The Mob: Zombie -Vs- Vehicle
Picture yourself driving down the road minding your own business when you turn the corner and BAM!!!… there’s a giant mob of nasty Zombies looking for their next meal and man, are they hungry! Okay, perhaps this is pushing the world of reality a smidge too far but such circumstances may not be as far off as you think. Today, more and more often we see normal citizens in cities all over the country finding themselves in the middle of protests. From Black Lives Matter rallies, to Occupy Wall Street gatherings, to anti-Trump and government protests, such events have consumed the media. In many cases, these activities infringe on the safe passage of law-abiding citizens trying to get from point A to point B. It is clear from news reports that many of these “peaceful demonstrations” have grown more aggressive and criminal in nature. Modern protesters seem more intent on venting their frustrations through criminal and threatening behavior by damaging public and private property. Individuals in the mob start to act out as they feel that being in the mob cloaks their actions in anonymity (they are no longer acting as an individual but part of the group acting as a whole). On the other side of the mob is you and your basic response to the threat is going to be “fight or flight”. Planning in advance (prepping) will greatly increase your chances of surviving this type of situation.
Let’s assume a scenario that most of us can relate to. You are driving home with your family after a great evening out and you hear on the radio that an active protest is taking place in the city. You continue to monitor the radio to ensure your family all is well and you begin to discuss actions you may need to take when you turn the corner… unexpectedly, there it is, a blockade of people, right in your vehicle’s path blocking your destination home. You slow down, as your initial instinct is to avoid hitting anyone with your car (Remember human aggression phobia). Protesters are yelling, holding signs, and denying you forward progress. Just down the street, you see more people and the black smoke from burning cars as protesters vandalize storefronts and other personal property. As you look behind, there are people all around your car. Certainly, you are scared and forced to make a hasty decision about what to do next. Most importantly, how you articulate your actions may save your family from harm or worse, from death. While your actions and decision-making process to protect your life may need to be defended in court later, at this moment you are not thinking about that because you have already prepared yourself for this and for many other similar events.
Of course, your first response should always be to avoid this scenario and if something like the described events confronts you, immediately attempt to safely reverse out and try another route. If you do escape the chaos, you may want to seek a nearby safe-haven, such as a hospital, or a police or a fire station vice trying to get home and being confronted with the same situation. However, you do need to be prepared to manage reasonable responses to protect your family. Remember, you are not at fault here, you did not go out looking for this trouble, and you have the right to protect yourself. First, remain calm and take a deep breath as you try to reverse away from the scene, you want to control your breathing. If you allow your breathing and heartrate to increase too much you will not be able to function. If you are blocked and are unable to reverse out, you must now consider your forward options. Most likely, you’ve spent your entire life trying to avoid hitting things and now you must shift your mindset to hit things intentionally. This may involve damaging your car, your property, or… yes, even living, breathing people in your path. It’s a decision not to be taken lightly and is equal to using a weapon in self-defense, after all a car is a powerful weapon.
If you decide to use your vehicle as a weapon you have a major responsibility, just as if you were to use a gun against someone. You have the right to protect yourself and need to understand the law in your area, as to be certain after the fact you will be judged. Think of this as an escalation of force, what does the event call for within reason? In most jurisdictions, you have a “duty to retreat” before using force even in self-defense. This might be modified by a “stand your ground” law but you need to get familiar with the laws in your area. If you need to hit a human you need to ask yourself, would I use my gun in this same instance? If you do have to hit someone or something to escape the crowd, you will need to report the incident to the authorities as soon as practical. You should also call a lawyer. Remember, your actions will likely end up on the Internet and you might end up in court, so assume this responsibility and regard it as lethal force.
The act of hitting someone is not an easy thing to do, nor should it be. Understanding this helps us embrace the need for a warrior mindset prior to an event happening. Know there will be some uncomfortable sounds and feelings as you drive through a roadblock. If you’ve been in an accident you understand certain sounds car accidents cause. Usually, when we hear these sounds it stimulates a clenching reaction in our body. In fact, part of a good evasive driving course allows a student to feel this sensation to adopt a conditioned response that inoculates from a negative emotion related to the sound of crunching metal. Once you are over this, the low speed push through becomes an easy and natural method to deal with a blockade in front of you. Proper training allows you to understand the physical capability of your vehicle and its limitations as well your own limitation. This knowledge, combined with a warrior mindset, allows you to handle the scene at hand and results in the reduced potential for damage to vehicles and to people.
Your car is your first and best line of defense in any of the aforementioned scenarios; however, you must understand your vehicles limitations, it is not a tank. If two cement trucks are blocking the road you are not pushing through with your minivan, you’ll need to reassess quickly and make a change. The last thing you want it to find yourself stuck on top of a makeshift barricade with a violent mob now focused intently on harming you and your family. A vehicle does provide some limited protection understand it can quickly be defeated (you do not want to get stuck in your vehicle with a mob trying to get to you – the car windows are easily broken and you might be pulled from your vehicle and subject to the zombies’ aggression). Making quick assessments is critical and something you should discuss in advance to be prepared.
But it starts with your knowledge of the events happening around you, if protests are occurring and you do not need to travel… then don’t. If you get caught by surprise, quickly assess and make the best decision with the lowest impact on you and on others, meaning just get the frack away if you can (do not move in looking for a challenge, you will lose). But on the ground with a Zombie hoard around your vehicle, if you can’t get away, be prepared to push through by whatever means you reasonably can to ensure success.
A plan to evacuate the vehicle should be considered. The mob may only want your vehicle and not you, so give it up. Really, it’s okay to use your brain here. Finally, you may be able to talk your way out, but that too comes with risks. Everything does not need to end in a violent act… remember you are in your home area and not in Iraq, so make decisions appropriate to the scenario. Thinking and discussing what you would do and extending this process to your family members is a responsibility you have as a leader. It may be your wife, daughter, or son driving home alone and a zombie attack (OK, a mob situation) occurs, so sharing knowledge and telling them the unthinkable (using a car as a weapon) is possible if needed.
Monitor road conditions / the news – avoid protest areas
If you happen onto a protest – attempt to reverse out and depart
Decision point – stay with vehicle or abandon vehicle
Are there any emergency personnel nearby or safe havens?
Will the situation escalate to where you feel you must use force to defend you and your family?
Flight – abandon the vehicle and attempt to escape on foot.
Fight – if you feel you cannot leave your vehicle and you must defend yourself, put the car in low gear and begin to push through the mob in an attempt to escape. Look for an opening that permits you to exit the area as quickly as possible – use the minimum force needed to remove yourself from danger.
Report the incident to authorities, seek legal counsel