President Bush has embarked on the final phase of Pax Americana and is ushering in an advanced imperial stage that will endanger every living American. The coming election will assure us that every American will have his Second Amendment rights infringed or predated upon in some fashion no matter which party succeeds (is there a difference except the spelling?). Perennial readers of this site are better versed than most in the predatory nature of the state and its ability to target and vilify those it wishes to eliminate eventually whether through political neutralization such as Trent Lott or lethal means such as Waco or Ruby Ridge. I’d like to focus this essay on the practical application of what Boston T. Party refers to as “liberty’s teeth” or small arms. There are plenty of organizations like Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFO) and Gun Owners of America (GOA) which will provide you with all the intellectual ammunition you need to know why you should be armed; I want to tell you how. I want to offer a bare-bones primer on how to get started in amassing your personal armory (contrary to what the government says, an arsenal is where weapons are manufactured) and using the weapons you obtain. I have a military background that spans two decades, shoot competitively and currently instruct tactical firearms so I have left the armchair a few times.
There are plenty of sites from which you can obtain this information but I wanted to provide a fairly painless gateway to get started if you are beginning from ground zero. The black helicopter crowds are chockfull of hunker-down survivalist information which for the most part suffers from their barely hidden desire for the apocalypse to occur coupled with their propensity to be armchair enthusiasts unfettered by real world application of firepower. On the other end of the spectrum, you have the nation’s largest gun prohibition organization, the National Rifle Association, selling plenty of safety-oriented gun practices (while winking lustfully at the Beltway media and other hoplophobes) and ignoring any martial aspects of weapons or gun handling the Founders wrote the Second Amendment for in the first place.
1. Establish a mindset much like the Flinters in F. Paul Wilson’s novels. Fully embrace the initiated non-aggression principle. This is not a call for armed revolt or insurrection. This is summed up as leave me alone or else. Whether you own weapons now or not, you should be fully decided that when, not if, the government comes around to seize them you will relinquish them one round at a time. Or you have had the foresight to properly cache spares and you can hand over that Lee Harvey Oswald Carcano to the nice young men in black ninja suits who are from the government and just want to help you. If you have any doubt about that, stop reading this and take any weapons you now own and donate them to a paleo-conservative or libertarian who cares. You may continue reading if liberty means more than lip service. The right to self-defense should be beyond question to this audience.
2. If you bought one book on the subject, buy Boston T. Party’s book, “Boston’s Gun Bible“ (revised April 2002). Hey, we’re on LRC, you always want a book on the subject. As a matter of fact, this logical and sound compendium of gun stuff is worth a whole shelf of gun tomes. Read it two or three times and always have a highlighter in hand. He’s done all the work for you. You just have to read and heed. It has had a perennial place on my nightstand since I bought it. While those new to the gun community will be amazed at the pedantic disagreements that enliven every corner of the gun culture from ballistics to weapons choice, enquiring minds will really be energized by the level of intellectual ferment once you get the gun habit. If one only read the New York Times or the Los Angeles Times, you’d think all gun owners were backward hillbillies who only Jim Goad could love. Like so many American subcultures, there is a niche for every need or desire. For instance, I disagree with his number-one choice for a battle rifle (M1A versus FN-FAL) but that is the nature of the enterprise.
3. Write this on your whiteboard one hundred times: I will never, ever buy a weapon from a Federal Firearms Dealer (FFL). I will only make private party purchases through gun shows, the classifieds or through friends and neighbors. The Feral (no misspelling) government has developed a devilishly clever system using the BATF as their stalking horse to enable a de facto and de jure gun registration system established at the central government level every time a weapon is purchased at a brick and mortar gun shop. Check your risk tolerance and local and state laws to determine the regulations regarding private sales but the litmus test is easy. If you see guns for sale in your local newspaper classifieds, it is under the government radar (for now). Recent events such as the spate of college campus shootings and the attempts by local and state governments to regulate and suppress every manner of arms employment and provisioning should convince you that time is short. The same applies to ammunition; buy it at a gun show for cash as there is no requirement for a permit (yet) in most states. I hope you are fortunate enough to live in a state unlike Illinois or some of the Borg states in the northeastern part of these united States. When buying these weapons through private sales, always be prepared to walk away if it smells funny. Never buy any weapon that even appears to be fully automatic or is hinted to be. The Class 3 licensing system in the US regulates these firearms in a very draconian fashion under the auspices of the 1934 National Firearms Act. The government has a history of entrapment and provocation. Ask Randy Weaver if a half-inch on a ruler is hazardous to your health or that of your family.
4. I could write a book on what to buy but that is beyond the scope of this essay. Armed conflict is a discipline of distance. Different firearms have envelopes of lethality as distance is increased which is also a factor in accuracy. To paraphrase Boston, a pistol is what you fight your way to your rifle with. Spare no expense since your life depends on these tools. At minimum you need a rifle and pistol for every member of your family. The Glock pistol is the hands-down winner for accuracy and reliability. As to rifles, if you are poorer than dirt, scrape up $100 and buy a Lee-Enfield .303 rifle. These bolt actions are highly serviceable for social work. If you have more money, invest the hundreds and thousands it will take to get a proper battle rifle such as an FN-FAL, M1A or HK91 and all the equipment and ammunition to accompany each rifle for its care and feeding. Be sure to have a minimum of 25 magazines per rifle and ten per pistol. From this point, once you have started to empty your wallet, more equipment will start to appeal to you such as load-bearing gear, body armor and all manner of shooting accouterment. The sky is the limit (and your income).
5. Pay for the very best firearms training you can afford; a single digit percentage of the gun culture pays for professional training and this is the greatest shortcoming you can have. No matter how American the concept of having the most elaborate toys, if you can’t employ them, then their value is moot. Go to Google or Metacrawler, type in firearms training in your state and see who offers it locally or go to the nationally renowned training centers like Gunsite, Thunder Ranch or Firearms Academy of Seattle (my personal favorite for value and quality). Take your spouse, too. She is your primary team-member.
6. Teach your children well. The gun culture has roots as far back as the first settlers in North America. This continuity is a result of parents passing on their knowledge and weapons to their progeny to continue down the line. Exposure to guns early enough can make liberty contagious.
Remember, guns don’t kill people, governments and the criminals they create do. – William Buppert, February 18, 2008