A friend of mine was talking to me about my “lessons about hijacking” article. He explained his “line in the sand” like this:
A lot of my lines in the sand are situation dependent (which is appropriate). I have a wife and children. When I’m alone my lines in the sand are one thing (I’m willing to let a hijacker drag me out the car and drive off with it). When I’m alone I also have the option of just running the fuck away from many situations.
When my wife is in the car I’m willing to let us both be dragged out. But any indication of her not coming out the car means I start shooting or stabbing Bad Guys until my wife is safe from the threat.
When my kids are in the car, any hijacking and I start killing. I’m pretty certain hijackers won’t go and get my kids out the car first and carefully look after them (i.e. not let them get run over by a passing car) while they then kindly help me out the car and reunite us. I cannot guarantee that my kids will actually be let out the car, and I cannot guarantee that they won’t get a fright and step in front of traffic. Somebody putting the life of a family member in danger is not acceptable.
Most hijackers just want the car. Hostages slow them down, add to prison sentences, and are all-round inconvenient. Hijackers are professionals who acquire and deliver cars (usually specifically ordered). Some hijackers aren’t hijackers though. Some hijackers are kidnappers using hijacking as a tool for other objectives. Neither type explains up front what their objective is.