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View Full Version : What makes some people think all criminals are bad shots?


nate45
January 9, 2012, 07:19 PM
I've noticed over the years that many posters on TFL and elsewhere, seem to make the assumption that criminals are bad shots and/or firearms handlers.

That they never practice and don't know how to effectively use their weapons.

"Lol, he'll be hold'in his gun sideways", "Some guy on drugs with a Saturday Night Special", etc are the type comments I'm referring to.

Personally I think that type of assumption is a dangerous one.

Below is an excerpt from a blog post I came across recently. It lists some of the common misconceptions. Its pertains mostly to gang members, but its informative nonetheless.

Criminals, particularly gang members, are normally not frightened of being confronted by a citizen with a firearm. I read an FBI report where exhaustive interviews were held with incarcerated gang members. Incidentally, convicts often have nothing better to do to keep busy in prison but to practice taking guns away from you by distracting you and executing well-rehearsed moves. armed citizens v gangbangers (http://www.firearmslawyer.net/blog/index.php)

3. Crooks never practice and are really bad shots. Since I just spent $$$ on a training course, I’m superman, in comparison.

False. Gang members may not use the latest techniques, they do indeed practice, and some are quite good. They use their firearms in confrontations regularly- you don’t!



The guy in the ski mask robbing the jewelry store, or bank could be ex-special forces for all we know. For example Matix and Platt of the infamous 1986 Miami Shootout were both ex-Army. Matix was a ex-military policeman, Army Ranger and ex-Marine. Recently we've seen incidents of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans committing criminal acts. The members of the Zeta cartel are ex-Mexican Special Forces. Those are just a few examples off the top of my head.

I remember several years ago watching an installment of 20/20, or maybe Dateline and they were interviewing inner city kids about firearms. One young man, who was all of 12-13 years old produced an S&W Model 60 from concealment. He handled it in a safe manner, even indexing instead of touching the trigger. I don't know how good a shot he was, but from the way he handled his weapon, from 2-5 yards I'd say probably good enough.

Anyway I don't want to make this too long, or too boring. I think most readers will get the idea. Not all criminals are bad shots and making that assumption could be fatal.

TheNocturnus
January 9, 2012, 07:24 PM
I don't think that. One time I was in Bass Pro and getting ready to use the range and this gangsta type dude walked in. He had a Sig 9mm (I asked), and a dirty box of some brand of ammo I had never seen. He had no eye or ear protection and no range bag to hold the gun or the ammo, he just carried them in his hands.

He talked like a street thug so I am assuming he was one. Plus he had an expensive gun and no case or holster for it!?! I watched him shoot a little and he was a decent shot. I think I was better though.:p

Young.Gun.612
January 9, 2012, 07:24 PM
Most gangsters I've ever talked to laugh about the gun sideways thing.

I don't claim to be any sort of firearms expert in any capacity. I also don't allow myself to think that criminals are simply armed idiots with no skill in regards to marksmanship, weapon retention or disarming. Complacency will get you killed

shootniron
January 9, 2012, 07:25 PM
I guess they think everyone shoots like them.:eek:

TheNocturnus
January 9, 2012, 07:28 PM
I also think that stereotype got out because of all of the shootings where innocent people were killed instead of the intended target. All I know is that I have the element of surprise on my side with my CCW should I ever be robbed again.

pax
January 9, 2012, 08:00 PM
It's the same thing that drives otherwise-intelligent people to say that the "average gunfight only takes three shots three seconds three feet" so they don't need to be prepared for more than that.

In one word: denial.

The world is a much more comfortable place when we have all the answers -- and when the answers are all simple ones -- than when we don't, and they aren't.

pax

Patriot86
January 9, 2012, 08:10 PM
I would say "some" bad guys can shoot, some bad guys even shoot better than your average cop. The reasons are numerous, some practice, some are naturally good and some are ex-military. IF the bad guys were "all" such good shots, why is it that 10-25% of the victims seem to be innocent bystanders? I would hazard a guess at the bare minimum you have one clueless bad guy for every one who knows how to shoot but realistically it is probably more in the 1-4 or 1-5 range.

SecurityMike
January 9, 2012, 08:34 PM
The first time I ever fired a gun was a practice run for a qual that was two days away. It was a modified FLETC pistol course which included weak hand, point shooting, headshots, and barricade shots at 50 feet. I had about an hour of classroom time teaching me about firearm safety and then proceeded to shoot an 86 percent. The next day a 90 and for the qual a 94. (with a G22).

The point is I could have just as easily been born and raised 8 miles to the east and made worse life choices and I'd still be a decent shot. I try to never discount anybody.

BlackFeather
January 9, 2012, 08:39 PM
Sometimes it's oversimplification of a situation, "gun shoot, bad guy dies." Sometimes it's just as Pax said denial, they don't want to think a criminal is good at something. I think a lot of it isn't even denial, I think quite a bit of it comes from the people who think they are better than people/criminals.

Example: I have attended X amount of gun courses, and plan to compete in Y shooting competition. After all of this, I am an amazing shot under pressure and therefore better than a criminal if I need to draw my gun in defense.

Instead of worrying about the ability of their opponent, tactics, or anything else, people want to think they are BETTER. In thinking they are better they discount the abilities of a possible opponent. People like to think their training or regular practice makes them a better shot than the "average" person/criminal. Sure, it may, but does it mean you will win?

I see this a LOT in martial arts. Some people think their training is better than others, then in a nice sparring match they don't know how to handle it. When we get knife guys sparring you see the cocky ones who think their style is better get destroyed by the person who has better empty hand skills regardless of knife training. They focus on one thing, the knife as a weapon, not the fight, not the tactics, and not the empty hand skills of their opponent. Slashing/stabbing wildly is like just pulling a trigger in a random direction.

I could be wrong, but that's what it looks like from here.

By tactics I am speaking of situational tactics, cover, concealment, people, escape routes, multiple assailants.

TXAZ
January 9, 2012, 08:51 PM
Charles Whitman 1966
Lee Harvey Oswald 1963

Glenn E. Meyer
January 9, 2012, 09:08 PM
It is a correlate of when we have a rampage shooting or other gun fight, where our good guy says they will intervene and "Take them out".

Watched folks this weekend launch rounds at IDPA targets at a reasonable distance and miss them, shoot in noncentral areas etc.

But on the Internet the Good guy will take them out.

It could also be a denial of your own mortality. Don't want to admit that you will not make it out of the fight.

kinggabby
January 9, 2012, 09:18 PM
People often forget that video games have evolved over the years and some games actually have a gun shaped controller. Which allows kids, thugs and anyone else with time on their to get good at aiming . Just think about some games from the past that have incorporated this .... Hogans ally and Duck Hunt. Just my .02 worth

Deaf Smith
January 9, 2012, 10:58 PM
Sure there are some bad guys that are good shots but...

Go look at the police shootout stats.

Far more bad guys DIE that cops. And the bad guys get to shoot first many times.

No, even with the cops poor hit rates they outshoot the bad guys by a great margin.

Deaf

briandg
January 9, 2012, 11:26 PM
the thugs around here in the freakin boonies grew up shooting their neighbor's cats. I doubt that there are very many bad guys here that have any level of expertise, but i think nearly every criminal raised in this area will be at least capable of aiming and pulling a trigger.

Hiker 1
January 9, 2012, 11:33 PM
Never underestimate the enemy.

markdoddridge
January 10, 2012, 12:28 AM
My response to an armed enemy would be exactly the same whether i felt he was trained or not, to do otherwise would be retarded. Ive had plenty of training but i would never make the mistake of thinking im a bullet proof superman

the graveyards are filled with men who thought they couldn't die

wayneinFL
January 10, 2012, 06:17 AM
I think it's a reasonable assumption there are a lot of bad guys who can't shoot. First, there is a large cross section of any other group in society that can't shoot. Second, bad guys are lazy- otherwise they would have jobs.

Of course, that doesn't mean the guy I run into is going to be untrained, so I'll do everything I can to prepare myself.

Nordeste
January 10, 2012, 07:02 AM
Never underestimate the enemy.

This.

Regardless of who he/she is. If it's armed, assume he's the best shot of the world. Period.

Brian Pfleuger
January 10, 2012, 08:45 AM
I've seen that study before. It's hard for me to believe a lot of it.

First, it's based on "interviews" with criminals. I know plenty of people who AREN'T criminals that embellish every story they ever tell. Yet, we're supposed to believe a bunch of tough guys in jail saying how much they practice and how their not afraid of confronting armed good guys.

Second, them not being afraid of the armed good guys is directly contradictory to OTHER interviews/studies with bad guys who say they specifically target people who look weak, unsure or oblivious. If they're not afraid of the armed ones, why target the unarmed?

Third, where are these bad guys who "use their firearms in confrontations regularly"? Yes, obviously they exist but any BG who uses their firearms regularly is almost certainly deep, deep inside gang and drug infested neighborhoods of large cities.
Large-ish cities near me, Syracuse and Binghamton for example, have fairly regular instances of convenience store or bank robberies. Never do these turn into shoot outs and even in the worst of the bad neighborhoods you're not hearing gunfire on any scale. Syracuse has more than its share of murders but I recall ONE shoot out between rival gang members being publicized. Hardly "regular use in confrontations".

The lessons of under estimating the enemy are clear, that doesn't mean they're all Wild Bill just because they brag about it in prison. Train like they're going to be... but they probably aren't.

Double Naught Spy
January 10, 2012, 09:10 AM
In one word: denial.

The world is a much more comfortable place when we have all the answers -- and when the answers are all simple ones -- than when we don't, and they aren't.

pax

Right. It is seemingly important that as the good guys that we feel that we are better than the bad guys, not just morally, but with skills. We may not be stronger, but we know we are smarter and shoot better and use better guns.

Second, bad guys are lazy- otherwise they would have jobs.

More denial with all encompassing derogatory statements. For many, being a badguy is a job and one they work very hard at being a bad guy.

2 famous USMC Expert Marksmen
Charles Whitman 1966
Lee Harvey Oswald 1963

I think if you check back you may find that Oswald did not qualify as Expert Marksman in the USMC.

Go look at the police shootout stats.

Far more bad guys DIE that cops. And the bad guys get to shoot first many times.

No, even with the cops poor hit rates they outshoot the bad guys by a great margin.

Deaf

I am not sure this is particular correct either, though it sounds very comforting. Many bad guys do die in gun battles with cops, but there are often multiple cops fighting just one bad guy and the bad guy gets overwhelmed by numbers and positions. Take the LA North Hollywood bank robbery. No cops died but the two criminals did. How many cops were the criminals fighting? What was it...about 70 with another 200-300 operating in supporting roles?

Less cops do die in fights with bad guys. Of course this is helped made possible by the use of ballistic vests. Since 1987, 3000 cops have been saved by Kelvar. Most of those saves were from ballistic insult. Would we not think bad guys were better shots if there had been 2900+ LEO shooting deaths?
http://www2.dupont.com/Kevlar/en_US/Newsletter_Vol.1/saveslives.html

So it isn't just shooting prowess that has cops defeating the bad guys, but also numbers, organization, technology, etc.

jibberjabber
January 10, 2012, 09:33 AM
In a gunfight, I'd rather be lucky than good.

Fate doesn't care how much you've trained.

MLeake
January 10, 2012, 09:44 AM
I think Pax nailed it; people like simple answers, and they want to reassure themselves.

Others brought up critical points, too. Underestimating the enemy's capabilities is poor tactics, and poor strategy. I don't know any military that preaches the minimization of the enemy's abilities when training. They may try to dehumanize the enemy, so that troops find it easier to pull the trigger, but if anything, they portray the enemy as a monster, not a hamster.

Sun Tzu also nailed it. Don't underestimate the enemy; don't overestimate yourself.

hangglider
January 10, 2012, 10:10 AM
Not sure what happened--my entire post got blown away somehow while I was editing:confused:

Frank Ettin
January 10, 2012, 10:11 AM
In a gunfight, I'd rather be lucky than good.

Fate doesn't care how much you've trained. The better your training, the luckier you'll be.

dev_null
January 10, 2012, 10:18 AM
The better your training, the luckier you'll be.

+1

C0untZer0
January 10, 2012, 11:32 AM
There is the much touted survey of prison inmates that said that the number one thing they fear is an armed citizen - I believe the NRA uses this study frequently.

That certainly seems to conflict with:

Criminals, particularly gang members, are normally not frightened of being confronted by a citizen with a firearm

But I also have read 2 news stories recently where a criminal and or gang members were not frightened off by a homeowner brandishing a gun - or even firing warning shots.

It would seem to contridict the idea that the sound of a shotgun being racked sends criminals fleeing.

I think the statistic still is that in 85% of cases criminal break off an attack at the sight of a gun - but like all statistics this applies generally to situations across the board. So those statistics include attempted muggings where the attacker is armed only with fists or a bludgeon, rapists armed similarly, car theives where the owner walks out armed while they're attempting to wire the car... I'm not sure anyone has narrowed down the statistics to see how they apply to those attacks by violent gang members, or those cases where the attackers are armed with high capacity / major caliber weapons.

convicts often have nothing better to do to keep busy in prison but to practice taking guns away from you by distracting you and executing well-rehearsed moves

IMO, another argument against firing a warning a shot, the time you take your weapon away from target and discharge it may be all the time the attacker needs to cover the ground between you and grapple with you / make your weapon inoperable or take it away from you.

The last thing I want to address is this idea that criminals are or are not afraid of me as an armed citizen.

I really don't care. I hope that no one cares if a criminal is either afraid of them or not and I hope no one is intimidated by the prospect of a criminal not being afraid of them.

It really doesn't matter. If I am in a situation - the gravest extreme - where lethal force is required, I don't intend to cow the attacker into submission by brandishing a weapon, or making verbal threats, or firing warning shots. I intend to stop the attacker by disrupting vital tissue until the aggression stops.

zxcvbob
January 10, 2012, 11:39 AM
Perhaps it means you don't get to pick your badguy. The badguy picks you.

UtopiaTexasG19
January 10, 2012, 11:40 AM
I think television dramas over the years have repeatedly shown the good guys mostly comming out of gun fights without a scratch and the bad guys almost always getting wounded or killed. Sure, as adults we know this is not always true but when you repeatedly see the same senario over and over again with the same outcome it's bound to eventually influence how one thinks. On shows like Criminal Intent, NCIS LA, Law and Order, The Mentalist etc. it is almost comical how the "bad" guys with automatic weapons always miss their targets but the good guys take them out with pistols, sometimes at huge distances.

C0untZer0
January 10, 2012, 11:49 AM
^ I think Hollywood has had a HUGE impact on self-defense / justifiable homicide laws.

It's led to important misunderstandings on the part of judges, juries, and lawmakers, about violent confrontations I have found that the people who vehemently oppose Castle Doctrine usually believe in one or more of these Hollywood generated myths about firearms. The people who came up with the duty to retreat doctrine had no realistic idea of what violent attackers actually do or how they act, how a normal human responds while being attacked or what happens in a violent confrontation.

I wish the NRA would take on these myths when they are propogated by the media.

zxcvbob
January 10, 2012, 11:53 AM
The people who came up with the duty to retreat doctrine had no realistic idea of what violent attackers actually do or how they act, how a normal human responds while being attacked or what happens in a violent confrontation.Those people need to watch the movie "In Cold Blood" (or read the book) Even when the criminals are executed, you don't feel good about it even tho' they deserved it by anybody's definition -- just maybe numb or a little sick.

Willie Lowman
January 10, 2012, 12:05 PM
The constant use of "Bad Guy" to identify and describe a particular person is in itself ignorant. Are they bad as soon as they wake up or is this something that only applies during particular activities? If someone has a job but does bad things on the weekend are they bad 24/7 or only on Saturday and Sunday?

Is there a card someone must carry in their wallet identifying them as a "Good Guy?" (Oh, my Good Guy card? It's right here next to my driver's license, CCW permit, and my TFL screen name.)

Second, bad guys are lazy- otherwise they would have jobs.

I'm lazy and I'm laid off for the winter, so does that mean I'm in danger of loosing my Good Guy status?



I know everyone likes a good "Us vs Them" but life isn't a college football game. The guy who is fixing your transmission might be the guy selling your kid dope later in the day. The young vet that you just got done telling "Thanks for your service" could very well be the one to stick a pistol in your back later this evening.

Brian Pfleuger
January 10, 2012, 12:16 PM
The constant use of "Bad Guy" to identify and describe a particular person is in itself ignorant. Are they bad as soon as they wake up or is this something that only applies during particular activities? If someone has a job but does bad things on the weekend are they bad 24/7 or only on Saturday and Sunday?

It clearly applies to a person who is or has committed a crime. They're pretty "bad" guys.

How would you prefer that we refer to this person? Suspect? Person of Interest? Convict? Criminal? Wrongly convicted, poor, innocent guy who only robbed the store because his mom was mean to him?

They're "bad guys". Referring to them as such is hardly ignorant.:rolleyes:

Willie Lowman
January 10, 2012, 12:22 PM
So, if someone commits armed robbery, they are a bad guy. I think we are in agreement.

What If they committed several armed robberies five years ago, they now own their own business and support their wife and two kids. Are they still a bad guy?

What if they sell dope but they help stop a burglary? Good bad guy?

Brian Pfleuger
January 10, 2012, 12:29 PM
Completely outside the context of the use of the word in this discussion. I'm confident we're not talking about the marksmanship of a former bank robber who found Jesus.

Context is your friend.

Willie Lowman
January 10, 2012, 12:40 PM
You are right. I am off topic.

Good day to you sir.

brickeyee
January 10, 2012, 12:46 PM
While some may not be, the majority of them in Washington, DC appear to be.

Plenty of 'shots fired' with no affect.

That would tend to indicate they are not very good shots.

Unless they are illegally practicing with their illegally possessed guns?

The problem is that at 'bad breath distance' you do not need to be all that good a shot, and a lot of 'events' likely end without shots even being fired (from good or bad guys).

I know how many rounds I fired learning to move and shoot and hit movig targets.

The number of hood rats with similar training and practice is most likely vanishingly small.

Distance, movement, cover.

Even against a good shot they are all your friend.

jimbob86
January 10, 2012, 01:10 PM
some bad guys even shoot better than your average cop.

Damned with faint praise.

I used to shoot IDPA mini-matches at a local range. There were a couple of cops that shot there regularly (sometimes even using their duty rig). They were GOOD.

...and then once, a cop showed up "to brush up for qualification" and shot the match...... tea-cup grip, came down on the target on each shot, glacial times and would have been more accurate if had thrown rocks ..... the regular shooter cops remarked "Hey at least he fired the thing between Quals!"

jimbob86
January 10, 2012, 01:17 PM
IF the bad guys were "all" such good shots, why is it that 10-25% of the victims seem to be innocent bystanders?

"Because, Statistically Speaking, the most dangerous thing you can do in life is be standing on the street/sitting in a car (in a crappy part of town between the hours of 1 and 3 AM), "Minding Your Own Business"."

That's why.

jimbob86
January 10, 2012, 01:19 PM
Fate doesn't care how much you've trained.

....and I don't particularly much care for Fate, either. I'll make my own Luck, thankee.

Double Naught Spy
January 10, 2012, 02:23 PM
Prepare, yes, but ...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In a gunfight, I'd rather be lucky than good.

Fate doesn't care how much you've trained.

Why bother to waste all that time preparing if Fate determines the outcome? Heck, why are you even in a gun fight at all. Fate will determine whether you live or die so why bother with unnecessary things like preparation, training, or even owning a gun? Come on. Fate? Really?

I know how many rounds I fired learning to move and shoot and hit movig targets.

The number of hood rats with similar training and practice is most likely vanishingly small.

Sure, but you are likely an exception to most gun owners who are lucky to get to the range once a year to practice. Many of the bad guys may not practice as much as you, but more and more are returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan as combat hardened and US military trained soldiers. Of course, this isn't a new problem.

nate45
January 10, 2012, 02:29 PM
I don't believe many 'Bad Guys' are worried about duty to retreat laws, the ramifications of using head shots, or of hitting innocent by-standers. Its a possibility that many of the by-standers who get hit, may be intentionally targeted for the fun/terror factor. Even if their not, I don't think the welfare of by-standers is given much consideration.




In a gunfight, I'd rather be lucky than good.

Fate doesn't care how much you've trained.

I'm not sure if Gary Player was the originator of the quote or not, but he said it and it's most often referenced to him...

"The more I practice, the luckier I get"- Gary Player, winner of nine major golf championships.

pax
January 10, 2012, 02:36 PM
"If you are fighting for your life in a gunfight today, today is not your lucky day." ~ Tom Givens

pax

Stevie-Ray
January 10, 2012, 02:56 PM
I know that if I am ever in the situation where I need to draw, as far as the talent of my opponent, I'm going to be expecting the best and praying for the worst.

Buzzcook
January 10, 2012, 03:31 PM
I think if you check back you may find that Oswald did not qualify as Expert Marksman in the USMC.

Yes and no. When Oswald first qualified in training he did so as "Expert". Then at re-qualification while serving in Japan he didn't.
People in the conspiracy-industrial-complex site the latter instance and never the former.


Bad guys are bad shots, because the TV machine tells me so.

brickeyee
January 10, 2012, 04:23 PM
Many of the bad guys may not practice as much as you, but more and more are returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan as combat hardened and US military trained soldiers.

By what statistics?

Sounds like a 'pulled out of thin air' idea.

C0untZer0
January 10, 2012, 04:38 PM
I know that if I am ever in the situation where I need to draw, as far as the talent of my opponent, I'm going to be expecting the best and praying for the worst.

I'm also going to be hoping that they are using cheap, not-well-maintained firearms, and also hopefully chambered in something smaller than .355 caliber.

I think the statistics bear out that criminals do use a lot of .32 and .25 caliber firearms, but the police officer that was killed in Chicago right before Christmas was shot with a 9mm.

The shooter used a Tec-9. The Tec-9 had a reputation for being a jam-o-matic. The guns that were made before the company folded up were terrible, besides jamming, they had crooked sights and internals that would break and even the early models didn't do well feeding anything but FMJ . My Tec-9M always worked fine with FMJ and Federal Nyclads.

It might be said that the shooter was using a cheap low-quality firearm in the Chicago shooting, but if the accounts are true he shot three times and missed with none of them. The distance wasn't far but the shooter made a head shot and then put two in the chest of officer Lewis.

So his shooting was as good as it needed to be to kill someone.

I know its anecdotal, but it just reminds me that not all the criminals are carrying Davis, Ravens, Lorcins and the like.

hangglider
January 10, 2012, 04:41 PM
I'm sure it happens--but I'm dubious of the "increasingly" x-vet criminal claim--especially as a hardened repeat offender type. I'm guessing vet shootings is more of a PTSD/emotional imbalance or occasionally because the SO didn't have the will to keep their shorts/panties on while the service person was away.

C0untZer0
January 10, 2012, 05:26 PM
The military is made up of people, some people commit crimes some don't.

I knew a soldier at Fort Huachuca who murdered a fellow soldier in a particularly gruesome way. I was aware of a guy in my battalion at Fort Polk who was jealous that another soldier was dating someone he liked, so he put a 12" Rambo knife in the gut of his romantic rival. My friend and the guy who fixed my CUCV tackled him as he tried to flee the scene.

I can't tell you how many pot heads I knew who got chaptered out.

It's not like putting on the uniform makes you an angel.

On the other hand - this notion that returning vets are going to get angry and dissilusioned because they cannot find jobs and they're going to join militias and plot the over throw of the governmnet turn into Timothy McVeighs and or turn into Platt and Matixes... is ridiculous.

Nnobby45
January 10, 2012, 06:38 PM
People think that because most of them are. But, as has been pointed out, not all.

Many gang members have been involved in shootouts. Many have shot other people and have been shot themselves. What that means is that many are NOT going to be shaking in their boots when confronted by you or me. They're the ones more likely to have "combat" experience--maybe a lot of it. Even if it means just pointing a gun and spraying bullets.

Most are still probably bad shots, but that doesn't mean they aren't dangerous, given the close nature of shootings.

Not a pleasant thought, but some may have the right mental attitude for winning gun fights. Some may run like rabbits if someone fights back.

Don't worry about their attitude. Worry about yours.:cool:

hangglider
January 10, 2012, 06:39 PM
In today's episode of "as the bullets fly" in Chattanooga, two house robbers opened fire on policemen--one the officers scored a hit while the BGs attempted escape in a vehicle: http://timesfreepress.com/news/2012/jan/10/chattanooga-least-one-shot-armed-robbery/?breakingnews

csmsss
January 10, 2012, 08:23 PM
Many gang members have been involved in shootouts. Many have shot other people and have been shot themselves. What that means is that many are NOT going to be shaking in their boots when confronted by you or me. They're the ones more likely to have "combat" experience--maybe a lot of it. Even if it means just pointing a gun and spraying bullets.

Most are still probably bad shots, but that doesn't mean they aren't dangerous, given the close nature of shootings.

Not a pleasant thought, but some may have the right mental attitude for winning gun fights. Some may run like rabbits if someone fights back.

Don't worry about their attitude. Worry about yours.I couldn't agree more. Many/most gangbangers are more than happy to put themselves in harm's way to get what they want - whether that be your money, your wife, or the "respect" of their gangbanger buddies. Their lives are lived on the street, and the things that are precious to us are, generally, irrelevant to them. So...in that encounter you may find yourself involved in with one or more of these fellas, ask yourself a question. Am I as determined to win as he is? Am I as willing as he is to risk grievous bodily injury/death to prevail? Am I as willing as he is to inflict grievous bodily injury/death upon my opponent? Because if you cannot answer each and every one of these questions with the same answer (Yes, of course), you are unlikely to win such an encounter.

wayneinFL
January 10, 2012, 10:20 PM
More denial with all encompassing derogatory statements. For many, being a badguy is a job and one they work very hard at being a bad guy.

Oh sure. Someone who points a gun at someone to get a car is working just as hard as the guy who's been making the payments for 4 years. :rolleyes:

And I'll be as derogatory as I want with crooks who will kill people to take their things.


I'm lazy and I'm laid off for the winter, so does that mean I'm in danger of loosing my Good Guy status?

That's not what I said. Go rob a liquor store and we'll talk about it.

nate45
January 10, 2012, 11:11 PM
"If you are fighting for your life in a gunfight today, today is not your lucky day." ~ Tom Givens

pax

Maybe "The more I practice avoidance and situational awareness, the luckier I get." would be a better quote.

'Cause I agree, no matter how much one practices with firearms, being involved in a shooting is very unlucky.

armoredman
January 11, 2012, 12:21 AM
I've worked with felons for 10 years and if there is one thing they understand, it's pure naked force. I've met some that were walking suits of skin with nothing human inside, and believe the whole world is there for their pleasure only. Getting in the way of that is "disrespect" and worthy of death.

Amazing how often those who claim someone is disrespecting them started off being the disrespectful ones, but will never see it that way, for the exact same reason above.

I plan as if my home invader can fight like Chuck Norris and shoot like Angus Hobdell - I will do everything I can to put the advantage on my side, same as on the street.

hangglider
January 11, 2012, 01:59 AM
More shootings to end the day--one of which involving an assault rifle (which are becoming more popular in drive-by shootings): http://timesfreepress.com/news/2012/jan/10/chattanooga-police-respond-shots-fired-oak-street/?breakingnews http://timesfreepress.com/news/2012/jan/10/man-shot-near-east-lake-courts/ I think it's safer to assume that the gangstahs are going to use anything they can get their hands on anytime but are smart enough to train themselves. I have no idea what to do defensively when somebody opens up with an assault rifle and all I have is a CCW pistol except hope that some kind of cover is available. My situational awareness of vehicles has changed completely.

csmsss
January 11, 2012, 02:11 AM
Just because a news report describes a firearm as an "assault rifle", does not necessarily mean it actually is an assault rifle. I wouldn't assume that the news report is accurate.

hangglider
January 11, 2012, 02:25 AM
I think the odds of a police officer recognizing an assault rifle for what it is are pretty good. I hear 30 round mags going off in the neighborhood quite frequently--there's no doubt in my mind some of the gangstahs have em and know how to use them. A couple of days ago a vehicle was found at he scene of a shooting--all the windows were blown out and it was riddled with bullets from front to back. Typical MO for gangs is get in and out fast.

hangglider
January 11, 2012, 09:54 AM
It's becoming a war zone here. I don't think people really understand modern gang growth in urban USA these days. Interestingly, the city council just nixed a funding request for a study on gangs. While most of the serious violence seems to be directed at each other in the gang community--the consequences are tearing apart the social fabric of the community as a whole and the costs are without a doubt going to hit everyone--even if they are not necessarily in a gangstah's gunsights. To get some idea of how socially pervasive the gang problem is, all you have to do is look at the kids in school: http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2011/nov/13/schools-call-for-police-help-thousands-of-times-a/ The penal system reaches an "overload" point and BGs are turned back out onto the street for "lesser" crimes--the guy who took shots at the cops this weekend during a house robbery had been arrested 23 times according to one TV news report.

BlueTrain
January 11, 2012, 11:16 AM
In other words, it's just like during Prohibition, only we put more people in jail now.

jimbob86
January 11, 2012, 01:39 PM
In other words, it's just like during Prohibition, only we put more people in jail now.


Only back then, there were no repeat offenders in Capital Murder ..... and "died in prison" was quite common.....

hangglider
January 11, 2012, 01:43 PM
Think little girls aren't a potential threat? http://timesfreepress.com/news/2012/jan/11/two-rossville-middle-students-arrested-weapons-cha/?breakingnews

Double Naught Spy
January 11, 2012, 03:10 PM
Oh sure. Someone who points a gun at someone to get a car is working just as hard as the guy who's been making the payments for 4 years.

And I'll be as derogatory as I want with crooks who will kill people to take their things.

The issue isn't with name calling, but name calling that mischaracterizes the threat. I know it makes us all feel better to make it an US against THEM where we are all that is good and right with the world and they are all that is wrong with it, but classifying bad guys as lazy is a great way to underestimate their abilities.

Funny thing. When we find "easier" ways to make money legally, we call it being smart. When bad guys do it illegally, we call them being lazy. We also call them cowards despite often being involved in very aggressive violent acts. They are cowards for choosing targets that they can most easily overwhelm to accomplish their goals, often in sneaky ways. When the military does this, we call it being strategically smart.

skoro
January 11, 2012, 06:20 PM
Wishful thinking...

BlackFeather
January 12, 2012, 04:49 AM
Funny thing. When we find "easier" ways to make money legally, we call it being smart. When bad guys do it illegally, we call them being lazy. We also call them cowards despite often being involved in very aggressive violent acts. They are cowards for choosing targets that they can most easily overwhelm to accomplish their goals, often in sneaky ways. When the military does this, we call it being strategically smart.

Yeah, this is exactly it. I've seen both sides, and in the end that is what it amounts to.

MLeake
January 12, 2012, 10:01 AM
Well, people liked to think bullies suffered from poor self-esteem, too; yet recent studies show they actually suffer from self-importance and self-entitlement, and in fact rarely have low self-esteem.

Victims, OTOH, have a host of self-esteem issues.

But even a hard-working and astute bad guy is still, by his choices and actions, a bad guy.

dannyb
January 12, 2012, 10:05 AM
That's also an oversimplification. The bank foreclosing on your property, unpopular as such an action may be, is still a legal transaction. The local ganglord (not likely in the US at the moment, but done in economic disaster areas like Argentina during the economic meltdown) deciding that he's going to use your house as his HQ so he clears you out (fatally or by eviction at gunpoint) is comparable only at the most basic level. One is a legal (likely distasteful) action, the other is a violent crime.

I think the definition is that anyone who is committing or attempting to commit a violent crime against me is a bad guy. He can sing in the choir, he can have 14 kids that he's having trouble supporting, he may be a member of the clergy - but if he's trying to break into my house or threatening me or anyone else, he's a bad guy. Any attempt to equate him (or her) with people performing legal acts is giving the violent person a legitimacy that they do not deserve.

Glenn E. Meyer
January 12, 2012, 10:08 AM
This as wandered way off topic - bring it back or we have to close it.

johnbt
January 12, 2012, 10:28 AM
"What makes some people think all criminals are bad shots?"

Have the criminals been as thoroughly trained as all police officers?

Take that anyway you like. It's just food for thought.

briandg
January 12, 2012, 10:57 AM
Because we watch fiction on television.

If we watched news on television we would realize that good or bad, they hit plenty of cops and other people whom they choose to prey upon.

In all of my life, I don't think I've ever heard of a case in which attempted homicide meant that the bad guy simply missed his intended target.

Master Blaster 2
January 12, 2012, 11:43 AM
Sorry.
I know it is old but I couldn't resist.

http://i53.tinypic.com/2lw1yes.jpg

C0untZer0
January 12, 2012, 12:33 PM
I think in most places the gun laws are oddly skewed in that the consequences to law abiding citizens are fairly severe while the impacts to criminals are relatively minor.

In Illinois the sentence for possesion of a firearm by a felon is 2 to 10 years, but if the charge isn't plead for cooperation - they usually only get a 4 year sentence.

There are are plenty of examples where guys get out of prison - go back to doing what they were doing, and in the case of drugs - they're engaging in an illegal activity that can get them 30 years - so what is the disincentive to use a firearm?

There have been plenty of examples of police responding to a report of gunfire, and when they investigate the scene, it turns out gang members were practicing in an abondoned building or something.

I do wish the NRA had something like what Mothers Against Drunk Driving has - where they would lobby for tougher sentencing and tougher laws for felons using guns.

I do think that law-abiding citizens shoud have an advantage in that we have the ability to go to ranges and training schools and practice, whereas - in Illinois at least, unless criminals are forging FOID cards, they can't go to the range. And if sentences were tougher, it would be much riskier for felons to practice with their firearms.

jimbob86
January 12, 2012, 01:38 PM
count?

Do you really think thugs give 3 farts in a windstorm about a FOID card?

Or will pay money to shoot at an indoor range? There are plenty of places to shoot, if you don't care about legalities or respect others property or safety.

m&p45acp10+1
January 12, 2012, 03:49 PM
I would never ever, and I mean ever ASSUME that a bad guy with a gun can not, or will not shoot it effectively enough to hit me. Truth be told most times they attack from distances that are hard to miss from, and do not care if they miss with a couple of shots. They do not care about stray shots, they do not care if they hit bystanders.

Truth be told few if any would be in the front running for an IDPA, or IPSC competition. That does not mean they would miss someone if they were shooting at them.

nate45
January 12, 2012, 04:06 PM
As many have rightly noted, the whole idea behind this thread was not under estimating ones advesaries.

It wasn't to glorify criminals, or try to make assumptions about how many, LEOs, military personal, etc turn to crime. Nor to subscribe to them top notch shooting abilities.

In my view though too many people assume all,or the very vast majority of criminals are ineffectual with firearms.

Below is a story that appeared today on Drudge.

Three teenagers shot in Southeast D.C., one near school (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=109&sid=2703792)

We don't know the details of distance, weapon used, number of shots fired etc, but two not seriously wounded and one in serious condition.

No one was killed, but they were all hit and DC isn't known for being an area where people can easily practice, or have access to large supplies of ammunition.

farmerboy
January 12, 2012, 04:16 PM
as far as criminals shooting ability , I believe they are like anyone else. Some lazy and rob up close and personal. Some dont ever shoot and couldnt hit the broad side of a barn if they had too. Some civilian and leo are the same. Cant hit nothing, dont ever practice or anything and then there are those who do practice and are awesome. Leos, civilians and gangbangers. Its basically the same in all walks in life, THE QUESTION IS, WHICH ARE YOU?

C0untZer0
January 12, 2012, 04:18 PM
I have the ability to go to training camps, participate in competitions and practice every day if I want to.

Most criminals don't have complete unfettered access to those training resources. I think they do train but they do so at the risk of being caught by the police - either trespassing on someone's land or shooting in an abandoned building.

I wouldn't say they are bad shots, but I think it's fair to say that they don't have the opportunity to train like a law abiding citizen can ( I'm not counting NYC or Chicago).

Here is my other point. The anti-gun crowd is always talking about stricter gun laws - but they NEVER talk about stricter sentencing for repeat offenders and felons using firearms. And I don't remember the NRA really pushing it either.

I think if a felon wants to practice with a firearm they're not supposed to have in the first place - then they should do it at the risk of going to prison for 20 years if they're caught.

There are always going to be criminals who aren't deterred period - no matter what. I don't know what school of criminology came up with the classification of the incorrigible criminal - I've seen it in Gary Kleck's writings. I’m not arguing that more gun laws are going to deter criminals who are already breaking laws – including gun laws. But maybe felons who are determined to arm themselves should just be incarcerated period. It seems that Florida implemented similar laws and they seem to have improved things.

pax
January 12, 2012, 04:28 PM
I have the ability to go to training camps, participate in competitions and practice every day if I want to.

Those who don't have no advantage at all over those who can't.

pax

Colvin
January 12, 2012, 05:18 PM
Pardon me if this has been said, but--

Violent criminals who use firearms routinely in COMBAT SITUATIONS will likely be better shots under stress. I have no extensive training, never served, never been in a gunfight- and while I remain a pretty good shot, I know the there's no way in hell I'd be able to outfight anyone with training or experience. Especially the latter.

As I said, I am no expert- far from it. But it would seem like, to me, that the more experienced you are the more calm and levelheaded you are during gunfights. I wonder how much experience you need to use the full extent of the accuracy you produce when not in combat.

Frank Ettin
January 12, 2012, 06:05 PM
All sorts of speculations about what criminals can do. Thing is that it's just guessing based on stereotyping.

hangglider
January 14, 2012, 03:37 AM
Another shooting with assault rifle: http://timesfreepress.com/news/2012/jan/13/chattanooga-man-shot-eastdale/?breakingnews

cloud8a
January 14, 2012, 03:45 AM
The best you can do is practice and train and practice and train like the threat might be better than you.

jrothWA
January 14, 2012, 08:09 PM
showing a bar battle and with all the pieces firing and bullets flying, NO ONE got hit, inside that bar.

But when you spray you might get lucky. :mad:

hangglider
January 14, 2012, 09:49 PM
The BGs here have assault rifles and use them. They probably know a good penetrating round is going to go through the car or window/wall and still get their target if they just fire enough rounds. Thank God, so far they seem to mostly hit one another, but it remains to be seen if they are starting random hits "just for the heck of it." Two people have been shot/shot at with assault rifles in just the last few days. If you get targeted by gangs for a drive by here--it's very bad news as they like to pull up and open up in a fusillade. Worsening the situation is the "don't snitch" mentality that pervades the area--which is understandable to some extent because if word gets out you are cooperating with the police--you may be the next target.

Cornbread
January 15, 2012, 09:17 AM
I believe if someone is patient and up front willing to give their life to take yours or your belongings it wont matter how many extra loaded mags you have on your side or who’s classes you took your finished.. You can’t pull a gun on everyone you meet or every car that pulls along side you at a red light.. Well I guess you could stay locked in a safe room. Be aware of your surroundings and enjoy life it gets away to soon.

hangglider
January 15, 2012, 09:34 AM
Good points cornbread. The situation here in Chattanooga has clearly spiraled out of control and considering what a small city it is--it could easily happen elsewhere in the US. Yes--I may be a bit paranoid--but day-to-day life in a war zone does that to you. The gunfire and shootings are all too real--encouraged to some extent by the failure of the city to adequately contain the problem. I hate to bring race into the picture--but my feeling is that there is an attitude of "as long as the drugs and shootings are in the non-white parts of the city, out of sight is out of mind."

Deaf Smith
January 15, 2012, 05:57 PM
Those who don't have no advantage at all over those who can't.

Love that quote pax.

It's a fact.

Just yesterday I was at the indoor range doing my hip shooting (true hip shooting, belt level) and then bring the gun up to a Iso style grip and add a head shot. All under my regular cloths using my CCW holster and practice Glock 26.

Some shooters, after I was finished, commented on the shooting. I showed them my all metal Glock practice 26 (it's one of those holster molding cast aluminum guns) and my Glock 26 airsoft I converted to a laser gun. They understood then how I became proficient, but neither of them asked where to get their own.

I see that all the time. Comments like 'wow that is cool', but now 'show me how to do that'. They still just sit there and fire two handed, no drawing, at 5 to 7 yard targets, slow fire.

Deaf

FrederickDav
January 15, 2012, 06:45 PM
The range[s] in this area encourage poking holes in paper from a static position. No drawing from holster. No side stepping. You will shoot from one of the standard positions or not at all. That being said, the guy "practicing" in a deserted building has no rules to follow.
A few years ago, our local police dept. had an active shooter come out of the house onto his front porch. The cops shot many dozens of rounds at the guy. All missed! Practice doesn't make perfect.
One of my pet peeves is the use of the term "assault rifle". If folks would take the minute it takes to look it up they would fine that an assault rifle has a selector switch. People refer to any military looking rifle as an "assault rifle". A semi-auto is just that no matter what kind of furniture it has.

ConlawBloganon
January 16, 2012, 01:36 PM
Time to introduce some real data to this discussion.

A 2006 study of criminals that got into gun fights with cops had the following findings:
Nearly 40% of the offenders had some type of formal firearms training, primarily from the military. More than 80% "regularly practiced with handguns, averaging 23 practice sessions a year," the study reports, usually in informal settings like trash dumps, rural woods,back yards and "street corners in known drug-trafficking areas."

One spoke of being motivated to improve his gun skills by his belief that officers "go to the range two, three times a week [and] practice arms so they can hit anything."

More than 40% of the offenders had been involved in actual shooting confrontations before they feloniously assaulted an officer. Ten of these "street combat veterans," all from "inner-city, drug-trafficking environments," had taken part in 5 or more "criminal firefight experiences" in their lifetime.

The offenders said they most often hid guns on their person in the front waistband, with the groin area and the small of the back nearly tied for second place. Some occasionally gave their weapons to another person to carry, "most often a female companion." None regularly used a holster, and about 40% at least sometimes carried a backup weapon.

"They practice getting the gun out and using it," Davis explained. "They shoot for effect." Or as one of the offenders put it: "[W]e're not working with no marksmanship....We just putting it in your direction, you know....It don't matter...as long as it's gonna hit you...if it's up at your head or your chest, down at your legs, whatever....Once I squeeze and you fall, then...if I want to execute you, then I could go from there."

Read more:
http://www.forcesciencenews.com/home/detail.html?serial=62

Moral to the story is to take nothing for granted, and train and prepare like you're up against multiple combat hardened veterans, who practice regularly. Because you could well be. Granted, this is a study of the guys who had the gumption to attack a LEO, but still, it is telling.

hangglider
January 16, 2012, 01:46 PM
From the same report: "--have no hesitation whatsoever about pulling the trigger. "If you hesitate," one told the study's researchers, "you're dead. You have the instinct or you don't. If you don't, you're in trouble on the street...." and 'none of the attackers interviewed was "hindered by any law--federal, state or local--that has ever been established to prevent gun ownership. They just laughed at gun laws."'

C0untZer0
January 16, 2012, 02:06 PM
Thanks for posting that study.

Stevie-Ray
January 16, 2012, 03:32 PM
The range[s] in this area encourage poking holes in paper from a static position. No drawing from holster. No side stepping. You will shoot from one of the standard positions or not at all.Same here, not much choice on what you can practice with real firing.

C0untZer0
January 16, 2012, 06:03 PM
A new range opened by me and after a month new rules started piling up.

At first they allowed shotguns, Judges with no restrictions. People with Judges were hitting everything - the ceiling, the floor, the walls, target holders, other shooter's target holders. And some shotgunners, instead of patterning their gun in close and then moving the target out incremental distances, they'd run the target all the way to the back wall, pull the trigger and create some huge pattern, and also blow the target holder all to pieces

So they had to make a rule - and now shooters can only fire bullets or slugs.

The same thing happened with practice drawing from a holster.

It's unfortunate and this is a case where the bad guys actually get better practice than I do. They go to an abandoned house or something and practice drawing.

I practice drawing and dry firing but that's about it...

I am going to join a group of action shooters... I'll get some extra practice in and practice of the type that I can't do at a public range.

MLeake
January 16, 2012, 06:04 PM
Find and join an IDPA or USPSA club, and odds are they will have a facility where you can practice a lot of that stuff for matches.

IDPA.org has club listings and the rule book online. I don't know the USPSA site, but I'm sure it would be easy to google.

sigxder
January 16, 2012, 07:07 PM
Somewhere in an F.B.I. report they said the hit ratio for the bad guys was about 70%. LEO's 16%-24%. And I know some organizations are much better. These are averages. The shootings I've seen have been ambushes. A man walks up to someone in a crowd. Has his gun out of sight. Gets close to his target and with one hand point shoots the victim in the chest, neck and/or head. Quickly disappears. No two handed stance, front sight focus, or so on. Argue all you want to. Point shooting works up close.
It said one way they practice is to shoot at cans and try to keep hitting them as they move. Hitting a small, moving target is great practice. And they have usually survived gunfights and will not hesitate to shoot. Combat mind set of criminals. If you're a civilian most of your training should be close. You're not rapped, mugged, or assualted at 25 yards.

Glenn E. Meyer
January 16, 2012, 08:11 PM
Read a book by an FBI agent. He was talking about training of bad guys and referenced a wire tap.

One bad guy asked the other what he did yesterday as was going to do today. The reply - went to the desert to practice with pistols and today going to the high school track to run.

Mentioned that 80% of BGs practice at least once a year and 30% each month.

As far as civilians - joining an action club is great. Shooting IDPA is great. I do it all the time BUT - be sure you get, if you can, some professional training. They are different beasts.

Old Wanderer
January 16, 2012, 11:51 PM
I enjoyed reading this post and was setting here reflecting on my life's experience.

Being an old guy, I have wandered far and wide. In the over half dozen times I have taken close range fire, all missed. (Thankfully). However I was interested in the FBI interview article, where the BG just point shot.

Back in the late 70's a friend of mine appeared on "Believe it or Not" TV show several time shooting from the hip. (Shotgun, 22LR) I asked him one day how he learned that. He took me into the back yard gave me some ping pong balls and a Red Rider BB gun. I would toss the ball into the air, and shoot from the hip with the BB gun...2 days of practice and I was using a 22 and aspirins with a high percentage of hits. Lesson, practice what you want to learn. (If you have the desire and concentrate on learning).

During this time I was actively shooting IPSC. Before the days of electronic sights and race guns, and major caliber was only made by a 45 or a hot 38 super. To do an "el Presidente" exercise (turn, draw, 6 shots on 3 targets, reload and 6 more shots on 3 targets), and do it in the 6 second range with a score above 55 out of a possible 60 was pretty quick. I could do it (then).

I tried to do it a few months ago for the 1st time in 40 years....I now had only 2 speeds.....fast and inaccurate, or slow and accurate...If you want to keep those skills, you got to continue to practice.

For me I now cheat...I use my Crimson Trace on the 45, but I'm not yet back to where I was using full power loads...But spring is some months away.

Stevie-Ray
January 17, 2012, 05:01 PM
I am definitely joining the gun club where I am moving to and have already talked to them about it. They have 2 ranges, both outside, thank God. I don't really care for indoor ranges anymore, I just go out of necessity.

brickeyee
January 17, 2012, 05:43 PM
Practice does not mean they can actually hit anything, but at bad breath range accuracy is not all that important.

Maximus856
January 20, 2012, 11:56 AM
I see a lot of posts by people who are saying they're very well trained for shooting.

I dont see any posts on how well trained they are for getting shot at.

Granted, there are not many places you can really do that. The mental reaction though of being shot at will make the difference in your physical reaction. Criminals dont neccesarily need to be great shots. They have the mental capability of dealing with "life on the edge." And I'd say in a great number of cases, all that is needed to cripple someone is do it mentally. A quick succesion of shots fired your way, accurate or not is often enough to do that to most people. Add in the fact that many probably are better shots then most would like to assume, and you have a very dangerous and lucrative (for lack of a better word) situation.

Just a little FYI for those who think combat vets are a big issue. About 30,000 of the 198,000 Marines are in a combat MOS, the rest is support personnel and dont see much combat if any. Many of the combat personnel dont even see much either. Not saying theres not battalions who havent been put through hell and back, but the numbers of potential combat hardened criminals narrows down significantly.

-Max

Deaf Smith
January 20, 2012, 07:53 PM
Mentioned that 80% of BGs practice at least once a year and 30% each month.

That's ok with me. I practice a heck of a lot more.

Practice does not mean they can actually hit anything, but at bad breath range accuracy is not all that important.

Hmmm. I guess the USMC don't need to practice if it don't mean anything. Neither does the FBI, or DEA, or PDs, or oh heck, anyone.

Nothing guarantees success but I assure you, hard correct practice does give you an edge. Especially if you keep that practice up.

Add to that some guts and maturity and you will have stacked the deck on your side.

Deaf

Double Naught Spy
January 21, 2012, 09:51 AM
Practice does not mean they can actually hit anything, but at bad breath range accuracy is not all that important.

No doubt that proximity can negate skill, but the first part of your statement, if applied to good guys, would seem to discredit their practicing as well.