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Armed robber vs. armed victim

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by PlayboyPenguin, Mar 26, 2006.

  1. I was wondering if anyone knew of a study that directly deals with armed assailants being countered by armed victims. The study that people often site where it says you have like an 80% chance of surviving an assualt uninjured (this one...http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/ascii/hvfsdaft.txt) includes a statement saying that in "most" situations the assailant was unarmed or armed with something other than a firearm. Seems to me in most of the cases where a perp was unarmed you would probably not have been injured anyway since they are taking into account instances where a home owner gets a gun and goes and confronts a burglar. I want to find one that deals directly with armed to armed statistics. Anyone help with this?
  2. carebear

    carebear Well-Known Member

    Bad assumption. Why would you think that someone willing to enter an occupied home or accost another person on the street while unarmed (or armed with a weapon other than a gun) is any more likely not to do injury than someone with a weapon?

    Criminals who threaten violence should be assumed to be willing and able to DO that violence. All that prevents harm to the victim in those cases is the whim of the attacker, and as you know, an unarmed (or non-gun armed) person is easily able to do horrific violence.

    As for your actual question (so I don't seem like a nit-picker ;) ) I dunno.
    First, how do they define "most" (to say most kinda implies there's an actual known number in their stats) and do we really want to discard "armed" as a term just because it wasn't a gun?

    Most of these robberies are at contact distances, we all know that the gun loses a lot of its advantages in those situations.

    Good question.
  3. I believe they state that in 83% of incidents the attacker was not in possession of a firearm.

    As for your statement. Logically it would be just as easy if not easier to assume that if a burler intended to do physical harm they would have armed themselves in some manner. Since most burlaries are "unarmed" it would seem their sole intent was theft.
  4. carebear

    carebear Well-Known Member

    Then we have to tighten the definition of "burgler". Is it someone who knowingly breaks into an occupied home (and thus can be rationally assumed, armed or unarmed, to be willing to confront a homeowner, which implies a willingness to do battle) or someone who wrongly thinks the house is empty?

    But I think I'm drifting. Since the study says "assault" and not a specific offense (burglary, robbery, rape etc) the term used itself implies an (at least attempted) physical attack irrespective of other motive.

    If 83% don't have a firearm, then the number we're looking for is, for now, 17%. :D

    Also, don't throw out those chains, knives, bats, tire irons and crowbars in the 83%. At 3 feet I'm not particularly sanguine about my chances even with being able to bring the .45 into play. I'll take an immediate retreat by the aggressor as a BIG win, cause otherwise I'm looking at potential serious injury, incapacitation or death even if he dies 2 minutes later.
  5. gunsmith

    gunsmith member

    you don't have the mindset of a killer rapist burgler

    I grew up in NYC (and Yonkers) and my some of my school mates grew up to be
    gangsters, rapist and thugs.

    Well PP if you were a killer rapist burgler you would know that they give you a lot more time if you are caught with tools of the trade and weapons, so your typical killer rapist burgler improvise when they break into your house.

    from your post it is clear that you were never a killer rapist burgler of any kind!
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2006
  6. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Well-Known Member

    Actually tis more likely that they are unarmed because:

    1. They know they'll get a lighter sentence if caught.
    2. If they had the money to arm themselves, they'd sell their weapon to buy drugs instead of stealing a VCR.
    3. They figure they can find a weapon if they need one. Finding the kitchen is easy and everyone has kitchen knives.
  7. Don't misunderstand me. I am not saying you should assume someone in your home is not going to hurt you. In my opinion if they are in my home to committ a crime I am going to assume they present a mortal danger to me and my family and find if I was right after they are gone (one way or the other). I am saying that when dealing with statistics (things that have already happened) you can look back and say.."that guy was not armed so he was probably not intending to confront anyone". I would never make that assumption in the present tense.

    As far as the statistics go I am wanting to find out how many people were able to safely defend themselves without injury by pulling a gun once someone else had already pulled a gun on them. Not how many people were able to defend themselves against people that did not have a gun. In other words...if the other guy has already got the drop on you, what are your chances.
  8. cz75bdneos22

    cz75bdneos22 Well-Known Member

    if the criminal has the gun on you, your chances of surviving even when armed are slim to none. what do you think this is a stare down at the o.k. corral. He is a criminal, you are not. he kills for a living, thus he has a gun, you don't. he has the gun on you, you don't or think your fast enough to outshoot him..come on! this is not a game. you can't hit replay in this scenario. it's not even funny. criminals who don't make a habit of killing peiople, don't carry guns. if a criminal pulls a gun on you, he's not doing it to scare you into pissing yourself...say your last words quick! what do i know, though. i could be wrong.:scrutiny:
  9. cz75

    That is kind of my thinking too, but in another thread people are arguing that if someone walks up on you while you are sitting in your car and pulls a gun you have an 80% cance of survival if you pull yours and shoot back. I tried to say they are misreading the data and that your safest bet would be to drive away a fast as you can hoping they did not shoot since they had the advantage but their reply was "prove it". So I am looking for info and it made me wonder if such a study existed.
  10. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Well-Known Member

    Since a person with a typical handgun wound has a better than 80% chance of surviving, that sounds credible. Even if you get shot in the process of pulling your gun and shooting, the 80% survival number is definitely within the realm of reality. If anything, it's low.

    Here's why.

    You pull your gun and shoot but get shot with a handgun in the process--better than 80% chance of survival.

    You pull your gun and shoot but don't get shot in the process--100% chance of survival.

    Clearly, overall, your chances of surviving are actually quite a bit better than 80%.
    No, this is not correct. As pointed out, the legal system provides a significant incentive against criminals arming themselves. I have read interviews with criminals indicating that they intentionally committed confrontational crimes and yet they also intentionally entered the crime scene unarmed. Furthermore, crime is not always a rational process--criminals don't always sit down and think things out ahead of time and even when they do, they're not generally the brightest members of society.

    An unarmed criminal MAY intend to avoid confrontation, or he may be hoping for a lighter penalty if caught or he may simply not have thought that clearly or that far ahead.

    Determining a person's motive from his actions requires that you have either a similar frame of reference, or that you have access to pertinent information on the topic. Don't take this wrong, but as has been pointed out repeatedly on this thread, you clearly have neither. Therefore it's not likely you are going to get the right answers no matter how logically you go about analyzing the situation.


    Nearly everything you said is incorrect.
    False--even if shot you have a better than 80% chance of surviving.
    Outside of some very specialized circumstances in organized crime, this is extremely unlikely.
    Maybe, maybe not.
    Not true. I can think of several cases where a citizen successfully defended himself against an attacker who had the drop on him with a gun. In fact, there have been two home invaders killed recently in Houston in two separate incidents. In both cases a resident took the gun away from the home invader and killed him with it. The CA jeweler who has been in several shootouts "won" one of them by drawing in a situation where a loaded gun was pointed at him.
    Criminals who make a habit of killing people are so rare as to be nearly non-existant. However there are criminals who carry guns and don't make a habit of killing people as well as serial killers who never carried or used guns in their crimes.
    Actually this is the most likely scenario. If he wanted to kill you he'd just do it. Criminals who pull guns and then order you around usually have the guns for intimidation and control purposes. Does that mean they're not dangerous? Absolutely not.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2006
  11. DunedinDragon

    DunedinDragon Well-Known Member

    As for myself, I don't want to have to spend the precious few nanoseconds of a crisis trying to figure out the psychological motivation of a burglar, rapist, arsonist, robber...etc. Fortunately I live in a state that makes the assumption for me and says that it's rational for me to assume my life is in danger and I'm authorized to use deadly force if I'm confronted with someone in the process of committing a forcible felony.

  12. BigFatKen

    BigFatKen Well-Known Member

    Anyone seen "Tooky" in his prime?

    If I saw any man, the size of Tooky in his muscle man pose enter my house, I would know he has the power to rip my arms off and tear me apart. No need for a man like that to be armed to be a danger..
  13. RyanM

    RyanM Well-Known Member

    According to gunfacts.info:

    Fact: Even in crimes where the offender possessed a gun during the commission of the crime, 83% did not use or even threaten to use the gun.218

    218 National Crime Victimization Survey, 1994, Bureau of Justice Statistics

    Another real interesting one:

    Fact: A survey of felons revealed the following:216
    • 74% of felons agreed that "one reason burglars avoid houses when people are at
    home is that they fear being shot during the crime."
    • 57% of felons polled agreed, "criminals are more worried about meeting an
    armed victim than they are about running into the police."

    216 U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics Federal Firearms Offenders study, 1997. Department of Justice,
    National Institute of Justice, "The Armed Criminal in America: A Survey of Incarcerated Felons," Research
    Report, July 1985

    57% of criminals are more worried about an armed victim than the po-po? Sounds like a really good justification for CCW.
  14. tellner

    tellner member

    So much depends on the laws in your jurisdiction. In Oregon deadly force is permitted against someone attempting a burglary "against a dwelling" with no mention as to whether it's occupied or not. In other States it's different.

    As I always say, find an experienced lawyer. Pay him a few bucks to research the statutes and case law. It's one of the best investments you can make in keeping yourself out of jail.
  15. nucstl1

    nucstl1 Well-Known Member

    Armed or Unarmed,

    If there is someone in my house who does not belong, they will wish they would have walked by my house 100% of the time.
  16. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Well-Known Member

    The jeweler I referred to is Lance Thomas.

    Here is Massad Ayoob's summary of his gunfights.
    Here's the link to the entire article.


    The point is that in each case, Mr. Thomas drew on a criminal who had a gun already out. In two cases he drew and fired on a criminal who had already shot him. He won every time.

    In one case, the criminal shot him 4 times before Mr. Thomas offered any resistance yet he still won and survived. Because he won he was able to rapidly summon medical assistance. Had he failed to resist, there's a good chance that he might have been shot additional times and killed. At the least, he certainly wouldn't have been able to summon medical attention rapidly.

    You can definitely win AND survive by drawing against a criminal with a drawn gun, and sometimes you have no choice but to try.

    And, as the two Houston home invaders proved with their redcent deaths, an unarmed home-owner can defeat an armed home-invader with his own gun if the home-owner is willing to take decisive action.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2006

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