Sometimes we take safety too far and progress into doing things that are unsafe in the name of safety. Todd is talking about hot/cold ranges and makes a great point:
I simply take a different approach towards teaching and towards safety. From my standpoint, if you can’t be trusted with a loaded gun in your holster, you can’t be trusted with a loaded gun in your hands.
Word. I understand cold ranges from a liability standpoint, and I understand them from USPSA/IDPA’s point of view on them as well. However, after the last couple of years, I’ve really started to believe in the Gunsite philosophy on hot/cold firearms, depicted at left in signage. A holstered pistol is a safe pistol, and keeping yours in the holster whether it’s hotted up or cold is the safest thing to do.
I actually agree with Todd in that if you can’t be trusted with a loaded pistol in your holster then perhaps you shouldn’t be on the line training yet either, as you’ve clearly not mastered the fundamentals of firearms yet. I’ve been on ranges where people have had hot guns and I’ve been fine with it, and I’ve also been on ranges where people have had hot guns and it has made me uncomfortable because of the person with the loaded gun in the holster.
Ultimately though, I’m in favor of “loaded guns in holsters” provided that you’re not touching the gun while it’s in the holster. That’s the safety issue. Constant administrative loading and unloading of guns without proper safety protocols can lead to sloppy gunhandling because “I’ve done this 1000 times before”. Running a class with hot guns is perfectly safe, provided the instruction is up to snuff.