Question from a Patron

One of my Patrons sent me the following message:

I have been reading online ‘experts’ who say that with riots and increased numbers of unemployed, that the day of the lone attacker is over, and that concealed carriers need the additional ammo and quick reload capabilities of modern semi-auto pistols, to handle multiple attackers. According to these ‘wise’ folks, the day of the concealed revolver or low capacity pistol is past.

What are your thoughts? Is this paranoia, or an evolution of threat?

Here’s what I think.

It’s both. They’re right that there is some elevated risk of attack if you go to ‘stupid places where stupid people are doing stupid things.’ However, if you look at the FBI figures about the overall volume of crime v. the number of people who become casualties at mass gatherings, the percentage of casualties at mass gathering is infinitesimal.

The logic is skewed in a similar fashion to the way BLM logic is skewed. Just because we hear about a questionable incident doesn’t mean the other 999 don’t represent the reality of the big picture. For instance, the FBI reported in 2017 there were an estimated 810,825 aggravated assaults in the nation. As best I can tell, those are all the same kind of attacker situation (1 or 2) that has existed since the FBI started gathering statistics. The big picture hasn’t really changed, only what some people are looking for in it has. We’re all victims of selective perception at times.

I’m familiar with the comment “No one wants to be a statistical anomaly.” I’m also familiar with Tom Givens’ observation that the only students of his who have lost their fights were because of forfeits, i.e., they were unarmed. Let’s face a reality that every Infantryman knows all too well, ammunition is heavy and uncomfortable to carry. Periodically, I hear the quip “no one in a gunfight says they brought too much ammunition.” My response to that is that a lot of people who are attacked think “I wish I’d brought my gun.”

It seems like periodically we have to relearn the lesson that the pocket pistol on you is more useful than the service pistol left in your safe. With respect to one of my colleagues, the concept “It should be comforting not comfortable” is probably the most foolish and out of touch saying that has ever been uttered in the training community.

Thanks to my Patron for asking a good question.

Links to my ebooks are at the top of the page as TACTICAL PROFESSOR BOOKS.

9 responses

  1. Craig Bollenberg

    Great perspective. Thank you.

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. One additional point that this post got me thinking about. I think the negativity towards snubs and pocket pistols drives some to carry single-stack 9s, of which ironically many when fully loaded (perhaps + spare mag) are still “heavy” at over 20oz and uncomfortable to shoot as well.

    If I’m going to have good CCW program compliance and carry a gun that is not the most range friendly, I’m going to go with the snubs and pocket guns that I know I will be more likely to carry. Plus, a speed strip is easier to carry than a spare mag.

  3. I think the point about Aggravated Assault is important.

    Watching analysis of security cam footage of business Robberies and Home Invasions, and the recent mob and pack-type attacks, which do often involve the “3 or more criminals” scenario, can easily get conflated in our minds with the typical opportunistic assault on the carrier that concealed carry is meant to mitigate.

    The former crimes don’t really involve a “gun you can actually regularly carry” for the business owner or home defender, as the business owner is interacting with people in a controlled environment and has greater latitude in weapon choice and concealment method, and the home defender doesn’t have to worry about concealment at all.

    The business Robbery, as a customer, will only involve you if you choose to get involved, which would be foolish against multiple robbers absent some evidence of the scenario turning lethal for you (like if the robbers start looking like they are going to start executing people). You can’t always predict a mob-type attack, but staying away from protests and places where packs of feral teens hang out will do most of that work.

    I’m not sure those “non-personal defense” scenarios, which are probably even less likely for an aware defender who follows the Rules of Stupid than an attacker failing their “victim selection test,” should really drive normal carry decisions.

  4. I have heard Mr. Thunder Ranch’s phrase repeated by some of the best couch and keyboard ninjas since Al Gore invented the internet. It is my signal to turn off my personal listening device. Well executed reply to you patrons question professor. Thanks for all the advice and excellent training material for those of us knuckledraggers still carrying 5-6 shot roscoes.

  5. Clint is right. Carrying a defensive firearm is a grave, life altering decision. I note the non-mention of the other Clintism, ” it’s a big gun when you carry it, it’s a big gun when you have to use it ( apologies for the paraphrase )”. You don’t need a “brace” of engraved SW 29’s, but if you’re too lazy to inconvenience yourself with an adequate weapon you deserve what you get. Going armed is a lifestyle change.

    1. ”it’s a big gun when you carry it, it’s a big gun when you have to use it”

      I’ve never heard that one and I don’t know what it is supposed to mean.

  6. I was remembering Tom Givens’ Combative Pistol course as I started reading this and could hear his voice when he was quoted. One thing that maybe worth considering by those who are thinking about going to a service pistol from a revolver for EDC is that it’s a different manual of arms. As such, I would suggest becoming proficient with the mechanics of the service pistol before making the switch. I recall Tom Givens making a point in his Combative Pistol course to effect of “during a gunfight, the defender should be focused on getting themselves out of the situation alive, not focused on trying to figure out how to work the gun”.

    1. Familiarity with the weapon carried is important. The last thing someone needs is to be wondering “How do I make this damn thing work?”

  7. Having worked far more than a few of these types of capers, and seeing hundreds of them on video, I’ll note that when the first shots go off it’s pretty much “assholes and elbows” 100% of the time.
    Nobody stands still in a gunfight/shooting.

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