Essential Rules of Gunfighting Everyone Should Know

(You may someday have to apply one or more of these…)

1) Bring a gun; when possible, bring at least two guns, all of your friends that have guns and FOUR TIMES the ammunition you think you could ever need.

2) Guns have only two enemies: rust and inexperience. a) Practice. Practice reloading one-handed and practice off-hand shooting; that’s how you live if hit on your “good” side. Practice shooting in the dark, with someone shouting at you, when out of breath, etc. b) Use a gun that works EVERY TIME. At a practice session, throw your gun into the mud, then make sure it still works. You can clean it later. c) Don’t drop your guard. Practice tactical loading while 360 degree threat-scanning.

3) Carry the same gun in the same place all the time.

4) Remember, police carry guns to protect themselves, not you.

5) It’s always better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammunition is cheap – your life is NOT.

6) If you are shooting inside, buckshot is your friend. A new wall is cheap – your funeral is NOT.

7) Proximity negates skill; NEVER let someone or something that threatens you get inside arm’s length. Move away from your attacker and go to cover. Distance is your friend (lateral and diagonal movement are preferred).

8) Use cover or concealment as much as possible, but remember, sheetrock walls stop nothing but your pulse when bullets rip through them.

9) Never say “I’ve got a gun.” If you need to use deadly force, the first sound they hear should be the safety clicking off.

10) If the situation lends itself, yell “Fire!” Why “Fire”? Police will come with the Fire Department, and sirens often scare off bad guys or at least cause them to lose concentration and will. Besides, who is going to summon help if you yell “intruder” or “gun”?

11) The response time of a 911 call can be as great as >20 minutes; the response time of any handgun suitable for a gunfight is >900 feet per second.

12) The most important rule in a gunfight is: ALWAYS WIN, cheat if possible. The only unfair gunfight is the one you lose.

13) Make your attacker advance through a wall of bullets… You may get killed with your own gun, but they should have to beat you to death with it, because it is empty.

14) If your shooting stance is good, you’re probably not moving fast enough or using cover correctly. If you are not shooting, you should be communicating (when appropriate), reloading, threat-scanning and moving.

15) Have a plan. Have a backup plan, because the first one likely won’t work. Decide NOW to always be aggressive ENOUGH, quickly ENOUGH.

16) Be courteous to everyone, overly friendly to no one. Be polite, be professional, but, have a plan to kill everyone you meet if necessary, because they may want to kill you.

17) In a life and death situation, DO SOMETHING. . . It may be wrong, but do SOMETHING!

18) Do not attend a gunfight with a handgun whose caliber starts with anything smaller than “4”.

19) If you can choose what to bring to a gunfight, bring a semi- or fully-automatic long gun, and a friend with a long gun. In the Old West, the handgun was considered your last ditch attempt to fight your way back to your rifle.

20) Flank your adversary when possible. Protect yours.

21) Watch their hands. Hands kill; smiles, frowns and other facial expressions don’t.

22) The faster you finish the fight, the less shot you will get.

23) Your number one option for personal security is a lifelong commitment to avoidance, deterrence, and de-escalation.

24) Regardless of whether justified of not, you will feel sad about killing another human being. Make sure you live to feel sad.

25) The only thing you EVER say afterwards is, “He said he was going to kill me. I believed him. I’m sorry, Officer, but I’m very upset, and I just can’t say anything more. Please speak with my attorney.”

(compiled from various gun-related sources)

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