On fighting against a crowd.

Recently, a friend told me that pulling on pistol to fend off a gang of rapists — such as those in Cologne, Germany — would have lead to a stampede endangering multitudes.

  • Defensive ammunition is unlikely to penetrate more than two bodies, and the attackers were stacked a lot more deeply than that.
  • Fired from retention, a handgun is difficult to take away. The key here is to avoid complete encirclement at the start.
  • Deep magazines and sufficient reloads are essential. A 5-shot revolver might not be enough, but a 17-shot autoloader would almost certainly be sufficient to create a bulwark of incapacitated attackers.
  • While sufficiently large crowd could swamp the lone defender, it’s unlikely that recreational rapists would be so motivated. In a dense crowd, they have no way of knowing how many defenders are firing on them or how much ammunition is available.
  • While a stampede could injure the members of such a crowd, they are unlikely to be innocent bystanders.

In sum, I think that a gang rape is the classic crime calling for deadly force to be used and all casualties inflicted on the attackers would be well deserved. To the defender, the religious, gender, ethnic, or any other identity of the attackers is irrelevant. They may be straight white men or green reptilians of the Xth gender and FSMian affiliation, the forcible response to attempted molestation would and should be the same.

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45 Responses to On fighting against a crowd.

  1. Rocky Crites says:

    Excellent article! Beautiful girl in a good pose. And every girl should have the option of such deadly force for her own protection.

  2. Ray says:

    An old , and flawed argument. It is irrelevant how many shots your hand gun holds if the number of attackers exceeds the number of rounds available to you. A shot from a five shot revolver will ether cause the crowd to scatter and run (with mid eastern males and Africans who know gunfire HIGHLY likely) or it won’t. Pop the first attacker, and the guy next to him in the head. They ether run or they don’t. Round count is meaningless. Crowd dynamics makes the sound of the shots more effective than the numbers of attackers killed and wounded. Reloads and even aiming are all but impossible under mob attack, and if the mob is closer that 20 feet, you only so many shots before being overwhelmed (under five as a surging mass of humans can cover that gap in 3 seconds or less). If you have more than three to five attackers who are willing to die, a “hi-cap” pistol might make you feel more secure. But it offers little real advantage over a revolver.

    • RegT says:

      Sorry, but that just doesn’t fly. You might as well say the crowd will run from the sound of a pump shotgun being “racked”. I like revolvers, too, but they don’t make me fantasize things that just aren’t true. A crowd of young muslim males – possibly from a place like Syria where they have seen and heard much gunfire – will not necessarily run from seeing one or two being dropped. If they even notice. After the fifth, sixth, or tenth, maybe they will run. But one or two – or even three or four? You can bet your own life on a five (or six) shot revolver, but a more logical individual will certainly prefer something with fifteen or seventeen rounds. And I will definitely choose my fifteen shot G20 10mm, or even my thirteen round G21, over a 9mm of any make.

      • Art out West says:

        Sorry, but your statement just doesn’t fly. These creeps are not “motivated attackers willing to die for Allah”. They are a mob of perverted piece of shit punks. Most likely, they will scatter when faced by an armed and serious defender.

        I agree that a more capable weapon improves your odds a little, but really not too much.

        Now, somebody like the Paris terrorists are a totally different story. Those guys were heavily armed, and were planning to fight to the death. A snub nose revolver would be a huge disadvantage (even compared to a higher capacity duty pistol).

        Carry your Glock 20 or 21. They are awesome guns. Don’t disparage a lady for carry an LCR/Glock43/642. They are WAY better than nothing.

        • Sigivald says:

          Yeah, the idea that the hostile people in the crowd will do a coordinated attack, not flee, when facing completely unexpected deadly force, seems pretty untenable.

          They’re not soldiers, even if they’ve seen war and think God likes them; they’re low-lifes who aren’t used to people fighting back, let alone effectively.

          • hist_ed says:

            All of these replies seem to assume that every crowd is the same. Seems unlikely. Some crowds will run after hearing the first shot (even if it doesn’t hit anyone). Some crowds will run after the first or second person goes down. Some crowds will keep attacking regardless of casualties. In none of these situations is having 6 rounds an advantage over having 15 or 17. In almost all of them 15 rounds is better than 6.

        • Ray says:

          I don’t carry a Glock , for the same reason I don’t carry a Sig. My hands are too small to use a “double stack”. In fact it is uncomfortable (and grossly inaccurate) for me to fire anything with a grip larger than the 1911. Hence I almost always carry a S&W Mod10 or other revolver with “speed loaders” . “It is better to hit your enemy with a weapon that others laugh at. Than it is to die without one to the sound of your enemy’s laughter”.

  3. I had an older friend, now deceased, who foolishly found himself in Miami shortly after the 1980 riots, with a very large wad of cash and a 5-shot revolver.

    My friend was approached by someone with a great many companions, who knew he was carrying a lot of money and could see the outline of the revolver, which my buddy wore so habitually that his jeans bore the imprint permanently.

    When asked what he was going to do with the revolver by the leader, my friend replied, “Shoot you in the balls five times.”

    He was allowed to go on his way, despite the very many opponents that knew he had a lot of money on him.

  4. “An old , and flawed argument.”

    Ray, I absolutely disagree. If the crowd is highly motivated to kill you because of ideological reasons, yes, they may continue as you mow some of them down. Otherwise, 17 rounds is better than 5 every day of the week.

    You *really* think attackers motivated by the urge to rape are going to continue through gunfire? I suggest you have the flawed argument.

  5. Scotty says:

    I live in California. So I’ll choose my 10-shot G20. Or my 10-shot G26. Or my 10-shot P226. Or my 10-shot M9. See, I live in a state where the politicians have decided for me that my life is only worth 10 bad guys, 11 tops.

  6. L. Simon says:

    On the contrary – defense against a large group of attackers seems like ample justification to carry a Glock 18c, or a Skorpion.

  7. Frogdaddy says:

    Take as many with you as you can. As long as I die in a pile of brass is the tail end of a prayer I know. Makes me feel better knowing I have 16+1 instead of 6+1. At some point round count is not meaningless, I’d say the moment you decide to carry.

  8. Merle says:

    The problem with this debate is that crowds do not all react the same – kind of like the varying reaction of individuals after being shot.

    • KTM says:

      Bingo. Some crowds will flee. But I’ve seen video of a group of gangsters standing their ground and advancing under fire. There’s no way to predict. Usually they run. But you can’t “hope” for that. Hope kills.

  9. Brian Hert says:

    Stress responses mean you’re going to miss some shots. Police carry standard capacity magazines and autoloaders for a reason – not revolvers.

    You are aiming to end the threat. This means you fire, keep firing and reload and fire some more until the threat is gone or you’re incapacitated. Period.

  10. Scott Wilson says:

    Aim small, miss small.

  11. Ray says:

    RegT . Your argument is emotional, and political, but not based in experience or group dynamics. The only factor that counts in a “violent mob” is the “fight or flight” instinct within the collective overmind of the mob itself. The mob will ether run at the sound of gunfire or it won’t. If it doesn’t you MUST kill without hesitation in order to try and stampede the mob. If they do not run after the first or second shot ,you had best be able to call in an air strike. You’ll need it. Caliber, Magazine capacity, and weapons type are all individual choices that make no difference at all in your survival when surrounded by a mob. You CANNOT win such a fight, no matter what type of weapon or (how much) ammunition you carry. You can only hope to make an opening in the mob to allow you to escape. Cowboy heroics will only end with you dead. You have the same handicap as almost all young “modern” shooters. You believe that handgun caliber, weapons type, and magazine capacity = power, advantage and control. THEY. DO. NOT. But it is your only hope of ESCAPE, and that is the key word. ESCAPE.

  12. jfw says:

    More to the point, where was she concealing that thing?

    • Art out West says:

      That is what I thought. That is a damn fine looking woman, but where was she concealing that pistol?

      • Seth says:

        If you knew, it wouldn’t be concealed.

      • Sigivald says:

        IWB holster?

        • Shel says:

          She’s wearing a Can-Can Concealment hiphugger or “corset”. You can see their signature purple ric rac trim on her left side between the hem of her shirt and the top of her shorts. I’m fairly certain it’s their “corset”, which would put her pistol at her lower back (5 or 7 o’clock), while the hiphugger could place it nearly anywhere around her waist, hips, abdomen or back depending on how she positions the holster and what clothing she’s wearing over it.

          The article itself is spot on.

  13. Paul Koning says:

    That bit about “stampede endangering multiples” is potentially true. And if the crowd of bad guys is in turn surrounded by a larger crowd of innocents, that would be unfortunate.

    But it is NOT a valid argument to forbid self-defense.

  14. FormerFlyer says:

    There was a video posted recently of a mob attack by Ira sympathizers and members on British soldiers who drove by an IRA funeral (taken in the 70’s or 80’s I think).

    The vast majority of the mob scattered instantly at the sound of gunfire from the overwhelmed brit soldier.
    A determined adgitator held his ground, attacked the trooper with the pistol, disarmed him or manage to negate the weapon somehow, and the crowd instantly coalesced around the British trooper and overwhelmed him.

    Multiple lessons here:
    You must be expending all focus and energy on escape.
    You must be prepared to fire to save your life if threatened.
    You must be alert to watch for a determined agitator who will not scatter at the sound of gunfire.
    You must be prepared to drop that adgitator in his tracks and continue your escape.

    A mob attack is a fluid thing. Your only realistic goal for survival if targeted by the mob is to break contact and escape.

    • Steve says:

      My recollection of the IRA incident is that the soldier’s Browning Hi-Power stopped running thanks to an inadvertent partial ejection of the magazine activating the magazine safety. The agitator took the pistol from the soldier, executed a tap-rack-bang drill on the Hi-Power and executed the soldier. Much food for thought there about use of deadly force, confusion whilst using deadly force, and training to understand and properly deploy your defensive pistol in a tough situation.

    • Kevin says:

      Lesson One: If you are justified in using deadly force USE DEADLY FORCE. Shoot someone, not just fire in the air.
      Lesson Two: Do not eject your magazine prior to firing your first shot, particularly if you choose to ignore lesson one.

      • Paul Koning says:

        Shooting into the air (“warning shots”) is official policy in much of Europe. It’s perpetrated by idiots who are incapable of understanding anything Col. Cooper said.

        • Peter (BE) says:

          Official policy as in “required by law” is hardly idiocy on the part of the people so instructed. Besides, the issue is much more nuanced than your blanket statement. Most of the time a sort of warning is required before using any kind of force, but you can do without if the warning would hamper the action that you are planning. Warning shots are mostly frowned upon, you are supposed to shoot center of mass.

  15. Old 1811 says:

    I think a lot of commenters just like to be contrary. I doubt if any of the naysayers have ever seen a mob action, except on TV.
    In self-defense, more is always better. You should always carry the highest-capacity pistol you can comfortably conceal and properly handle, in an effective caliber. (Subject to your state and local laws, of course.)
    If you can carry a Glock 17, why would you carry a J-frame? The idea that shooting one will scare off the others (or that it won’t scare off the others, and therefore a J-frame and a SAW are equally useless), is too silly to bet your life on.
    And the story of the IRA mob killing the soldier proves nothing. Sometimes being the best and having the best equipment doesn’t work. But it usually does.
    As someone once said, “The race does not always go to the swift, nor the battle to the strong. But that’s the way to bet.”

  16. Flint says:

    More importantly, because such attacks specifically target the helpless, simply having a society which is /not/ helpless means that the attacks will never materialize.

    It’s not how many you have to fight off in order to escape the mob – it’s building a society in which mob violence does not even take place. An armed society creates such a situation.

  17. Pingback: SayUncle » Fighting against a crowd

  18. Phelps says:

    When you start firing, one of two things will happen.

    1) The crowd will scatter and run, maybe a short distance to re-evaluate, maybe off to psychological cover and far away from you, or

    2) The crowd will not run, and will press the attack.

    Either way, you better have more rounds ready after the first 4 or 5. If it is 1, you have to prove to them that there is no individual glory to be found here (remember that they are not a proper army, even when They are in their “armies”) and if it is 2, well, you want to die standing on a pile of empty brass.

  19. LCB says:

    I know followers of Allah never, never, ever drink or do drugs. But whatcha wanna bet these guys were stoned to the gills to work up the courage to harass womens? Taking down one or two from a stoned crowed would more likely cause confusion instead of flight. But confusion would still give the woman a chance to get away…maybe. Like someone above said, every crowd is different.

  20. Precision 270 says:

    It looks like she had on a belly band for concealment that now looks to be at her hips after retrieval.
    More capacity is always better unless … fire- swimming and all that. But I agree that opportunistic predatory mobs (Chicago flashmobs) rely on a disarmed populace (read as lack of personal consequences for their villainy). When that disappears, often so will the mob.
    In cases where the mob is not opportunistic, the mob may well press on. However, if you are able to drop the leader or several of the lead loud mouths (and the mob can tell) the mob will likely waver. As less are inciting the violence, they are more likely to break. When/if they break, with fewer leaders; they are more likely to stay broken.

    Do some research on ancient battles. Compare conscripts or barbarian units to those of the Hoplites or the Greeks. Compare the loss ratio vs likelihood of breaking. It is a good illustration of human nature in the raw vs people trained against their own nature.

  21. Jonathan says:

    The problem with this scenario is that when the statements are taken, it will be 10-30 people saying that the woman just fired wildly into the crowd for no reason whatsoever.

  22. LarryArnold says:

    [Recently, a friend told me that pulling on pistol to fend off a gang of rapists — such as those in Cologne, Germany — would have lead to a stampede endangering multitudes.]
    1. If there’s a “gang of rapists” present, the “multitudes” are already endangered.
    2. I’ll worry about me and mine first, thank-you-very-much.
    3. Of course I’m willing to help the “multitudes.” I regularly teach new-shooter and license to carry classes, using the “Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime” method of protecting them.

    As noted above, there are different types of mobs. There are also different types of people in mobs. You stand a better chance of dispersing a group if you first focus on, and if necessary shoot, the loudmouths/leaders inciting them.

  23. I’ve never had to face a crowd .. a mob, if you will … and I have no idea what works or what doesn’t work in that situation.

    Looking at old John Wayne movies seems to be as realistic a approach as any.

    “I don’t know how many of you I can kill, but you, John Smith, look like a good place to start”

    Picking out an individual who seems to be a leader seems like as good a way to start as any.

    I’ve had some small (but less inflammatory) situations in my life, and picking out a leader, confronting the leader, showing no fear, and appearing willing to counter aggression are viable measures which may or may not work in any given situation ….
    …. but it’s better than cowering.

    The mob loves a victim. They will flock to an aggressive leader, when the target of mob aggression seems unable to deal with the situation.

    The worst thing you can do is to appear uncertain, frightened, or weak. The worst outcome of your (perhaps) show of aggressive confidence is that the mob sees through your show, and they jump you anyway. If so, the outcome is no more extreme than if you have attempted to placate the mob … which is an obvious result of cowering.

    The trick is to identify the leader, confront him without disrespect (which forces him to respond aggressively), and then merely stand your ground.

    The best thing you can do is to establish your self confidence, and then DO NOT TALK TO MUCH! When you say more than you need to, it is a sign of fear. A mob, or a gang or anonymous group will recognize over-talking as clearly as a nervous tic.

    Turn your back on them, and go on about your business.

    You have nothing to lose.

  24. Will says:

    It was reported that the trooper only fired one shot. He didn’t fire more due to the mag release button having been bumped at some point prior to him shooting. At that point, lack of proper training in malfunction drills came into play.

  25. Will says:

    it appears that if nucapture rejects the 3 letter code, when you re-do it, it ignores the “reply to” input, and defaults to the end of the comments list.

  26. Old 1811 says:

    I think some of the commenters are negative just to be contrarians, and I doubt that any of the naysayers have ever seen a mob action, except on TV.
    In self-defense, more is always better. You should always carry the most effective, highest-capacity pistol you can effectively conceal and safely manipulate (subject to your state and local laws, of course). If you can carry a Glock 17, why would you carry a J-frame?
    It’s true that all crowds (mobs) are different. But the idea that if you shoot one, the rest will run, so a J-frame is sufficient, or that if you shoot one you’ll just incite the rest, so a J-frame and a SAW are equally useless, is too silly to bet your life on.
    The story of the Irish attack on the soldier only proves that being the best and having the best equipment doesn’t always mean you’ll win. But it usually does.
    As someone once said, “The race doesn’t always go to the swift, nor the battle to the strong. But that’s the way to bet.”

  27. robweldon says:

    ….. COME ON……..FACE REALITY……. i JUST PULL My FLINTLOCK .69 CAL , bOXLOCK, AND SAY TO THE CLOSEST ASSHOLE …”YOU’RE GONNA BE FIRST…” then i give myself into heaven’s hands and my buddies in the deuce-and-a-half take over…the gate drops off the back of it and two .50 cal Brownings open on the crowd…….(actually we need a lot of this in the future)..personnally i just can’t stand these foreign WOGS thinkin’ they had anything to do with makin’ this world great, like the USA did. So, hey, they deserve some John Browning in their bloodstream.. !!!….”GodBlessAmerica”..Jet Jerniggan.

  28. Dave says:

    How dare pampered, callow young men emboldened by alcohol and the mob behave like a bunch of fraternity brothers at any college campus in the United States?!! Where, where I ask, is the outrage?! I mean this in a nation with soccer hooligans and seasonal riots… But in this case, the perpetrators appeared to be Muslims and Slavs and Turks and Arabs and other such untermensch… Can I hear calls for deportation? Beyond the Urals, I say. Or maybe Madacascar! There’s so many of us, there’s so many… There’s so many… Let’s have a war! And clean out this space. It already started in the city. Suburbia will be just as easy…The enemy is within! It already started!

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