Much has been said in recent months regarding
Homeland Security. We now have an official Department
of Homeland Security as a part of the United States
government. There is nothing wrong with this, and it is probably
years overdue. Besides the task of guarding our borders
and coordinating the various law enforcement branches of the
government, the Department of Homeland Security advises the
citizenry to basically be careful. As far as guarding our
borders, they donít. People cross our borders illegally,
everyday, by the hundreds. As far as coordinating our law
enforcement agencies; I donít know, but it doesnít look like
it is happening yet.
Now, when it comes to advising the citizens of
the United States on how best to protect themselves against
terrorist threat; the DHS fails miserably. We are advised
to buy plastic and duct tape to seal our windows and doors,
stock a little food and water, and report any suspicious
activity. They make no mention at all about how to best protect
ourselves and our families against an actual terrorist. They
advise us on how to protect against airborne chemicals and food
shortages, but nothing is mentioned about protection from the
cause of the problem. If we suspect a terrorist, we are to make
a report to the proper authorities, and eventually they might
investigate. That has proven to not be good enough. As
individuals, the police cannot protect us. The U.S. Supreme
Court has ruled that the police have no responsibility to
protect an individual citizen.
For a good example of law enforcementís
collective inability to protect the citizenry, we need look no
further than last yearís attacks upon the people of the
Washington, D.C. area. With a coalition of thousands of federal,
state, and local police trying desperately to catch a shooter,
fourteen people were shot by two thugs in a beat up Chevy, over
a period of several days. After each shooting, the police
swarmed the area instantly, interviewed witnesses, filled out
reports, and did all that they could to find the killer, but
were unable to arrive on the scene fast enough to save a life.
This is not a condemnation of the police. It is
a simple fact that we each cannot have our very own
twenty-four-hour-a-day policeman. Even if we could, we are just
paying him to do a job that we should do ourselves. Every
day, in many parts of the world, people kill each other. Not all
of these killers would be labeled as a terrorist, per se, by law
enforcement. However, if four punks are bursting through your
back door in the middle of the night, armed and intent upon the
death of you and your family, to you they are, by definition,
terrorists. In many parts of the country, the police are
at least several minutes away. Whether this is due to their
workload or geography, a lot can happen in ten minutes.
Try this simple exercise: Pick up your telephone, pretend
to dial 911, and then just sit and watch the clock for ten
minutes. After about thirty seconds, you will start to realize
that ten minutes can be an eternity. Also bear in mind
that ten minutes is a pretty good response time. It could take
much longer, even if you live in a major city. Everyday,
there are armed robberies, carjackings, rapes, murders, and
other violent crimes perpetrated by ruthless thugs who
couldnít care less about you or your family. They are bent
upon their own selfish wants without regard for you at all.
If they are successful, a cop will be there eventually to write
a report, but it is up to you to deal with the situation now.
These situations occur everyday in this country, and are more
common than our elected officials would have us to believe.
Now let us consider the real, genuine, hardcore
terrorist; the kind that are organized and determined to take
out as many American lives as possible. If you are sitting in an
office building and some fanatic flies a high-jacked airplane
into the building, there is nothing that you can do to prevent
it. This scenario is, however, a very rare occurrence. Most
often, terrorists take hostages and kill them one at a time. In
a situation like this, your best bet is to be armed, and armed
well. Each person must decide for himself what to do in a
hostage situation, but dying with your hands tied behind your
back because you gave up ainít the best solution. If you are
in a public building, the best .45 auto available in the glove
box of your car is of no use to you. You must be armed.
Another, and more likely, scenario that the
Department of Homeland Security fails to mention, is the
situation in which by chance terrorists do succeed in their
endeavor to create mayhem and civil unrest in the United States.
There are billions of people in this world, of which a small
percentage are Americans. Of the remaining population, some like
Americans, some tolerate Americans, and some hate Americans with
an unhealthy vengeance. With many legal and illegal
immigrants flowing across our borders each day, a major
terrorist event is not only possible, but likely. If someone
tells you how and when this will occur, they are lying. No one
predicted the events of September 11, 2001. It was a total
surprise. There are many vulnerable facilities in this country
which, if attacked, could cause a major catastrophe and
disruption of civil services. In desperate times, people
who are normally civil can become a crazy mob. In such an event,
in the face of rioting and looting, the police will be of little
help. Take the example of the Los Angeles riots of a few years
ago, for example. The police deserted and left the store owners
in the district to fend for themselves. Those who were armed did
quite well. Those who were not armed, wished that they were.
I get questions daily from Gunblast readers who
want to protect themselves, and want advice on a good
concealment handgun to acquire. There are many great choices for
a personal defense handgun, and everyone should own one. For
more serious situations, however, such as defending the
homestead or getting your butt out of a riot situation, a pocket
pistol is not the ideal choice.
First of all, if you are heading into a bad
situation, the best advice is to avoid it altogether. However,
if the fight comes to you, you better have a good rifle. As I
write this piece, the U.S. and its true allies have been
involved in a war for five days in Iraq. If you are
involved in a fight with a determined mob, of any religion or
nationality, you are in a small war. You need to be armed as
When I am asked my opinion for the best rifle
for which to defend against a formidable force, I usually
suggest an AR-15. While I realize that there are many good
weapons available; from your old 30-30 Winchester to an M1
Garand, the AR-15 is the state of the art rifle with which to
defend you and your family against a determined group of thugs,
if you live in the free world. For someone in another part of
the world, I might suggest an AK-47 or AKM, but for a U.S.
citizen, I recommend an AR-15, and for good reason.
The AR system is easy to use, battle proven, and
readily available. Good high-capacity magazines and spare parts
are available in quantity at fair prices. A good AR-15 is as
reliable as any firearm can be. If needed, parts and ammo are as
close as the nearest armory. The gun is relatively light, and
can be extremely accurate. My Bushmaster
Varminter is the most accurate center fire rifle that I
own. The AR-15 is commercially available with barrels of
sixteen, twenty, and twenty-four inch lengths, along with just
about any custom length that is legal. The weak point in the AR
system is the lightweight magazines. They are easily damaged,
but spares are cheap and plentiful. Buy several. For sighting
equipment, the sky is the limit. For long range work, I like a
good scope sight, but for up close social work, the standard
AR-15 A2 style sights are hard to beat. On a flattop AR, back-up
iron sights or a back-up scope should be a part of the system.
Ammunition for an AR-15 is relatively cheap and
available in quantity. Military surplus ammo can be found for
less than 14 cents per round. I really like the Israeli
stuff. It is reliable and loaded to NATO specifications.
Stockpile plenty of ammunition. I know shooters who have a good
AR-15 and several magazines, but almost no ammunition. This is
stupid. If you ever need your AR in a fight, the local Wal-Mart
is not going to be able to supply your needs. Buy your
ammunition in quantity, and practice often, rotating your ammo
supply to keep it fresh. In good GI ammo cans, the stuff will
last a long time, but practice is fun and the ammo is cheap.
I like to keep an AR that is always loaded and
ready to go, along with extra loaded magazines, ammo, and other
accessories nearby, in the event that I must grab it and go in a
momentís notice. I call it my "Woods Rig". It
is always ready. If you must abandon your home, you most likely
wonít have time to gather your weapon, magazines, and ammo.
Having these things ready ahead of time and within easy reach
can make the difference when the decision is made to move out.
Asking a panicked wife to help you find your extra magazines
while your front wall is collapsing is not conducive to a
harmonious outcome. She should be busy grabbing her own rifle
Every scenario mentioned in this article is
distasteful to a moral, decent citizen. On Gunblast.com, we
normally discuss sporting and recreational firearms. We like
shooting for the pleasure of the sport, but personal defense is
a necessary topic to review from time to time, and is a
reflection upon the times in which we live. Homeland
Security is a responsibility of every citizen, not just those
civil servants whom we pay to protect us. The fact
is, there are people in this world who would do harm to you and
me just because we are Americans. There are people who would do
you harm because you are white, black, brown, rich, or poor.
There are others who would kill you in your sleep for enough
money to buy another hit of crack. Most good people donít want
to face the fact that there is evil in this world, but evil does
exist, and sometimes it comes to visit. It is our duty and our
survival to be prepared. Much like having fire insurance on our
homes, we hope to never need it.
The United States Department of Homeland
Security will never openly advise this, but every citizen should
acquire the means to protect themselves, their family, and their
country against those who would do us harm, and pray that we
never need it.
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