“While I do not consider myself anti-government or anarchistic, I respect the free exchange of ideas, and the civil manner in which ideas are expressed in the articles published here. It is in that spirit that I humbly submit the following.”
If you’re reading this for pleasure, you’re very likely a rifleman or an aspiring rifleman (I include women in the word “rifleman” because I remember what proper English is, even though I seldom speak it). If you’re a rifleman, you might have thought about what all your hard won skill might be useful for. So have I.
The rifleman in modern society is akin to a ham radio in a smart phone world. The smart phone is quick and chock full of capabilities that are a lot more interesting in terms of the phone’s screen than of the real, physical, and interactive world. It is new, and keeping up with the latest model is a sure way to engage in what sociologists would call “conspicuous consumption”, so you can let everyone in the checkout line at the supermarket know that you can afford the latest and greatest as you text away (or whatever you do with those damn things). Your smart phone can gather all the data you need to come up with a firing solution for your precision shot in just a minute or two. You can even buy a mount for your picatinny rail on which to plant the phone (never miss a call as you ‘send it’). You can use your phone to watch movies and listen to music. You always know that if there is an emergency, or your car breaks down you don’t have to worry. You can always be aware of what’s going on everywhere, except directly around you.
The ham radio is not new or sexy. The barista at Starbucks is not likely to be impressed by the skills of an amateur radio operator. It doesn’t do a plethora of cool things. It’s pretty much a communication tool.
In the extremely unlikely event that the thin veneer of our placid and peaceful society is somehow ripped away, the cell phone network is likely to be compromised. In the event the batteries cannot be charged, the phone’s life will be measured in hours. It will then be a useless piece of garbage. Millions of smart phone owners who are totally dependent will be left jonesing for their smart fix. They will be expecting that they can get bailed out with a quick call or text. The idea that they should have found some other way out would be unfathomable to them.
Ham radios are intended to be used as a backup to regular communication in the event of an emergency. Their users think ahead on how to keep power supplied and replenished. The technology is relatively simple and robust.So it is with the rifleman.