I have a two year old daughter so when I hear about a child getting kidnapped it always hits close to home. And, unfortunately, you can’t turn on the news these days without hearing about a horrible kidnapping story somewhere in the U.S. or around the world.
Thankfully, the story I want to share with you today has a happy ending. Not too long ago, a Marine and his young daughter were spending time together at a lake in Idaho. They were staring out over the lake when the Marine turned around and noticed a man approaching them with a knife. According to the Marine, “I turned around and there was a guy that was sneaking up on me… probably about 15 feet behind me…”
The Marine believed the man was trying to kidnap his daughter and upon seeing the man approach them with the knife, the Marine immediately drew his concealed carry firearm, a Ruger LCP (one of my favorite carry guns too.)
He was not carrying a round in the chamber and he had to quickly rack the slide and then aim the gun at the criminal with the knife. Luckily for him, he did this all fast enough that the man with the knife backed off and the Marine and his daughter were unharmed.
This is a great story because nobody got hurt, but I personally think it’s a very bad idea to carry a gun if there’s not a round in the chamber. In the story above, the Marine had time to chamber the round but if the incident took place at a closer distance and the criminal was right on top of you, you might not have time to load the gun.
When I begin to work with new shooters I sometimes have them tell me that they want to carry a gun but don’t feel comfortable enough to keep it loaded. When I hear this, I tell them that they’re not ready to carry a gun yet and they need more training. If someone has been properly trained with a gun and they understand the 4 firearms safety rules then there’s no reason they couldn’t safely walk around with a round in the chamber.
In fact, if someone has had proper training then they’ll think it’s crazy NOT to walk around with a round in the chamber because the time it takes to rack the slide could get them killed. Plus, in a life and death situation you’ll be under so much stress you might actually forget to rack the slide and you’ll be pulling the trigger on an empty gun.
I once got an email from a guy who thought he had a home invasion and later realized he was walking around his home with an empty gun because he never kept a round in the chamber. Needless to say, after that scare he now keeps his gun loaded.
The bottom line is, carrying a gun is a lot of responsibility and part of that responsibility is getting proper training so you know how to effectively use this tool of self-defense. And, if you’re not walking around with a loaded gun, go to your local gun store and sign up for more training classes until you get to the point when you’d never walk around with an unloaded gun again.