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Old October 9, 2008, 01:17 PM   #1
TINCUP AL
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Defensive Shooting Statistics

Does anyone have any online sources for statistics on civilian defensive shootings like number of shots fired, at what distances, location, etc. ?
I was reading a similar thread that had info on police officers, and would like to find out about civilians. thank you
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Old October 9, 2008, 03:47 PM   #2
matthew temkin
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I really don't know if any exist.
Probably the closest would be the NYPD SOP 9 stats that relate to off duty incidents.
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Old October 9, 2008, 04:19 PM   #3
David Armstrong
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AFAIK, there is no nationwide data of that type, on-line or not. There are some local/regional studies that popup, and there is a fair amount of unpublished literature on it that you can dig out. You can do a lot of it yourself, as some of us do, but it takes time.
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Old October 9, 2008, 04:27 PM   #4
Hammer1
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Some of the published data on Handgun Effectiveness has been challenged as to its authenticity.

Might read some of the challenges made by Dr. Fackler and associates.

.
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Old October 19, 2008, 09:45 AM   #5
Starz26
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try www.gunfacts.info
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Old October 19, 2008, 10:10 AM   #6
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Who cares?

Carry as many guns and as much ammo as you deem necessary for YOUR area and any potential situation you may encounter. All statistics and spreadsheets will tell you is what someone else in another part of the country, in a different scenario and with different training did. Doesn't apply to you, at all.
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Old October 19, 2008, 02:44 PM   #7
David Armstrong
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Quote:
Carry as many guns and as much ammo as you deem necessary for YOUR area and any potential situation you may encounter. All statistics and spreadsheets will tell you is what someone else in another part of the country, in a different scenario and with different training did. Doesn't apply to you, at all.
How do you figure out what to deem necessary with any accuracy then? Knowing what is likely to happen gives you a starting point to decide these sorts of things.
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Old October 19, 2008, 03:24 PM   #8
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How do you figure out what to deem necessary with any accuracy then? Knowing what is likely to happen gives you a starting point to decide these sorts of things.
No, it doesn’t. Knowing what the “typical” scenario is doesn’t tell you a thing about what you’ll run into. Prepare for something about three times as bad as anything you’ve ever heard of. That’s your starting point.

In the entire history of gunfighting, there has never been a case where one of the shooters wished he had a smaller gun that held fewer rounds of less powerful ammo.
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Old October 19, 2008, 05:17 PM   #9
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Knowing what is likely to happen gives you a starting point to decide these sorts of things.
Not unless the statistics are for your particular area and lifestyle. As someone else posted, think of the worst thing that could probably happen where you are, and prepare for that.

For example, in my area, convenience store robberies are usually committed by a lone BG. If anything goes amiss, like the clerk fights back, they usually take off, even when armed. So, I don't need to carry 2-15 round mags and a backup gun with reloader for that scene. Now, if, in your area, gang violence with multiple assailants is common, then carry the firepower to deal with it.

As someone posted in another thread - sometimes your gun is best used to give you time and space to GET AWAY, rather than put the BG down, permanently or otherwise.

You're not out there to fight a prolonged war, just to survive a brief encounter.
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Old October 19, 2008, 05:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Who cares?
That would be TINCUP AL. He asked the question. Did you not comprehend that as the original post?

Quote:
Carry as many guns and as much ammo as you deem necessary for YOUR area and any potential situation you may encounter. All statistics and spreadsheets will tell you is what someone else in another part of the country, in a different scenario and with different training did. Doesn't apply to you, at all.
He has simply made an information request for reasons YOU do not know and you are putting down his request as invalid because of some singular preconceived notion. Why?
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Old October 19, 2008, 06:18 PM   #11
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He’s has simply made an information request that can’t be responded to in any way that will help him prepare for what’s going to happen to him. Nobody knows what’s going to happen to him.

Odds are, it’ll be a short fight with zero to almost zero notice. Range will be arms length to 10 feet. Everyone involved will be moving in unpredictable ways.

But, it might not be that way at all. He may see it coming and be able to get ready, take cover, call for help, get the hell out of the area.

Bad guys plan their fights to give them all the advantage and give you the shaft. They don’t plan their fights based on statistics on civilian defensive shootings like number of shots fired, at what distances, location or anything else that will help with your planning.

Since you can’t plan on the BG’s actions, give yourself the best chance you can by carrying the gun(s) you can fight with the best. You might love .45s (I do), but be able to do your best shooting with a Glock 19 (I do). Don’t fit your gun to your clothes, fit your clothes to your choice of fighting gun. Don’t carry a .32 just because it’s comfortable. Don’t carry anything in a way that requires two hands to get it into action. Be prepared for the really bad stuff. Planning for the wrong part of the statistical curve can get you killed.
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Old October 19, 2008, 07:57 PM   #12
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He has simply made an information request for reasons YOU do not know and you are putting down his request as invalid because of some singular preconceived notion. Why?
Because the results for ANY study in ANY area except his, and factoring in his lifestyle, would be non sequitur. The results would not necessarily or probably follow to be the same for his location and would not be of any practical benefit to him.

As others have said, each location and situation is different and you can't rely on separate studies to predict each one.

BTW, where are the studies you provided? I noticed your reply was your singular pre-conceived notion, too.

Also, if you will read my subsequent posts, you will see I said just about the same thing you did.

Who cares? If a piece of information will not help my situation, then I don't care.
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Old October 20, 2008, 10:23 AM   #13
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Precise figures don't exist. It would be a worthy project to do such.

Forensic pathologists are doing something like this for suicides and homocides for single towns.

I would hazard that Kleck's books and articles are the best source but Gary doesn't get into the technical details.

Some criminologist with grant support might analyze the records from one town.

The next issue would be to see if such data offer any insight into what a civilian should do. That would be very complex.
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Old October 20, 2008, 12:56 PM   #14
TINCUP AL
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I was not asking to find out what would happen to me. I was just asking for any information that anyone might have. Information is a good thing to have on your side. I would not want to dismiss it because someone felt it doesn't apply. You can learn a great deal by looking at the information involving law enforcement shootings. Although I personally don't believe that those statistics vary that much from the civilian sector, I was still wondering if anyone had any resources for any such information. Thanks to all who have had input pertaining to my question.
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Old October 20, 2008, 01:04 PM   #15
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http://www.guncite.com/

Lots of info
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Old October 20, 2008, 02:13 PM   #16
Japle
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Al,

Sorry our responses haven’t been all that helpful.

I don’t believe that police and civilian shootings are similar enough to be of much help. Cops often get into gunfights because they’re searching for BGs, doing raids, working under cover, etc. Civilians, at least the smart ones, do their best to stay away from situations where they might get into trouble. Cops run toward the sound of gunfire. We run the other way.

On the other hand, guns, ammo and shooting techniques are similar enough to be useful. Carrying what your local cops carry is frequently a good idea.

Recommended reading on this subject:

In the Gravest Extreme and Stressfire, both by Mas Ayoob
The Farnam Method of Defensive Handgunning by John Farnam
Guns, Bullets and Gunfights by Jim Cirillo
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Old October 20, 2008, 02:29 PM   #17
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I was just asking for any information that anyone might have. Information is a good thing to have on your side. I would not want to dismiss it because someone felt it doesn't apply. You can learn a great deal by looking at the information involving law enforcement shootings.
Good job, Al. Yes, the more information you have the better your decisioin-making process. The issues of guns and gunfighting seem to be particularly rife with folks who think ignorance of an issue is better, and that opinions trump facts. LE shootings can be a great source of information as long as you take care to remember that applicability can vary widely. Remember, you're concern probably should focus on what is likely to happen as well as what is not likely. You may be wrong, but with limited resources one needs to plan based on something other than the latest adventure flick out of Hollywood.

Last edited by David Armstrong; October 20, 2008 at 03:46 PM.
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Old October 20, 2008, 02:49 PM   #18
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I never meant to demean or belittle anyone in my answer. I apologize if it came across in that way. I am sometimes very blunt and tend to say just what's on my mind. All I meant was, unless the statistics are for the poster's area and situation, they may not be very helpful or could perhaps even be misleading. That might endanger the poster if he followed them. No quest for knowledge should be ignored, but in this case, I'm afraid it might be a question without a real, factual, useful answer.

For example, statistics for a Los Angeles, CA surburb wouldn't be germane to Spartanburg, SC. The areas are just to different.
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Old October 20, 2008, 03:04 PM   #19
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Question For David Armstrong

Compared to you I am a rookie on this site. I have gathered, by doing some reading on this area of TFL, that you are some type of educator and that your field has something to do with Law Enforcement. What is your exact title? What field experience do you have with criminal violence? Are you a military veteran with any combat experience? If you have been involved in some type of use of firearms what was that experience and what was the long term ramifications of that action such as department investigations, civil or criminal charges, or personal problems as a result of that activity? You give the impression that you are an expert in the field of criminal violence and I want to know just what your background is, if you feel inclined to provide that information. Thank you.
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Old October 20, 2008, 03:14 PM   #20
Glenn E. Meyer
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That's a PM question and not relevant to the topic.

Back to the issue - Gerald has something of a point. Folks tend to look only at central tendency stats and really don't move beyond that. Furthermore, they really don't get the multivariate factors that produce any outcome.

However, good stats really don't exist that breakdown civilian gun fights along lots of dimensions. We know some very crude things like most don't involve shots fired. We know that calibers of >= to 38 SPL seem roughly equivalent.

I asked Kleck - whom I've met several times - if we know how deterrence relates to caliber of gun - and guess what - we don't know. We just have a story or two. Nor did Gary Mauser, a well known scholar of the issues.

Lately, I've discussed with a local medical examiner what happens in rifle based homocides - she's trying to get a handle on that.

Like I said - for really useful info - we would need more studies that take a reasonably large sample of DGUs and break them down.

Otherwise - the mean number of shots and average distance are interesting but not useful in predicting your behavior.

If you want a good read about how such stats aren't that useful in prediction, read the Black Swan - a book about prediction and take a good research design course.

PS - to read about me - my sig is relevant.
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Old October 20, 2008, 03:15 PM   #21
David Armstrong
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For example, statistics for a Los Angeles, CA surburb wouldn't be germane to Spartanburg, SC. The areas are just to different.
Not really. Human nature is human nature, behavior is behavior, and we don't see that much variation based just on location. A store robbery is much the same whether it be in LA or SC. Personal interactions tend to be quite similar assuming similar cultural imperatives. As Glenn points out the stats aren't real broad, but what stats there are tend to reflect certain commonalities.
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Old October 20, 2008, 03:22 PM   #22
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Glen

I don't see moderator beside your name. You won't tell me what to post and what not to post. Mind your own business and if you don't like my posts, don't read them. If you are reading this Glen, please tell us what your credentials are that make you think that you are so important. Even if you do have good credentials, you never learned very good behavior. You are rude and condesending to others on this board. Nuff said.
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Old October 20, 2008, 03:42 PM   #23
David Armstrong
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Ummm, Glenn is one of the more sensible and informed posters around here, and was right. The info you want is not a public forum issue and not relevant to this topic. So I have sent you a PM.
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Old October 20, 2008, 03:54 PM   #24
Glenn E. Meyer
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Good forum behavior consists of staying with the thread and not to thread hi-jack.

I should not have to ignore posts that pollute a thread with some personality conflict.

Even this reply violates this principle and I regret it. However, my comment on your behavior was embedded in my intelligent discussion of statistical prediction. In that I am well trained. Thus, I wasted a few electrons.

The OP wanted some info - a legitimate request. From being a scholar of the issue - I contribute:

1. Similar stats to the SOP-9 really don't exist. Experts in civilian DGUs say that.
2. Some methodologies exist that could determine such. Like I said, such work is starting in small defined areas - I've seen two studies on the shotgun and rifle homocides. But they aren't useful in determining tactical decisions, they were more for forensic usage by medical examiners.
3. I extrapolate on where folks will go with the statistics - overuse of central tendency as a predictor most situations and not taking into account extremes and multivariate interactions.
4. Folks overvalue one or two cases - they are good cautionary tales but aren't great grounds for generalities.

I regret for Tincup Al - that we don't have good data.
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Old October 20, 2008, 03:58 PM   #25
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David

Thanks for the PM. Very informative. As far a Glenn goes. Whether he is a good poster on this board or not, whether your personal information that I asked for was pertinent to this thread or not, nothing excuses poor behavior. Information can be communicated in a manner that does not involve the use of condesending or insulting language. The value of his contributions to this board become diminished when this type of behavior is excercised. Common courtesy has not gone out of style and should be excercised on this board or in any other aspect of life. I'm sure that I'm not the only person that frequents this board thinks that what I am saying has merit.
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