Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 718, April 28, 2013

When democracy becomes tyranny, those
of us with rifles still get to vote.

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Dust off that old Ruger
by Paul Bonneau

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

I had years ago come into an old Ruger 10/22. It was not a gun that interested me, and it was missing a rear sight anyway; so it sat forlornly in the back of a closet, neglected.

But recently, I came to my senses. I bought a decent set of sights from Brownells and installed them. I managed to find a couple 5-round magazines in the middle of the current gun madness, and (as detailed in some youtubes) turned them into 10-rounders. I just got back from sighting the gun in and checking out the 3 magazines.

Why bother? It's still a gun I have no real interest in. The trigger is atrocious. Out of the guns I own, it's about the last I'd choose to pick up and go walking in the woods with.

I realized that, two weeks ago, it was just a worse-than-useless lump of steel and wood. Now it is a fighting tool. No, not the best, not even close! But good enough for many tasks? Sure enough!

What if there are some local riots and one of my more clueless (i.e., not armed) friends decides in the middle of said riot that a gun might be a good thing to have after all? Now I have a gun to hand to him, along with a brick of ammo. I won't care if I never see it again. I won't even care (that much) if it proves inadequate to the task. Oh, well! That was his lookout, not mine. Anyway being armed with a 10/22 is a huge step up from not being armed at all. Actually a 10/22 would probably be a pretty good deterrent to a mob in front of a shop, at the point of busting in. You can rip off a lot of rounds into a crowd if you need to. They won't ignore the bullets coming their way, even if they are little ones—trust me.

What if we find ourselves in a replay of the French Resistance? That little carbine is pretty easy to conceal, and the sound signature is low even before applying some home-made suppression (gun laws tend to evaporate during revolutions and such). Every gun, even those absurd WWII "liberator" pistols, have value in circumstances like that. Anyway, .22LR is the preferred caliber of Mafia assassins everywhere. There must be a reason...

What if the time comes that I need a "throw-down" gun? It's a good candidate.

Yeah, three 10-round magazines is not a lot of fire-power. But some of these scenarios are "shoot once and skedaddle". Others would involve some accompanying people such as spouses and children who can keep the spares loaded in an extended firefight.

I think I will look through my collection of guns to see if there are any more that needs a tune-up to make it ready to rock and roll; maybe I just need to do some more reloading for them. Might even check out an estate sale or two for some bargains.

When war is coming, it's a good idea to maximize options, and get your equipment set.

By the way, if I ever do end up handing this or any gun to someone in need, I will first extract a promise: "Promise that you will never support any gun prohibitionist for any office or authority above us, from this point forward." No promise, no gun. Or if I know the person to be a liar, no gun. Maybe not a foolproof thing; but still, it makes a point—even if it might be an obvious or belabored point by that time.

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