In part one of this short series, we talked about why you should carry a handgun with a round in the chamber. If you remember correctly, we reasoned that bad guys don't give good guys enough time to react. Now, we're going to talk about a couple of the reasons why people don't carry their firearm with a round in the chamber.
But before we get there, I strongly urge you to read part one of this series first, so you can get a glimpse of everything I'm trying to convey on this topic.
First, people are afraid of their guns. Now, if you don't carry a gun with a round chambered, try not to get offended here. My goal is not to offend – it is to inform, so you can make a well-educated decision.
A part of the problem, is that the media does a very good job of convincing everyone that our guns are going to de-holster themselves and start shooting people up during the latest blockbuster movie. Unfortunately, people begin to develop an unhealthy fear of the very thing that could save their life.
The second issue, which is an even bigger problem, is that people don't train with their guns anywhere near as often as they should. In all reality, when you don't train, it helps add to the fear. Think about it like this: when you first got behind the wheel of a car, you hadn't the slightest idea what you were doing.
If you're like most first time drivers, you hugged the shoulder each time an oncoming car came at you even though it likely never even crossed over the lines. But, as you practiced driving and got more comfortable, you eventually became a seasoned pro at driving.
You learned how the car would handle corners at certain speeds. You realized that the car was actually smaller than you had originally thought because you had used it often. Eventually, you grew accustomed to it. Now, your muscle memory takes over each time you get into a car.
So, what does this have to do with carrying a round in the chamber? If you have a gun that you've never fired, you need to find a gun club or range that you can get to on at least a monthly basis. If you've never fired a gun before, but you own one for self defense, you need to go find an instructor who can teach you how to use it properly.
The NRA's website has a list of qualified instructors all across the country. All you have to do is type in your area and what type of class you're looking for. It will populate the results based on the criteria you've selected. These classes can be expensive, however it is totally worth it to learn how to use your weapon properly from someone who knows what they're doing.
And, after you've practiced a bit, you'll gain the confidence to carry a weapon as if your life depended on it–with a round in the chamber. The most important thing, is to train hard and often, and to treat your firearm with the respect it deserves. Just as long as you follow the safety rules, you won't shoot yourself, or anyone else who doesn't deserve it. In case you forgot, here is a refresher on the four safety rules:
- Treat every weapon as if it were loaded, every single time you handle a firearm.
- Never point your weapon at anything you don't intend to shoot, even at the gun store.
- Keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you intend to fire – without exception.
- Always be aware of your target, and what's behind it.