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Letter: Observations of a Shopkeeper


I write because I wanted to share some observations I have made while working at a tactical shop that sees a large amount of traffic from military, civilians, and police. Some observations on each group when it comes to firearms.

Military – The only ones who seem to really have an understanding about handling, maintaining, and the difficulty of using firearms under the stress of combat, are combat veterans. They are humble, eager to give helpful advice, and never have I once heard one of them say they are looking forward to TSHTF so they can waste their neighbors or hordes of starving unprepared civilians. They prepare and remain vigilant. They are realistic. They have their gear in order and ready to go at any moment. They fear being on the opposite side of a military force and believe that laying low is the best strategy. They train regularly and realistically, with small unit tactics with competent like-minded friends. They realize it takes a team to survive.

Police – This is a hard group to explain. There is a minority of police, many of whom are military veterans, who are very capable and knowledgeable with their weapons. These are the true warriors, ready to fight through any situation. You can tell them apart from the rest because they don’t hesitate to spend money on quality weapons and equipment, and they train regularly. They are physically fit for fighting hand to hand, or running and gunning. Then there are the majority who are somewhat capable and competent but are not real gun fighters. These are the cops who shoot a few times a year, maybe, just to make sure they can still pass their qualification. They are usually not in fighting shape, nor do they spend money on quality guns or optics and so forth. They are not warriors and are likely not capable of training or organizing others.

Civilians – These are the most ignorant of the bunch– no offense intended. Civilians have other life skills and problems to deal with on a daily basis. They simply don’t have a background that relates to gun fighting or prepping on a regular basis. Granted, some civilians are extremely capable, well trained, and wealthy enough to have the finest weapons, equipment, land, and preparations of any of the groups. The majority suffer from one symptom– they don’t know how much they don’t know. The things that most of us preppers consider basic common knowledge is unheard of to them. “Cleaning and lubricating a rifle? Huh? Investing in quality optics or tactical gear? Nah, just buy Condor because it looks the same and is 1/3 the price.” (I might add that it will rip and fail in a week.)

I think when things hit the fan, there are going to be some civilians who surprise everyone and beat the odds, plenty of police who simply dissolve into the masses, while some will do their communities proud and lead the way, and combat veterans who will organize, train, and lead the rest who survive into action to restore and liberate this country.

There will be plenty of dead civilians with brand new AR15’s in their hands that never had the safety removed or that jammed on the first shot because they never cleaned off the packing grease from when they bought it years back. There will be plenty of amateurs who bite the dust early on and a month or two down the road. Only the strong will still be around.

So don’t worry about investing heavily in multiple weapons or having too many spare parts. There will be brand new guns all over the place to cannibalize, and there will be plenty of people who didn’t know how much they didn’t know holding them. Always seek to learn more every day, because it’s what you don’t know that is going to cost you in the end. – R.R.