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ccw in riots

No country or civilization is immune from civil unrest, and there are occasional instances of rioting and violent protests that take place. How to survive a riot is not complicated, but does require a certain amount of awareness and knowledge.

It may seem that rioting and violent protests are more common now than they've ever been, and maybe there's something to that...but the fact is that the potential for either to occur is always present. Also, while it's good to have a concealed carry gun in a concealed carry holster this is one instance where it might not be the best line of defense.

The truth is that escape is your best bet, as finding a method of egress is far more likely to get you home safe. The tips and strategies we'll be going over are geared to finding a way out in the midst of a riot or violent protest, and hopefully in one piece.

Avoid Potential Riot Zones

One of the first tips is to be aware of where a protest or violent demonstration is going to take place. Where civil unrest is common, rioting and violent protests are more likely.

What you need to do is not be there!

how to avoid a riot

Usually, you'll know where that is in your city. While it is true that some events happen outside of what would otherwise seem to be a logical procession of events, the truth is that most riots or protests that turn violent happen in fairly predictable places and times. In other words, you'll probably be able to guess when and where they happen.

Popular parade routes and rally sites, for instance, are often where they will happen. Districts known for civil unrest are also common locations. Sports riots will happen near sports arenas and so on.

Granted, you may not always be able to avoid such areas completely and there may be situations when doing so is impossible. After all, if a riot is going on near your office building...not a whole lot you can do about that. Similarly, some rioting and so on takes place near residential areas; it's not like the people who live there can move on a moment's notice. However, you should avoid places where unrest is more likely to take place when it is likely to do so.

Keep An Eye On The News If Traveling

For the person who concealed carries and travels regularly for business or pleasure, or if you're just planning a trip, it may pay dividends to monitor news reports for the areas that you're traveling to or that you know you'll be passing through or stopping in. Since riots or protests are usually somewhat predictable, it pays to know where they are more likely to occur. Thus, if you know where one is most likely to occur...that will help you never have to deal with one.

Want to see a really great tool for tracking them?

The website usprotests.liveuamap.com maintains a database of active protests, including some information about them. This will let you keep an eye on active demonstrations and get a good idea where any might be in your area or areas you may be traveling to.

Only Draw If You Have No Choice - Flight is Better Than Fight

In cases of civil unrest, flight is better than fight - but you don't necessarily want to jump straight into the 40-yard dash. Try to walk out if at all possible as running can attract attention. The best strategy is to nonchalantly make your way to the edge of the crowd and find a means of egress. This strategy for exiting is less likely to draw the interest of rioters bent on destruction of property...or people.

However, if that is not a viable option...run.

You might think that use of a concealed carry gun is a viable means of self-defense. It can be, but it isn't in truth the best option and for several reasons. First, in a riot situation where you are trapped "behind the lines" as it were, you are outnumbered - you may not be able to get many shots off before being overpowered if any at all.

ccw during violent protests

Secondly, it may also attract the attention of police and they aren't likely going to be able to deduce that you aren't engaging them.

Therefore, only resort to a gun if you have no other choice. If you're confronted by a group of hostile rioters, and they truly mean you harm, try to find a "leader" among them. Sheep may disperse if you strike the shepherd, as it is said. If you have to, shoot that person first.

Do Your Best To Blend In With Protesters

In the case of many protests or riots, the protesters have specific demographics in mind that they are protesting against, such as the wealthy or non-working class, whatever the definition of that happens to be.

If you look like the people they're mad at, you can become a target.

Therefore, you should do what you can to blend in with the crowd.

  • Dress down if at all possible
  • Ditch any clothing that gives you away as the kind of person they vilify
  • Leave the suit in the office
  • Stash your removed items somewhere you can retrieve them later

If the mob happens to be wearing a particular color of clothing - such as black, as some anarchists are wont to do - it's best to wear something that will let you appear to be one of them, so as not to draw attention to yourself.

Wounded Things And Mobs Don't Go Uphill

One of the first things to know about mobs is that they usually don't go uphill. In other words, they tend to follow the path of least resistance.

Have an escape plan for situations like these is ideal.

This tip can be used to either find a way out of an area or to find somewhere to take shelter.

To get out of an area, look for uphill routes out of the area. Cities with lots of natural hills, such as Seattle, San Francisco and so on, can offer a person these routes of escape.

Additionally, staircases can also offer a means out of danger. Heading up a few flights will put you further away than rioters will likely be willing to go to find targets.

Have an escape plan in place

In short, vertical space can keep you safe from an angry mob, but there's a difference between heading up a hill - which is flight - and heading up a few flights, which is hiding. Again, as long as you aren't a target of the rioters, both are viable means of escape.

Use The Protest Crowd To Your Advantage

The thing about riots is that the crowd usually is in some form of motion, heading from one point to another. Think of it kind of like a body of water; swimming upstream is very, very difficult if not impossible and worse still, can get you noticed by the rioters. Instead, go with the flow and head downstream, as it were.

You will eventually find some sort of let-off point, such as a side street, park or other area where rioting is not taking place. Use those to your advantage and flee to safety.

ccw in a crowd

Above All, Stay Calm In Riot Situations

This seems obvious and anyone who has experienced anything going seriously haywire in their life knows how hard it is. That said, if there is one thing that is lethal in any bad situation, it's panic. Panic leads to making bad decisions even though they may SEEM good.

Trust your instincts, but don't give in to panic.

If there is one universal when it comes to civil unrest, it is that the situation on the ground is fluid and can change at any moment. To get out unharmed, you need to be able to think on your feet. Losing your head will not help.

Sam Hoober

About The Author

Born in southeastern Washington State, Sam Hoober graduated in 2011 from Eastern Washington University. He resides in the great Inland Northwest, with his wife and child. His varied interests and hobbies include camping, fishing, hunting, and spending time at the gun range as often as possible.