Things I learned from the Masters

Reflecting on Shunryu Suzuki’s comment  – “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few,” some frequently ignored or overlooked fundamentals taught by people who have been at this a long time come to mind. My research on ‘bad shootings’ has reinforced some things to me.

 
Jeff Cooper – The Four Rules

1.    ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED.
2.    NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT PREPARED TO DESTROY.
3.    KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET.
4.    BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET AND WHAT IS BEYOND IT.

John Farnam

The person most likely to shoot you is YOU. Why? Because you’re always there.

Bill Rogers

•    Muzzle direction is the primary safety; always has been and always will be.
•    Identify your target at night, preferably with a flashlight, before you shoot it.

The Most Dangerous Man

•    Shooting isn’t always the optimal solution.
•    Holding someone at gunpoint isn’t as easy as it seems.

Ken Hackathorn –

It’s a downrange world

Massad Ayoob

Avoiding the problem (implied task) is a lot easier than fixing the problem, either at the moment or in the legal system later.

8 responses

  1. EWWWRAHHH!!

    Basics. Fundamentals. As much as we stray from them, it’s nice to revisit & relearn.

  2. I’m not so sure about the empirical reality of the Farnham idea: “The person most likely to shoot you is YOU. Why? Because you’re always there.” It just seems incorrect to say, so I am wondering what the broader idea he is conveying is supposed to be.

    1. See the stories I linked about people who accidentally shoot themselves. Generally, those injuries aren’t fatal so they don’t get widespread publicity.

      1. Thanks for taking the time to clarify.

  3. Reblogged this on Gun Culture 2.0 and commented:
    Contrary to suggestions that gun people advocate shooting first and asking questions later, most leading trainers suggest abundant caution, the biggest aspect of that being avoidance. Hence the famous John Farnam advice about not going stupid places and doing stupid things with stupid people.
    I’ve always liked that saying, so was a big surprised/confused at the inclusion of a different idea from Farnam in this blog list. I’m not sure about the empirical reality of the idea: “The person most likely to shoot you is YOU. Why? Because you’re always there.” It just seems incorrect to say, since few people shoot themselves (outside of suicide). It would stretch the idea of a “bad shooting,” though, to include suicide, in the same way I think it is wrong to include suicide in aggregate statistics about gun violence.

    1. I wasn’t referring to suicide, nor was John. The reason I included John’s quote began with a statement he made in the first DTI class I took. The statement was “Eighty percent of police officers who are shot are shot by themselves.” Whether that is still true, I don’t know. I do know that holster manufacturers are sued numerous times each year, unsuccessfully, by police officers who shoot themselves in the process of drawing or holstering. However, given the multiplicity of reports I have about private citizens who accidentally shoot themselves, I wouldn’t be surprised. It happens a lot more often than we like to think. Here are a few recent examples:

      Man shoots himself in hand while driving in Portsmouth
      http://www.13newsnow.com/story/news/local/mycity/portsmouth/2014/10/03/man-shoots-himself-in-hand-while-driving-in-portsmouth/16675217/
      Utah teacher accidentally shoots self in leg at school
      http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/09/11/utah-teacher-accidently-shoots-self-in-leg-at-school/
      Woman Accidentally Shoots Herself While Scaring off Intruder
      http://www.valleynewslive.com/story/26033874/woman-accidentally-shoots-herself-while-scaring-off-intruder

      1. Thanks. I think it is a good word of caution and a good reminder to think about gun injuries and not just gun deaths all the time.

  4. Good stuff – thanks
    Never hurts to think of the fundamentals of gun handling

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