Quote of the day–John Lott

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.


John Lott
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]

6 thoughts on “Quote of the day–John Lott

  1. As I point out when talking about a hypothetical mugging.

    Criminal confronts you with deadly threat (Let’s say a knife, but a gun, or a pipe, or just sheer difference in size can be substituted)

    They request your wallet (Substitute other valuables, or sexual congress with you or a family member) in exchange for safety.

    So here you are confronted by somebody who has threatened you great harm.

    If you comply by giving them your wallet, or other item of their desire, you now have somebody who has threatened you great harm who now has your wallet.

    If they were an honorable person they would not be committing a violent crime, so as a non-honorable person, the “contract” is worthless and you are now in a worse situation than if you had never complied in the first place.

    A deadly threat FOR something is no different than a wanton deadly threat, and they should be reacted to the same way.

  2. “…it shows anti-gun activists live in a fantasy world with only a tenuous connection with reality.”

    You’re giving them more credit than they all deserve. I submit that there are plenty of anti rights activists who understand the situation fully as you described it, and that THAT is exactly why they are anti 2A.

    You’re saying that they are stupid and/or delusional, i.e. mentally deficient. That would let them off the hook, so to speak, being well-intentioned yet wrong, incompetent and unable to stand trial. I’m saying they (their leaders at least) know exactly what they’re doing and why. Their silly, disconnected assertions are mere cover, and the fact that they’re contriving all this carefully designed and carefully delivered cover shows full well their intent, and that they damned well are aware of what they’re doing and are damned well fit to stand trial.

  3. When my wife and I started up rental properties, we were surprised at the lack of honesty some of our renters demonstrated. Each lesson in new means of duplicity, failure to pay, or malicious damage to our properties cost us money, but the lessons were indeed learned.

    I second your statement that the only means of guaranteeing that a contract is honored is to have a means to enforce it.

    In the case of renters, nobody gets more than 5 days behind on rent now, without the paperwork for eviction getting started for them (takes about 3 weeks total here in Texas). Damage deposits are at least one month’s rent, and contracts are carefully explained in advance of occupancy. I have not had a tenant stiff me for over 3 years now. Not because they haven’t tried, but because I don’t put up with it.

    Which leads to my second seconding of your post above. The best defense is a strong offense.

  4. I have lived the scenario you present in the item above. I have never acquiesced. I have survived. Mostly unharmed. Even when shot, two different occassions, I did not fold up and beg for consideration, but went after the shooter. They both ran. There is no doubt in my mind that I would have been killed if I had shown any other response. I have been ganged up on by four at one time and three at another. I did not ask for consideration. Instead, I beat their asses down. Had I folded up in a fetal postition I would have been stomped to death. Instead, they all needed medical treatment. I did also, some stitches in my head for all the cuts on my head from the 4 on 1 go ’round, but when it was all over, I was the only one standing, both times.

    “Giving them what they want” means in most cases an escalating desire on their part. Making them pay for every move tends to discourage them. I am not a proponent of worrying about what they can do to me, but rather, making them fear what I WILL do to them. There is no contract between me and an assailant, there is only survival and I propose to be the survivor. The meek will inherit the earth, 6’x 3’x 6′. I will also inherit that space, but not at the hands of another. At least not until after the fight.

    Oddly, most people will tell you that I am a very peaceable man and one not prone to violence. But I do know how to bring it to bear if necessary. I do not like it, but I do not dislike it. It is like eating, you do it because survival demands it periodically.

  5. “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.”

    And I can tell you that lawyers (mostly) make a good living attempting to enforce such contracts or defending the indefensible.

  6. Mikee and Windy; You learn a lot, when you enter into a business, that the rest of the public simply cannot fathom. Given the chance, many people would eat you alive if they thought they could get away with it.

Comments are closed.