You’re going to be in a gunfight tomorrow – are you prepared?
Do you carry a gun religiously?
Let’s get right to the crux of it – if you’re going to be in a gunfight and want to win, you have to have a gun.
But the truth is that even those of the population that have taken the time to get their concealed carry permits rarely carry a gun. I have heard less than one percent! Really? I could not find verification of that number, but even if it is close to correct I am very disappointed. I ate dinner at a nice Mexican restaurant two nights ago and deliberately paid attention to each person who walked through the doors. I did not notice one that was likely armed. Granted, there could have been an incredibly smooth operator with a hidden gun in the place, but the skinny jeans and tight shirts on most guys and girls in the place quickly told me that it was very likely no one was armed.
I get it. Guns are uncomfortable. Tom Givens recently held an instructor development course in the Chander, OK area and had a great epiphany about carrying guns. It is much like an infant and shoes. When an infant is born, we often try hard to find the most comfortable shoes possible for their first pair. Unfortunately, after being born barefoot and living weeks to months that way, the first time we place shoes on those little feet they throw a fit. Right? But alas, after a few weeks they become accustomed to them, and it is likely you are wearing shoes as you read this, but have not thought a single thought about them all day. Wearing a gun religiously is the same, at first, it sucks and you might tend to whine about it, but after some time (2-3 weeks) with the right gear, you will pay no more attention to it than your shoes. Start going armed!
So back to your gunfight. It is with going to happen. Tomorrow. Guaranteed!
So…if with 100% certainty you’re going to be in a gunfight tomorrow, would you prefer to be in a gunfight with that J frame lightweight revolver that has a really heavy double-action trigger pull, carried in your front pocket where it is very difficult to access with relative speed? Don’t get me wrong, I know good revolvers have their place (back up guns), but think about what you will pick for your fight tomorrow with some logic. Revolver people, don’t bother getting all worked up over this. Think objectively.
If you know you’re going to a gunfight and your shooting hand might be injured forcing you to shift and the gun and shoot it with your support hand at an assailant holding your child, would you pick a handgun that was difficult to hit with relative accuracy at speed? Would you pick a small pocket pistol with a very heavy, creepy double-action trigger pull for every shot that was also very difficult to manipulate under stress?
Or instead, would you pick a medium-sized, modern semi-automatic, higher-capacity, concealable handgun that was easy to shoot and manipulate?
I know my answer and I can guess what yours might be if you know tomorrow’s gunfight is going to happen. Both of us are probably going to pick the gun that gives us the most advantage. Most of the pocket pistols out there as well as a large majority of the handguns sold at gun stores recommended by gun store commandos are probably not the ones you should pick in preparation for your gunfight tomorrow.
One more thing, if you are a female and “the expert” told you to carry a revolver due to it’s simplicity and the fact your lower level of training dictates you need something simple, I want you to do two things. First, slap said “expert” since he/she insulted you by saying that you could and would not train to a solid level of proficiency. Second, do a little test. Shoot your revolver on a target five yards away with only one hand. Fire five shots as fast as you can get hits, one time with your gun hand and one time with your support hand (two separate strings of fire) into the O ring of an I.D.P.A. target. Count your hits in that circle. Then, go perform the same test with a high-quality small to medium-sized semi-automatic like a Glock 26 or 19 and see if your hit ratio and speed goes up significantly. I have had female students that could not even pull the trigger with their weak hand on their carry revolver….have you tried with yours?
How about your gear? Have you tested your carry holster or carry method hundreds if not thousands of times to see if it’s going to allow you to consistently present the handgun very quickly from the holster? Have you taken it a step further and jumped up and down laid on the ground and rolled around a little bit to see if your handgun is actually gonna stay in your holster? Your fight tomorrow will be more dynamic than simply standing still and shooting like you do on the range.
Your fight is coming, have you trained for it? Have you properly prepared? To answer that question, we must look at how fights occur and more importantly we must look at how we’re going to be attacked. There’s a significant amount of data out there these days and I highly respect Tom Givens of (of Range Master in Memphis) and credit him with what I believe some of the most crucial data I’ve come across in 15 years of teaching. That data shows basically how assaults occur, how you’re going to be attacked, and also shows what worked in those fights. It also indicates what ranges the shootings happened at, and how many rounds they fired.
In relation to your gunfight, it’s probably going to occur in around three seconds, at three yards, and around three shots will be fired by you. Have you spent the majority of your practice on your presentation from concealment (that’s how you’re gonna be carrying it) practicing to draw and hit with 100% certainty and 100% consistency with as much speed as possible? Remember that you are responsible for each round you fire. Are you confident that you have practiced enough to hit with all of your shots tomorrow? If not, are you prepared to deal with the aftermath of shooting someone innocent, like a child?
How about your one-handed shooting? Statistics show that you’re highly likely to be injured and hit by a bullet in one of your arms. In addition, there is a significant amount of our normal daily life duties that require one of our arms to become occupied, therefore the likeliness of us having to fire with one arm is a very good possibility. Have you trained to control the recoil on your handgun, manage the trigger, and get accurate hits with one arm only? I hope so, I am pretty sure you might have to shoot like this in your fight tomorrow.
How about movement? It’s been demonstrated over and over again that movement will increase your success in a fight by moving out of the way of the flying bullets.
Obviously, a moving target is more difficult to hit, but more importantly, when you present a moving target you surprise the attacker and get out of his line of sight. Have you practiced your presentation while moving off-line to the left or right? Getting successful hits while moving is different than doing a fast draw while standing still. Hey, you’re going to be in a gunfight tomorrow! Don’t you think that’s a skill you will want to have?
Ok, let me ask the blunt question. Did you spend some of your time and money on training, ammunition, or information? Or did you drop it all on that new surround sound system and plasma TV for the fall football season? Hey, you spent the money to get your carry permit right?? That card should suffice since the carry permit course is so intensive and certainly prepared you for the fight tomorrow, didn’t it? Right! Much like a teenager is prepared to drive well after they get their license. I hope you are ready for your fight. It’s yours to win or lose, not mine.
Let’s talk about your mental preparation. Having a gun is one thing, carrying it daily is another, but are you prepared to use it? I’m not talking about some hard-core mental training routine that makes you a cold-blooded killer but I’m talking about doing some sort of mental exercises with the thought process that says not if but when. Think about it for a second. Anytime you expected anything to happen to you, remaining relatively calm and comfortable was easy because you were in your comfort zone. So knowing you’re going to be in a gunfight tomorrow, wouldn’t you rather have the thought: “I knew this would happen, let’s take care of business”, versus: “oh shit I can’t believe this is happening to me!”? The surprise might cause hesitation and you to freeze up or make slow decisions.
Do you want to make slow decisions in your gunfight tomorrow?
How about the element of your preparation that assumes that something bad might happen during your gunfight tomorrow. What if you get shot? Are you mentally prepared to deal with the consequences of actually getting shot? If you have done your research you would find a significant number of handgun wounds are not life-threatening and allow the person shot to go home in a day or two. Truthfully, handgun bullets really don’t do much. When your gunfight occurs tomorrow obviously you don’t want to get shot, but the possibility exists that in a gunfight you might get shot. If that happens do you want your mentality to be a surprise, anguish, or paralyzing fear?
Or would you rather prepare your mind so that your response is anger instead, one where you get pissed off that they shot you, decide to hunker down and return accurate fire, destroying your opponent? The point is if you expect the possibility of getting shot it won’t be a surprise. Whether you live or die depends on how you react to it at that moment and what you do.
How about your family? Does your wife or husband have any clue whatsoever what you’re gonna do and what you expect them to do after you walk around that car in the parking lot and a bad man jumps out of the shadow and points a gun at you? It’s going to happen tomorrow.
Will they expect you to give up your wallet? Or draw your handgun and shoot? Or potentially move off-line aggressively, which if it’s toward them is gonna be slightly disrupting, and draw?
Will they know to move and if so, what direction will they go? Will they stay in the line of fire, or move laterally and hopefully to a safer spot? Do your children know what you will do when bad things happen tomorrow or will they have any idea what to do?
The fight is coming. Are you ready?
Until Then – Train Hard!
7 thoughts on “You’re Going To Be In A Gunfight Tomorrow!”
Thank you again for more great advice. All of us need to hear this over and over and over.
A wise man once told me that you need to be ready at a moments notice, you cannot predict when or where bad things are going to happen. He told me this after noticing my 1911 was hammer down, empty chamber. I think of this every day.
For me range-time is something that is hard to get with work, kids and being a full time student. However, with having a tight schedule I always make time for dry fire drills using EDC gear. Incorporating one handed manipulation (as long as it’s done correctly) in to the dry fire routine, to me, is extremely important. I will be undergoing surgery on my dominant arm in the next couple of weeks so the one handed drills I’ve been practicing will serve me well.
Another excellent point in this article, does your family know how you are going to react? I have a 6 year old and a 10 year old. I do not feel bad discussing “What ifs” with them and encourage them to ask those questions. It’s a little funny, the wife and kids know where I like to sit at restaurants and where they should walk while with me.They also refer to the use of lethal as “stopping the threat/bad guy” rather than killing the bad guy.
Saying this, I should mention that I have had the privilege of working with and learning from some of the best instructors in the country, but by no means am I a “bad ass”. If you are a beginner (or anyone for that matter) and reading this I would recommend SEEKing quality instruction and setting yourself up for success.
Great comments J.!
I’m female. I wear only skirts or dresses. I’m thin and a belly band doesn’t work to carry my current firearm. It sticks out…down there. I have no boobs in which to hide a firearm and besides, I prefer not to have my good bras stretched out. I started carrying years back with a NAA, then a S & W airweight revolver, Keltec P32. I’ve tried several different guns but I’m now carrying 9mm. I can’t conceal this thing on my body so I end up carrying the Sig 938 in my purse. It’s heavy. I need to have it on my body. I favor this Sig because of its firepower and it handles good for me. If coming out of WalMart, I unzip or open the handbag to keep my hand on the gun…but, I’m frustrated with being unable to find a proper way to carry. I’m not prepared for that attack tomorrow. Oh yeah, and I change purses like every other day, depending on my outfit. Help? Advice?
Thanks for reading! I know that females face a different challenge when carrying a firearm. The simple fact that most pants made for females do not have belt loops is just the start! While you are right, a purse carry method might not be best, but is a good option if there is a dedicated holster system inside it. I know of a few females that have good success with an inside the waistband holster, but understand it does not suit everyday carry and how some prefer to dress. If possible, you might consider contacting Lynn givens at Rangemaster out of Memphis, as she carries daily and works with a bunch of other females that do as well. I did also have a female student at one time that carried with a very trendy looking fanny pack that was actually made for runners. Hers was perfect for her Glock 19, but I could not find the bag she had when I tried to find it later. I will be doing a blog on female carry methods sometime soon!
I know too many people that carry in their purse, back pocket or cargo pants that may never practice their draw or any other of the skills expressed here. And one day may wonder why they were not successful in their own defense. GREAT article.