As little as I trust statistics given that they can often be manipulated to reflect whatever you desire, there’s one that I found to be not only accurate but very telling as well.
According to the NRA, 9 out of 10 times being armed with a firearm will prevent a crime without anyone getting shot. The criminal being evil but not stupid will obey its well-honed instincts and go looking for an easier pray. This means that for the person that carries concealed, given a certain amount of awareness and skill handling a firearm, chances are that most likely he will not have to fire his firearm to protect himself. Of course there’s countless variables, some which you control and some that you don’t. Since we can’t do anything about those we don’t control acquiring the skill to use the weapon proficiently, practicing so as to keep that skill, always being mindful of your surroundings and never dropping your guard completely will improve those odds even more.
Of the people that I know that train in the use of defensive weapons, either because of their work or their own choice, everyone has had at least one incident where being armed made a difference. Of course there’s sad outcomes as well, but in most cases being armed and knowing what to do has saved lives.
When the crime and violence problem becomes serious enough, you’ll find out that you’ll get lots of these “close calls”, incidents where your awareness pays off and you manage to avoid much worse outcomes. These may be anything from would-be attackers turning around and hurrying the other way as soon as they see you draw, or bringing your gun up on them, ready to shoot. In most cases, if you react fast enough they will choose to flee. They have their gun tucked Mexican style or in a pocket concentrated on what they are about to do, the last thing they expect is to stare down the wrong side of a gun, the surprise factor being turned against them. Here yes, seconds are important. Seeing the threat a couple seconds in advance may be the difference between catching them totally by surprise, having them freeze and mumble something incoherent as they walk away, or having to shoot. If you don’t detect the threat in time, guns may already be drawn on you and that leaves you no choice but to shoot.
Awareness does pay off. These incidents may become common enough unfortunately. On one side you will want to tell your loved ones about it, at first without even thinking, then you see how scared they get, you tell them because you feel you shouldn’t keep anything from them, that they should know what’s going on out there. Eventually you’ll ask yourself if telling about every little incident helps or just scares them more. Finally you have to be honest with yourself about the situation. There’s just so many times you can dodge the bullet. Sooner or later you’ll make a mistake or simply run out of luck. If the close calls are starting to become too common an occurrence, you should consider relocating to a safer place.
Times are changing and places that used to be safe aren’t so any more. I get emails almost daily from people telling me of crimes, murders and violent home invasions in their previously safe communities in the United States. This is starting to happen in the “good’ol towns” were people still leave their doors opened. As for places that already had a problem, its just going to get worse and it may come to a point where you simply will have to make the decision and leave looking for a safer environment.
Take care everyone,