Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Concealed Carry, Done Right

Last week I commented on an incident where a man who just wanted to carry a weapon for self-defense in a supermarket met ignoble failure because he couldn't keep his pistol in his pocket.

This week I draw your attention to a man with the same goal, who did everything right.

From the IndyStar, I give you Charlie Merrell:
A 51-year-old man stopped a masked man from robbing a Southside grocery store and held him at gunpoint until police arrived.

Charlie Merrell was in checkout line at Bucks IGA Supermarket, 3015 S. Meridian St., when a masked man jumped a nearby counter and held a gun on a store employee at 5:17 p.m. Monday, according to a police report made public today.

While the suspect was demanding cash from the workers, the police report states that Merrell pulled his own handgun, pointed it at the robber and ordered him to put down his weapon.

When the suspect hesitated, Merrell racked the slide on his gun to load a round in the chamber, Officer Jason Bockting wrote in the report.
The suspect placed his gun and a bag of cash on the counter, dropping some of the money, police said. The suspect removed his mask and lay on the floor. Merrell held the suspect at gunpoint until officers arrived and took him away in handcuffs.
In the 252 comments (still counting), there is some discussion about the sentence:
"When the suspect hesitated, Merrell racked the slide on his gun to load a round in the chamber ..."

In the story, it's not clear why Merrell racked his slide. Some people thought he engaged an armed robber with a pistol which was in Condition 3 (The chamber is empty and hammer is down with a charged magazine in the gun.)

I'm sure it's possible that Merrell was in Condition 3, but it's just as possible that he was in Condition 1 (Also known as "cocked and locked," means a round is in the chamber, the hammer is cocked, and the manual thumb safety on the side of the frame is applied) and merely racked the slide to take psychological advantage of the "Ka-CHUNK!" factor.

For that matter, it's just as possible that Merrell presented his pistol in Condition 0 (A round is in the chamber, hammer is cocked, and the safety is off.)

The 'Ka-CHUNK!" factor is here defined as the terrifying effect on a predator when he hears a defender either rack the pump on a 12-guage shotgun, or rack the slide on a pistol.


Has a nice ring to it, don't you think?

The movies and television make much of a cop with a pointed gun shouting such cogent phrases as "Freeze, Dog-Breath!" and "Stop or I'll shoot!". In real life, there's no reason for such histrionics. Think of it as a 'talk to the hand' moment.

Step 1: Get the predator's attention.
Step 2: Ka-CHUNK!
Step 3: pick up the predator's weapon and the bag-o-loot while the police are taking their time riding to the scene of the (failed) crime.

This is a much nicer resolution that that which we have recently seen in "Gun Free Zones", don't you think?

So do I.

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