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Old 04-30-2012, 11:50 PM   #1
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Default Statistics on CCW vs Criminal Use of Guns

The more I read about justifications for concealed carry (or open carry) by LACs, the more I am puzzled by the absence of some obvious statistics. The statistic that I think would be most enlightening is this: Number of Injuries to Innocent Bystanders (ITIB). It should probably be evaluated per capita of the group in question: LEOs, LACs, or BGs.

A BG walks into QuikTrip and demands money at gunpoint. Someone screams and the BG freaks. He shoots at the scream, wounding the person. That's 1 ITIB. He shoots again and hits the same person. That's 2 ITIB. He shoots again and hits someone else. That's 3 ITIB.

A good guy is in said QuikTrip, draws his CCW and shoots the BG, twice. That's 2 injuries, but not to an innocent bystander. He misses once and hits someone else. That's 1 ITIB.

OK, so that's a made up example to illustrate the meaning of Injury to Innocent Bystander (ITIB). 6 hits in 6 shots, all by amateurs, unlikely at best, but it does define the concept pretty clearly.

Why do I not see a statistic like this being quoted? By anyone?

I think we all assume that a law abiding, CCW permit holder practices enough to hit what he aims at, and therefore does not cause many ITIBs. We also assume that the BGs never go to the range, can't shoot for $hit, and cause a lot of ITIBs.

If those assumptions are true (and I wish that was provable), then the pro-2A folks should be beating that drum LOUDLY!!!

If those assumptions are false, then the anti-gun crowd should be beating the drum.

(Pause while we listen to the collective silence...sigh)

How can such statistics be obtained? There actually seem to be 3 classes of people for whom such statistics are needed. LEOs, LACs, and BGs. Seems like any time there is a person injured or killed by gunfire there should be a police report. Are such police reports a matter of public record? Do the police keep track of such statistics? Can such statistics be obtained through Freedome of Information Act requests?

For the record, I am very much in the pro-2A crowd. I hope that statistics like the ITIB described here would help counter the claim by anti-gun people that civilians with guns are inherently dangerous to innocent bystanders.

If such statistics are developed objectively (not manipulated by agenda-driven parties on either side!), they will help the situation even if they do NOT show LACs to be substantially safer than BGs. If LACs are not safer than BGs, they should be. Instead of removing guns from LACs, train them to use them properly.

IMPO, training of LACs to use guns properly and effectively is a legitimate part of the "well regulated Militia" that we who bear arms are presumed to form.

OK, I have my Kevlar/Nomex undies on, let the firestorm begin!!!

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Old 05-01-2012, 04:20 AM   #2
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I suspect the statistics, if available, would show what you would like them to but maybe not (solely) due to the idea that LAC's with a CCW are better shots. Think about the kind of situation you are describing: the LAC has no reason for aiming at anyone other than the BG(s), while the BG may actually target anyone in sight if they perceive them as a threat (and that assumes it's not a psycho out to shoot just anyone). Thus, even given equivalent gun handling skills, you'd expect the BG to have a much higher rate of ITIB.

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Old 05-01-2012, 08:14 AM   #3
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Access to these types of statistics would be great, however, I doubt they actually break them down that way.

One probable reason is the reporting itself. I've seen reports of shootings that were broken down by LEO and non-LEO (basically, everyone else).

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Old 05-01-2012, 11:38 AM   #4
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Here is a statistic that cannot be proved, but it's published as true:

Americans have defended themselves with guns approximately 806,020 times since January 1, 2012, as of 05/01/2012; 07:37 AM

http://www.learnaboutguns.com/

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Old 05-01-2012, 07:48 PM   #5
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Consider this:

Same as OP's scenario; except all the IBs and LACs are carrying sidearms,

including the cashier.

ANOTHER scenario: A busy bank, with everyone in line, IBs, LACs, and cashiers

open carrying a pistol.

Anybody here think the BGs in either scenario, feeling somewhat outnumbered

and overwhelmed, might look elsewhere for easy cash?

Perhaps be more easily persuaded to learn job skills, and overcome

their "sweat allergy"?

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Old 05-01-2012, 11:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichNH View Post
I suspect the statistics, if available, would show what you would like them to but maybe not (solely) due to the idea that LAC's with a CCW are better shots. Think about the kind of situation you are describing: the LAC has no reason for aiming at anyone other than the BG(s), while the BG may actually target anyone in sight if they perceive them as a threat (and that assumes it's not a psycho out to shoot just anyone). Thus, even given equivalent gun handling skills, you'd expect the BG to have a much higher rate of ITIB.
I agree that the BGs are at a disadvantage with respect to this statistic. However that disadvantage is directly related to their status as a BG. In fact, that is the essential point that I hope the ITIB statistic would demonstrate.

The reason for my interest in this concept is that anti-gun doctrine maintains that LACs with guns represent as great a danger to the general public as the BGs. By reducing the number of guns in circulation, the anti-gun people expect to reduce the general risk to the public.

I maintain that this is not a valid line of reasoning. The mental picture that anti-gun folks want to paint is LACs spraying lead over the landscape and hitting many women and children. They don't make this as explicit as I have because when stated this baldly it is obviously baseless propaganda.

I don't know whether LACs are actually better shots than BGs. Many LACs buy a gun, shoot it once at the range to make sure it works, load it and stick it in their nightstand. Wish it wasn't so, but it's that way a lot more than it should be.

Back to the original questions. Why isn't this statistic being used by either side? How can this statistic be developed?
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Old 05-02-2012, 03:38 AM   #7
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Found some relevant info today...

http://actionamerica.org/guns/guns1.shtml

Scroll down to "Armed citizens make fewer mistakes"

Some of the material on this site is a bit dated, but still relevant...if you trust stats...

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Old 05-02-2012, 02:05 PM   #8
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AFAIK, there are three repeatedly proven stats:

1.-LACs are better shots than LEOs.(at least the ones shooting at BGs)

2.-CCW for LACs takes a significant bite out of crime.

3.-BGs fear armed LACs more than the police.

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Old 05-02-2012, 11:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vincent View Post
Found some relevant info today...

http://actionamerica.org/guns/guns1.shtml

Scroll down to "Armed citizens make fewer mistakes"

Some of the material on this site is a bit dated, but still relevant...if you trust stats...
ALRIGHT! This link leads to a reference for John Lott's book "More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun-Control Laws". The most direct statistic quoted in the writeup about the book is this: In 1993, police killed 330 innocent people. In the same time frame, private citizens killed 30 innocent people. Not trying to bash LEOs, they have a lot more encounters than the private citizens. But the point is that armed private citizens are NOT an increased risk to society.

There were two reviews of this book. One is full of praise for someone doing a good job of presenting detailed statistical analysis in a way that laypeople can understand. The other (by a Massachusetts liberal economist) seeks to discredit the work. Both reviews encourage me that this book may be a good starting point for the statistics that I'm interested in!

I plan to get this book and I'll let you know what other nuggets are buried in "them thar hills".
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Old 05-03-2012, 04:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by therewolf View Post
AFAIK, there are three repeatedly proven stats:

1.-LACs are better shots than LEOs.(at least the ones shooting at BGs)

2.-CCW for LACs takes a significant bite out of crime.

3.-BGs fear armed LACs more than the police.
On this first "proven" stat... yes and no.

Yes, as LACs go to the range more often than LEOs are required to.

No, considering that MANY just go to shoot, and not to actually improve their aim or skill level.

I go to the range every weekend. I see people there that have been shooting for years that think that just hitting the paper is all they need to do and make no effort to group their shots.
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