Monday, July 27, 2015

Family Security: Preparedness In Home Security

There’s a study out on private citizens and their self-defense with guns. It’s a pretty old survey but I’ve never seen one like it. Here are my thoughts on this study. I’ve expressed my ideas about study’s in this blog entry (see blog Myth of Gun Surveys and Studies 6-16-2014.) So take all this with a grain of salt. Even though this survey was from the NRA Journals “Armed Citizen” column.
The survey was taken from 1997-2001 and is based on 482 incidents. All involved the use of a firearm by a private citizen. I’d like to see a more recent study because I think there are many more people protecting themselves now than there were in 2001. 2001 was the year of 911. 911 changed everything concerning self-defense and the use of guns. Concealed carry has sky rocketed and so I think this study would be different. But this survey is interesting.
Most of these incidents were in the home (52%), no surprise there. The next most common place was business (32%).
Average number of shots fired by the defender was 2. But if was more than 2 it appears that the defender emptied their weapon. Handguns were used in 78% of the incidents as opposed to long guns at 13%. The most common caliber of bullet was in the .35 caliber family, .38, .357, 9mm at 61%. .380’s and below were used 23% with .40 and above used 15% of the time.
What was quite interesting was the shooting distance these incidents took place. The majority of these incidents took place at arms-length. Any caliber can be deadly at this distance. The most common responses of criminals upon being shot were to flee immediately or to die. With few exceptions, criminals ceased their advances immediately upon being shot. This shows that sometimes one shot will stop the threat. Even small caliber guns displayed a significant degree of immediate lethality (30% immediate one shot kills) when employed at close range. Many criminal actors vocally expressed their fear of being shot when the defender displayed a weapon. Defenders also communicate with their attackers before shooting.
In these incidents reaction time was rarely what is talked about (“Seconds” reaction time). More common was the attacker acted more like a shark slowly circling and alerting their intended victims. Defenders usually had time to get to a weapon, often in another room.
I think this study is pretty good because it was taken from actual news stories rather than data that could be manipulated or engineered questions put to survey takers. I don’t know how many stories may have been missed that might have changed the conclusions of this survey, but if these numbers are indeed an accurate depiction of what is going on, then our training should change.
Having read “The Armed Citizen” for years I know that these stories represent people defending themselves at home, at work, and even on the street. The concern here in my opinion is that most of the stories talk about home defense. Home is usually where we feel safest and are more often in Condition White.
(see blog Yellow To Orange, 3/8/14). I don’t know how accurate this survey is but I think it’s a good reason to fortify our homes as much as possible and be wary of anyone at your door. Arm yourself and your family and make sure your entire family knows how to deal with someone trying to invade your home. A safe room is also a good idea. (see blog Family Security Plan Part 1: Home security, 9/10/2014)
The worst we could do is ignore this survey. Panic should not be our watchword, but preparedness. It starts with not hiding your head in the sand and coming to grips with the odds. The odds are, you will never need to defend your home. The problem is, there is always a chance you will. Will you take the chance that “it will never happen to me”? Preparedness is the answer.
Semper Paratus
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