This is something I just wrote in response to a comment about the Paris Terror attack. Someone had commented on how he has firearms training and believes that he could have gone toe to toe with the attackers and had a good chance of prevailing. I replied with:
IMO It’s not really entirely matter of “ability” as much as it is simple availability.
Unless the Jihadi’s are assaulting your home or are on your street, or you happen to be able to take your AR and plate carrier to work with you, the odds of being there with the right tools are really not that good. In our society, the people driving around with the weapons/tools and the communications to co-ordinate response are the Police. Even with all of that and the specific duty to be cruising around to respond to trouble the odds of being able to counter-assault an attack like this are slim.
Certainly our citizenship being armed and prepared to defend their lives “in extremis” is vital. But IMO the odds are better that they would be able to exfil a terror attack than stop one.
Most armed citizens are going to be walking the streets with handguns. The odds of stopping two guys with AK’s with a handgun are NOT going to be good.
We need to work together. You may be able to contain a house fire with your extinguisher/garden hose, but you still call in the Firemen because they have the Engines/Pumpers. This is the same sort of thing.