“Thinking with a gun in your hand”


That’s the title of a new video with John Hearne, just published by Lucky Gunner.  I’ve known John for a long time;  I was privileged to be the pastor at his wedding some years ago.  He’s an outstanding instructor, nationally recognized for his expertise, and conveys his material in an easy-to-understand way that’s a pleasure to hear.

I highly recommend that if you own a gun for self-defense (and even if you don’t, for that matter), you watch this short video with real care and attention.  It might help save your life one day.

Thanks, John.  Valuable lessons indeed.



  1. This is an interesting assessment. I started skydiving as a young man in the late 80s and made a thousand jumps until 2000. Then after an interlude took up 10yrs of 3Gun/Multigun.

    1. I agree. I'm a scuba diver with hundreds of dives in deep, dark, cold, dangerous situations – I've learned how to control fear and panic and do the right thing while observing my surroundings (sometimes by feel!)

  2. Looks like he is a part of the Rangemaster instructor team. I took courses from Tom Givens (founder of Rangemaster) at his brick and mortar store in Memphis when we moved there in 2006 (interesting note: I saw Steven Seagal there once). When you took a course at Rangemasters back in the day, they gave you a sticker to put on your car, and they recommended you put it in a very visible spot. The reason for this was all of the Memphis carjackers knew about Rangemaster, and you were not likely to be carjacked if they saw the sticker. I put 4 on my wife's minivan.

    Rangemaster used to keep tabs on the people who had taken their courses, and as of 2007 (if I remember correctly), only something like 3-5 (out of hundreds if not thousands by that point) students had been murdered, and 1 or 2 were murdered because they had not been carrying at the time of attack. For my part, I always carried my Kimber Eclipse that I had purchased at Sportsman's Warehouse at the shopping center on Winchester, and over 2 years time, I put 12,000 rounds downrange at Rangemaster. They have great instructors.

  3. My reactions have gone both ways. When the wheel fell off the car I was driving, the adrenaline kicked in, time slowed down, and according to the passengers I was very calm in keeping control of the car and pulling it over to the side of the road as it scraped along to a stop.

    On the other hand, I froze after hearing breaking glass at a parking lot and saw someone running away. Others, more used to this kind of activity, stopped the thief, and started beating him.

  4. Stu Garfath, Sydney Australia. It is abundantly clear here that Mental preparation, Situational awareness training and constant rehearsal, is paramount at all times. Yes, having the mechanical tools, gun, knife, baseball bat, anything, that can be an aid, is important, but, the Mental aspect is foundational to any successful threat defence.

  5. Jonathan H:
    I spent a summer riding a horse bareback at ~age 8 or so, about 30 years riding motorcycles and several roadracing them at a few particularly dangerous tracks, but the time I spent taking SCUBA lessons was where I discovered that an iron control over my actions and thoughts was key to staying alive in a hazardous situation.
    SCUBA diving really brings a sharp mental focus to a situation that can kill you if you do it wrong. I felt validated in my level of calm and control when my class dive partner, a more experienced female my size, surfaced after an ocean foray with ~900psi in her tank, and I had 1800psi remaining. Breathing control can be a good tell on one's anxiety level when diving.

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