Yes, I do keep my gun stored loaded. It has a magazine that holds seven shots and that magazine is full and inserted. The gun is in its holster, with a snap strap to prevent it from falling out (even though it fits snugly in there) or inadvertently fired.
I don’t carry it, even though I have a concealed carry permit here in Washington and had one when I lived in Arizona. I consider it a line of last defense in the event of a home invasion (which is highly unlikely where I live) and I can’t get away from an attacker. If a fight or flee situation, I’m not an idiot — I’ll flee.
Like most semi-automatic weapons, a round needs to be chambered before it can be fired. If you’ve watched any kind of movie with a good guy or bad guy getting ready to go into a dangerous situation, you’ve likely seen him (or her) chamber a round by pulling back on the gun’s slide. “Racking the slide” like this brings a round out of the magazine and into the firing chamber. The gun can now be fired with a relatively light squeeze of the trigger.
In other words, when a round is chambered, the gun becomes a very dangerous thing to hold or carry.
And this was proved (again) just yesterday. From a New York Daily News article:
A Tennessee man and his wife were hospitalized after he accidentally opened fire during a discussion about church shootings at a local church.
The unidentified man was at First United Methodist Church in Tellico Plains on Thursday when he was showing a handgun to other attendees at a dinner, according to police in the town south of Knoxville.
His unloaded Ruger was passed around, though the man in his 80s allegedly put the magazine back in and chambered a bullet when it came back to him.
Police said that another person walked up and asked to see the weapon when the owner pulled the trigger.
“Evidently he just forgot that he re-chambered the weapon,” Tellico Plains Police Chief Russ Parks told the Knoxville News Sentinel.
The bullet hit the man’s hand before striking his wife in the abdomen. Both were taken to the hospital and are not believed to have life-threatening injuries.
He forgot that he’d prepped the gun for firing and shot himself and his wife.
Why in the world would anyone chamber a round if he wasn’t ready to fire the gun?
Well, that’s something that the NRA encourages.
You see, the NRA stays strong and powerful and keeps its membership ranks full by convincing people who can’t think for themselves that danger is all around them and they need to be prepared to fight back.
I saw this firsthand when I took a concealed carry course in Arizona years ago, when my wasband bought the first gun for our household. (Back then, the course was required to get a concealed carry permit; I’m not sure if it still is. But we took the course because it was the only pistol training course we could find in our area; I had no desire to carry and still don’t.) The NRA-sponsored course had a very heavy emphasis on the importance of carrying a gun at all times to protect yourself. As the only woman in the class who made it clear she was not interested in carrying, I got special attention. The instructor and his wife came up with numerous unlikely scenarios where I might be called on to shoot an attacker. It was absurd. They assumed I was either an idiot or was looking for trouble. (No, I don’t spend my evenings hanging out on the fringes of Phoenix mall parking lots or take long solo walks in the bad parts of any town. Sheesh.)
You can see this mentality again and again. When Googling “Can you fire a semi auto without first chambering a round?” for some additional information for this blog post, the second search result was this:
So yes, there are a bunch of Second Amendment yahoos running around carrying semi-automatic pistols with chambered rounds, all ready to fire at a touch of the trigger.
And they apparently do so in churches.
Keep in mind that it takes literally a single second to rack a gun’s slide. Does waiting until you’re ready to fire really save you that much time?
I don’t think so.
So yes, I’m a gun owner. But I believe the NRA is harmful to our nation and its people. And that we need sensible gun controls that include education so morons like this guy understand just how dangerous a chambered round can be.