Empty-Chamber Club Revisited

Ignorance is a persistent phenomenon. Like bad STIs, Robert Mugabe, and Bono’s insufferably self-righteous pandering, ignorance among Homo sapiens will probably never go away. Combine this with an unhealthy dose of Dunning-Kruger effect (you don’t know what you don’t know, for the uninitiated) and a stubborn refusal to accept advice from subject-matter experts, and you have a recipe that will win many a Darwin Award. Gun owners are sadly not immune to this potent cocktail of suck, as illustrated again this past week.

On the topic of things that just won’t die, we can add the Empty-Chamber-Carry Argument to the list containing illustrious examples such as the famous Calibre Debate, the AR15/M16 versus AK47 Circle-Jerk, and the Polymer-Is-Better/Worse-Than-Steel Pity Party. Having gotten involved in the Empty-Chamber Carry is Bullshit fracas before, I had hoped that the point had been made and that all parties involved would by now have amicably agreed to disagree and moved on with their lives.

Not a chance, Amigos. If people can find an angle, no matter how precarious or insubstantial, they are going to work that damn angle gosh darnit!

So the past week I came across folks telling people that if you have kids, you really should consider empty chamber carry because that is the only way you can guarantee mishaps don’t happen should your children get a hold of your gun. The Empty-Chamber Acolytes argue that it would be safer for everyone involved that you rather carry empty chamber, and then rack a round every time you leave the house, and then clear the chamber again every time you enter the house. Holy Moses on a stick.

OK snowflakes, let me get this straight: 1) Unexpected home invasions never happen where you are, and you will definitely always have time to chamber a round under duress in your universe? 2) You see absolutely no safety problem with excessive and unnecessary gun handling (which dramatically increases your odds of suffering a ND), but leaving a round in a chamber of a holstered weapon is way more dangerous? I am sorry, but I don’t think medical science has yet provided us with pills for the kind of cognitive dissonance you are suffering from. Perhaps having yourself cryogenically frozen is your best chance for a cure at this stage. Maybe look into that?

Now I don’t have children yet (the World frankly isn’t ready), but quite a few of my gun-carrying friends have reaped the fruit of their loins (so to speak). All of them carry one-up (some even do this with Glocks, oh my!) and none have yet had as much as a single mishap. I wonder why?

Maybe, just maybe, the fact that they carry in a high quality holster, practice basic weapon retention skills, and are more situationally aware than the average garden gnome has something to do with it. Of course the leftist media is particularly fond of seizing on the odd story where a child gets a hold of their parent’s gun and subsequently causes injury or death. All of the stories regarding this issue that I have read (and there really haven’t been many) contained details of incredible negligence from the side of the gun owning parent. Which is something that is totally avoidable. Also, bearing in mind how many gun owners there are, the regularity of these events is so rare as to make them statistically insignificant.

Seeing that no respected and acclaimed firearm instructors teach empty-chamber carry on modern pistols, it is rather obvious that rational people do not attach undue importance to statistically insignificant events. And neither should you.

The second empty-chamber argument this past week is that since humans are imperfect, it is not responsible to carry with a round chambered if the firearm does not have some sort of conventional external safety. Cue several million Glock carriers worldwide suddenly realising that they are in mortal, grave danger. Some of us even have these things pointed at our femoral arteries every day of the year for goodness sakes!

If your firearm handling fundamentals are solid (as they should be), you should know that unless you manipulate the trigger (on purpose or by accident) the weapon will not fire. Which is why we are so anal retentive about the importance of trigger finger discipline, and why gun owners are taught that the safety of their firearm is not the fallible mechanical switch on the actual gun, but that it is their brains. Aren’t humans fallible too? Of course we are, hence the reason we have a layered approach to safe gun handling.

But if you are relying solely on an external safety to do all the work for you, because your fundamentals are lacking, then you are setting yourself up for major failure at some point. If your confidence (and likely competence) is so wanting that you need to use the external safety as a crutch to make up for your training deficiencies, I recommend that you seriously go out there and get training from an acclaimed instructor right now. As in ASAP. Your life depends on it, because the moment that external safety isn’t there to catch you when you slip you will have a guaranteed negligent discharge.

Now I completely acknowledge that we are all adults who are allowed to make our own choices, and that I am far from being any sort of subject-matter expert (I write a blog…that already disqualifies me as such by default), and I am completely receptive to the “to each their own” dismissal. However, “to each their own” does not mean you get to tell people that vaccines cause autism just because you don’t want to immunise your own children. If you aren’t willing to quantify your argument with actual facts, then perhaps what you preach as gospel is wrong and requires a review. I will let Rob Pincus have the final word below.

Peace Out. (Pincus Out?)

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