Monday, June 10, 2013

Are you a Gun Owner or a Gun Fighter?

Today's newsletter comes to you from the desk of Mitch Milillo (aka Beardy McKillpeople). Mitch is a former United States Marine Corps Scout Sniper and combat veteran with multiple deployments to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He currently operates as a Designated Defensive Marksman for an Executive Protection Detail in Afghanistan. When he is not deployed, he serves as the Director of Training at On Point Firearms in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Today’s newsletter is directed more towards those of us who have made the voluntary decision to become Gun Fighters. I am not talking about those who are military, law enforcement, or cowboys in the Wild West. Rather, I am referring to those of us who have made the choice to have a firearm in their possession as they leave the safety of their home. The choice to conceal carry a firearm or other weapon system on your person as you venture into the world instantly transforms you from Gun Owner to Gun Fighter. Personality, body composition, employment status, or societal association no longer defines who you are. You are now one of the many Gun Fighters that walk along the streets of our great nation. This newsletter however will address the extremely common (and possibly fatal) errors that many of today’s Gun Fighters are making every time they step out into the world.

Before we go any further, I want to draw the line in the sand that separates the Gun Owner from the Gun Fighter:

Gun Owner:
-A citizen who collects firearms as a hobby
-A citizen who doesn't carry a firearm for work or personal security reasons
-A citizen who only shoots for recreational purposes.

Gun Fighter:
-A citizen who carries a firearm for work or personal security reasons.

Once you have made the decision to carry a firearm or weapon in order to defend yourself or others from death or serious bodily harm, you are no longer a Gun Owner. This is where you have made that transition to Gun Fighter and have come to terms with the fact that by carrying that weapon system, you may be placed into a situation where you will be required to take the life of another.

By becoming a Gun Fighter, you have a responsibility to establish, maintain, and enhance your Gun Fighting skills. This is the most important thing that the majority of Gun Fighters overlook which can prove to be a fatal mistake. If you are not training as you fight or seeking to enhance your skills with each and every trip to the range, then you are setting yourself up for failure. …and in the real world, failure could mean death.

It is highly recommended that each and every Gun Fighter take at least a beginner level class with their weapon systems. This will ingrain those fundamentals and skills that will serve as the building blocks for your abilities as well as allow you to push your training further up the Gun Fighting ladder. Once you are able to crawl (having that solid base), you’ll begin to walk (solidifying the basics on your own time and at your own pace), then eventually you’ll find yourself yearning to run (participating in advanced courses, shooting competitions, etc). Unfortunately many shooters forget that they must crawl before they can run, and therefore end up with what is known as “Training Scars” or critical oversights and complacency in training. In the game of life, you cannot “game the game” because the game will always win.

The most two worst mistakes a modern day Gun Fighter could make is having an inflated ego (thinking you are better than you actually are) and choosing an inefficient piece of gear for the mission (the mission being keeping yourself safe in a particular environment). To be successful, you do not need to invest $3,000 in customizing your $500 firearm, nor do you need to cover your weapon system with lights, lasers, red dot sights, match grade barrels, or iPhone 5 rail mounts. The pistol you choose should be able to perform its job reliably without having to do all of that extra work. With that being said, there is nothing wrong with accessorizing your platform once you have become capable and confident with using it. Rather than investing all of your hard-earned money into accessories that won’t necessarily make you a better shooter, you should be focusing on investing in better training with your weapon system (be it professionally or privately).

By tailoring your training goals around real-world scenarios, you will be setting yourself up for success later down the road. When was the last time you actually trained drawing your pistol from concealment, in the same manner you actually carry in real life (be honest with yourself)? How about performing drills with your non-dominant hand from the ground? Now I do understand that it is difficult to match your training to most real world environments but it doesn't mean you should just accept that fact, shoot holes in paper at 3yds, and then put the weapon back in your waistband and head home without thinking twice about the status of your firearm.

I hope that this newsletter finds each and every one of you in great health and that I have possibly opened some eyes to the risks associated with gaming the game. …Because when sh*t really does hit the fan and you find yourself in that worst case scenario, you need to ensure that you are a Gun Fighter and not just a Gun Owner. As always, please feel free to join in on the discussion at as well as keep up to date on all of the latest equipment, firearms, and training reviews!

Until next time!


For more information on our upcoming training course, click here.
Please feel free to contact Mitch directly with any questions:

Also: if anyone in California is looking for a bullet button equipped rifle before the new ban gets signed into law, we have an LWRC M6A2 ready to ship. Click here for more info.

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