Clint Smith in action...

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Bear Paw Jack

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"2 is 1 and 1 is none" - Clint Smith
That saying is a famous "Clintism" from Clint Smith at Thunder Ranch. Clint Smith is considered by many to be the top firearms instructor in the country. This particular "Clintism" though has always made a great deal of sense to me. Basically, what he is saying is that any tool you use (be it a gun, knife, flashlight, etc...) is a man made thing and can fail. If you don't have a backup, you having nothing when it fails.

This is one of many reasons I believe anyone who owns a gun for self defense should own more than one gun for self defense. Many years ago, I worked part-time in a very large gun shop. I was talking to one of the other sales staff during a slow period. This guy also worked there part time and his full time job was as a law enforcement officer. He told me a story he had heard from a fellow officer he had met in NYC.

For those of you that don't know, the gun laws in NYC are ridiculously strict. It is very difficult to get a permit to own a handgun, and the process can take many months even if you are finally approved. There was an owner of a small jewelry shop who apparently had been robbed by some gang members on several occasions. He got fed up and applied for a permit to buy a handgun. After about 6 months of red tape, he finally got his permit and bought a handgun. Not long after, a couple of gang bangers tried to rob him again, but this time they got lead instead of gold. It was a perfectly legal, self defense shooting. The gang bangers had him at gun point and he prevailed by pure luck. When the police took his statment, they took the gun as evidence. He pleaded with them that those gang bangers had friends and that was his only gun. It would take months to get another permit and he'd never survive that long. The police had no choice but to take the gun until the DA ruled that it was a self defense shooting. Sure enough, a couple of weeks later, friends of the original robbers showed up and killed this shop keeper in his store. Think how much different that story would have ended if he had owned more than one gun.

You don't just need a second gun though for an unlikely event like that. What if it is something much less dramatic like one of them breaks. What if one is stolen? What if you find yourself in a fight and your primary gun is wrestled away from you? If you don't have a backup gun, I hope you have your affairs in order.

Here's another scenario to consider... You buy a gun for home protection. You have practiced with it and you feel confident you know how to use it. One night you and your wife and sleeping the sleep of the righteous when you are awoke by the sound of broken glass. You do what most people would do. You tell your wife to dial 911, you grab your gun and you go see where the noise came from. Now, if it was just a limb breaking a window in a storm, you will be fine. If it is a bad guy who flees when he sees you, you will be fine. If it is a bad guy that you manage to defeat in a gun fight, you will be less fine but you will be fine. However, what if you lose? What if the bad guy is faster than you and he kills you or at least injures you badly enough to take you out of the fight? What about your wife now? What about your kids now? If you had the only gun, you just left her unarmed with a pissed off bad guy in the house. If you had two guns, you could have left one with her. Better yet, you shouldn't go clearing a house anyway unless you are going to retrieve a kid, but that is another article.

The point of all this is... there are many many scenarios where one gun is not enough. Since none of us can know what circumstance we will be faced with, we have to prepare for as many of them as we can. You will be much better prepared with at least two guns in your arsenal than you were with one. Remember, 2 is 1 and 1 is none. Thanks for your wisdom Clint.

Stay safe out there... and watch your six.
 

Pat-inCO

Hawkeye
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Oct 17, 2009
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5,554
BPJ: - - - I totally agree. Do, however, think about where you have posted. Do you
really think that there are more than 10% of the people on this forum that have only
one gun? My bet would be that there are fewer than 5% with only one, and most of
those would be first time gun owners (welcome to the forum, if you are new to guns).
Well . . . . no telling what dem'z masquerading as conservatives have. Sigh.

Before my boating accident, I had a matched pair of pistols for carry. Just as you
said, if you are involved in a legitimate shooting, you could easily have LE take the
gun you used, or if one of them goes into "the shop". :D

The main problem, as of a few months ago, is that there are VERY few available,
to duplicate what you have. Add to that, the current price is usually prohibitive.

Sounds like one of those "to do" items, once things go "back to normal". 8)
 

blume357

Hawkeye
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Nov 15, 2005
Messages
8,573
I think I got it covered...

Does remind me I need to put the P89 back in the van....
 

Bear Paw Jack

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Dec 19, 2001
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Pat in some ways that is preaching to the choir. My other guess is that many here know people who are just getting into guns after all these years of having the wrong idea about guns. The new people are running out to get "a" gun, but are they getting more than one? I'm not only a firm believer of multiple guns, but multiple guns that operate the exact same way. There in, is the key. Too many will go out and by a revolver and after a time decide they need to have a Semi-auto. Two different systems to learn and two different systems to teach the spouse, or the spouse is not adept. I am also a firm believer in the New York reload (as it's called) where you run out of ammo in one gun, and pull the second gun. My guess is most are going back to two different systems. They start with a semi, then their second gun is a roscoe (or hide out gun).
 

VictorLouis

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 10, 2000
Messages
109
There's a local trainer, now retired, who maintains a daily blog about RKBA issues, and DGU's. Every so often, he reiterates the encouragement to obtain a duplicate of your 'main' gun. Reasons have already been outlined. However, the example of the NYC jeweler is a cruel reminder.
 

Mike J

Hunter
Joined
Aug 5, 2007
Messages
3,474
Bear Paw Jack this is a little off topic but the "2 is 1, 1 is none", made me think of something that happened to me back in the 90's. A buddy had gotten me to join a hunting club with him. He was a more experienced hunter than me & was adamant that we should be in the stand before daylight so we could get any deer coming through at first light. I parked & started walking in to my stand about 30 minutes before daylight. I made it about half way to my stand before I heard a pffft sound & the bulb in my flashlight blew. There wasn't any moon & I couldn't see anything so I just stood still until there was enough light for me to see where I was walking.
 

blume357

Hawkeye
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Nov 15, 2005
Messages
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Like my Grandmother always said... "it's always something"

I read a quote or such a few months ago that reminded me of many things in life.... "once the enemy is engaged the plan will change" My point being you can plan out what you are going to do in any kind of event from a use of deadly force encounter to just putting a coat of paint on the house and I'll bet that once it starts.... the plan will change.

I was in a church board of directors meeting a number of years ago and they were discussing carrying guns... I got funny looks from most there when I admitted that I had three in my work van that I had driven there in.
 

vito

Hunter
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Jan 2, 2005
Messages
2,676
Back in 1966, as a newly married 2nd Lieutenant at my first duty station in El Paso, TX and living in a trailer home, I felt the need for a gun for home defense for my young wife and I, so I went to a local department store where I had my first "charge card" and went to their sporting goods section. I bought what I thought was a good choice at the time, a little "Baby Brownie" 25acp semi auto for $42. For many years that was my only gun until I traded it for a 32 caliber equivalent semi auto that I had no idea what the brand was, and never actually fired it in the years I owned it. That gun was stolen in a house burglary in 1986, so I had gone that 20 years owning one gun (at a time) and never actually fired a single round of the gun. Being that was Texas, in 1986, I went out the next morning to a local sporting goods shop and bought a S&W Model 19 that I still own to this day. As I recall there was no paperwork involved, just showing my Driver's License and plunking down the $300 for the gun.

It wasn't until 10 years later, 1996, that I bought a second gun. In those 30 years of my life, all I owned was one gun. In the 25 years since I have bought, lets just say, a few more as well as learned to shoot, practiced and now carry daily. My guess is that while those that participate here on the Forum are more than likely to be into guns generally, and likely to own a lot more than one, the typical gun owner might well be like one of my son-in-law's that own a single gun that he has fired only once. His gun is a Taurus 85 that I gave to him 20 years ago when he married my daughter and got to take him one time to the range to familiarize him with the gun. At the time I provided the ammunition for our range trip and gave him a box of 25 of 38 caliber hollow points, a box he still has and other than the five rounds he put into this revolver, still in that box.

Unfortunately for me, whether I owned one or a hundred guns it will do my wife no good unless I am there with a gun if the need ever arises. She is one of those anti-gun people that will not even learn how to get to any of my guns, will not take a gun with her when she travels alone by car, and other than one range trip about 40 years ago, where I tried to introduce her to shooting with an easy to handle 22lr semi auto, has never fired a firearm and has no interest in ever doing so.
 

kmoore

Blackhawk
Joined
Mar 29, 2017
Messages
991
All my gun purchases were and are to be used for the reason I got them. If after testing/practicing/carrying/hunting with any that do not met my standards they get sold. I won't mention numbers except to say it's a lot.
But, I have mentioned this several times on here. I have meet many who have a gun they got for self defense and never fired it. A few have mentioned a hunting rifle or shotgun they got and never hunted nor fired it. I do not understand the why buy a gun and never use it unless it's a collector piece.
In a self defense situation those people would be better off fleeing than trying the use a gun for the 1st time.
When seconds count to save yourself or family is not the time to remember where the ammo is and learn how to load and fire a gun.
 

crstrode

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 23, 2012
Messages
63
Geez - Ive got at least one backup for everything. Not just guns - everything. Backup clothes, food, meds, glasses, cars, pets, coffee maker, computer etc, etc, etc,

Hell, I've even got a backup post office address. Guns and ammo are no different.
 

Snake45

Hawkeye
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Mar 14, 2009
Messages
6,064
crstrode said:
Geez - Ive got at least one backup for everything. Not just guns - everything. Backup clothes, food, meds, glasses, cars, pets, coffee maker, computer etc, etc, etc,
Not a bad plan. "If it's worth having, it's worth having at least two of." :wink:
 

protoolman

Hunter
Joined
Oct 15, 2001
Messages
2,052
Wait so, one is none and 2 is one. Is it ok to have 5 or is that 4? In which case I will tell the wife the last one doesnt count so I should be able to buy 1 more!
All kidding aside, sometimes if Im carrying a sidearm I also may have a mini revolver in my pocket, a STING boot knife and some good hard soled boots. As a chief of police I taught my guys to be prepared to keep fighting. With whatever you needed. If you ended up on the ground you might be glad to be wearing hard soled or steel toe boots instead of the soft foam soled "tactical" ones. I always issued a quick opening tactical lock blade too. If anyone asked it was their issued "seat belt cutter". A variety of weapons is sometimes more practical than 2 guns. Now that Im getting old enough to pull it off, I m thinking of getting a good stout oak cane for travelling. My marine instuctor for Navy Security police night stick training adapted our training from bayonet training. Basically we were taught how to injure and break bones. Exactly opposite of civilian PR-24 training where they teach you not to break anything. Im thinking thats the most lethal thing they'd let me get on a plane with.
 

Pat-inCO

Hawkeye
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
5,554
protoolman said:
Now that Im getting old enough to pull it off, I m thinking of getting a good stout
oak cane for travelling. ... Im thinking thats the most lethal thing they'd let me get
on a plane with.
You might also think about a "J Handle Tourist Lucite Cane" ($42) which is clear
so the air port people do not get upset. The Lucite is very strong and can create
a sufficient "distraction" to get you out of many situations. :wink:
(I carry one in the car)
 

BloodyThumb

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 5, 2003
Messages
35
Clint is a great instructor. He has a talent for making you think about things you have not thought about that really are just common sense. I was lucky enough to have him as an instructor a few :) years back. If he REALLY wants to impress something on you that you have done wrong (again).... you get to smell his breath. Don't ask me how I know.

Yes, the significant other should be armed when you leave the bedroom in the scenario mentioned above. Personally I think there should also be a pre-arranged signal for REentering that room where the significant other is. Example: If you are coming in alone and all is well, you say her name as you enter. If you are coming in with someone behind you who has gained control... you call her by some pre arranged pet name. This is all assuming there is a plan for what happens next.

Too often I hear, read and watch people train over and over as if they will ALWAYS succeed. Plan for and practice for what to do if things go fubar as well.
 

AzShooter1

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jan 14, 2017
Messages
281
Not only for self defense, but whenever I go to the range I have a second gun with me.

If I'm shooting a competition and something breaks I just grab my back-up and keep going. If I'm testing a gun for function and it doesn't run right I don't want to leave the range after only a few shots. I take out my back-up. Too many times my friend and I would go to the range and something would happen to our primary weapon. Now we are both prepared.

For self defense, before my boating accident, I had two guns set up the same way and strategically hidden in the house. ( What's with all the boating accidents us shooters are having these days)?

Clint Smith knows what he is talking about. Follow the leader.
 
Joined
Oct 26, 2006
Messages
9,297
AzShooter1 said:
Not only for self defense, but whenever I go to the range I have a second gun with me.

If I'm shooting a competition and something breaks I just grab my back-up and keep going. If I'm testing a gun for function and it doesn't run right I don't want to leave the range after only a few shots. I take out my back-up. Too many times my friend and I would go to the range and something would happen to our primary weapon. Now we are both prepared.

For self defense, before my boating accident, I had two guns set up the same way and strategically hidden in the house. ( What's with all the boating accidents us shooters are having these days)?

Clint Smith knows what he is talking about. Follow the leader.
Climate change don’t ya know! lol
gramps
 

Jeepnik

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 16, 2005
Messages
5,067
Never met him. I hear good things, but disagree with some of his dogma based on personal experience.

Problem disagreeing with self appointed experts is that the easily led will attack those who think for themselves rather that buy in hook, line and sinker.
 

BloodyThumb

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 5, 2003
Messages
35
Jeepnik said:
Never met him. I hear good things, but disagree with some of his dogma based on personal experience.

Problem disagreeing with self appointed experts is that the easily led will attack those who think for themselves rather that buy in hook, line and sinker.

I can't say I agree with everything he teaches. But I will say that his training whether in person, in print, or on video has made me think about things that I had never considered prior to that time and then think/test it through myself. That is of huge value even if you DON'T ultimately agree with him.

Didn't somebody once say something along the lines of.... The best teacher you can have is one who teaches you to gather facts and then think for yourself? Something like that anyway. Clint Smith is not the only one to do that for me, but certainly is the most consistent at it over the years.
 

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