Readers of this site endure the mockery of a few trolls who diss and dismiss our decision to own, train with, and carry concealed firearms. These folks view firearms ownership, practice and portage a kind of mental illness. They consider armed citizens delusional and paranoid. Most members of this site’s Armed Intelligentsia shrug-off these insults and see them for what they are: a textbook example of psychological projection. But you can’t say that to a gun grabber. Besides, there are bigger fish to fry: the gun control community’s assertion that defensive firearms are pointless. The odds of needing a defensive gun do not justify owning one . . .
The nay-sayers are not entirely wrong: the odds of needing to employ armed self-defense are statistically insignificant. And they go down from there. Live in a nice neighborhood? Leave criminal enterprises to criminals? Avoid stupid people doing stupid things in stupid places? As RF says, the average American can round down their odds of experiencing a defensive gun use to zero.
You can’t eliminate the chance of a lethal threat against yourself or your family, but it’s small enough to ignore. Or is it?
While the odds of being ‘right’ about the need for concealed carry are extremely low, the costs of being ‘wrong’ can be extremely high. Leaving home with a gun is the odds-on favorite in the “nothing will happen” department, but that’s cold comfort to the person who is unlucky enough to fall on the wrong side of that equation.
To a statistically rare victim of a violent attack the cost of not carrying concealed can be enormous. Life changing or life ending. Hence the concealed carry mantra: I’d rather have a gun and not need it than need a gun and not have it.
When faced with that calculus, gun control advocates quickly raise another set of odds: what are the chance you’ll injure yourself or someone with a negligent discharge (ND) with one of your self-defense guns? They believe that the chances of an ND are far greater than the odds of a successful gun use.
There are a lot of statistical shenanigans involved in that math. Remove suicides from the stats and the odds of an firearms-owning individual causing an ND plummet from near zero to a lot nearer to zero. In truth, the odds of needing a concealed carry weapon and the costs of having one are both statistically insignificant. The exact differential is relatively unimportant.
So why are we having this argument in the first place? Do we make the decision on whether or not to carry a concealed firearm based on a subjective/personal assessment of our behavior and environment, or do we do it according to hard data from a scientific statistical survey taken from a large sample? Humans make decisions by weighing the risks of doing something against the cost of not doing something, usually without hard numbers.
The odds of being injured in an automobile accident are far greater than the odds of needing to defend oneself with a concealed firearm. Yet we pile into a mass of rolling iron every day, sometimes all day. The cost of not doing so is high. No job, foreclosed mortgage, can’t feed the kids, kids screaming about soccer practice high.
The odds of accidental injury in a car are not that great. But drivers believe that the cost of getting into an accident without wearing a seatbelt is too much to bear. So they wear one, just as gun owners carry a gun because the cost of not having one could be too high.
Gun control advocates have a final defense against that particular brand of common sense: it’s not all about you. It’s all about society. Concealed carry is socially irresponsible Selfish. Your gun ownership “costs” us. Me first . . .
For me to carry concealed costs a gun control advocate nothing. Nothing. I’m the one dealing with the costs, not them. I pay for the firearms and ammo. I pay for the training. I pay for the practice. I pay for the discomfort of carrying 38 ounces of loaded handgun most everywhere.
I’m not going to shoot you unless you’re in the middle of trying to cause me or mine grievous bodily harm or death. So you can stop worrying about that.
As for the cost to society, the gun grabbers believe that guns stolen from legal gun owners arm criminals. That’s how my gun hurts others.
That horse left the barn decades ago. If American gun makers stopped production today, it would take centuries to “starve” criminals of firearms. Firearms registration or confiscation as criminal cost containment is scientifically unproven and completely impractical.
So consider all this the next time you can’t help yourself and hear someone blurt out, “Why do you need a gun? You’re preparing for something that will never happen.” From your lips to God’s ears. And given the odds, you’re most likely correct. You win. Yay! Go Team You!”
But I’ll thank you not to mock my cost-benefit analysis. Thanks to the Second Amendment, the cost of carrying vs. the benefit of being ready for a statistical anomaly is not yours to debate.