Recently an alert reader of The Martialist alerted me to a YouTube video from the “Violence Policy Center” entitled ” Proof that Concealed Carry permit holders live in a dream world.” Now, right away, with a title like that, you know what you’re about to view is not a reasoned argument. Claiming that someone is incorrect in their thinking or has come to an unsupportable conclusion is one thing. Maligning gun owners as living in a “dream world” is quite another — and the sort of lying that honest citizens have come to expect from the VPC.
The Violence Policy Center is a rabidly anti-gun political organization. Its goal is to ban and to confiscate all firearms held by private citizens in the United States. Such groups invariably claim they want “reasonable gun control,” of course, but this is a lie. Their goal has always been the banning of firearms. To this end, they routinely use false studies, incorrectly analyzed statistics, and statistical conclusions that are unsupportable by the data on which these are based — all for the purpose of using “science” to declare firearms bad and the regulation of firearms good.
The problem with such a position is that it is not supported by the facts of objective reality. Firearms in private hands routinely save more lives than they take. Law-abiding gun owners commit crime at lower rates than the general population, and when they are forced to shoot someone in self-defense, their error rate is lower than that of police officers. These are statistical facts, borne out by the work of men like Gary Kleck, John Lott, and the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action.
The VPC’s video, “Proof that Concealed Carry permit holders live in a dream world,” is a clip from an ABC News story. It is an attempt, on the part of left-leaning ABC and the Violence Policy Center,to paint the very carry and use of firearms as a futile gesture. In other words, the VPC hopes to persuade you that even if it were legal to carry a firearm, you would be stupid to do so, because you are deluded into thinking you might actually effect positive change with your weapon.
The “study” is based on a fundamentally flawed premise. “Average” people — people who have no training, in other words — are brought in, given some safety glasses and a Glock sim gun, and then told to have at. The experience with firearms ranged, according to the report, from none at all to “a hundred hours” — a figure that is cited to seem impressive. But what is a hundred hours of training with a firearm? It’s less than two weeks of work days or, perhaps more realistically, just over 12 weekends spent shooting targets. That’s an amateur no matter how you look at it.
Let’s be clear: ABC took half a dozen amateurs off the street and dropped them into simunition training that most students undertake only at an advanced level. I will use myself as an example. I have held a pistol permit for 20 years. I started shooting recreationally as a teenager. I had more firearms experience than ABC’s guinea pigs when I was a freshman in college — and I still had received no formal training. It wasn’t until several years later that I sought out and received formal, qualified training from military and law enforcement personnel in close-quarters combat and force-on-force scenarios.
My experience with simunitions initially mirrored that of the students in the ABC report. That’s because using a firearm in a force-on-force scenario can be very challenging. After experience the class more than once, I felt like I was finally starting to develop a new skill — that is, competence in force-on-force scenarios. But this is a skill that takes time to develop. You can’t take a bunch of amateurs, throw a few hours of training at them, stick cameras in their faces, and then expect them to perform like action heroes. That’s both irresponsible and unrealistic.
The ABC study is also rigged. Our amateurs are surrounded by fellow students who are supposed to mess with them to “replicate the chaos” of a real-life situation. In an actual training setting, your fellow students are there to help you develop attributes you don’t yet possess. The training time is not the test; it’s the PRACTICE. In a realistic, earnest, good-faith training seminar, students would be allowed the time to build skills knowing their teachers and their fellow students were there to help them do it — not to judge them or to play an elaborate game of “gotcha.”
What the ABC study and the VPC YouTube video attempt to do, then, is “prove” that you can’t defend yourself because people who have only begun to train in self-defense (if we truly can call what ABC is doing legitimate “training”) don’t perform at the level of people who have HAD a substantive amount of training, and therefore success in self-defense is impossible. This is a lie. It’s dishonest on its face. You can’t judge a beginner by the standards of an expert. Experts are made from beginners only after time spent working on the subject matter.
What the ABC report also ignores is the statistical fact that private citizens who have NO training use their firearms two point five MILLION times each year to defend themselves, per the work of criminologist Gary Kleck. Often, merely deploying the firearm ends the altercation without a shooting. It is also undeniably, statistically true that when private citizens shoot in self-defense, they make fewer mistakes than police do. That’s because a police officer entering a situation cold doesn’t know who the players are, whereas you, the private citizen with the gun, know damned well who the good guy and the bad guy happen to be.
People who hate guns, people who fear guns, people who want to ban guns, all have one thing in common. They are helpless non-copers who do not believe they, themselves, could use a firearm in self-defense to any degree of success. They hate anyone who believes otherwise because the comparison makes them feel weak. They engage in dishonest video productions like the ABC/VPC YouTube clip because only through deceit and dishonesty can they “prove” something that isn’t actually true. More significantly, though, people who fear firearms are WEAK, and they project that weakness onto everyone else.
If a liberal can’t see himself using a gun to good effect, he certainly can’t believe you, a functioning coper firmly grounded in reality, can do better than he can. Sadly, then, it is left-wing gun banners who live in a dream world. This is because they want to foist on us, through unconstitutional legislative force, a view of the world that does not match reality. ABC and the Violence Policy Center believe that when only criminals have firearms, we will all somehow be safer. There is no more unrealistic dream world in which to live — and no worse nightmare for honest, law-abiding citizens to consider.