How a Marine Stopped This Kidnapping

How a Marine Stopped This Kidnapping
How a Marine Stopped This Kidnapping
How a Marine Stopped This Kidnapping
How a Marine Stopped This Kidnapping

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.

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Jason Hanson is a former CIA Officer and author of The Covert Guide to Concealed Carry. He is also the creator of the Ultimate Concealed Carry Experience, which allows you to take your concealed carry training without leaving home. For full details about this training, please visit Concealed Carry Academy. You can also follow him on Google+ and Twitter.
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I cannot believe anyone carries a gun around for self defense and doesn’t have it ready to shoot. I guess if someone is so scared of a semi-auto with a chambered round, they can go with a double action revolver.


Seems odd for the guy in the story, but everyone has a different comfort level so people do different things. . The way he did it has its own risks, such as in this story, but there are probably reasons of his own. If this guy was a Marine, then it wasn’t out of ignorance or lack of training. There may be a logic to it, but it’s not something immidiately apparent.

Not because of lack of training… it’s the opposite. They are trained to not have a chambered round outside of a hot zone.


But aren’t those basically the same? As a double action semi-auto requires the trigger to be pulled to engage the hammer the same as the revolver.


the revolvers usually have a much heavier trigger pull, and the whole cylinder has to rotate. Most double action semi-auto pistols (like the LCP) are half cocked by the trigger slide, and many people I’ve talked to don’t like that, as they think if something ‘goes wrong’ with the gun, the half cock might be enough to make it shoot. Technically, a DAO semi-auto is just as safe from going off as a revolver… a lot of people don’t understand how they work and think more of SA pistols.


Hey there cjohnson44546;
You are correct, that is why I said “basically” the same. Thanks for your commentary. All information is greatly appreciated.
And again you are correct with your further statements….

David Hill

Great for him, thats why I carry. I too felt uncomfortable with a round chambered and i carry in my front pocket. I did get a pocket holster with a trigger cover which made ne feel better. I now have tradded my taurus for a bodyguard. The S&W has a safty that I like but i still have it holstered in my pocket. I want the gun to shoot when im ready to shoot. Dont want an accident


When I first started carrying (S&W M&P Shield), I wanted to be absolutely comfortable, and confident, especially because I have children at home including a pre-teen boy all into guns and army stuff and a toddler who I still carried around at times who also climbed all over me, playing. For me it wasn’t ever an issue of accidental discharge, especially with a built in safety. It was more of a dry run to find the right fit as a dad now with a CCW. For the first week, I just wore the gun in the holster, empty mag, getting used to the weight, bulk and feel. This was a good thing because I was hyper-aware of the concealability. Next was a loaded mag. Then after a few weeks wearing it around my home and after about 800 rounds through it and confident about its performance, I chambered a round, and then moved on to better sights, training, etc. I do think there is a time for it to be unchambered, but that window should be necessarily small, and considered training only. So you are correct to say someone who is uncomfortable need more training (to overcome the hang-up), but I think it’s worth qualifying that a bit further.


I think part of the training *is* carrying without a round in the chamber. How are you going to get comfortable enough to carry one loaded if you can’t carry one unloaded? The fact is, there are a lot of things to get nervous about, and it takes carrying one around for a few weeks before you figure out that, no, it’s really not going to go off unless you pull the trigger. But carrying without the chamber loaded is part of the training that allows you to carry it around with the chamber loaded. I find it odd that there is a “go the whole way or don’t go at all” attitude. There *isn’t* a whole way for safety, as there are always tradeoffs, and always things that we won’t cover. So, if carrying chamber empty is better for you, it won’t stop as many bad situations, but it will stop more than not carrying at all.


I agree because
Most CC holders would be affected by adrenaline rush a perhaps misfire at an innocent person or even shoot themself.


lol… most CC holders are going to shoot themselves? nonsense.

Chad Silvernail

I completely agree with this analogy. I did that also, just to build the confidence. I now carry locked and loaded ready to fire.
If this helps someone before they need to use their training them so be it.


just before I looked at the receipt ov $8130 , I
didn’t believe that my sister woz like actualy bringing in money part-time from
there pretty old laptop. . there aunts neighbour has been doing this 4 only
about 22 months and at present repayed the mortgage on their appartment and
bought themselves a Chrysler . see here C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­


I would presume that if you drew a gun on an empty chamber, the criminal would NOT know that and in most cases wouldn’t stick around to find out.
BUT, that is the main reason that I absolutely love Ruger weapons. Their safeties I find impeccable. They have the ONLY revolver that I know of that MUST have the trigger pulled to be able to fire, even if dropped on the hammer by “accident”.
I did an extensive research on all handguns and their safety features quite a few years back and Ruger impressed me. For years it was the ONLY gun I would own much less carry. Now I have several others as well, but my first love is and always will be Ruger.


I have been educating myself in preparation to get a CCP and proper weapon for carry in pubic as my PX4 is too large to conceal normally how I dress. I’ve been thinking I’ll get a revolver so this issue of loaded or not will be non-existent when I’m carrying it, but as for right now, I use the Px4 with JHPs for the thought of home defense but I don’t keep one in the chamber, instead usually leaving a snapcap there for dry fires with a full weight feel with the full mag. I feel that in the situation of home defense I could reliably remember to rack the slide especially since I was taught to always brass check any weapon handed to me/picked up by my stepdad, and also if your perp is close enough to hear it it can help intimidate him to hear that sound.

I don’t know how credible this thought is, but I always think that in some way it could save my life as well if the weapon were gotten away from me before I had a chance to arm it (say if I’m asleep in a different room and the guy finds the weapon before confronting me), if only for the fact that in the excitement of a struggle the perp would not be very likely to check the weapon before trying to use it on me in close quarters. I don’t know, but it’s something I think about. I have a retention holster to prevent against snatching but once the gun is out I just think that people are unpredicatable enough, especially violent or inebriated people, to try and go for the weapon directly as soon as they know I have it…in which case it would be better to just end it more quickly by being loaded and ready to go. I’m conflicted.

It would probably be more justifiable when keeping it around the house this way if I had children or something, it might save one of their lives if God forbid they got ahold of it without anybody around. It always makes me nervous when my cousin visits with his kids.

Sky Soldier

As for home I bastion, I keep five shells in my tactical 12 gauge short barrel shotgun and if I hear someone outside or strange noise I will effect the slide to chamber a shell. The sound alone sends a strong message to any intruder that their demise is near. I also carry a backup .357 magnum in my waistband fully loaded.

Jeff Pauly

I fully agree with having a round in he chamber. I have an LCP and that give me an extra round plus it’s ready to go. The LCP has a long trigger pull so it is not one to easily go off. I’m surprised the Marine did not shoot, maybe due to his daughter close to him. The guy running off will just go looking for another victim.

Sir TuberKopf

My primary home defense is a .45, astounding how hard it is to cock! A small child could not cock it without knowing some tricks. When the little ones visit none are cocked. The primary is always in a “sticky holster” that could even be tucked into a pair of boxers and stay put. Did I say the .45 is primary? Yup right after the 12 gauge.

Without the little ones visiting, they are all loaded, there will be no cocking sounds to warn my location.

My point, be flexible, train for all situations.

My auto loading shotgun starts fouling after about 50 rounds of low velocity cheap foreign made ammo. After two boxes of ammo failures begin to occur randomly. I see it as a training opportunity, failure to eject, failure to chamber. Lots of fun, it becomes second nature to deal with. By the way, stuff I buy for home defense works even when the autoloader is fully fouled. For home defense I like number #4 buck, deadly at close range, safer for the neighbors. Police like 00 buck because the fight often goes outdoors for them

Sir TuberKopf

Added note: there is a significant difference between #4 buck and #4 bird shot, big difference, read up on it if you are not sure.

I do like #4 buck for home defense, doesn’t penetrate walls like 00 buck will, and will keep our precious neighbors safe. Police like double 0 buck because they need the extended range, when the fight invariably goes out to the street.

When I grab my shotgun I grab the 50 round ammo belt, the twenty contiguous rounds at the top end are #4 buck, from the other end the belt has every other round loaded with 5 slugs, then every other round with 12 pellet 00 buck shot. When. I grab that belt I’m ready for nearly anything, even a bad guy with body armor!

Have a plan, train for it!


Not having been in the situation, I could not say for sure.
BUT common sense tells me that you are NOT authorized to shoot a fleeing felon.
The law is very clear that you do NOT have the right to shoot ANYONE fleeing a criminal situation. If they are fleeing then the “threat” is leaving therefore there is no longer a threat to your or your families life.

Sir TuberKopf

Modern holsters are a game changer, with the weapon well retained and with most designs, the trigger finger is restrained to stay outside the trigger guard when the weapon is drawn. You can get holsters in a myriad of designs, so many the bad guys don’t know what to expect. All this adds to the advantage of a concealed carry and the safety of the user and bystanders!

Select your holster carefully and train with it. Buy a few blanks for training purposes, or even an airsoft knockoff of your weapon. They’ll keep you honest regarding negligent discharges without a trip to the hospital. Most accidents occur when a weapon is reholstered.

Most military members who have spent time on base in a hot zone live with this every daY. Non watch members or MP’s are not allowed to carry their firearms chambered in most cases. As such they train to instinctively rack their weapon when bringing it into action.

That is also the way the krav Maga instructors train in Israel.

In other words it’s not that carrying without a round chambered is wrong. But rather that you must train consistant with the way you will carry. If your not going to carry chambered then you must never have your gun chambered until you engage your target. However if you carry chambered you should never leave a gun unchambered unless it’s locked up.


Carrying a gun for offensive reasons vs self defense is very different. In self defense you don’t get ready for the fight ahead of time… its on top of you just as your finding out.

John Melms

The Ruger LCP has no manual safety, so carrying a round in the chamber is a risky option.


not if its in a proper holster with the trigger protected. Its a double action gun, there is no way for it to just go off, the trigger must be pulled.


When I first began carrying, a little over a year ago, I was nervous about keeping locked and loaded all the time. After a while, and getting used to the concept and as I aquired better holsters, etc. I got comfortable enough to carry with one in the pipe. My EDC is a KelTec P3at, which fits beautifully in my back pocket, but without any external safety it must be holstered to be safe, not just for me but those around me.


I carry a S&W 442 – always one in the chamber :o)


I carry a Glock 42 always one in the stack and ready to go, don’t feel comfortable any other way

F T 45

It makes sense for people to carry in condition 3 as a form of ‘training wheels’…but the progression to condition 0-2 should happen fast. Expectations of a notice before violence is not a viable game plan.
Of course everyone needs to have good soft skills, to allow for the most amount of warning possible. That marine did well to notice someone sneaking behind him, while being preoccupied with his daughter. Those soft skills gave him a great tactical advantage, compensating for the disadvantage of the condition his firearm was carried in. Had he been less aware this story would have a diffrent ending. Ideally we don’t want to give up any advantage. The deck should always be stacked in our favor. If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, you were under prepared…


The problem in this story is the Marine with his military training thinks he’s in a tandem with CPL/CHL/CHP/CCW.
I can say this situation does have a conjuction with myself. As a former Marine for 8 years, we were taught to walk around in Condition 4 (No magazine, no round in the chamber, bolt forward, safety on) to the chow hall, latrines, etc etc….. but when we leave the wire fence to a hostile environment, it goes to Condition 3 (Magazine inserted, NO ROUND IN THE CHAMBER, bolt forward, safety on). We don’t want to shoot ourselfs or the person next to us inside the HUMVEE vehicles or on Watch duty and so forth. The only time, (which it was rarely for me, very) we go on to Condition 1 (Magaine inserted, ROUND IN THE CHAMBER, bolt forward, safety on) is when we are in immediate treat.
We weren’t allowed for any reason to jump from Con 4 to Con 1. It’s a huge offense which is punishable.

Apropos, I’ve taught myself and in CPL/CHL/CHP/CCW classes that concealed carry is totally different from what we learned in the military. Concealed carry is meant for immediate response without any extra hesitations. I fully agree on Jason Hanson report about the person should not carry at all until they seek futher training & feel comfortable having a round in the chamber. All it takes is having that training of YOUR OWN WEAPON, knowing the weapon, and experience.


amazing when a reporter mentioned in her TV news cast that “omg he had a bullet chambered in the gun” .