Having a gun is consistently the safest course of action when someone is confronted by a criminal. Research by academics such as Gary Kleck and Larry Southwick have used the National Crime Victimization Survey, which surveys about 100,000 to 150,000 people each year, to directly measure how different types of victim reactions impact the probability that they will be injured by the attack. The data from the 1990s indicated that the probability of an injury after self protection with a gun is 3.6 percent; for running or driving away, 5.4 percent; screaming, 12.6 percent; threaten without weapon, 13.6 percent; and passive behavior, 55.2 percent.
An Interview with John Lott
[I find it very interesting that the anything other than being passive will result in less injury than "giving them what they want" which is frequently the advice given by anti-gun activists.
This shows three things.
First, violent criminals think different than most people. In the stereotypical situation the bad guys offers you a deal, "Do what I want or get hurt." But the evidence is that the bad guy frequently does not honor the deal they offered. They break the "contract" they wrote.
This was one of the surprising things I learned in the book Ice Man about mafia contract killer Richard Kuklinski. One of his contracts were brothers in South America who were suppliers of cocaine to the mafia. The mafia found a cheaper supplier and rather than simply paying for the last shipment and ordering from the new supplier they refused to pay for the last shipment. When the brothers complained about not being paid they hired Kuklinski to murder them. In another case Kuklinski had a request from a pharmacist for some cheap Tagamet (Kuklinski was also in the business of hijacking trucks and selling the contents "wholesale"). Kuklinski didn't have any leads on it but when the pharmacist said he had the cash ($20K) in hand Kuklinski told him he had the drug and then killed him for the money when the delivery was supposedly going to be made.
For some reason this failure to honor agreements surprises me. It shouldn't, I have had far too many personal interactions where people and organizations that are supposedly "normal" law-abiding and trustworthy violate not only verbal but written contracts that they themselves wrote. And that doesn't even count the U.S. Constitution and how it has been violated by our public servants.
As a bit of a tangent this is further evidence that unless you have a means of enforcing a contract you should not count on the contract being honored. The Second Amendment is a last resort contract enforcement tool.
Second, I believe that criminals have a behavior pattern that can be accurately modeled as predator versus prey. The more you act like prey the more likely they are to treat you like prey. If you give off signals that you are also a predator (you can be a benign predator such as a sheep dog) the more likely they are to avoid getting into a conflict with you. If they think of you as a "grass eater" they do not think you worthy of respect any more than they would respect a steak in the refrigerator.
Third, it shows anti-gun activists live in a fantasy world with only a tenuous connection with reality.--Joe]