Tactical Tailor

Gunfighter Moment – Mike Pannone

Entering A New Time

We are entering a new time and we as good Americans need to act accordingly. The attack in Paris should have been the largest and most recent wake-up calls to the general populace that we are entering a new age with a different threat. This threat not only seeks to but is capable of projecting power in a different manner. It an ideology that says the price of admission and to get “credentialed” all one must do is lash out at the innocent who does not believe in their ideology.

Talk with those in your charge about reactions if there is an attack and agree on it. What is our immediate plan? Who goes where and does what? These decisions will not be arrived at under the tremendous stresses of potential death or grievous bodily injury. Without planning it is just luck and as I have said countless times and is Noner Rule #1 “Good luck is for novices; bad luck is for everyone. Bank on skill, at least you control that.”

In preparation I encourage those who understand the legal and moral ramifications and can legally carry a firearm to do so. Before taking on that responsibility, seek genuinely competent training. Make that CCW a life preserving tool and not an expensive good luck charm. Once that proficiency requirement has been met you have demonstrated your seriousness and should carry everywhere you are legally permitted.

If you don’t already have it seek first-aid training and have medical supplies in your vehicle. This is just the right answer regardless of current threat levels.

Finally, understand that the biggest threat you will face relative to ISIS related terrorism is the “lone wolf” attacker or what I more specifically call the “non-aligned sympathizer” (NAS). That term is exactly what the ideology commands and encourages due to the inability of any security apparatus to effectively monitor them. The reason this is important is that if you just avoid ball games and large populated public venues or the likely “soft targets” understand everyplace you go without a very obvious security presence is a soft target. The NAS can strike anywhere any time because he is only concerned with becoming a name of note in the “cause”. For that reason, we must remain what I call “professionally vigilant” or in layman’s terms acutely aware of our surroundings. Make sure you know what “right” looks like as far as behavior. If someone stands out don’t come unglued and immediately call 911 but look and listen. All over the multiple war zones we have been engaged in are sign’s in one place or another that say
“Stay alert, Stay alive.”

It has made the difference in many a soldier, sailor, Airman and Marines life….It will for you if you heed that simple and sage advice.

“I’m waking up, I feel it in my bones
Enough to make my systems blow
Welcome to the new age,
to the new age”

Imagine Dragons, Radioactive

– Mike Pannone


Mike Pannone retired from the Army’s premier assault force (1st SFOD-D) after an explosive breaching injury. A year after his retirement America was attacked on 9/11 and he returned to help serve his country as the head marksmanship instructor at the Federal Air Marshals training course and then moved to help stand up the FAMS Seattle field office. In 2003 he left the FAMS to serve as a PSD detail member and then a detail leader for the State Department during 2003 and 2004 in Baghdad and Tikrit.

In 2005 he served as a ground combat advisor of the Joint Counter IED Task Force and participated on combat operations with various units in Al Anbar province. Upon returning he gave IED awareness briefings to departing units and helped stand up a pre-Iraq surge rifle course with the Asymmetric Warfare Group as a lead instructor. With that experience as well as a career of special operations service in Marine Reconnaissance, Army Special Forces and JSOC to draw from he moved to the private sector teaching planning, leadership, marksmanship and tactics as well as authoring and co-authoring several books such as The M4 Handbook, AK Handbook and Tactical Pistol shooting. Mike also consults for several major rifle and accessory manufacturers to help them field the best possible equipment to the warfighter, law enforcement officer and upstanding civilian end user. He is considered a subject matter expert on the AR based Stoner platform in all its derivatives.

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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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16 Responses to “Gunfighter Moment – Mike Pannone

  1. jbgleason says:

    I have been saying it for years and will say it again ref the active shooter. If you don’t have the tools or will to fight then RUN. Run fast, run far. These guys continue to rack up high body counts because people lay down for some reason. I just don’t get that. You saw it on the cafe video from Paris. Laying under a table eight feet away from the shooter will just get you executed. Use the oldest form of survival available, get on those two feet and run like a T Rex is after you. If people were conditioned to head for the hills the second things kick off, the shooter will get a couple in the initial attack but then he won’t have any targets left. Bonus is that just leaves him and the meat eaters minus collateral targets to duke it out.

    • Dellis says:

      I do agree with most of your feedback.

      On the other hand what if people rushed the attacker(s)? My thought is that as a shooter you want the people to feel terror, to run, cower and hide. You expect that.

      What one would not expect is to be rushed and overwhelmed. I have never been in that situation so I admit I am just armchair quarterbacking this one.

      • Badjujuu says:

        Civilians are not trained to respond to threats. It takes exhausting training to be comfortable in a situation described and quickly analyze the situation and react appropriately. Majority of people 1. Stop and freeze in shock that something is happening 2. Get down because that’s all they know to do. And when it comes to fight or flight most will run without trying to overwhelm the attacker. This is not a criticism of victims just my 2 cents.

  2. Ed Hickey says:

    Well said as always!

  3. Dellis says:

    Mr. Pannone,

    Well timed and written piece. Thank you.

    I do train as much as I can and take care to do certain things, such as I always carry a trauma kit with me and will soon take some advance training in that from Alias “IF” I can get others interested in it and they seem to be coming around.

    Funny thing is I was always looked at as a fool and “doomsday whack” by friends and family because I have stocked food and water for at least 6 months. Ammo, and first aide plus extra daily items stocked.

    My gas in truck and cars never go under half a tank. I always know where exits are and when we go out to eat I always sit facing the front entrance.

    Now many of those same people are coming to me, in private mostly because of some stigma associated by the media I believe, that people such as myself are “loose cannons” and not rowing with both oars in the water, and asking where to get trained and what to prepare for.

    So again thanks for the informative read and I, and others, appreciate your insight.

  4. NCO says:

    Been to Paris a couple of days ago. Sadly, it seems to be true. We are entering a new age.

  5. Bill says:

    I disagree: same age, new technology. Evil has always existed, terrorism as a political/religious tactic dates back millennia. There has always been a tiny percentage of the dangerously mentally ill. Now we live in an age where the news, reliable or not, of these events is FAR faster than ever, and our scholarship has improved to where we can form reliable and rigorous databases of events, with the important benefit of being able to share info at the speed of light. Unfortunately the same technology is available to the people who use it against us.

    After having said all that, I do have to acknowledge that I gave my daughter a small personal trauma kit before she went to a concert on Wednesday. I had my normal pistol, spare mags, light, IFAK and knife, but for me that has been “normal” since going on the job in the 80s.

    • Noner says:

      You missed the point. Relative to the life we have led, it is “a new age”. Never before have we as Americans faced the threat from within that we do today; home grown and radicalized jihadis in our midst with a social media presence easily reaching them and telling them to kill their neighbors and complete strangers. To posit some sort of historical relativism that “evil has always existed” or that we are in the “same age” is both incorrect and does not get the intent of the GFM. For the lifetime we have lived we are entering a “new age”… not a “unique age” relative to the human condition but a new one for us. The human condition is generally the same but how we interact is unique to many factors. the Internet and social media make this a new age more so than radical jihadism…that has been around since the Crusades.

  6. Rasmus says:

    You guys are lucky. Aftermath of the Paris attack is a proposal from the European union to make semi auto weapons (especially Ar-15 like weapons) illegal for civilians. Terrorists always comply with current laws. And they buy their weapons with a license… Everybody knows that.

    We are going to be forced to hand ind our weapons.

  7. The Pig says:

    Well said.

  8. Airborne_fister says:

    As a guy whom has deployed and been involved in an active shooter situation. I agree. The local bar strip around here had a bunch of “thugs” around. SHTF for them. The next thing I hear is pop pop pop. I draw my three other military buddies draw. We grab these 21 yr old girls throw them behind a car since they decided laying down in the alley was safer. Next thing I know the light switch went off and we are back in Afghanistan clearing street to street. Until we com upon a “danger zone”. Then we see the red and blue lights fly up to us and we are now looking at the business end of an officers rifle. We Identify ourselves, And are detained. We knew that would happen. But what we didn’t know was the fact that we were going to be taken downtown and questioned. We saw nothing just heard it. We reached the way we were trained. Nothing more and never anything less.

  9. Robert says:

    Wise and timely words, thank you.

    I would suggest bringing the medical supplies with you in a small, nondescript sling-type bag or backpack (at a minimum: GSW kit w/ Celox/QuickClot gauze, SOFTT-type tourniquets, nitrile gloves, trauma shears, CoFlex/Kerlix rolls, bottle of water, etc.-customize as you see fit) because if you find yourself in the middle of an active shooter incident, you may not be able to get back to your vehicle for quite some time. Many, many people in these situations have bled to death waiting for LE/Military to make entry, methodically clear the entire structure, then finally give the word that it’s safe for the EMT’s to enter and begin treating victims.

  10. Weaver says:

    Once again, Mike Pannone sets the standard for the best postings in Gunfighter Moments – timely, accurate, well-written assessment with a minimum of self-aggrandizement and hype.