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Sticks and stones

Over at insty’s, a reader writes:

So you think that ordinary citizens armed with handguns would slow down a surprise attack by trained paramilitary forces armed with automatic weapons, grenades and who knows what else? Iím curious how you see that scenario playing out.

Obviously, people should be armed with rifles, then.

Seriously, the unarmed didn’t stand much of a chance. I figure the armed would have done better. I mean, 10 guys savaging East TN probably wouldn’t last long, would be my guess. And since armed citizens have a decent track record against mass murderers, I’ll probably go with those odds over the unarmed alternative.

And the police there didn’t seem to be much help:

But what angered Mr D’Souza almost as much were the masses of armed police hiding in the area who simply refused to shoot back. “There were armed policemen hiding all around the station but none of them did anything,” he said. “At one point, I ran up to them and told them to use their weapons. I said, ‘Shoot them, they’re sitting ducks!’ but they just didn’t shoot back.”

14 Responses to “Sticks and stones”

  1. Xrlq Says:

    This is just another variation on the old “your ordinary guns are no match for the government” line. Which, if believed, would prove that every revolution in history never happened.

  2. Wolfwood Says:

    I don’t understand why people always seem to assume it’s going to be a “fair fight.” Uh-huh. Anyone with two brain cells together is going to make any fight as unfair as possible.

    In my history classes in grade school it was always mentioned that the Confederacy had the “home field advantage” and that even though they had older weapons and fewer people this was a major advantage. The ability to escape, ambush, and generally pick your battles is huge; it’s why we assumed that French Resistance fighters armed with single-shot Liberator pistols might expect to defeat a German soldier armed with a submachine gun (and why thugs with boxcutters could turn four airplanes into guided missiles).

  3. Austin Says:

    The Church shooter in Colorado was carrying a rifle and was shot by a pistol shooter.

    The man who killed Game Warden Just Hurst had an AK but was taken down by officers shooting pistols.

    I could go on and on.

    The Mumbai terrorists did not used cover and shot from the hip. Anyone with the determination to use cover or who could accurately shoot would have been able to stop them with pistols. A team of two using fire and manuver would have been better, but one man or woman with the guts to engage would have done the job.

  4. Donna Locke Says:

    Not entirely relevant to this post, but here’s a post by a Franklin, Tenn., blogger that y’all might be interested in.

  5. OldTexan Says:

    I have an observation about this:

    “So you think that ordinary citizens armed with handguns would slow down a surprise attack by trained paramilitary forces armed with automatic weapons, grenades and who knows what else? Iím curious how you see that scenario playing out.”

    I have talked to people who have been in both Afghanistan and Iraq and one thing they noticed is that most middle eastern guys with guns don’t practice shooting very much, they work under the assumption that they are born experts with weapons.

    As for us regular ordinary guys with pistols, I can take that AK47 apart in the dark, put it back together and probably outshoot most of the paramilitary forces with that AK47, or an M16, M14 or M1.

    I spent four years in the army and I have been a competitive shooter in shotgun sports, a bird and deer hunter and I practice with pistol and rifle on a regular basis.

    Besides that I am old, had cancer twice, and I would rather shoot bad guys than run away from them. There are a lot of us old turkeys with CHL’s here in Texas who might have a chance to do some good in a tough situation.

    I don’t think we want to be hero’s and we are not looking for trouble but we like to keep our guns handy and hope we never have to use them. It is always better to shoot back then be shot by default.

  6. JKB Says:

    I’ll give Insty’s reader credit, I wouldn’t pick a group of armed civilians to enter and clear a building occupied by trained terrorists. However, the issue isn’t a commando raid but rather an armed civilian being in or near a group attacked is a different matter. In that case, the civilian, even one unfamiliar with guns, can effectively draw, engage and wound or kill an attacker at close or medium contact ranges. Research into naive, i.e., untrained, shooters engaging police shows that they can be very effective in hitting target and rapidly gain the advantage in a gun fight if they can draw their weapon.

    What is needed is a willingness to engage and fire. It sounds simple but one truly doesn’t know their reaction until faced with a situation. Police and military training is designed to give a predisposition to action, confidence in the actions to take, and make such actions muscle memory and automatic. Even with all the training, an officer or soldier’s willingness to act isn’t always there when faced with a shooter.

  7. Larry R Says:

    There’s also one other factor that seems to be missing in this discussion: If it is commonly known that the majority (or even a significant fraction) of citizens are armed, attacks like this one will be far less likely. In a well-armed society, even the unarmed benefit.

  8. Weer'd Beard Says:

    I still fail to see how a soldier with basic marksmanship skill with a full-auto or burst fire weapon can outshoot a skilled marksman with a semi-auto rifle.

    That goes double if the soldier is using rounds I’m less than impressed with like 5.56X45mm or 7.62X39mm, and the citizen is using rounds more to the tune of 7.62X51mm or .30-06, or 7.62X54R that I personally feel supply much better results.

  9. Homer Says:

    Wolfwood, above, mentioned the Liberator pistol, but didn’t follow through with it. The Liberator was a stamped steel, unrifled piece of crap slapped together by GM’s Guide Lamp and Inland Divisions and it was designed to do one thing: allow someone in occupied Europe to shoot a German soldier from extremely close range (read: contact) so his gun and ammunition could be taken and used against other Germans.

    It worked well for that purpose, even though not many got into the hands of the resistance fighters.

    Armed citizens with modern precision guns who find themselves facing terrorists offer the same opportunity; dropping just a few of the terrists and gaining use of their rifles changes the equation dramatically. Not only would that reduce the number of active terrorists in that particular event, it would increase the number of defenders shooting back and add a rifle’s “ballistic horsepower” to the defenders’ actions.

    Which would work only if more of the defenders know how to shoot. So, even if you don’t plan on ever owning a gun, tell me why you’ve learned to change a flat on your car and load software on your computer but not basic shooting skills?

  10. Phelps Says:

    I think that civilians armed with handguns will slow the attackers down much more than unarmed civilians will. If nothing else, they would force the attacker to shoot them from cover rather than on the move.

  11. Kristopher Says:

    In most instances of active serial killers getting confronted with an unexpected armed victim, the active killer gets shut down … they either suicide, or flee / go to cover and cower.

    The Tacoma Mall shooter was a good example … that emo retard hid in a shop until the SWAT team arrived, simply because a CCW holder citizen tried to apprehend him ( that citizen did get shot and paralyzed … he should have been shooting instead of talking … another training failure ).

    Having a victim shoot back at them is something they hadn’t trained themselves for … when your training for a given situation consists of nothing, then nothing is what you will probably do.

  12. JAL Says:

    In the train station it appears the terrorists were a pair — or perhaps three — shooters.

    That certainly evens the odds of an armed civilian being able to slow the tide.

    I am a new shooter and serendipitously got involved in a practice shoot one afternoon with a group of folks which involved moving from behind various covers to serially shoot at 10 targets rapidly. (‘cuse me if I can’t remember the details correctly). Excellent exercise I expect I will try again, several times.

    You non-shooter should be happy to know there are American citizens who do this regularly. And they may be your next door neighbors.

    Unarmed citizens should not be the sitting ducks. And the world is not gong to be a safer place for quite a while.

  13. Rivrdog Says:

    In, or just after, WW2, Japanese Grand Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto was recorded as saying that he would never have led a Japanese invasion of the US mainland, even when he had the battle initiative to do it.

    It would have been an automatic defeat, he said, because in the US, he would have found “a rifleman behind every blade of grass.”

    Admiral Yamomoto was credited with being the best military mind the Empire of Japan had during that war.

    He convinced me. The rest of you can stop yammering now.

  14. DirtCrashr Says:

    The Bielski brothers Tuvia, Zus, and Asael – and 1200 other people held off the Nazi Army. They were Jews who rescued other Jews in Belorussia, formed a brigade in the woods they knew well, and fought back. It aint over till it’s over.