Would massacres in Mumbai have been lessened if Indians were armed?
Instapundit asks the question. I'd agree there was a good chance casualties would have been reduced. Rush into a crowded room shooting, and there's a big difference if the attacker has to worry about getting shot in the back. Not to mention about being perforated while he is changing magazines.
And Instapundit reports that there were only ten terrorists. I really wouldn't give ten men attacking a few thousand Tucsonans much of a chance. About 2% of Pima County has a CCW permit; others carry openly or have one in their car (you don't need a permit to have a holstered gun in the glove compartment). So an attack on 2,000 people means an attack on *at least* forty who have a gun on them, and more who will have one available in seconds. A fair number of whom will be behind the attackers' backs.
UPDATE: the report that the killers went from room to room, sometimes calling first to see if anyone answered. No matter what weapon the killer carries, kicking in a door and charging in is only safe if the occupants are unarmed.
ANOTHER UPDATE: a photographer who unsuccessfully tried to get police to open fire says "I only wish I had a gun rather than a camera."
probably the only question is available arms and supplies. handguns are advantageous here only if the situation is primarily hostage-oriented. if men with rifles and grenades are simply killing indiscriminately, and the goal is casualty reduction, handguns alone are insufficient: these civilians would have to have a damn good idea of how to take a better-armed VCA. but, for each success... free rifle.
Posted by: jon at November 29, 2008 03:01 PM
I live in Arizona and agree with you. However, I think the number of people legally carrying in their glove boxes dwarfs the number of those carrying on their persons, openly or concealed. I suspect the percentage of cars containing a gun is on the order of 10-20% in this state.
Posted by: John Skookum at November 29, 2008 03:36 PM
Think realistically for a moment. You, with your Glock or 1911 against four guys with AK's and hand grenades, guys who know already that they will die within hours, who have made that decision -- c'mon.
Posted by: Syd at November 29, 2008 06:50 PM
If I had two choices, not fight and be killed or fight and probably be killed, I know which choice I'd make.
Posted by: Troy at November 29, 2008 07:16 PM
Syd, I'll take that bet.
The indomitable Colonel Jeff Cooper pointed out that the pistol is the tool to fight to the rifle with.
I train to that. Training saves your life. If you don't train to potential eventualities you might as well lay down and die. And I train as I will fight.
Posted by: Major Mike at November 29, 2008 07:20 PM
Certainly. All heroic. I'm not arguing that. I am really glad I wasn't at the Taj Mahal Hotel three days ago. I'd be dead too, I guess. I just think we need to be realistic about our claims about what CCW holders might be able do in the face of an attack such as this.
Posted by: Syd at November 29, 2008 07:26 PM
The real value of armed citizens, it seems to me, is that it would create "friction" in the terrorists plans. That may be enough to buy time for first responders to arrive on-scene, to throw off their schedule, force them to another target etc.
Posted by: Affe at November 29, 2008 07:28 PM
This article says that Indian police did not fire back. They just hid while the terrorists kept firing. It's no wonder it went on for so long.
If the police are going to insist that civilians walk around unarmed, they better damn well engage when gunmen start a massacre.
Posted by: Kman at November 29, 2008 08:28 PM
If these raiders had attacked from any industrial port the dock workers would have taken them out with pipes and wrenches. Americans have a cultural fight back attitude and the blue collar trades exude that. Port and dock workers are very rough men.
The raid could work better if the attack comes to a tourist port with lots of soft targets and no guns shooting back.
But we in America are somewhat used to shootouts in the malls, schools and on the streets. People scattered and armed people come to the scene whether police or not. Not only that, our criminals shoot back and I would even expect that some of our gang members in LA would shoot back and someone shooting up a train station. It is just what they are used to, to shoot when shot at.
Remember in LA when the police were outgunned and the bank robbers had body armor. The cops went to the closest gun store and armored up and took the bank robbers that were agressive shooters out.
Posted by: RAH at November 29, 2008 08:44 PM
It's really a statistics game. Given any number of armed people, a certain number of them, under fire, will turn out to not have what it takes. One of the advantages to having a society where people can choose to be armed is that it increases the chances that someone with the right mix of traits will raise to the occasion, with the tools at hand to accomplish what needs to be done.
A mistake much of the left makes is assuming those we pay to be professional protectors are any better than the rest of us when real bullets start flying. They are subject to much of the same statistical gamble -- they will just have somewhat better odds, having either thought about it to begin with, or having a military background, as many in law enforcement do. But there's plenty of people out there who have the mental and psychological capacity to come out on top in a firefight, and it seems to be a smart society doesn't restrict their ability to have the tools at hand that they need.
Posted by: Sebastian at November 29, 2008 09:36 PM
You are missing the point entirely, Syd, and just arguing against your own strawman. No one is saying that a man with a handgun is the even match of a man with a rifle. However, armed resistance greatly reduces the effectiveness of these kinds of killers. They could only have killed so many people because no one was able to resist them. That lesson has been well proven.
Posted by: SPQR at November 29, 2008 11:53 PM
Can anyone ascertain me how I would get a bother onto my mobby?
The handbook is useless...
Posted by: Poignindatony at November 30, 2008 12:37 AM
CCW would have certainly hampered the efforts of these terrorists. Remember, they were spread out, not all in a group. Picture the photo that's been circulating the web of the gunman strolling through the lobby. One on one. Definitely a make-able shot. (Remember the lady who killed the church shooter who was armed with an AR?).
So now you have one less bad guy, and a good guy with an AK. The deaths have now decreased significantly.
Posted by: Chris at November 30, 2008 05:59 AM
For what it's worth, the arab murderers in israel don't last very long as there are always people with guns around who use them instantly. The only thing they can do is blow themselves up without warning.
On another note, it is little surprise that the mumbai devils were young. As a person who has spent a little time with these muslim youths (east jerusalem), I was struck by their burning horny mindset. They had no other interest except sex and violence.
Posted by: peter at November 30, 2008 09:21 AM
Men under the age of twenty-five are easily trained into violence ... biologically, they are extremely expendable, and their brain-wiring is a reflection of this.
They all think they are ten feet tall, bullet proof, and immortal.
It's why our military recruits them as well.
I'm sure you noticed how intelligent your overly-cautious parents became once you personally hit your mid twenties ... heh.
Posted by: Kristopher at November 30, 2008 02:08 PM
I would be thinking to take cover with a couple of AK's blasting in my direction. Still if the opportunity presented itself to make a difference in a situation like this, it would not be everyone that would have the desired quality's to do so even if armed with a pistol. Some trained army personnel can freeze in a situation like this, and police as well. The point being, it's not automatic that a concealed permit carrier could make a difference, but there is no chance without it.
Posted by: Tom at November 30, 2008 08:15 PM
I may not be able to "go head-to-head" with a bad guy armed with an AK, but I'm pretty sure that I can backshoot one like it's going out of style. CONCEALED carry, dig?
Posted by: DaveP. at December 1, 2008 03:12 AM
Jon & Syd: You both make the valid point that a handgun is, all things being equal, not a match for a rifle. Of course, we're not talking a scoped S&W .500 Magnum vs. a single-shot .22 rifle, either.
However, with so few gunmen in a section of a city containing at least several thousand people, if there were guns present in the population as is the case in most states, the gunmen would be less effective - because they'd have to constantly watch their backs.
Further, if presented with the choice of fighting and dying, or just plain dying, the vast majority of folks will fight. Some of them will get off the first shot, many of those will connect. From the standpoint of sheer numbers, so what if the guy who shoots Terrorist #1 is plugged by #2? There's now a loose and loaded AK next to a body with a bunch of magazines (and, possibly, grenades). If #2 bends down to pick up the rifle and the mags, he exposes himself to another citizen (as opposed to a subject) with a handgun. Again, the odds say that the gunment cannot keep this up for long, because somewhere along the way there will be someone else with a gun that will plug another terrorist in the back. Heck, the wife or child of the first guy who killed #1 would have a handgun near at hand with which to go after #2.
Here in Texas this will NEVER happen - not unless they invade a small town with at least dozens of gunmen, and then they'll pay a very high price. These guys did what the 9/11 monsters did - they proved that being taken hostage is the surest way to commit suicide since sitting calmly in a hijacked aircraft. One would hope that every Western nation would, in light of this incident, re-examine their gun ownership and carry laws.
More armed citizens is ALWAYS a good thing when confronting hostile invaders.
Posted by: A Texan at December 1, 2008 08:05 AM
Guns in citizens' hands would have allowed more people to escape as the terrorists would have had to do more defensive scanning and move slower. Many citizens would have fired just to allow their families to get to a safe spot.
It would also have been very hard for the terrorists to take hostigaes if some of those victims had been armed (or even if the terrorists had to worry that they might be armed). Anything that can create doubt and distraction in the terrorists mind is a benefit.
Poignindatony -- open your bother hatch to the left and the bother will slip right into the mobby. You're probably trying to open it to the right as that's the way it seems to want to go.
Posted by: Hank Archer at December 1, 2008 09:39 AM
The only thing that seems to be going out of style are older weapons that these type of terrorist use. I saw a picture of one terrorist carrying an MP5, and that sure is in style today, as it is one very effective weapon for close range, as well as medium damage.
Posted by: Tom at December 1, 2008 02:25 PM
Tom, I have great respect for you... but you totally misread what I said.
"Like it's going out of style" is a colloquialism that means roughly, "in a very enthusiastic and thoroughgoing way".
Make more sense now?
Posted by: DaveP at December 1, 2008 07:43 PM
Not really, Backshooting, Terrorism, neither is going out of stlye. Respect, or lack of for human life is about all I see going out of style.
I guess what you mean is that you would take great pleasure in shooting one of these terrorist in the back, I am not trying to be critical of this, as it would be the thing to do. I just would'nt boast about being a backshooter.
Posted by: Tom at December 2, 2008 07:01 PM
Then he can boast about being tactically competent.
"Fair" only applies in Duels and sporting contests.
In a fight, especially one you didn't start, you should be as unfair as humanly possible.
Posted by: Kristopher at December 2, 2008 09:23 PM
After action report--
Cop: ...so, Tom, you had a handgun, and just stod there and WATCHED as that Jihadi murdered all those women and children!?
Tom: Well, I was behind him and he didn't know I was there- so it was just more honorable and respectful of human life to stand there and watch. Hey... I did the Right Thing, man!
Posted by: DaveP. at December 3, 2008 03:28 PM
Ya, I figured you where probably a camera guy anyway, as it sounds like it would fit better in your hand than a handgun.
Posted by: Tom at December 3, 2008 07:31 PM