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Sun tzu art of war quote concealed carry

Beginners: If You Ever Draw Your Gun, You’d Better Be Prepared To Fire

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A gun is a great tool for intimidating the weak and powerless, yanno?  If someone angers you or you’re not getting your way, just pull out your gun to let them know you mean business.  Let them know that if any defy you, they face your deadly wrath.

Make sure to let everyone know you’re not going to use it unless someone makes you.  People will clearly see that when they see you draw your gun.  They’ll come to respect you by fearing you.

Those two previous passages illustrate how to die a fool’s death.

The vast (99.999999999999%) majority of legal gun owners do not fall into this category.  They take the responsibility for defending their own life very seriously.  And we’ve reported on countless justifiable defensive gun use incidents that illustrate that.

There are people who you may know that can be described in those first two passages.  Those people are a danger to themselves and others.  As a beginner to concealed carry, your job is to be the opposite of that.

Responsible concealed carry means:

  • Never using your firearm to intimidate another. (“Intimidation”)
  • Never drawing your gun unless you absolutely intend to use it. (“Brandishing”)
  • Never firing ‘warning shots’.
  • Never carrying your firearm while under the influence.
  • Always carrying with a round in the chamber.
  • Always maintaining positive control of your firearm.

Take your responsibility seriously — as a beginner or someone who has carried for decades.

How do we know this is the path to success?  Because Sun Tzu used a similar formula when advising his military.

(1) Which of the two sovereigns is imbued with the Moral law?

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(2) Which of the two generals has most ability?

(3) With whom lie the advantages derived from Heaven and Earth?

(4) On which side is discipline most rigorously enforced?

(5) Which army is stronger?

(6) On which side are officers and men more highly trained?

By means of these [six] considerations I can forecast victory or defeat.

Sun Tzu, Art of War

While the above passage may not feel like a ‘dead ringer’ for great concealed carry advice — it’s actually the best advice you can get.  In order to maximize your chances of success in a defensive gun use, the following ought to be in your favor:

  • Morals — If you are morally ground, you are not acting out of anger or emotion.  You are in control of yourself because you know your justification.
  • Tactics — As simple as “cover and concealment” and as complex as “flanking”, your ability to understand how your enemy moves and counter accordingly will aid you greatly in survival.
  • Terrain — Using facets of your surroundings to your advantage, minimizing your enemy’s ability to catch you out in the open or ‘flat footed’.
  • Self-discipline — An undisciplined fighter can not achieve regular results.  Even if he succeeds one day, he is just as likely to completely fail the next because he has no willpower.
  • Training — The more time a concealed carrier puts into training, the more mentally and physically prepared he is to handle the rigors of defensive gun use.

And above all else, do not show your hand before the battle has begun.  Showing your gun to your enemy is the easiest way for him to know you can be defeated — because you’ve already proven yourself to be undisciplined and swayed by fear.

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Categories: Beginners Guide, General
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About James England | View all posts by James England

James England is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and has served as a defense contractor in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His daily concealed carry…

James England is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and has served as a defense contractor in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His daily concealed carry handgun is a Glock 36 in a Lenwood Holsters Specter IWB or his CZ-75D PCR in an Alien Gear MOD holster.

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  • Rod Gwinn

    “A gun is a great tool for intimidating the weak and powerless, yanno? If someone angers you or you’re not getting your way, just pull out your gun to let them know you mean business. Let them know that if any defy you, they face your deadly wrath.” This is what I was thinking when some jackhole pointed a gun at me because he didn’t like the way I was driving. I wondered what he would have done if a)he knew I was carrying, b)he got shot for brandishing. So, yes, there are fools out there that make legal, safe gun owners look bad.

  • IifIlfIlIilIliIlfllIlIiIlIIlIl

    With a 5th grade math education you know that there are not 100 trillion gun owners. (99.999999999999% = 1 in 100 trillion). Even just looking at gun owners who carry with a round in the chamber, 1 in 25,000 have an accidental discharge. 1 in 100,000 shoot themselves at some point. The concepts here are good. The fantasy that the vast majority of gun owners are well trained, sensible, stable people is nonsensical. It’s simply not born out by actual measures of it. Much more training, control, limitation and liability is needed.

    • Kevin Snyder

      Shall not be infringed. You may deal with it, or you may use the Constitutionally provided means to change it, but your pomposity is old and draining. If you must – go to HuffPuff. They’ll all pat you on the back and tell you how witty you are.

    • Norm Glitz

      Where did you get those numbers?

      PS the 99.999999999999% is just a little hyperbole.

  • mikegray24

    “Never drawing your gun unless you absolutely intend to use it. (“Brandishing”)”

    I take a bit of issue with that one. I understand that when drawing a gun, one must be prepared to fire it. However, it sounds like our definitions of “brandishing” differ. To me, brandishing means drawing a weapon without cause, to threaten another.

    However, there are tons of scenarios where a weapon might be legitimately drawn where the individual is prepared to fire *if necessary* but not as a first action as “absolutely intend to use it” implies. Tons of crimes have been stopped in progress by the simple display of a firearm.

  • I am a state police certified and NRA certified instructor who has trained over 8000 people and a Fox News analyst on 2A issues..
    I take issue with your statement “Never draw your gun unless you absolutely intend to use it.”
    There is a distinct difference between drawing and being prepared to use it versus absolutely pulling the trigger regardless simply because you feel a threat.

    Unless a thug is charging me, or is armed with a weapon that can reach me such as a gun, etc.. then I will pull my gun and take control of the situation. My objective is to stop the threat without having to shoot. I do not want to go through the legal crap and possibly face a civil suit for shooting someone if I do not have to do so…

    There are stories every single day in America where law abiding gun owners stopped a threat by simply drawing a gun and being prepared to shoot.. The confidence in their draw and steely resolve in their voices either caused the bad guy to run or forced him to put his hands in the air and wait until police arrived to take him away.
    I know this because I have talked about these cases on the air.. I have talked to students who drew and stopped the threat without pulling the trigger.

    I have been in a situation where I was able to stop a threat without pulling the trigger. I was prepared to shoot, but did not have to… my situation resulted in my being able to walk away without facing a judge, jury, legal fees, lawsuits and news headlines..

    Telling people that you should only draw if you absolutely intend to pull the trigger is reckless and irresponsible…. and will end up putting people in the middle of time consuming and expensive legal battles when they could have stopped the threat by simply pulling the gun and ordering the bad guy to the ground.