John Farnam on carry condition

As many of y0u know, John Farnam has a simple and direct way of spelling things out that I respect. Maybe it’s the USMC bluntness of it that still has a lingering quality of home and the old days that I enjoy so much. What ever it is the simple and upfront logic simply makes me smile.

9 Feb 10

These comments from the owner/operator of an indoor range:

“An acquaintance came to our Range yesterday evening. He wanted to ask me some questions about his carry-pistol and then take it to the range and run several dozen rounds through it. He explained that he had been carrying it concealed, ‘… off and on,’ for several months, ever since a gruesome homicide made our local news early last fall. I’ve encouraged him to get involved in some professional training, but he has put it off.

Once in a stall, he faced down-range, drew his pistol (SA XD/M, 9mm), and then pulled back and released the slide, chambering a round. I stopped him and asked if he had been carrying this pistol, in this condition, on his way to the Range.

He said, ‘… Of course!’

I responded, ‘… and you didn’t have a round chambered?’

‘Well, I don’t carry with a round in the chamber, because I want to be…safe’ … ad nauseam

I then went through the usual lecture, the one about ‘Who promised you your support-side hand will be available to you at the start of your next gunfight?’

Like so many, he readily acknowledged the unassailable logic of my argument, but he was ‘… still not sure’

I then advised him to remove his holster. I took the pistol from him, unloaded it, replaced it in the box it came in, and strongly advised him to leave it there until he ‘finds the time’ to attend professional instruction!

I can only wonder how many other frightened, confused, wilfully-ignorant people there are, running around like this person, concerned about there personal safety, yet unwilling to do much more than take timid, abortive half-steps.”

Comment: I’m sure their number is legion, and growing with every edition of the Evening News!

What follows is opinion:

You’re either in the Navy, or you’re not!

When a person indicates that he chooses to not carry a gun, because he is sick, or he just enjoyed a cocktail, or he is on medication, or he has made the personal choice not to go armed, for reasons that apparently suffice for him, you’ll hear not a peep of argument from my corner. Far be it from me to dispense unsolicited advice!

However, when an otherwise normal, rational, and able-bodied person knowingly holsters a modern, autoloading pistol whose chamber is empty, and then expects to share a car, or dinner-table, with me, he will have to find someone else with whom to socialize. I want nothing to do with him!

I consider that person unstable and worse than useless. He is intentionally living in fantasy-land, and being in his presence is therefore contrary to my best interests. This world has never been sympathetic with the delusional!

I can’t count on his skills, nor obviously, his judgment.

/John

6 thoughts on “John Farnam on carry condition

  1. At first read, the owner (I assume is Mr. Farnam?) sounds like a dick. This novice shooter comes in to practice with his carry gun, there is no mention of him breaking any of the 4 Rules or doing anything else unsafe or irresponsible…

    “I consider that person unstable and worse than useless. He is intentionally living in fantasy-land, and being in his presence is therefore contrary to my best interests. This world has never been sympathetic with the delusional!”

    What World is he referring too? Talk about living in a “Fantasy Land”. Tell me, would this novice gun owner have had the opportunity to chamber a round if he had been present at Virginia Tech or Fort Hood? Unless he had been one of the very first casualties, then Yes, those valuable seconds were available for him to draw and rack the slide.

    What about the open-carry folks in states where their weapons have to be unloaded? According to the above logic, if they can’t have a round in the chamber they shouldn’t even bother arming themselves.

    I’m assuming the novice is Joe Average, mentally and morally capable of arming himself, yet still uncomfortable with the responsibility he has voluntarily shouldered. If such is the case, kudos to Mr. Farnam for taking the time to educate his “acquaintance”, but if his manner was the same as the tone of this post… yeah he sounds like a dick living in some Mad-Max Fantasy Land where life is cheap and we’re all of us seconds from death & mayhem. Exactly the type who discourage new shooters.

    1. You don’t know John Farnam do you? Mr. Farnam is world renowned firearms trainer and you’re clearly reading in too many touchy feelly things into it. This is a P.C. free zone and here you don’t have a differing opinion you are simply dead wrong and live in a “Fantasy Land”. Lives were saved at Fort Hood because some one was there ready to draw and fire. Yes more lives would have been lost if there was a need to draw the weapon, rack the slide, aim, and fire instead of just draw, front sight, squeeze. Several shots could have been fired in the time it took to rack the slide and no it doesn’t take long to do that. Virginia Tech…really? You want to go there? If someone walks into a full classroom and starts shooting do you really want to take the time to rack the slide? You may as well throw it at him and run. A shooter in these instances are usually fairly calm they simply walk from one to the next pulling the trigger at point blank range. Being surprised by a shooter like that will cause a huge dump of adrenaline. You won’t have the use of fine motor skills, you will probably have tunnel vision, and will only have to ability to act on the training you received previously. Racking the slide, unless you have a lot of training in doing so from a draw, will not be the first thing you do. You will be more apt to draw, dry fire, pause while you expect recoil that doesn’t come, realize you don’t have a round chambered, swear, fumble at racking the slide, the shooter sees you fumbling with the gun, and you’re dead. Carrying with that empty chamber was really freak’n bright wasn’t it. No round in the chamber…I’m safe now….moron.

      States mostly require un-chambered open carry for those that don’t have a carry permit law in my experience. The easy way around it is to get your permit and quit whining about not carrying chambered. It’s a matter of knowing how to work within the system.

      Now I’m sure you’re a heck of a guy and I’m not trying to come down on you. You simply are dead wrong or misinformed. Get some training. Spend more time practicing. And carry well.

  2. “An acquaintance came to our Range yesterday evening. He wanted to ask me some questions about his carry-pistol and then take it to the range and run several dozen rounds through it. He explained that he had been carrying it concealed, ‘… off and on,’ for several months, ever since a gruesome homicide made our local news early last fall. I’ve encouraged him to get involved in some professional training, but he has put it off.

    The last sentence of the paragraph gives it away. This was not an initial contact, this was a “We already had this discussion” incident. As such I agree with the assessment as given. Where it a true first timer, I doubt the reaction would have been that blunt, but since a mere conversation didn’t trip critical thinking skills, maybe an object lesson will.

  3. Anyone who thinks there’s plenty of time to chamber a round after drawing badly needs some force-on-force training. Even when you know in general terms what’s coming, you realize very quickly the less futzing you have to do to get to “bang,” the better. It’s the same way I learned to carry fixed-blade knives for defense. In the fight, there’s no fine-motor-skill to spare to deploy a folder.

    If Joe Average is uncomfortable with the responsibility, I agree he’s not ready to carry at all. He needs more training and more practice, until he is comfortable carrying a gun that’s ready for use. He needs to wear the gun around the house loaded with snap caps to prove to himself it won’t pull its own trigger when he isn’t looking. Then, when he can carry chambered without fear, he’s ready to venture out into the world.

    And if the hammer/striker does spontaneously fall on that dummy round, he needs to replace his holster, take his gun to the gunsmith, or both.

    If you ever need to stop a real threat, any uncertainty whether physical or emotional will only get you killed. I couldn’t imagine carying my 1911 in anything other than Condition One.

  4. My objection is to the “My way is the only way” attitude.

    If a man is willing to carry, and is morally, physically and legally capable, more power to him. He’s taken at least one class, met the state’s requirements and has been issued a permit. He goes to the range. He seeks information/advice on his chosen pistol. The author makes no mention of any reason this person is unfit other than his discomfort with having a round chambered.

    If he wants to carry in Condition Three, that’s fine.

    My point is ~At least he is carrying.~

    And the fellow still strikes me as a Dick.

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