Access To Empty Guns, A Dead End

By John Farnam

Empty Revolver Gun
Access To Empty Guns, A Dead End
Defense Training International, Inc
Defense Training International, Inc

Ft Collins, CO –-( Access to guns:

It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg.” ~ CS Lewis

In the western feature film, “Silverado” (1985 ), one of the main characters, “Emmett” (palyed by Scott Glenn) is shown out in the desert intensely practicing his shooting skills.

After demonstrating superlative acumen, knocking cans around, he smartly holsters his empty revolver and then walks toward his horse. Out of nowhere, the crooked deputy, “Garth,” (played by Sam Garney) appears and says,

“You're empty, Mister!”

Emmett is subsequently captured and gets the snot beat out of him!

I am reminded that, no matter how skilled you are, nor how much you practice, an unloaded gun, even when in your hand, is still utterly ineffective for any practical purpose

I am also reminded of most “competition” participants. Nearly all leave the range with empty guns, locked away. This, after shooting all day in simulated “real life” scenarios! The minuscule few who do carry off the range, don’t carry a gun that even slightly resembles the one they “practice” with!

They piously exercise “real life,” but they don’t live it!

In their next lethal emergency, I wonder how much “prep time” they foolishly imagine they’re going to get. Are they really expecting a “miracle?”

The foregoing also unhappily describes nearly all military small-arms training, even “concealed-carry” classes conducted on military bases. We “practice” with guns, but we’re never allowed to even touch one outside the range. We’re supposed to be effective in battle, but our lives all the rest of the time are obviously not worth protecting!

We occasionally “do it,” but we never “live it!”

I am finally reminded of the attack of Pearl Harbor, 7 Dec 1941. All those soldiers, sailors, and Marines, and virtually none with loaded guns! Guns and ammunition were “safely locked away.” They still are!

We seem to have forgotten the Lesson, because we don’t want to remember how foolishly arrogant we were!

A few of us have adopted being continually “armed and dangerous,” as a lifestyle. All our practice is with the very gun(s) we actually carry the rest of the time. We really do “live it,” on a daily basis.

But, that lifestyle is officially discouraged at all levels of government, even among many police, and is absolutely prohibited among our military personnel.

As a civilization, we are in continual delusion! Accordingly, history will not deal kindly with us, nor should it!

“When we least expect it, life sends us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change. At such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened, nor in insisting that we are ‘not yet ready.’ The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back!” ~ Paulo Coelho

“You are remembered for the rules you break.” ~ Douglas MacArthur


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:

  • 9 thoughts on “Access To Empty Guns, A Dead End

    1. I knew an ‘old timer’ who finished his sessions at the gun range by reminding everyone to “save a few rounds in case you needed to defend yourself on the way home”. People laughed, but it was good advice.

    2. A man that won’t work
      A knife that won’t cut
      A gun that won’t shoot
      are all in the same category: worthless.

    3. Your statement is well.meant but ignores new jerseys gun laws.It to do not know about Brian Aitken or Shannen allow n google. Them and you will see what I mean. There are literally hundreds more.


    4. “I am reminded that, no matter how skilled you are, nor how much you practice, an unloaded gun, even when in your hand, is still utterly ineffective for any practical purpose.”

      Not quite: If your opponent is no better armed, you can beat him with it! And if he doesn’t *know* it’s empty, it could prove useful. Also a long gun has, for centuries, traditionally made a serviceable club, though some models work better than others (the old Brown Bess outclassing the Kentucky rifle in this category).

      On the other hand I’ll have to quote the former Miami cop (seen on TV somewhere) who, displaying his wall-mounted firearms & declaring they were loaded, insisted that “It’s the unloaded gun that’s gonna get you killed.”

    5. Same kind of bullshyt that is going on now! Vote for the stupidest most retarded a.h.’s you can find and this crap keeps going on from generation to generation..! History repeats itself for those too stupid to learn from it!

    6. I will give gratitude to my leaders while stationed in Viet Nam in 1964-65. We were issued M-14’s and 200 rounds of ammunition, all in magazines. We kept these rifles and our field gear close-at-hand. I recall an attack on Ben Hoa, where the airmen had to go to the armory to be issued weapons while the Viet Cong were attacking. This concept of no weapons/ammunition has never set-well with me. If safety is an issue-train, train, train. Keep booze and drugs away and give a dishonorable discharge to anyone on drugs. Give and maintain mental health training and records.
      Many things could be done, if our leaders wanted to spent the time, money and energy to do them. I believe that a few weapons and some ammo would have saved many soldiers (perhaps all of them, since the shooter may not have fired one round if he knew he would immediately be shot himself).
      I believe that at least, some serious debate should be given to this concept.

    7. Well said! I leave my shooting area fully loaded and ready for action. I train with three different handguns: a Glock SF30, a S&W .45ACP DA revolver, and my backup: a Kahr PM40. I shoot one handed without sights at 3-12′, and use sights at 12-25′. I practice my draws at night with empty guns. I train 1v1, 2v1, 3v1, and do El Presidentes. We who carry are obligated to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and the innocent, from violent criminals. I hope my training will carry me through if ever called to action.

      1. I remind the readers that in many states it is ILLEGAL to transport loaded firearms without a CCW. It is also illegal to even have loaded magazines in transit. Even loaded Garand clips may not be transported. Most of these states do not issue CCW’s easily. Most North Eastern states have such restrictions. The only exceptions are Delaware, Pennsylvania, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Many ranges also prohibit holster carry and loaded draw. Possibly for insurance reasons.

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