angry that I moved into the left lane but I didn't "cut him off," I signalled, and I was making room for the Magnum.

I teach high performance driving, teen driving programs, and sports car racing and we always tell teenagers to ignore a "road rager" because it's the best way to defuse the situation. So, I looked back at the road and continued at about 5 over the speed limit, in the right lane. The Merc stays right beside me for several more seconds. I then look over again (no gestures, not talking) and the guy swerves at my car. Having years of racing experience, I have driven door-handle-to-door-handle at over 130 mph so this guy's move didn't faze me at all, although I did smoothly move to the right just a little. He probably thought he would intimidate/scare me but I didn't flinch.

Then, I cooley looked over at him again. Well, my lack of reaction to his swerve really ****** him off and he started weaving, just because he was in such a rage.

I slowed down a little, to get some distance from him. He exited at the next ramp.

Interestingly, I had picked up my CC Permit that morning and had my Ruger P89 in the driver door pocket. But I never considered pulling it out, and I'm a little glad to know that I reacted that way. By nature, I'm not a "hot head" but none of us knows exactly how we are going to react in certain stressful situations. And while I wasn't scared or nervous, it was definitely stressful.
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Old January 29, 2009, 10:31 AM   #2
thawntex
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You teach teenagers to ignore road ragers, yet you looked at the Mercedes driver three times?

I'm no driving instructor, but I know that making eye contact with a road rager is a definite no-no. If ignoring him would've defused the situation, we can only assume that acknowledging him would escalate it, right?

No sane person would produce a gun under the circumstances you describe, so exactly what kind of response do you expect from your post?

-T
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Old January 29, 2009, 10:33 AM   #3
Dustin0
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I have had things like that happen to me. I only had to pull my pistol out once. Kind of the same thing but on surface streets when we got up the light the guy got out with a knife. He did learn dont bring a knife to a gun fight. I did not have to fire. He lost his will to fight when found out I had a weapon. Just remember to stay calm. If you do pull your weapon be ready willing and able to us it.
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Old January 29, 2009, 11:05 AM   #4
DieHard06
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You handled the situation very well. Be thankful you don't live in the northeast where stuff like this happens a lot. It is great that your first thought wasn't reaching for your gun.

Quote:
You teach teenagers to ignore road ragers, yet you looked at the Mercedes driver three times?

I'm no driving instructor, but I know that making eye contact with a road rager is a definite no-no. If ignoring him would've defused the situation, we can only assume that acknowledging him would escalate it, right?
There are going to be times when you have to look. I don't know what you are talking about. Had he not looked he might have been too late when the guy swerved toward him. What it the other guy had produced a gun? He wouldn't have known it if hadn't looked. Checking out what the other guy is doing is often necessary. Also, ignoring a person who is trying to get your atttention will infuriate some, not that starring him down will be much better.
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Old January 29, 2009, 12:03 PM   #5
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Interestingly, I had picked up my CC Permit that morning and had my Ruger P89 in the driver door pocket. But I never considered pulling it out,
That's good, because you had NO legal basis to "pull it out". You could have found yourself without that CC permit rather quickly.
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Old January 29, 2009, 12:09 PM   #6
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Tactics & Training ... moving.
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Old January 29, 2009, 12:14 PM   #7
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That's good, because you had NO legal basis to "pull it out". You could have found yourself without that CC permit rather quickly.
He had no basis to display it to the other driver. But he could very well have had good reason to position the pistol in a more accessible position in case he needed to quickly exit the car. For all he knew, the other driver could have pushed him off the road and attempted to further assault him.
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Old January 29, 2009, 12:16 PM   #8
hogdogs
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I ignore road ragers until they get "frisky" like threatening to ram my ride... I assure you I can find room for some extra scratches on my trucks so them folks may get more than they bargained for... I wouldn't pull the gun either but I would fall for his attempts to get his mug rearranged!
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Old January 29, 2009, 12:25 PM   #9
thawntex
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Quote:
There are going to be times when you have to look. I don't know what you are talking about. Had he not looked he might have been too late when the guy swerved toward him. What it the other guy had produced a gun? He wouldn't have known it if hadn't looked. Checking out what the other guy is doing is often necessary. Also, ignoring a person who is trying to get your atttention will infuriate some, not that starring him down will be much better
I'd be happy to clarify my statement, DieHard06.

I was referring specifically to eye contact. You can observe a vehicle without looking directly at the driver. We do it all the time by glancing at our mirrors and using peripheral vision. The OP stated that he looked at the Mercedes driver three times. It might seem non-confrontational, but to me it contradicts his own instructions that it is best to ignore a road rager.

It only took me a second to find this article from a Wisconsin Sheriff's office about road rage. About two-thirds of the way down you will see the "Do not make eye contact" rule.

http://www.danesheriff.com/road_rage.html

-T
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Old January 29, 2009, 12:29 PM   #10
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I tend to agree with thawntex, not that it's worth anything more than what you are paying for it! (and agree with csmsss, except that if I am going to carry a firearm, there would never be a need to reposition it to make it more readily accessible as that is where I carry it to begin with).
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Old January 29, 2009, 12:29 PM   #11
anythingshiny
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your reaction was spot on...de-escalate and leave the situation. even brandishing a nug in that situation would have bad things headed your way...

rage drivers are the worst..and it sounds like you really did not do anything unusual and were actually a thoughtful driver to move over...nc is terrible for short merge lanes.
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Old January 29, 2009, 12:40 PM   #12
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even brandishing a nug in that situation
"Back off, or I will give you one he** of a noogie!"

Main Entry: noog·ie
Pronunciation: \nu-gē\
Function: noun
Etymology: origin unknown
Date: 1972
: the act of rubbing one's knuckles on a person's head so as to produce a mildly painful sensation
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Old January 29, 2009, 12:44 PM   #13
SW1911CT
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If someone intentionally rams into your car, especially more than once, I think you outta be able to start firing back! Wouldn't that be assault with a deadly weapon? When I'm watching police chases on tv and the perp makes a move like that at either a cop with spike strips outside his car or at the pursuing officers they take that as an escalation to either ram them off the road or shoot at them
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Old January 29, 2009, 12:49 PM   #14
George PT-111
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I would never pull out a pistol in such situation, only and only if the situation would get more severe like the driver would come out of the car at the trafic light or something even then unless I feel I am in a real trouble i wouldn't pull it out.
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Old January 29, 2009, 01:15 PM   #15
DieHard06
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Quote:
I'd be happy to clarify my statement
Thank you. I understood what you were saying. When I read his story, I took it as he was glancing over to see what the driver was presently doing not necessarily making eye contact. I am sorry if I came off as rude.
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Old January 29, 2009, 01:41 PM   #16
kinseyd
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BWMRacer, good story. I've wondered how I would react in a similar situation, and have not yet gotten a CCW, partly for this reason. It sounds like you made good decisions - maybe not perfect in hindsight, but good job. I wonder about the home that guy was going back to.
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Old January 29, 2009, 02:34 PM   #17
Bailey4765
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I carry a 1911 in condition 3 and probably would have gone to condition 1. Whenever things just don't seem right, I go, mentally, to condition orange. I am almost always in condition yellow.


For the overly politically correct types:

I would not brandish the pistol, the slide would be cycled out of road ragers view.

I am perfectly within my rights to employ condition 1 on my carry gun.

I would apply deadly force only as a last resort.
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Old January 29, 2009, 03:30 PM   #18
NavyLT
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Bailey4765,

Just curious as to the reasoning for carrying condition 3? My reasoning for condition 1 is:

1. What if my weak hand/arm is injured or otherwise unavailable?

2. Time and extra motion required to rack the slide will give more opportunity and reason for an armed BG to shoot first. IE: they see me rack the slide so it clues them in that I intend to shoot them. If I can draw and fire without racking the slide, it may be that I get the first shot away before they realize that I intend to shoot them.

3. A SAO such as, for all intents and purposes, my PT145 or a 1911 is designed to be safely carried in condition 1 without fear of AD.

(Yes, I know the PT145 will fire DA, but there is no way to decock it)
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Old January 29, 2009, 04:37 PM   #19
Bailey4765
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Quote:
Just curious as to the reasoning for carrying condition 3?
I just do not like a Cond 1 SA auto in my pants and am somewhat lazy about going from 1 to 3, 3 to 1 when going from my car to concealed and back again.

+1 on one handed manipulation of weapons. I practice this.

One handed manipulation.
One handed racking is easy. I know you know what this is, at least they used to teach it in the Navy. If you have a Novak rear sight on your .45, one handed racking is not so easy. There has been quite a bit of discussion on this and that is why I would never use stock Novaks on a pistol, even on a DA auto, which I have no problem sticking in my pants cond 1. Any auto may jam and if I only have one arm, I am going to do everything possible to get my weapon back into the fight.

Presentation, 3 vs 1
Here's what I do
As the pistol is presented to the target, instead of the non firing hand going to it's normal position with a two handed hold, the slide is grasped and the non firing hand stops as the pistol continues its forward movement, effectively slingshotting the slide and the trigger is instantaneously pulled. It is very fast but takes practice to be nearly as fast as cond 1.

Quote:
a 1911 is designed to be safely carried in condition 1 without fear of AD.
I agree with this, but I really do not like a cond 1 SA auto stuck in my pants.

To each his own and I respect your reasoning for carrying cond 1.
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Old January 29, 2009, 04:43 PM   #20
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troll alert
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Old January 29, 2009, 05:02 PM   #21
thirdeagle
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Not sure who you're referring to as a "troll." Everything here seems to be on the up-and-up.

I'd say it's obvious that brandishing a firearm would have been a poor choice. You did good to maintain awareness of the situation without being overtly confrontational. A driver who is not constantly scanning and checking mirrors is, IMHO, NOT a very good driver. That includes maintaining awareness of other vehicles, and if need be, other drivers.
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Old January 29, 2009, 05:32 PM   #22
NavyLT
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They don't teach single hand racking the slide anymore. In the Navy or Army. I went to Army basic training in 1984 with the 1911. Navy training from 1988 to present with the M-9, including an active weapons issuance card from 2004 to 2007. Then prior to deploying Iraq, Army combat training again at Ft. Dix in 2008. I would be curious to know what it is, though, and wonder if it was actually a procedure specified in the manuals or just an instructors "extra knowledge"
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Old January 29, 2009, 07:31 PM   #23
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Carrying a firearm has certainly calmed me down. Before, I would play along with road ragers for my own personal enjoyment. The best is waving at them with a big smile. They HATE that ... Using the rear windshield cleaner is a good one too...
But now, I just ignore them... No sense getting myself in trouble at the same time...

I am curious about the law behind threatening to ram someones car with your own, and whether it is considered assault or the like... Either way, if someone did that, the police would be called and their plate number given asap.
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Old January 29, 2009, 09:03 PM   #24
ActivShootr
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I am curious about the law behind threatening to ram someones car with your own, and whether it is considered assault or the like...
It is considered assault in most jurisdictions, however, starting a rolling firefight in rush-hour traffic would be frowned upon by the same courts.

I think evasive action is the first order of business. Try to outrun/outdrive him first. If the other driver blocks your escape and is attempting to harm you, only then should the use of firearms be considered.

Remember, a vehicle can be just as powerful a weapon as a gun. It can provide cover, concealment, and a means of escape. In a road rage situation, I would use my car first, my gun last.
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Old January 29, 2009, 10:22 PM   #25
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IMHO (which probably isn't worth too much ... ), you probably didn't think of it since you just got your CC that day. There's no telling whether the road-rager was carrying, either, and although clam and collected is far better than enraged, you never know. The guy might have had nothing to lose, and showing may have just worsened everything.

I don't know how LEOs down there handle driving down in NC, but if that happened here in WI, the driver in your position probably would have caught the plate numbers and made a call to the cops (I've been on both ends of that one!).
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