Self defense while getting gas

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics, and Training' started by Dr T, May 7, 2022.

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  1. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    That was said to diesel, a middle distillate that is far less dangerous than gasoline, and it was allegedly in Chile where the laws and realities are much different. And John said knew nothing about the source of the video. Was it real? Our pumps do not squirt that far. There have been quite a number of staged incidents of that kind in screen fiction

    I would never rely on advice from anyone to spray volatile, flammable fluids around any facility, even if there were no one else around.
     
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  2. Dr T

    Dr T Member

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    As the OP, I posted my approach to this scenario as a means of soliciting a critique of my approach and receive feedback that I could use to improve dealing with the situation. To summarize my take-aways:

    1. Have a plan that is tailored to your abilities, disabilities, and limitations. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Practice the mechanical elements. Everyone's physical abilities and preferences are different, so take the time to find what is right for you. In particular, make sure you can deploy your weapon quickly without it hanging up on clothing.
    2. The selection of the physical environment is the most important element of defense. Choose the lowest risk environment that you can. Filling up the tank before it is empty gives you the option to wait if a situation looks bad. Chose a gas station that will be unattractive to miscreants. Locally, use a station that is familiar. The notion of gas stations with limited ingress and egress points was one that I had not considered. carefully. But, such gas stations can tend to be unattractive because they limit the ability of a carjacker to make a fast getaway. Thinking back on my recent road trip to West Texas, a number of fuel stops had this feature.
    3. When getting gas, put your keys and cell phone in your pockets (figuratively speaking) and lock your car. In this case, my Toyota Tacoma allows me to lock and unlock the car by touch if the electronic key fob is in my pocket. It can also be started by pushing a button. It is nice when technology is actually useful.
    4. While getting gas, stand in an easily defended location. I tend to lean back against the bed of my pickup. Others have advocated standing with their back to the pump or standing at some distance from the vehicle. The choice will depend on the exact situation.
    5. The use of the gas nozzle as a weapon is a bad idea and should be avoided. Legal ramifications aside, at best it is a weapon of last resort because of the potential for fire. It is interesting to me that the respondents on this thread that are most vehemently opposed to spraying fuel have had some personal experience with fuel fires causing human injury.
    6. At the end of the day, your job is to survive: Protect yourself, your passengers, and your property (not necessarily in that order). It is not to run down the carjacker and put him in cuffs. That is the job of law enforcement.

    Thanks to the contributors. Be safe.
     
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  3. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Very good. Great advice. Thanks.

    Let me add this: I saw a security camera video taken at night at a station in Detroit. Some kind of a melee occurred, there was a fight, and one driver wrecked her car. I observed several notable things:
    1. A couple of persons used cell phones to call it in.
    2. The same persons stood quite exposed and vulnerable while taking video of the event.
    3. It took a loong time for the first police people to arrive, and a long time thereafter for the second.
    4. ....and amazingly, other customers kept coming in and pumped gas, seemingly oblivious to the flashing lights and the arrests that were taking place.
    Relevance to the OP? Just this: situational awareness shouild start bofoe one starts to pull into a filling station lot. In addition to choosing a prudent time and place to refuel, one should observe what is going on at the station before one pulls in.
     
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  4. crestoncowboy

    crestoncowboy Member

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    Ford and Toyota both have this. I don't care for it. It also means if your in range of your Toyota or Ford then some bad guy can open your door and start your car. They can then drive off in your car. And until they turn off the car, they are good to go anywhere. My Toyota can be started as long as I'm within 10 feet. No doubt someone can start it while I'm pumping gas. My 21 F150 has slightly less range but id say it would as well.

    If you jump in your car with the key in your pocket it also means they can simply open your door. Once you start the car however, smartkey is disabled

    I was on vacation once and I threw my spare key in my dad's car in case mine got wet or lost or whatever. We parked with a parking space between us. He was able to open my doors and start my truck simply because my key was in his dash pocket even though I locked it with the other fob
     
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  5. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    Another thing to consider here.

    The skin is the largest organ of the body. If it sustains about 30% burns or more, it's very likely to be fatal unless immediate medical attention is rendered.

    That 30% or more burn damage will take place in just about the time it takes to say "HOLY C***!" when you see the flames first shoot up.

    That's. It.

    And, as I mentioned earlier, once a person has inhaled the fuel/air mixture, that's a straight shot to the lungs for the fire. That's a death sentence.

    And that's the potential fate for every person in the area.

    Not just the people behind the perp. ALL the people ALL around the perp.

    Including yourself and potentially the attendant, the people sitting in your vehicle, etc.

    You can't "point" gasoline like you can a gun firing a bullet. A bullet which, even if you miss, will eventually lose energy, probably hit an inanimate object, and possibly injure someone in a very small chance (hopefully), all of which you have SOME control over; gasoline doesn't work that way at all.

    It burns until the fuel is gone. If it burns the wrong things, it generates MORE fuel until IT'S gone, too.

    It burns and burns and burns until it burns itself out or is contained enough to be extinguished.

    If the wind blows, it burns hotter... and may easily spread.

    If it rains, it may spread like a grease fire.

    AND LET'S SAY THE PERP GETS DOUSED IN GAS AND CATCHES FIRE and nobody else is hurt or killed, no major property damage results.

    Know what ELSE you can't do in this case?

    You can't stop applying deadly force if the perp flees or stops his attack, that's what.

    If you use a knife, firearm, club, etc. to wield deadly force and the perp ceases his attack and/or runs away, that's it... you are no longer justified in continuing to use deadly force and the instant you cease your defensive actions, you're done applying deadly force.

    Not so with someone you've doused with something you can't promptly extinguish once ignited. (And this doesn't have to be something flammable...a caustic substance will fit the bill, too.)

    I'm a huge fan of weapons of opportunity. And yes, I've considered this scenario, too.

    But while everybody just loooooves to say things like "better judged by 12 than carried by 6", the plain fact of the matter is that EVEN SO, OUR ACTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES IN THE REAL, LEGAL WORLD. Those consequences could still gain oneself anything from "not guilty" to "death penalty", depending on how the government pursues charges.

    And that's just the criminal court side. The civil side is wicked, too.

    As we've all discussed here, there are many ways and opportunities each of us could use to mitigate the dangers, as well as apply other defensive tools.

    So the takeaway here isn't too continue to seek ways of justifying the use of a form of deadly force which has serious potential hazards and consequences... it's to figure out other, better ways to prevent/survive such an encounter without potentially razing an entire city block.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2022
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  6. old lady new shooter

    old lady new shooter Member

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    A big part of my solution was to move to Arizona where I can have a carry permit. You can't imagine what it's like to live somewhere where crime is rampant, you are an old lady who can neither run nor effectively fight, and you can't have a firearm outside your house.
     
  7. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    That was my first thought after reading the title, could have gotten quite dicey had that gone up though.

    Looked quite effective at stopping any advancement, as I would have expected.

    As a knee jerk reaction to multiple folks, that a jury of your peers would agree, are out to “get” you.

    Lots of successful tactics have later been thought to be foolish. The ones that ended WWII come to mind.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2022
  8. Blue Jays

    Blue Jays Member

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    If violent assailants with knives attack…one uses whatever is at hand to SURVIVE. Innocents must aim to LIVE. I love the agonizing and handwringing posts about "measured" and "reasonable" response, relative humidity, prevailing dew point, flammability, and the pathetic childhood upbringing of the attackers.

    In this case of gas station attack this victim did a magnificent job with non-traditional tools.
    Those vicious armed criminals carefully planned to pounce upon him completely unawares.

    Good grief. If one is doing home maintenance the "tool at hand" might be a hammer, screwdriver, or wrench. If scrubbing a house in springtime…an attacker might get a bucket of scalding hot water with TSP to the face.

    If one is on the golf course and gets accosted…it might be a 3-iron club. It might otherwise be a baseball bat or a tennis racket. The point is that sometimes life unfolds fast and perhaps OTHER tools are quickly utilized.
     
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  9. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Blue Jays, improvised contact weapons and dangerous agents that cannot discriminate among victims are not at all in the same category.

    Did you learn nothing at all from Post #105?

    Do you heave any understanding at all of use of force law? Of criminal law? Of tort law?
     
  10. Blue Jays

    Blue Jays Member

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    I love posters sitting in the comfort of their living rooms criticizing the innocent man who brilliantly saved his own life.
    Violent attackers who had a 4-to-1 numerical advantage and element-of-surprise advantage.
    He had essentially no options.
     
  11. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Are you referring to an actual incident?

    Do you yet understand that, had his act resulted in the deaths of bystanders, the actor would have ceased to be innocent as of that moment?

    Did you learn nothing at all from Post #105?

    Do you heave any understanding at all of use of force law? Of criminal law? Of tort law?
     
  12. Blue Jays

    Blue Jays Member

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    It seems that some posters are rather disappointed this innocent victim prevailed.
    He processed everything instantaneously and halted an imminent attack COLD.
    This man should be celebrated for his ingenuity. Only casualty was ruined clothes.
     
  13. Night Rider

    Night Rider Member

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    IF
     
  14. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    That is the whole basis of the concepts of negligence and prudent risk management.

    Post # 105 should explain to any reasonable person why the idea is a very, very bad one, screen fiction and fantasy not withstanding. Most of us would rather try just about anything before setting ourselves on fire.

    You have answered my questions RE: your knowledge and understanding.

    I'm not sure it will help you at all, but a Platinum membership in the Law of Self Defense can provide a lot of knowledge of the subject of self defense.

    Accounts of those whose actions did not turn out to meet the requirements of the legal defense of self defense can tell us a lot.

    Another great resource is Massad Ayoob's MAG 20.
     
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  15. Blue Jays

    Blue Jays Member

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    Blue Jays Educational Resource (TM):
    - "Do not let crazed violent assailants run to you armed with knives if you have any means by which to repel them."
     
  16. Blue Jays

    Blue Jays Member

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    What is the obsession with endlessly referencing FIRE in this thread?
    Nobody has advocated fire. No examples exist of people being on fire.

    Another technique is to physically secure your own private fueling depot.
    My grandparents maintained a 1000-gallon gasoline tank for 60+ years.
     
  17. Night Rider

    Night Rider Member

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    This is a five page discussion about having a defensive mindset while fueling up in a higher than normal risk environment.

    I would guess half of the posts are you telling us the dangers of something that the odds of even happening approach zero (and people arguing with you about it).

    We are majoring on the minors.

    You think it's a really bad idea point taken.

    We're wasting time getting into the minutiae of something that's probably never going to happen

    Why don't you use your authority as a moderator and declare the topic off limits for the remainder of the discussion and move on.
     
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  18. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    Can we make the whole "spray 'em with gasoline" thing a separate thread, please? Apparently, it's not off topic, but it's derailed this one.

    I'd like to read more about others' techniques and situations while refueling, but there is too much crap about spraying fuel to wade through anymore, and there are still two-plus pages I didn't even open.
     
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  19. scaatylobo

    scaatylobo Member

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    Point well taken

    BUT = and you knew there was a but

    The original sprayer did save his bacon from a deadly attack.

    AND he did not cause a fire.

    I would believe that if he thought he was about to burn his attackers , he would have done the same action to save his butt.

    I see that many here are not on the same page as you.

    And hell yes,I agree about all the legal hell you could cause yourself IF that gas ignites.

    So dont go "nuclear" but do have a plan.
     
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  20. Blue Jays

    Blue Jays Member

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    A technique that I successfully use is avoiding smaller "denomination-driven" fuel stops. That typically increases the frequency one must visit gasoline stations. Reducing the frequency of visits reduces overall risk.

    So, for example, instead of thinking, "I am going to put in $20.00 of regular" consider filling tank all the way to the top. Each transaction will cost more money, yet once at $100.00 is the same as $20.00 five times.

    Once that is done I do not let tank get so low that I am somewhat "forced" to select from undesirable choices. Keeping fuel level up gives driver peace-of-mind they won't be compelled to fuel at a shady-looking location.
     
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  21. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    We do not know that. Armed robberies are all to common, but death or injury is far, far less common.

    That certainly does not make it a good idea.

    He could not have reasonably assessed that--no one can--and if he did had burned his attakers, he lmost probably would have burned himself and everyone else rwho had been eached by the vapors.

    You missed me.

    That might be the least of your difficulties.

    Let's forget about gasoline for a moment. Let's move our armed robbery way from the gas pump, and maybe way from the station. We have had this discussion at length more than once.

    If someone threatens a person with a deadly weapon and demands something, that's a crime against persons, and the victim would be justified in the use of deadly force to defend himself.

    BUT SHOULD HE?

    Consider the possibilities:
    • Trying to shoot might well result in the victim being shot--even if he is able to put one or more rounds into each of the attackers.
    • Compliance nay diffuse the physical threat and result only in the loss of property.
    • Or it may not.
    The loss of a wallet or an automobile would be a minor inconvenience compared to serious injury or loss of life.

    It could be a whole lot less serious than facing the legal gauntlet of a defense of justification afterward, even if that defense is successful.

    Only the person at the scene can decide what to do. The decision involves basic risk management.

    On that subject, let's introduce some factors relating to likelihood of occurrences and the severity of potential consequences: the likelihood of death from handgun wounds is about one chance in six, for the victim and for the attackers. One cannot conclude that the vicim who has stopped the robbery has saved his own life. There was no certainty that he would be shot in the first place. And if he had been, he is more likely to survive than not.

    Now let's return to the gasoline scenario. One who is shot by a handgun is far more likely to recover than one who has suffered extensive burns or lung damage from a fire.

    The attacker's gunfire is but one possible source of ignition.

    I know no thinking person who would take that risk.

    Would I try to shoot a car-jacker? Only if I thought it necessary to save my life.

    If he has joined me in the car and ordered me to drive, I would sure think about trying.
     
  22. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I don’t know where that incident took place but if it was in the USA, he’s innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

    We are not God so we don’t know for absolute certainty what would have happened to the guy either way, for the rest of his life, or the thugs either.

    ^ Getting down to brass tacks this is it. If they were out to do him harm, the action he took might have been his last action anyway, all of that fresh pump gas and its vapors would have likely caused negative effects on himself too had it lit off.

    However, if the 3 had made it to him, forced him in the car and ordered him to drive, his options at that point are reduced even further. Two behind you and one beside you, all in contact distance, would be all but suicide unless your an action movie hero. Not to mention he might not have had a gun to even think about drawing, at that point. So now he’s just left to think about his wife and children he lost the opportunity to ever see again, instead of seizing about the only one he had, that instant.

    “Thinking about trying” to save our lives is something we here are chewing on, the van pulls up ~0:06 in the video, the doors are opened and assailants are acting by 0:07 and by 0:09 he is acting on his behalf. That’s probably faster than most folks can draw from concealment and make the first shot. Certainly by him, because he already has the flowing nozzle in his hand at “low ready”. By 00:11 (2 seconds from him initiating the action) he has already engaged all 3 and has avoided whatever was going to happen to him. Had it gone bad it could have been 5 seconds he thought about for the rest of his life or his life could have ended right there.

    100% true but don’t take too long or the decisions are made for you and generally not with your best interests, in mind.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2022
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  23. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    This one has run it's course.................
     
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