5 Rules of a Gunfight with Comments

By | March 22, 2021

[March 22, 2021]  In life, I believe one must be prepared for all situations.  This idea means being able to handle firearms of all kinds properly.  My dad was the first to put a gun in my hand (a 410 shotgun that belonged to my grandfather) and told me to be safe when using it and respect the fact that guns can kill.  I also learned about the rules of a gunfight.

Here are some rules of a gunfight with comments.  The most basic of all rules, an idea that underlies all of life’s values and purpose, is never to get caught unprepared.  If you do, you’re dead, or your family is dead, or a friend.  You get the picture.  Be prepared, and maybe, if you are good enough, you might survive to tell about the adventure where death stalked you, and you won.

  1. Forget about knives, bats, and fists. Bring a gun.  Preferably, bring at least two guns.  Bring all your friends who have guns.  Bring four times the ammo you think you could ever need.  Comment: There is no such thing as being over-prepared when it comes to protecting life.  And others must see you as prepared.  In an emergency, you will need a gun.  Whether in a natural or manmade disaster, having the right tools handy makes all the difference.  Folks might make fun of you but will gravitate to you in times of crisis.  They will see you as a leader.
  2. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Comment: Never assume anything.  My wife and I watch cowboy movies (the older ones are our favorites).  Invariably, a good guy (or gal) will knock the bad guy down only to have him jump back up and surprise the good guy.  If you have to protect yourself or others from bad people or wild animals and it comes to the point of using a gun, shoot at least twice.  Ammo is cheap.  Life is expensive.
  3. If you choose what to bring to a gunfight, bring a semi or fully automatic long gun and a friend with a long gun. Comment: Use the right tools for the job.  You would not want to build a house without a hammer.  Neither should you walk through life without the right tools.  Have the best, most reliable gun available.  Practice with it.  Sleep with it.  Get to know everything about that gun and respect what it can and, likewise, what it cannot do.
  4. Have a plan. Have a back-up plan because the first one won’t work.  Comment: No battle plan ever survives the first minute of contact with bad people.  Think ahead while relaxing in your living room, what you would do in the most common emergencies.  Do you call the cops first, or do you retrieve your gun when someone is breaking into your house?  Get your gun!  Then call the cops.  The point is that people stop thinking when under stress.  If you have figured out what you want to do and practiced it, instinct will take over, and you will do the right thing.
  5. Be polite. Be professional.  Be prepared to kill everyone you meet if necessary because they may want to kill you.  Comment: Be courteous to everyone, overly friendly to no one.  Your number one option for personal security and that of others is a lifelong commitment to avoidance, deterrence, and de-escalation.

Remember, the objective is to win every time.  If you are put into a situation where you must get into a gunfight to protect yourself and others, be ready.  Otherwise, you will have failed the most crucial test of being a human.


Note: Rules were selected from “30 Rules of a Gunfight” by Shannon McGurk on his blog titled You Matter As a Man: https://authenticmasculinity.com/rules-of-a-gunfight/

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

37 thoughts on “5 Rules of a Gunfight with Comments

  1. Guns are Us

    Gen. Satterfield, thank you for this list …. humor was extra, I know. Would you write another article with more ‘rules of a gunfight?’ I love your leadership website.

  2. Dale Paul Fox

    Keep this type of article coming our way, Gen. Satterfield. I found this one of your more useful and entertaining articles. I sent it to my son in Ohio. He loved it as well.

    1. the ace

      You gotta just love this type of blog post. I found it funny and useful, as well.

  3. Jimmy

    Never assume anything. Classic! 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

    1. Japanese Warrior

      Hi Joe, well said. I like this quote, “be polite, be professional, be prepared to kill.” 1st Cavalry Division sign from Iraq War. 🇺🇸

  4. Greg Heyman

    I really enjoyed this article. These 5 rules of a gunfight is clearly applicable to all situations we find ourselves in as a normal human being. Basic rules of life are hidden here and Gen. Sattefield brings them out for us to see plainly. Folks, this is one of the more important blog posts I’ve read in a long long time. Tape it on your refrigerator and never forget.

      1. Army Captain

        Yes, and directly applicable for all of us regardless of profession or of interests. These are the basic rules of life. Keep them in mind no matter what you plan to do in life.

  5. Eric Coda

    The comments are the best part of this article, so thanks to Gen. Satterfield for his cogent analysis. The rules have a touch of humor in them because they reflect reality. Don’t get caught short. Basic rules of life. Not unlike Dr. Jordan Peterson’s rules of life.

  6. Bryan Z. Lee

    I hope that our soldiers read this article. Maybe they are taught this already and it might not matter. But the comments are a great add-on to the rules themselves. Why? Simple, so that we may apply those principles by Gen. Satterfield to our daily lives (not just to a gunfight). If we make assumptions, are not prepared, don’t use the right tools, and don’t have a plan, then we are screwed. Pay attention folks.

    1. Gil Johnson

      You got that right Bryan. Basic principles of success are here and its not just in a gunfight. The gunfight is just symbolic of what Gen. Satterfield is writing about. I would add another, “get your sh** together.” Or is that really a rule?

    2. Nick Lighthouse

      It’s the daily application of these rules to our lives that matters here. Thanks Bryan for making this clearer.

    3. Shasta johnson

      Too many will overlook the meanings here. Don’t miss that point.

    4. James Jimmy Asher

      Great idea but it won’t work unless you beat folks over the head with it.

  7. Lady Hawk

    I read all the 30 rules of a gunfight in the link. Thanks for the reference. I like it. These have been out on the Internet for a long time but the rules are still good for today and will always be. Why? Because they work.

    1. Tom Bushmaster

      …. and yet most of us simply ignore it. Hey folks, take a look at this important article. “When Amazon pulled my book on transgender issues, it tried to shut down debate” -https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/voices/2021/03/19/amazon-pulls-controversial-book-transgender-ryan-anderson-column/4635062001/

      1. British Citizen

        Good one, thanks Lady Hawk and Tom. I’m surprised more haven’t made more comments here because this article is very special. Funny and Serious at the same time.

      2. benrhodesatDOS

        Thanks all for helping point out what is most important here and highlighting the major points. This is why I read these leadership forums.

  8. Rev. Michael Cain

    Another excellent article by Gen. Satterfield. A common theme here is “be prepared.” From the Boy Scouts to a modern, successful military, being prepared is the foundation of having a good life. Remember the story of the grasshopper and the ant?

  9. Eduardo Sanchez

    Have a plan, have a backup plan, and a backup to that plan. If you are prepared you might actually live for another day. And your family and friends might also survive. You have the time. Do it now. Think I’m joking, just look at the murder rates in ALL the major US cities over the past year.

  10. old warrior

    Best part line, “Bring all your friends who have guns.” Of course, if you don’t outnumber the bad guys by at least 3 to 1 or even more (unfair? yep), the you are not prepared and deserve what you get. All the better you are overprepared and can kick some real booty.

    1. Max Foster

      I’m with you on that one, old warrior. I see that you have some experience and are also willing to come to a gunfight fully ready. That is why the US military is so large, the plan is to quickly overwhelm the enemy. Of course, today there is no peer to the US military but that is rapidly changing and the generals in charge are more interested in getting flight suits for pregnant pilots than anything really serious. The US military under Joe Biden will be full of sissy men.

      1. Colleen Ramirez

        Crack! Hit that one out of the park, Max. It began last week when Tucker Carlson on Fox News noted that Joe Biden had emerged from his basement for “International Women’s Day” and held a White House event touting the US military’s recent achievements on that particular front – including such brilliant innovations as better maternity flight suits for pregnant pilots. http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0321/steyn032221.php3

      2. Anya B.

        Ha, good one. You guys are the reason I keep coming back to read these leadership forum comments. Gen. Satterfield has a great website for interaction, thinking, and learning to write a better argument. Well done folks.

  11. Valkerie

    General Satterfield, you always surprise me and this article is one of them. I wouldn’t want to get in a gunfight with you. I might end up with a lot of bullet holes in me.

  12. Jeff Blackwater

    Whoa, slow down there! This article is really out there. I’m sure you didn’t mean to trigger a few of the snowflakes from college that might be reading your blog today, Gen. Satterfield. Trigger Warning to all…. there is the word ‘gun’ written here so watch out. Ha Ha Ha…. Just a few thoughts of the day.

    1. Stacey Borden

      You’re just too good with the humor this morning, Jeff. Well said. 😊

    2. Joe Omerrod

      Just loving it. I’m glad that I was never in a gunfight, like in the old Western days or modern military battles.

      1. Silly Man

        Same here but, then again, so many of our so-called “men” are really just girly men and they are not worth much in a fight. In fact, I would bet a month’s wages that none of the men under 35 today have ever been in a fight of any kind.

      2. Wally Deacon II

        Yeah, but I would like to have been there to actually see a real Western gunfight.

    3. Yusaf from Texas

      Well said, Jeff. I’m sure we all got your kidding. Yes, it might just trigger a few snowflakes. Maybe it might push them into reality but I seriously doubt it.


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