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Old February 28, 2013, 02:17 PM   #53
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Join Date: March 28, 2011
Posts: 458
We of course always hope that no one is ever the victim of a criminal attack, but with his self-chosen disadvantage, it is even more important for him.
I would say that it is marginally more important. Remember, for those who have tried it both ways and received training but still have reservations (my Dad has witnessed ADs from others in the past, for instance), the alternative is not carrying. I'd say he's far better off carrying with an empty chamber.

One's feeling of comfort has nothing to do with preparedness--unless one feels somewhat more comfortable because one knows that the question of maximum preparedness can be a matter of life and death, and one acts accordingly.
Comfort in this context should be associated with competence and familiarity with the chosen firearm and method of carry. Surely you can't argue that being comfortable with your gun and setup are bad?

In risk management, it is not appropriate to base one's decisions regarding mitigation on the cumulative probability. Rather, the conditional probability is what counts.

That is, the question pertains to your chances of being able to draw and fire timely in the unlikely event that you do have to draw and fire before you are killed or severely injured.

One will likely have very little time indeed, and the time required to rack the slide may well make all the difference, even without a possible malfunction.

That would have a rather large negative impact on the conditional probability of success.
You are, of course, correct, I don't think anybody would argue that carrying chamber-empty is accepting a slightly-less complete state of preparedness in terms of risk management. However, if the alternative is, as I have said, not carrying, then we may consider an individual carrying with an empty chamber at the maximum preparedness level that they are capable of sustaining.

Which, of course, mitigates against empty chamber carry.

Now, while many people do carry pistols without safeties with their chambers loaded, I do not feel comfortable doing so. My primary reason is the possibility that something might interfere with the trigger during re-holstering. So, while I would not even consider carrying with an empty chamber for self defense, I do choose to carry a firearm with a safety.
As prepared as you can be means as prepared as you are WILLING to be, because people who are not comfortable carrying their gun WILL NOT carry their gun. While I agree with you 100% that it is better to carry the way you and I do, if they have tried it and are seriously having trouble with it, then an empty chamber is far better than nothing.

What is interesting to me is that nobody seems to think that a manual safety compromises preparedness, but I would imagine that a large percentage (not going to make one up) of those who carry CANNOT quickly and thoughtlessly deactivate the manual safety of their carry firearm with one hand.

If you want to take it all the way, the only really acceptable carry style is full-chambered with a GLOCK style trigger. Anything else is a compromise. But life is full of compromises, and concessions have to be made for the (never thought I'd hear myself say it, Ayn Rand would be disappointed) "human element." In this case, the shooter and gun form a system, and if both aren't working together the system fails. Better a system slightly less optimal where both are working in tandem than a system with optimal pieces that never comes together.
"... I cannot but conclude the bulk of your [politicians] to be the most pernicious race of little odious vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth." ~ Jonathon Swift
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