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Old 02-22-2021, 05:42 PM
crazyphil crazyphil is offline
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Default WHAT ARE THE ODDS?

Every month the American Rifleman magazine has a page about
citizens who have used a gun to defend themselves. I have been
reading it for years now, and the number doesn't seem to change.

The NRA claims that about 2,000,000 law abiding citizens use
a gun to protect themselves every year. The good news is that
96% of the time shots fired are not necessary.

So, in 4% of the incidents shots fired are necessary. When shots
are fired 2/3 of the 4% stop attacking voluntarily. They may not
have been hit, or may be hit but not a deadly wound. They don't
want to get shot again, so they either run or just give up.

That leaves 1/3 of 4%, or 1.33% that we need to be more
concerned about. Problem is if you are unfortunate enough to
be one of the two million, and need to pull your gun, you don't
know if the perp will be one of the 96% or one of the 4%.

And if he is one of the 4%, you don't know if he is one of the
2/3 group, or the 1/3 group. This is why my Latin slogan means
"Be Prepared For All Things".

If you like the odds just poke the like button. If you don't like
the post, just move on. Please do not be confrontational.
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Old 02-22-2021, 10:39 PM
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Phil, I found the statistics interesting to say the least. There's one factor that always needs to be taken into consideration, however, and that is human perception. Remember, perception is reality. For example, if the victim perceives that the perpetrator is going to kill him or her, to them that is reality...whether it's true or not. I mean, the perpetrator could be in that 96 percentile, but if the victim feels that his or her life is in danger, the trigger is going to get pulled.

The example that comes readily to mind is the recent situation in Tennessee where a couple of young men decided to pull a prank and film it for YouTube. They were going to pretend to attack a random passerby with a butcher knife and film the reaction. It was a prank...a joke. Everyone supposedly would get a big laugh over it. Unfortunately, the passerby didn't see it as such, felt that his life was being threatened and in jeopardy, and wound up shooting and killing the would-be attacker. Nobody laughed. To the passerby, he perceived the threat to be real.

As you pointed out, we never really know if the attacker is in the one-third or the two-thirds in that 4% group. How can we? There's really no fool-proof way of knowing.

How many times after a bad guy is killed have we heard his mother or grandmother say, "He wasn't gonna hurt nobody. He was a good boy. He was turnin' his life around. Dey should'na kilt him."? How the heck are we supposed to know that the perp was a "good boy," was "turning his life around," and wasn't in the 4% group? The bozo had a weapon and it was perceived he was going to kill someone.

Bottom line, be diligent, be smart, and stay safe.
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Old 02-22-2021, 10:42 PM
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Percentages be damned. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. And the grand prize just might be a dirt nap.
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Old 02-22-2021, 11:12 PM
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I saw one security expert on TV several years ago with some interesting "statistics."

If you're confronted by a guy with a gun, there's a 50/50 chance he's going to shoot.

If he shoots, there's a 50/50 chance you'll get hit, so 25% chance you'll get hit if the perp shoots.

If you get hit, there's a 50/50 chance you'll die, so 12.5% chance you'll die if the perp shoots and hits you.

He was just using it as an illustration that even in a bad situation, the odds maybe be better than you think. I thought it was an interesting approach.

Everything we do in life is a gamble. In one way or another, we're always "playing the odds," even if we're not consciously aware of it. Do what you can to stack the odds in your favor and roll the dice. That's pretty much all any of us can do.

Just my opinion.
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Old 02-22-2021, 11:37 PM
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Bottom line, never under estimate the stupidity of humans.
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Old 02-23-2021, 12:05 AM
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I've been reading the American Rifleman for probably 50 plus years, I do not know when they started using the annual 2 million people defend themselves with firearms statistic but I am pretty sure that it comes from researcher Gary Kleck. Maybe someone else BIDTS. I think it's exaggerated but since I'm not prepared to research it I'll go along.
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Old 02-23-2021, 12:47 AM
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Seventy-five years of expecting the worst and being surprised when it didnít happen.
So far, so good.
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Old 02-23-2021, 01:08 AM
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Default Well just speaking from my own perspective.

When I lived in New Orleans years ago. On two separate occasions
I felt that circumstances called for me to actually pull on two individuals. Once I did this with a S&W model 4566 to be specific.

The whole dynamic of the encounter changed very rapidly. Long story short is that no shots were fired. I am not sure how this fits into the narrative of this thread. But there it is.
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Old 02-23-2021, 01:56 AM
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While I've been fortunate to have not needed to pull my handgun all these years, (almost 30) I still try to stay alert to all of the "what if's" that are around me day to day. And out off all the people I've known to carry all of those years, I only know of one guy that just escaped harm because he carried. He got as far as lifting his shirt to pull, and it was over that fast. The thugs fled, and it was never reported.

However, I think that the fact that we are "watchful & aware", is somehow conveyed to "the bad guys" out there more often than we realize, maybe. If we are looking at people in the eye and not looking like an easy target, we may be preventing a crime from occurring by just having that situational awareness. Who really knows, but the bad guys?

My friend was aware as he was being slowly approached by a car load of hoodlums, and turned to face them. Once they simply demanded he give them money, (didn't politely ask for help) he said "No thanks", and one started to open a car door. Gary grabbed his shirt and the guy opening the door yelled "Gun!" as he slammed it shut, anr the driver was laying rubber.

So I guess he would have been one of the 96%ers, but as it was never reported, where does he fit in?

Just one of the lucky ones I say, although not as lucky as I have been.
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Old 02-23-2021, 05:21 AM
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Thank you kraynky. Your friend would have been one of the 96% and it
is stories similar to his that make up the 96%, where just the intimidation
value of the gun is enough to end the incident.

In my own case, in 1944 or 1945 I lived with my family in Idaho Falls.
Down the street a few blocks was Tautphaus Park, where there was a
camp set up to house German prisoners of war.

One night my mother's scream yanked me out bed. I ran to the back
door where she was confronting a German POW who was rattling on the
screen door trying to get the hook to jump off. She yelled at me to
"go get your gun". I was only 9 or 10, but I did have a little single shot
.22 bolt action.

As soon as the German heard "GUN" he turned and ran for the alley.
In the moonlight we could see the POW or PW in big white letters painted
on the back of his shirt.

Yep, I (or we) were in the 96% group. Not needing to shoot. The
intimidation value of just the word "GUN" is quite effective in any
language.
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Old 02-23-2021, 08:03 AM
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Odds and statistics are useful as part of our early decision making in a process, such as arming and training yourself for violent encounters.

In the heat of the moment they are useless and can form the basis for your death. Failure to act based on statistics is ridiculous. Failure to be adequately armed based on statistics is avoidable.

All that matters in your moment is your situation. If you do not approach it from the worst case scenario rather the average, most likely or best case scenario, you are relying on luck, not intelligent decisions.

Criminals do not think or act like we do. Countering a violent attack with anything less than a deadly counter attack seems foolish. The only thoughts relative in the moment (perception) are could I die and what will I do to stop that from happening. If it turns out you are up against an easily dissuaded adversary, lucky you. Just don’t count on it.
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Old 02-23-2021, 08:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyphil View Post
...
That leaves 1/3 of 4%, or 1.33% that we need to be more
concerned about.
...
Liked your post. Finding yourself thrust into the smallest, most concerning 1.3% is the thing everyone ends up debating about. Will your caliber be big enough? Will your pistol hold enough ammo for the fight? Whatís the tradeoff between skill and plain old luck?

Enough variability of outcomes in that 1.3% that it makes the fodder for caliber wars and round count wars and appendix vs strong side wars. I think if you find yourself in the 1.3%, the best you can do in the moment is the best you can do. When thereís small pieces of lead randomly flying around at 1,000 fps, lady luck gets a vote too.
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Old 02-23-2021, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ContinentalOp View Post
I saw one security expert on TV several years ago with some interesting "statistics."

If you're confronted by a guy with a gun, there's a 50/50 chance he's going to shoot.

If he shoots, there's a 50/50 chance you'll get hit, so 25% chance you'll get hit if the perp shoots.

If you get hit, there's a 50/50 chance you'll die, so 12.5% chance you'll die if the perp shoots and hits you.

He was just using it as an illustration that even in a bad situation, the odds maybe be better than you think. I thought it was an interesting approach.

Everything we do in life is a gamble. In one way or another, we're always "playing the odds," even if we're not consciously aware of it. Do what you can to stack the odds in your favor and roll the dice. That's pretty much all any of us can do.

Just my opinion.

W. C. Fields resumed this in one sentence.

"Never give a sucker an even break"

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Old 02-23-2021, 11:37 AM
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Personally, I am of the opinion that if a situation has escalated to the point that I need to draw my pistol, then the situation is already dire enough that I cannot afford to hesitate.

Obviously, use of a firearm in self-defense is a last resort to be used only when it is a matter of life or death, under circumstances in which no other options are available, and all attempts to avoid violence have already failed, ergo the only time that I would ever draw/aim a gun at another person to begin with is one in which I have been backed into a corner (figuratively or literally speaking) and the only option I have left at my disposal is to shoot the person who intends to do me bodily harm.
I say this for the sake of clarification so that nobody takes what I am saying the wrong way or otherwise presumes that I am one of those trigger-happy psychopaths who dreams of the day in which he has been provided with an adequate excuse to shoot someone.

Granted, each individual has a different set of circumstances in which they may come into contact with or otherwise be targeted by a hostile individual, but in my personal case, I don't live in an area with particularly high instances of violent crimes being committed, deliberately avoid such areas, and do not fit the general physical description of what a thug would consider to be an "easy target" by any means, ergo should I find myself in an otherwise inescapable situation in which I am being advanced upon with clear hostile intent, I can already be certain that the situation is dead serious.
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Old 02-23-2021, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurusu View Post
W. C. Fields resumed this in one sentence.

"Never give a sucker an even break"

And as P.T. Barnum said; "There's a sucker born every minute"

So, add that to your statistics!
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Old 02-23-2021, 12:33 PM
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"The NRA claims that about 2,000,000 law abiding citizens use
a gun to protect themselves every year."

That averages out to 110 per day, per state. I have some nice Kansas ocean front for sale if anyone's interested.
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Old 02-23-2021, 06:21 PM
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IMHO, the odds are that almost none of us will ever need to use our firearms in self defense. The area we live in and places we have to go to change those odds. None of us ever want to have to resort to deadly force unless absolutely necessary. We realize that but we still have a spare tire and use our seat belts too. Being prepared may just save you and your loved ones lives one day.
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Old 02-23-2021, 06:27 PM
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It's not the odds, it's the stakes...
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Old 02-23-2021, 08:22 PM
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docmurgw: Your math is close to accurate, but I don't agree with your
conclusion, and I'm not interested in ocean front real estate. Your number
of 110 per state per day is undoubtedly high for some states, but low for
others. It would be interesting to know how the NRA came up with the
2,000,000 figure, and how it has remained the same for as many years
as I can remember.
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Old 02-23-2021, 08:34 PM
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I like stats, but they aren’t necessarily always factual and may be presented in such a way, where only certain things are documented and other details are left due to bias. Examples would be only listing successful outcomes for the armed citizen or vice versa. Never gaining access to the gun or being disarmed(and maybe even killed with their own weapon) seem to be things often omitted.

There really is no limit to the possibilities of things that theoretically could occur, so gear and training choices must be made accordingly, and it’s sensible to prepare for what’s most likely, which we try and determine to the best of our ability using whatever reason, stats and common sense we have available to us.

In terms of worst case scenarios, people seem to view things through certain limited prisms of perspective. Most gun-centric folks think of shooting it out with multiple armed bad guys being a worst case, so weapon choice based on capacity and caliber become a primary focus. Is that actually any more likely than getting bashed over the head with a tire iron before you can even draw your gun or getting suckered punched by some kid playing the knockout game? Or what about finding yourself on the ground in a Trayvon/Zimmerman type scuffle and the guy on top you discovers your carry weapon and gains control of it. I doubt many here seriously train much for such scenarios, but if we should be prepared for all things, shouldn’t we? Not necessarily, but where exactly to draw the like between preparedness and paranoia is an individual matter.
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Old 02-23-2021, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by ISCS Yoda View Post
I've been reading the American Rifleman for probably 50 plus years, I do not know when they started using the annual 2 million people defend themselves with firearms statistic but I am pretty sure that it comes from researcher Gary Kleck. Maybe someone else BIDTS. I think it's exaggerated but since I'm not prepared to research it I'll go along.
IIRC, Kleck's study had a range from 600,000 to 2,000,000 defensive gun uses (DGU) per year to account for the variability of sampling.

Supposedly the CDC conducted similar surveys in the 90s that supported Kleck's results. Here are two articles about it:

America's 1st Freedom | Why Did The CDC Bury Data On Self-Defense Gun Usage?

A Second Look at a Controversial Study About Defensive Gun Use – Reason.com
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Old 02-23-2021, 08:49 PM
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Is that actually any more likely than getting bashed over the head with a tire iron before you can even draw your gun or getting suckered punched by some kid playing the knockout game?
FWIW, one could always wear a bump cap...

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Old 02-23-2021, 09:29 PM
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In the past 45 years as a CCW holder I've "pulled" a pistol on bad guys only twice.
In 100% of those instances the bad guy was armed with a deadly weapon and was assaulting me.
In 100% of those instances no bullets were fired.
In 100% of those instances the bad guy ran off (quickly).
In 100% of those instances I went home safe and sound.

I like those odds.

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Old 02-23-2021, 10:16 PM
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Yam that 2 million number divided into the total population means 1 out of about 180 people year need to use a gun to defend themselves every year. .Then figure say 60 adult years and that is one out of three in a life time
r
I have to wonder about this number
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Old 02-24-2021, 12:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyphil View Post
Thank you kraynky. Your friend would have been one of the 96% and it
is stories similar to his that make up the 96%, where just the intimidation
value of the gun is enough to end the incident.

In my own case, in 1944 or 1945 I lived with my family in Idaho Falls.
Down the street a few blocks was Tautphaus Park, where there was a
camp set up to house German prisoners of war.

One night my mother's scream yanked me out bed. I ran to the back
door where she was confronting a German POW who was rattling on the
screen door trying to get the hook to jump off. She yelled at me to
"go get your gun". I was only 9 or 10, but I did have a little single shot
.22 bolt action.

As soon as the German heard "GUN" he turned and ran for the alley.
In the moonlight we could see the POW or PW in big white letters painted
on the back of his shirt.

Yep, I (or we) were in the 96% group. Not needing to shoot. The
intimidation value of just the word "GUN" is quite effective in any
language.
thanks for sharing a very interesting personal story. there are many who do not know we had German POW camps in the USA during ww11. we all know about the Japanese camps in the Big Horn Basin of Wyoming. those were civilian families who were fenced in just because we were at war with Japan.
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Old 02-24-2021, 04:57 AM
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When WWII started, my Dad was a section hand on the U.P. Railroad.
His foreman was Japanese American. Foreman often told his men that
Japan would go to war with the U.S.

When WWII started there was an internment camp at Minidoka in South
Central Idaho. I think the foreman and his family spent the war years
at that camp. The camp site is now a National Park.
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Old 02-24-2021, 05:06 PM
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I have some nice Kansas ocean front for sale if anyone's interested.
PM me - I have a boat...
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Old 02-24-2021, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by steelslaver View Post
Yam that 2 million number divided into the total population means 1 out of about 180 people year need to use a gun to defend themselves every year. .Then figure say 60 adult years and that is one out of three in a life time
r
I have to wonder about this number
I knew a couple of pharmacists who had multiple incidents. One actually got tried after some prosecutor thought he was getting a bit overenthusiastic. Acquitted.

I also know of a couple of other folks who have had multiple incidents. One figured out he was sending "easy prey" body language and slightly changed his ways.

IIRC, Dr. Kleck has continued his research/studies and had bumped the upper limit of incidents upward.
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Old 02-24-2021, 08:42 PM
crazyphil crazyphil is offline
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oldiegoldie, those Japanese-Americans who were interred during WWII
eventually received reparations from the U.S. Taxpayers. $20,000 tax
free to each of them. Don't think I would like to be penned up for 4 years
for $20,000, but I guess it's better than nothing.
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