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Is A CCW Holder More Likely To Miss & Hit Innocent Bystanders?

Recently when discussing online, the idea of arming teachers, making CCWs easier to obtain, or allowing people to carry on campus a commenter said,  “Teachers aren’t guards and always on patrol. When shootings happen, the CCW holder or armed teacher isn’t likely to be there, and the armed teacher is almost certainly undertrained with guns and is more likely to miss the target than hit.”

This is a commonly held belief by many in the anti gun community. That the good guy is more likely to cause harm to himself or other innocent people than to the bad guy.

First off, this argument completely ignores the deterrent effect of knowing that there are more law abiding people or teachers with firearms. We know that there is a deterrent effect. Some mass murderers have even specifically mentioned avoiding certain areas for fear of being confronted by police. Mass shooters are cowards. They are seeking soft targets.

  • “I figured this would be the perfect day to attack Isla Vista, but after watching Youtube videos of previous Deltopia parties, I saw that there were way too many cops walking around on such an event. It would be impossible to kill enough of my enemies before being dispatched by those damnable cops.”

So, we may have already stopped an unknown number of shootings from ever happening simply by allowing more people to be armed in public and in schools. 

Secondly, there is a false assumption that we should leave this sort of thing to the professionals. “Only police have the training necessary to defend us from murderers.”

In fact, police miss about 70% of the time. Yes, for every 10 rounds fired by police in the US, 7 rounds miss their intended target. 

Some police departments are worse than others. Metro-Dade statistics indicate that their officers were only hitting the target 15.4% of the time from 1988-1994.

The same report shows that between 1994-2000 NYPD was accurate 69% of the time from a distance of 0-2 feet. However, at 3-7 feet, accuracy dropped to 19%. At distances of 16-25 yards, it was 2%, and only 1% at distances greater than 25. Most police officers simply don’t have the amount of training you might imagine they would.

This should help you understand how incredibly comical and idiotic it is when some people assert that police should simply shoot to wound an attacker. They can barely hit the attacker as it is, little less shoot to wound.

Students, teachers, and other citizens are often attacked at much closer ranges than police are forced to engage at. This makes them much more likely to hit their targets in self defense situations. 

Studies suggest that even inexperienced shooters can be extremely accurate at close range (1-3 yards).

  • “Even ‘naive shooters,’ untrained and unpracticed with handguns, are amazingly accurate in making head shots at close range, and tend to shoot for the head instinctively;”
  • “The speed with which an officer can be put behind the reactionary curve, even by assailants who have no expertise with firearms, is startling.”

This article is not meant to disparage police, but it should serve as a reminder that they are simply human. Police are often forced to engage criminals in low lighting and at greater distances than the average victim would be forced to engage. They are also almost always walking into a scenario with less knowledge about the situation than they would prefer. On top of that, they are wearing a uniform and are easily identified as a threat to the mass murderer. 

An armed teacher or any other citizen with a concealed weapon would have some degree of an upper hand when assaulted by an attacker. Surprise!

According to a study done by the FBI between 2016-2017, 4 (out of 50 incidents) active shooters were stopped by people with CCW’s, compared to 11 that were stopped by police.

Not a bad showing for CCW holders, especially since police showed up to all of the incidents in question and CCW holders most definitely weren’t present at every active shooting incident in that time.

So, are CCW holders or armed teachers more likely to miss their intended target and hit innocent bystanders? No, they aren’t any more likely to kill an innocent bystander than police. They have stopped mass shootings from ever gaining the distinction of being a mass shooting.

This chart will help you understand why there aren’t more instances of CCW holders stopping mass shootings as well. 


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