Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Uncommon Sense on Mass Shootings

Neil deGrasse Tyson brought out statistics in an attempt to inject some perspective into an emotionally-charged situation, perhaps to calm fears...

Instead, all it did was rustle jimmies and Tyson wound up throwing himself on his swor...er, keyboard after a vicious public dragging, and apologized for not being properly triggered.

Claude Werner, the Tactical Professor, attempts to inject some common sense as well:
"As I’ve said for many years, if we were really concerned about nutballs going out and slaughtering people, every car in the country would have a mandatory breathalyzer interlock on the ignition. But that would inconvenience everyone, which is unacceptable even if it would save tens of thousands of lives every year. I’ve been accused of deflecting for saying that because it’s a fact that everyone wants to ignore. It would inconvenience everyone who drives at least twice a day and “ain’t nobody got time for that.”"
...but he has some words for Team Pro-Gun, too...
"Everyone should get training! As I’ve pointed out, there’s a serious numerical problem with the idea that everyone needs training. Folks who advocate that everyone needs training should do some research and then plug the numbers into Excel. It would take 500 years, that’s not a typo, to get everyone who owns a gun trained to even a mediocre level. The idea that those who carry a gun should be able to make a 25 yard head shot on an active killer is so far out of reach that I won’t even hazard a guess at how few people could be trained to that standard."
He's right. The idea that everyone's going to become a training hobbyist is as much a fantasyland as the anarcho-libertarian paradises in Freehold or The Probability Broach.

I'd like the world to be one where anybody intent on shooting up a Wally World will change their mind based on the sure knowledge that they'll get plugged in the back by a pink Kel-Tec wielded by Mrs. McGillicuddy, but this world is not yet that world, and likely never will be.

Most people don't get carry permits, and even those who do mostly don't carry their guns. The odds of a mass shooting are already like a lightning bolt or meteor strike. The odds of a mass shooting happening within 25 yards of a truly skilled shooter with a USPSA GM ticket or FAST coin* are "meteor strike in your back yard that goes through the hoop of the basketball goal in your driveway and gets nothing but net" rare.

That being said, it's important to understand that these things *do* happen, to have what William Aprill calls a "parking space" in your mind, so that you don't get killed by Normalcy Bias.
"It is critical that, not only do we learn to acknowledge that this shit does happen, every day, and can happen to us, we’re not going to be prepared for it when it does happen, regardless of how courageous we “think” we are, and how well armed we are. Courage isn’t manufactured into the gun. You’ve got to provide that on your own."
In order to avoid standing there like a duck in thunder, it's important to have plans available to pick from should you wind up in one of these freak occurrences. I have my plans. If there is gunfire, I am moving away from it, toward the nearest exit, which I have already located. (You do know where the nearest exit is from where you're sitting right now, right?) Only if there is no exit in a direction that is away from the gunfire, or the incident goes down right in my lap, do options involving my own blaster come into play.

Parenthetically, in the period of time after an incident like this, a lot of those people who don't normally carry and are seriously under/un-trained are going to dust off those permits and be running around jumping at shadows. I don't know I'd be walking across the parking lot of a suburban strip mall to the sporting goods store with an uncased long gun to get the scope bore-sighted for the next few weeks.

*The "truly skilled shooter" comment has also rustled some internet jimmies already. Like Tyson, I seem to have strayed from "my team's" Conventional Wisdom. Hey, look at the size of your typical big box store...let's take my local Meijer for an example. From the center checkout lanes to the  entrance/exit doors at either end of the front facade is over 25 yards. When was the last time you shot a moving B8 bullseye at that distance? And it wasn't shooting back, and there weren't screaming people running around between you and it. People develop some pretty elaborate fantasies around this. I'm not saying that there's nothing an armed citizen can do, but often your best course of action is to get the heck out of there.