There has been a lot of discussion on the effectiveness of firearms in executive protection. For many protectors, as well as for protectees guns are synonymous for protection and, in addition, an indispensable requirement to exercise this profession. This is why we gave ourselves the difficult task of determining, with facts, the effectiveness of firearms in real situations.
However, this purpose is almost impossible to specify through absolute scientific rigor, since, only in Mexico, it would be practically unfeasible to account for how many people perform this activity, between private security elements, complementary police, police officers, military who perform these tasks on official commission, military in retirement who work on their own etc.
We do not have the precise number of the protectors in the world .We do not know how many of them have a gun, nor the number of total events in which they could have used it with or without success. We know, that only in Mexico according to the INEGI, in the last three decades a total of two thousand 877 executives are murdered, but we ignore how many of them had protectors and how many of them carried a firearm. If this is extrapolated on a global scale, then, doing a totally precise study becomes impossible. This is the reason why we decided to take a representative sample that allowed us to obtain a result, although approximate, significant enough to determine the performance that firearms have on executive protection. For this purpose, we analyze 124 attacks against prominent public figures that were carried out during the twentieth and the 21st century in 60 different countries.
What were the criteria to consider these 124 cases? For the sample to be significant, the following aspects were taken into account:
* Universal nature -the cases are from around the world.
* Historically verifiable and widely disseminated facts.
* The number of cases must be sufficiently representative.
* Covers a significant time period.
* It must be verifiable that the victims had an armed security protection team.
Victims are people of very high rank in their respective countries, or persons with official protection assigned by the authorities (so it can be presumed that the agents that provided protection were duly selected and trained. Thus, the reaction failures can not be attributed to a lack of training or aptitude, characteristic of extreme relevance for the present analysis).
Only assassinations and assassination attempts have been taken into account because kidnappings would be impossible to quantify. Moreover, it would be extremely difficult to have historically verifiable facts about the performance of armed personnel in each case. The same applies to the use of firearms against random assaults and other types of similar problems since they are even less documented.
The sample of the 124 universal and verifiable cases is sufficiently broad and representative to show us what the best-armed security groups, in their respective countries, managed to do in the cases of real attacks that occurred over more than a century and what was the relevance that firearms had to protect people in all these cases.
To consider that in a particular attack the use of firearms was successful, the criterion is that weapons should have been used effectively; That is to say, that their use was decisive for the protectee to be unharmed, otherwise, the survival could be attributed to an accident and not to the effectiveness of weapons.
The cases are divided into two parts: In the first one the attacks was not successful for various reasons, and, in the second one, the attacks had a fatal result.
It can be noted that only in 4.03 % of cases, firearms were decisive to save the protectees. However, if we eliminate coups and military or paramilitary-type operations from this equation and focus only on regular executive protection (the one exercised by most of the protectors in the world) -the effectiveness of firearms in our regular operating conditions is only 1.63%
So, this particular study shows very little relevance that this tool has in executive protection. Of course, as we could also see 4.03 % (or 1.63%) can save the life of the protectee, so it should not be abolished;
However, firearms should not be considered the main tools in executive protection, nor the security system of a VIP should be focused on its employment. Of course, this is not intended to be a definitive study, but it can give a general idea about the effectiveness that firearms have in executive protection.
It is also important to note that, for decades, its preponderance in this industry was based on a myth, or in action movies, not on the facts or the hard data.
It is surprising that, in 7.2% of the cases, the attacks were frustrated or later controlled by «empty hands», These techniques were used against the lonely aggressors who attacked public figures from the crowd (attacks against Reagan, Isaac Rabin, Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, etc.) This does not necessarily mean that empty hand combat techniques are more effective than weapons. This simply showed their efficacy for a specific threat that was frequent in the study.
It is important to point out the attack against the presidential candidate of Colombia, Luis Carlos Galán, who was killed despite having 18 armed agents. This fact makes it evident that a strong operation is not necessarily an effective operation.
As a conclusion, the present representative sample gives an approximate value of 4.03% effectiveness of firearms in real situations- or 1.63% – depending on which operational environment is relevant to us: civilian or military/paramilitary.
This means that in the executive protection the firearm is a tool of minor reliability, however, it should not be dismissed, since, as we saw, in some conditions they can save our lives. The important thing is to focus our operations on preventive activities that allow us to deactivate the attacks before they happen and not focus our operations on methods that historically have not given results.
- Eduard, Prince of Wales – 1900
- Leopold II, King of Belgium – 1902
- Alfonso XIII, King of Spain – 1906
- Theodore Roosevelt, presidential candidate EU – 1912
- LENIN – 1918 (Attacker submitted using empty hands)
- Georges Clemenceau Prime Minister of France – 1919
- Benito Mussolini, leader of Italy Fascist – April 1926 (attacker subjected by empty hands)
- Benito Mussolini, Leader of Italy Fascist – May 1926 (attack submitted using empty hands)
- Herbert Hoover, President USA – 1928
- Franklin D. Roosevelt, President USA – 1933 (attacker submitted using empty hands)
- Keisuke Okada, Prime Minister of Japan – 1936
- Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Sha de Iran – 1949
- Harry Truman, President United States – 1950 (firearms were decisive)
- Prince Hussein, Prince of Jordan – 1960
- Konrad Adenauer, German Chancellor – 1952
- Hendrik Verwoerd, Prime Minister of South Africa – 1960 (attack submitted with empty hands)
- Charles de Gaulle, president of France – 1961 (Vehicle driving was decisive)
- Charles de Gaulle, President of France – 1962 (vehicle driving )
- Georgios Papadopoulos, President of Greece – 1968
- Leonid Brezhnev, Secretary General of the Soviet Union – 1969
- George Wallace, presidential candidate EU – 1972
- Ana, Princess of England – 1974.
- Sukarno, President of Indonesia – 1962
- Gerald Ford, President of the United States – 1975 (Attacker subjected with empty hands)
- Isabel II, Queen of England – 1981
- Pope John Paul II – 1981 (attacker subjected with empty hands)
- Reagan, president of the United States – 1981 (attacker submitted using empty hands)
- Chun Doo Hwan, President Korea of the South – 1983
- Margaret Thatcher, First British Minister – 1984
- Augusto Pinochet, President of Chile – 1986 (Firearms were decisive)
- Wonfgang Schäuble, German Minister German – 1990 (attacker submitted using empty hands)
- John Major, Prime Minister of UK – 1991 (armored windows were decisive)
- Eduard Shevarnadze, President of Georgia – 1992
- Eduard Shevarnadze, President of Georgia – 1995
- Hosni Mubarak, President of Egypt – 1995 (Firearms were decisive)
- Kiro Gligorov, President of Macedonia – 1995
- José María Aznar, Spanish politician and expression of government – 1995 (armored vehicle and the faults of the attackers were decisive)
- Prince Charles of Wales 1995 Eduard Shevarnadze,
- President of Georgia – 1998 (shielded vehicle was decisive)
- Jacques Chirac, President of France, 2002 (attacker submitted with Empty hands)
- Hamid Karzai, president of Afghanistan – 2002 (firearms were decisive)
- Pervez Musharaf, President of Pakistan – 2003
- Murat Zyazikov, President of Ingushetia – 2004
- Shaukat Aziz, Prime Minister of Pakistan – 2004
- Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister Bangladesh – 2004
- Ibrahim Rugova, President of Kosovo – 2005
- Pervez Musharaf, President of Pakistan – 2007
- George W. Bush, president of the United States, and Mikheil Saakashvili,
- President of Georgia – 2005 Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed,
- President of Somalia – 2006
- Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Secretary of Defense of Sri Lanka – 2006
- Dick Cheney, Vice President of the United States – 2007
- Guillaume Soro, Prime Minister of Ivory Coast – 2007
- Abdul Gayoom, President Maldives – 2008 (attacker submitted using empty hands)
- Jose Ramos Horta, President of East Timor – 2008
- Queen Beatrix, Queen of Netherlands – 2009
- Yunus- Bek Yevkurov, Leader of Ingushetia – 2009
- Stephen Timms, British Labor MP – 2010
- Ali Abdulah Saleh, President of Yemen – 2011 APHA
- Alpha Condé, president of Guinea, (Firearms were decisive)
- Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, leader of the Pakistani Senate – 2017
- Nicolas Maduro, President of Venezuela – 2018
- Omar Garcia Harfuch Chief of the City of Mexico 2020
- Ivan Duque, President of Colombia- 2021
- Assimi Goita, President of Mali – 2021 (Attack subjected by Empty Hands)
- Aleksandar Vučić President of Serbia 2022 Consummered facts
- William McKinley, President of the United States – 1901
- Francisco Fernando (Franz Ferdinand), Archduke of Austria – 1914
- Sidonian Country, President Portugal – 1918
- Michael Collins, Irish Revolutionary Leader – 1922.
- Ahmet Muhtar Zogolli -1924
- Alejandro I, King of Yugoslavia – 1939
- Walter Edward Guinness,
- Lord Moyne, Minister of United Kingdom in the Middle East – 1944
- Ahmad Mahar Pasha, Egypt Prime Minister – 1945
- Mahmud Fahmi Nokrashi, Egypt Prime Minister – 1948
- Abdullah I, King of Jordan – 1951
- José Antonio Remón Cantera, President of Panama – 1955
- Hendrik Verwoerd, Prime Minister of South Africa – 1960
- Hazza Al Majali, Jordan Prime Minister 1960
- Louis Rwagasore, Prime Minister of Burundi, 1961
- John F. Kennedy, President of the United States – 1963
- Jospeh Bamina, Prime Minister of Burundi, 1965
- Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd, President South Africa, 1966
- Robert F. Kennedy, United States Attorney General -1968
- Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, Somalia President, 1969 Wasfi Al-Tal, Prime Minister of Jordan – 1971
- Abdul Rahman, Malaysian police general inspector – 1974
- Francois Tombalbaye, President of Chad, 1975
- Shaik Mujibur Rajman, President of Bangladesh, 1975 Muhammed, Head of State Nigeria, 1976
- Hans Martin Schleyer, German business leader – 1977
- Markenngouabi, president of Congo, 1977
- Ahmad Bin Hussein al-Ghashmi, President of the Republic of Yemen – 1978
- Park Chung Hee, President of South Korea – 1979
- Lord Louis Mountbatten, Diplomatic, British Royal Navy Officer – 1979
- William Richard Tolbert, President of Liberia, 1980
- Anwar Sadat, First Minister of Egypt – 1981.
- Ziaur Rahman, President of Bangladesh, 1981
- Bachir Gemayel, elected president of Liban, 1982
- Mohammad Ali Rajai, President of Iran, 1981
- Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India – 1984
- Rodrigo Lara Bonilla, Minister of Justice of Colombia – 1984
- Thimas Sankara, President of Burkina Faso, 1987
- Carlos Mauro Hoyos, Attorney General of Colombia – 1988
- Luis Carlos Galan, Presidential Candidate of Colombia – 1989
- James N Rowe, US Military Advisor – 1989
- Waldemar Franklin Quintero, Commander of Antioquia Police, Colombia – 1989
- Alfred Herrhausen, CEO Deuche Bank – 1989
- Samuel Doe, President Liberia – 1990
- Bernardo Jaramillo Ossa, Presidential Candidate, Leader of The Patriotic Union Party – 1990
- Rajiv Gandhi, Hindu Politician – 1991
- Giovanni Falcone, Judge Anti-Mafia – 1992
- Melchoir Ndadaye, President of Burundi 1993
- Luis Donaldo Colosio, presidential candidate Mexico -1994.
- Juvento Habyarimana, president of Rwanda – 1994
- Yitzhak Rabin, Prime Minister of Israel – 1995
- Vazgen Sargsyan, Prime Minister of Armenia – 199
- Luis María Argaña, Vice President of Paraguay – 1999
- Zoran Djindjic, Prime Minister of Serbia – 2003
- João Bernardo Vieira, President of Guinea 2009
- Ali Abdulah Saleh, President of Yemen – 2017
- Alexander Zajarchenko, President Republic Donetsk – 2018
- Aristotle Sandoval, former governor of the state of Jalisco – 2020
- Jovenel Moise, President of Haiti- 2021
- Shinzo Abe former Prime Minister of Japan 2022