"...Guns usually come with pairs..."
I wonder why that is. Logically it would seem the lone travelers would be more likely to have guns. Maybe have a look out for the gun holder as having a gun steps things up a bit.
"...4 in 20 are armed with makeshift blunt weapons, these weapons rarely being present in groups less than five strong..."
Don't get this either. Maybe packs allow them to think they can carry them and scatter if the cops come.
Sam J, according to my collected robbery accounts over half of guns are wielded by a member of a small group. I actually had one lone actor pull a gun on me, one member of a group shoot at me, one lone actor shoot at me and one member of a pair try to pull a gun on me. So even from my personal experience that preponderance of guns being employed by the member of a pair does not make sense.
Also, the fact that so many drug dealers are killed by lone gunman would also indicate this.
The fact is, our gun perspective is skewed toward the lethal extreme. Every dead body at least gets marked on the homicide marker board. Most stickups are never reported.
I once escorted a pair of men carrying valuables to their car and, having left them to escort another pair [I was clearly unarmed and posed no lethal threat] they were approached by two men, one of whom had a handgun, both of whom had been hiding behind the bushes at the top of the rise that formed the parking lot level. One of the guys ran to me.
Here we get to the why.
Why does a gunman looking to use his weapon for menace, threat or robbery usually have an accomplice?
There are three reasons:
1. He wants a lookout, because the last thing he wants is trading bullets with cops.
2. He wants a human shield, a body that will obstruct a passing motorist’s view of his gun, as most of these encounters happen near traffic areas but off the road surface.
3. Finally, he needs to corner your ass and box you in so you don’t have the ability to run like the guy that came and fetched me while his buddy was on his knees looking up into the barrel of a gun.
For reasons I do not know, when humans gather together in a group with the intent of doing harm to others, they tend to grab any accessible weapon, usually something makeshift, like a brick. This behavior is seen among Chimpanzees and was also noted by my Brother when he was stationed in Vincenza Italy with the 82nd Airborne in the early 1980s when the marine barracks in Lebanon got leveled by a truck bomb. They had short notice that they were going to “jump” into that hellish city! He told me that he and every guy in his stick grabbed all the “shit” from the armory that they could. He estimated he was carrying 200 pounds of ordinance and only weight 130. He laughed afterwards and said his back or legs would have snapped when he jumped. They were called back on the runway.
The most interesting aspect of this makeshift weapon behavior, Sam, is that stones and bricks are almost never used by individuals but are the most common group weapons, with bottles usually typing as stones and being used as such. There is something very old in us that wants to pick up a stone when we organize for violence.