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Old March 30, 2013, 11:10 AM   #1
Jc06
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Drew my handgun in car...right/wrong response?

I was driving back home a few days ago and noticed I was being tailed by a guy pretty agrresively. I kept on driving at my speed in the right hand lane as he changed lanes to get aroud me I thought no big deal. He then lowered his window and started flipping me off and yelling at me. Me being a mild tempered guy I just kept driving ignoring him. Guess he disn't like that so he swerved in front of me and slammed on his brakes, so I slammed on mine just barely avoiding rear-ending his car. He then proceeded to get out and started yelling at me "Am I in your way now??" followed by a string of cuss words and racial slurs. He started poundig on the hood of my car yelling for me to get out so I put the car in reverse and kept saying, hey man just get back in your car you were already passing me! I stopped the car when I remembered that we had passed some kids a while back playing in the adjacent grass. I rolled up my window and stopped the car as he sprinted towards my window and proceeded to elbow the window surprisingly not breaking the glass. At that point I opened a storage space under a seat where my Glock 21 was stowed away that had the magazine in but slide locked back and I held it at a downward angle facing the car floor but high enough for him to see it. I yelled through the glass for him to "please back up and walk away!" He then stopped and continued to yell and asked if I had a "permit" for the gun and charged off in his car with my license plate number. I put my gun back in the storage space and drove off only to have him follow me for a good mile. I immediately called 911 and explained the situation and as soon as he broke off from following me I parked in my complex's parking lot waiting for te cops. I talked to them and they said I had hadled things great and my 911 call had actually come in before his. They found the guy and charged him with disorderly conduct.

Any thought? First time I have ever had to do anything like that with my firearms.
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Old March 30, 2013, 11:18 AM   #2
Ruger480
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I think you handled that very well. Things could have gotten a lot worse. Glad they didn't, nice job.
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Old March 30, 2013, 11:22 AM   #3
jrinne0430
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First, I would say you did the right thing by calling 911. Not sure why you stopped the car the second time...if possible, keep moving and call 911. Don't know what state your in, but some areas would have charged you for drawing a firearm since they would question the level of danger and disparity of force.

Anyways, glad you came out of it ok.
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Old March 30, 2013, 11:32 AM   #4
shouldazagged
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It's what I would have done, and I carry a revolver--no slide to unlock. Since you didn't point the gun at him or "brandish" it in a threatening manner, I don't think he had a beef coming. The officers apparently agreed.

Next questions: is it legal where you live to carry a gun loaded in your vehicle? And do you have a CC license?

In Kentucky, where I live, it's legal to carry a loaded firearm in your car without a license, but it is to be kept out of sight and not to leave the vehicle except when leaving or returning home. Strangely, as I understand it if you are licensed to carry concealed (and I am), in KY the weapon is supposed to be in plain view in a car or truck. Still haven't figured that one out.

The officers clearly thought you were in the right; but if, God forbid, you run into a similar situation again, the next LEO's might have questions about the legalities depending on your state's laws.

I say congratulations for heading off a potentially deadly confrontation without having to use your pistol.
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Old March 30, 2013, 11:34 AM   #5
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I second the comment that calling 911 was essential. And the question about why you stopped, but I wasn't there.
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Old March 30, 2013, 11:35 AM   #6
Dragline45
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You handled things fine. If you were out of your car and pulled a pistol you might have caught some heat. But since you were in your own vehicle, and did not point the gun directly at him, and your exit was blocked off by his car, you can say you were in fear of your life, had no means to flee, and readied your pistol in case he had a weapon on him. Nothing you did was wrong as the police said.

This same exact thing happened to me. I was driving down a 2 lane road, pulled into the left lane to pass, and the guy sped up and cut me off. I pulled back into the right lane, and there he goes again and cuts me off so I cant pass. I finally was able to pass him, and at an extremely high speed I might add, and he ended up following me. I pulled into a gas station after being followed for 5 minutes to see if he actually was following me, and he pulled up behind me in my parking space and blocked my exit. I locked my doors, cracked my window to see what he had to say, and grabbed my pistol and held it out of sight next to my right thigh. He proceeded to tell me I was driving like an A-hole, even though he was the one playing games not letting me pass, and said he was guna kick my ***. When he grabbed for my car handle, I pulled my pistol into sight and layed it on my lap, and told him if he didn't leave I would call the police. He then said "you are lucky my 3 year old daughter is in the car or I would kick your ***", and left. This really surprised me that one, he was driving so erratically and playing road games with his daughter in the car, and two, that he parked his car horizontally behind mine, leaving his 3 year old daughter in the car, and then proceeded to try to pick a fight with me. The fact that he would put his daughter in harm like that blew my mind.
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Old March 30, 2013, 11:52 AM   #7
jrinne0430
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We are still talking about branishing a weapon...moving a physical altercation into a potential deadly altercation. I am sure the post is missing some details however; we are talking about a road rage incident (very common where I live). I will assume this was a male against male, one wanting to fight the other. Don't see the disparity in force to justify the drawing of the gun however; I was not there.
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Old March 30, 2013, 11:57 AM   #8
Jc06
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@ Shoulda i live in Texas so the law as i understad it is that you can have a loaded handgun in your car as long as it is safely stored and concealed so I was good there. I dont have my chl yet but t paperwork was mailed out literally about a week ago and am now just eaiting for the plastic in the mail!

@jrinne Sorry didnt make it quite clear but I had put the car in reverse while i was stopped to get away from the guy after he smashed his fist on my hood and as I was backing up he started running so I figured my only options were to accelerate going backwards and possibly run into one of the kids back behind playing in the grass or stop and deal with the situation.
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Old March 30, 2013, 12:01 PM   #9
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Thanks for the clarification. I think you were on solid ground.
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Old March 30, 2013, 12:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
He then proceeded to get out and started yelling at me "Am I in your way now??" followed by a string of cuss words and racial slurs. He started poundig on the hood of my car yelling for me to get out
I glad things worked out.
But I think you should have drawn your weapon and chambered a round when he first jumped out of his car.
After all, suppose he had jumped out and started shooting in to your windshield with a handgun of his own, and your pistol still under the seat with the slide locked to the rear?

I'm not attacking you, and it's easy to be a "Monday morning quarterback", but you let the guy get out, run to your car, and start pounding on the hood and you still hadn't reached for your weapon.

We often feel safe while we're inside our cars with our doors locked, but with the possibility of guns involved you're definitely not safe at all.


Again, I'm glad things worked out.
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Old March 30, 2013, 12:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
I will assume this was a male against male, one wanting to fight the other. Don't see the disparity in force to justify the drawing of the gun however; I was not there.
I could not disagree more.

If you think that one male, even an unarmed one, can't be a deadly threat to you then you are completely wrong.
Your opponent might knock you out with one blow....and then proceed to kick and stomp you to death.

I once radiographed a man who was beaten by another unarmed man.
He struggled and was knocked down and his attacker just continued to kick him in the face and back.
He lost one eyeball, most of his teeth, suffered kidney damage and permanent spinal damage.
In one "fist fight" with one unarmed man his life was changed forever.
Now, and for the rest of his life, he will be partially blind and suffer back pain and need to use dentures to eat hard food.
Not to mention the psychological damage.
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Old March 30, 2013, 12:59 PM   #12
jrinne0430
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Quote:
If you think that one male, even an unarmed one, can't be a deadly threat to you then you are completely wrong.
Your opponent might knock you out with one blow....and then proceed to kick and stomp you to death.
While this is always a possible but are we to draw our firearms every time there is an physical altercation? I have been on the receiving end of a few road rage incidences where I live to include someone exiting their vehicle wanting to fight...would this justify me drawing my weapon? I bet not, hence why I am not dead or in jail.
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Old March 30, 2013, 01:19 PM   #13
peacefulgary
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While this is always a possible but are we to draw our firearms every time there is an physical altercation?
We draw our firearms to PREVENT a physical altercation.

If you carry a handgun, you simply CANNOT allow yourself to get in to a physical altercation.

There is too great of a chance that your opponent might discover and get hold of your concealed weapon....and then you're done for.


Besides, the guy might have a knife or other weapon on him that you will not be able to see till it's too late.
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Old March 30, 2013, 01:33 PM   #14
Dragline45
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I will assume this was a male against male, one wanting to fight the other. Don't see the disparity in force to justify the drawing of the gun however; I was not there.
In my case I posted, and the OP's, our cars were blocked from a safe exit. Especially my case where he parked horizontally behind me. I could not drive forward or back, and I could not open my drivers side door to leave the car since he was standing in front of it. When you are given no option to flee, and the aggressor is posing a threat, and in the OP's case he put the car in reverse and the aggressor continued to pursue, the presence of a weapon is completely warranted.

As far as people thinking you can not get hurt in hand to hand altercations, a good female friend of mine lost her brother to a bar fight. Got punched in the head just right and died on the spot.

Think of it this way, get something that is about the same density and weight as a fist, stick it in a sock and swing it at something as hard as you can and tell me that is not a deadly weapon. Fights are not like they are in the movies, when you get hit in the head/face more often than not you will be dazed which greatly impairs your ability to react. I have seen more people in fights knocked out from one punch than I have seen people take punches and continue fighting. The human body can take alot of abuse, but we are also pretty damn fragile.

Last edited by Dragline45; March 30, 2013 at 01:42 PM.
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Old March 30, 2013, 01:53 PM   #15
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You're all forgetting the BG had a deadly weapon available the whole time, his car. The BG was in effect "brandishing" a deadly weapon every moment he was driving that aggressively. Is it the law written that way? I don't know, it's still the truth however.
I've been in this situation from the outside (seeing it happen) and called 911 from the car.
The police had me tail the aggressor (they saw it as that important) until they could take over. The person was pulled over and had multiple charges laid against them at that point.
While I talked to the LEO's they were very happy that they had been called and were able to act before there was a physical confrontation.
You acted completely correctly, and with restraint, once cornered. You may want to think about calling 911 when the trouble starts if it happens again.
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Old March 30, 2013, 01:59 PM   #16
Jc06
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I understand where jrinne is coming from, but I feel what I did was not to try and escalate the level of violence but to deter a situation from occurring. Yes I did brandish a firearm, in as safe a manner as I think I possibly could have done, but this guy drove recklessly to begin with, and even tried to cause an accident before exiting his vehicle mid-traffic. This activity alone put the lives of those kids in danger so he had already escalated the level of violence to a life-threatening situation. I can only see one other alternative for me, since I had been blocked from merely driving away from the situation as Dragline pointed out, would be to get out of the car to continue on with the physical altercation. I've been training at an MMA gym in boxing, BJJ, and at a separate gym in krav maga for the past several years so I know I could have easily put this guy down but then what? The police would arrive and possibly have charged both of us with disorderly conduct for fighting in the middle of the street, and then I'd be out of a CHL and thereby forfeiting my right to responsibly carry concealed and ruining any chance of getting into professional school, which is what I'm currently trying to do. Or if I had waited for him to smash my windows in and forcibly try to remove me from my vehicle then what? Use lethal force because I feel at that point my life is in danger? which is pretty damn justifiable at that point in my opinion. But then I'd end up in the awful situation of having to use my firearm. I'm inclined to agree with Peacefulgary, I'm merely trying to prevent a situation from occurring not escalate the scenario. By letting him approach my window I would have then allowed the scenario to be escalated as well. Not trying to lash out at jrinne just trying to say that I feel that my options to peacefully quell the situation at that point had been exhausted.
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Old March 30, 2013, 02:19 PM   #17
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Quote:
I've been training at an MMA gym in boxing, BJJ, and at a separate gym in krav maga for the past several years so I know I could have easily put this guy down but then what?
No, you don't know that you could have put him down.

You don't know if he was armed.
You don't know if he is also trained.
You don't know if he is on powerful drugs.
You don't know if he was armed and trained and on powerful drugs!

Imagine what it would be like if your krav maga instructor was armed with a knife and on PCP and hell bent on killing you.
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Old March 30, 2013, 03:41 PM   #18
shouldazagged
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"No, you don't know that you could have put him down.

You don't know if he was armed.
You don't know if he is also trained.
You don't know if he is on powerful drugs.
You don't know if he was armed and trained and on powerful drugs!

Imagine what it would be like if your krav maga instructor was armed with a knife and on PCP and hell bent on killing you."

Well put!
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Old March 30, 2013, 03:41 PM   #19
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+1 on what Peacefulgary said. Jc06 you did the right thing by keeping a locked barrier between you and him. The way you've described him he might very well have had drugs of some sort in his system. If you had gotten out of the car someone would have ended up injured. As it sits no one is, a clear sign of good outcome.
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Old March 30, 2013, 03:55 PM   #20
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Its hard to know what to do in that situation. The only problem with letting him see your firearm is you can escalate the situation. And turn a argument into a gun fight. The guy could have went back to his car and came back with a shotgun or similar things would only have went downhill from their.
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Old March 30, 2013, 04:15 PM   #21
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First, I think the situation was handled near-perfectly.
Also, a friend of mine had a similar situation whereupon he stopped at a red light and the car behind him practically stood on it's nose. As he looked into the rear-view he saw the guy behind him get out and approach with vigor. He pounded on the window yelling "You coulda made that light" and then started pounding on the hood yelling the same thing. My buddy sat in awe as the man simply lost it, fell on his back and started foaming at the mouth. He looked back at the man's car and his wife and kid were in the car, the wife shaking her head seeminly not caring her baby daddy was lying in the street turning purple. Sometimes, road rage takes care of itself, but of course you can't count on that.
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Old March 30, 2013, 04:54 PM   #22
Jc06
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Good point PeacefulGary I never know what situation this guy was in before the incident so better to play things safe.
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Old March 30, 2013, 04:59 PM   #23
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Don't provoke, don't pursue...

I think you took the mature & proper response for the most part.

As a licensed security officer in a # of locations & types of details(estate security, office bldgs, hotels, medical centers, govt offices, etc) I can tell you many people get mad or lose control of their emotions then when confronted by LE or bouncers/security are so spun out they deny even saying or doing anything.

I'd advise any license holder or gun owner to AVOID unstable people. Leave or ignore them unless they block your path or you can't leave the area.
Remember too that safety = distance.
Smart phones or a DV type compact recording device can help you document a unstable subject's threats or acts. They are worth the $ to save legal fees, false arrests, bogus EEO complaints, etc.
Do not follow or chase subjects either. In my local area, there have been 3 incidents where "concerned citizens" got involved, 2 of these citizens were seriously hurt by the violent felons.

CF
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Old March 30, 2013, 04:59 PM   #24
jrinne0430
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Every situation is unique and as the OP stated, his options where limited (much of the details were explained later). As I was saying, if we were to draw each time we are threatened due to the risks of the unknown, then would it be often...making a bad situation worse.
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Old March 30, 2013, 05:42 PM   #25
peacefulgary
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Quote:
As I was saying, if we were to draw each time we are threatened due to the risks of the unknown, then would it be often...making a bad situation worse.
I see what you're saying.

But think about it...

The road rage guy was driving in an aggressive manner.
He nearly caused the OP to crash.
He jumped out of his car and approached the OP's car.
The OP didn't know whether the road rage guy was armed or not.
The road rage guy actually pounded on the OP's car hood.

At that point the road rage guy could have pulled out a pistol and started shooting.

And at this point the OP's pistol was still under the seat with no round in the chamber.

Think about it...
He is able to pound on the car hood and now he is shooting at you.
How far away do you think he would be shooting from?
Three feet away? Five feet?

The window glass might deflect the first or second round, but after that even the worse shot would probably be able to hit his mark from three to five feet.
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