Before you get upset by the pic to the left read the post, it fits in with it!
This letter has been on the net a few months now from what I gather.
OK, this is going to be a long read, but the link that I got for it is down and this way you won't have to search for it.
The fear on the street is palpable. Ever since the election of Barack Obama as President of these United States in November 2008, coupled with the election of a democrat party majority in both the U.S. House and Senate, concern for the United States and personal safety has ignited like a fire in dry grass. Sales of guns - black guns, rifles, shotguns and handguns (particularly 9mm) everywhere, have gone through the roof. AR15s have literally flown off of dealer shelves, and only now in the spring of 2009, have I seen the display samples of ARs begin to reappear on the wall of my favorite shooting emporium after the initial post election rush. Manufacturers of ARs are still working to catch up and some of the major suppliers are as much as 150,000 guns behind.
Not only that, ammo is in the shortest supply I have ever seen in the 43 years of my shooting life. Have you recently tried to get 5.56mm, 9mm or even 380 ammo? Supplies of 5.56mm and 9mm ammo are in short supply due to the black gun buying craze; .380ACP because of the rise in people getting concealed carry permits and the resurgence of interest in convenient 380 handguns like the fine Ruger LCP. In fact, in doing a review of the Ruger LCP, my gun store only had a small supply of ONE .380 round on hand, the Winchesters 95-grain SXT, which they had just gotten in. Unfortunately, I had to do a 30-round review of that pistol. There was none other to be found.
The 5.56mm was the first caliber to noticeably be in short supply. This was first due to the war effort, the headlong adoption of 5.56mm rifles by law enforcement agencies ever since the great LAPD bank robbery and shootout, the general shooting public interest in and acceptance of the AR15 weapons system along with a realization that yes, the AR does have sporting purpose, and of course now, this new fear that is on the street. Sales of ARs also went up following 9/11.
What is odd about this new fear is that it is not coming from the average citizen gun owner out there, but it is coming from what to me is an almost shocking source: street cops. Street cops and SWAT cops that I know from various agencies - rural, suburban and metro - in my area are scared. Cops that before November 2008 never gave much thought (that I knew of anyway) to politics or more importantly to gun rights. For the most part, these are the guys that didn't generally have any interest in shooting or gun ownership beyond keeping track of where their duty gun is, and a few of them didn't even do that so well.
The guys I am talking about now are some of the same guys who used to not even carry off duty on a regular basis- but not anymore. They don't scare easily, defenders of the Constitution of this State and the United States (as our oath of office reads), have been buying ARs, survival gear, and all the ammo they can lay their hands on. All of them (or I should say "us") have been discussing and have been acquiring guns to provide a layered perimeter defense. We want something in .308 (or in my case a superb M1 Garand in .30-06) for covering the outer perimeters, 5.56mm weapons for mid-range use (for some with more limited funds, the AK-47 and 7.62×39 cartridge will suffice), and for the close up stuff shotguns and handguns (love my Benelli M4 Tactical and Beretta 92 9mm).
What are we suddenly so afraid of? Well in our discussions it seems to boil down to four areas.
First, fear of federal government intrusion into our lives. Every time I look at or listen to the news, there is something new and intrusive coming out of the Obama administration and this Congress. New tax schemes, government-run Canadian-style healthcare, a volunteer citizen defense force (whatever that is, what happened to the National Guard?) equipped with funding similar to our military, forced voluntary "service" after retirement, a lack of a southern border with hordes of illegal and criminal aliens pouring over our border, the swine flu scare as well as government forced closing of thousands of privately held Chrysler and GM dealerships, which will be the final nail in the coffin for these companies and the list goes on and on. But these items in the news are just the tip of the iceberg. We can't see the full impact of these actions yet, but we don't know what was added into the thousands of pages of stimulus package bills in the dead of night yet. I predict however that when the plans contained in the stimulus packages go into effect, a lot of us are going to be surprised if not shocked by what has suddenly and sweepingly changed.
What also scares us is the second, well-founded fear that there is an assault weapons ban looming, one that would make the Clinton Ban appear like a look of disdain in comparison. I remember well the 1990s and the Clinton years: the rise of militia groups, the "black helicopter" rumors and paranoia, all of which was motivated by the Brady Law and the Assault Weapon's ban. What if a new ban comes requiring registration or confiscation and turn-in of banned weapons as what happened in Australia?
I watched cops and citizens alike purchase these guns at $900 dollars and more, with custom or tricked out guns easily running into the $2,000 range. Then add on all the accessories, red dots, lights, slings and anything else you can name and you may have up to $3,000 wrapped up in your rig. I saw the looks in their eyes. These purchasers weren't spending this kind of money just to turn in the guns for no compensation when a government tells them to. I foresee much civil disobedience coming down the road.
Americans are citizens, and not subjects like the British, Canadians or Australians. They just don't always obey the law blindly and not one officer or citizen that I spoke to said anything like "I hope I get to keep this gun for awhile before they are banned; They are fun to shoot, so I would hate to give it up." It isn't going to happen, so the cop on the street and the soldier on the base needs to think now what he will do if the orders come down. I think you all get what I am saying here.
Which leads me to the third fear, that there is a revolution coming, yes, a revolution on the scale of the original American Revolution. You can hear this topic discussed on many of the talk radio shows by even the big name hosts. The possibility of an armed revolution against the U.S. government is being discussed, albeit very gingerly and fleetingly and as something to be avoided, which it is. I never heard this mentioned in the 90s.
One of my quietest, low profile officer friends brought it up the other day. He said that at some point in the near future, he felt there is going to be an armed revolt if things keep going the way they are. Something has got to give. I was shocked. Yes, I had heard this from some of my more radical cop friends in the past, but to hear it from a guy like this was unprecedented.
Now, these guys are not saying this will happen to foment revolution, preach sedition or to even participate. They just want to be ready if it happens, to at least defend their families, because number four on the fear list is general societal chaos.
Cops fear for their parents, wives, children or grandchildren more now than ever before. Most cops are encouraging their spouses and loved ones to get concealed carry permits. Not only that, but some of these same cops are buying gun mounts for their personal cars so they can carry an AR in the family ride at the ready all the time. They are also strapping on heavier forms of off-duty hardware. I have other friends that are issued ARs or subguns for tactical team use, who always have their gear with them and are planning on just commandeering these weapons for personal use in defending hearth and home.
This is pretty heady and maybe even dangerous stuff. Know fully that I am not advocating anything here. I am reflecting to you what I see and hear going on around me, and maybe saying things that haven't been said in the open, until now. It is something to think about.
Written By; SCOTT WAGNER IS A 30 YEAR LAW ENFORCEMENT VETERAN AND TRAINER
I took the time to look Scott up and did indeed receive acknowledgment from him that these are indeed his own words as written by him. I must reiterate his own words that Scott does not advocate revolution in this letter. It is simply his report or what he sees happening around him in the law enforcement community and his interpretation on the information.
Folks, to me this is some scary stuff he's talking about here. I have commented on this blog before about the shortage of ammo and firearms in and around Columbus, and while not back up to pre-BHO levels, the supply is slowly starting to trickle back in. At the large gun store I frequent here in Columbus the long lines and waits of a few months ago have been replaced by the more moderate lines that I remember. Maybe part of the reason is that the massive assault on assault weapons from the White House has not materialized as of yet, and when Attorney General Holder did mention it, it was immediately retracted by him and the administration. Doesn't mean we are out of the woods yet. Colin Powell was in the news recently talking about several subjects one of which was his approval of BHO and the advice he gave him to try not and do everything in the first year and promise more than you can deliver. Or maybe the simple fact is that after months of gun buying madness, the market has been saturated with buyers that have run out of money or reasons to purchase any more.
To hear the thought of open armed rebellion against our own government discussed among law enforcement officers troubles me deeply. We pride ourselves as a country on the fact that no matter how hotly contested a political race is, we have always had non-violent transfers of power in this country when it comes to our highest offices. I often wonder what would of happened if they had discovered the telegraph or telephone back before 1776 and there could of been more of an open dialog with the King of England by the colonies. Maybe some compromise could of been reached and we would still be a Commonwealth of Great Britain or something. I am sure though that the 2 to 3 months it took messages to cross the Atlantic in those days could not of helped resolving differences between the English Government and the original 13 colonies. This lack of communication may have well lead to those first fateful volleys at Lexington and Concord that started the American Revolution as we know it. I am grateful to be an American, but can't help but wonder "what if" sometimes.
Now it seems to me that communication may be having the reverse affect.
The Internet is a wonderful invention. It has revolutionized the way we look at the world and those around us. My daughter spends several (supervised) hours a week on the web on kid friendly sites and is more tech savvy than my 70-ish year old parents. Cultures that may never normally of interacted are now crashed into one another daily in a myriad of formats on the Internet. Even within our own country relationships and networks are being built in cyberspace that never would of existed a scant decade ago. Some of these networks, such as Facebook, reunite old friends and family and are generally used for the purpose for which they are designed.
Of course the Internet has a darker side. Everything designed for a useful purpose can always be exploited and misused as well. The Internet is no exception. Some of these networking sites out there promote hate and discord among the masses. Stormfront Nation is one that comes readily to mind. A white supremacy site, they have a very loyal group of members and a large portion of their forums dedicated to firearm related info. I often come across links to their site while researching a particular firearm related piece of info. Unfortunately in our society the web has grown its own legitimacy to the point that many people take for granted what is on its pages must be undeniably true.
During the last assault weapons ban the Internet was in its infancy. Use of it was limited to academia and the more "tech savvy" amongst society. Now its everywhere. When the first ban went into affect I have no doubt in my mind that people were out there that saw that as the first steps in the destruction of democracy and yet we are still here. Matter of fact, some of the backlash of that ban helped cause the sweeping influx of pro gun legislatures that came later and let the ban lapse back in 2004. People took attention to what was happening to their rights and voiced, and voted, their concerns. They didn't necessarily stock up on weapons, form a militia and make plans to start ambushing and attacking government entities. There certainly were (and still are) those types of people and groups out there, but they were isolated and pretty much not mainstream.
Now fast forward 15 years, there is talk of another weapons ban coming. I have no doubt it is on some page of BHO's "master plan" but not at the present - the man is as shrewd and cunning as any man that has ever held that office - other than using the word "stupidly" to describe police activity without having all the facts. The ban will be one of his societal issues he will try and tackle once national health care and the economy have been worked on. I would be that he is so sure of himself that he has agenda items reaching all of the way out until the 7th or 8th year of his presidency planned already. Anyway, reaction to a reported ban is being handled in a totally different way. Now a lot of these extremest views about revolution and the end of society as we know it are back. But with the net there is "legitimacy" to some of these claims and some of the people sharing these views are not able to network with each other. Our first Amendment rights give us the ability to meet and talk freely and exchange ideas and information and I whole heatedly support that. I think the "Tea Parties" of recent are excellent ways to let our elected officials know that we don't agree with the spending going on in Washington.
But, as I am sure the author of the above text will confirm, people act differently as a member of a group than an individual. That's how riots generally start. People who would not normally be brazen enough to commit outright crimes will rob, assault and even kill if given the right set of social circumstances to operate under. I don't have any research to back it up, but I think that this same type of "group think" mentality extends to web interactions as well as interpersonal interactions. I think people may be driven to do things in the real world that they have only talked about doing in the cyber world if given the right amount of encouragement. The recent rise and notoriety of "flash mobs" like the one in the video before. The idea is that these folks join and organization and then are "activated" to perform in these events at a moments notice. Kind of reminds you of the Manchurian Candidate a bit, doesn't it. Anyway, even though this was for fun and laughs, just imaging what type of networks could be built for nefarious purposes if desired.
I have a "web friend" on Facebook that I have never actually met. Came across each other via another page and became "friends" after seeing that we had similar interests to include both being veterans. He is waaaaay right of me. While I dislike our current president, I am at least tolerant enough to try and hear his plan on issues before condemning him. My friend out and out hates him, he is always sending links to join groups to "impeach BHO", "BHO sucks" and the like endlessly. I know to separate my personal views from him and ignore them. Just like with most of my "real" friends I am willing to overlook their shortcomings as I hope they do my own. A lot of people can't. Somebody will end up telling someone to go bomb a post office or something stupid like that "for the people" and they'll do it without regard to the consequences.
We need to stop and think before we start spouting "revolution" - is this what we really want? Are we ready to show up like some 3rd world country in another part of the world on the news with open violence in the streets? Car bombings and kidnapping a la Iraq? I would like to think we are better than this. We have had one civil war in this country and I think that this is more than enough. Do I think the government goes over the line? Hell yes, a lot. Do I think armed rebellion is the answer, certainly not.
I maintain a small collection of arms for personal enjoyment as well as daily self defense and what I see as two main SHTF scenarios.
#1 There is some type of external attack on the US in my area (think 9/11, I would think maybe a dirty bomb in Columbus would fit here) and I need to evacuate my family from the area in a sea of other refugees while protecting them from events such as some that played out during Hurricane Katrina. Police and medical services break down, local government ceases to function and I am responsible for the safety of my own family. Again group think and mob mentality can be deadly in the right combination.
#2 An pandemic event happens (H1N1 anyone?) that again brings local service and support agencies to their knees and I again have a need to protect my family. Same criteria for a threat as above.
At no point does my planning involve joining a militia other than possibly linking with a friend or two locally if possible and required to provide greater security for our joined families. But even this is a far reaching reality since in such a time he and I will most likely be solely focused on taking care of our own needs and family members and have differing requirements of what needs to be accomplished at the time.
I am not saying that any particular militia is bad. I see videos on line where they actually train their personnel in some valid emergency and first responder techniques that may be needed at some point in the future for their members. According to the United States Code, these organizations make up the "Unorganized Militia" and are protected under the rights of the 2nd Amendment. I support them and their members fully as long as they operate under the principles of democracy under which they were intended. I will not, however, voice my support for any organization or individuals that voice their intentions to openly combat our nations government or act upon these threats. This is especially true if these organizations have not or will not attempted peaceful alleviations of their grievances through legislative or legal means first. Yes, our country needs to wake up and realize what is happening to it. We need to wake up and let our voices be heard on the phones, mailboxes and on the computer screens of our elected officials letting them know our displeasure with what we see as challenges to our Constitutional liberties under the 2nd Amendment. We need to let them know that we will voice our concern not only there but also in voting booths in November.
Next time you read or hear about revolution on the TV or radio take a step back and ask yourself "Is this what this country really needs or wants?" Hopefully, you'll come up to the same conclusion I did.
I had originally written this post this past July but decided to delay its posting to coincide with the 222th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution. I missed it by one day, sorry. Even though we do not give it the celebration it deserves, I hope you take a moment each year and reflect on how great our nation truly is due to this document. While the Declaration of Independence basically told England that we were no longer its subjects, not until the Constitution did we have a document that united us as common citizens under one recognized government.
2nd Amendment to the Constitution of The United States of America
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.
"I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians."
- George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)