T Nation

Question for Those Who Carry Guns


First, let me say that I have nothing against rational people carrying guns. I own a gun, but have never carried it because it seems fucking dangerous to do so. I'd be concerned that if I was involved in a confrontation of some sort and an adversary even became aware that I had a gun and had one himself, it would serve as provocation. I wouldn't want to get too confident carrying a gun and thinking I could just use it to deter anyone who fucked with me and that it would be that easy.

So for those of you who ever carry a gun, what is your philosophy regarding its use? When do you take it with you, and under what circumstances would you brandish or pull it out? Would you attempt to say anything and give a warning, or just shoot?


Fun fact. People who carry guns are most likely to be gunned down.



i have a concealed carry and always have one with me. i carry a gun for protection. i would NEVER go looking for a fight and would do my best to talk my way out of a confrontation. I carry it mostly because i know at my size if someone was to mess with me they would probably have a weapon of some sort. For me it's just peace of mind. I hope i never have to use it but if i have to pull it, i'll definitely be using it. there's no talking once the weapon comes out and you should to kill...no warning shots.

the key is learning HOW to properly use your weapon and know WHEN to use it. i would definitely look into taking a comprehensive gun course. In the state i live in you have to complete a gun course before applying for a concealed carry permit.


Nobody named 'belligerent' should carry a gun. That has to be some kind of law.


The study is flawed 677 people isnt enough people for an accurate cohort, besides that only using one location is going to produce biased results ( if i wanted to argue something ridiculous as say banning knives i would just argue use England as an example and statistics from a area with high rates of stabbing London maybe). Also the study did not mention the details of the control group, was it the total pop. of the city of Philadelphia, the state of Pennsylvania, 677 people who dont carry guns involved in crimes, 677 people who dont carry who weren't involved in crimes. And just who where the 677 people where they handpicked cases meant to prove the results researchers wanted, random people, and what end of the assault where they on.

The article also mentions the term gun assault which is a non-existent legal classification so im left to wonder what they mean by that.

To many unknowns and flawed methods in the article for it to be legit.


From a logical point of view, it does make sense. If you are armed, you are most likely to get in a gun fight, thus more likely to get shot.


Why would an adversary know you had a gun until its too late, unless you where to attempt a citizens arrest(which rarely holds up in court, and very few people have the proper legal knowledge or live in a area with laws protecting the action to perform one). If in the process of a citizens arrest you attempt to hold someone at gunpoint legally you are fucked as well as just violated the first rule of gun ownership dont point your gun at anything you dont intend to shoot.

Using a firearm on another person is the last thing anyone wants to do for various ethical and legal reasons. i carry as long as im not entering a federally or state mandated no go area. Under no circumstances would i brandish it, and its use would only be when my life or a 3rd parties life is threatened, if you are able to give a warning its unlikely that you are in a situation where your life is in immediate danger a much better option than warning or shooting would be to attempt to defuse the situation if the aggressor wants money give it to them, if someone picks a fight back off apologize even if they are in the wrong, someone runs you off the road call the cops never get out of your car get back on the road asap, which all may sound like being a pussy but, the loss of a little pride and cash are much better than dealing with the guilt of killing someone, the civil suit from the scumbags family, and the possible jail time.


I didn't read the study but I would classify one of these as a study confirming what people already know. Criminals and gang members carry guns which they use to shoot each other with.

I want to know how many samples were CCW holders and how many of these people were gunned down. Common sense would say not many.


From a logical point of view it makes no sense. If you are the TYPE to find yourself in a gun fight to begin with, you are more likely to get shot regardless of whether or not you have a gun. This is all based on environment, not whether or not you carry a gun. Your logic is actually completely backwards. IF you are carrying a gun, you are less likely to die in a gun fight. Without a gun, you have no chance, with a gun it's 50/50. I fail to see how actually carrying a gun makes you more likely to use it in a fight with someone who also has one.


Where the hell is BG at??


holymac loves the violence. the violence is the best part


Seeing as it's a natural right, there's no obligation to justify carrying a gun. Booyeah!


677 is way more than necessary. Way, way more.

Yes it did. They were matched, meaning they had the same chance as being shot as the people who were shot except for the fact that they didn't carry a gun. They lived in the same place, had the same education, ethnicity, ses etc Pick the highest gun-crime city in the world, or the lowest, that alone would not make a difference.

They were victims of gun crime, I don't think you hand pick people to be victims of gun crime. Some of your criticisms are valid (undoubtedly there would be some bias for victims of gun crime who would be willing to participate in the study) but this is by no means a flawed study nor does it draw any firm conclusions - "We don't have an answer as to whether guns are protective or perilous," Branas says. "This study is a beginning." Without accessing the full article or conducting a full lit review of the factors that were used to match the control group it looks like a very well designed, uncomplicated study that doesn't (nor can it) infer causation but merely provides useful data for future studies.


"Packing heat may backfire. People who carry guns are far likelier to get shot ? and killed ? than those who are unarmed, a study of shooting victims in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has found."

"Overall, Branas's study found that people who carried guns were 4.5 times as likely to be shot and 4.2 times as likely to get killed compared with unarmed citizens. When the team looked at shootings in which victims had a chance to defend themselves, their odds of getting shot were even higher."

what the fuck does this even mean 677 shooting "victims" who were armed are more likely to be shot, than shooting victims that are unarmed. How is someone a shooting victim if they are not shot, the only other conclusions i can come to concerning this is that the article suggests when a "victim" potentally has the ability to shoot back suddenly the aggressor has better aim, or its possible that the "victims" are not really victims but willing participants in criminal activities which is a major flaw with the study we know nothing about the 677, for all we know the "victims" were gangbangers, drug dealers, or other actors involved in high risk behavior.


crime victims, a crime commited with a gun is no different than one committed with a hammer, or bare handed.

The study was vague,most likely intentionally so in an attempt to link possession of guns to physical harm to gun owners its likely the researchers handpicked cases that meet there personal biases and threw out others, statistics are easily manipulated to prove ones point and all people including researchers have biases. there is no way to determine the real reason why some outcomes of crime were more lethal than others without reviewing the police records, which except in special cases(Universities, Selected information from cases with high public interest, television shows all info given is generally filtered or controlled in ways as not to violate the privacy of citizens or put anyone in danger from retaliation) are closed to the general public so there is no way to disprove(or vindicate) if the study has a bias. a gun has no mystical power to attract bullets or change the behavior of its owner so the idea that possession of a gun alone is the reason for an increased chance of getting shot is ludicrous, the real answer would be the some action the victims themselves took.


It doesn't say that.

The study simply shows that, controlling for a bunch of known population factors, you are more likely to be shot if you are carrying than if you are not. It does not say that carrying will "cause" you to be shot, and it cannot say this.


There were 3485 shootings on police record for the duration of the study so it's a very large percentage. But this does not matter, for statistical purposes it is waaaayyyy more than necessary.

Something to consider - a larger sample size is more likely to give you statistical significance regardless of effect size. So, the more data you look at, the more likely you are to find statistical significance regardless of true effect size. A bigger sample would produce higher significance.

Not from the New Scientist report, the article tells us quite a lot about the observable characteristics of the matched groups.

Except for the notable fact that the crime was committed with a gun, and not with a hammer or bare hands.

If it makes you feel any better, with very few exceptions, every victim of a bare-handed attack also had bare hands.

I don't think there is anything mystical about guns changing the behaviour of their owner, unless they were completely unaware of their gun possession.


I believe that a large part of it may be that gun owners will put themselves in a riskier position since they have a gun. It gives them a false sense of security.

As opposed to avoiding situations that could put them at risk of assault, altogether. Gun, or no gun.


To the OP's question - I would only use it in the case that my life or my family are in immediate danger of incurring physical harm that I can't control by use of physical force. There aren't any real concrete rules here, just my own judgement.

To the other crap: I would like to see the breakdown of the 677 victims how many were licensed CWP holders with clean criminal histories versus those whose criminal histories and associations would lend them to carry a gun illegally and engage in activities that invite violence. Until that distinction is made, this study is worthless.

  1. Regarding its' use: Can't really comment as I've never been in a situation where I needed to pull it.
  2. Circumstances where I take it with me: Road trips, pretty much exclusively
  3. I would brandish it when: The safety or the security of myself or family was about to be compromised. Direct confrontations of a threatening nature.
  4. Would I say anything: Probably not.

It's my belief that if you chose to carry, know what you're doing. Dedicate time for practicing with it. Become proficient with dominant and off hand firing. Understand sight lines, projectile velocity, and making shots with the highest probability of disabling the assailant from various body positions.

Once you're good at it, stay good at it. Practice practice practice. If you don't give yourself enough time and money to maintain the proficiency and maintenance of your weapon, it's time to sell it or at least lock it in a safe and stop carrying.

I'm also a huge believer in the safety rule "never point your weapon at anything you do not intend to shoot" so the whole "brandishing to scare someone" idea isn't something I subscribe to.