We shoot. We train. We compete. We carry our sidearms with us every day so we can defend ourselves on that horrible day when we need them.
But what do we really need them for? What exactly are your risks?
With the help of crimereports.com, I’m able to see the type and severity of crime in my quiet surbanan Phoenix neighborhood, and the answers surprised me. This is what the police responded to within a one-mile radius of my home over the past six months.
|Type of Crime||Number of Crimes since April 2011|
|Assault w/ Deadly||2|
|Breaking and Entering||7|
|Disorderly Conduct (Fighting)||11|
Right off the bat, the number of violent, non-lethal crimes jumped out at me. I am much more likely to get my @$$ kicked than I am stabbed or shot (although one of the Assault With A Deadly Weapon Incidents happened on my street. Yikes!).
Also, no sexual assaults or rapes, although there is one registered Level 3 sex offender within a mile of my house.
A number of those assault charges are multiple charges for the same offence on the same day, i.e. Disorderly Conduct and Assault With Reckless Injury charges.
I’m also more likely to have my house broken into than I am facing a deadly weapon, which suggests than an alarm system, big dog, porch lights and anything else I can do to “harden” my home and make it less attractive to burglars is a good thing.
Now, does this mean I should forgo firearms training and run to the dojo?
No, of course not.
For one thing, there is no real substitute for a defensive sidearm. Martial arts and pepper spray can help, but the only sure way to end an attack with lethal force is to respond in-kind. The chances of defending myself against an active shooter are infinitesimally small, but the same skills that I use to keep myself safe day in and day out also apply equally as well against a homicidal madman.
Also, those are the stats for my neighborhood, but that is not my world. I regularly travel throughout to the Phoenix area, sometimes to nice places, sometimes not.
What these numbers tell me, though, is that I need to integrate my training. I need to be able to stop any threat, any time, from 1 inch away to 100 feet away, with whatever tools are appropriate and handy. Training and training for a 20 yard pistol headshot does me little good if someone throws a punch at my head.
Part II Tomorrow: What about random acts of violence?