Unarmed Paris police officer is executed by jihadist during Charlie Hebdo attack in January 2015. You can beg for your life or fight back.
If you are reading this article, in this magazine, you are probably in some manner familiar with guns. Maybe a little, or maybe a lot. But the great majority of people believe that no matter what happens, someone will come to save you! After all, isn’t that the job of the police and fire departments? And if injured, EMS will provide pre-hospital care for you. All you have to do is exist. Everything will be accomplished by someone else. Just not by you…
You need to understand that the world is not unicorns emitting rainbows from their hindquarters. The world changed drastically on September 11, 2001, and will continue to change—for the worse—until your children’s children have had children. The current Administration cannot even admit who the enemy is, never mind destroy them. And within the United States? That changed when idiots elected a Marxist who has been imposing his Marxist policies upon us. No matter how often these people tell you they will take care of you, it is not borne out by reality.
The demonization of the police by members of both political parties has had a cascading effect on how cops view their job, which means the drastic downtick in proactive police services will continue. The bleating about some police units wearing pants with cargo pockets and having wheeled vehicles that have armor to protect the occupants means that fewer and fewer cops will be prepared to respond to a serious incident.
Yeah, you’ll get the police departments you wanted. This is the new now. But you need to ask yourself a serious question. Who has the ultimate responsibility for the safety and security of you and yours?
B) The government
If you chose B), please put on your rose-colored glasses and leave. If you chose A), please continue reading.
How you influence a situation may not always be with a gun. Here, a man rescues a child during the attack on Westgate Mall. Are you prepared to do this?
IT COULDN’T HAPPEN HERE
Gun magazines and social media have a lot of chatter about “armed citizens” and how a Mumbai/Paris attack could never happen here because of our gun culture and such. This bears some serious scrutiny. First and foremost, the mere possession of a firearm does not bestow magical powers upon the possessor. Without the training on how and when to use that firearm, and without the proper mindset, you are a long way from being functional.
Very few of those who own a firearm actually shoot it even occasionally, if at all. And I have no problem with that, nor any issues with those who use the gun to hunt once or twice a year, engage in competitive shooting sports that require only marksmanship (bullseye competition and such), or have it “just because.” They are exercising their right to have a firearm, as granted to us by people smarter than those now in power. But while that may make them an armed citizen in the broad sense, it does not mean they have the ability to thwart an attack and defend themselves and their family.
Consider for a moment how many people in this country have the ability to legally carry a handgun. Then consider how many actually carry. Not occasionally, or when they “think” there may be a threat, but every day. While there is no database on this, my feeling based on 40+ years of asking is that very few carry religiously.
I understand that some would carry, but their employer may forbid them from carrying at work as a condition of their employment, or where it’s illegal or otherwise prohibited. That would be foolish and I am not advocating it. I also understand at times it may not be appropriate, for example when drinking copious quantities of adult beverages.
Some run out, while others run in. During the Westgate Mall attack in September 2013, local security forces were largely inept. Some did step up to the plate and took action. You may be the only one who can influence the situation.
EXCUSES PART 1: NOT CARRYING
Got it, but let’s just look at those who can but won’t. Following are some excuses I hear regularly:
It’s too much trouble.
What, like tying your shoes? Putting your wallet in your pocket?
It’s not comfortable.
That gun is meant to be comforting, not comfortable. However, if it is aggravating, reconsider your choice of gun, holster, and magazines.
It clashes with my clothes/outfit/costume.
I don’t feel a need.
If you have the mental powers of the Great Karnak, don’t waste your time with guns, but please contact me with the winning Powerball numbers ASAP!
As for actually training, I commonly hear these excuses:
I was in the Army/Navy/Marines/Air Force and they taught me how to shoot.
Really? When? What was your MOS? How do you train now?
I can’t afford it.
I understand how the money thing is. But how much do you spend going to the movies? You know, the things produced and acted in by people who hate you and hate your guns. Or maybe football pools.
I don’t need to train. The 2A doesn’t require it.
No, it doesn’t. But if you are that thick headed, maybe you shouldn’t carry a gun.
I have no problem with people who are not of our guild staying away from guns. And there are some people who do carry who have not sufficiently thought out the ramifications of owning a gun.
Jihadist is stopped by gunfire after attack on a Christmas party in San Bernardino, California, December 2015.
YOU’RE NOT AN ARMED CITIZEN IF…
In the January 2015 issue of S.W.A.T., I wrote an article about the fallacy of the “one shot, one kill” (ONE SHOT, ONE KILL: A Contradiction in Terms) mantra so often uttered by the unknowing. I used a picture of a dead bad guy to illustrate the point. Some were upset about this, and one sent a letter to S.W.A.T. Editor Denny Hansen stating that after he saw the image, he could not carry a gun again. I applaud his honesty, though I don’t agree with it. We carry a firearm for only one reason: To prevent someone from using or attempting to use Deadly Physical Force or force equating to Serious Physical Injury against you or a third person. That’s it.
Let’s slide back to the armed citizen thing. There is a difference between one who carries a gun and one who is prepared to use that gun in defense of him/herself or a third person. If you carry the gun as an afterthought or have never considered the results of taking the gun out of its holster, you are not an armed citizen. If you own a gun and do not train how to use it, you are not an armed citizen. If you can legally carry a gun and don’t, you are not an armed citizen. If you have received training and do carry a gun but have not developed the proper mindset and have the standard 0% situational awareness, you are still not an armed citizen. It is that simple.
But it gets worse. Some cops refuse to carry while off duty. This is alien to me, as when I was on the NYPD, we were required to be armed 24/7—something I agreed with 100%. Even if they hadn’t required it, I would have carried. And I continue to do so now. To not carry when you legally can is, in my opinion, madness.
United Airlines Flight 175 is flown into Two World Trade Center on 9/11/2001. We are more likely to see individual or small groups of terrorists using small arms and explosives during future attacks. Will you be prepared to do what is necessary?
READY TO DEFEND
The fact that there have been so few successful terrorist attacks against this country since 9/11 is because a lot of very dedicated folks are doing a lot of hard work to prevent it, in spite of the intransigence of the current Administration. But other deadly attacks have occurred on a smaller scale, including Fort Hood; Garland, Texas; UC Merced, California; and San Bernardino, California.
Consider this. Today you may be the only person on the face of the earth who can positively influence a situation. Are you prepared to do that? Develop the proper mindset. Carry the necessary equipment that will allow you to influence the situation at hand. Then become politically engaged—and stay engaged.
It should be glaringly obvious, but the ability to possess a firearm is pretty much central to what has been stated above. We have been granted that right by the Second Amendment, and it has kept us free since the birth of this great country. But it isn’t as simple as we should expect. Our rights—all of them—have been under constant attack by those who have an agenda that apparently is directly opposed to what the framers of the Constitution had in mind. Chief among them is our right to possess arms. Those who champion the usurping of the Constitution and the confiscation of our firearms belong primarily to one political party. Their arguments are false, but they have a propaganda machine that equals Josef Stalin’s during the Cold War.
The enemy—and make no bones about it, they are the enemy—is highly organized, highly motivated, and lavishly funded. They have a functional media machine grinding out lies at the cyclic rate, and the uneducated voter is in the majority. And they hate you. They dislike your lifestyle, your freedom.
FRACTURED GUN COMMUNITY
On the other hand, our community is fractured and underfunded. Because each segment of the gun community is pretty much separate from the others, it is difficult to have a single voice in the fight. Each separate discipline is, by nature, concerned primarily with their particular endeavor.
Competitive shooters are interested in ensuring that their discipline is safe from the onslaught. Hunters are interested in hunting, but primarily in the type of hunting they engage in. Every one of the shooting communities believes that their community is safe from the attack because their guns aren’t black, are used only for sport, and so on. They are horribly mistaken. Hunting rifles will be re-labeled as sniper rifles. Action shooting will be labeled paramilitary. Cowboy Action Shooting will be glorifying genocide and racism, etc.
We fight back by becoming political and getting engaged. But politics is a multi-headed beast and comes with a plethora of agendas. We have reached the point of critical mass when it comes to our guns, and because of that I have become a single-issue voter. Why? Because if we lose the 2A, the rest will follow rapidly.
Some very active and functional state level associations do sterling work at the local level, and they deserve support from gun owners, but they have minimal influence above that level. Only one organization at the national level has the experience and expertise to successfully carry the fight—the National Rifle Association. If you are a gun owner, or just have values other than Marxist, you should belong to the NRA.
EXCUSES PART 2: NRA
I have heard all the excuses as to why one does not belong:
They are always asking for money.
No kidding. Look at how much Bloomburg and his rich fellow travelers have spent try to usurp your rights. We simply can’t match them dollar for dollar. It requires money. Donating is always great, but membership is greater by an order of magnitude.
They don’t care about us; only hunters and competitors.
The reason the NRA started was to provide the nation with trained marksmen. The thrust had been that way for a long time. But the Institute for Legal Action in particular and the NRA as a whole have been strongly engaged on the political side for a long time.
Whaaa, a long time ago so-and-so said/did something i didn’t like, so I won’t support them.
Really? Has your mother/father/mentor never said something you didn’t like? Grow up. This is not about you. It is about us, as a community and a nation.
They don’t care about black rifles.
Au contraire. They do; big time. Bigger than you might believe.
They always say the sky is falling.
News flash, sports fans. It is. Every day. No matter how hard we try, the enemy is well organized, well funded and well motivated. To quote a line from Men in Black, “There’s always an Arquillian Battle Cruiser, or a Corillian Death Ray, or an intergalactic plague that is about to wipe out all life on this miserable little planet.” Stop making excuses. If you will not contribute to the solution, you are the problem.
Money tight? Yup, got it. For everyone. Pay your membership on installment. The NRA has run some very attractive membership upgrades recently, which puts it all within your budget. Annual membership is only $25 a year. Upgrades to higher levels of membership are sometimes offered at a deep discount.
I believe in the NRA and what they do for us. I cannot imagine why any legitimate gun owner in this country does not belong to the NRA. I became an NRA member in 1959 and a Life Member when I returned from the former Republic of Vietnam in 1966. I became an Endowment Member several years ago, and have just submitted to become a Patron.
The upcoming elections should be a single issue for us, and that is the Second Amendment. If that falls, so will everything else. Don’t believe me? Look at how much this country has lost in the past two national elections. Suck it up. Stop whatever else you are doing and join the one national organization that can make a difference.
Become a single-issue voter. That issue is guns. If you whine about how all politicians are alike and permit them to retain power, you are complicit in the downfall of this country. If they get our guns, everything else follows.
Pat Rogers is a retired Chief Warrant Officer of Marines and a retired NYPD Sergeant. Pat is the owner of E.A.G. Inc., which provides services to governmental organizations and private citizens. He can be reached at email@example.com.