Who's actually fired a gun in self-defense?

Who's actually fired a gun in self-defense?

This is a discussion on Who's actually fired a gun in self-defense? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Having been a member of this and other gun forums for a number of years, I've seen the debates over how much is enough when ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Array rachilders's Avatar
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    Who's actually fired a gun in self-defense?

    Having been a member of this and other gun forums for a number of years, I've seen the debates over how much is enough when it comes to bullet size and round capacity too many times to remember. I've also read that the VAST majority of the situations where a weapon is drawn are resolved without shots ever being fired. Of that small minority of scenarios that did involve discharging a weapon in self-defense, 90%+ of those shootings happen within 10ft with a total of 3 shots fired on average. If these numbers are accurate, it would seem the real chances of having to use any weapon in self-defense are virtually none for the average individual who's not involved in law enforcement or commits violent crime on a regulas basis.

    Personally, I train for the worst and hope for the best. While I pray I NEVER need to use ANY weapon to defend myself or anyone else, I am prepared to do so if necessary. My question is this; How many individuals here have PERSONALLY been involved in a situation where they had to actually fire a gun in self-defense?

    I will now make a disclaimer that I don't mean LEO's and military personnel who's jobs require them to be in harms way. I mean the average man (or woman) on the street, going about his daily business and not looking for trouble. I also don't want second or third hand stories - I have a relative or know a friend of a friend sort of stuff - but actual "It happened to me" cases.

    There are thousands of members to this forum. I'm curious to see just how many had to personally use the information we constantly talk about here and if the statistics we've read hold up.
    "... Americans... we want a safe home, to keep the money we make and shoot bad guys." -- Denny Crane


  2. #2
    Member Array Sixgunner's Avatar
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    I personally think anyone who has used a gun in self defense will not want to talk about it.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixgunner View Post
    I personally think anyone who has used a gun in self defense will not want to talk about it.
    I think some will but it will basically be what happened before and after,including any layer fees and LEO encounters.There are people that talk about life experiences so others can learn from them.there is a post on this forum where a member had a G/Friends X broke in and tried to kill him,a couple months ago
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    The Armed Citizen – A Five Year Analysis
    OVERVIEW OF SURVEY
    For the period 1997 - 2001, reports from "The Armed Citizen" column of the NRA Journals were collected. There were 482 incidents available for inclusion in the analysis. All involved the use of firearms by private citizens in self defense or defense of others. No law enforcement related incidents were included. The database is self-selecting in that no non-positive outcomes were reported in the column.

    DATA ANALYSIS
    As might be expected, the majority of incidents (52%) took place in the home. Next most common locale (32%) was in a business. Incidents took place in public places in 9% of reports and 7% occurred in or around vehicles.

    The most common initial crimes were armed robbery (32%), home invasion (30%), and burglary (18%).

    Overall, shots were fired by the defender in 72% of incidents. The average and median number of shots fired was 2. When more than 2 shots were fired, it generally appeared that the defender's initial response was to fire until empty. It appears that revolver shooters are more likely to empty their guns than autoloader shooters. At least one assailant was killed in 34% of all incidents. At least one assailant was wounded in an additional 29% of all incidents. Of the incidents where shots are fired by a defender, at least one assailant is killed in 53% of those incidents.

    Handguns were used in 78% of incidents while long guns were used in 13%; in the balance the type of firearm was not reported. The most common size of handgun was the .35 caliber family (.38, .357, 9mm) at 61%, with most .38s apparently being of the 5 shot variety. Mouseguns (.380s and below) were at 23%, and .40 caliber and up at 15%.

    The range of most incidents appears to be short but in excess of touching distance. It appears that most defenders will make the shoot decision shortly before the criminal comes within arm's length. Defenders frequently communicate with their attackers before shooting.
    The firearm was carried on the body of the defender in only 20% of incidents. In 80% of cases, the firearm was obtained from a place of storage, frequently in another room.

    Reloading was required in only 3 incidents. One of those involved killing an escaped lion with a .32 caliber revolver, which was eventually successful after 13 shots.

    Multiple conspirators were involved in 36% of the incidents. However, there were no apparent cases of getaway drivers or lookouts acting as reinforcements for the criminal actor(s) once shooting starts. At the sound of gunfire, immediate flight was the most common response for drivers and lookouts.

    When multiple conspirators were involved, the first tier was a two man action team. If another member was available, he was usually the driver of the getaway car and remained in the car. If a fourth conspirator was involved, he was stationed immediately outside the target location as a lookout for the police or other possible intervening parties. The outside conspirators do not generally appear to be armed. It does appear that the trend over the period has increased from one weapon in the action team to two weapons.

    The largest group of violent criminal actors was 7, a group that committed serial home invasions in Rochester NY. An alert and prepared homeowner, who saw them invade an adjacent home, accessed his shotgun, and dispatched them (2 killed and 1 seriously wounded) when they broke in his door.
    Incidents rarely occurred in reaction time (i.e., ¼ second increments). Most commonly, criminals acted in a shark-like fashion, slowly circling and alerting their intended victims. The defender(s) then had time to access even weapons that were stored in other rooms and bring them to bear.
    The most common responses of criminals upon being shot were to flee immediately or expire. With few exceptions, criminals ceased their advances immediately upon being shot. Even small caliber handguns displayed a significant degree of instant lethality (30 per cent 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. Upon the criminals' flight, the "victims" frequently chased and captured or shot the criminals and held them for the authorities.

    CONCLUSIONS
    1) Even small caliber weapons are adequate to solve the vast majority of incidents requiring armed self-defense.
    2) Mindset of the potential victim was far more important than the type of weapon used. All the victims were willing to fight their opponents in order to survive. Although not common, in some cases bridge weapons, such as pens, were used to gain time to access the firearm.
    3) Frequently, the defenders were aware that something was amiss before the action started and then placed themselves in position to access their weapons. Awareness of the surroundings appears to be a key element of successful defense.
    4) The defenders had some measure of familiarity with their firearms. Although perhaps not trained in the formal sense, they appear to be able to access a firearm and immediately put it into action. At least one defender learned from a previous experience and made the firearm more accessible for subsequent use.
    5) Training or practice with a firearm should include a substantial amount of accessing the firearm from off body locations, such as drawers, underneath counters, etc.
    6) This analysis does not present a view of the totality of armed self-defense in that non-positive outcomes were not available for inclusion in the database. The analysis may, however, be useful in helping to describe a methodology for successful armed self-defense. This methodology might be described as: 1. be aware, 2. be willing to fight, 3. have a weapon accessible, 4. be familiar enough with the weapon to employ it without fumbling, 5. when ready, communicate, both verbally and non-verbally, to the attacker that resistance will be given, and 6. if the attacker does not withdraw, counterattack without hesitation.

    Data Tables
    Location of Incident
    Home 52%
    Business 32%
    Public 9%
    In or around Vehicle 7%

    Shots Fired
    Type of Location No Yes
    Business 33% 72%
    Home 25% 75%
    Public 29% 71%
    In or around Vehicle 35% 65%
    Grand Total 28% 72%

    Number of Shots Fired
    Average 2.2
    Median 2
    Mode 1
    Max 20

    Gun Type
    Handgun 78%
    Long Gun 13%
    Unknown 8%

    Body Carry
    Type of Location No Yes
    Business 69% 31%
    Home 94% 6%
    Public 49% 51%
    In or around Vehicle 65% 35%
    Overall 80% 20%

    Multiple Assailants
    Type of Location NO YES
    Business 76% 24%
    Home 72% 28%
    Public 62% 38%
    Retail Business 52% 48%
    In or Around Vehicle 49% 51%
    Overall 64% 36%
    07/02 FFL/SOT since 2006

  5. #5
    Member Array mikeMAGNUM's Avatar
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    Just Like You Read About

    Hello All,

    Winter of 1987, FT Lauderdale Fl.

    Wrong Place ,Wrong Time.

    3 BG's one ended up DRT. other two Gone with the Wind.

    Tunnel vission,no fine motor control, no sound(only own heartbeat)

    24hrs detained, vehicle impounded, 6 months without Colt .380

    $2500.00 Later Truck & Colt back..Definately a BUMMER.


    Safety First....Keep your groups tight,

    mM

  6. #6
    Distinguished Member Array Paymeister's Avatar
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    Hey, mikeMagnum, being around to post just now ain't a bummer at all! Glad you made it through (and at the price, I think you got off easy).

  7. #7
    Member Array mikeMAGNUM's Avatar
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    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Paymeister View Post
    Hey, mikeMagnum, being around to post just now ain't a bummer at all! Glad you made it through (and at the price, I think you got off easy).
    Glad to be here.

    I meant that the whole sinario was a real Bummer. Not something I

    wish on anyone. Many sleepless nights, wondering why Leo's take the

    side of the BG's first even when it obviously was good shoot.

    Just like ya read about..not fun ..not macho just a real PIA.

    Safety First...Keep your groups tight,

    mM

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeMAGNUM View Post
    Hello All,

    Winter of 1987, FT Lauderdale Fl.

    Wrong Place ,Wrong Time.

    3 BG's one ended up DRT. other two Gone with the Wind.

    Tunnel vission,no fine motor control, no sound(only own heartbeat)

    24hrs detained, vehicle impounded, 6 months without Colt .380

    $2500.00 Later Truck & Colt back..Definately a BUMMER.


    Safety First....Keep your groups tight,

    mM
    Things would be a lot different for you today (with Castle Doctrine in place)...with the same incident, don't you think? Curious...
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  9. #9
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    Things would be a lot different for you today (with Castle Doctrine in place)...with the same incident, don't you think? Curious...
    The castle doctrine in Arkansas has been around a very long time. Not much has changed on that. The perceptions of the LEO's may have, the CHL didnt come into being until 1995.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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  10. #10
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    Here's a thread recounting a member's SD shooting, the member's actual account is at post #26.

    http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...ling-guns.html

    There was another fairly recently, happened in Florida and was posted here, but I can't find it. The member is a paramedic in Miami, I believe.


    When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains,
    And go to your God like a soldier.

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    Terry

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array XD in SC's Avatar
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    Marco Ricaldone was another. Early in 2008.

    His story is in the Concealed Carry Magazine Aug/Sep 2008. Just got mine yesterday
    Sean
    XD 9SC | XD 45ACP Service | XD 45ACP Compact |Borealis
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  12. #12
    VIP Member Array nedrgr21's Avatar
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    I know, preaching to the choir, but ... These stories also only include people with firearms. When people look at how many times someone has responded with a gun (discharged or not), they're looking at a small group of people who had access to a gun at that time. I also think this gives a false sense of security as in "most people/cops go their entire lives w/o drawing a gun". Many don't carry or own firearms. What about the total number of crimes, or put another way - number of instances where using a firearm would be justified. I think that would be more representative of the case for carrying or possibility of having to draw. As presented, I think you're taking the experiences of a very small minority and trying to apply it to the general population (I may be wrong). There were over 20 million instances where drawing a gun would possibly have been justified in 2006, depending on local laws. Given a population of 240 million US citizens over the age of 14, you could be looking at a 1 in 12 chance of being someone placed in a situation justifying drawing a gun. Of course differing socio-economic and location factors increase/decrease those odds.

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    I was traveling through AZ a couple of years ago and was at a stoplight. A homeless guy was yelling incoherently at all of the cars stopped...and then started hitting them with his fists...

    He came to my car (van)...yelling and spitting....he was hitting the hood, the windshield...then he started hitting my side window. I saw him come at my window with his elbow first...then I drew my P226/9mm and told him to STOP!! GO AWAY!...the light turned green and I drove away.

    Up until I saw he was bound and determined to break my window, I was safe in my vehicle. I was hoping the light would turn green and drive away...meanwhile, I was stopped in traffic in the left lane, with cars on my right side and a concrete median on my left.
    Magazine <> clip - know the difference

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  14. #14
    VIP Member Array SatCong's Avatar
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    Cool

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  15. #15
    Member Array Craiger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukalmighty View Post

    > a member had a G/Friends X broke in and tried to kill him,a couple months ago
    I'm not sure but I think it may also be a feature article in US Concealed Carry Magazine this month, If not it sure seems allot alike anyway I agree allot can be learned from those who have gone through it; if they are willing to talk about after all is said and done and already through the courts that is.
    In God we trust, Everyone else we monitor...

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