When you draw down on the "bad guy" with your spiffy new 10mm autopistol - will you hit them, or will they cut YOU down with the dirty old .38 they have long known and loved?
Worse yet, will the "bad guy" turn out to be a "good guy?" Do you know when NOT to shoot, and even better, when to duck, when to run, and when to run like holy hell?
I'm a second-amendment fetishist, But I am a realist - if you cannot reliably use your chosen weapon in a real, tactical situation under stress, we would ALL be better off if you just shirked your constitutional duty, thanks very much anyhow. If you want to pad your crotch, use a sock. It's far more comfortable.
And keep that gun locked up. Call yourself a collector, if you like, but if you cannot reliably use a handgun or rifle in combat, don't pretend to be willing to answer the call.
But if you ARE willing to answer the call - if and when - then you need to get together with friends and practice. Obviously, you cannot mix tactical training with live ammo, so you need an effective training system. That is why paintball has become a military simulation standard.
The paintball store has got to be my pick for guns, gear, parts, equipment and of course... paint balls. The prices seem reasonable, and everything is in one place; the site is easy to navigate, and they take PayPal. That covers the basics.
Oh, it's an awful lot of fun, I'm told. But to me, it's about developing skills - indeed, RE-developing skills our forebears took for granted. From a sport viewpoint, it's certainly both more ethical and less messy than hunting, even while it develops all the same skills, and it can be a genuine family activity.
I firmly believe that citizens should at least understand the reality of those who choose to serve in the armed force - and in the worst case, understand it well enough so that if they are ordered into action to suppress your right to dissent, that you can make that action prohibitively expensive.
There are other things you can do to practice needed skills. Second Life and other MMORPG's offer the chance to develop your leadership (and followership) skills in a forgiving context - games like this are to strategy and Grand Strategy what paintball is to small unit and individual tactics. A "well regulated milita" is one where every member knows their best weapon - and can use it to further the group goals. My favored weapon is the pen, and my "Militia" is those who think that unless we show our government that we are serious about it serving us, rather than vice versa, the end of this nation as what it was and is meant to be is at hand.
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