A few years ago, I ran the statistics to see what the real odds are of a violent crime happening to me or someone I know. Having forgotten the result, I just took another look. This site has a nicely done interface on this subject, showing annual statistics.
It seems the odds of any random person being the victim of a violent crime, in Texas and for the current time period, are about 1 in 172. There are 5.81 violent crimes per 1,000 residents.
That doesn’t sound too bad, until you consider a couple of things. First, that number is per year. So for a ten year period, your chances are more like 1 in 17.
Then, say you have, oh, seven people in your immediate family. The odds of someone in your family being a victim in that ten year period then become about 1 in 2.4. Not so good.
And that is why I carry a handgun everywhere it is legal to do so. I hope that I never, ever actually need it; but if I do, I will at least have the tools available to defend myself or my family. And, statistically, we know that the more people that do this, the less violent crime there will be. Reference John Lott’s “More Guns, Less Crime”. So even if I don’t actually need it, the fact that people like me are out there tends to dissuade criminals, to some extent.
It is also worth noting that the non-violent crime rate is about eight times more likely than the violent crime rate, here in Texas.
These numbers are across the entire State. Depending on where you live and who you hang out with, your actual probabilities may be considerably higher – or considerably less.
P.S. I should note that I am not a statistician; the above calculations seem logical to me, but statistics is a weird science, so if my calculations are wrong, please correct me.