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Don't Bring Ayn Rand to a Gun Fight

Discussion in 'Legal' started by fedlaw, Nov 20, 2004.

  1. fedlaw

    fedlaw Well-Known Member


    This Advice Might Save Your Life: Don't Bring Ayn Rand to a Gun Fight
    by Greg Perry
    by Greg Perry

    I believe it was Robert Heinlein who first said, "An armed society is a polite society." He meant armed as in packing heat. As in loaded and trained. As in cocked and locked.

    Heinlein did not mean, "A society armed with information, dialogue, smarts, verbal-power-that-dispels-liberal notions, an Ayn Rand background, a memory for past LewRockwell.com articles, or an intense knowledge in Libertarian ideas."

    There's a point where you must stop honing your argument about your rights and learn how to defend your rights. And that point is always far sooner than you or I think it is.

    It's Time for Gunpowder Residue

    Until you can defend your own self, your rights mean nothing. Sure, I wish our government was a good one. I wish the liberals would stop lying, I wish the conservatives would be conservative and not liberals, I wish everybody there thought as Ron Paul thinks. But they don't and they won't.

    You should not take up arms against the government. That would be the stupidest thing you could do – and it would be the last thing you would do.

    I am recommending that you learn to defend yourself and your family. That means defend them from whatever threat is active. By this I mean a physical threat. You will always lose the fight if somebody attacks you physically and you respond by quoting Ayn Rand.

    The first rule of a gunfight is: Always bring a gun. (That happens to be a good rule to use in a knife fight too.)

    The last line of defense you have is a gun. (In some cases, such as mine, the last line of defense is the back-up gun you wear.) Your wit is your first line of defense. Don't depend on your wit to save your life because in a real bodily threat it will not.

    Concealed Carry

    Readers will write me and (properly) disagree with what I'm about to suggest. I understand their logic; I used to argue the same point. I've changed my mind but if you choose to ignore the following advice, I completely trust your judgment as long as you do everything else.

    If you live in a concealed-carry state (and if you don't, why not?), I recommend you get a concealed carry license. Here is my reasoning: I love my family more than I fear the government so I'd carry even if not allowed. If I'm not allowed to have a concealed weapon, I'll still arm myself. But as long as I can carry legally I will do that.

    Sure my name's then on their roles. But I write for LewRockwell.com! I wrote a book for WorldNetDaily.com. I speak my mind so my name's already on their roles.

    The concealed carry license is nothing but a bribe. 60 years ago, when you wanted the Mafia to leave you alone, you'd pay them off with "hush money." The word "license" is code for "hush money" to the United States Government. Pay them their hush money license fee and they'll leave you alone. For now at least. Right now, they care more about the vig than anything else.

    Getting stopped without one ensures lots of trouble for you. When you didn't pay the Gambinos and Gottis, they broke your legs. Pay the Gambinos, i.e., get the license, and you'll be better off for the time being. The Gambinos always wanted more money in time. They know you pay and they'll squeeze you for more. Some day, the Feds will not allow you to have a license. Then you must make the decision to be legal or not. But until that time, your freedom (I use that term loosely) is better assured if you're legal.

    First Things First

    I never knew how important training was... until I was properly trained.

    Before I could spell gun (I'm a recovering public school graduate), I had some. I didn't know how to shoot most of them, I didn't know how to load most of them, but I did know that the freedom to purchase them was dwindling. My answer was to buy now and ask questions later.

    I thought I was fine. But I had a fear of them basically. My wife really had a fear of them and of me having them. I was afraid to shoot any of them so I never did.

    We decided to take a gun class. It lasted an entire afternoon. It was a general introduction to pistols class. We finished the class knowing so much more than we knew before! We shot our first shots in that class. We built confidence. We learned safety rules. We were ready to defend ourselves. We thought.

    That was 5 years ago. Our weapons sat in storage (we wouldn't keep most of them where we live, that would be long-term foolish for many reasons). Of the two we kept close by, we knew we could fire them when and if needed.

    We never shot them. We never practiced with them. Not one time since that afternoon class. We could not quote one safety rule and we could not remember one thing we learned in that afternoon class. In a way, we were worse off than before because we were probably cockier than we would have been before that afternoon session.

    Early this year, I read a newsletter by Dr. Arthur Robinson, a man I completely respect and admire, a man who perhaps furthers science more than any other scientist in the United States because he refuses all government money and the ties that go with it. Dr. Robinson created the #2 or #3 best-selling homeschool curriculum in the country (therefore the world).

    In his monthly newsletter typically devoted to science but often the world in general and social issues too, Dr. Robinson recommended a 6-day gun class designed by and taught in the manner of Colonel Jeff Cooper. Col. Cooper was the man responsible for changing our military and law enforcement officials shooting style; instead of shooting from the hip the way Matt Dillon shoots, Col. Cooper showed that accuracy was far better achieved at a time cost of only about 1/8th of a second, by shooting straight out with your eye aligned with your front sights aligned with your target. One shot well-placed is infinitely better in a gun battle than 9 rounds that miss.

    We did not want to spend the $1,000 each for the training which also needed for us to stay in a lodge on the property (more expense) to be there for everything.

    Then, a month or so later, Dr. Gary North wrote a strong suggestion that anybody who cherished freedom needed to take an immersion course, 5–6 days, taught in the style of Col. Cooper. I suppose we could make more excuses, but when Dr. Robinson and Dr. North prescribe the same medicine, it's in our best interest to swallow the pills.

    We signed up.

    The class met its goal of being full immersion for 6-days. It began with, "This is a gun," and it always went all day and often into the evenings. On the sixth day you learn to clear a house of bad guys single-handedly sprinkled with good guys and hostages all throughout. It's intense and you are exhausted once it's over.

    The class would have been a bargain at $10,000. Each.

    After 6 days, as opposed to one afternoon, you have the proper safety procedures ingrained into your mind. You have the proper stance, sight picture, and shooting methods ingrained into your mind. You have gone through up to 1,000 rounds in those 6 days. You know your weapon, how to carry it, how to clean it, and how to use it.

    The only thing you don't have is muscle memory. Your job once such a class is over is to practice, daily ("dry practice" unloaded) and 2–3 times a week with ammo at your range. 5 to 15 minutes daily is all you need. The goal is to train your body, your "muscle memory," to react when required; in a situation that warrants such action your mind will not be focused on proper procedures to hit your target. As long as you have properly practiced, your muscle memory takes over when needed to do the job you trained for.

    Do Everything Needed – NOW

    Once properly trained as I've just described, then and only then will you be ready to carry. Time is not on your side. You must get a weapon, you must take the training, you must get the license if you decide that's right for you (it took 81 days for the government to send us ours!), and you must train your muscle memory once you've gone through proper training of your mind.

    Both Thunder Ranch and Gunsite teach the proper Col. Cooper methods. If you've heard bad rumors about Gunsite, they used to be true but things have changed. Col. Cooper approves of the new owners. Similar training exists elsewhere. For a complete list, you need to purchase immediately Boston's Gun Bible. Don't get Boston's book first, read it, and then work on the remaining items (get a weapon, sign up for training, apply for concealed license...); instead, get Boston's book WHILE you work on the other issues. As I said earlier, time is against you. Boston's Gun Bible answers every question a wanna-be gunfighter needs answering and it should be next to your other books of importance, read and re-read, then re-read again.

    Ask yourself this question: Is the world getting safer or more dangerous? Are public school graduates today less or more selfish and greedy and skill-less than ever before? Are illegal immigrants filling more or less jail space than ever before?

    Your answers will help convince you that time is against you every minute you wait.

    If your spouse is hesitant, let me tell you about my beautiful bride of 15 years. She's small. She didn't want to take the gun course. She trusted Dr. Robinson's advice but didn't like it. She saw the recommended gun for the class (semi-automatic .45, 1911 style) and it was too big for her to hold.

    Yet, she knew she needed to carry given the world we live in. At the end of the first day of class, she was wearing and shooting her full-size Colt .45 semi-automatic and cool as ice. By the end of the 6th day, she took first place in 3 of the 4 shooting competitions in the class of men and women, both older and younger than we were.

    I am more careful about ensuring my lady's happiness now that I've seen her shoot.

    Choice of Weapon?

    Books are filled with which is best. The more concealable your gun is the less powerful it will be. Your gun will never be small enough to conceal and big enough when you need to use it. Guns were made to be comforting, not to be comfortable.

    What caliber will stop a crackhead on meth trying to kill your wife? A .22 will if the shot is well-placed. Good luck. I need more stopping power.

    A .40-caliber is today's bare minimum self-defense round. Most in the know shoot .45 as their primary self-defense semi-automatic weapon. The .45 is slightly too small for me. I like a .50. That's why I carry the best (only?) .50-caliber semi-auto on the planet, a Guncrafter Industries .50. These are handmade by craftsmen who believe a semi-automatic, when made and used correctly, offer 100% reliability. Yes, 100%. If you want first-class service, ask for Alex (the owner who is readily available for any customer) and tell him I sent you. I get absolutely nothing from the recommendation except the pleasure in knowing I just sent you for the very best self-defense weapon on the planet. This .50 caliber fits in a .45 holster, is the same approximate weight, and adds no discernable recoil over a .45 – unless you're the target.

    Children and Guns

    Boston's Gun Bible recommends that you gun-proof your child and not child-proof your gun. Once you get your proper training, teach your children the same. The NRA offers an Eddie Eagle program you can follow to develop your child's safe respect and accuracy with a gun as he or she gets older. Yes, the NRA has problems with compromise but you'll still benefit from many of their programs.

    The Klinton Administration's Surgeon General, Jocelyn Elders, said that toy guns are dangerous. I tend to agree. They teach children bad habits that can kill them (or someone else) later. You need to respect her advice and keep the toy guns out of their hands!

    Buy your children real guns instead. Teach them how to handle their weapons safely and accurately. They will know from the beginning that guns are not toys but are weapons to be respected and mastered.

    Argument or Action

    I come full circle back to the premise. You need to train your mind to grasp the concept of freedom and the importance of self-defense. There's a time and place for honing your debate skills. Very early in life is the best time. Once done, you need more than debate skills. You can only hone those skills on the firing range. Then you deserve to be called a freedom lover.

    Not only did Heinlein say that an armed society is a polite society, he also made it clear that you can have freedom or you can have peace but you'll never have both. Which is more important to you? It's very peaceful reading another book by Rothbard on your front lawn. And I recommend that you do so. Right after you clean your weapon from your practice drills.

    What are you doing to ensure your family's future safety? Are you reading Atlas Shrugged a ninth time? Or are you loading .45s or .50s into your gun's magazine?

    November 20, 2004

    Greg Perry [send him mail] may have been born with one leg and a total of three fingers, but don’t call him disabled! He prefers the term "handicapped" because the ADA advocates hate that term. You might wonder how that applies to him because Perry is the most prolific computer book author in the world and just finished his 75th computer book published internationally. He recently fulfilled his long-standing promise to expose the Americans with Disabilities Act by writing the book Disabling America: The Unintended Consequences of the Government’s Protection of the Handicapped.

    Copyright © 2004 LewRockwell.com
  2. Ryder

    Ryder Well-Known Member

    Interesting read.

    I do not believe that toy guns teach kids bad habits unless the parent(s) allow that to be so in which case it is still not the gun's fault anyway, it is the parent's.

    My kids didn't get to touch a real gun until after I saw that they could properly handle a toy. They needed very few reminders of the safety rules by age 5 and they began shooting real guns at age 7. Now that they are grown I feel safe around them while they are handling firearms. I still keep an eye on them but have yet to catch them mishandling a real gun.

    Toy guns taught them good habits? No, I did.
  3. Chipperman

    Chipperman Well-Known Member

    He has a total of 3 fingers and shoots a .50?

    I'd be interested in seeing how he grips the handgun.
  4. Brian D.

    Brian D. Well-Known Member

    A good thick Ayn Rand book might stop a bullet or two though, so that might be a good thing to carry in front of you in a gunfight! :p
  5. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Staff Member

    What does this have to do with Rand? Is this in response to something else? Deconstructionist nonsense? Non sequitor?

    As I recall, several of Rand's characters went armed.

  6. pax

    pax Well-Known Member

    Zak ~

    Not sure what to make of your question (you did read the article and not just the headline, yes?). The article hardly qualifies as Deconstructionism!

    Obviously it is written to libertarians with objectivist leanings. Lot of 'em around, especially online. It's written to a particular type of libertarian with objectivist leanings: the philosopher/reader who would rather read than do. Lots of those around, too, especially online.

    The point of the article was to urge those non-doers to get out and do for a change. Well-written, too.

  7. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Staff Member

    I normally expect a thesis statement to show up in the first paragraph and the rest of the essay to back up that thesis statement (ETA: and that the title be a condensed form of that thesis). I mentioned deconstruction because articles in Harper's follow its pattern and flit around - like this article seemingly did.
  8. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

    I agree with both Pax and Zak. I got the point about halfway through the article and stopped reading it.

    There are a large number of libertarians and Objectivists who, though they have no qualms with private gun ownership, simply are not gun owners themselves. Greg Perry is trying to get them to wake up to the realities of gun ownership.
  9. PaleRyder

    PaleRyder Well-Known Member

    "What are you doing to ensure your family's future safety? Are you reading Atlas Shrugged a ninth time? Or are you loading .45s or .50s into your gun's magazine?"

    Well, you could to both.... :evil:

    That being said, to me, this posting is great, but at the same time, just plain common sense.
  10. justice4all

    justice4all Well-Known Member

    Warning. Do not read further if you have yet to read Atlas Shrugged, as some details of the plot are revealed below.

    A true believer in Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism should try to live up to the ideal behavior of the heroes she describes in Atlas Shrugged, in much the same way that a true Christian should ask What Would Jesus Do. While John, Fransisco, Hank, and Ragnar were all well-armed with intellectual ammunition, they also proved themselves capable fighters. The title and other portions of the essay suggest to the uninformed that Ayn Rand was some sort of Quaker pacifist turn the other cheek type, which simply is not true. Her characters refused to initiate the use of force, but they were never squeamish about responding in kind. For example, Ragnar was the most feared sea-faring captain of the day; Hank packed heat in his coat pocket as things were getting more crazy at his mills (remember the scene where Ragnar presents him with the gold bar); Fransisco shoots several people during the uprising at Hank's mills; and the band took a few enemy lives when they rescued John from the torture chamber at the end.

    In my opinion, we should all be like those heroes in as much as they were willing and able to fight the intellectual batle as long as that was still a possibility, but prepared to take it up a notch when words were no defense.
  11. Don Gwinn

    Don Gwinn Moderator Emeritus

    It's not aimed at shooters who train for self-defense. It's aimed at people who can quote the philosophical theory of Objectivism in detail but are not living it.

    Is the thesis statement you asked to see, Zak. It appears in the first paragraph.

    Hope that helps.
  12. dittos

    dittos New Member

    Thanks for feedback on my article!

    Hello Highroad.org members,

    I'm new here but I cannot believe highroad.org never crossed my path until I was sent a link yesterday saying my article was reprinted here.

    I appreciate your thoughts. I do want to emphasize that I was not putting down Libertarians or Ayn Rand. I hope for most that was clear. I just want us to be able to back up our arguments with action if needed.

    Hopefully, action will never be needed and all the time and money we ever spend on self-defense of our family and friends and community is nothing more than a waste of time and money - like the fire insurance you buy but hope you never use. But it's really NOT a waste because it's a fun hobby and it builds your confidence.

    Someone posted a question on how I grip the firearm. As long as it's a semi and not a revolver (more powerful than a .22 due to recoil of stronger revolvers), I can draw with my right hand's 2 fingers but to shoot I require both hands. My left hand helps to steady the weapon and I use my left hand's finger to pull the trigger. The semi-auto's beaver tail keeps the recoil under control. I can rack the slide by putting the grip against my sternum and pulling back the slide with both hands. I shoot shotguns and rifles using my right hand for the trigger because I use my left arm as the long gun's barrell rest. It all just works. Never thought much about it, it just works. Just like typing at 45-50 words per min, don't really know how, I never took lessons, I just do it because it needs to be done to say what I need said.

    Thanks for your posts and I hope I'm welcome here in the Highroad.org community. It's a pleasure to be here!

    Greg Perry
  13. pax

    pax Well-Known Member

    Greg ~

    Welcome to THR! I hope you stick around, post lots, and learn much.

    You'll find probably a little less than 3/4 of THR members are conservative, while a little more than 1/4 of us fall somewhere on the libertarian-to-anarchist spectrum (including objectivists). There's the inevitable smattering of true liberals, too -- but in reading the posts, most our liberals come off sounding more libertarian-leaning than statist-leaning. I'm not sure we haven't corrupted them.

    Now, about your article: I absolutely disagree with you as to the minimum defensive caliber. But I'm not going to be the one opening the 9mm vs .45 (vs .50??!) debate, uh uh, nosirree, not me...


    Hunter's Seventy Seventh Rule: The measure of the menace of a man is not what hardware he carries, but what ideas he believes. -- Hunter
  14. another okie

    another okie Well-Known Member

    I wasn't aware the federal government issued CCW permits. I would have sworn that my two say Oklahoma and Florida, respectively, on them.
  15. PaleRyder

    PaleRyder Well-Known Member

    Well, I'm Libertarian, but I'm not big into Rand. I read Atlas Shrugged and found her constant repeating of stuff to be way over the top. I found it unnessarily lengthy, especially the drawn out soap box speeches. <just my opinion>

    I'll stick to historical books and Sherlock Holmes novels.... :)
  16. dittos

    dittos New Member

    Pax, Not Me Either!

    Pax, I also don't want to start a caliber debate... (I know, the fact we say that will do it).

    Listen... I'd MUCH rather be missed by a .50 than hit by a 9mm! Use as much a you can handle well and shoot accurately and feel the most confidence with! That can be virtually anything and it's certainly different for many people.

    But learn the 4 safety rules of gun handling. Learn to shoot accurately. Be sure of your target and hit what you shoot at; that is the ONLY real important factor in any caliber debate!

    And thanks for the make up of the members. I not liberal or conservative or a Libertarian. Of the 3, I am in THEORY more of what a Real Conservative would say he or she is (which is about ZERO Republicans in offce are, especially national office), in REALITY more Libertarian than not. About the only thing I AM for certain is 100% Christian and that's the label I prefer for myself.
  17. pax

    pax Well-Known Member

    dittos ~

    Absolutely agree.

    Let me add, too, that professional classes -- valuable as they are -- are worth almost nothing if you don't keep practicing afterwards. In addition to regular practice, most folks need a tune-up class every year or two to retain whatever level of skill they gained in class. For the skill level to advance, it takes even more than that.

    Shooting skills are perishable, but regular practice is a good preservative.

    Here's a link to my thoughts about the caliber & equipment wars, in poetic form.


    Gold is for the mistress, silver for the maid
    Copper for the craftsman, cunning at his trade.
    "Good", said the Baron, sitting in his hall,
    "But Iron, Cold Iron, is the master of them all!"

    -- Rudyard Kipling
  18. Linux&Gun Guy

    Linux&Gun Guy Well-Known Member

    I think its a great artical but I have to wonder about this "crackhead on meth"; crackheads by defantition smoke crack not meth :D
  19. dittos

    dittos New Member

    Thanks for education!

    I know absolutely nothing about either crack OR meth.

    I do SUSPECT that users of such as not strict connoisseurs of whatever product they consume. Therefore, see, out of ignorance, I'd ASSUME someone on crack wouldn't be extremely careful about ensuring that the next thing put into his system would be nothing more than pure, 100%, clean, purified, meth-free crack.

    But that's just my assumption I make out of ignorance! In my ignorance, I'd assume that the reality is he'd take ANYthing and EVERYthing that's offered or within reach.

    Having said all THAT, I'm fairly sure it's not extremely relevant. But I do want full accuracy in all that I write, so thanks!
  20. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    I've never understood how such a brilliant thinker could be such a truly terrible writer.

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