June 30, 2005

A.R.T. Day

In this post I mentioned an idea. Here is the relevant excerpt:

"...since prevention is one of the most important aspects of the 2nd amendment we should work with that.

April 15th is Buy A Gun day. November 19th is National Ammo day. Let's make June 23rd American Range Trip day. Bringing some ART into the world would be appropriate, especially on a date which 5 people so artfully dodged the plain text of their controlling document. There’s a catch though - since 2006 would be the 215th anniversary of the Bill of Rights (if they'd have survived that is) let’s say you must expend at least 215 rounds downrange. In 2007 it’d be 216 rounds & so on with each new year. Any firearm chambered for any cartridge is cool, but I'd be much happier if you had at least one .30 rifle (bolt or gas operated) on the line.

I'm pessimistic about this or any other action having any positive effect on the nation as a whole, but as with too many things in this world, sometimes it's preferable to do something, even if it's in vain, than to do nothing."

I mean after all, we have a day to buy guns & a day to buy ammo. It's high time we had a day to shoot said ammo through said guns (well other than just those days that end in "Y"). & the day which SCOTUS so carelessly tossed away the last vestiges of property rights in regards to the 5th amendment's takings clause would be the most suitable day I can think of to get in some practice. It has been pointed out that: "If you look at instances where otherwise-ordinary individuals went nuts and started wasting federales (or their local equivalent), it was over property, or the imminent loss thereof.". It has also been pointed out that the 2nd amendment's main function is as a deterrent to government, be it foreign or domestic, overstepping its bounds. But it's not just a bluff as arms have been used to varying degrees of success against hostile governments intent on mistreating the people.

In his essay Those Without Swords Can Still Die Upon Them Kevin says;

"I believe that there are three things crucial to the rise of individual freedom: The ability to reason, the free exchange of ideas, and the ability to defend one's person and property. The ability to reason and the free exchange of ideas will lead to the concept of individual liberty, but it requires the individual ability to defend one's person and property to protect that liberty..." (emphasis omitted)

There are also three components to individual ability in defending property that are crucial. The Means, Knowledge & Will To Resist are necessary to any people who would remain free. Having a firearm won't automatically keep you or your property safe. It takes having that firearm, knowing how, when & why to use it & having the determination to do so.

Through books & blogs & all forms of media we should be able to figure out the reasons behind using arms for defense. So that part should be covered at least to some degree. But for your convenience here are some links that address that subject:

Self Help

A Mistake a Free People Get to Make Only Once from The Smallest Minority

Pressing the "RESET" Button from The Smallest Minority

The Stroop Report

Having the will to defend yourself - well that's something beyond anyone's control. A person must find that within his/herself. Hopefully through proper education a person will realize that such determination is essential, but you can only lead the horse to water so to speak.

But the means of defense is something we can work on. Yes; it's very important to have a firearm. It's important (in most places) to have a car. But either of those objects will be of little use to you if you don't know how to use them.

Kim du Toit & Fred both strongly advocate having A Nation of Riflemen. For more see Fred's writings on being The American Rifleman & Fred's Plan to Save America. Until fairly recently our own government was in favor of the idea of citizens being skilled with arms. In The Nationals & Defense the story unfolds of how in 1903 our own government established a national shooting competition in order to further the skill of the citizenry with arms, but now even the military isn't all that crazy about marksmanship. In less than 100 years we've went from a government that encouraged participation in marksmanship training to one that only half heartedly trains its own soldiers in individual marksmanship (some branches are worse than others, but in general it's safe to say that for non-front line troops marksmanship isn't the highest priority in military life).

The firearms industry isn't much help either. I offer you these two posts from Michael Bane; Hunter, Shooter or What? & The Realpoliticks of the Shooting Sports. Both tell of the lack of support from the firearms industry for non-hunting shooting sports.

More or less it's up to us. You want a nation of riflemen? You have to start by becoming one yourself then getting others interested in the idea. Buying firearms & fodder for them is great but it's equally important that we learn how to use them & (most importantly) keep our skills up to snuff. It's like any other physical endeavor: you may retain the theory but it's important to exercise your muscles to put that theory into practice. The Revolutionary War Veterans Association Weblog has a series up on becoming a rifleman. It's in the left margin & worth your time to read no matter your skill level. There's a blog (which I'm a co-writer on) called The Shooter's Carnival that has many posts on marksmanship. I highly recommend reading all those plus any & all other material you can find on the subject.

But reading is no substitute for doing. You have to practice in order to figure out what works for you & what doesn't. That involves putting in time at the range. If you've never shot a firearm before look at the Blogger's Firearms Instruction page. See some of us are even willing to teach you for free (in the basics at least) in order to get this nation of rifleman idea going.

We have Buy A Garand Gun Day. We have National Ammo Day. We need American Range Trip Day to complete things. Any ideas to make this a better endeavor by all means speak up. Otherwise I ask that you encourage folks to go to a range on June 23rd of each year & fire at least 1 round for every year since the Bill of Rights was ratified at a suitable target (remember; the reason behind this is to improve our skill level, not just create noise & smoke). Preferably out of a .30 battle rifle but any firearm will do.

No; I don’t think that record number of people going to ranges on that date will make government back off anything they wish to do. I doubt it’ll even be paid much attention to by folks not already paying attention to such things. But it may help to get people proficient with firearms & hopefully increase the number of folks on our side in the voting booths. But even if it has no deterrent factor it’s worthwhile to keep your skills up. Besides, it’s fun.

Posted by Publicola at June 30, 2005 08:21 PM

Count me in!

Posted by: Thibodeaux at July 1, 2005 07:26 AM
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