King George, Virginia

17 February 2020

Fellow Members of the King George TEA Party:

Wow… what a difference a couple of hours can make.  This weekend I crafted this week’s Newsletter and put the final edits in it this morning.  Funny thing is that it looks like the Democrats in Richmond decided to TEMPORARILY defer HB 961 until next year… making what I had written earlier a little dated.  After reviewing it, however, everything that I put together is still relevant and timely… but instead of having only a couple of months to prepare for an “assault weapon” ban you have a whole year.  For some, especially those that are financially constrained, this may be a welcome reprieve.

Here are the news articles that came out today regarding HB 961, including the most salient quote from the top article:

  • "Virginia House Bill 961 -- 'a ban under the guise of compromise' -- was tabled for a full year by the state Senate Judiciary Committee."

Note that “tabled” merely means something akin to “we will try again next year.”  Therefore, this issue is not going away.

Regardless of today’s deferment for HB 961, please consider what I have put together below.

Go Buy an AR-15

This is another “one-off” Newsletter as it is singularly focused on one topic: my recommendation to you to legally exercise your Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms – NOW.  As was predicted, the Democrat majority legislators in Richmond have demonstrated their flagrant refusal to represent We The People Of Virginia and are pushing ahead to impose extreme gun control laws (see the e-mail from Carol Stopps).  Sure, we all expect these laws to be challenged in court… but you CANNOT count on any legislative reversal to be timely, as in happening soon.

You must consider the ramifications of what will happen to you if you do not prepare for the scenario where some of this legislation becomes law.  While there are many bills that you should be gravely concerned about… there is one proposed law that you can exercise some measure of control.  That bill would be HB 961 which will implement an “assault weapons” ban.  If you do nothing to proactively mitigate the effects of HB 961 you will lose your right to defend yourself, defend your family, and defend your country using a well-proven piece of firearms hardware.   To counter this situation you will need to purchase the bare minimum essentials before Virginia removes your constitutional rights to do so.

Take a look at the below table that (in simplistic terms) matches broad classes of firearms with the purpose for which they are most appropriate.  For example, rather small pistols that are suitable for carrying concealed have the specific purpose of enabling you to defend yourself while you go about your daily life.  The inaccuracy due solely to their small size, however, does not enable them to be effective in longer range situations (i.e., hunting with a concealed-carry pistol is a rather silly idea).  Sure, you **can** use a firearm designed for concealed carry (small, light, short barrel length, few rounds in the magazine, etc.) for longer distances but you would miss your target more times than if you were to use a more appropriate platform.

The most ubiquitous firearm type classified by the Democrats as an “assault weapon” is the AR-15 type of firearm.  The fundamental element of an AR-15 is the lower receiver and it is the only part of the system that has a serial number embossed on it.  Specifically, when you purchase an AR-15 from a gun store, that part (the lower receiver) is the only part of concern with respect to a background check.  The best thing about the AR-15 platform, however, is that by using only a few tools you can either build from scratch, slightly modify, or even completely re-configure the system based upon that same lower receiver.

A couple of minutes surfing the Internet for images will demonstrate the vast spectrum of AR-15 configurations.  The two AR-15 configurations that are most important for this discussion are the typical “full size” rifle (with a 16” barrel length or greater) and the shorter versions called either a “long barreled pistol” or a “short barrel rifle.”  For this discussion I am going to largely ignore the legal (and important, so see the graphic below) distinction between the two shorter versions (“long barreled pistol” and “short barreled rifle”).  Here we will deliberately focus on the “long barreled pistol” because you can build them, own them, and use them provided you can otherwise legally own a pistol.

Now take a look at the graphic again.  Notice that the flexibility of the AR-15 system configured as either a long barreled pistol or a rifle enables the firearms owner to use it to address the broad spectrum of firearms purposes… everything from personal defense, to home defense, to national defense.  This is the unique value of the AR-15 platform and why it has become so popular.  By deliberately banning the AR-15 the Virginia Democrats have revealed their intention to make it harder for you to do any of those things – to defend yourself, to defend your family, or to defend your nation “… against all enemies, foreign or domestic.”  Yes, this is what governments have historically implemented as they transition to tyranny – examples include Britain leading up to the Revolutionary War, Nazi Germany, and present-day Venezuela.

So what to do?

Stated plainly, there is nothing we can do to **prevent** the Virginia Democrats from acting like the totalitarians that they have demonstrated themselves to be.  Elections have consequences and that means that gun control fanatics now run Virginia’s government.  The only thing that you can do, therefore, is to **mitigate** what they are planning on doing to us now and begin to reshape our future by educating our fellow citizens in preparation for the next election.  For the former, you must take some actions that exercise your Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms while you are still able to in Virginia.

The issue is that you are now in a race – a race between your ability to defend yourself, your home, and your nation using a firearm protected under the Second Amendment versus the Virginia Democrat’s totalitarian actions to ram gun control laws upon We The People Of Virginia.  By my estimate, the timeline for this competition is on the order of A FEW MONTHS, so set your personal priorities accordingly.  Look at the below To Do list and make the appropriate investment in your Second Amendment rights.

Consider doing the following:

  • 1. If you already own an AR-15 rifle or two, a couple of high capacity magazines (or more), and a good stash of ammunition to support them then sit back and relax.  You are good-to-go for now.

  • 2. If you have not already done so, go purchase an assembled / off-the-rack AR-15 if you can afford it. They are usually available at any good gun store in a spectrum from the “poverty pony” versions to the tricked-out versions.  Find one you like, can afford, and buy it.  The folks at Big Dog Outfitters here in King George have great staff members that are both very knowledgeable and willing to help you find one.

  • 3. If you do not have the finances to purchase an assembled / off-the-rack AR-15, then purchase just a “stripped” AR-15 receiver and worry about the rest later.  Depending upon the manufacturer, a lower receiver will cost you less than $100 – a cost that is at least within the financial grasp of most people compared to a $1,000 system.  Yep, a lower receiver is just a hunk of metal and not useful “as-is”; yep, you will have to undergo a background check to purchase it (just like any completely assembled firearm); and yep, you will need to buy parts and build upon it later.  The great thing, though, is that you can do the build-out as your finances permit.

  • 4. Buy at least two high capacity magazines for each AR-15.  The manufacturer MagPul makes a fantastic line of 30-round magazines that can be purchased in the $10-$15 range.  You want to have at least TWO because you will always want the security of a spare / backup magazine in case one has a problem.  With regards to high capacity magazines… buy more if you can afford it.  Lots more.  Soon.

  • 5. After you have ensured that you have one AR-15 on hand, or at least have the bare essentials to build one (i.e., a lower receiver), then you should consider building or buying a second.  If finances are very tight, the “minimalist” approach will be to purchase two each lower receivers and four each high-capacity magazines.  As noted above, you can build the AR-15 systems as your finances allow but these (the receivers and the high capacity magazines) are the fundamental components that are subject to the Democrat’s proposed HB 961 legislation.  Plan for your future by making this investment.

  • 6. If you are going to build your first AR-15, build the rifle version (16” barrel length or more) first.  The reason to build the rifle version first is that it can serve two purposes (home defense and national defense) better than the long barreled pistol version can do the same.  Don’t worry about spending big bucks on a scope / optics at this point (unless you can afford it) but do buy good “flip up” sights that attach to the Picatinny rail on top.  They work and work well.

  • 7. After you already have one AR-15 assembled then you need to consider either buying an assembled / off-the-rack long barreled pistol or building one for yourself (like you might have done with the rifle).  For a variety of reasons, my recommended LBP barrel length would be the 10.5” versions.  This size is short enough to use in close quarters (i.e., as a home defense firearm) and is much more accurate than the (much shorter) handgun.  For another discussion separately would be the choice of ammunition for use inside the home (i.e., frangible bullets) but that is outside the scope of this Newsletter’s topic.

  • 8. After you have acquired your AR-15s (built or only as stripped lower receivers) and a handful of magazines you should then begin to develop a stash of ammunition that supports them.  Remember the threat against ammunition during the Obama administration (ostensibly due to “environmental concerns”)?  Remember the inability to even find .22 ammunition during that time?  Do you think that won’t happen again?  Have you noticed that Wal-Mart has already stopped selling many types of ammunition?  Prepare now.

  • 9. After you have the essential / fundamental AR-15 components, magazines, and ammunition then it is time to purchase the other components that comprise an AR-15 rifle and/or long barreled pistol.  The upper receiver, bolt and bolt carrier group, pistol grips, stock / brace, barrel, handguard, etc. are all parts that can be purchased at a local gun store or over the Internet because there are absolutely no restrictions upon them.

  • 10. After you have begun collecting the components to your AR-15 then either seek assistance from a knowledgeable armorer / gun hobbyist for assistance or dive into the huge library of YouTube videos that explain how to put together all of the components and build it yourself.  Yep, it will require some tools; yep, one of them includes a torque wrench which most people don’t have in their automotive tool box; but these are easy to find and/or borrow (if not purchase).

  • 11. Then, and again as finances permit, consider upgrading your flip-up “iron” sights with some type of optic system.  But by the time you are looking into this upgrade you have already well prepared yourself for the effects of HB 961.

Another incentive for you to own an AR-15 platform is the reality that some handguns are very difficult to operate.  Specifically, some handgun’s springs can be quite stiff, their slides can be difficult to grasp, and some people just do not have the hand strength to put a handgun into action.  I know this is a significant issue because two of my family members have told me that they have this problem, i.e., a handgun is useless for them because they cannot “rack” the slide.  In contrast, however, is the fact that the AR-15’s Charging Handle is MUCH easier to grip, the Buffer Spring is much less stiff, and the AR-15 itself can be rested upon almost any surface to assist putting the firearm into action.  If hand grip strength is a significant consideration for you then the capability afforded by an AR-15 may be the determining factor for what type of firearm you rely upon for personal and home defense.  And if this is a factor for you and your home’s security then acquiring an AR-15 may rise quite high on your priority list.

As always, I welcome any questions or comments you may have.

King George TEA Party
King George, Virginia