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Gunfighter Moment – Pat McNamara

As part of range training, we usually and responsibly conduct a range safety briefing. We all know that there are four rules of gun handling. I use ‘Gun Handling’ versus ‘Rules of the Range’ as a method to subliminally manipulate the recipient. One is tactical and one is administrative. The tactical rules will appease the administrative requirements of the range.

Understanding that semantics are involved, my number one rule of ‘Gun handling’ is; “You, the individual shooter, must understand the status of your weapon system.” In a gun fight, the weapon does not belong only to you but to the person you are protecting or the guy who’s ‘Six’ you are covering. If your shit isn’t up and running, you are not only fucking yourself but the one you are protecting or the guy who’s ‘Six’ you are covering. I do not like “All guns are always loaded.”

The same can be applied to the human weapon. Know the status of your personal condition. If you can’t save someone else’s life, or can’t keep up with your partner during a foot chase, you are screwing that guy, that kid, your loved one. That life may depend on whether or not you can keep up to insure he isn’t getting his head kicked in in a dark alley.

You do not have to be an absolute stallion, but you should do your part to ensure that you have put in the effort to make ‘you’ a better ‘you’. Make incremental gains every day. The math is simple. Ask yourself, “If I cloned myself yesterday, can I kick my clone’s ass tomorrow?”

Patrick McNamara
SGM, US Army (Ret)

Pat McNamara

Patrick McNamara spent twenty-two years in the United States Army in a myriad of special operations units. When he worked in the premier Special Missions Unit, he became an impeccable marksman, shooting with accurate, lethal results and tactical effectiveness. McNamara has trained tactical applications of shooting to people of all levels of marksmanship, from varsity level soldiers, and police officers who work the streets to civilians with little to no time behind the trigger.

His military experience quickly taught him that there is more to tactical marksmanship than merely squeezing the trigger. Utilizing his years of experience, McNamara developed a training methodology that is safe, effective and combat relevant and encourages a continuous thought process. This methodology teaches how to maintain safety at all times and choose targets that force accountability, as well as provides courses covering several categories, including individual, collective, on line and standards.

While serving as his Unit’s Marksmanship NCO, he developed his own marksmanship club with NRA, CMP, and USPSA affiliations. Mac ran monthly IPSC matches and ran semi annual military marksmanship championships to encourage marksmanship fundamentals and competitiveness throughout the Army.He retired from the Army’s premier hostage rescue unit as a Sergeant Major and is the author of T.A.P.S. (Tactical Application of Practical Shooting). He also served as the Principle of TMACS Inc.

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Alias Training & Security Services. Each week Alias brings us a different Trainer and in turn they offer some words of wisdom.

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14 Responses to “Gunfighter Moment – Pat McNamara

  1. Ed Hickey says:

    well said!

  2. Craig says:

    Okay, I guess it is time to vent…

    I have been reading these “Gunfighter Moment” excerpts or whatever, for as long as SSD has been publishing them.
    It’s always the same.

    Well, I have severe Spinal Stenosis, as well as MS.
    I guess that means I am disposable,according to this line of thinking or reasoning?

    Some people cannot be “Alpha Male” any more. Thats the reason we are not Active Duty,or in some cases, even USAR or US NG anymore. I dont think that means I should just throw in the towel, say “Fuck it” and give up. I train and try to be the best I can be, on that given day.
    Some days I have to use a cane,IF that day,I can get out of bed at all.
    Soon,I will need a wheelchair.

    I dont see why I should have to feel like I am some piece of shit because I cant train to “Mr X’s” satisfaction anymore.

    We dont get to choose why gets hit. I didnt ‘choose’ any of this shit,it just happened…’hereditary’ they say,and BS like that. I be the best I can be that day. I keep current on pre-hospital medicine and combat medicine,and practice shooting when I am able, at the range, and when my condition and money dont allow that, I practice in the house, with snap caps and a airsoft gun.Laugh if you want and make fun of it, but in addition to my medical limitations, we are not all monetarily able to GO to the range every day or every weekend.Ammo has gotten expensive, IDK if anyone not sponsored by gun & ammo companies has noticed that.

    Sorry, just wanted to add that we are not all able to live up to the next mans standard, or what one man ‘thinks’ another should be. From other articles,I know Pat is not what HE used to be either-by his own admission and words,not mine.
    He should remember there are others who, while not dead yet, are 100% disabled,and not able to do what he may say to do, and that,yeah, it kinda makes you feel ‘worthless’,when you dont live up to what “Professional man X” says you should be doing every day. I dont have a vagina, and I dont need a “Hurt Feelings Form”, I just wanted to insert another perspective on the matter. I dont feel like I should be a sheep,because I cant live up to what ONE sheepdog does.
    I might not be ‘Top’ sheepdog anymore,but I still view myself as a ‘sheepdog’, and not a sheep.

    • Jeremy says:

      I feel like you skipped the last paragraph.

    • PNWTO says:

      Refer to: “If I cloned myself yesterday, can I kick my clone’s ass tomorrow?”

      Any credibility you had in that argument was voided by a lack of reading comprehension and the term “sheepdog”.

      • SGT_Mike says:

        “…put in the effort to make you a better “you””

        How you took this article so personally is beyond my comprehension, but I’ve never walked in your shoes. But you obviously skipped that line I quoted. I’ve taken a Mac class and feel as though he is the exact opposite of a guy who is out to put anyone down or make you feel like your rant makes it seem you feel. He is speaking to his core audience and most of us are still pretty physically capable, even if we aren’t 18 anymore. Sometimes we need to be reminded to get off our butts.

        Do the best you can man. Only you know what that is.

    • JLegg says:

      Craig, I understand what you mean, we all do. He’s just trying to say do the best you can to improve on yourself. If your disability allows you to only train on shooting better then do that. Do whatever you can do in your own power to make yourself more effective.

      I hope your doing alright man

    • Mr.E.G. says:

      Craig, I think another way to interpret it would be that you should be the best YOU that you can be, not the best someone else. I’m 5’8″ and weigh 150 lbs. I will never be able to exhibit much of the physical prowess that your typical GI Bro can. Not a ton that can be done about that. But what I can do is make sure that I’m the baddest fucking 5’8″ dude around. You’d better believe I’m still a capable alpha male.

      I don’t think Pat was saying, “Sorry Mr.E.G., you’re too short and Craig’s too disabled, so this post isn’t for you.” I think he was saying that you should be the best you can be because others depend on you. I’d be willing to bet, Craig, that you’ve already done what Pat’s advocating for. You know your limitations and you supplement with firearms training, situational awareness, etc. The thing is, everyone has limitations, even Pat.

    • AlexC says:

      This makes me wonder?

      Are there any shooting classes that cover shooting if you are disabled? Shooting from a wheelchair, shooting with only one arm?

      Not in the sense that you are injured, but that you are permanently like that.

      Serious question.

  3. Ed Hickey says:

    Jesus H Crist Craig, if you know your still a sheepdog…that’s all that matters and your doing it to the best of your ability!

  4. Craig says:

    Thank you all.

    Maybe I took the article a little too personally,but it seems like everywhere I go,I am reminded I am not ‘what I used to be’.

    It’s hard,

    • Mr.E.G. says:

      Craig, the fact that you desire to be tough and capable means that you’re in the game. We live in a world full of total pussies who, no matter their physical capabilities, just don’t have the nerve to fight. I promise you that you’re way ahead of the majority of people, despite how things have changed for you. Keep your chin up, man.

  5. Working Dog says:

    Wouldn’t my duplicate have been training, too? Or, does he wake up on Thursday believing he’s me on Tuesday? In that case, was Wednesday Leg Day? He might have the advantage, there. And why are we fighting rather than giving my fiancée the threesome she secretly wants?

    So many questions….

  6. Joe says:

    You do not have to be an absolute stallion, but you should do your part to ensure that you have put in the effort to make ‘you’ a better ‘you’. Make incremental gains every day. The math is simple. Ask yourself, “If I cloned myself yesterday, can I kick my clone’s ass tomorrow?”