Over my interweb-scanning this week, I've found two wildly different tragic stories that show a dramatic lack of fear of guns.
First, read this horror story of an everyday couple who experienced a home invasion from two rather determined criminals. The cliff notes version for those of you not inclined to read everything I tell you, is that the wife opened fire and wounded one invader and the second continued to press his attack and shot both homeowners. The victims survived, but mostly by luck.
Though there are many, many teachable points from this story, I will stick to the "intimidation" of a gun. Even after watching his partner in crime take two slugs, baddie #1 pressed his attack. The gun made no difference, though I imagine it would have if he had been shot a few times. But waving a gun around did nothing. Even the "warning shots" did nothing.
Second, a dimestore Rambo who makes all gun owners look bad was Raul Rodriguez. Mr. Rodriguez took a flashlight, a video camera (who still owns a video camera?), and a gun to go tell his neighbors to turn the music down at their rowdy party. He flashed his gun to the partiers and essentially told them to keep it down or else. He filled his video with cute legalese buzzwords like "stand my ground" and "escalate the situation". But he was sentenced for murder, as I believe he should have been.
Even though the gun owner in this story was the aggressor, his neighbors were not impressed when he flashed his gun, and further unimpressed when he threatened to shoot them over and over again. Having dealt with neighborhood conflicts like this (albeit none ended with shots fired) as an officer, I would bet that the neighbors thought that Rodriguez wouldn't be dumb enough to shoot someone in their own front yard. But he was. So some of their bravery might have been alcohol and a misguided judgment of Rodriguez's character.
I bet if you dug even a little, you could find an article showing a criminal fleeing at the first sight of a gun. I don't doubt that some criminals are true opportunists who flee as soon as the going gets tough. But you shouldn't count on that. Humans are wildly unpredictable. Especially when under the effects of drugs and/or alcohol. I have made a number of arrests, and I don't believe I ever arrested a sober person. They were all on something, be it alcohol, prescriptions, or illegal drugs. Don't count on the mere sight of your gun to save you.