When I asked Nick to conduct a simulation of the Charlie Hebdo attack on short notice I knew we’d be in for a rough ride. The sim pit one handgun-holding self-defender against two rifle-wielding terrorists in a close approximation of the Hebdo offices. As anyone with a passing knowledge of gun fights will tell you, the odds of a successful outcome (two dead terrorists) were heavily stacked against the good guy with a gun. Click here for Nick’s preliminary results. The main takeaway: seven out of the nine armed defenders got hits on one of the terrorists. There may have been one defender who managed both terrorists. Which means . . .
If you define success as two dead terrorists, the scenario we devised – one armed defender with a semi-automatic pistol facing two terrorists armed with rifles in an office environment – it didn’t happen. If you define success as making the terrorists pay for their attack, it was a partial success in two out of nine simulations. In one case, the armed defender’s actions enabled a successful retreat for the defensive shooter and some of the intended victims.
I caution anyone reading this to wait for the complete results, which will include the full protocol, all the significant variables and Nick’s better-informed, expert interpretation of the results. Needless to say, the antis did no such thing. The Young Turks video above leaped straight to the conclusion that an armed good guy would be useless in this situation. And misrepresented the results of our Newtown simulation [click here for our report]. Wrong. And wrong.
Over at addicting info.org, the headline proclaims Texas Ammosexuals Re-Enact Charlie Hebdo Shooting With ‘Armed Civilian’ — Everyone Still Dies.
Occasionally, stupid people whose love of weapons transcends their sense enjoy attempting to justify a belief that the world would be virtually immune to crime if only we furnished every man, woman, and child with a firearm.
“An armed society is a polite society,” hordes of ammosexuals loudly proclaim, ignoring that drivers who carry guns are 44% more likely to make obscene gestures at other motorists and a frightening 77 percent to follow aggressively than unarmed individuals.
Not a single mass shooting has been stopped by an armed civilian in 30 years, but right-wing blasturbation club The Truth About Guns decided to play “Charlie Hebdo” on Tuesday in an effort to show that an “armed civilian” would have stopped two heavily-armed terrorists and saved lives.
The experiment was a massive flop. The group did, indeed, gather the requested number of volunteers. Unfortunately for them, that was the most successful part of the adventure . . .
Over and over, the armed civilian was “killed,” along with those “gun rights” advocates claim he or she would have protected. In only two cases was the “good guy” able to remove even one of the gunmen from the scenario.
Only once did the “armed civilian survive” — when she ran away at the first sound of “gunfire.”
While anti-ballistic bile-spewer John Prager got the basic results right, he failed to put those results in context. And context is what’s needed here. I know our readers are ready, willing and able to help Mr. Prager and his ilk with your informed perspective. Sensibly, many of you are withholding comment until you get the complete picture from Nick’s analysis. Ahead of that, here are three key points:
1. The only gunfight you’re guaranteed to win is the one you don’t have
Better physical security would have gone a long way to slowing and/or preventing the first terrorist attack in Paris. A second security door to the Hebdo offices, only operable from inside, could have saved many, many lives.
2. As Ralph points out on a regular basis, a self-defense firearm’s primary role is to aid its owner’s egress from a violent attack.
And, hopefully, help other intended victims escape the crime scene. The one case in our experiment where a shooter used her firepower to leave the simulated carnage was instructive in that regard. A good escape plan is worth, well, see number one above.
3. To counter this kind of terrorist attack, defenders need more firepower, better training
The results of this experiment would have been different if we had two or three armed defenders on site. If they’d had rifles (SBRs?), that would have raised their chances of survival. As would proper training. I’m not saying people wouldn’t have died in those improved circumstances. Or that both terrorists would have been neutralized. But common sense suggests the odds of success would increase dramatically. We plan on finding out in a future simulation.
For me, at this point, number 3’s the most important lesson to be learned: the more good guys with guns, the better their equipment and training, the better. Regular readers will know we made this argument before. After the Sandy Hook Elementary School spree killing, we highlighted the fact that it ]would have been far worse if there’d been multiple attackers. Terrorists. As there were during the Belsan School slaughter. We recommended rifles for school defense and several staff trained to use them.
The simulation of the Charlie Hebdo homicides proves that gun owners living and working in places where a terrorist attack could occur – which could be anywhere – need to think about improved physical security and recruiting armed (and unarmed) co-workers for a joint anti-terrorist strategy. They should also consider adding emergency access to long guns.
No doubt the antis will take that idea and run with it – in the wrong direction. Check out this excerpt from an article at freebeacon.com entitled Europe’s Leading Rabbi: Jews Must Begin Carrying Guns.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said that while guns could help Jews defend themselves against an individual attack, only authorities can protect them against a mass attack like those carried out in France.
“As to personally being armed, such a move could help when a Jewish person is threatened by thugs, but won’t help if G-d forbid, Charlie-type terror attacks are launched,” Cooper said.
“Bottom line: Only the Police and intelligence can protect France’s Jews from terrorism,” Cooper said, noting that it is expected French authorities will continue boosting defenses. “If the government doesn’t, then there is no long range future for Jews there.”
Governments should protect their citizens from mass murder. But any Jew – any person – who leaves it to the government to do so is putting their fate into someone else’s hands. There are times when that defense will fail. And then, armed or unarmed, it’s down to you. And that’s the truth.