Dmytry wrote: in an argument, where presence of a gun could turn some otherwise not so violent event into murder.
It has been said many times before, but a firearm does not magically turn a nonviolent situation into a violent one. If a gun is drawn, that is legally and in any practical terms an act of violence. If there wasn't a gun to be drawn, it might have been a knife or fists, but there would have been violence anyway.
In my experience, people who carry firearms regularly consider having a firearm with them a moderating factor. It is a conscious decision made every day that comes with certain consequences and responsibilities and which must be considered before entering into a situation which may become heated or violent.
It is an attitude you will find throughout the concealed carry and self-defense world, many self-defense experts and express the idea that the commitment to self defense, whether through carrying a knife, firearm, other weapon or through martial arts training, is simultaneously a commitment to conflict avoidance, and deescalation. Many states go as far as to include non-violent conflict resolution in the curriculum for obtaining a concealed carry permit.
And from a legal perspective, drawing a knife or firearm during an argument is already illegal (assault, with the 'with a deadly weapon' aggravating factor) and in most states also counts as 'brandishing' which is illegal. In Texas, a conviction on either count alone means revocation of your concealed handgun license, in addition to the regular punishment for those crimes.
Dmytry wrote: Most of conflicts fall somewhere between blind, determined, persistent, murderous rage, and no intent to harm whatsoever, and there's more conflicts of the lower severity. Humans are messy creatures, definitely not pure 'i think therefore i am' conscious beings; try breaking a brick with your bare hand - instead of either striking with full force, or not striking, you're likely to strike too weakly. Some part of brain comes in half way through motion and says - hey hey this is not cool - and sends the inhibition signal. There's this behaviour which I can see even in the cats and dogs where they start a strike then stop their paw, which all primates and humans do too - some part of brain does the strike, some part vetoes it with a delay. With a finger on the trigger that's a lethal business, with even an axe in the hand it is just intimidating.
The difference is that with a fist, or a bat, or even an axe, you might start an otherwise peaceful confrontation with weapon in hand or with some degree of readiness. Picking up an axe or a bat in the midst of an argument and then swinging it is a deliberate act.
If someone draws a firearm, readies and aims it with a finger on the trigger, that is not an accident waiting to happen, a threat or even assault with a deadly weapon, the point at which the finger enters the trigger guard there has either been a deliberate decision to stop or continue, or there was never going to be one. At that point, it is an attempted murder, if not manslaughter or actual murder.
As per safe firearm handling practices, fingers should never enter the trigger guard unless there is intent to fire.
Dmytry wrote:Furthermore, constantly carrying the gun results in a considerable risk of suffering a handling accident - there may be few fatal handling incidents in a country but few people handle guns every day - if you want safety you should seriously consider the risk of shooting yourself or someone else while handling the gun - once again there is a problem that nobody wants to think of themselves as careless or clumsy.
On the other hand, the risks of accidental discharge are not probabilistic and can be prevented by following a few common sense safe handling tips. This is eased in modern firearms which include internal safety mechanisms and design features that prevent a discharge unless the trigger is pulled, and which are tested to destruction for faults are flaws that may cause such an accidental discharge. As long as you keep your finger and other obstructions out of the trigger guard, and carry the firearm in a holster that completely covers the trigger guard, there is zero chance that a modern firearm will discharge unintentionally.
Dmytry wrote: Now, that doesn't tell a whole lot about gun utility, but it does raise a question if it is, as a personal choice, much safer to carry gun with blanks, or especially, rubber bullets. Utility of hollow point or offset centre of mass bullets seems especially dubious.
There is much to be said on the subject of 'less-lethal' weapons and ammunition.
On the one hand, they are unreliable in normal use and reduce the chances of a shot stopping an attacker.
On the other hand, at close ranges typical of self defense engagements, rubber bullets carry a significant risk of permanent injury or death, and even blanks can be deadly (there is no such thing as a truly non
On the gripping hand, firearms are firmly entrenched in law, in self defense theory, and psychologically as deadly
weapons. Using less lethal ammunition undermines this and serves to reduce or even removes barriers to their use in self defense situations. This increases the risk of inappropriate (dangerous) handling, misuse against lesser threats and reduction in the utility of firearms as deterrent.
I'm not familiar with the characteristics of ammunition that has an offset center of mass, but based on my understanding of ballistics, I can't recommend any such thing. It seems likely such bullets would be inaccurate, unreliable and have extremely inconsistent penetration performance.
Similarly, non-expanding bullets are likely to over-penetrate, not delivering their full energy to the target and endangering bystanders.
Hollow points and other expanding 'defensive' ammunition will more reliably stop an attacker with less risk of ineffective hits or over-penetration.
Dmytry wrote:edit: regarding freakonomics, while its conceivable that one visit would carry one in many millions risk, same would go for one pool visit. Not sure what are they even comparing.
IIRC, that part of Freakonomics was comparing the risk of a child visiting a house where firearms are kept vs. visiting a house with a pool. The chance of being killed by an accidental discharge in the former case was one in a million or more, while the chance of death by drowning in the latter was one in eleven thousand