Tuesday, October 30, 2012

ABC News, Concealed Carry And A Very Misleading Video

                        Proof that concealed carry permit holders live in a dream world, Part 1

The ABC news video above has been circulating the internet for a while and is often cited as a clear example of why concealed carry is over rated and even dangerous. This is especially true when discussing concealed carry on college campuses. Let's explore the video in this post and break down where ABC goes wrong.

Even though I disagree with almost everything said in the video, I still have to give ABC credit for at least giving the make believe CCW holders some instruction (Even if it was minimal). The training was no doubt expected to give the study an air of legitimacy in the eyes of some. ABC was actually correct in one regard. The training that their students received was more than what is required to get a concealed carry permit in some states. This was possibly one of the few valid points in the video.

So let's explore the mistakes in the methodology used by ABC.

First of all the "CCW holders" were seated in the exact same place during each of the confrontations. All of them were seated in the center of the front row. It's hard to imagine a worse place for the students to sit or an easier place for the "Gunman" to shoot.
Of course the shooter walked into the class knowing which person was armed and where they were. That was a bit unrealistic and is one of the major points showing that the system was rigged. I would love to see the same study done with the CCW holders placed randomly around the room.

Secondly, the students didn't get to pick their clothing, their holster or their handgun. Don't blame the trainees for not being familiar with their equipment if it doesn't belong to them.  In the real world CCW holders put a lot of thought into their gear.
If the students are put in gloves and baggy t-shirts then it shouldn't be a suprise that it's slower and more difficult to draw from concealment. None of them had any muscle memory in regards to drawing a weapon despite the limited training they recieved.
Carrying the same gun on a daily basis won't make you more accurate but it will make you less likely to fumble during a draw. Everyone does better with their own equipment, and I suspect that the trainees would have been much more proficient if they had a few days of carrying the guns that were used.

Moving on.
The "Assailant" in the video was always a highly skilled police officer with countless hours of training. How often do we see a mass murderer with this level of skill and training in real life?
The VA Tech shooter, the NIU killer, the murderer at Kirkwood, and the shooter at Tuscon didn't have it. The recent Colorado movie theater murders were also not committed by a highly trained gunman (He couldn't clear a simple malfunction?). BTW, I'm not going to use their names and give them more publicity.
The examples of mass murderers having the police officer's level of training in this video are few and far between.
A fairer approach would have been to use students as both the gunman and the CCW holder. The skill levels would have been more realistic.
Of course that would have likely changed the results in some of the encounters and let's be honest... I doubt that "Fair" was what the producers were aiming at.

So in conclusion, this "Study" was very flawed. Even if I was an anti gun advocate, I would be a bit ashamed to use the video as proof that CCW is useless. It's too easily debunked. The video will no doubt seem persuasive to those that know absolutely nothing about firearms or concealed carry.
That is no doubt who the target audience is.

A CCW permit holder will almost always be reactive when a threat presents itself. That's the nature of the world. The bad guys get to act and the good guys generally play catch up. In this study, ABC took the handicap that all CCW holders operate under and added several more.
The deck was stacked against the students playing the concealed carry permit holder.

The premise of the ABC piece seems to be that the average citizen cannot successfully use a handgun in a defensive encounter. Firearms are simply too complicated and we'll all just fall apart after experiencing the first bit of stress. We will also magically become the first target that an assailant picks out of a room full of people.
On the other hand, ABC seems to imply that all police officers constantly train like Navy SEALs.
What I got from this video is that it's better to be an unarmed victim without a chance of self defense than to take responsibility for your own safety.
I disagree.

This is a link to numerous articles about legally armed American citizens defending themselves, their families and innocent people. Some of the stories involve CCW holders. Others are simply homeowners responding to break ins or things that go bump in the night.
I'll probably go back and add several more links as time permits.
Enjoy and pass it on.

You'll no doubt notice that the YouTube video comes from the Violence Policy Center's channel. I encourage everyone to check out their website (And the Brady Campaign) since you should know who you're debating, It's always easier refuting their claims after seeing what kind of work they're airing.
Most of the columns, studies and videos that I find on anti gun sites have the same level of fairness as I found in the video above.

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