I have been thinking that what we need is some pearls of wisdom from the men who know the most about our subject. The defensive use of firearms.
So here are two of the best in the business. Clint Smith and Jeff Cooper.
Clint Smith, director of Thunder Ranch, is part drill instructor, part stand-up comic. Here are a few of his observations on tactics, firearms, self defense and life as we know it in the civilized world.
"So a guy says, ‘I’m good! I move, I shoot, I communicate.’ Yeah, but can you do it on the ground? Because that’s where you’re gonna be in a fight."
"It’s real different when the bad guy shoots back. It doesn’t mean you’re going to lose, it just makes the story more interesting afterward."
"The best example of good training is to never get in a fight."
"If you’re accosted, don’t get out of the car. Put it in some other gear and put both feet on the gas. Clint’s school of driving-add power!"
Running Out Of Ammo:
"If pointing an empty gun at your opponent makes him duck, you may live for an extra two seconds-and who knows? I may find another gun, the bad guy may give up, or the ammo fairy may drop me a magazine."
"If we’re going down a hall and I see the end of a double barrel shotgun, I better communicate to my partner, ‘cause I can be pretty sure it’s not the Easter bunny on the other end."
"Open up the ground between you and the threat. At arm’s distance, your opponent doesn’t have to be good, he just has to be lucky."
"It doesn’t do me any good to have a partner and shoot ‘em-although I’ve had some partners I’d like to shoot."
"You better learn to communicate real well, because when you’re out there on the street, you’ll have to talk to a lot more people than you’ll have to shoot, or at least that’s the way I think it’s supposed to work."
Big Bore Sixguns:
"...He asked, ‘Did you hit him?’ Hey, I don’t know, but he was smokin’ when he ran outta here."
Counting Your Shots:
"It’s our experience that in a fight you will continue to shoot the gun until the threat goes away or until the gun is empty."
"Don’t be a deer caught in the headlights of the Kenworth of life!"
Long Guns Vs. Handguns:
"They say you can’t use a rifle or shotgun indoors because a bad guy will grab the barrel. Yeah? Well, he better hang on, ‘cause I’m gonna light him up and it’ll definitely be an "E" ticket ride."
"People ask, ‘What do you do if the guy’s on drugs?’ Shoot ‘em! ‘But what if it doesn’t work?’ Shoot ‘em some more!"
The Defensive Mindset:
"The only reason we would plant our feet is to dig ‘em real good so we can run, ‘cause we’re about to get the hell out of here."
The Survival Instinct:
"Anyone can understand shooting to protect themselves. You give me five minutes and I’ll make anyone on this planet mad enough to shoot me. The real question is, will they have that much time in a fight? You need to make that decision before you start to fight-only your life depends on it."
CLINT SMITH ON THE 1911
“The 1911 remains popular because it’s an efficient tool. In more than 30 years of experience, I’ve met more competent, serious gunmen who carry 1911’s than those who pack any other handgun. They are professionals – policemen, government agents and others who carry handguns daily because the know their live may depend on it…Me? I’ve carried a 1911 every single day for the past 20 years. It’s a very comforting gun to have at your hip. It offers a good, consistent single-action trigger pull and is wonderfully dependable. Because the 1911 is basically a defensive handgun, I’m not concerned about tight groups. I don’t bother with expanding hollowpoints that could cause feeding problems. For absolute reliability, I shoot only high-quality ball ammunition. That big .45 slug doesn’t have to expand to be effective.” From Guns and Ammo, September, 2001.
"The handgun would not be my choice of weapon if I knew I was going to a fight. I’d choose a rifle, a shotgun, an RPG or an atomic bomb instead."
"The two most important rules in a gunfight are: always cheat and always win."
"Every time I teach a class, I discover I don’t know something."
"Don’t forget, incoming fire has the right of way."
"Make (your attacker) advance through a wall of bullets. I may get killed with my own gun, but he’s gonna have to beat me to death with it, ‘cause it’s going to be empty."
"If you’re not shootin’, you should be loadin’. If you’re not loadin’, you should be movin’. If you’re not movin’, someone’s gonna cut your head off and put it on a stick."
"When you reload (in low light encounters), don’t put your flashlight in your back pocket. If you light yourself up, you’ll look like an angel or the tooth fairy - and you’re gonna be one of ‘em pretty soon."
"Do something. It may be wrong, but do something."
"Nothing adds a little class to a sniper course like a babe in a ghille suit."
"Shoot what’s available, as long as it’s available, until something else becomes available."
"If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. That’s ridiculous. If I have a gun, what in the hell do I have to be paranoid about?"
"Don’t shoot fast, shoot good."
"You can say ‘stop’ or ‘alto’ or use any other word you think will work, but I’ve found that a large bore muzzle pointed at someone’s head is pretty much the universal language."
"You have the rest of your life to solve your problems. How long you live depends on how well you do it."
"You cannot save the planet. You may be able to save yourself and your family."
Jeff Cooper Quotes
One cannot legislate the maniacs off the street... these maniacs can only be shut down by an armed citizenry. Indeed bad things can happen in nations where the citizenry is armed, but not as bad as those which seem to be threatening our disarmed citizenry in this country at this time.
Owning a handgun doesn't make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician.
Remember the first rule of gunfighting... "have a gun."
The police cannot protect the citizen at this stage of our development, and they cannot even protect themselves in many cases. It is up to the private citizen to protect himself and his family, and this is not only acceptable, but mandatory.
The will to survive is not as important as the will to prevail... the answer to criminal aggression is retaliation.
We continue to be exasperated by the view, apparently gaining momentum in certain circles, that armed robbery is okay as long as nobody gets hurt! The proper solution to armed robbery is a dead robber, on the scene.
"The 1911 pistol remains the service pistol of choice in the eyes of those who understand the problem. Back when we audited the FBI academy in 1947, I was told that I ought not to use my pistol in their training program because it was not fair. Maybe the first thing one should demand of his sidearm is that it be unfair.”