Woefully Ignorant, Or Willfully Ignorant?

By John Farnam

Negligent Discharges
Negligent Discharges
Defense Training International, Inc
Defense Training International, Inc

Ft Collins, CO –-(Ammoland.com)- “Cold-Range Mentality”

This from a friend and student in the security business:

“… my ‘trainer,' one of the senior fellows at this facility, asked me about the condition of readiness of my sidearm (G23). I informed him that it was loaded and ready for serious business.

He and another co-worker then arrogantly scoffed, and recoiled in fear. They informed me that in ‘our line of work‘ it was extremely dangerous to carry a pistol with a round chambered, and that the practice will generate all manner of NDs ( negligent discharges ). Exercising great restraint, I calmly replied that I was comfortable carrying in this manor and would continue to do so.

Just three short hours later, we got a ‘suicidal-man-with-a-gun‘ call to one of the parking structures on-property. My trainer, now my ‘partner,' and I were the first on-scene. He yelled to me that a man sitting in a vehicle had a pistol in his lap.

I immediately drew my pistol and closed on the passenger side. My partner also drew, then racked the slide of his pistol, and closed on the driver side. As it turns out, the man seated in the vehicle was DRT ( dead right there ) from a self-inflicted GSW, and had been for at least an hour.

We gradually stood-down, and I reholstered my pistol.

That is when I saw my ‘partner‘ attempt to ‘clear‘ his pistol. As you might predict, this was a comedy of errors! A round was ejected, slide was released chambering the next round. The magazine was then removed, reinserted, and the trigger was pressed.

Gun and ammunition functioned normally! My hapless ‘partner‘ fortunately had the muzzle depressed, and the errant round hit a concrete wall.

After the shock of the unexpected discharge, this bumbling buffoon continued to fumble with his gun, pointing it in every unsafe direction imaginable. I finally grabbed the pistol, to get it pointed away from me, and ‘assisted‘ him in holstering it. Once in the holster, I told him not to touch it!

Lesson: NDs, like this one, are a direct product of what my friend and colleague, Buz Mills, CEO at Gunsite, calls “CRM,” for “Cold Range Mentality,” so common among clueless pretenders of the Art. The “founding principle” of CRM, and the culture that surrounds it, is:

“All Guns are Always Unloaded”

As we see, NDs haunt cold ranges, and those who “train” on them, during and after, like the plague! Denizens of this “culture” will never be effective, nor safe, with guns (as we see!), but that is their choice!

Comment: As a colleague once told me, there is a critical difference between being “woefully ignorant” and “willfully ignorant.” The former are at least capable of being enlightened. The latter at lost! Their vanity and arrogance will prevent them from ever repenting and seeing the light. They are destined to die in (more likely, because of) their ignorance, and no one can help them!

“The proposition at debate is a socio-political one: Is it possible and practicable to maintain a comfortable and reasonably secure social order with lethal weapons not only ubiquitously present, but carried in a high state of readiness? Naive grasseaters can't imagine how it can be so, never mind how they could be capable of doing it. Yet, professional gunmen do it routinely.” ~ D Kahn

I might add that we also do it with a high degree of “safety,” although I hate that word!


About John Farnam & Defense Training International, Inc
As a defensive weapons and tactics instructor John Farnam will urge you, based on your own beliefs, to make up your mind in advance as to what you would do when faced with an imminent and unlawful lethal threat. You should, of course, also decide what preparations you should make in advance, if any. Defense Training International wants to make sure that their students fully understand the physical, legal, psychological, and societal consequences of their actions or inactions.

It is our duty to make you aware of certain unpleasant physical realities intrinsic to the Planet Earth. Mr Farnam is happy to be your counselor and advisor. Visit: www.defense-training.com

  • 5 thoughts on “Woefully Ignorant, Or Willfully Ignorant?

    1. Old Curmudgeon, that was the best comeback I’ve ever heard! Perfect response to an unenlightened and obviously untrained but well meaning, individual. I’m writing that one down in my brain for future use.
      As an aside, I was in the very last class at Reserve POST to be trained on the 4″ Model 10 S&W. As I recall it was in 1993, or thereabouts.

    2. As an old retired copper, I served during Law Enforcement’s transition from revolvers to semi-autos. Many of us chose to carry 1911’s, cocked and locked and received numerous “helpful hints” from uninformed members of the public. One such interaction that has stayed with me all these years occurred between a little old lady and my partner (who was even more curmudgeonly than I). She approached our table in the restaraunt where we were having lunch and very quietly whispered to him: “Officer, do you know that hammer thingy on your gun is back?” He replied, “Yes, ma’am, I am aware of that.” Well, isn’t that dangerous?” she asked. His reply, “Yes, ma’am. It’s supposed to be.” If all firearms were treated as the potentially dangerous tools they are, NDs would be rare indeed.

    3. My liberal (he believes whatever his girlfriend of the moment tells him to believe) kid brother told me I should always leave the chamber in my old S&W MDL 59 empty because a chambered round meant George Zimmerman was looking for trouble. I asked him what to do if I was packing a revolver and he answered, “that’s different”. I couldn’t get him to elaborate beyond “just because”.

      1. Sniper,
        Did your brother explain just what the hell he meant by bringing up George Zimmerman”s name ??

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