Mom With a Gun poses this question by way of Greg Elfritz (of U.S. Concealed Carry.com) and the venerable Sun Tzu.
The meat of Greg’s article she re-posted was the following:
Previous research conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics tells us that in all criminal victimizations with firearms; only 11 percent of the victims were shot or shot at. When criminal attacks with all weapons (knives, clubs, etc.) are included, less than one percent of armed criminal victimizations resulted in a gunshot wound. These statistics have always been puzzling to me. Why aren’t more people getting shot by criminals?
Now I know the answer. The criminals’ weapons won’t fire! Let’s break down the numbers again: Out of 85 weapons seized:
- 24 are not loaded
- 2 are not loaded with the correct ammunition
- 9 are completely broken
Combine those facts and you will see that 41 percent of the weapons we seize from criminals are completely non-functional!
Now include the four guns that weren’t fully loaded and the 17 with extremely limited function (no magazines, malfunctioned within the first three rounds, etc.) and take a look at the results. In total, 66 percent of the guns we took from criminals were unable to be fired or could be fired for fewer than three rounds before being empty or experiencing a malfunction!
Imagine that! Bad guys with unloaded, improperly loaded or broken firearms!
What does this tell us about criminal behavior that might help us in a self-defense situation? For one thing, it says that resistance against armed assailants is much more likely to be successful than one might think. If a criminal is carrying a gun that is broken, unloaded, loaded with the wrong ammunition, or less-than-fully loaded, he’s banking on the sight of the weapon paralyzing his victim with fear. He’s betting he can intimidate her into compliance. Now, to be sure, compliance – or, at least, temporary compliance until the tactical situation gives one a window for resistance – might well be the best strategy sometimes. This is especially true if there are other “friendlies” in the line of fire. And, there are no guarantees in anything. You might end up being unlucky, and being one of the 11% of crime victims that are shot or shot at. But resisting an attacker armed with a firearm might be a good strategy a shocking percentage of the time.
It would behoove you to go and read the entire post. As Tammy advises, knowing your enemy is the first step toward overcoming them.
h/t Tammy, Greg Elfritz, Sun Tzu