Yet another video has surfaced illustrating why it’s critical that you learn to carry with a round chambered.
In it, a father and son are being held up by multiple robbers. The father is carrying, and when one of the robbers isn’t looking he draws, points, then yanks the gun off center-line while trying to rack the slide to chamber a round. The robber shoots him first, and the guy dies on the floor still trying to get a round chambered. Apparently his son was shot, too.
It’s impossible to know which way things could have or should have gone, but it’s a pretty safe bet in this case that the fact that this guy was carrying without a round chambered got him killed. I’m not just talking about the shot he was never able to get off, or the fact that racking the slide had the effect of pulling his gun off-target after it was already on-target.
No, what got the clerk killed was the fact that he thought he was armed, but he wasn’t. If he didn’t have a gun at all, he wouldn’t have drawn on the robbers. He’d have continued to comply, and he and his son would probably still be breathing.
But carrying an unloaded gun gave him false confidence. He thought he could bring the gun into play effectively, but he just couldn’t. He paid for that mistake with his own life and that of his child.
In spite of what I’ve said above, I actually think it’s not only okay but advisable for beginners to carry without a round chambered until they get comfortable and figure out what type of carry rig is going to work for them. Even experienced carriers will often carry this way when they’re trying something and unfamiliar. But the moment you can get enough confidence to carry the correct way with one in the chamber, then you should do it.
If you insist on carrying with an empty chamber, then you should treat your carry gun like a slightly closer “truck gun.” In other words, you’re not going to access this thing unless you’ve got cover and you’re in a situation where seconds don’t count.