"When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny."
-Author unknown, but darn sure historically accurate.
So, many of you probably read James Traub's article this week. It seems to have caused quite a stir.
I couldn't help but read it in context with my earlier article, hedgeless_horseman's Revolutionary Call to Arms. I hope that many of you read my article and already have started to proceed through the 20 steps in order.
However, if you are a veteran or active duty military, I invited you to skip to items 15-18, in my article, Never forget? Most veterans don't give a shit about America's perpetual warfare.
15. Research your two senators and one congressman at https://www.opensecrets.org/ Make a list of their 10 biggest donors, and send the list to "your representative" in an email or letter.
16. Read War is a Racket, by Major General Smedley D. Butler.
17. Read On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society, by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman.
18. Watch the online video of the TED Talk, A radical experiment in empathy, by Sam Richards.
I certainly don't see myself as "leadership" per Traub's use of the term, but I do value truth, and do try to love my neighbor as I love myself. To that end, I will continue to try to "un-delude the ignorant" (especially myself) with more of what Traub calls, "reason, expertise, and the lessons of history." Speaking of the lessons of history, especially in relation to Items 11-12 of my Revolutionary Call to Arms, I would like to reflect for a moment on this passage from the Declaration of Independence before getting to expertise and reason.
"WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness--That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed."
Is that “elitist”? "All men created equal..." Hardly.
Now, the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights:
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
Is that “elitist”? "...the right of the people [ignorant masses] to keep and bear Arms..." It sounds rather egalitarian to me, and it is plain to understand why the elites don't care much for the Second Amendment.
Sorry to jump around so much, but what I am trying to get to, painfully so, is this. Standing armies are controlled by the governments, which are now so obvioulsy controlled by the elite, and are very much a force of tyranny. You see, local militias are controlled by The People, not the government, and are indeed, "necessary to the security of a free State." I understand that many of our nation's founders agree with me on these points.
To quote the author of #16 on my Revolutionary Call to Arms:
I wouldn't go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.
Major General Smedley Butler, USMC,
Two-Time Congressional Medal of Honor Winner
Author of, War is a Racket!
So, if you have completed my Revolutionary Call to Arms, agree with Major General Butler, agree with the Second Amendment, agree with Frédéric Bastiat's ideas in his book, The Law, understand the costs and risks illustrated by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, and nonetheless you still choose to be ready, willing, and able to secure a free state for yourself and loved ones, then I give you free of charge and with much brotherly love, hedgeless_horseman's E-Z Internet Guide For The Ignorant And De-Luded ZeroHedge Reader With Too Much Money And Very Little Patience That Wants To Secure a Free State and Become A Rifleman Without Joining the US Military.
Yes! It is another hedgeless_horseman gun article!
Now, I cover defending your liberty with a rifle.
Before handling a firearm, it is most important for EVERYONE in the household to know, understand, and follow these four safety rules:
1) Treat all weapons as if they are loaded.
2) Do not point the weapon at anyone or anything that you do not want to shoot, kill, or destroy.
3) Do not put your finger on the trigger until you have 1) target, 2) sights on target, and 3) perception that either A) "serious bodily injury or death is imminent for myself or another person," or B) firing range is hot and training drill is live.
4) Be aware of, and take responsibility for, all bystanders that may be behind or near the target.
I add a fifth rule, to the common four, which is to not be under the influence of any mind-altering chemical such as alcohol or dope when handling a firearm.
I absolutely refuse to be within a mile of anyone that I see not following these rules, which is why I generally avoid public gun ranges, and suggest that you shoot at a nice, lonely, high, dirt hill, way out in the boonies, or pay for a membership at a private tactical range that screens all members and guests and has at least 270 degree bays.
Next, and I cannot stress this point enough, get instruction from an experienced professional. Specifically, take at least two weekends of tactical rifle training. It does not matter whether you are a 10-year veteran of law enforcement, a Marine with two tours in the sandbox, or both, you will still learn much and improve significantly with good instruction. Taking the state's required, "course," to test for a concealed handgun license (CHL) is not even close to adequate instruction. Usually, all the CHL course does is inform you of the laws regarding concealed carry, and assign you with some basic level of proficiency that can be used against you in court.
A good instructor will teach you the safety rules and how to safely and correctly manipulate your rifle, including operating the safety, loading, unloading, checking if loaded, reloading, managing stoppages, managing squibs, slinging, carrying, shouldering, firing, and possibly even field stripping your rifle. It is likely that you will also learn how to hit your target, and be able to do so relatively quickly. It takes much more practice for you to get the hits when you are under stress, shooting a moving target, lying in the mud, hiding behind cover, it is dark, it is cold and raining, and you are being shot at.
Nobody said it is easy being a Minuteman. It is hard, but also rewarding and fun.
Now, on to selecting your rifle and beginning to outfit your person as a rifleman.
From ol' muzzle loaders where powder and ball are rammed down the barrel with a rod, to today's breach-loaded, detachable-magazine, semi-automatic and select-fire rifles, there are many mechanisms for loading, firing, and reloading a rifle. For hunting deer, elk, and antelope I love and adore my pre-64 Winchester Model 70 Featherweight bolt action rifle in .308 Win. Even with my old and heavy Redfield Widefield 4x scope she is light enough to pack up and down mountain ranges above 10,000 feet, while packing the hind quarter of a bull elk. Military and police snipers often use bolt actions because they are very accurate, as do Olympic shooters for the same reason. On a good day with my bolt rifle, I can still one-hole 3 shots at 100m, clover leaf up to about 200m, and get a kill shot on a pronghorn well past 500m. However, if there are multiple targets that might be as close to me as 1 meter, and which are shooting back at me (unlike a pronghorn), then I definitely want a detachable-magazine and semi-automatic rifle with which I can fire a large amount of lead downrange very quickly. If, per chance, you live in a truly free nation where your right to bear arms has not been infringed, then, by all means, consider a select-fire version with both semi-automatic and full-automatic (or 3-shot burst) capability. Everyone should know and abide by their local gun laws, no matter how Draconian, illogical, and unconstitutional they may be. These laws are for your protection/sarc. I will leave the pump action for shotguns, and the lever action in my saddle scabbard and for SASS (Life Member).
Next, lets talk about caliber, which is the size of the ammunition. Plagerizing Wikipedia, a battle rifle is a military service rifle that fires a full-power rifle cartridge such as 7.62×51mm NATO or 7.62×54mmR. Compared to assault rifles and their intermediate cartridges, the higher-caliber rounds provide greater power and range, though they render magazine capacity low and produce strong recoil, making them less than ideal for fully automatic fire. And the rifles and ammunition are heavy to carry, especially for older folks that are out of shape. Here are three examples:
Assault rifles are lighter and less powerful than a battle rifle. The two most common in the world are the Russian AK-47 (7.62x39) and the American M16 (5.56mm / .223). These Cold War era rifles have faced each other in conflicts since the early 1960s and remain the subject of countless comparisons and endless internet debate. I own versions of both rifles, and my general assessment is that AKs are heavier and less accurate because they are usually mass produced with heavy steel parts (rolled and stamped) by vodka-soaked commies working on cold-dark assembly lines. Whereas M16s are lighter because they are made with molded plastic and precision machined aluminum by beer-breathed rednecks working on CAD computers and expensive CNC machines, and less reliable because they are designed to shit where they eat (gas operated).
It is important to note that both the AK-47 and M16 were originally designed as select-fire rifles by two brilliant men, respectively, Mikhail Kalashnikov and Eugene Stoner. This means they are intended to have both semi-automatic and full-automatic capability. Full auto means that when the trigger is pulled the rifle keeps firing at a high rate until the trigger is released, or the ammo runs out (very quickly), where semi-auto fires only once per trigger pull.
In my best Boris Alotovkrap accent: In Soviet Amerika, idiot politician has force genius design basterdized, because politboro decide only supreme government employees can be trusted to possess full-auto capability to defend Motherland (with few very expensive and very burdensome fascist exceptions of course).
We are told this is not tyranny, nor does it infringe on our natural right to bear arms.
"All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others."
-Orwell's Animal Farm
Again, I beg of you to please...
11. Read The Law, by Frédéric Bastiat.
12. Make a list of your natural rights.
13. Read The Constitution of the United States and The Bill of Rights.
14. Read Animal Farm, by George Orwell.
It is important to understand that the civilian version of the M-16 assault rifles, the AR-15 and short barreled version designated M-4, are different and less capable than the original design in use by the tax-payer-funded government employees. Also, both the AK and AR have experienced subsequent redesigns to gerry rig other calibers, such as the AK-74 and AR-10, with less than superior results.
Another important fact to consider is that battle rifles and their ammunition are much heavier than assault rifles. When you add a magnified optic and an additional 60 to 260 rounds of ammunition, this weight difference really adds up, especially since very few rifle battles are fought entirely from the sitting position, with a bench rest, in the shade, at the rifle range, which you drove to in your air conditioned truck.
6.9 lbs for M4 w/ 30 rounds
10.5 lbs for AK-47 w/ 30 rounds
10.7 lbs for M1A w/ 20 rounds
Remember my mantra for the GBH pack/Bug-Out-Bag:
In general, when given a choice, always choose the lighter weight and/or more expensive option. Lighter weight is fast. Lighter weight uses much less energy.
I will say that I still employ the very light and highly reliable FN FiveseveN and PS90 as mentioned in those articles. They are great Personal Defense Weapons (PDW), and I trust my life to them, but I wouldn't want to use a PDW as a rifleman fighting for my liberty.
The good news is that there are newer rifles that blend the reliability of the AK's gas piston with the accuracy and lighter weight of the AR, and do so in a design that was meant to accommodate either 5.56 or 7.62 from its inception. The downside is that these new rifles are more expensive. So? Sell some stocks (preferably ALLY, CACC, and the Danish banks) and fund the fun. I am no tax lawyer, thank the Lord, but I think that security is a legitimate business expense. No?
Here are my three favorite traditional style rifles that meet all of my requirements. All are top shelf and will make you the envy of everyone down at The Club. Choose the 5.56 option unless you are a very fit BAMF, then maybe consider the heavier 7.62, especially if you live out west with wide open spaces.
Sig Sauer 516/716 Patrol
FN SCAR 16S/Light 5.56/ 17S/Heavy 7.62
Sadly, yes, they are all European rifles. Maybe someone will make a good argument for a high quality American-made piston rifle in the comments section below, but the US Military sure does like my three European choices.
Regarding barrel length, get the standard version, and avoid the Federal tax and registration of the shorter barrels. It is good to be able to buy and sell a rifle at garage sales without reporting it to Big Brother. Buy a Sig P16 pistol, in addition to the 16" carbine, if you feel you must have a short barrel too.
If you don't want to hold up a long and heavy barrel, or are small in stature, or a woman, or want to have the same rifle as your wife and kids, like I do, then consider these even more recent designs that are highly compact gas-piston bullpups, with shorter total lengths and ergonomics similar to the PS90, but in heavier and more powerful calibers. The Tavor is Israel's current military service rifle, and this newer version of the civilian model is supposed to be even better than the first. I have generally not liked Kel-Tec products (probably a victim of the fallacy that price adds value), but after some familiarization I ordered some of these new .308 bullpups, in the hope that they may someday replace my beloved FNs. We will see. It appears the Tavor will only be available in the 5.56 and 9mm.
Tavor X95 5.56
Kel-Tec RDB 5.56 / RFB 7.62
A quick sidebar about color and camouflage on a rifle. The human eye is very good at picking out a black rifle at a distance. A man carrying a long black object just screams, "rifle," or at least it does to my brain. I like to say that in a fire fight, the guy with the biggest and blackest rifle gets shot first. I believe that Simo Häyhä would agree. This is why I spray paint my very expensive rifles and optics in banded patterns of flat tan, brown, and/or green Krylon paint. You may choose to purchase your rifle from the factory in those colors. Functional dark earth (FDE) brown or Desert Tan are better for dry areas such as the western USA. Olive drab (OD) green is better for wooded areas such as the Eastern USA. Grey is gaining in popularity for urban environments. And of course white is best if, like The White Death Simo Häyhä, you find yourself fighting in the snow.
If your spouse is pissed about how much you are spending on a rifle, don't mention the magnified optic and tritium iron sights you are going to put on it. A rifle is only as good as the sights, especially if you are over 30 years old. In my opinion, for our purpose here in this article, you simply cannot beat a Trijicon ACOG (no batteries, good glass, good reticle design, and absolutely bomb proof) in combination with a set of 45 degree offset Dueck Defense RTS Night Sights.
...or this one for the 7.62/.308 rifles...
...and a set of these...
To protect your sight and hearing get and wear good eye and ear protection, ear muffs, not ear plugs. I like the Wiley-X and Smith shooting glasses.
You can get bulk ammo online at Ammunition To Go. You will want to start with at least 2,000 rounds and build from there, as you can easily shoot more than 500 rounds in a single weekend of training.
A range card is not necessary, because both the ACOG and RTS have built-in ranging capability.
Order at least 20 factory magazines to start, a couple of spare firing pins, and a spring set.
I am not a fan of suppressors, because of the registration requirement and the extra weight. Get one if you feel that you must, but put it in the name of a gun trust. I hear that the waiting period is currently a few months.
After you take some tactical rifle classes, start shooting your rifle more, gain some proficiency, and begin to read, learn, and think more about fire fights, you will likely learn that there is a trade off between the operational security of a single rifleman and the far greater effectiveness of a fire team. To that end, I will end the article with a bit about modern day militias excerpted from the website of one here in Texas:
As an all volunteer force the militia differs from the military. All of our Texas Militia units are autonomous. No militia unit commands any other militia unit and we do not need a state militia commander or a centralized militia command which could be taken out or compromised. All patriots are encouraged to start at least a 3 man fire team in their neighborhood or area and build up from there.
It is good if you have had some military training but realize that militia tactics differ from military tactics.The goals of military tactics are to rapidly take and then hold ground while incurring acceptable losses. The militia has no need to rapidly take ground and no need to hold ground. Rather than incur acceptable losses the militia must minimize losses. The military has body armor, medevac, doctors, and hospitals, while the militia has no medevac, no doctors, no hospitals, and few have body armor. The military has re-supply and nearly all the ammo they want while militia resources are limited and our only re-supply would be what we could take from the invaders. The militia trains to fight an extended war of hit and run attrition until the invaders lose the will to fight. The militia teaches guerrilla warfare modified military tactics not military sweep through with acceptable losses tactics.
Our militia training is free of charge. Our training is focused on small unit light infantry combat tactics.
We will practice ambushes, counter-ambushes, and patrolling. We will also have class room type training so bring a note book and a pencil too. Our force on force small unit light infantry battle training with blanks will be conducted as combat simulations to learn from not as games.
Your first mistake on a battlefield could be your last mistake. We all need to train and we need to train often. Most men are already proficient with a rifle. What you can learn training with us are small unit light infantry combat tactics, how to fight as a team, the art of fire and maneuver, and how to train a local defense group to fight as a team.
As it says on New Hampshire license plates, LIVE FREE OF DIE. Ironic, don't you think, considering the wide spread use of license plate readers by the government that requires licenses to travel freely.
Si vis pacem, para bellum, God bless the United States of America, and God bless each of you dear readers.