Monday, October 16, 2006

More Likely to Be Hurt Resisting?

"You hear claims from time to time that people should behave passively when they're confronted by a criminal. And if you push people on that, they'll refer to something called the National Crime Victimization Survey, a government project that surveys about 50,000 households each year. If you compare passive behavior to all forms of active resistance lumped together, passive behavior is indeed slightly safer than active resistance. But that's very misleading, because under the heading of active resistance you're lumping together things like using your fist, yelling and screaming, running away, using Mace, a baseball bat, a knife, or a gun. Some of those actions are indeed much more dangerous than passive behavior. But some are much safer.

"For a woman, for example, by far the most dangerous course of action to take when she's confronted by a criminal is to use her fists. The reason is pretty simple: You're almost always talking about a male criminal doing the attacking, so in the case of a female victim there's a large strength differential. And for a woman to use her fists is very likely to result in a physical response from the attacker and a high probability of serious injury or death to the woman. For women, by far the safest course of action is to have a gun. A woman who behaves passively is 2.5 times as likely to end up being seriously injured as a woman who has a gun."

John R. Lott, Jr.


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