Home Civil Rights Victim Selection Fail And Herd Immunity

Victim Selection Fail And Herd Immunity


‘Point ’em out, knock ’em out’: Brutal game ends when assault victim fires his concealed handgun

The game was called “point ’em out, knock ’em out,” and it was as random as it was brutal.

The object: Target an innocent victim for no other reason than they are there, then sucker punch him or her.

But on this day in Lansing, there would be no punch. The teen-age attacker had a stun gun. He did not know his would-be victim was carrying a legally concealed pistol.

Read the entire story. We can debate whether or not the intended victim should have shot his attacker or not. The attacker started to flee as soon as he saw the firearm in intended victims hand. As the intended victim points out, the nature of the attack was unclear, so he took no chances and shot.  Feel free to mull that over and comment on it. I think it’s obvious what I think about the incident.

Last month, more than 400,000 adults could lawfully carry hidden handguns in Michigan. That’s one in 17 men and women 21 or older, more than since records have been kept.

Herd Immunity is a immunology term used to describe the percentage of a population that needs to be vaccinated for a particular vaccine to be considered effective. Effective means that the vaccine not only protects the inoculated people, but also provides protection to non inoculated people because the chain of transmission of the disease is disrupted.

I propose that there is a herd immunity effect to lawful concealed carry of firearms. Areas where obtaining a licenses or permit for concealed carry is fairly easy not only are the licensed gun owners protected, but the possibility of meeting a concealed firearms carrier gives some degree of protection to even the unarmed.  A large population, in terms of proportion, of armed citizens adds a large degree of uncertainly to the world of the career criminal. In a place where concealed carry permits are hard or near impossible to get it’s pretty easy for a criminal to pick a victim at random because the odds are pretty good that said random citizen is not armed. Think New York City, Baltimore, Chicago, San Francisco. A criminal, armed with a handgun or even armed with nothing more than a roll of Nickels in a sock, has a pretty fair chance of committing a crime and getting away unscathed. Trying that in Nashville, TN, Lansing, MI, or Houston, TX is far more likely to earn the would be criminal a trip to the hospital or morgue.

This is what Marvell Weaver found out the hard way when he brought a non working Tazer to a gun fight.

Concealed carry gun owners make us all safer in reality and statistically. If you don’t believe me you can read the latest study from the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council. This study, ordered by President Obama as one of his executive actions after the Newtown, CT shootings. Herewith is an excerpt concerning firearms used in self defense.

Defensive uses of guns by crime victims is a common occurrence,
although the exact number remains disputed (Cook and Ludwig, 1996;
Kleck, 2001a). Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive
gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by
criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to
more than 3 million per year (Kleck, 2001a), in the context of about
300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008 (BJS, 2010). On the
other hand, some scholars point to radically lower estimate of only
108,000 annual defensive uses based on the National Crime Victimization
Survey (Cook et al., 1997). The variation in these numbers remains a controversy in the field.

The estimate of 3 million defensive uses per year is based on an extrapolationfrom a small number of responses taken
from more than 19 national surveys. The former estimate of 108,000 is
difficult to interpret because respondents were not asked specifically
about defensive gun use.
A different issue is whether defensive uses of guns, however numerous
or rare they may be, are effective in preventing injury to the gunwielding
crime victim. Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual
defensive uses of guns (i.e., incidents in which a gun was “used” by the
crime victim in the sense of attacking or threatening an offender) have
found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims
compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies (Kleck,
1988; Kleck and DeLone, 1993; Southwick, 2000; Tark and Kleck,
2004). Effectiveness of defensive tactics, however, is likely to vary
across types of victims, types of offenders, and circumstances of the
crime, so further research is needed, both to explore these contingencies
and to confirm or discount earlier findings.
Even when defensive use of guns is effective in averting death or injury
for the gun user in cases of crime, it is still possible that keeping a
gun in the home or carrying a gun in public—concealed or open carry—
may have a different net effect on the rate of injury. For example, if gun
ownership raises the risk of suicide, homicide, or the use of weapons by
those who invade the homes of gun owners this could cancel or outweigh
the beneficial effects of defensive gun use (Kellermann et al., 1992,
1993, 1995). Although some early studies were published that relate to
this issue, they were not conclusive, and this is a sufficiently important
question that it merits additional, careful exploration.

This excerpt is not unequivocal proof of what I say, but it does tend to support it. Note that there are some things in this report which I don’t agree with, but overall it seems to be a reasonably balanced study.


Previous article Like The Onion For Public Safety
Next article The Name Game
After a long career as a field EMS provider, I'm now doing all that back office stuff I used to laugh at. Life is full of ironies, isn't it? I still live in the Northeast corner of the United States, although I hope to change that to another part of the country more in tune with my values and beliefs. I still write about EMS, but I'm adding more and more non EMS subject matter. Thanks for visiting.


    • Every day, in every place that it isn’t prohibited. And I think twice about going into any “gun free zone” unless I absolutely have to.

Comments are closed.