By David “Rosey” Rosenthal
You’ve seen the news and are cognizant of current events. Hundreds of protestors storm onto your property as “mob mentality” rules. They’ve trashed a gate and some may be carrying weapons. Do you meet the threat with force of arms or do you find a safe place to hide where they can’t see or hear you, so they then feel unchallenged and empowered and commence to destroy your property…or worse?
This incident was what the Second Amendment is all about. It’s also a testament to the art of brandishing firearms to counter a threat. Not a shot was fired and everybody kept their “social distance.”
Did the St. Louis couple do everything “by the book” safety-wise? No, of course not. They’re not like us (gun people). Sweeping each other with a lack of muzzle awareness was a thing there, and some of the video is hard for 2A people to watch. At the end of the day though, you have to look at the results.
The 2A community as a whole is a great bunch of awesome people. This incident unfortunately brought out some really juvenile comments and criticisms, right down to the designer clothes they were wearing. We suppose if they had tactical outfits and looked more like operators, the trespassing mob would have somehow felt more afraid and left ASAP?
The fact of the matter is the couple’s bravado itself is what dissuaded the mob. Nobody wanted to be the first miscreant to catch a bullet. And that’s just how the forgotten art of brandishing works.
At its very roots it’s the original form of psychological warfare: The miscreant’s mind says “Is what I’m about to do worth catching a bullet?” Today’s firearm instructors teach how to run and hide in a safe room, grab your gun and a phone and wait for the home invaders to pour you a Molotov cocktail and burn you out. This couple of means chose to take a stand, and by doing so has taught the world a lesson. Especially those willing to grasp it instead of just sharing a meme.
Omg who did this?! 😂 STL Ken and Karen pic.twitter.com/z7fSsjSvVh
— Daniel (@DailyLibber) June 29, 2020
We interviewed Charlie Cook from Riding Shotgun With Charlie, a firearms Instructor and podcaster who has interviewed many a mover and shaker in the firearms world (he interviewed me — episode #49 — over a year ago). With almost 80 gun people “riding shotgun” in his front seat, his finger is on the pulse of the 2A community. Here’s what Cook had to say:
Tony Simon summed it up a few years ago: “You’ve got a lawn mower, but you’re not into the lawn mower lifestyle. These people are gun owners, but they’re not into the gun owner lifestyle. They don’t have the training, clothes, gear, or an assortment of the hardware that we have. They don’t watch our YouTube channels or listen to our podcasts.”
Cook also added,
When we all gang up on these people and bash them for their poor training and handling, I assume the anti-gun folks see this, recognize this, and will start to push for mandatory minimum training, certain scores on qualifying targets for concealed carry, and anything else to get the government more involved and to have less people meet the BS training requirements that they enforce. So less people can own guns and it becomes more restrictive. Honestly, they’re probably like the 2.5+ million new gun owners we’ve gotten in the last few months. They bought a gun, learned a little bit, and thought they’d be OK. Did you see their house? Who would have ever thought “protestors” would have made it there?
The 2A community can’t be for constitutional carry, then turn around and hassle someone for not taking a training course. They may have taken enough training for the state to allow them to own and/or carry firearms. However, they successfully used a couple of firearms to defend their lives and their home. And no shots were fired. Yes, it was sloppy. We’ve shot more than they have. But most of us haven’t had to use a gun defensively.
We can make all the funny memes we want. But when their property was trespassed, they met disparity of force with the equalizer.
Brandishing can be employed where legal and is a decision by the gun owner NOT to be a victim. It’s simply another tool in the tool chest of a gun owner. It’s made on-the-fly as events unfold, and has been a part of our history since long before these United States came to be.
Be it a flintlock or a Colt AR-15, it can get the job done. History has proven this time and time again. The pages of NRA’s American Rifleman magazine are replete with decades of true stories of self defense situations in which no shot was ever fired.
May you all never have to brandish a firearm under while a microscope and face consequences for doing so. And thanks to our great friend Charlie Cook.
David “Rosey” Rosenthal is an NRA Chief Range Safety Officer and Editor in Chief of the Coalition of New Jersey Firearm Owners’ Black Wire Media and Vice President of the Coalition of New Jersey Firearm Owners.