My how time flies. It seems like just last week I did episode 19 of the gun show, and now I'm on 20. Funny how that works.
Anyway, the topic for today is gunfights, and how to survive them. The following is a semi-humorous and by no means comprehensive list of rules that should see you through til the end. It's inspired by several sources, including my own training and several other, much funnier lists.
1. Bring a gun. Sorry, space wizards, but your magic glow sticks don't mean squat in the real world. And frankly, there are, like, 3 of you that know how to use one properly on here. Jedi and Sith got shot to death all the time in canon. A lightsaber and the Force give you some advantages, but as Order 66 proved, they don't make you invincible.
What was I saying? Oh, right. Bring a gun. Preferably several. And bring friends with guns. If the enemy has multiple targets, maybe they'll decide your buddy looks more important and shoot at him instead.
2. Violence is the answer. Despite what Miss Fukaduk taught you in grade school, if you want to come out the other side alive, you need to be willing to hurt the other guy bad enough that he can't hurt you. This usually means shooting him in vital spots many, many times. If you aren't prepared to accept that, you might as well save everybody the effort and shoot yourself.
3. Boot them, don't piss on them. Corollary to number two, make sure you use more violence than the other guy. There's a time and a place for fair play, but that's not what you're going for here. By all means, plan and plot, but when you make your move, your goal should be to crush your opponent so thoroughly that the idea of carrying on sickens them. As the saying goes, if violence isn't your last resort, you failed to resort to enough of it.
4. If the enemy is in range, so are you. I heard someone describe a firefight as a two way rifle range not long ago, and I absolutely love that deception. If you can reach out and touch the bad guys, always assume they can do the same to you and act accordingly. Make use of cover and concealment. Move around. Be unpredictable. Once the two way rifle range begins, you don't want to be sitting there, waiting for the bullet with your name on it.
5. Only cheaters prosper. Use every dirty trick you can think of to win. Mostly that amounts to making the enemy screw up by the numbers. If you can make them think you have more friends than they do, they might panic. If you can make them think you've got fewer, you can trick them into taking risks they probably shouldn't. If you can make them think you're somewhere you're not, you can flank. Just remember that the only fair fight is one you failed to prepare for.
6. Close air support covereth a multitude of sins. This one is easy. If you can get a big enough gun overhead, you can win the firefight with relative ease.
7. If you can see the whites of their eyes, you screwed up. Accurate long range fire beats close range panic fire any day. Keep your distance and keep your cool, because there's no better way to void your bladder than to have to give the order to fix bayonets.
8. Time is not your friend. Whether you're in a back alley or on a battlefield, you want to end the engagement as quickly as possible. The longer the fight goes on, the greater the chances of getting killed. Either you run out of ammo, you run out of friends, or the enemy calls in more of his friends.
9. Never count on the enemy to cooperate in the creation of your dream engagement. All the things you're trying to do to win, they're trying to do as well, and you have to assume that they're just as smart as you are. Therefore, remain flexible. Or as the Marines put it, Semper Gumby. Get too rigidly attached to any one plan and the enemy is liable to shove it sideways up your backside.
10. Failure is not an option, it is mandatory. The only option is whether you let it be the last thing you do. That comes straight from the 70 maxims. Face it, you're going to screw up at some point. Even the most brilliant commanders will make mistakes. What separates the living from the dead is the ability to overcome those mistakes, to fight through them, and to learn from them.
So there you have it, folks. As always, my inbox and the comments section below are open for questions, comments, and curse words.