Firearms, self defense & qualifcations/training

jks9199

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Springboarding from this post:
No, it's more because the whole reasoning behind guns for self-defense is rather flawed.

If more guns means less crime, then we should be the most crime-free nation on the planet, but we aren't even close.

Most of those "scary people" get their weapons off of a black-market trade where a large number of the firearms traded are stolen.

Few of the people who carry (let alone own) handguns obtain adequate training or put in the hours necessary to be able to handle a weapon properly. I've known people who have weapons in their home for "self-defense" and when I've asked them if they want to go to the range with me, they've admitted to never having been and not even knowing where a range is.

The majority of people who own weapons in this country who are not military or LEO's pose more of a danger to society than a help.

Let's look at the issue.

Are guns in the hands of the public or for home or self defense a good or bad thing? (Reasonable regulation assumed, namely that you must obtain a CCW permit, aren't legally prohibited from having a gun, and aren't drunk or otherwise in a condition you shouldn't have a gun.)

Personally, I don't have a problem with private gun ownership or concealed weapons, for the most part. I do support two specific points in regulation: first, enough of a cooling off/waiting period to stop some knee jerk/paranoid purchases, and second, a basic training requirement. More on each follows.

My first point is simple. I've talked to people (and taken the very late report) who buy a handgun right after a burglary or other incident, in fear. They don't really want a gun -- they want to feel safe. And since they're not really happy about owning a gun, it slips out of their conscious mind. And to the back of that closet shelf. They seldom (if ever) fire or clean the gun, and may even forget about it completely. Until it gets lost, stolen, or otherwise into the wrong hands. A brief waiting period just kills that knee jerk purchase.

Training is my second point. Before you can purchase a gun, I think you should demonstrate some basic safety knowledge. NOT GUN HANDLING; practice can come after the purchase. But you should know the Cardinal Rules, and the state/local laws about safe storage and handling, as well as how to make the gun safe. Beyond that, I'd require some skill demonstration, and a practical judgment exercise for a CCW.

But I think guns in private ownership DO add to our safety. I don't have all the stats at hand, but every time an issue like this comes up, someone compares the crime rates in states with CCW versus those without. Pretty commonly, CCW states at least appear to be safer. Don't know... I just know that if you gave me a choice between robbing someone who might have a gun or robbing someone who couldn't have a gun -- I'd sure pick the second guy!

The one thing I do, as a cop, ask of the public is simple. Once you've called us -- don't make things harder for us. If you can do so safely (in other words, you're not taking rounds, or holding someone at gun point), secure your gun before we get there. Handle and store it responsibly and safely. Should something happen and your gun be stolen -- know it, and report it promptly.
 
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elder999

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While there isn't nearly enough training required, in my opinion, there is a lot of training available for those who seek it out-and there's no such thing as too much. In most jurisdictions,though, training is required to be issued CCW permits-though it's hardly adequate, and sometimes downright silly.
 
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thardey

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Before the thread split, someone mentioned stats.

Here's a good place to start. I'm sure it has its detractors, but it would take a lot of homework to debunk this. It's a fairly widespread e-book that has a lot of statistics about gun crime, and accidental deaths. It also examines some of the common statistics used by the anti-gun position.

http://www.gunfacts.info/
 

seasoned

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jks9199 said:
The one thing I do, as a cop, as of the public is simple. Once you've called us -- don't make things harder for us. If you can do so safely (in other words, you're not taking rounds, or holding someone at gun point), secure your gun before we get there. Handle and store it responsibly and safely. Should something happen and your gun be stolen -- know it, and report it promptly).

This is a very good point.
There have been instances where a person will call in a burglary at their home and then arm themselves and confront the intruder in or out of their premises. Once LE arrives and confronts you, and their commands are not met, then you inadvertently are perceived as the threat, and innocently become the target. Your point is well taken pertaining to securing that weapon before LE arrives. This encounter could have deadly consequences on the innocent law-abiding gun owner. The same would hold true for this same law-abiding gun owner at a traffic stop. In this instance, not declaring to the officer that you are a licensed gun owner in possession of a firearm, could put you in jeopardy. Guns are safe as long as they are handled in a safe manner. I have said this in other posts, that carrying a firearm is a huge responsibility that should not be taken lightly, for your safety and the safety of everyone around you. We don’t need more gun laws, but more training in those (4) cardinal rules of gun handling that you mentioned.
 
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Brian R. VanCise

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I am all for CCW and CPL licenses. However I am also for stronger training. One day for eight hours is just not enough in my opinion. It may be for someone with a prior history but for your average person with little to no training then it simply is not enough. When I went through the CPL course here in Michigan for me it was a refresher course from quite a bit of past personal training whether from the police academy or from some private firearm training. However, there were several people there who had never picked up a gun before. I think they would have benefited greatly from even more comprehensive training. I also feel like jks9199 that a waiting period is a good thing. Some times a small break like that will keep someone who probably should not have a firearm from buying one.

Jksa9199 and Seasoned also bring up some excellent points about being responsible and following police directions and storing safely. These are all important points to remember. It would do you no good to have defended your life only to be shot by LEO's because you were perceived as a threat to them. Whenever you deal with LEO's always try to follow directions and try not to create a situation where you could be perceived as a danger/threat.

Having a CCW or CPL here in Michigan is a great responsibility and you should not only know where you can legally carry and what restrictions are upon you but you also should make sure you have excellent training so that if you ever do need to use a firearm to protect yourself then you will be able to do so within the frame work of our societies laws!
 

Drac

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The one thing I do, as a cop, ask of the public is simple. Once you've called us -- don't make things harder for us. If you can do so safely (in other words, you're not taking rounds, or holding someone at gun point), secure your gun before we get there. Handle and store it responsibly and safely. Should something happen and your gun be stolen -- know it, and report it promptly.

Amen brother...
 
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jks9199

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One more note, on the relative training of LEOs, military, and quite a few of the public with CCWs.

Many members of the public who hold a CCW permit honestly do not train beyond the bare minimum required. Many of these people don't carry regularly, or only carry for a specific purpose (escorting valuables to the bank, for example). Others obtained the permit because the could, as an exercise of their right to do so, or because it fit some other purpose they had. Again -- these folks don't shoot often, and have minimal training.

But quite a few CCW holders are former military or law enforcement, as well. They've had at least that much training -- and many keep up their training regularly. Quite a few are serious gun afficionados (best term at the moment), and actually have MORE and better training and shoot more often than most cops!

As to military training... Most members of the military get only minimal training with handguns. They have a much different set of rules of engagement; suppressive fire, for example, is only permitted in very rare and specific circumstances in the civilian world.

Finally... LE training. Some agencies or units are great, others do only what they absolutely must. Most are somewhere in the middle. There's no magic police firearms course; it all comes down to how the individual officer puts the training into practice. The advantage for self defense carry most cops today "enjoy" is that they have faced and practiced the shoot/don't shoot scenario much more often than the rest of the public. By the time they get done with FTO, they've probably been in at least a couple of shoot-don't shoot situations for real. By the end of the first year, they've probably faced that decision more than one hundred times... usually deciding not to shoot! You can't beat that sort of practice -- but it doesn't mean they can hit the broad side of a barn! (One of my colleagues is a great cop... but doesn't shoot close to expert.)
 

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First about homicide. Firearms are just a method. Death is death reguardless if it's a gun, knife, club, foot, car, or other method. 'Gun crime' is a hoax. Take the guns and there will be more stabbings, clubings, stomping, and the like. People who are intent of killing will find ways to kill. Don't believe me? Compare NYC to Houston. See which method of murder is used more often.

But here is what will happen if guns are taken away. The handicapped, the aged, and the weak will all be at the mercy of the strong, the pack, the gang, and those who simply break the law and get weapons anyway. You will not read of people defending themsleves so much, just read more of people getting mugged, home invasions, gang beatings, and the like. That is what you get when you disarm the people.

Now about training. Everone has the right to own guns, or knives, or clubs, or any weapon short of cannon (and I know a few who legaly own submachineguns!) But with that right comes responsibility.

That responsibility is not what the state tells you, but what you should know as a matter of course. Training? If the individual is so inclined, yes. If not, then it's their posterior. If they make a mistake one day, it's their mistake. I say this cause it's their right to own the weapons, and it's their responsibilty to use them correctly. Not the states.

Now I've seen many a cop shoot. The few FBI agents that have come to our IDPA matches were good. They got expert rateings and did well. The few local police, well it was a hit and miss thing. Saw one who was really good, I mean good, and he used a Dan Wesson as his duty pistol!!! Yes a revolver! I also have seen rotton ones who were very shaky even doing basic gun handling.

The DPS here, Texas Department of Public Safety, are definatly above average. Not a Barney Fife in the lot. And I'd think twice before waving a gun in their face!

Deaf
 

KenpoTex

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Whether or not firearms in the hands of private citizens for self-defense is a good thing or not is, IMO, irrelevant. The fact is that it is our RIGHT (at least in America) to keep and bear arms.

That aside, I believe that it is absolutely a good thing. I don't have a lot of time right now but I will say a couple of things regarding points that have been made in this thread.

Training: I believe that training is absolutely essential and that any responsible gun owner should seek to become as proficient as possible. Many CCW holders do seek training and I know and have trained with many "regular dudes" that are much more competent and skilled than many LEOs, including some of the SWAT/SRT/whatever guys I have seen. However, I do not feel that training should be mandated by the government.

Waiting Periods: I am absolutely and unequivocally opposed to any sort of waiting period. I see these waiting periods as nothing but an infringement on people's right to obtain weapons for there defense and I personally fail to see any logic in the "cooling off" argument...

just my quick $0.02
 

seasoned

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One more note, on the relative training of LEOs, military, and quite a few of the public with CCWs.

Finally... LE training. Some agencies or units are great, others do only what they absolutely must. Most are somewhere in the middle. There's no magic police firearms course; it all comes down to how the individual officer puts the training into practice. The advantage for self defense carry most cops today "enjoy" is that they have faced and practiced the shoot/don't shoot scenario much more often than the rest of the public. By the time they get done with FTO, they've probably been in at least a couple of shoot-don't shoot situations for real. By the end of the first year, they've probably faced that decision more than one hundred times... usually deciding not to shoot! You can't beat that sort of practice -- but it doesn't mean they can hit the broad side of a barn! (One of my colleagues is a great cop... but doesn't shoot close to expert.)

LE are held at the highest standards, which puts them at the most risk. There is that element of hesitation, to be sure of target and beyond, For this reason they need to be very accurate. Also for this reason they need to train the most. Untrained civilians on the other hand, are held at the least standard putting themselves and others at a high risk, and in a lot of states, are walking accidents waiting to happen. If they are going to carry or possess, then they need to train with the same enthusiasm they would have for their golf club, bowing ball, or fishing pole. The bad guy has no standards, and therefore puts all the above, and himself, at grave risk. With all of this said, we need to adequately train those who need to carry, along with those who by law have a right to carry. All else as the saying goes need not apply. I dont believe it is a matter of more laws, or a band on fire arms, which would infringe on our 2nd amendment rights. I do feel that as a nation, if we dont become more responsible, then we will lose that which we deem most important. Our freedom.
 

still learning

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Hello, I believe two states allow people to carry guns...they have fewer crimes because the bad guys know most of these homes have gun owners..

Second part? It is NOT easy to shoot someone....it takes lots of training to learn how to properly shoot a gun and MORE mental training to shoot a person!

Each state has there own laws about use of firearms...learn yours!

If we take away firearms from the average American? .....our government and the bad people will have there way with us!

NO matter how much training? ..'.you will hear about how police shoot them own selfs will cleaning there weapons....or how hunter acciddently shoot at each other or themselves...

One hunter climbing over a fence with a loaded shotgun shot off one arm....years laters...climbing over another fence shoots the other arm off...Go figurer...NO matter how much training or lesson learn....MAN STILL MAKES MISTAKES...

I guess that is why being call a HUMAN isOK.

Firearms training....still have a record of REDUCING ACCIDENTS....

Learning about not punching one own self? .....is good prevention training!

Self-defence....is preventing one self from his own defense?

Aloha, Training alone and losing most fights...
 

KP.

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In a 1998 study for every time a gun in the home was fired in a self-defense or legally justifiable shooting, there were four unintentional shootings, seven criminal assaults or homicides, and 11 attempted or completed suicides.

Firearms are a serious problem for our society in other ways:
Firearms Deaths by Mode of Death for Children <15 Years of Age

Top 10 Countries - Rate per 100,000

FOR114.gif

In the USA, non-fatal firearm related injuries cost our economy on the order of 14 billion dollars a year. By contrast, Canada's economy is negativley impacted by less than 6 billion dollars per year.

The comment that a firearm is a force multiplier is absolutely true. The ubiquitous presence of firearms makes what would be a non-fatal encounter in any other country a fatal one in the USA.

The presence of firearms is positively correlated to suicide rates. People, particularly teenage males, are much more likely to kill themselves if there are guns in the home than when there are not guns present. Kids are apparently much more willing to put a bullet in their brain than to slit their wrists or kill themselves in other ways.

Yes, guns are a personal right, and until that legal opinion changes people have the right to own them. But that doesn't mean that the average person should.

And while I can't speak to every state, the four I've lived in which had shall issue laws required an initial training course, but did not require any additional documented training or practice beyond that point. Ever. And as firearm ownership is a right, there is no requirement that a person demonstrate any knowledge or capability with firearms before purchasing one.

The issue of guns and violence in the USA (and it is an issue) is complex and simple answers like "ban all guns" won't work. But continuing on the path we've been on puts huge costs upon society that are not countered by the benefits.

And yes, there are benefits to private gun ownership -- the CDC, for example, noted that the very best defense for a women facing stranger rape is to use a hand-gun. In such situations the chance of completion of the assault and injury to the victim are both essentially zero. Which is a great statistic until one realizes how rare stranger rape is compared to how common domestic assault is -- and one then considers how guns in domestic violence situations raises the stakes for not just the husband, wife and kids, but also the responding officers should any be called.

If we take away firearms from the average American? .....our government and the bad people will have there way with us!

As if they haven't been already. Well, the government at least. I joined the military to, in large part, fight the soviet threat. We mocked the soviets regularly for the kind of governmental intrusion they tolerated. Like, for example, having to show your papers when you travel, and subject yourself to being searched by government agents without due cause, or wiretapping citizens phones or .. well, you get the idea.

We tolerate unparalleled governmental and corporate intrusion into our lives (other nations, for example, have real and meaningful privacy laws) among all democratic first world nations. Our guns haven't protected us -- largely because we don't actually have the guts to stand up to real attacks on our liberties. We're willing and eager to trade our liberty for the illusion of security -- but that's a whole different discussion.
 

thardey

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In a 1998 study for every time a gun in the home was fired in a self-defense or legally justifiable shooting, there were four unintentional shootings, seven criminal assaults or homicides, and 11 attempted or completed suicides.

Firearms are a serious problem for our society in other ways:
Firearms Deaths by Mode of Death for Children <15 Years of Age

Top 10 Countries - Rate per 100,000

FOR114.gif

In the USA, non-fatal firearm related injuries cost our economy on the order of 14 billion dollars a year. By contrast, Canada's economy is negativley impacted by less than 6 billion dollars per year.

The comment that a firearm is a force multiplier is absolutely true. The ubiquitous presence of firearms makes what would be a non-fatal encounter in any other country a fatal one in the USA.

The presence of firearms is positively correlated to suicide rates. People, particularly teenage males, are much more likely to kill themselves if there are guns in the home than when there are not guns present. Kids are apparently much more willing to put a bullet in their brain than to slit their wrists or kill themselves in other ways.

Yes, guns are a personal right, and until that legal opinion changes people have the right to own them. But that doesn't mean that the average person should.


I'm not going to try to argue those statistics, but I do want to put them into perspective.

U.S. Accidental Death Rates
Myth: Accidental gun fatalities are a serious problem
Fact: Firearm misuse causes only a small number of accidental deaths in the U.S. For example, compared to accidental death from firearms, you are:
&#8226; Four times more likely to burn to death or drown,
&#8226; 17 times more likely to be poisoned,
&#8226; 19 times more likely to fall, and
&#8226; 53 times more likely to die in an automobile accident.
Fact: In 2001, there were only 65 accidental gun deaths for children under age 13. About 11 times as many children die from drowning.
Fact: In 1993, there were 1,334 drownings and 528 firearm-related accidental deaths from ages 0-19. Firearms outnumber pools by a factor of over 30:1. Thus, the risk of drowning in a pool is nearly 100 times higher than from a firearm-related accident for everyone, and nearly 500 times for ages 0-5.

The medical page that Elder listed said, "This makes firearms injuries one of the top ten causes of death in the U.S." Which is true, but let's see what's it's stacked up against:

1. MV traffic: 43%
2. Poisoning: 14%
3. Suffocation: 5.5%
4. Drowning: 3.5%
5. Natural/Environment: 1.5%
6. Other Land Transport: 1.5%
7. Other Spec. NEC: 1.1 %
8. Firearms: 0.8%
9. Pedal Cyclyst, Other: (Too small to read on graph)
10. Overexertion: (Too small to read on graph)

(Gun Facts 5.0, page 33.)

Okay, so it's in the "Top Ten." So is "Natural Causes" and "Other Land Transport" (What is that, horses?)

How many families would admit to having unsecured, poisonous cleaning materials in thir house? Since that's the second leading cause of death. And I'm just speculating, here, but I'd guess that most of the poisoning wasn't by accidental ingestion by adults.

So, of the accidental deaths caused by firearms, They probably break into the graph above. But the overall dangers caused by firearms are misleading.

In a 1998 study for every time a gun in the home was fired in a self-defense or legally justifiable shooting, there were four unintentional shootings, seven criminal assaults or homicides, and 11 attempted or completed suicides.

That's because

Fact: Every year, people in the United States use a gun to defend themselves against criminals an estimated 2,500,000 times &#8211; more than 6,500 people a day, or once every 13 seconds.112 Of these instances, 15.6% of the people using a firearm defensively stated that they "almost certainly" saved their lives by doing so.
Firearms are used 60 times more often to protect lives than to take lives.
Fact: In 83.5% (2,087,500) of these successful gun defenses, the attacker either threatened or used force first, proving that guns are very well suited for self-defense.
Fact: Of the 2,500,000 times citizens use guns to defend themselves, 92% merely brandish their gun or fire a warning shot to scare off their attackers.
Fact: Less than 8% of the time does a citizen wound his or her attacker, and in less than one in a thousand instances is the attacker killed.113
Fact: For every accidental death, suicide, or homicide with a firearm, 10 lives are saved through defensive use.
Fact: When using guns in self-defense114:
&#8226; 83% of robbery victims were not injured.
&#8226; 88% of assault victims were not hurt.
&#8226; 76% of all self-defense use of guns never involve firing a single shot.
(Gun Facts 5.0, page 16)

In less than one in a thousand times of gun defense is the attacker killed. So, yeah, Suicides and ND's are going to kill more.

But, the attacker doesn't have to die for the defense to succeed. The idea of having a gun for protection is not to "deal justice" to the criminal, but to lesses your appearance as "prey"

Here's how I recently used my handgun for defense of my family: We were letting a homeless young woman stay with us for a few weeks. She had gotten kicked out of her grandparents house because her friends robbed them. So, I told her that I carried, and I let her see me put on the gun when I left, and take it off and secure it when I got home.

I told her, "If I come home to a stranger in my living room, I am likely to draw my gun and hold then until the police arrive, since I will assume that they are robbing my house, like they did to your granparents." I also told her that she could tell her "friends" that if they tried to pressure her into letting them "hang out" at our house. She was actually glad to be able to tell them that, and we never had any problems!

No, it's not Macho, and it will never be used as a statistic, and I'm not even sure that anybody would have robbed my house anyway. But it was preventative.

Also, it helped us to be able to help this girl save up enough money to rent a room in a nice part of town, where she wouldn't run into her old friends. At the time I had a two-year old, and a very pregnant wife to think about. I would have ben a lot more anxious about letting her stay if I didn't have some means of protecting her and my family from this old pack of Jackals.

As it is, she's out grocery shopping with my wife right now, and I'm typing this slowly because I'm holding my 8 week old little girl in my ams.
 

Deaf Smith

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Yes it is a fact. More kids get killed in the U.S. in swimming pools than by guns. And that is why we never had a back yard swimming pool. The guns were easy to control, that swimming pool was an open invitation to any small kid to fall in.

Most other countries have less deaths by guns simply because they have less guns. That does not mean they have less accidental deaths, only the methods changed.

Same goes for murder.

I've owned and shot guns for well over 35 years. I live in a state where guns are very very available. Yet, I've never seen one shooting!

Deaf
 

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Thardey beat me to it. Good post.

Why is nobody so concerned about the other "Top 10" causes?

Politics and the media, thats why.
 

elder999

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Thardey beat me to it. Good post.

Why is nobody so concerned about the other "Top 10" causes?

Politics and the media, thats why.

Of course, suffocation ranks at #3, with 5.5%. Not sure how many of those kids choked on hot dogs, but it's probably a lot.The majority of choking deaths in children come from round food items.

Perhaps we should ban hot dogs? Or have a license to hot dog? Or a minimum age limit?

Hot dog training? :lfao:
 

KP.

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Fact: Every year, people in the United States use a gun to defend themselves against criminals an estimated 2,500,000 times &#8211; more than 6,500 people a day, or once every 13 seconds.112 Of these instances, 15.6% of the people using a firearm defensively stated that they "almost certainly" saved their lives by doing so.


A totally unsubstantiated claim.

There is no documentation mechanism in use here. That number comes from a self-reporting survey. Identical methodology will also tell you that roughly 5 million Americans have been abducted by aliens.

Fact: Of the 2,500,000 times citizens use guns to defend themselves, 92% merely brandish their gun or fire a warning shot to scare off their attackers.

Fact: if you publish enough bad statistical analysis together in one place, people will believe it.

There have been a dozen or so major surveys taken on this topic. The values returned run from 20% to 70%. The big outlier is John Lott's "survey" (around which there is substantial debate as there is a fair amount of evidence that it was made up to suit his purposes) that put the number above 90%.
 
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