The Stupidity Of Internet Know-It-Alls

I’m not an expert on much of anything. I’ll be the first to tell you that. While I’m proud of having a pretty broad base of knowledge, there’s no topic at all that I put myself as being near the top of the intellectual heap on.


However, I do encounter plenty of them. I’m constantly amused by the people who will routinely address anything they disagree with as something that will get you killed.

Not that I’m immune to it, to be sure. I’ve made similar comments from time to time, but there are a few things that are nearly constant triggers for the phrase, “That’ll get you killed in the streets!” And over at Shooting Illustrated, Tamara Keel takes a whack at the stupid.

It’s to the point where “Killed on the streets” has become something of an inside joke. I’ve been trying to catalog these methods of self-induced demise, partly to debunk them, and partly in the hopes I can publish a phonebook-size compendium some day and profit handsomely. I’ll  just go ahead and share some of these with y’all today, though, for free.

Carrying a revolver, for starters, will apparently get me killed on the street. This caught me off guard, because I’ve seen pictures of pre-1980s America, when revolvers were the predominant sidearm for law enforcement and private citizen alike. You’d think the streets in those pictures would be hip-deep in revolver carriers who had been killed in them, and yet they aren’t.

I mean, there’s a reason police have generally moved from revolvers, and yes, I think a quality semi-automatic pistol is capable of solving more defensive problems than a revolver, but that doesn’t magically render a revolver ineffective. There are reasons some prefer wheelguns, including simplicity and the fact that they depend on the trigger finger rather than the ammunition in order to function. For some, those factors outweigh the drawbacks, and some revolver enthusiasts shoot their guns remarkably well.

Similar to revolvers in their ability to apparently cause demise upon the public thoroughfares are reloads, or rather the lack thereof. I will say up front that, if carrying a semi-automatic pistol, then carrying a spare magazine is definitely Best Practice with a capital B and P.

This is not, however, in case the need should pop up for a 35-round exchange with ninjas in the middle of the Kwik-E-Mart parking lot. Instead, this is because the part most likely to go wrong with your pistol is the magazine. The number of ways it can go wrong are legion, and range from double-feed malfunctions to simply falling out of the gun. The quickest and surest way to fix this malfunction is to insert a fresh magazine and drive on.


I’m going to recommend you go over and read the whole thing. A handful are things that I’ve evolved on from my days of being young and stupid, especially on reloads. This is especially true in light of studies that show most gun fights end after just two or three shots.

Don’t get me wrong, I agree with Keel that spare mags are a best practice of the highest order. I’m just not convinced that not having them is an automatic death sentence if you find yourself in a gunfight. It’s just not. After all, I still maintain that no one has survived a gunfight and said, “Gee, I wish I hadn’t brought all this ammo,” but on the same token, the examples of people dying because they didn’t have a reload are remarkably rare.

Now, there are some things that are probably not a good idea. Carrying .22 LR as your primary defense round, for example, is probably not the greatest idea. However, it doesn’t mean you’re a dead man walking simply because you do.

Maybe it’s time to drop the whole, “This will get you killed on the streets” mentality as a whole. Keel is right about it being a running gag with some folks. It’s one thing to share your thoughts, but phrases like this smack of the whole One True Way (TM) philosophy so many people try to foster on the internet.

Drop it. You’re probably not an expert yourself because if you were you’d know all this already, as well as a whole lot more.


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