Okay gun owners, I’ve got a bone to pick with some of you.
Why aren’t y’all serious about this whole armed citizen thing? Why do you treat your guns like magic talismans, whose mere presence can ward off evil criminal spirits?
Case #1: The Warning Shot!
Recently on THR, I read a thread about the practice of firing a warning shot into the ground or air as a prelude to actual deadly force. While this dubious practice was thankfully shouted down by most thread participants, there was a lone dissenter who claimed it was his SOP to load a blank cartridge as the first round in his autoloading handgun, so that his warning shot wouldn’t endanger anyone!
Chew on that one for a minute. Here’s a supposedly sane adult who has reached the conclusion that if he is required to use deadly force, his first round out of his sidearm will be one that won’t actually hurt anyone (unless the muzzle is pressed directly to the target’s skull)!
Case #2 (somewhat related): The Shotgun Snap Cap!
Also on THR (not that I mean to pick on them, but it’s the one of two gun forums that I read regularly), we had an after action report from a fellow who nicely terminated a would-be driveway theft by walking outside with his Remington 870 and chambering a round. The perps got to spend the night in the Greybar Hilton and our hero got to keep his truck. Applause all around, right?
Well, just one detail. He mentioned that he preferred to use a snap cap as the first round, just in case he tripped while running around! Once again, we have a supposedly thoughtful adult human who has come to the conclusion that not only should the most important round in a lethal force encounter be non-lethal, but that it make no noise!!
Case #3: Condition 3 Carry, or The IDF Draw
I’ve seen this pop up all over the place, and I still can’t figure it out. In case you’re late to the party, Condition 1 carry is a firearm that has a full magazine, a round in the chamber, the hammer/striker cocked, and the manual safety (if any) is on. 1911s, Glocks, Browning P35s, and other manual safety guns are traditionally carried this way.
Condition 2 carry is a full magazine, a round in the chamber and the hammer/striker is down, and the safety (if any) is off. Most double action autos like SIGs and Berettas are carried this way.
Condition 3, however, is a full magazine inserted with no round in the chamber. This mode requires that the user operate the slide on his pistol before getting it into the fight. This is most commonly used on guns that are not carried on the person, or on arms that do not have drop-safe safties.
There are those who promote this idea. Apparently it’s quite popular in the IDF. You can get quite fast at drawing and racking, just like you can get pretty good at riding a unicycle. It doesn’t make either proposition terribly practical.
In my opinion, there is no excuse for carrying your sidearm unloaded. Those who do so are making a lot of arrogant assumptions about their next gunfight and are needlessly cluttering their responses with fiddly operations when they should be throwing lead.
All three of these gripes have one thing in common: A demonstrated lack of seriousness. Folks, using deadly force to defend your life is absolutely the most solemn task you will ever prepare for. If you are squeamish about the reality of the situation, or have ethical, moral or spiritual qualms about ending another human’s life, you need to fix your mindset, not your equipment! If you are not comfortable handling loaded arms then you need to get training and gain confidence in your skills. Attempting to make lethal force a more comfortable proposition by making your arms less lethal is a losing proposition. Get serious before someone calls your bluff.
End of sermon. Thanks for your time.