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Old May 22, 2010, 11:05 AM   #97
Brian Pfleuger
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,897
Originally Posted by OldMarksman
The actual firing of a firearm by a civilian in self defense happens very infrequently. To base one's risk assessment on variations of what has actually happened in very rare events is really not a preferred method.

Rather, one would be better served by simulation and role playing, or by pure analysis such as failure mode and effect analysis (that's a structured way of analyzing "what ifs"), coupled with some realistic training.

The questions I would ask are three: (1) do I need to worry about only a single attacker, or two or maybe even three (personally, I don't think one guy is likely to take me on, except maybe from behind); (2) how many hits on each will be sufficient to stop them (two plus, probably); and (3) if things unfold in the blink of an eye, and they are moving very fast and not in a straight line, how many shots will it take to get those hits? Add to that that I do not really want to be left with an empty gun....
Not the preferred method? I agree that everyone getting some solid training would be highly preferable, regardless, but if your decisions are not based on the likelihood of the event then what is it based on? If you must take into account ALL variations without consideration of the probability of variation actually happening then the only possible course of action is to spend all the money that you can spend preparing for every possible eventuality.

Such a mentality would result in all of us driving armored cars, wearing kevlar vests and helmets, carrying 3 guns with two spare mags for each and moving around in squad formation with our buddies covering the flank.

OF COURSE, you have to prepare for events based on the probability of their occurrence. The only question is where do you stop.

There is a certain probability of being accosted by an aggressor.

There is a certain, much lower, probability of the situation being serious enough to warrant drawing your firearm.

There is a certain, much lower, probability of the situation being serious enough to warrant SHOOTING your aggressor.

There is a certain, MUCH, much lower, probability of your needing to fire more than one full guns worth of rounds.

There is a certain probability of your firearm jamming and requiring a spare mag to clear the jam.

See? Probability. If your decisions are based on logic then they ARE based on conclusions about probability. Where you get the information on which you base those decisions is another matter, but they're either based on logic and probability or fear and emotion. Special note: The actual level of preparation is no indicator either. You could carry NO firearm at all and still have it be based on fear.
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
-The Architect
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.

Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; May 22, 2010 at 11:11 AM.
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