Get off the “X”!

Man. I am SO hesitant to post this. On the one hand, I am loathe to attract the attention of current political discord to this website but on the other, I really want people out there to stay safe and stay alive. What I hope, is that this message will be received by anyone who reads it as apolitical because that is most definitely how it is intended. What I fear, is that someone will read this and think that I am taking a side. I am not.

What I AM doing is offering up some strategies and things to consider in the event you are faced with a dangerous situation. I hope you are never put in a circumstance where you have to choose fight or flight but if you are, you need to be ready to make some tough and very fast decisions. One of those decisions, by the way, is NOT to freeze. And, to be honest, you are probably not prepared for the fight option either so – by and large, your best option is almost always to take flight…to get out and to do it as quickly and with as little damage to your person as possible.

Take a look at this video. Let me know in the comments what you think you would do.

A friend of mine posted this on LinkedIn and posed the same question. It’s thought provoking and more than a little sad that we, as Americans, are living in a climate where we have to think about these things as part of our daily lives. But such as it is, here we are.

My response to my friend? Well, I said it’s a tough situation but what I see here (or have read about subsequently) are two deadly weapons – a vehicle and an individual with a loaded gun. I concede that much of my assessment is subjective in that I don’t know how the driver or the individual with the gun acted prior to the videos that have been posted. However, other videos have shown protesters who were not just standing in front of the vehicle(s) but throwing various objects at the windows, crawling on hoods, banging on the cars with fists and objects etc. etc.

Let me take a minute to clarify something about myself real quick, though. I am not a special forces operator, I do not have significant operational experience and while I am fire-armed trained (is that even proper English?), I would not consider myself a marks(wo)man or even 100% comfortable handling a firearm on a daily basis. But I have had many training courses that simulated similar circumstances and have been taught exactly what “getting off the x” means.

I’ll also say this, I am not talking about a tactical “getting off the X” situation, where you take cover and return fire. The “X” I am referring to is imminent danger and the need to immediately remove yourself from that situation. Here is what I’d do in this situation and what I’d suggest every person that I know and care about do:

  • If you are targeted, do everything you can to get out of that location.
  • Do not freeze or panic – take action! And no, this doesn’t mean hit someone with your car or pull a gun from the glove compartment. It means, get out of there and do it quickly.
  • Because the location may have been chosen by the attacker, it is imperative to get out of that location and take away the upper hand from the attacker.
  • Exercise 360 awareness. This means, simply, know your surroundings. In this case, watch the news. Pay attention to where planned protests will occur and then – avoid them! If you see large crowds gathering, turn around.
  • If on foot, run away. If in a car, put that foot down on the accelerator. In a related video to this incident, another vehicle honked continuously and slowly but still aggressively left the scene.
  • Do not stay and fight. It will most likely be an uneven fight, on someone else’s turf where the location has been chosen. There’s no hope for you if you stay.

I have so much more to say on this topic but I will try to leave it relevant to this example. The most important thing you can do for yourself is to be aware of your surroundings and prepared for all potential outcomes. Unfortunately, we do find ourselves in the unenviable situation as a country of having to be on alert. Think about it this way. If a security detail was headed to the grocery store with the President of the United States, they would not simply get into the car and drive. They would think about their route, potential choke points, issues that might arise, time of day, etc etc. You should think about that too before heading out on your daily errands. As a woman, I think about this every time I head out anywhere. Period. Maybe you think that’s a sad state of affairs but it’s just the way it is.

But again, like I said, SO many things to say on this topic. I don’t want to go overboard. I’d love to hear your thoughts though so feel free to drop a line. I’m up for debate just don’t come at me with politics. Pretty please, with democracy on top.

To sum it up, if I were in the situation discussed in the video, I would lay on the horn, attempt not to run over any humans in my way but aggressively get out of the area and away from danger. Again, I’ll reiterate that I see two deadly weapons here and there are reports that vehicles were running over pedestrians. That is clearly not what I’m suggesting as a response to a peaceful protest. But if I am in a situation where I feel my life is in danger, I’m gonna do whatever it takes to get out of that situation. We live in a litigious society where things are twisted and misconstrued but I’d rather survive to defend myself in court than stop my vehicle and die in the middle of a mob.

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