Back in the days before reliable handheld firearms and cell phones, highway robbery was a thing. Groups of bandits would ambush lone travelers out in the middle of nowhere, far from help and unable to defend themselves. It was the perfect crime, and was a popular method of robbing and murdering people in the United States right through to the early 1900’s. It remains a popular method of robbery and murder in much of the disarmed world (like South Africa and India) but it isn’t something very common in much of the United States. Except in . . .

New Jersey.

In the video above, a man is driving his car down the New Jersey Turnpike in the middle of the night. All of a sudden a line of cones appears in the road ahead next to a stopped car. When he slows down and stops to ask what’s going on, a shadowy figure sticks his hand in his pocket. As soon as the driver sees this action, the car takes off and leaves the whole mess behind.

The reason why this is still possible in New Jersey: there’s no means for self defense available for the driver. Concealed carry laws might be on the books, but as a practical matter, getting a license is virtually impossible. Drivers in New Jersey are completely unarmed. As a result they are prime targets for highway robberies and murders – as this incident was set to become.

Imagine this same situation happening in Texas. [ED: Now stop laughing.] In Texas, you don’t need a concealed carry permit to carry a firearm in your vehicle. Stand your ground rules apply equally at home or in your car. The second that blocker’s hand went into his pocket there’s a good chance our robber would have encountered the business end of a self-defense firearm.

Of course, there’s zero chance this would happen in the first place. The fact that there are a ton of legally armed people driving around in the Lone Star State makes highway robbery a fool’s game. The deterrent of an armed population is very real, and criminals tend to not want to die. But in New Jersey, no one legally carries a gun. Criminals are free to prey on the weak. In this case, the criminals have found a way to ensure that the police are as far away as possible when they make their move.

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58 Responses to This Is What Happens to a Disarmed Populace: They Encounter Highway Robbers

    • Armed or not. . .

      the saying is Praemonitus / Praemunitus not necessarily fore-protected.

      Road Blocks are bad news, even if the’re only with road cones.

      I always worry about Task Force Troy sh_t when there is Lowe’s next to every Starbucks (a/k/a turd bros. @ Boston Marathon).

      Task Force Odyssey anyone? String my bow and move my bed b_tches.

        • Not military enough, apparently. Task Force Troy is a military unit whose job is to detect and neutralize IEDs and such. Task Force Odyssey provides medical rescue and evacuation. (Or so Google tells me; I’m not operational enough to know these things off the top of my head.)

        • No, that’s the point, there’s nothing “operational” about it (any longer), and I will trade-you-prayers that it remains an obscure mention on a blog.
          http://publicintelligence.net/multi-national-force-tf-troy-iraq-counter-ied-update/

          I was kidding about the last part, as far as I know there isn’t a Task Force Odyssey (if there is, I’m not Op-enough to know of it, and sorry if I stepped on toes), I was referring to Homer’s work with the character of similar name, who got home from war and told his neighbors to get off his lawn.

  1. Good job nopeing on out of there, hopefully the next thing he did was to put a call in to 911.

    And wow, the video comment thread went full racist super quick. Stay classy, Youtubes.

    • Yeah because we can clearly see in the video that it’s a race problem… or a religion problem… or maybe even a political opinion problem… obviously, like in any situation regarding guns and violence! I wouldn’t even be surprised it’s due to the lack of universal background check!!

      [/sarcasm off]

  2. Well, you reap what you sow. If these ardent gun control states see their violent crime rates at higher level, then I say good. It sucks for the decent residents of these states, but human nature takes its course and people will take any advantage they can. What bigger advantage can a criminal have other than being armed while the victim is not? I just wish we could get all my state’s criminals to move to these bastions of easy victims.

      • how ’bout it. “hey, let’s go- pro the turnpike! it’s hypmo- tizing!”
        the perp seems to derp. at least ask if the driver knows what time it is.
        i think that may have been a cut scene from “two lane blacktop.”

  3. The real benefit of armed citizenry is the same as having a strong military [and the will to use it effectively] is deterrence. Criminals in states that respect the Second Amendment wouldn’t even think of trying this even though only a small number of people actually carry. No thug wants to stop the wrong guy and eat a bullet. The Bloombergian Moms can’t get their hands around the deterrence concept because you can’t measure the crimes that do not happen when you have an armed citizenry.

  4. When I was in Latin America the punks would do this but with big ass rocks and tree branches. I was out with one of the drivers once and we come around the corner and there are gigantic boulders and a couple caution triangles in the road, and he was just like “hang on!” and took the truck into the drainage ditch on the side of the road and then put the hammer down when we came up on the other side of the roadblock. It all happened so fast and I asked him what the hell that was all for, and he was like “you didnt see all the guys huddled on the side of the road waiting for us?” I hated driving at night when I was there.

  5. For reference it is exceedingly difficult to draw a holstered handgun and deploy it — while steering around obstacles to drive away.

    Off the top of my head, I don’t have a good solution to this. This might be a good argument for keeping a double action pistol or revolver handy. And when I say “handy”, I mean literally … immediately within grasp and not hidden or underneath something.

    In the end I think speeding away is the best option — assuming it is an option. If speeding away isn’t an option, then bailing out of your car and engaging the attackers with extreme speed and violence of action is the next best course of action. Bailing out of your car is important because you become a moving target which is much more difficult for an attacker to engage.

    • That’s why I have a left hand draw holster bolted to my center console. Pistol rides just in front of my knee. Very easy to draw, and point across my body.

      • i have a left hand IWB holster that clips to a compartment lip on my driver side door. works great. i have the benefit of being a southpaw though.

    • Yeah this guy was stuck the second he slowed down. In the video description he says he didnt want to run over the cones in his lowered “sports car” (which didnt sound or appear to accelerate very sportily, but whatever) and didnt want to damage his car. Pretty stupid reason in my mind, as it put him within seconds of potentially getting killed. As soon as he slows down and then tries to duck between the cones, the attacker of course lunges to block him. I doubt the attacker would have done that if he had kept his speed up. There was more than enough space to go through or around the cones on the left.

  6. Hi folks, I think James got it right. “Well, you reap what you sow. If these ardent gun control states see their violent crime rates at higher level, then I say good. It sucks for the decent residents of these states,”

    The voters in New Jersey thought they were doing it right, because they were told a lie. Let that lie come to roost and watch the feathers fly. The proof is in the pudding, why else would the lying anti-gun crowd have the sway on the population that they enjoy?

    After all is said though, these voters are the ones that set things up in the criminals favor by dis-arming the VICTIMS and making sure that our kids are not protected by the best defense there is. POTUS has the secret service guarding him and his. Bloomberg (an out of work politician) has security, as many other politicians do. Yet they want us unprotected, I’ve got to ask WHY?

    Situational awareness is paramount, armed or not, who knows what the bad guys had in the bushes? I would have driven away too!

  7. Nick, I think you meant “our robber” would encounter the “business end” of a handgun, not “our driver”. In Texas, we do have to keep our handguns out of sight, even in our cars. I usually have mine on the seat next to me under a small folded weekly newspaper.

      • I also take exception to: “As soon as the driver sees this action, the car takes off and leaves the whole mess behind.” Is this not the same “passive construction” grabbers use when a “gun goes off” or am I being overly pedantic?

        • It is the same so-called passive construction. But if he calls you pedantic you’ll have company; he called me a pedant once when I tried to point out that this isn’t, in fact, passive construction.

    • I would recommend it. Takes the guesswork out of any traffic accidents. I believe they are required on all vehicles in Russia simply due to the number of car accidents in that country. And what is Jersey if not a smaller Russia with a different kind of funny accent?

    • I think it’s becoming more common. In the “Self Defense Law” course I took at the NRA Range, the lawyers teaching the course felt it has become common enough to have a slide on it. It turned out one of the people in the class had one and some other people were considering it.

      • I could see it cutting both ways in a self-defense case. I would rather not have a video of what transpired. The bottom line in a defense like that is your subjective belief that you were in danger of being killed. I wouldn’t want a group of people watching a video and second guessing me based on their subjective feelings about what the video showed.

    • More and more people are. Usually for insurance and legal purposes. Some insurance companies will give a discount for having a recording system installed. This makes insurance fraud much harder to get away with.

    • I have a dash cam but it has been flaky lately. When it worked it was pretty good to show off where people were driving really bad and catch clips of animals crossing. I do drive a lot though.

      I was turned on to them when there was all the Russian videos of the meteor.

  8. “In Texas, you don’t need a concealed carry permit to carry a firearm in your vehicle. Stand your ground rules apply equally at home or in your car.”

    I’ve lived in NY, driven where this guy was in NJ (not far from there are city ordinance signs warning visitors not to stop because of the crime rate…no joke), and am now back in my home state of TX. This one difference is huge, both for personal safety and for peace of mind. I was thinking of this story last night as I dodged deer on a remote road heading out to rural home. The same setting in Mexico would be prime bandit territory (a friend of mine deals with that near Acuna regularly, and his govt does not allow this right to be exercised), but here I’m not only exponentially less likely to encounter such a situation, if I did, I carry my “Never leave home without it” Glock Express Card. This video reminded me of why I’m so thankful that in TX my car counts under the stand your ground rules…as it very well should across the country (and globe).

    • Yup, got a non-printing holster for my Kahr K9 in the passenger setback, it’s better concealed than any other option besides the glovebox or center console, and much simpler and quicker to access.

  9. Well, there’s a simple answer for that: the robber can impersonate a police officer, can claim he’s undercover.

    Doesn’t matter if you are carrying, the vast majority of people will NOT deploy force against someone they believe to be a police officer. That will give the robber just enough time to gain the upper hand.

    Think about it.

    • It’s only a matter of time before the movie version of this event plays out in real-time and somebody has to fight their way out of a very bad situation. This is the first time I’ve heard of someone using this strategy to force someone to stop, although it is a common tactic in Mexico and central America. Given the large numbers of illegals now here in the states, there is undoubtedly plenty of criminally minded people who’ve seen this done down there and who’ll try the same ploy here. We should think of this as a first effort. What will follow is a better laid out line of cones and someone(s) pretending to be cops. This is one of the reasons nobody in Mexico trusts cops. It’s something LEO’s in this country should give some serious consideration to.

  10. I had a family friend (now deceased) who was a little girl in Texas back in the early 1930’s and she almost fell victim to this back then. In this case it was a car on the side of the road with a teenage girl on the side of the road and a couple of men hiding in the brush off the road.

    Looking back at it in comparison, New Jersey was open carry without a permit and concealed carry with a relatively easy to get license.

    Texas was no open carry, and no concealed carry.

  11. I contend that highway robbery is actually very common in the US, except it’s sanctioned by the state and carried out by the state’s armed functionaries.

  12. I want to know why the hell the guy in the video even bothered stopping. The plastic streaks on your paint from running over those cones wipe off with lacquer thinner. But bloody holes in your body don’t.

  13. I feel bad for anyone to be that scared of another human reaching into their pocket as well as tolerating having the state strip you of your natural right to self defense. Cower like good sheep an become prey while still thinking voting will change human nature. I would have pulled over to see if they needed any help, and since my good samaritan beliefs don’t negate my situational awareness I would proceed with caution. Profiling the look of the stranded person would help to determine whether I would help them if I was ever in a situation where I wasn’t armed. My passenger window would have been down and a pistol pointed at them out of their eye sight until I determined the threat of the situation I willingly put myself in letting the interaction play itself out. If I were to see steel being raised up at me, not just the deliberate motion of an arm(because only cops can fire away at movement) the ringing in my ears would piss me off as well as ruin the would be attackers new era hoodie. Otherwise helping somebody in need is a beautiful thing, such a shame that offering to help another person could lead to your death in the mini-testicle tyrant states.

    • So the fact that this guy carries traffic cones with him to set up a roadblock in a dark, secluded area, while his hazards aren’t even on, in an age where cell phones are practically free, raises no red flags with you? Multiple traffic cones in the middle of the road, intended to stop or slow you down whether you want to or not, would not make you one bit suspicious? This roadblock is obviously a trap. The guy who setup the roadblock knows that except for him and his thug friends, everybody else in Jersey is disarmed by law.

      I’m not sure if that’s the NJ Turnpike, there is a lot of traffic there at all times. Either this is was a ramp or some secluded road. Anyway, good luck pulling over and lending a hand to that guy. Might be the last time.

      • I happen to carry roadside flares as well as cones in the back of my truck in case of an emergency I might experience traveling in rural areas. Cones and flares could be blocking a road hazard to an upcoming motorist. I would be suspicious of the situation rather quickly since I did not initiate the contact, which would have me running through scenarios before the person knew that I can help or hurt depending upon their actions. In any potentially threatening interaction you are the only one who knows that you have tilted in your favor through training and preparation by being an armed free American citizen and act accordingly. It is sad some tolerate this as a normal part of life. If it’s a trap fire away and keep on driving.

        • Bud don’t forget, this guy is doing what he’s doing in Jersey because he KNOWS people are disarmed here. That’s the point. Just slowing down can be risky, especially under the circumstances in the vid.

          He can find a phone if he really needs one. But this guy obviously doesn’t, he’s just looking for a victim.

  14. ” . . . I would have pulled over to see if they needed any help, and since my good samaritan beliefs don’t negate my situational awareness I would proceed with caution. . .”

    Brave words. But it’s worth mentioning that nobody needing help would put out cones which completely block both lanes of the road. After stopping you may well have found yourself surrounded by 4 or 5 armed men. What then? Maybe you could fight your way out but, then, maybe not. People get killed this way all the time.

    • I will take my odds and still be favored against 4 or 5 armed gangster rats getting close enough. The attacking scum would not be covered in armor or trained in shooting the chosen tools of their trade. Most gun owners know what they are capable of and some unfortunate enough to experience that knowledge, which leads to having respect for that skill gained and exercised with great responsibility. My Vehicle would still be in drive and if savages came out of the ditches it would result in the soup kitchen etiquette of everyone getting firsts and one may get a radial tire tattoo.

  15. Born and raised in NJ. I always knew it was a matter of time before the thieves collectively gained a couple of IQ points after realizing how defenseless the people they live among truly are. These false roadblocks are a very common practice in Latin America. It’s only going to get worse as people inevitably start impersonating cops. To top it all off, in a state as unpredictable as NJ the legal consequences for defending yourself, even with something other than a firearm, could be of any severity. This is because, as with most bluest-of-the-blue states, criminals in NJ are often depicted as downtrodden, disenfranchised folks we’re all supposed to feel sorry for; that turning them into model citizens only requires a pat on the back and a stern talking to.
    This prepostrous logic runs rampant because progressive idealogues and petty highwaymen share the belief that “all my misfortunes and mistakes are always somebody else’s fault, therefore I deserve compensation in the form of whatever I desire from them.” So we’re supposed to feel sorry for people who knowingly choose to break into our homes and cower in fear as they take whatever they want, all in the name of the closet-Marxists’ favorite term, “social justice”. Meanwhile in places like Texas and Florida, where common sense remains, the law is already stacked and damn near-idiot proofed in favor of the law-abiding citizen/defender. The contrast in thought process is mind boggling.

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