Civilian Gunfighter Critics and the Growth of the Art


Concealed Carry Re Holstering Gun Holster
Civilian Gunfighter Critics and the Growth of the Art

Ft Collins, CO –-( Reply to a Critic:

In a recent bolg-post (the Blog is called “Civilian Gunfighter”), the author, never identified, is mildly critical of comments made by me in one of my books, “The Farnam Method of Defensive Handgunning.”

While “skimming through it,” he noticed that I suggested to those of us who carry concealed regularly that we learn to re-holster pistols quickly, smoothly, and without having to actually look at the holster in the process.

The Blog’s author says he is “committed to ‘looking the pistol into the holster,’” because, “… if it’s not safe to look away from a potential threat, then why are you holstering your gun?”

I decided to respond to this criticism via this Quip since several of my students reported seeing the Blog:

It strikes me that the primary function of your eyes is to locate and identify threats. Breaking visual contact with threats, or threatening circumstances, may not be such a good idea, particularly when it is usually unnecessary.

Re-holstering without actually looking at the holster is not possible with certain concealed-carry options, but when it is, my unapologetic recommendation is to keep your head up, and your eyes actively engaged, although I surely will not begrudge a brief glance.

The Blog’s author says he has never been one of my students but adds that he would like to be one someday, “… before he (Farnam) retires.”

Well Sir, don’t sweat it! You have plenty of time! I won’t be retiring any time soon.

And, my advice to you is to keep being constructively critical, of all of us, maybe even revealing your name at some point!

Even among this Art’s “Senior Cadre” (Mas Ayoob, Dave Spaulding, Tom Givens, Manny Kapelsohn, Denny Tueller, Marty Hayes, Joe Gilbert, Freddie Blish, Jeff Gonzales, Gabe Suarez, James Yeager, Skip Gochenour, me, et al) there has never been universal agreement on every detail.

When we get together, there is always lively, even heated, discussions on any number of relevant topics. Yet, we all have profound respect, admiration, even affection for each other. We’ve all been “down the road” more than a few times.

So, let the criticism, mild or caustic, come our way. That’s the way our Art advances.

We all have thick skins. And yes, sometimes thick skulls too.



In my Quip above I published an incomplete list of the “Senior Cadre” of practitioners of our Art.

I should know better, because when I do something like this, I always make a foolish omission, or two. My sincere apologies to my esteemed colleagues mistakenly not included in the original Quip!

A more complete List (in no particular order):

Mas Ayoob, Dave Spaulding, Tom Givens, Manny Kapelsohn, Denny Tueller, Marty Hayes, Joe Gilbert, Freddie Blish, Jeff Gonzales, Gabe Suarez, James Yeager, Clint Smith, Skip Gochenour, John Murphy, Evan Marshal, Chuck Soltys, Gary Greco, Jeff Chudwin, John Holschen, Bill Aprill, Claude Werner, Spencer Keepers, Karl Rehn, and me.

All are my friends, esteemed colleagues, and heroes!

And, I’m sure the foregoing List in still incomplete, but I wanted to put this out in order to properly recognize this magnificent cadre!


Defense Training International, Inc

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 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 in-actions.

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:

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3 years ago

I have learned many useful things from reading Mr. Farnums’ articles, but the best thing I can remember was from Mrs. Farnum, on a television program, a good long while ago. In response to a question about always having firearms available…”and what if you have a bad day?”, phrased in such a way as to try to trip up her well reasond presentation she responded, as well as I can remember,…”I have a Federal Firearms License…I’m not allowed to have a bad day.” That’s as much as I recall and if I am misquoting her, I apologise. If I’m not… Read more »