This image of a biker gang pummeling Internet executive Alexian Lienn as his wife helplessly looks on is terrifying.
Lienn and his wife were enjoying a day out celebrating their wedding anniversary with their baby daughter when a so-called “pop-up gang” of bikers surrounded them as they drove on Manhattan’s West Side Highway. One biker, later identified as Chistopher Cruz, swerved in front of Lienn’s Range Rover and “brake-checked” the vehicle by slamming on his brakes, forcing the vehicle to stop. 2,000 lb SUVs being much harder to stop than a sport bike weight just hundreds of pounds, the SUV bumped Cruz and came to halt. Other bikers quickly swarmed the SUV, slashing it’s tires and trying to get to the terrified family trapped inside.
We covered the details of what happened next in an earlier article that features a video of the ensuing chase, but that video just coincidentally cuts off before the biker mob pulls a now-trapped Mr. Lienn from his vehicle and beats and stomps him on the pavement as his wife helplessly looks on, their two-year-old daughter in the back seat. Mr. Lienn could have easily been killed, and was completely at the mob’s mercy.
While this particular mob formed in New York City, they can occur anywhere, and the thuggish riders that participate come from far away. Edwin Mieses Jr, the biker left paralyzed as Lienn’s SUV ran over him trying to escape, came all the way for Lawrence, MA for the ride (and had a long arrest record of dozens of motor vehicle infractions).
Video of the attack—and revelations that the NYPD has a policy of ignoring these gangs—has given many people to consider what they would do if caught in a similar situation, and for Americans that live in states where they insist on exercising their freedom, that may involve preparations to use a firearm in self defense.
Long guns (rifles or shotguns) are impractical in vehicles, as are their derivative pistols (AK- and AR-based) because of size limitations.
Small pocket pistols and revolvers, while comfortable for everyday carry, are limited by small magazine/cylinder capacity.
Were I trapped in such a situation, pinned in by traffic and confronted by a hostile mob looking to breach the vehicle’s cabin with the obvious intent of causing my family harm, I’d want a service-sized semi-automatic pistol with a standard-capacity magazine of 15-20 rounds, with at least two spare magazines within close reach.
Frankly, this sort of situation calls for the “Zimmerman special.”
After Florida neighborhood watchman (and road hazard in his own right) George Zimmerman had his Kel-Tec PF9 pistol confiscated and he became the center of a political firestorm, he purchased a FN Five-seveN pistol. He did so at a time when the New Black Panthers put a bounty on his head, and there was the very real possibility that he would have been lynched by a mob if his location were revealed.
He needed a handgun that could carry a large number of rounds, so that he could engage multiple threats quickly and accurate.
We don’t know for sure who helped Zimmermann select the Five-seveN, (though I have a hunch it was probably his Federal Air Marshall friend, Mark Ostermann), but it was an inspired choice. The Five-seveN boasts a factory standard 20-round magazines, and the high-velocity, low-recoiling 5.7x28mm round that lets a shooter get back on target quickly and transition from one target to the next.
When he turned himself in to be charged for murder, Zimmerman turned over his Five-seveN, 3 20-round magazines, and 61 rounds of ammunition that had become part of his everyday carry gear. It was all released back to him after the trial (Zimmerman’s PF9 remains in the custody of a spiteful U.S Department of Justice). He is believed to be carrying this gun to this day.
The Five-seveN is a bit of an exotic, but the same role could just as easily be filled by a Glock 17, Springfield Armory XD, Beretta M9, or any other service-size pistol with a 15+ round magazine capacity with several spare magazines in reserve.
We live in a world where criminal mobs form in minutes via social media, and police would rather ignore them than confront them.
What would you chose to defend your family with in such a situation?