Self-Defense Tools for Riots: Stay Realistic

Obviously, the civil unrest and rioting is on our minds of late.  This threat indeed warrants consideration beyond more typical criminal activity.  However, I think that many are not being particularly realistic in their approach.  Consider the following:

Long Guns

How should the possibility of driving into a riot and having your vehicle accosted change your self-defense tool set?  Should you gear up with a truck gun or a bag gun?  I am not apposed to having a small or collapsible long gun if it can fit in a bag that you can carry.  The key here, however, is that it needs to be cased in a mundane looking bag.  Jumping out of your vehicle with a long gun in hand or slung and visible is an absolute no-go.  Every example of this that has thus far transpired has resulted in the guy with the long gun drawing unwanted attention to himself, or getting shot.  Think about it as a concealed carrier, if you are in the midst of a hostile riot, what is your inclination towards someone you see carrying a long gun? 

If you are going to have a long gun in a vehicle it must be in a concealment bag that you can carry, period.  Otherwise, you will be a target.  Also consider, how realistic is the possibility of getting the gun out of the bag and into action quickly enough to be useful?  Sure, there are circumstances where it would be possible that having it would be advantageous, but the actual encounters we have seen so far say otherwise.  When a threat within the crowd emerges that actually poses a lethal danger it needs to be dealt with fast, and the handgun on your waist will be far faster. 

Backup Handguns and On-Body Tools

I am of the opinion that adding a backup handgun to your person is a much more practical measure than is keeping a long gun in the vehicle.  Judging by many of the encounters seen so far, self-defenders often end up on the ground or in compromised positions when attacked by a mob.  Losing your primary handgun in a scuffle or in a fall is very likely in such scenarios, and having a backup handgun on your ankle or somewhere else in your waistline might be a life-saving piece of equipment in such an event.

Also of practical consideration would be the addition of supplemental gear carried on the person. Be sure to carry at least one reload for your primary handgun.  Perhaps a reload for your backup gun is also in order. Another on-body addition that would make sense is a more complete medical kit, if you are not carrying one already. If you carry only a tourniquet, adding further medical gear would make sense.  Third, be sure you are carrying OC Spray as the need for less-lethal is now heightened.

Practical Tools to Add to the Vehicle

Based on what has been witnessed in these events so far there are several tools that I propose are quite practical and valuable to add to your vehicle.  I suggest keeping them in a dedicated backpack or sling bag so that it can be taken in and out of the vehicle, or from one vehicle to another.  Within that bag, keep the following:

A large OC spray or bear spray: If your vehicle gets assaulted by a crowd that is aggressive yet not clearly deadly in nature, having a large canister of OC or bear spray would be very useful.  Rolling down a window enough to stick the muzzle of the canister out and spray could assist in dispersing the crowd so that you can escape.  A fog or spray pattern is likely more useful here than is a stream as it will aerosol and be more likely to cause irritation.  Of note, OC spray does not do well being left in hot vehicles, so having it in the bag that can come and go is wise.

A small fire extinguisher: fire is consistently used by the agitators in these riots, and if your vehicle, or a person, should be set ablaze a fire extinguisher will be exceedingly useful.  Even one of the small fire extinguishers are surprisingly capable of snuffing out flames, and should a person in your vehicle have their cloths catch on fire you will be very happy to have it.

A full-size trauma kit: While it is important to have medical gear on person, having a fuller kit in the vehicle bag so that you can treat all in your party is wise.  Have several spare tourniquets, chest seals, hemostatic gauze, and pressure bandages in this kit.  Be sure to have medical gloves as well as you may need to treat other people. 

Face masks: while everyone is sick of wearing face masks due to Covid 19, if caught in a riot in which tear gas or other substances are in the air, having face masks for everyone in the car can help to some extent.  While it certainly won’t be as protective as a full blown gas mask, it will be better than nothing for a variety of reasons. 

So, there is my advice.  I know everyone loves their truck guns, but I would propose that this list of items is far more practical. 

2 thoughts on “Self-Defense Tools for Riots: Stay Realistic

Add yours

  1. We have found that perhaps a good compromise is something along the lines of a ‘sub’ gun like an AR or AK pistol or one of the various 9×19 carbines. I’ve shot the CZ scorpion some for example, it’s very impressive, the long barrel boosts 9mm velocity some. Or step up to AR or AK platform for rifle caliber firepower. The nice thing about all these guns is for the concealed carry holder they are legally pistols. ‘Legally’ a pistol but functionally a truck gun. There seems to be some ongoing ATF bull about pistol braces so I’d recommend caution if so equipped, might risk a charge? Were I to have extra money at this point I’m really interested in a 10mm Glock as a high power backup, rioters definitely need the consideration for more firepower. This is just a top notch article, I’ve recently instituted some of your recommendations in my own edc such as OC spray.


    1. Yes, I agree with your assessment that a PCC in pistol form is the way to go for a “long gun” in such a situation, but I think it is essential to have it hidden in a bag so that it is not visible should you need to bail out of the vehicle. That being the case, I am of the opinion that the concealed handgun will remain the most realistic option to deploy should a gun be needed. Glad you liked the article!


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