Handling Criminal Road Blocks in the US

Ok. The first thing that needs to be said is, if you stop your car you are asking for trouble. I understand that initially you may not understand what is going on. Or the situation may develop in front your eyes; but understand this, sitting in your car in the middle of a riot is highly dangerous.

I can’t give you advice. I am not you. But I have been through 3 “major” riots in my professional career and have some experience on the subject. Here are my thoughts.

1. Keep enough distance from the car in front of you. There are techniques on how to achieve this. Google this topic.

2. Don’t get out of the car if you can help it. CCW, rifle, tactical nuke? Don’t care. 500 8th graders would overwhelm and kill every MMA fighter you can name. Yes, really.

3. If armed, keep your weapons concealed.

4. Don’t stop. If stopped, don’t stay stopped! Slowly crawling your car around or through people, curbs, obstacles, one-way streets is fine. There are no traffic laws in a riot. Leave.

No traffic laws in a riot. Don't sit there to see what happens. leave!

No traffic laws in a riot. Don’t sit there to see what happens. leave!

5. Fuck your car or you will die. Get over it. Once you commit to not stopping people will start to damage your vehicle in an effort to make you stop. It’s common for them to bang on the outside, kick, throw things, crack your windscreen, jump on your hood, etc. Once the damage starts, resist the UNBELIEVABLE urge of a law abiding citizen to stop. You will die if you stop.

Sporting event riot. Our younger readers don't appreciate how heavy that car is.

Sporting event riot. Our younger readers don’t appreciate how heavy that car is.

6. Maintain positive and reasonable control of your vehicle. Identify a way out and deliberately work your way in that direction. Be mindful of concrete barriers, utility poles and actual buildings. DO NOT swerve or target anyone. Overhead wires and curbs might be your only source of direction.

7. If you perceive someone is about to harm you with an external weapon or board your vehicle to reach you, punch the gas full force towards your escape route. At this point, in my opinion, you have crossed over into justifiable deadly force.

Riot at US based sporting event. IMO still the most dangerous gather stateside.

Riot at US based sporting event. IMO still the most dangerous gather stateside.

8. Now is not a good time to discover that your airbag is subject to a recall and can kill you. Google this topic.

9. Now is not a good time to discover that if your airbag deploys, your engine shuts off. Google this topic.

10. Once clear, leave the area and call 9-1-1 WHILE STILL DRIVING. Do not stop. Head for the nearest local PD or Firehouse that you actually know how to get to. This MAY be in the next town.

11. I would advise against brandishing a weapon. But in full disclosure, I have successfully done that very thing in repelling vehicle borders. Fight your own fight, but know this…

12. Everything that happens is on video. Including this. Count in it. So don’t do or say things in private that you wouldn’t do publicly. Which is actually a GREAT life-habit to follow in general.

13. If someone starts shooting at you, it’s better to keep moving and driving than to get into a shootout. Google this topic.

14. Keep your gun in your holster unless you actually need it at the time. Sudden stops and airbags are notorious for making pistols fly away.

Police car destroyed by BLM Riots.

Police car destroyed by BLM Riots.

15. If you feel the need to unholster, personally; I have used the technique where I keep the muzzle pressed straight down in the seat, between my legs. Making sure to clear vital stuff incase of discharge.

16. From this position, I have successfully taken a loaded gun and quickly tucked it under my left thigh for emergency retention or concealment. This presents significant safety issues, but any port in a storm.

17. If I have a pistol in hand due to a threat, I generally present it towards the driver’s side door well below the window ledge and under my left arm. This keeps the weapon concealed but pointed towards the area of most danger.

18. Shooting through car doors is allowed.

19. Returning to the area is not allowed.

For the Keyboard Commandos and Gun Forum Experts: wasted energy on fantasies.

For the Keyboard Commandos and Gun Forum Experts: wasted energy on fantasies.

20. You would be shocked at how many people attacking your vehicle WILL NOT see you pointing a weapon at them. This is particularly true if you drive a small sports car.

21. Pointing guns towards large groups almost never gives you the result you desire. So have a plan besides, “I have a gun”. Your best defense is your car. Not your gun.

22. The police will not come and rescue you in the middle of a riot. They’re too busy trying not to die, or get sued, to make your civilian butt a priority. Don’t like it? It’s the civilians’ fault. Civilians do stupid stuff. Then they hire lawyers. Who harass cities. Who have to carry expensive liability insurance. Wasting command-staff time with compliance policies. Instead of policing strategies. Who tie LEO’s hands. Which keeps risks to a minimum. So they don’t have to pay big settlements. Justified or not. Because a civilian acted stupidly to begin with. It’s cheaper to report than enforce.

If he is burned or crippled by the pyrotechnic? Who pays?

If he is burned or crippled by the pyrotechnic? Who pays? Ultimately your police protection.

23. The most dangerous time in a riot is before a police skirmish line has formed. If you see a formation of riot police, this is good news since it fixes the battlefield.

Police / Riot skirmish line

Police / Riot skirmish line

24. Typically the most dangerous riots are sporting and music events. I don’t care what FOX news says on the subject.

It's all good fun until somebody gets hurt.

It’s all good fun until somebody gets hurt.

25. Be aware of the sniper tactic we’ve seen of late with the BLM movement. Would you recognize rifle fire instead of handgun or shotgun fire?

Plenty of room to get away from this. Don't stay.

Plenty of room to get away from this. Don’t stay.

26. Now is not a good time to discover bucket-seats and 4-5 o’clock carry isn’t optimal. Google this topic.

27. If your vehicle becomes trapped, repeatedly throwing your car into reverse and then drive is an option to repel borders. See 5, 8 & 9 above.

28. If engaging in 27, look for escape routes to appear.

29. If your car becomes disabled, remember the advice from the movie Apocalypse Now, “Never get out of the boat!”





“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”

Marky Mark

Marky Mark

Writer at John1911.com
Writer for john1911.com. Co-Host of the John1911 Podcast. Video content provider for John1911-TV.

Areas of focus: Defense and National Security, Modern Light Weapons, Analysis of the Geo-political / Military Relationship in the Context of Strategic Goals.
Marky Mark

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  • MickeyG

    Some darn good advise !

  • Gary Tompkins

    I like that movie. “I just want to cook”. I like your advice also.

    • Some good lessons in that work of fiction. It’s like a Greek morality play.


  • Mikial

    Bottom line, keep moving. I train people daily in dealing with illegal checkpoints and carjacking situations.

    Unless you feel you will be shot and killed if you don;t stop . . . don’t stop.

    • I’m up for a driving course soon.


      • Mikial

        One of the things we train is how the passenger can take over and drive for an incapacitated driver from the passenger seat. The number one ingredient for success is the balls to deal with it and keep going.

        • Something I want to reiterate for the US based civilian readers, if you plow in or through a group of pedestrians just because they are in the road:

          You are going to jail.
          And you might get the gas chamber or ole sparky.

          In the US, the rules are clear. Pedestrians always have the right of way.

          You have to drive with deference to them. If they try to hurt you while doing that, things legally change.


  • BigMike57

    Okay, so I’m going to confess to being the idiot jackass who can’t google worth a damn.

    Can you provide more info on the engine-airbag cutoff issue? When googling the most obvious (to me, anyway) terms I get exactly only report from a dude who drove a BMW up someone’s tailpipe. All my other results have nothing to do with the engine being shut off. If you could point me in the right direction (especially in regards to modern Chrysler/Jeep vehicles) I’d much appreciate it.