The Three Basic Rules of Gunfighting

I put this together some time ago and just realized I’ve never posted it here. Therefore:

Rule One: Cooper’s Law
Have a gun.

The late Jeff Cooper needs little introduction. He was an advocate of self defense for the common man. This rule comes from an essay he did on self defense.

Please note a firearm is not a magic talisman or amulet; simply having ‘a gun’ is not the totality. “Have a Gun” connotes possession of a properly maintained firearm, loaded with proper ammunition and the holder possessed of the ability to properly effect use thereof.

Cirillo’s Corollary:
When you need a gun, a bigger gun is better.

The Jim Cirillo worked for NYPD on the Stake-out Squad for a number of years. He’s shot more people in line of duty than most of us don’t like. This might be considered odd, as he carried a .38 Special revolver most of his career. Still, the point is well taken. When a defensive gun is called for, one desires the most gun one can get. It’s your choice.

Rule Two: Pittock’s Law
Be Alert! The world needs more lerts.

Tim Pittock ran the best gun shop in the known Universe once upon a time. He has long since sold out the shop and moved away. I’ve lost track of him and don’t know if he’s alive anymore. However, in that marvelous gunshop hung a sign displaying Rule Two. It wasn’t described as a Rule of Gunfighting, but it applies and so I have applied it.

Just as in driving in traffic or on a freeway, keep track of what is going on about. Especially ahead and closing quickly. Keep looking around and pay attention. One can either avoid or make better preparations when one can see trouble on the approach.

Rule Three: Tuco’s Law
When you have to shoot, Shoot! Don’t talk!

Sometimes, direct and ruthless action is required. Any questions on that one?

Old Man Montgomery’s Corollary
Any one worth shooting is worth shooting well.

It is not possible to ‘shoot someone a little bit’. Shooting in self defense means there is an immediate, deadly threat to one’s person or family, and all other means of avoiding the problem have been ineffective. Therefore, the ultimate, final and only option left is deadly force. If that is what is demanded, that is what must be delivered.

These are just basic precepts, not a full and comprehensive course of instruction. I’ve tried to keep it simple.



Filed under Firearms and their use

7 responses to “The Three Basic Rules of Gunfighting

  1. LOL! Really? Is this a real blog? If it is then man you’re pretty sick. You have the power of words at your disposal, you have the potential of reaching thousands and this is what you write? I don’t like to judge people but man this is pretty sick. Unless, Unless, You’re being sarcastic in this blog. If you are being Sarcastic then this is pretty clever. (i gave u a way out, use it) ; )

    • I normally do not pay much attention to empty, impolite blathering. You will note sir, I approved your comments EXACTLY as you wrote them, did I not?

      So. Fill out your disapproval and show you are a thinking man. Just exactly what about this article is ‘sick’? Be specific, not just vague accusations. Give reasons for your displeasure.

      No. None of it is sarcasm. The entire essay is seriously intended to acquaint people with the basic concepts of armed self-defense.

      • Hi Monty,
        Great reply to “-sinc” …10-4. ‘Poor ol -sinc lives in a “Kiddiegarden” world of “Fake guns, Fake demons and fake reality!!” He lives in a “Fake world” where everyone dies either from ” Accident, disease or old age!!” Sorry you don’t have the ability for me to post the picture of the lady who got her head sliced off by a “Work Mate” who was yelling,”Allie Candybar” or some such ‘rabic gibberish!! Fortunately another “work mate” was “armed!!,” Pulled out his piece and shot ol’ mohamadahammy “DEAD” before he got to #2 in the line up!! Too bad ol’ -sinc wasn’t #1…as the blade was slicing thru his jugular I wonder what would have been his “Parting thoughts??”
        As an “Old Skydiver” I have to say,I did not get “old” by being “Careless!!”… “Constant Vigilance” both in the air and on the ground has been my life’s work!!!
        Audentes, Fortuna, Juvat!!!,

  2. … and I thought I’d get nasty replies to the YEC essay.


  3. Arpad Deli, thanks for your support and encouragement. I am aware of many examples of workplace violence; some featuring Muslims and some not. I’m certainly not defending or encouraging Muslim flavored terrorists, but in this sense of defense, I consider them equal to any old lunatic off his or her meds attempting to harm or kill another because of voices, who was elected, which end of the egg one breaks or the color of one’s socks.

    The other commenter – who objected – either completely misunderstands that of which I speak, or he views the Universe with a rather different view. He hasn’t offered another comment, either to justify his initial statement or to amend or qualify it. I would make note of it, whether I completely allowed it all or not; I would not change his (her?) comments in substance, but I might edit some language.

    • Hi Monty,
      “10-4!!” Yup, the situation I pointed out is only one of a “Laundry list” of events!! e.g. also ‘Forget his name but the former Eagle Scout up in the Texas Tower (I think that was during the last part of the Eisenhower Administration to point out a time line) Then there was “The Son of Sam!!” These are just two… Bitch is their “Targets” were past (in the negative sense) “Condition WHITE!!!” …… Besides just training with your “Carry Piece” … ‘Training yourself in “Situational Awareness” is as much if not even of more importance!! Just think, we are always “Walking Point” on our Own Fire Team …of one!!
      Audentes Fortuna Juvat,
      PS The “Tuco’s Law” won’t post… type in >>>> and read the part about Sergio Leone and his “History” and how his family and upbringing influenced his career….. just like in Music…. Stevie Ray Vaughn was greatly influenced in his younger years by Jimi Hendrix… it showed in his music!!

      • The “Texas Tower” shooter was Charles Whitman, took place in 1966. (After the Eisenhower Administration). Son of Sam, David Berkowitz, in the middle of 1977. Yes, all those victims were in ‘white’.

        The victims on campus in 1966, walking around and not thinking of an attack. The victims of Berkowitz were mostly committing ‘slap and tickle’ in parked cars. Perhaps some of the later ones should have been more careful.

        The reality is, even driving on the street requires paying attention to everything. I have stories about inattention and I’m sure so does most everyone else.

        Be careful.

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