Posted on: August 08, 2020 Advice

I was catching a ride to a river float drop off point recently, chatting it up with the van driver during the trip. In his best western Missoura accent, he starts telling me about how he’s been arming up for uncertain days, walking me through each purchase in painful detail. “Bought me some serious hardware because the world is going crazy. Made me . . . “

My reply was respectful, but pointed. “Yes, world seems to be coming unglued but your custom built AR-15, Spec’d out 9mm, $5000 carbine, and 2000 lumen light with Leupold VX scope are no good without a wingman there brother. Fighters cannot operate alone without a unit for too long.”

So, that’s the topic for today, starting with a reminder about our perceptions derived from Hollywood. Rambo wasn’t real. “Hoot” from “Black Hawk Down” was actually a combination of 3 other Delta operators and Rangers represented in the book, and fictionally materialized in the movie. Marcus Luttrell was screwed once he was solo. SEAL Chief Ed Byers, Army CPT Flo Groberg, Army SSG Ty Carter, and all the other recent recipients of the Medal of Honor all had this specific quality in common, they risked their life and displayed enormous courage for the men IN THEIR UNIT and none of them were operating solo. Heroes are almost never alone.

Clearing a building with a well-trained military unit is combat SOP, but for an individual, it’s suicide. Even most military snipers have a spotter, and operating alone is not part of any recommended military doctrine past a few highly trained field operators that work within some of most elite intelligence and security agencies.

So, as my conversation with the float trip van driver continued and I laid out my points, he said to me, “Well, xxxxxxx (his place of employment) is my unit. We all got guns.” Indeed I thought. “So, any former military in your “unit”? I asked. “Yeah, the owner and another guy were Army, Vietnam.” he says. “Oh, that’s cool, so you guys train together then, with your hardware?” I asked. “No, but we will fight together like family if we have to.” Great, I thought, and if bullets ever start flying, this guy will last a day, maybe.

I never really have understood the point of buying weapons you don’t intend to train with, never mind then not training with people you intend to fight beside. While I am active with my firearms and play out dynamic drills on the range pretty frequently, I am in the same boat as my van driver- I have more hardware than most, but unless I am going to reenact Custard’s last stand in my house, I’m probably just as vulnerable as my naïve van driver.

When you fight alongside others, things come to mind like “Fields of Fire”, redistribution of ammo, “shoot, move, and communicate”, one man MOVING then DOWN, while the other lays suppressive fire. I could go on and on. Point here is simple- if you think you are a one man Army and you’ve got a ton of hardware (that you may or may not get enough time working with beyond shooting at bottles and berms), then I suggest you stay in your house, “if the world goes crazy”, and leave the fighting to the professionals.

If you are adamant, that you are going to “EXERCISE MY 2nd AMENDMENT RIGHTS”, then do yourself a favor and start taking a good look at all your vulnerabilities and filling in the gaps so you can make it past a day. For me, setting up a community meeting to discuss armament and preparedness for what could happen would likely get me deported to the funny farm. As I think about it, at best it’s a topic probably best suited for the hunt club I belong to instead of my neighborhood. I guess if bad guys come unannounced, I’m gonna call in for good guys and try to hold what I got until help arrives. And if I hear bad guys are coming, I guess it’s then I’d link up with my unit to multiply force effectiveness, but it won’t be in the WG I fear.

So, what am I trying to tell you here? First off, don’t think you are a Rambo if you have big bad hardware. Secondly, operating solo is just prolonged death, because death will find you when your unable to cover your own six. Lastly, if you fear the Apocalypse, then maybe you need to make a more realistic plan and get with your like-minded people and plan to head to the woods, compound, or wherever it is you won’t be alone. I hope the Apocalypse, Zombie War, Civil War, or other evil never come, but if they do, and you are flying solo, don’t ever say you weren’t warned. There really is no “I” in team, and your hardware is going to be in the enemy’s hands, peeled from yours, if you’re not careful. Be a wolf and find your pack, or be a fox and play it safe. Good luck.

* This blog represents an opinion and should be viewed as such. I am not advocating you buy or don’t buy a firearm, not am I encouraging you to go form some rogue militia. Assess this blog for its content usage and not for it technical grammar- I leave that up to Tom Clancy.

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