This is an interesting compilation of five years worth of data. It’s all compiled from one source: The NRA’s ‘Armed Citizen Column’. That is, admittedly, a small sample but it consists of 482 incidents. The fact that anyone expended the time and effort to analyze these cases shows that someone thinks they might have some important messages.
The work was done by Claude Werner, Director of Firearms Training LLC, and appears in The Thinking Gunfighter.
Here are a few of his findings:
Here’s my analysis of what armed self-defense for the Private Citizen, not LEO, looks like. You decide what suits your needs best to solve this type of problem.
Private citizens reload in approximately 1/2 of one percent of shooting incidents (3/482).
If the defender fires any shots, most likely it will be 2 rounds.
The shooting distance in the vast majority of cases was slightly in excess of arm’s length.
At this distances, even .22s and .25s are highly immediately lethal.
The majority of incidents (52%) took place in the home. Next most common locale (32%) was in a business. Incidents took place in public places in 9% of reports and 7% occurred in or around vehicles. The most common initial crimes were armed robbery (32%), home invasion (30%), and burglary (18%).
The range of most incidents appears to be short but in excess of touching distance. It appears that most defenders will make the shoot decision shortly before the criminal comes within arm’s length. Defenders frequently communicate with their attackers before shooting.
Reloading was required in only 3 incidents. One of those involved killing an escaped lion with a .32 caliber revolver, which was eventually successful after 13 shots.”
So, the data included more than person-on-person defense. The lion case indicates that. I have read most of the ‘Armed Citizen’ columns and seem to remember cases where a firearm was used to defend against attacking dogs, for instance.
I suspect that who or what you must defend yourself against depends on where you live. If you live in a city you will be more likely to defend against a human attacker than if you lived in a rural area. I live outside of town and have had several black bears on the patio. We’ve also had dog packs and a cougar on a neighbor’s patio. Deer have chased my dog. In all this time I have only killed one animal – a doe that had been hit by a car and had a broken hip.
Regardless of my experiences I hope you enjoy the discussion linked to.