Leadership in Action: Clint Smith

By | December 19, 2021

[December 19, 2021]  If you never heard of Clint Smith at Thunder Ranch, then you are probably not interested in guns or how to use them properly.  Clint Smith is the Director of Thunder Ranch1 in Oregon, where he teaches firearm tactics, self-defense and freely gives his opinions on a variety of topics.  He is one of the most interesting men I’ve ever met.

Some describe Clint Smith as a firearms instructor, stand-up comic, and social philosopher rolled into one small man.  When he teaches his courses at the ranch, he spits out a stream of advice and opinion that could make his mother squirm.  His humor is mostly self-effacing.

Most of us are aware that depending on who sits in the office of the U.S. President, gun sales spike or tank.  Usually, Democrats in office cause large, record-breaking spikes in gun purchases.  This is often attributed to their aversion to the 2nd Amendment and passing restrictive gun laws.

Clint Smith once said his tactical gun classes are full when Democrats are in office “because people are scared their guns will be taken away.” His classes are full when Republicans are in office “because people have more money.” That gives you a bit of insight into Clint Smith’s leadership skills.

Here are a few more of those Clint Smithisms:

“The handgun would not be my choice of weapon if I knew I was going to a fight…I’d choose a rifle, a shotgun, an RPG or an Atomic Bomb instead.”

“The two most important rules in a gunfight are: always cheat and always win.”

“The best example of good [gun] training is to never get in a fight.”

“Every time I teach a class, I discover I don’t know something.”

“Don’t forget, incoming fire has the right of way.”

“Make your attacker advance through a wall of bullets. I may get killed with my own gun, but he’s gonna have to beat me to death with it, Cause it’s going to be empty.”

“If you’re not shootin’, you should be loadin’. If you’re not Loadin, you should be movin’, if you’re not movin’, someone’s gonna cut your head off and put it on a stick.”

 “When you reload in low light encounters, don’t put your flashlight in your back pocket.. If you light yourself up, you’ll look Like an angel or the tooth fairy…and you’re gonna be one of ’em pretty soon.”

“Do something. It may be wrong, but do something.”

“Nothing adds a little class to a sniper course like a babe in a Ghilliesuit.”

“Shoot what’s available, as long as it’s available, until something else becomes available.”

“If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. That’s Ridiculous.. If I have a gun, what in the hell do I have to be paranoid for.”

“Don’t shoot fast, shoot good.”

“You can say ‘stop’ or ‘alto’ or use any other word you think will work but I’ve found that a large bore muzzle pointed at someone’s head is pretty much the universal language.”

“You have the rest of your life to solve your problems. How long you live depends on how well you do it.”

“You cannot save the planet. You might be able to save yourself and your family.”

Here’s another piece of advice that Clint Smith gives us.

“Today, is the last day you ever get into any sort of verbal altercation out in the street.  From here forward, no more sticking up your middle finger.  No more road rage.  From here forward there is no more jacking your jaw.”

He is saying that trouble is avoidable.

There are many more.  I enjoy occasionally watching videos online of Clint giving us some timely advice.  Thanks, Clint Smith; you are a true American hero and national treasure.


  1. https://thunderranchinc.com/


Please read my new book, “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” at Amazon (link here).

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I provide one article every day. My writings are influenced by great thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Jung, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Jean Piaget, Erich Neumann, and Jordan Peterson, whose insight and brilliance have gotten millions worldwide to think about improving ourselves. Thank you for reading my blog.

23 thoughts on “Leadership in Action: Clint Smith

  1. Jeff Blackwater

    If you want to see a real “Man” in action, just go online and watch Clint Smith. I’d never heard of him before and now that Gen. Satterfield has highlighted the man, I’m becoming a fan watching him on YouTube.

  2. docwatson44

    This man is a national treasure. I’d heard of him before but never knew this much about him.

    1. Dog Man

      On occasion, you are priviledged to run across great men like Clint Smith. Capture the moment, speak with them, let them know you are honored to talk with them.

  3. Ernest

    Occasionally comes along a human who you just can’t not appreciate. Clint Smith is one of these men. Of course, I’m biased because I have been around guns my entire life and use them for hunting and for self-protection. Clint Smith is an American icon and hero. Thank you Gen. Satterfield for highlighting him in your leadership blog.

  4. Dennis Mathes

    Heard this one before, so I’m not sure it’s originally from Clint Smith but I still like it, “Make your attacker advance through a wall of bullets. I may get killed with my own gun, but he’s gonna have to beat me to death with it, Cause it’s going to be empty.”

    1. Otto Z. Zuckermann

      Yeah Dennis. I agree. My favorite as well. I think, and this is just my opinion, that this whole idea of so many people being drawn to Clint Smith is because he represents something we all are inherently drawn to. Clint symbolizes, boldly, the flawed hero, the strong man who can get things done when all is going to hell around us. He symbolizes strength, honor, truth, and stability. When the world is crazy, he is the man standing there with a smile and a gun on his hip. He is the protector of the innocent. He is the one who will save you. That is an inborn desire of all humans. Just some thoughts as we go into the Christmas season. Merry Christmas!!!!

      1. Doug Smith

        Well said, Otto. I think you hit onto something important here. As I see it, there are some things that humans are born into. Like a good dog or bad dog, some of its “good” or “bad” behavior just might not all be learned. Hearsay?

      2. New Girl #1

        Great comment Otto but you might get “cancelled” in today’s world saying that some of our motivations or desires are not all learned or molded. But I like it anyway. The good thing about this leadership forum, is that it is not censored.

  5. Bryan Z. Lee

    Interesting. I found him to be both a kind of philosopher for guns and life, and to be insightful into the human soul. I say that because his Smithisms hit home.

    1. Bernie

      I concur, Bryan. I was one of the fortunate to be trained by Clint when the ranch was down in Texas. Everyone loved the guy …. and he was a tough SOB.

  6. Maureen S. Sullivan

    Gen. Satterfield, occasionally you really nail it and this Clint Smith guy is one of them. I just recently starting shooting at a local gun range. Love it.

    1. Gil Johnson

      Maureen, good one. Keep it up. The skills you learn at a range will be with you forever. And, you might actually get to meet some great folks there that can help you in the future. Good luck. Let us know how you make out on the range.

    2. Laughing Monkey

      Yes, Maureen, keep on shootin’ …. it is a skill that will always need honing but also the basic will stay with you forever.

  7. JT Patterson

    It’s funny how guys like this attract the best women and how much great advice one man can give out just by sitting down and talking to you. Amazing. Thanks to Gen. Satterfield, I am not only aware of this guy, Clint Smith, but I’ve gone onto YouTube and pull off a few of his videos to watch. Hey folks, remember to support Gen. S. by getting his new book.

    1. lydia truman

      Too bad that Clint is already married. I might have flown out there to propose to him. I’d give him a big gun as an incentive.

      1. Yusaf from Texas

        You two are just too funny. But your comments to raise an interesting point …. women are interested in real men and not sissy men like we so often see on tv these days.

    2. Lynn Pitts

      Ladies, the first one there wins the game. Rats! Some other lady beat us to the golden crown (Clint Smith).


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