By John Guy
Dear concealed weapon owner:
How can I prove to you a truth so powerful in my mind, an unchallengeable truth, that a concealed weapon, or even a visible one, cannot make you safe, cannot facilitate your self-defense? By acquiring a weapon, you are investing in an illusion.
As you soon will see, data discovered by a local librarian does prove my point (at least in my mind), but temperamentally you cannot accept the proof. You want to own that gun so badly, it is part of your self-esteem, your view of the world. This makes proof irrelevant, right?
Yet I cannot imagine you performing rapidly, efficiently, effectively, to fend off a violent predator. A burglar or robber is more prepared than you. His weapon is drawn, yours is not. He comes up behind you on the Monon Rail Trail. He enters your home quietly, believing you are not there. You both are scared, but he has more to lose, and what is it like to look at a teenager burglarizing your home for a television or ring, your gun in hand, his life at stake. Your choice is whether to take his life, or to let him run, possibly with your belongings. Will you think fast enough to take action or to consider numerous potential consequences? No. You cannot. You are not that skilled. You never will be. Would not a couple of baseball bats stored strategically provide the same level of protection? Probably, but you prefer to tell your friends that you are licensed to carry.
Or, could you do the unmanly: let him go. You can save him, like Jean Val Jean.
But you argue that owning the gun, carrying the weapon, makes you more strong and safe, when, in fact, you are not.
I can prove that Americans, in general, do not successfully utilize a gun to protect themselves from death by a predator, and I assume by inference the same probabilities apply in all crimes. Please, at least read the data.
In 2012, 12,765 persons were murdered. (For each 100,000 persons, 4.7 were killed. That is 0.00005, five one thousands of one percent.) Of those, 720 were considered “justifiable homicides. Of the “justifiable” group, 410 were by police officers under attack, 310 by private citizens. The population of The United States was 314 million in 2012. Work it out. In 2012, less than .000001 of all private Americans successfully defended a murderous attack. If historic data may be turned into probability, the chance that you, a private American citizen, will successfully protect yourself with a gun is only a one ten thousandth of one percent. Does that not mean that the odds of you utilizing your weapon for self-protection are insignificant, that you have wasted money to acquire the gun?
I think so, and desperately wish that you would agree.