Readiness Is A Statement Of Fact, Are You?

By John Farnam

Empty Revolver Gun
Readiness Is A Statement Of Fact, Are You?
Defense Training International, Inc
Defense Training International, Inc

Ft Collins, CO –-( “Willingness is a state of mind. Readiness is a statement of fact!” ~ First heard (by me) in Marine Corps OCS, Quantico, VA, 1967.

The definition of “security” is:

“Whatever you have with you at the moment, and how smoothly and incisively you can put it all into action it to make things go your way” ~ Evan Marshall

At a recent ARTA Course (Armed Response to a Terrorist Attack), I orchestrated many drills where students have to run to where their rifle is, unpack it, and get it running. They then complete the exercise.

Sometimes, you may have your rifle physically on you. Yet, most of the time it will be locked-up and/or secreted in some way so as to get it out of sight and thus lower your profile.

So, I think it is important to practice getting to your rifle, and then getting it into action smoothly and quickly. And, it is here that we see difficulty.

My student gets to his rifle, unpacks it, grabs it, and then raises it to his shoulder in an attempt to get on target, only to discover his optic is turned off. He hurriedly gets it turned on, only to discover his adjustable stock is not adjusted to the correct length. He re-adjusts his stock, only to discover the rifle’s sling is too short, and he thus can’t get the rifle correctly mounted. He gets that all sorted-out, moves off the “X” (at long last) and finally gets his red dot on target, presses the trigger, only to discover there is no round chambered, and/or no magazine in the weapon!

By this time, it’s mostly a moot point, but he angrily chambers a round, reflexively pushed the manual safety lever to the “on” position, and then presses the trigger once more. Of course, the manual safety functions normally, and as designed!

At each frustration-point, the natural tendency is to plant your feet in cement and then stand there interminably gawking in amazement at your still-silent rifle!

Our first task is to help the student understand that, when he is not actually shooting, he needs to be moving!

Then, in repetition after frustrating repetition, we smooth-out all the speed-bumps and reclaim squandered seconds!

One critical disservice performed by most (cold range) shooting competitions is getting into the minds of participants that they will always have plenty of time to “get ready.” They further delude themselves with the personal assurance that nothing bad will ever “start” until they clearly indicate they are “ready!

This is a poisonous self-delusion we must immediately get all competition shooters out of!

We’re preparing you to successfully confront a personal security emergency. You don’t get to “make an appointment!” They’ll be no time for you to “get ready,” and you won’t know the scenario beforehand. You’re either ready and alert all the time, as a unchanging lifestyle, or you’ll predictably flunk your first (and last) Test!

Of course, The Test may never come your way. Let’s pray it never does. Can you bet your life on that? (You have!)

For one, I’m not depending on Providence. I’m depending on me!

Some may hesitate.

I won’t!

“When we least expect it, life sends us a challenge… At such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened, nor in insisting that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait! Life does not look back!” ~ Paulo Coelho


About John Farnam & Defense Training International, Inc
As a defensive weapons and tactics instructor John Farnam will urge you, based on your own beliefs, to make up your mind in advance as to what you would do when faced with an imminent and unlawful lethal threat. You should, of course, also decide what preparations you should make in advance, if any. Defense Training International wants to make sure that their students fully understand the physical, legal, psychological, and societal consequences of their actions or inactions.

It is our duty to make you aware of certain unpleasant physical realities intrinsic to the Planet Earth. Mr Farnam is happy to be your counselor and advisor. Visit:

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

This is why I have a Claymore set up at each door and window. The wife came home early the other day–sure will miss her…

Wild Bill

, That is most humorous. Well done, sir!

2nd Amender

they set individually, or wired to a control panel? Either way I’m sure they work better than Gil’s pajamas, unless he dumped into them while wearing them to his last gun fight!
watch that back blast…..!


In this modern day and age shotguns should be rigged to fire when someone tries to open a door or window.

2nd Amender

sounds like something Professor Joe Biden once said….but I’m pretty sure it’s illegal unless you can prove you were under seige . Those video games can infere with perceptions. Be careful in the real world, shooting anything you perceive as a threat will get you in trouble.

Wild Bill

No Gil, just yours.

2nd Amender

“within reach!”

if my dog goes nuts, a little later into night time…….when most everyone is in……!


I keep the key to my gun safe on me at all times but never thought to practice getting to it and getting a rifle in a hurry. I’m going to do that.

Jim Macklin

The handgun is the “immediate action” tool. Whether you carry a revolver or a self-loading pistol in condition one,, the handgun is the weapon of choice when you don’t expect to need a weapon at all.
When you know that you’ll need a weapon, on patrol in a combat zone, at home when hear the dogs barking, you get your M4 or 870, you put your pants and shoes on and call 911 before you go looking for the intruder.


Uh huh. This reminds of attending martial arts classes – if you can afford umpteen lessons and fancy pajamas where you pretend to be some sort of fighter then you’re who is unlikely to get into a fight let alone want to deal with the legal ramifications of being in one.