Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Armed and Concealed; The Survey

In the wake of all the recent active shooter incidents, I decided to take a survey of my Facebook friends to get a picture of our level of preparedness.  I have no way of knowing who participated, but I’m guessing most are in the Midland area.  I will be using the data to refute some claims against armed citizen’s effectiveness in mass shooting incidents.
First, the survey asked if the person had a concealed handgun license (CHL) or not, and asked if they were a peace officer or similar person.  14 responded as having no CHL, 20 with a CHL and 19 were peace officers.  The most common firearm is a full-sized automatic followed by a compact.  22 carry a spare magazine and 11 carry two spares.  16 people responding carry more than 17 rounds.  Peace officers were asked to answer the survey referring to their habits of carrying a weapon off-duty.
12 reported carrying their weapon inside a vehicle and two of them were peace officers.  All of the unlicensed folks carry in their car.  94% of respondents carry a phone.  Half said they carry a knife and/or flashlight.
I expected fewer CHL licensees to carry outside of the vehicle based on my experience as a CHL instructor asking renewal customers about their experience.  Most tended to carry less as time went on, much like rookie cops.  It’s encouraging to see holster use high, with 19 using a holster and 11 carrying in a waistband.  I hope the waistband people can be encouraged to adopt some sort of holster.  It’s hard to put up a fight when your firearm is in your pants leg or laying in the parking lot.

The survey showed a majority tilt toward good decisions when carrying a concealed firearm in public.  Peace officers showed a higher tendency to carry in a holster on their person and have more ammo available.  They also tend to carry a full-size firearm a little more often.   While this survey does nothing to evaluate skill and experience, it does show that armed citizens are very close to sworn peace officers in the equipment department.  It’s also worth noting that in places where concealed handguns are not allowed, half of the people in the survey would be disarmed. 
My recommendations for concealment have always been the same:  Full size or compact firearm (no nano-guns), strong-side holster, at least 12 rounds and a cell phone.  I’m happy to see this as a trend.  It’s not something I dreamed up, it’s just a matter of good sense based on experience.  Nano guns are tough to use.  Only movie stars can run a half-marathon through back alleys and not lose the .45 stashed in the waistband of their boxers. 

A mass shooter picks the crime scene based on the probability of success.  They’re looking for condensed targets like a crowd jammed in a doorway, close distances, and the likelihood that no one will resist them.  They will do their damage within the police response time.  All it takes is a single, well-placed opponent to stop them.

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