I swear I don’t mean to pick on Gabe Suarez’s mob. What did Jim Croce say about Superman’s cape? And yet, here we are. One of the Suarez crew who knows more about gunfighting than I know about preparing deli platters (and I know a lot about preparing deli platters) has some excellent advice for people faced with the “challenge” of shooting an attacker from the driver’s seat. Staff instructor Ryan Acuff starts with the basics: drive away or over the bad guy. After that, Acuff acknowledges there’s no good way to bring your firearm to bear on a bad guy without putting the family jewels in harm’s way. “My advice is don’t shoot yourself and you’ll be OK here.” My advice: pepper spray.
I’ve tried drawing my holstered gun whilst strapped into my truck. I practiced using a variety of inside-the-waistband and outside-the-waistband holsters. [NB: I did not try a penis-pointing holster.] There are advanced yoga poses that require less contortions than removing my weapon from under a seatbelt and clothing. Trigger and muzzle discipline are an issue at the best of times; I have no doubt an in-car defensive gun use would be the worst of times. In short, I reckon drawing from the driver’s seat and firing accurately and efficiently would be asking way too much from myself.
Now I could keep a gun in the glove box, the between seat console or some specialized automotive holster thingie. But I’ve got a thing about gun safety; a gun’s either in my hand, on my hip or locked in a safe. The transition between these states is particularly dangerous, both in terms of negligent discharges and non-admiring glances from hoplophobes. I’m not in love with the idea of transferring my concealed carry gun from my hip to a car stash and back on a regular basis. Nor would I want to leave a BUG in the car.
So I’d either have to contort, draw and take my chances or hit ’em with my Kimber PepperBlaster II. That I don’t mind leaving in the car console. For one thing, it has a safety device. For another, I’ve told my kids what it is, and that they’ll never see Facebook again if they play with it. But if they do, it’s not the end of the world. Or my hearing. Or their hearing. Or my right to keep and bear arms.
Of course, you can’t fire pepper spray through a closed window (or so I’m told), whereas bullets go through glass like a bullet through glass. But it behooves armchair warriors to keep in mind that a weapon is only a means to an end: getting the hell out of (a?) Dodge. If you can drive away, pepper spray MAY give you the time to get your ass in gear. If you can’t, it may give you the time/distance you need to get out of the car and draw your weapon or run away.
Dare I say it? Your mileage may vary. And the general rule suggested here—don’t shoot a gun from inside a car—can and should be ignored as necessary. But if you have the option of pepper-spraying the potential perp, it could save you a lot of paperwork. And your life. And if you do end up drawing your gun, no matter what does or doesn’t happen, remember to call 911 immediately afterwards. Lest the bad guy does it for you.