Mindset of false security
We live in a society that promotes a false since of security at almost every turn. People think that living in a gated community makes them safe from the rest of the World. They also tend to think that simply buying a gun and getting a carry permit makes them ready to take on zombies and anything else that may go bump in the night. Unfortunately, the skills necessary do not just magically come with your new gun or arrive in the mail with your permit. Many times even people who do seek further training, only get minimal training geared to allow them to win all the time in the training environment. This type of training will not prepare you for mutual combat.
People who buy firearms for home defense or concealed carry far too often imagine scenarios in which they emerge victorious against some dumb, unskilled criminal. They imagine themselves sending a home invader scurrying off into the night at the sound of a pump shotgun or the announcement of "I have a gun!" They see themselves valiantly defending themselves or loved ones and an assailant, who is frozen with fear and intimidation at their gun handling prowess. These are all possible endings, but don't expect it. Don't expect it especially if you bought a gun five years ago, got your carry permit and haven't racked the slide or unlatched the cylinder since. One of the biggest mistakes people make is underestimating the enemy, the second one is overestimating themselves. Don't expect to face only unskilled or untrained assailants.
The untrained bad guy myth dispelled
Apparently, criminals are not nearly as dumb, untrained or unskilled as most like to believe. In 2006, the DoJ released a five year long FBI study on felonious assaults on law enforcement officers. From a pool of more than 800 incidents, researchers selected 40, involving 43 offenders (13 of them admitted gangbangers-drug traffickers) and 50 officers, for in-depth exploration. Here are just some of their findings. Offenders, have more experience using deadly force in “street combat” than their intended victims, they practice with firearms more often and shoot more accurately, they 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….” Other findings include information on familiarity, weapon selection, concealment, shooting technique and mindset.
Offenders began to carry weapons at the average age of 17, some started as young as 9. Nearly, 40% had some formal firearms training..i.e. military. Most practiced with their weapons on a regular basis in informal "ranges". Officers, in the study averaged about 14 hours of sidearm training and 2.5 qualifications per year.
Mostly, illegally obtained handguns were used in the assaults. Usually obtained in street transactions or thefts. Sorry mainstream media, no firearms in the study were obtained from gun shows. None of the attackers interviewed were ever hindered by any law federal, state or local, that has ever been established to prevent gun ownership.
Offenders carried concealed most of the time. If not on their person, their weapons were never far away.
Most offenders were found to be instinctive or point shooters, not aligning the sights while firing. Their hit rate using this technique was much higher than the officers.
Of the 50 officers in the study 36 of them had experienced hazardous situations where they had the legal authority to use deadly force “but chose not to shoot.” None of the officers were willing to use deadly force against an offender if other options were available.
Offenders were of a totally different mind-set entirely, they typically displayed no moral or ethical restraints in using firearms.
What does a study on "cop killers" have to do with you, the armed citizen? The guy who hasn't fired an entire box of ammo since you got your personal protection firearm? Answer, everything. The very same criminals that LEO's have to deal with are the very same type of people you're more likely to encounter as you go about your daily business. If you have to use your firearm or any other form of self defense, it will more than likely be against this type of person. Of course there are other types you must be on the look out for as well. There are terrorists foreign and domestic, insane rampage killers..etc. Does knowing just how skillful some of those "bad guys" are make you uncomfortable? Good. Sometimes, discomfort is the mother of inspiration.
*Research sources- Violent Encounters: A Study of Felonious Assaults on Our Nation's Law Enforcement Officers. Book available here
And Force Science Institute.