Brandished Gun In Traffic: What Would You Do?

Today on Reddit, a man posted this clip of an apparent road rage incident off of his dashcam:

Here’s a LINK to the post on Reddit.

If you can’t watch, the driver of a mercedes stops in the middle of a 3-way intersection here in Atlanta. The mercedes passenger gets out and starts pacing towards the camera car holding a pistol. He racks his slide as he walks and you can see him talking to the driver of the camera car. Gun guy walks back to the mercedes and it leaves through the intersection. No shooting. There is no audio.

Here’s what the driver said about the incident:redditrage

So, put yourself in his shoes. How would you answer these questions knowing what he knows:

  • Do you leave enough maneuver room when you drive(even in busy city traffic) to be able to quickly maneuver around the vehicle in front of you? Are you prepared to run someone over and drive through a car door if that’s your only recourse?
  • Does anyone who stops in the middle of an intersection, gets out, and immediately beelines towards your car EVER have anything constructive to say? Would you wait around to see?
  • Do you have the composure to resist doing the “monkey dance” of chest beating and insult hurling which escalates the situation? Can you feign compliance and de-escalate and placate him, even if you have no idea what he thinks you’re guilty of?
No, YOU’RE the jerk.
  • Can you access your firearm fast enough in your vehicle to have your pistol ready before his is on you?
  • Does this problem need a gun solution?

Those are some things to think about. In addition I found it interesting that he had a personal revelation about himself in reflecting on the situation. He has stopped carrying his gun (though he wasn’t that day either, probably fortuitously) because he realized he’s a hothead and is playing out the possible outcomes, surely many negative, that could have resulted. I wonder if he will change how he deals with people in the future.

That’s it. Thanks for reading. Let me know your thoughts.

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3 thoughts on “Brandished Gun In Traffic: What Would You Do?”

  1. I’ve written three draft responses about the quality of the driver’s character, and frankly no one really cares what my opinion about him is, or why he’s the problem and not his gun that he supposedly carried from time to time.

    Instead I’ll concentrate on the video itself and your questions:
    – Even with the fisheye aspect of a dashcam (mine looks about the same), there is PLENTY of room to drive away from the incident on the left, or over the armed passenger on the right.
    – If anyone jumps out of a car and advances on me like that, armed or not, I’ve been trained to leave the area in my car if possible. Jump the curb, smash through the forward vehicle’s doors, etc.
    – Absolutely no reason to stay and monkey dance with anyone. I gave that shit up over 20 years ago, and I am not going back.
    – It would be interesting to run this scenario with Airsoft or Simunitions to see if the man exiting the car could see a covert draw by the driver. I am guessing the driver would be able to draw and gain the initiative, shooting at the 1 or 2 o’clock position through the windshield if necessary. Multiple shots are needed to clear a path through the windshield.
    – This specific incident could be “solved” by getting out of the area. I would not attempt to counter-pose with the armed man, or even try to apologize (which I normally think is a good idea).

    1. I totally agree with your points. And that’s how I answered them myself. Turns out the Mercedes was stolen. So they were on a joy ride and keyed up and ready to be tough. But of course that doesn’t change what the driver knew at the time. Thanks SBS

  2. These scenarios are excellent for mental role playing. The only real options form my perspective where to:

    (1) Hit the armed passenger with the car and use the side walk as an egress point;
    (2) Draw a firearm and respond to his threat of deadly force;
    (3) Attempt to verbally deescalate the situation with a person who appears to have the ability, intent, and opportunity to murder you; or
    (4) Attempt to merge into the left lane and exit the situation by driving off.

    Option (3) may work but leaves the victim relying on the mercy of the armed passenger whose state of mind is not completely known. What we do know is that the armed passenger appears to have the ability, intent, and opportunity to murder the victim, which is a position of significant disadvantage.

    There are several problems with option (4). First, there is no opportunity to merge into the left lane between the time the armed passenger exits the parked vehicle and him being along side the victims car. Second, once the armed passenger is along side the victim’s car, the intervals between moving traffic in the left lane are only 4-5 seconds thereby providing the victim with limit opportunities to exit that direction. Further, merging into the left lane would require the victim to take eyes off of the armed passenger, look, and decide under pressure to move into a moving lane of traffic. Since getting into a car accident will not improve your circumstance, I do not see option (4) as a valid choice.

    Using the car to remove the armed passenger as a threat, option (1), would have been my choice given the above set of circumstances as I understand them. I have no trouble driving through the open car door and if I could avoid hitting the armed passenger I would.

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