The world according to Clint

Published 8:38 am Tuesday, September 14, 2010

With dove season already here and deer season not too far behind, it got me thinking about all the recent controversy about the right to bear arms.

We, as Americans, are guaranteed that privilege under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. There are some who would like to see that amendment revoked. I’m assuming their thought process is aligned with the use of guns in criminal activities. I’m assuming they think that by removing all the guns, you also remove the threat of gun violence. However, if you take guns from law-abiding citizens, only the criminals and law enforcement officers will be armed.

No offense to our brave men and women in blue, but you know the old saying: When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.

My dad taught me gun safety at an early age. First and foremost I was taught to respect a firearm.

Growing up in a rural area, I’ve done my fair share of hunting. The safety skills drilled in me at an early age paid off once I ventured into the fields and woods in search of game.

But getting back to those who want to take away our guns, I want to introduce you to Clint Smith, President and Director of Thunder Ranch in Lakeview, Oregon. He is a Marine veteran who had two tours of duty in Vietnam. His experience includes seven years as a police officer during which he served as head of the Firearms Training Division as well as being a S.W.A.T. member and precision rifleman.

“Our primary concern is that people who come to Thunder Ranch® leave with a peace of mind in their heart and head. We strongly hope that they never have to use any of the skills or things learned here for the defense of themselves or their family, but if they do, we want this knowledge to be used confidently and with great vigor. The only goal is to win,” Smith writes on his website –

Smith also has a great sense of humor. Here are a few of his observations on tactics, firearms and self defense:

“Don’t forget, incoming fire has the right of way.”

“Make your attacker advance through a wall of bullets. I may get killed with my own gun, but he’s gonna have to beat me to death with it, cause it’s going to be empty.”

“If you’re not shootin’, you should be loadin’. If you’re not loadin’, you should be movin’, if you’re not movin’, someone’s gonna cut your head off and put it on a stick.”

“You can say ‘stop’ or ‘alto’ or use any other word you think will work but I’ve found that a large bore muzzle pointed at someone’s head is pretty much the universal language.”

“You cannot save the planet. You may be able to save yourself and your family.”

Smith writes that the sword is more important than the shield, and skill is more important than either. The final weapon is the brain. All else is supplemental.

He also lists some key rules of combat:

1. Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.

2. If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck.

3. I carry a gun cause a cop is too heavy.

4. An armed man will kill an unarmed man with monotonous regularity.

5. Beware the man who only has one gun…he probably knows how to use it.

I like the way Clint Smith thinks…I also enjoy my Second Amendment rights and will do everything within my power – non-violent, of course – to ensure that right is protected.

Cal Bryant is Editor of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald and Gates County Index. He can be reached at or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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