Why I am Going to Buy a Gun

Sam Hales
09 June 2020

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

My Previous Relationship with Guns

I am not a gun guy. I am, however, a stout defender of the Second Amendment, but I have never been a gun guy. While serving my nation I have fired my M4 rifle and M9 pistol many times. Every time I got to shoot, I loved it. For me it was a professional duty to be proficient with these weapons and the enjoyment of the act. Shooting, for me, since the beginning of my service, has been a mixture of duty, Zen and the Art of Archery and sport. I enjoy shooting, but I have never been a gun guy. By “gun guy” I mean someone who owns guns and studies them and lives with them in their day-to-day lives. I never saw the need and I was always concerned about the risk that comes with them. Well, sadly, that has changed. I am now going to become a gun guy and here is why.

Failure of Government Leaders

There are three main reasons why I am putting 51 years of thinking behind me. Those three reasons are political negligence by the leadership I live under, the response of some of my friends and national talking heads to the mob and who I am. Over the past few weeks after the criminal death of George Floyd, I have watched governors and mayors across the country, my governor, Jay Inslee, and the political leadership of cities like Seattle and Olympia fail to act to defend innocent citizens and their economic livelihoods. For whatever reason, they failed to provide protection to innocent people and communities that they are duty bound to defend and they allowed the mob to burn down businesses, assault people and attack police. Now, just so we are clear. I make a clear distinction between the protestors who are legally exercising their First Amendment right to protest and the mob that is ruling the streets through violence. But, night after night we have seen these American protests turn into mob rule as darkness falls and these cities turn into Dante’s inferno as buildings and neighborhoods burn and innocent Americans are attacked. And, all the while, despite having local, state and federal resources available to them, the political leaders have chosen not to counter the mob. They have given their jurisdictions over to mob rule. This is unjustifiable. Period. They had the means to protect these innocent Americans and they decided not to.  

The clear lesson to me from this is that under certain circumstances the political leadership who are duty bound to protect me and my loved ones will not if it is politically expedient for them not to. They will pull the police back and not employ the National Guard and they will let the mob come after my loved ones. This struck me deeply.

Support for Mob Rule from the Populace

The next, and for me far more disturbing factor that is causing me to become a “gun guy”, is the reaction by national talking heads and even some of my friends. As cities burned and innocent people were killed, maimed and economic livelihoods destroyed, I watched as these talking heads gave at best lip service to the immorality of this mob rule. They talked about the justice behind the mob’s rage. They spoke of the righteous anger of the mob and the immorality of using force to stop their looting and pillaging. In addition to these national talking heads, what disturbed me even more was the frequent agreement of some of my friends to this opinion. They agreed that “we should keep this small violence in context of the overall morality of the cause and the large peaceful protest.” Well, whether the cause is just or not, mob rule is never right. Mob rule leads to evil. Mob rule leads to death and destruction of innocents.

From this second observation I learned that there was not going to be pressure from the people to reign in the mob. I watched as national informal leaders and people who I consider friends stand by and watch mob rule commit evil because they supported the cause these mobs were “championing”. This second lesson from this event made it clear to me that in certain circumstances there would be no authorities coming to protect me, my family and friends and my property if the mob decided to come after me.

So, with the realization that those who are supposed to protect me from the mob may decide not to, it is left to me. That left me with a decision. Do I run or fight? If the mob comes for me, do I create and implement plans to run? Do I grab my family and friends and drive away to safety? Or, do I stand and fight? The answer to me is simple. This is my country. This is my home. These are my loved ones. I will fight and that means I need to be prepared.

Why an AR

I think it is important for me to share my thought process behind my choice of weapons because it has an impact on how avidly I will defend my Second Amendment rights in the future. Here is the scenario I am planning for based on the political situation I have described above. Assume a situation where the violent rioters from downtown Olympia decide they are not having the political impact they desire. They decide they want to bring their mob rule to my community which is within a 15-minute drive of Olympia. The mob decides that they will terrorize and loot the housing community in which I live. The group of 30-50 decide they are going to rage down my street throwing Molotov cocktails and bricks at houses and then loot inside. We have seen all of this in cities across the country. No reason to believe it could not happen here. Based on this scenario I could have anywhere between 5-50 rioters in my community threatening the lives of my loved ones and my home.

In this situation, I need a weapon that makes it clear to the mob that if they attack my loved ones and my home that they are in danger. Additionally, if I need to engage them, I need to plan on being able to engage multiple targets rapidly. Out of a group of 50, for planning purposes, if I engage 10 the remainder of the mob will likely retreat. The way that mobs work is typically there are just a few instigators at first and then the followers come behind them. Based on this analysis, if I can kill those first few instigators who are threatening my life, I may be able to deter the rest of the mob. So, me and my weapon must be able to rapidly engage possibly three to five people. These targets will, due to my restraint, be within 15 yards of me when I engage them. They will be on the edge of my yard.  That means I need to be able to engage up to five targets with two rounds each in less time than is required for them to cross 15 yards to close with and kill me. This analysis tells me I need an AR. An AR with a high capacity magazine allows me to accurately and rapidly engage those targets and defend myself, my loved ones and my home. No other weapon will suffice. Additionally, due to my years of service I am very comfortable with an AR. I know how to store, maintain and employ the weapon safely. An AR also sends the very clear signal to the mob that I have the ability to kill them if I so choose and may have a very valuable deterrent effect.

This conclusion that only an AR will suffice, leads me to a vital point. I will no longer ever entertain the argument to curtail my right to own an AR. The clear evidence that I could be alone between me and my loved ones leaves me no choice, but to protect my right to purchase and own an AR.

I Will Defend You

So, after 51 years of believing that I lived in safety where the police would protect me, I now no longer believe this to be true in unique situations of mob violence where my political leadership and my friends believe the cause the mob is “championing” is just. Since I believe this is a real risk and I will not stand by allow my loved ones and home to be at existential risk, I will arm myself with what I need to defeat the mob should it choose to come for me. In the event that the mob does come for us it is important for you to know this.  If the mob does come for you, my friends, no matter your politics or background or any other factor, you and your family are welcome to come seek shelter with me. I will protect you as I will protect my family. And, I will be armed, trained and ready.

 First the mob came for the woman in the MAGA hat, and I did not speak out—
     Because I hated Trump

Then the mob came for the conservative speakers, and I did not speak out—
     Because I did not like the speakers’ politics.

Then they came for the business owners in the Black communities, and I did not speak out—
     Because the mob’s cause was “just.”

Then they came to kill the cops who were serving the community, and I did not speak out –

    Because the story is that all cops are evil

Then the mob came for me and my loved ones—and they died

    Because I was armed and prepared to fight.