23 Aug 12

Arguments for an empty chamber on pistols being carried for serious purposes:

Several respondents have written with regard to my recent argument against the empty-chamber carry-condition for carry-pistols (“Amber,” or “Transport Mode”), the condition now being “allowed” for US troopers currently deployed in Afghanistan.

I indicated this new policy actually represents an improvement (of sorts), as heretofore magazines were not even allowed to be inserted into the magazine wells of pistols as they were carried.

The counter-argument goes something like this:

“The ‘amber’ carry-mode (empty chamber) is adequate, because a soldier will always have time to chamber a round.”

In response, I paraphrase the late Jeff Cooper:

“… and there are those who would vigorously dispute that assertion, but they are in no position to speak!”

If the “amber” carry-mode represents a viable option, why is it never practiced by Special Agents of the FBI, DEA, nor a single other alphabet-soup federal enforcement agency/bureau, including Secret Service agents who are guarding our President at this very moment? Nor is it practiced by any police department you can name.

Is it the imagined low likelihood of suddenly having to defend oneself with gunfire that engenders such defective thinking? If so, I remind those so arguing that:

“When a bad outcome is sufficiently grievous, the mathematical probability of it actually happening becomes irrelevant!”

The fact is, a modern pistol with an empty chamber is not one bit “safer” than one with a chambered round. It is, however, a good deal less useful!

With regard to those making these curious “rules,” perhaps if it were their life that was at risk, they would be suddenly capable of clearer thinking, eh?