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I received this story of first-person self-defense in Chicago from a former student and thought I’d share.  He didn’t handle it perfectly, but he handled it well enough that he and his boss were able to escape unharmed and without property damage.

I was in the heart of the South side of Chicago (near 3000 block of Ogden Ave) and was returning to my office with my boss. At a stop sign, an “upstanding” Chicago citizen (not pictured above) tried to use the parking lane and “beat us off the line” to get in front of us.

Unfortunately for him, there was a truck unloading its wares and he was unable to pass us.

Somehow he viewed this as our slighting him based on his skin color and decided to share a few words of wisdom with us at the next light. He pulled up next to us on the passenger side (where I was sitting) rolled down his window and started yelling at us.

We told him that it was no fault of ours and that he should learn to drive (which, in hindsight, wasn’t the best idea).

Apparently, this further inflamed him. He put his car in park and got out of his car to continue berating us. He was a big, physically intimidating guy, too. Not yet getting the reaction he wanted by screaming, he upped the ante by banging on the windows, hood, etc. Because we were on a narrow one-way street with cars on both sides, we couldn’t drive away without damaging property. I was immediately nervous and started to move my hand towards my firearm. At that point, the enraged man attempted to wrest open my door.

In what seemed like minutes (when it was actually a couple of seconds) I ran through the AOJ checklist.

Ability: Yes. I was confined to a car with limited range of movement in a seated position facing a fellow twice my size who was highly agitated, with no way to escape.

Opportunity:  Yes. Had he opened the door (which was thankfully locked) or broken the window, he could have done serious physical harm to me. I immediately recalled the officer’s injuries from the Michael Brown fiasco.

Jeopardy: Yes. I was in danger the minute he attempted to open my door.

Once he tried to open my door, I drew my firearm and told him to step away and get back into his car. He muttered some colorful language about how I was less of a man for “hiding behind a gun” and started to walk away. I don’t know what changed his mind, but he decided to turn back and start walking towards the car again, at which point I yelled for him to return to his vehicle and that I would fire if I had to.

Finally, the light turned green and we were able to get away safe and unharmed.

It was because of your training that I was able to remain calm and keep myself and my boss safe without panicking. There is always room to learn and improve, so I must ask you if you had any additional pointers/comments about what happened and about how the situation was handled.

Thanks you again for everything you have done and for all the training that you have given me!

Would you have handled the situation any differently?



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  1. I’m not going to second guess it, as I wasn’t there.

    I will agree with the student that engaging with the rager at all (e.g. the learn-to-drive comment) was a bad idea.

    As a motorcyclist I’m well aware that no matter who has right of way, a bike loses the argument. It’s taught me to be a lot more placid about people doing stupid but non-life-threatening things near me on the road. It’s also taught me to be proactive and vigorous about disengaging as soon as the situation appears to escalate. Of course, that’s often easier on a bike than in a car.

    • Exactly. It is always a good idea to “let it go” regardless of your vehicle, but especially on a motorcycle, I really just try to chill about all of the idiotic and potentially anger-provoking actions of the drivers around me.

      I also keep my bike in gear at all intersections in case I need to make a hasty exit from the situation and constantly watch the side mirrors for anyone approaching.

    • “As a motorcyclist I’m well aware that no matter who has right of way, a bike loses the argument.”

      I am gratified that you have that awareness. I wish all riders shared your understanding.

    • Yeah, I wasn’t there either and thiswas just one side of the story; but it does lead me into what I have to do daily. I have the pleasure of driving over an hour through Dallas rush-hour traffic, and every time before I embark I have to tell myself to “let-it-go” before I hit the roads. Not because I suffer from road-rage, just so many idiots and it’s best to keep my cool.

      • As soon at the guy got out of his car all bets were off—this was serious trouble. While I don’t blame the guy for pulling his gun when the angry citizen tried to open the car door, it appears that there was a better option that, for reasons unknown, was taken.

        “Finally, the light turned green and we were able to get away safe and unharmed.”

        From reading the account, it appears that both cars were at the front of the intersection waiting for the light to change when the angry citizen decided to escalate the encounter. If that was the case and the bad guy was approaching their car, I wonder why they didn’t ignore the red light and get the hell out of immediate danger. People are conditioned to treat red lights as sacrosanct, something that criminals love to take advantage of. In my town, there’s a notorious intersection at the end of a railroad bridge. The access is relatively limited and so it has become a favorite gathering place for drug dealers, hookers, and car-jackers. If you happen the be wrong color, it’s best to time your exit from the bridge to coincide with a green light at said intersection—you absolutely do not want to stop for that red-light under any circumstances. As a result, knowledgeable people familiar with that neighborhood and that intersection will blow through a red light there rather than take their chances with the boyz waiting for them on the corner.

        • Well see, the way most traffic lights work is that they stop traffic on one road with a red light, while simultaneously allowing traffic on the other road oriented at 90* to the first, to proceed by using a green light. So, when you’re stopped at a red light, there is traffic moving at speed, at 90* to your direction of travel, directly in front of you. Since they have the right of way as indicated by the green light it is likely they would not react in time to a car suddenly darting into the intersection in front of them. A collision between two or more vehicle would likely result. Due to the mass and velocity of most vehicles, this would likely result in a large amount of damage to one or more vehicles, not to mention the passengers.

          I’m surprised they didn’t cover this in your driver’s training course materials.

      • Thank you for stating the obvious Mr. Or Mrs. Rocket Scientist. I would think that they would have driven thru the red light rather than dealing with the aftermath of a justified self defense with a gun.

    • Recently here in Phoenix, AZ, we had a woman shot by a road rager. She was on the phone with 911 when she was shot in the head.

      These things ALWAYS have some form of escalation going on. I wasn’t there, but I believe he is right that engaging the guy at all may not be the brightest idea. I’ve found that often times people react better when you just brush it off, and say, “Sorry” even if you aren’t at fault. Sometimes they actually apologize back because they think about the situation more. Sometimes being in the right isn’t worth the headache… A divorce taught me that.

      I tend to drive a bit less aggressively. Screw it. Let the guy go. Yes, he’s an a-hole. He’ll still be an a-hole whether you let him in or not. He ain’t going to stop being an a-hole because you “taught him a lesson” about cheating traffic. The best tactic for avoiding an armed conflict is to avoid conflict as much as possible. I’m pretty good at that too. I was married to an Italian woman for 10 years, and only had 4 fights the entire marriage.

      I’m currently with a Puerto Rican woman, soooo arguments are pretty dangerous… 7 years and no fights.

      • Apologize even if you were in the right, just let it go. Way too many morons out there that are just nuts. Eventually most of them end killing themselves.

  2. I don’t think I’d worry about going through a checklist like that in my head before considering to draw my firearm or not. That’s a dangerous waste of time. Once the dude steps out of the car the gun is comming un-holstered.

      • An angry, belligerent person getting out of their car to approach mine in traffic is plenty of justification for me to draw. Where it went from there would determine whether or not I pulled the trigger.

        • Different States, different laws. In Texas drawing your firearm is considered a use of force (non-lethal force). Firing it is considered a use of lethal force. This is a pretty good example of why I thing the Texas version is better.

        • Colorado has no laws regarding display of a weapon. You can draw, the other guy walks away, everybody goes home. I’ve had to do it.

      • The gun comes out when one needs it to come out. Going through legal hoops in your head while the bad guy is attacking will get you killed. I get that people need to learn the law, but focusing too much on the “ifs ands and buts” and over thinking will get you shot, stabbed, or beaten. Violent encounters happen quickly, and up close and personal. They’re not going to advance on you from 50 yards while announcing their intentions (most of the time).

      • The gun should be available and at hand at the first hint of trouble. THEN you take the time to determine shoot/no shoot. If you are not ready then your decision making process is useless.

    • Hank,

      The legality of your plan depends on your definition of unholstering your handgun and quite possibly even what state you are in. If you simply want the handgun discreetly in hand, pointed between your feet, and well below the window (which still probably qualifies as “concealed” in most states), you are probably fine. If you plan to raise the handgun up high and point it at the person who just stepped out of their car, I suspect you are at serious risk of defending yourself in court for felony brandishing or felony assault with a deadly weapon.

      As I understand it, the universal legal standard for use of deadly force — and pointing a handgun at someone is use of deadly force even if you do not pull the trigger — is that you have a reasonable fear of imminent death or grievous bodily injury. Good luck convincing a jury that it is reasonable to believe that a person who stepped out of a car is an imminent threat of death or grievous bodily harm.

      An aggressor who has a serious weight/strength advantage over you, who has begun beating on your car, and who proceeds to try and open your door is a much more reasonable, imminent threat of death or great bodily harm than a person standing outside their car.

      Note: I am not an attorney and the above is my opinion, NOT legal advice. Please consult a criminal defense attorney in your location for details.

      • I’m well aware of these things. I was referring to your exact first mention. Not pulling and brandishing, but ready to use.

    • This. I’ve had a similar situation happen. I ended up clearing leather, then holding close to my side in a retentive position. Rager never saw it. He picked up from my body language I think that I wasn’t going to be an easy target and decided to walk away (FWIW I had prior knowledge and experience with this guy, happened to know he has a history of violence and he is a needle drug user).

  3. You can’t fix stupid. You can shoot it full of holes and leave it laying on a street in Chicago. But that opens a whole other can of worms.

    • “You can’t fix stupid. You can shoot it full of holes and leave it laying on a street in Chicago. ” – Wisdom right there.

      • Evidently they have tried to fix stupid more than 3,000 times so far this year. Chicago, Murder Captitol of America.

        • There are 7 billion people on this planet. Stupid outnumbers not stupid. Chicago is doing their part. It’s the rest of the towns that are slacking.

  4. I would have begged forgiveness for my transgression. Begging him not to rape me or slit my throat because of his lack of driving skills or my lack of ability to instantly get out of his way while he passes in the parking lane. If I had a large quantity of cash on me… I could have throw it out the window as a distraction and sped off. Alternatively, I could have jumped out of my vehicle and threw the keys at him as a distraction and ran down the sidewalk in the opposite direction. Or as a last ditch effort, I could drop the mag in the gun, rack the cartridge from the chamber and toss the gun at him as a surprise just long enough to jump into the back of a dump truck rounding the corner.

    • You forgot pee yourself, vomit on yourself and tell him you were on your period, all effective self defense tactics according The Loonie Left SJW’s.

      • Nah – I could carry diarrhea in a sealed jar and pour it over my head just before the attack so he wouldn’t touch me. I could also break one of those smelly bombs in the glass vial and wipe it all over my body. I could carry an actual dried dog turd and take it out while I was taking to him and bite the end off to make me look like a raving lunatic so he would just distance himself from me. I could bite my own finger off and tear it from the socket so he would think I’m from the looney bin (Hillary’s basket of deplorables).

        • The dried doggie turd is a *nice* touch… 🙂

          (You could also throw him off-balance by praying loudly: “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet…”)

  5. Reminds me of a night coming home from work in Seattle back in April. We were closing up shop late and heard a drive by about two blocks away on a busy area of Capitol Hill. I departed to get my bus north, and was rounding the corner when a homeless man had his belongings in the middle of the sidewalk. At this point, I rounded the corner on the outside of his pile of shit, putting the pile between he and I. Without any warning, he gets up screaming and sprints at my person. I turned toward him while shining 1000 lumens in his face, and deploy my baton. Keeping calm and contiuning to circle the pile of shit, I keep him at distance to escape down the street. I informed the nearby police, and caught my bus home. The take away is situational awareness is key to any self defense situation. Also, good use of a tactical flashlight can buy you time and distance if someone starts getting close.

  6. Differently? I’ve been in that very spot. In Chicago. I’ve had an azzwhole banging on my window because I dared honk at his blocking the street (all he had to do was pull off). I gunned the engine and came within an inch of hitting him.Damaging property wasn’t a concern at the time. No gun on me either. I’ve also been witness to gang types jumping out and attacking a car with baseball bats. I got no idea why. Maybe he looked at him funny…the bottom line in this story is avoid the hell out of Chicago and especially the south side…

  7. De-escalate. Why is it so hard to wave, say ‘sorry, man–I’ll let you in!’, and wave him in? I’ve had several situations where someone has cut me off or I’ve cut them off. A quick smile, wave, acknowledgement and all is well.
    Ayoob writes how he would carry a 10-spot wrapped around a matchbook that he could throw and tell some guys to buy a round on him. Just enough to defuse and get away.
    Swallowing your pride is cheaper than what Paul Lathrop went through because of a hothead with him.

    • I don’t know about that. (Throwing money at them) That seems too much like positive reinforcement of bad behavior. I know some people would take that as “I just got money for being a dick… I’m gonna be a dick more often.” Or “That guy has enough money to literally throw it at me, maybe I should see if he has more.”

        • That is true. Ayoob depends on scaring the shit out of gun owners and making a living by selling them bad advice and worthless legal services.

          Fight the first fight first. IF you win you can fight the legal battles later. Ayoob would have you or your family sacrificed to the bad guys to avoid legal issues.

  8. Well, a gentleman with his son got mad at me when I drove in front of him at the drive-thru window. Thing is, this restaurant is not fast food, I had called my order in, and waited the time that the employee had told me it would be ready. He was giving his order at another window, when I drove to the pick up window. Basically, I was blocking him from paying, then parking, until his order was ready.

    He made the usual one finger salute, after tapping his horn. Several times. I was unarmed, except for my phone, which I waved at him. DumA$$ saluted me again. So, what’s a girl gonna do? Yup, called the police.

    Can’t help but think that he set a wonderful example for his teenage sized son. As I am 4’10” tall, it is pretty obvious that I’m either female, or have a disability.

    Cop talked me out of filing Disorderly Conduct charges. I did tell the cop that I would be driving down a dark country road to go pick my son up at work, and was afraid of being followed. I just didn’t tell him my son was working at a gun shop, I had the number in my Contacts, and everyone would be waiting for this guy, when I drove up, if he followed me. Everyone carries. If I made it that far.

    • I was on your side until you called the cops. A bird honestly isn’t worth a po-po call. The guy was obviously ignorant of the situation and lacking the intellectual ability to give you the benefit of the doubt. It would have been better to just let it go knowing you took the higher road.

      • I have to respectfully disagree. I did not take it as calling the police because of the finger, but that she felt threatened. If anyone feels threatened and they have the opportunity, they have the right to call the police, that’s what they are there for. Also, if it escalates after the call and you have to shoot the guy before the police get there, you have that on record.

  9. Avoid fights at all costs because they can turn deadly in a split second.

    >>>>>>> Just because you are trained and armed does not mean you will win. You may do everything right and still die <<<<<<<<

    Do everything you can to never anger someone even if its their fault. Apologize even when its not your fault.

    If all else fails, use fast, immediate, and overwhelming force to win the fight. Someone will have the advantage, make sure its you.

    • Yup. You nailed it. Let that other guy tell his friends what a pansy you are.

      If you’re secure in your capabilities, you don’t care what they think and you’re thankful no one got hurt. This is a viable option in many situations. I’ve played the pansy and bought a guy a drink at a bar before just to avoid a fight.

      As you correctly point out you can die even if you’re better trained. Just tripping off a curb during a fist fight and smashing your head into concrete can kill you.

      • Having worked at bars, I’ve bought people drinks so the two of them don’t fight. It’s a lot easier than them getting arrested, not paying a tab, getting people to leave because cops have now showed up and ruined their party time. I’ve also thrown money down for dudes to keep their cool because they thought I was hitting on their girl or whatever the case is. Much easier and less costly than the alternative. I’m not a fighter, so getting into a hand to hand conflict may result in me taking an ambulance ride. (I’m cheap, so avoiding hospital bills is a legitimate concern of mine)

  10. I had a tatted-up meth-head in a beater Suburban cut me off going down I-35 the other day. I flashed my brights(it was 5:30 pm) to signify my irritation. He took exception, slowed down, and changed lanes to come up alongside me, at which point he wildly signaled for me to pull over. He was furious. Mind you, we’re still zooming down the freeway at 75! I smiled, shook my head “no”, and patted my console. Perhaps it was my calm demeanor and the clear message I was armed that rapidly de-escalated the situation. You’ve got to figure that even a tweaker might be cautious if an old grey-beard just laughed him off!

  11. Tricky thing when the guy is unarmed. When there is a difference in skin tone and the guy is unarmed, more so. If the bad guy hadn’t backed down, our hero would have been screwed. By trying to “win” the fight, our hero basically challenged the bad guy to an idiot fight- the guy with the most experience always wins those fights.

    I’ve gotten out of a few confrontations by being contrite, even when it wasn’t called for. Never regretted it, either. The “winner” in these confrontations is always the guy who convinces the other guy that he’s won, that there is no honor to be lost in walking away. Remember the diner scene in Pulp Fiction? Ringo gets to walk away with a ton of money. Jules didn’t have to shoot anyone. Happy ending.

  12. I’ve never had anyone beat on my car but I have had a guy who thought I caused him to miss a green light get out of his car and yell at me while coming towards my driver’s door. My Star BM was in my hand and ready for use if need be but below the level of the window so he never knew I had it.

    My window was down at the time and I basically said “Sir, please return to your vehicle before you get hurt”. I guess I said it just right because he stopped, looked at me, looked at the other cars, looked back at me with this sheepish look on his face and then returned to his vehicle. I think he probably thought I was worried about him getting run over. Either way, the look on his face told me that he suddenly realized he was acting like a jackass and he was embarrassed by this realization.

    The guy in this story, I feel, was more of a threat. Anyone who gets a gun pointed at them and keeps talking shit is either very dumb or so angry they’re not thinking clearly. Such a person might actually force you to shoot them.

  13. Last year I cut a guy off, he was in my blind spot and I didn’t see him. Same deal as this guy. It was pretty bad, I understood immediately why he got angry. Well, he pulled along side me at the next red light and really started letting me have it. Had his girl with him, too. I apologized and took blame for it. I think he was taken aback; he looked at me weird, then continued yelling I think to put on a show for his lady, but the vitriol was mostly gone. I had an H&K .40 under my shirt. Would he have gotten out of his car if I’d given him a hard time? Most likely, this dude was pretty ghetto. So for the guy above who recommended de-escalation, I’d say that’s the best move. I was on the road in the city and I’m never going to see this guy again either way, and it was my fault. As for the protagonist of this story, giving this guy grief, even if it was his fault, might not have been the best idea. Everything else he did was good, though.

  14. Well, how about what happened to me a last year.

    I got home from work one night in December 2014. Upon finishing the final preparations for dinner I hear a knock on my door. Still my work cloths in addition to my CCW, as I was trying get the kids feed before I settled in for the night. The neighbor next door informed me that my car which was parked on the street was sideswiped. I walk out to the street and observe the damage in addition to the suspected vehicle about 2 blocks away. I hop in my second vehicle parked in the driveway, as the one he hit was not drivable, and call the police while following the vehicle. About 5 blocks and 2 right turns later the guy abruptly stops and gets out of his vehicle. While approaching my vehicle he is screaming “who the F are you” and “why are you following me”. I explain to the intoxicated driver why I was following him and ask him to step away from my vehicle. He steps closer, now 4 feet from my rear view mirror, and I open my door and step out. One more step and he would have prevented me from opening my vehicle door. I back-up and ask him to return to his vehicle, however he continues to come closer. I draw my weapon, which is now pointed down and ask him again to return to his vehicle until the police arrive. He gets belligerent and takes a swing at me. In response, I step to the right, then proceed to kick him in his left knee and push him to the ground. When he hits the ground I place my knee on his back, holster my weapon and hold his arms down until the police arrive at my current location.

    When they arrive I explained what had transpired AND…

    They arrest the driver and charge him with DUI, Leaving the Scene of an Accident and 2nd Degree assault. THEN

    They arrest me for 1st Degree Assault (brandishing a handgun in any manor, even one’s defens, apparently qualifies as Assault in the 1st Degree in Maryland!).

    While in holding, the Baltimore County Police serve a warrant at my residence to confiscate all firearms in my possession. Maryland keeps a list of all the firearms I have purchased over the last 18 years and yes the list is long. They are now unable to locate some firearms on their list because their system does not record transfers outside of Maryland to FFL’s.

    Upon being released on my own recognizance the following day, I get a call from the Baltimore Police stating that I am to hand over the firearms not accounted for in their system. Next week Baltimore County Police came to my house with a list of all the firearms I had bought in my life trying to account for firearms sold over a decade ago.
    Then every few weeks I would get a visit from a detective.

    Fast forward to trial…one week after the Baltimore City Riots. The prosecutor is now planning to make me out as a vigilante and intents to parade 14 assault rifles around the court room. Wait, when did this turn into an assault on my firearms collection.

    Long story short, the state is now the proud owner of a 30k+ firearms collection. Not to mention the 25k in legal fees I has to fork over to my defense. The system in Maryland sucks. Litigation regarding the release of my firearms is still in process.

    Sorry for the long winded story.

    • “Litigation regarding the release of my firearms is still in process.”

      Am I to understand that you are now in the process of regaining your property, as much as that process may suck, but that you WILL eventually get your property back?

      • In my state, the likelyhood of getting your firearms back is slim to none. Exonerated, well sort of…probation before judgement.

        • So if you complete your probation you’re good to go? That *should* count as a clean record and get your guns back.

          Either way, you got fucked. Sorry to hear that. Here’s to hoping it all works out in your favor in the end.

    • Not at all, that was a good read. So if you’re working on the release of your firearms, does that mean you were exonerated?

    • You should move out of the unicorn dust state to better state. Then publish your story where you launched a “go fund me” page and the firearms community provided you with 100 new firearms. The last of which has the name of the prosecutor in Maryland, chemically etched in the receiver with a thank you note. Breitbart, TTAG, and the (small) number of conservative news outlets can then publish the story with a picture of the thank you note to the prosecutor. You can then personally contact the prosecutor’s office providing them a link to the article and a warm thank you. Everyone here on TTAG can comment on the event with laughter and joyful ridicule of the prosecutor and the state of Maryland.

      • How did living in Florida work for George Zimmerman?

        You can get nailed anywhere if your attacker somehow becomes a sympathetic figure.

        Sometimes the best thing to do is look the other way.

    • What you should have done when you went after him was to get his tag number and then turn around, go home and called the cops. There would have been sufficient forensic evidence to nail him.

      Your story should make the usual suspects understand that there is a difference between law enforecement officers and private citizens and you crossed that line.

    • I think maybe you should have stayed in your car, and backed up when he walked towards you.

      Also, Maryland is a sh*t-hole. You should move to America.

    • Sorry, but this is what uninsured motorist coverage is for. Tracking a drunk down so his insurance can pay for the repair is not worth the $300 deductible I would have to pay for the drunk never to be identified.

      As I see it, you lost a $30k firearms collection and incurred $25k in legal fees to avoid paying a small insurance deductible.

    • That’s unfortunate, but I guess is a good lesson for the rest of us to remember not to pursue a suspect who is no longer a danger to us. PITA, yes, but that’s what car insurance is for.

  15. I cut these kind of problems way down by moving to a state where the population of certain groups is in the single digits.Never been happier and I’m not ashamed to say it.

  16. U shouldve shot him. U had an 80 percent chance of not getting caught, at least according to chicago homicide statistics.
    (Sarcasm fellas)

    • Funny thing is my lawyer said If I shot him I would have been alot better off. Legally I agree with him, however ethically and morally I think what I did was correct.

  17. Today an accident blocked up a lane on a super busy interstate. I managed to get a guy in a truck pissed enough at me that he yelled and cursed at me and my spouse with the window down at every opportunity for several passes of staggering traffic. My sidearm was on my hip and I pretended not to hear. That is all.

    • Ya’ll oughta come to Texas. I was stuck in a traffic jam one time a few years back, and a scary truck driver yelled down at me (I had the top down), “Hey! I really like your car!” Many would say I drive like an asshole, but *NOBODY* does shit like you guys are talking about.

  18. Well, the question was would I do anything differently. I would not wait for a green light, as he stated. Maybe it was just stated wrong, but if he was first in line and waiting for a green light, that’s nuts. Once the driver is out of his car and screwing with your door handle, drive away.

  19. I drive 50-60k miles a year all over the country and seen more stupid driving in a month than most people see in a year. I’m not a cop nor driving instructor. The only thing I would have done different is signal the guy to get ahead of me. No fuss and you remain in control of the situation.

    • Do you drive a big rig? I only ask because I’m curious about truck drivers that carry and how they carry, and the laws concerning them. If TTAG is reading this, an in depth article on the subject would be a good one I think.

  20. Don’t waste your time discussing driving styles with anyone. Especially someone that is obviously in a big hurry. And keep the finger down. Play with the radio. If he gets out pick up the phone and start recording. Say nothing. If for some reason he decides to take it to the next level then get the hardware ready.
    You’ve not done anything to inflame the situation and you have pics or video of him out of the car threatening you. Hopefully he is unarmed and just a bull.

    If a weapon appears you’ll need to go to hardware right then.

    Without being there and in the situation that’s the best I could recommend.

    (720 ILCS 5/Art. 7 heading)
    However, he is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or another, or the commission of a forcible felony. (Key is Forcible Felony)
    720 ILCS 5/2-8) (from Ch. 38, par. 2-8)
    Sec. 2-8. “Forcible felony”. “Forcible felony” means treason, first degree murder, second degree murder, predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, aggravated criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual assault, robbery, burglary, residential burglary, aggravated arson, arson, aggravated kidnaping, kidnaping, aggravated battery resulting in great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement and any other felony which involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual.

    This not legal advice, only the relevant Illinois statutes. Please talk to a lawyer or check for yourself

  22. I will admit to giving many a second thought about their road manners. I spend thousands of miles a month on two lane interstates and many drivers get in the left lane and go to sleep. When they finally realize I am behind them and want by they seem to think they must do one or two things (1) brake check me /slow down or (2) flip me off when I finally am able to pass.

    I know Robert and others will disparage me but when I see the finger salute, I slow down to stay near them. I am amazed at the seniors and people with young children who willfully antagonize an unknown driver and then are surprised when there is a possible confrontation. Perhaps more incredibly are the ones who take up their phone to call someone. What are they going to tell them? “Uh hello 911? Yes I’ve been blocking this guy on the freeway and making obscene gestures at him and he seems upset”.

    I don’t harass them or chase them (anymore, thank you Robert and TTAG for retraining me) but hopefully they rethink their road manners.

    And yes the story above is a good reminder (again as I have learned), don’t engage them.

    • When they finally realize I am behind them and want by they seem to think they must do one or two things (1) brake check me /slow down or (2) flip me off when I finally am able to pass

      Sounds like you are driving too close to their car. Like outside the car, inside the car, most people still prefer to have their personal space. See the 3 second rule.

      • In the states I usually travel it is Illegal to drive in the left lane, even at the speed limit if you are “slower” traffic. Most of them are driving about 65 in a 70 zone. They have plenty of time to see me coming, plenty of time to move over. When the don’t I give each a quick flash of the lights. If they don’t move I try to go around. This is when they often speed up.

        I never antagonize intentionally but they do. Three second rule is fine if they are complying the local rules but they are not.

  23. I was walking our dogs with my wife one afternoon when, two houses (in our non-gated suburban, middle class cul-de-sac subdivision) from our house, a Chevy Blazer with heavily (a.k.a. illegal) tinted windows stopped in front of us as we were about to cross the street blocking our path. At about 7 yds. a white, 20-something, dude on the passenger side lowers the window, looks at me, looks at my wife and, with a grin in his face, says, ” Nice tits”. I am not sure if he was referring to me or my wife but all kinds of red flags started to pop up. While he was waiting for my reaction I was busy analyzing the order of dispatching the merchandise (Glock 23 under my loose t-shirt with 14 shiny, well lubricated Gold Dot rounds). I don’t know how many times I have practice this same scenario during pistol defense class and on my own. Could’t see through the rear window on the same side of the 4-door vehicle (more dudes?) but I knew there was a driver that I couldn’t see.
    What would you guys have done or how reacted?
    a.) respond verbally
    b.) ignore them but keep them covered
    c.) draw gun (low ready) and ask them to move on?
    d.) advise them on the virtue of decency,respect, and courtesy and a life of hard work?

    • “They are nice tits. At least that was your mothers opinion of them last night during the 3 way. ”

      No shit. Had a guy call me a motherfucker for no good reason. Yelled back at him to keep his mother off the streets and he wouldn’t have that problem.

      Just so you know. If you decide on that route be ready to ride it all the way.

    • Get the tag number. Later that night scope the neighborhood and find the vehicle. Approach the vehicle – Open the gas cap. Insert fuel soaked rag…

      Just kidding.

      • B.) That’s what I did.
        And went back home to sleep. Just thinking about all the paper work involved if I had done something different made up my mind. Although, if the dude starts getting out of the vehicle then, it would had been be a good time to “present arms”.

    • Thanks for outlining that scenario, because I now have an appropriate response if I should ever encounter it.
      “Thanks, I just had them done.”

  24. I was in a nearly identical situation once except it was an intoxicated older man (who had taken exception to me passing him while he was sitting still in an intersection) and I was twice his size, strapped in my seat in a parking lot with no escape. Fortunately bystanders subdued him so I was able to stow my EDC and remain inside my car until the police (that i had called) arrived.

    FWIW, in my situation the police thanked me for not getting out of the car and giving him the beating that he so richly deserved. I never mentioned anything regarding my ability to defend myself to the 911 operator. I simply fed her information about what my assailant was doing and the bystanders who came to my aid.

    Good job keeping your head. When everybody gets to walk away (home or into the police car) it is 99% of the time a better outcome than being forced to use deadly force. Sometimes because you left yourself an out and sometimes because bystanders or a green light came to the rescue.

  25. De-escalate. It’s great advice. If I had my family with me, that’s what I’d do.

    If I was alone, I’d likely just let the bad driver have the space in front of me if he wants it that bad. Most of us are really in a hurry at some point in our lives, and my driving slow and / or getting in the way of a mad rush is just likely to make a bad driver even more mad.

    He could have a good reason for speeding, or he could just be an a$$hole. If I let him go ahead, he’s an a$$hole traveling away from me. If I clog him up, he’s an a$&hole behind me or alongside of me at the next red light. That’s just bad tactics. I can win 100% of the fights I avoid.

    But if the driver goes out of his way to exit his car and tell me to f@ck myself, diplomacy has failed and I’ll proceed from there.

  26. A quick nod and a “Easy, fellow, take it easy”-type, inoffensive hand gesture would have given him what he wanted, which is basic acknowledgement that his maneuver didn’t work out, but that it’s no big deal.

    He would probably have still shouted some obscenities and accusations, to relieve himself of responsibility for the bad maneuver, but that would have been about it. Who cares what some jack wagon loser screams in traffic?

  27. “It was because of your training that I was able to remain calm and keep myself and my boss safe without panicking. There is always room to learn and improve, so I must ask you if you had any additional pointers/comments about what happened and about how the situation was handled.”

    Yes John, thank you for being the all-knowing gun guru that you are and allowing me to bask in your presence. Tell me how to live my life in all ways with you as my role model, although you have never stayed overnight within the city of Chicago since the day you were born. You are the greatest medium size gun guru within the small pond of Champaign County though. Barf!

    “Thanks you again for everything you have done and for all the training that you have given me!”

    Right! TTAG certainly provides a new and wider forum for self-promotion, which is John Bochs’ primary “talent.” First, Champaign County. Next, The World!

    Here’s a little free legal advice for the grateful student. Pulling the gun from your holster in Illinois on an unarmed man could get you charged with aggravated assault if the police so choose. John Boch may tell you that will never happen to you, since the police are your friends and you are clearly a card-carrying good guy, but John is hunkered down in Champaign County, not living in Chicago.

    Do you know if John is providing this information to his “buddies” within the Chicago Police Dept., which he has repeatedly bragged about on this board since his debut in August? Keeping his mouth shut is not one of John’s strong points. If you get a phone call or a ring at your doorbell from a cop asking you to explain this incident, you’ll know where the leak came from. But I’m sure that John will direct GunsSaveLife to pay for your legal defense. He’s the executive director for life, and it’s a one man show- the John Boch show. That’s what the old timers call GSL meetings.

  28. Two things I noticed right away about this scenario, offered in the spirit of honest evaluation:

    (1) Escalating the situation was a huge mistake, as the subject of the article admitted.

    (2) The person stated this: “we couldn’t drive away without damaging property”.
    If the alternative is merely “damaging property” or “shooting someone”, and as long as “damaging property’ would not impact your ability to extend and escape, why wouldn’t you choose “damaging property” vs. potentially shooting someone?

    If you’re blocked in and unable to drive away, that’s one thing…but if we’re just talking about your car and the others in the alleyway getting scratched and dented, that’s a hard sell if you end up pulling the trigger.

    • If the suspect was blocking his car he could easily argue false imprisonment. Beating on an occupied car can and should be seen as a threat.

      If it had been a shooting, STFU and lawyer up. Any good one will know the local laws better and point you down a more justifiable path.

  29. Again most of these comments are 20/20 hind-site, dealing with out of control people is very dangerous and needs the up-most caution and all of us who carry carry for the same reason …self defense…and their is nothing wrong with being ready and if that means gun out and tucked behind your leg thats fine , deescalating or walking away or apologizing is all fine but it might be that other kinda time for some of us when you have to use deadly force and I hope nobody here wants to just wound them, road ragers are azzholes and if you want to sit there and let them tear up your car and break your windows , maybe your kids are in the car broken glass every where just because you think/hoping they will go away if you do nothing…..well then maybe you shouldn’t have a gun because your NOT defending yourself or family or your property….let me be clear, if you can’t move forward or backward and someone is beating up your car and your kids are screaming you get out of your car and you kill that SOB

  30. The “AOJ” checklist doesn’t really seem to fit, IMO.

    IMO, a checklist should simply be as follows: am I (or my family) in imminent danger? Can I (or we) escape or retreat?

    If an unarmed man is banging on your locked doors, you are not yet in imminent danger. And you didn’t address whether you were blocked by cross traffic at the light – if not, you should have just pulled away through the redlight.

  31. DCJ, this I guess will come as a surprise , but many folks lie when they call 911. Most likely they would have said you were a speeding, tailgating , road rager who was going to kill someone .

    Oh and the first to call will be known as the victim.

  32. This reminds me of the phrase “The only thing that can be done with the “right of way” is to yield it.” It is really, really hard, but we have to resist the temptation to get angry in response to people like this guy. The best thing to do is to yield ROW if possible. If someone starts to rage, we need to resist the temptation to respond, except in self defence (if it comes to that).

    We have a family joke we say to help. Whenever someone does something stupid (e.g. cut us off), one of us will say “how dare we get in his way, since he’s THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN THE WORLD!” – followed by us all breaking out in laughter. Even when alone I say this to myself and it lightens the moment. Try it!

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