Dunning, Kruger, Murphy, and You
Every day we see individual’s that are capacity envious of what other’s are able to carry on a regular basis via their own trial and error. We see this envy come out with comments such as “You need more than 6 shots!?! You must be a poor shot!” These comments overwhelmingly come from people who stand in one position, think their stance matters the most, and they shoot at paper targets only.
So, who is Dunning, Kruger, and Murphy? Well, they’re three individual’s who will make your life hell if you don’t check yourself.
The Dunning-Kruger Effect is typically what the aforementioned individuals suffer from. It’s where an individual assesses their own skills as being higher than what they actually are.
“…You must be a poor shot!” This is typically followed up with, “I can do it in one!”
In this typical instance, the individual isn’t only assessing their skills as being higher than what they are, but they’re giving their handgun’s ballistics more credit than it deserves. In a defensive situation where you have to use your firearm it doesn’t matter who you are or what gun you’re using. You’re going to throw shots.
Whether those shots end up on the target, or in the wall behind them is another discussion. The point is, you will miss. The world’s best marksmen miss, the world’s best trainers miss, and they all miss without the adrenaline rush that comes from having your life threatened. What does that mean?
It means you can and/or will miss; especially if you’re only shooting at paper targets in your favorite isosceles stance that was overly stressed in your basic concealed carry course to get your permit.
Beyond not missing, handgun ballistics are ass. Period. They aren’t man stoppers and the few calibers that have a high propensity to be one shot stops don’t do it reliably. The idea of “I can do it in one!” is as delusional as you can get with handgun ballistics. There’s videos on top of videos displaying individuals absorbing 5, 6, 7, even 10 shots to center mass and still having enough fight in them to squeeze the trigger a few times themselves.
Murphy’s Law states that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Where does Murphy’s Law apply in this whole mess? Glad you asked!
“Typical defensive situations….” this is typically followed by something about the distances you should be practicing, the amount of rounds you should carry, the caliber you should carry, and what gear your should integrate into your EDC routine. If we go by the real typical defensive situation, you only need a black toy gun in your waistband.
According to a 2013 study the CDC requested, it was found that firearms are used anywhere from 500,000 to 3,000,000 times a year in a defensive capacity in the United States alone. A vast majority of these go unreported because the victim only drew their gun, never fired a shot, and didn’t see a need to call the police. So, contrary to the beliefs of, well, everyone, your average defensive situation just requires you to brandish something that looks like a gun.
This is where Murphy steps in and shoves his finger up your ass like a TSA Agent. The defensive situation you get in? It probably won’t be one of the typical situations because you’ve prepared for the “typical” defensive situation. You thought you were fine shooting only at 7 yards to hone your accuracy? Murphy says, “Try at the opposite end of your house.” You thought you only needed 5 rounds of .22LR in a NAA Mini revolver? Murphy says, “Lol, ever heard of crackheads?” Murphy would then kindly direct you at this post I made showing how shot placement isn’t the only thing that matters.
Now to address the Facebook lawyers that are foaming at the mouth thinking about the district attorney. A defensive shooting is a defensive shooting is a defensive shooting. It doesn’t matter if you shot them 1 time or 20 times. It doesn’t matter if you had to reload, it doesn’t matter if it was at a distance of 5′ or a distance of 53′.
A good shoot is a good shoot, a bad one is a bad one. Anything is superfluous and a competent attorney can combat it with relative ease; even in civil suits.
Dunning-Kruger will step in when you think you can and will show you that you can’t.
Murphy will show up when you think everything is in your favor and say a subtle “Fuck you.”
If you can’t carry a Glock 17, 19, or 26 sized handgun, and are limited to 6 rounds, understand the limitations of the gear you’re carrying, and don’t try to exceed those limitations. Similarly, if you’re carrying a Glock 17, 19, or 26 sized handgun understand the limitations of the gear you’re carrying, and don’t try to exceed those limitations. Most importantly, don’t try to exceed your own personal limitations after having an honest discussion with yourself about them.
Remember, the most important part of being a responsible gun owner is being armed whenever you leave your home. If that means a micro pistol at work, then it means a micro pistol at work. If you can get by with something bigger, then get by with something bigger. Stop using asinine justifications for your poor decisions though when you aren’t forced to carry a micro pistol.