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Silver Screen Gun Wisdom: 7 Movie Quotes That Apply To Everyday Carry

Silver Screen Gun Wisdom: 7 Movie Quotes That Apply To Everyday Carry

John Wayne, “Big Jake.”

Everyone loves a good movie. For those who take firearms and the use of them seriously, there are a few quotes from the silver screen that have real-world application.

Below are just a few of the many gun quotes from movies that stick out in my mind … along with my accompanying interpretation for everyday carry and defensive living.

1.“I bet you could almost get that fancy gun outta that fancy holster before some fast gentleman with on old-fashioned six gun blew a hole in ya.” Jacob McCandles, played by John Wayne, from the movie “Big Jake,” 1971.

Don’t let your equipment defeat you! I wrote an article on just that topic earlier this year. Whatever gun you carry for defensive purposes, know it well and be able to efficiently get that firearm into action if needed; your carry system is just as important as the gun. Be confident in your abilities through purposeful training.

2. “When you have to shoot … shoot, don’t talk.” Tuco, played by Eli Wallach, from the movie “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” 1966.

There indeed may be a time when it’s valid to give some warning prior to use of deadly force, and then again, maybe not. There is no requirement that you give a warning or that you try and talk yourself out of a life-or-death encounter; this hesitation may get you killed.

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Don’t misinterpret what I am saying; if you can leave or avoid a violent encounter, then by all means do so. But if not, shut up and take care of business. Remember your actions must be reasonable and necessary to protect your life or the life of another.

3. “I’ve shot many a sassy bandit with just my pistol.” Gus, played by Robert Duvall, from the TV miniseries “Lonesome Dove,” 1989.

Most of us are not packing a carbine around on our person each day (although I have one in my vehicle 24/7). Again, refer back to No. 1: Know your pistol, be confident in your abilities, and train well and train often. A quote from the late Colonel Jeff Cooper comes to mind here: “The pistol, learn it well, wear it always.”

Silver Screen Gun Wisdom: 7 Movie Quotes That Apply To Everyday Carry

Mel Gibson, “Patriot.”

4. “Aim small, miss small.” Benjamin Martin, played by Mel Gibson, from the movie “The Patriot,” 2000.

The better you understand and are able to carry out marksmanship fundamentals, the better you will perform under the stress of a defensive encounter. I believe in accuracy first. I often utilize the “five shot drill” for students. In this drill, I challenge students, standing at three or five yards from the target, to fire five shots and put them all in one hole. Very few can do this right out of the box. The purpose? If I can shoot those five shots into one clustered hole, then I have the foundation of good shooting fundamentals. Under the stress of a violent encounter, your shooting accuracy will drop off. But if you have these solid fundamentals, you are on your way to winning. Another great drill that leads you down this path is called “dot torture.” You can find this drill and others at Your goal is a combination of speed and accuracy, but in the end I’d rather be accurate first than fast and miss!

5. “A gun that’s unloaded and cocked ain’t good for nothing.” Rooster Cogburn, played by John Wayne, from the movie “True Grit,” 1969.

Keep your everyday carry gun hot and ready to go! I hear much discussion from students as to whether they will carry a round in the chamber. Again, this is a training and equipment issue. The last thing you need under the stress of a violent encounter is to have to remember to chamber a round in your handgun to defend yourself. Take such nonsense and inhibitions out of the equation, being sure to use a carry system that keeps the gun both accessible and under your direct control.

6. “It ain’t so easy to shoot a man anyhow, especially if the son of a b—ch is shootin’ back at ya.” Little Bill Daggett, played by Gene Hackman, from the movie “Unforgiven,” 1992.

Mental preparation and related training that assists you in developing stress inoculation is invaluable if you intend to take defensive living and mindset seriously. Force decisions and Simunition training comes to mind. In this type of training, you are forced into a confrontation with another live human being in a controlled and safe environment.

7. “I just don’t wanna be killed for lack of shootin’ back.” Clyde (one armed deputy), played by Ron White, from the movie “Unforgiven,” 1992.

Don’t be without your pistol. When it’s needed, take decisive action.

As you can see, I’ve avoided the more popular quotes such as “make my day” or “I’m gonna blow your head off.” I am not glorifying the use of force. Just the opposite. My goal here is to apply some sound advice in your training process for EDC spoken in the movies that is, in my estimation, more than just Hollywood talk.

What quotes would you add? Let us know in the section below:

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