I remember my first day of college biology class. My professor, Doctor Claflin, said something about the scientific method that I shall never forget. When publishing results from your experiments and your research, he said to always be respectful of the inquisitive nature of the scientific method.
He used to say of this process…:
Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data, ability to repeat discredited memes, and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Also, be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor even implied. Any irrelevancies you can mention will also be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.
And it was from that that I learned my respect for the rigorous inquiry of the Scentific Method.
Oh, no. I’m indulging in satire again! No, that wasn’t Dr. Claflin – who was a great professor and a scientist of the highest order.
No, it was this guy, referred to me by King Banaian.
And he claims that these bits of video “prove” that carry permit-holders “live in a dream world”; here’s the first one…:
,,,and here’s number two:
So let’s set our levels right here; because a couple of college students, and media dilettante Diane Sawyer, couldn’t quick-draw faster than a cop carrying out a CQB drill, concealed carry is worthless?
No – if you’ve taken any handgun training at all, you know that quick-draw shooting is very, very difficult. And all the “controlled test” “tests” is quick-draw speed under stress.
In other words, it’s the wrong “experiment” to test the value of a concealed carry permit, since it introduces too many uncontrolled variables:
- Invalid samples: the test included only novice shooters; it should have included a broader sample, including people who’ve been practicing for a while.
- Non-representative scenario: The civilians – novices all – have to practice the difficult technique of a quick draw from concealment (even most cops never have to master it; they wear open holsters). Also, the only scenario tested is the one that everyone recognizes as the worst possible case; having to draw against someone who’s already blazing away at you.
- Faulty Assumptions: In the video, Diane Sawyer claims “these [novice shooters firing a few magazines at the range] have already received more training than is required in half of the states” that issue carry permits. But the amount of training a state requires isn’t necessarily the same as the amount of training and practice a civilian has.
- A conclusion in mind: the ABC News piece clearly starts with the conclusion that “without police training, civilians with guns are nothing but Three Stooges cartoons waiting to happen” – and designs an “experiment” to prove it, notwithstanding that the “experiment” doesn’t represent the conditions the vast majority of civilians with permits encounter (see the three previous bullets).
- UPDATE: Rigged Methodology!: The “experiment” is “controlled” only in the sense that the results are, if not rigged, at least very potentially set up to be easilyi rigged. The “students” with the guns are always sitting in the same seat. The “shooter” – always the same guy – knows, or could easily know, exactly where his resistance was coming from. Leaving aside the notion that it’s cheating, it also invalidates the idea that we’re testing for ability to shoot under stress; for the “shooter”, it’s a rehearsed activity; a real mass-shooter also has to deal with stress and adrenaline when and if their plan gets derailed; the “shooter” in the “experiment” did not.
So it’s just plain bad “science”. In fact, it’s not “science”, it’s journalists playing scientist.
But leave out all the bad science – the uncontrolled variables, the bad sample, bla bla bla. Testing whether a person can respond while sitting in a room into which someone bursts, shooting, requiring one to come up shooting instantly – which, has happened – at Virginia Tech, for starters – is valid. But it’s statistically a lot less likely than the scenarios that account for the vast majority of incidents to which concealed carry permittees must respond:
Being in a vulnerable position: While street crime can hit like a bolt from the blue, an alert person usually picks up some clues that something is wrong (and the need to be very, very alert is a big part of all self-defense training, with or without firearms). A car moving too slow, a couple of guys showing too much interest…you think, you try to evade the problem, you put your hand near your piece so you’re not “quick-drawing”, but pulling out a piece that’s ready to fire.
Having a situation rapidly but distinctly go south on you: like, a confrontation with someone who’s drunk, or high, or mentally ill, that starts as a charged interaction and deteriorates. Like this episode; the citizen has a few moments to plan, to decide, to put a hand in his pocket (if they have a pocket holster), to not need to quick draw. Or this one, where a citizen intervened in a brutal robbery, against a guy who pulled his pistol first.
As did this guy, in a similar situation:
Stressful? Sure. Impossible for a civilian? Requiring police training? I count the citizens 3-0 in these encounters.
On the scene of a mass shooting, but not the immediate target: Of course, getting away is your best option – but this person, and this one, both of whom successfully resisted mass shooters (who then killed themselves) didn’t have that option. The shooter at Virginia Tech shot up several classrooms full of kids; think someone in the second classroom didn’t have time to collect their thoughts and take a considered action, rather than quick-draw under pressure? Think one of the teachers at the Red Lake Reservation School, watching as Jeff Weise bludgeoned his way through the locked door, didn’t have time to draw, aim, and set an ambush?
“But those are just anecdotal examples!”
Right. And as such, they are every bit as valid, scientifically, as the Diane Sawyer piece that the author mistakenly calls a “controlled experiment”.
“So what do we tell the guy with the blog article claiming that concealed carry is a fantasy?”
Great question. What do you tell an instant expert with junk science on their side in any part of life?
No, that’s a serious question.
UPDATE: The theory that cops are vastly more adept or better-trained at responding to “bolt from the blue” violence took a bit of a ding today.