The Glory of a Rifle: Signifying Independence, Freedom and Heritage - ITS Tactical
Shop the ITS Store!

The Glory of a Rifle: Signifying Independence, Freedom and Heritage

By Jeff Gonzales

Glory of a Rifle

Over the last decade we’ve seen a rather deep embrace for the rifle, which has grown to signify an AR-15/M4 style platform and with good reason.

Cultural Pride

Let’s face it, many folks who don’t have a mission requirement to deploy a rifle in their profession, have still taken to rifle training. Some might get their panties in a wad, questioning why these people would need or want training, but my answer is simple. It’s part of our culture and part of who we are as a nation. Truthfully, it’s what really separates us from other countries and I’m damn proud of that.

Do I believe every home should have a rifle, or every male of a certain age be required to learn how to shoot a rifle to defend his home and country? Not really, but I have seen many civilized countries who think that it’s a good idea, so I think folks should embrace their ability to do so.

Childhood Adventures

Vintage Toy Gun Ad

My love for a rifle stems way back to childhood. When I talk with many of my teammates or friends I know, they’ve all had similar experiences. We all played cops vs. robbers or cowboys & indians growing up, escaping to some wooded playground to play out our battles. I’m saddened that more kids don’t get the chance to do it today.

I do understand that not all kids are cut out for it, or more likely many parents have an aversion to the idea of these activities, but heaven forbid that kids take to the outdoors to play with other kids in make believe activities that pit good versus evil. Let’s just bring them inside so they can play uber-violent first-person shooter video games. Yeah, that’s a great idea; not!

Tool or Toy?

There’s an inherit skill that’s required to be a true marksman with a rifle, one that takes dedication, commitment and hard work. I believe working with a rifle for some is very cathartic, as it allows us to channel our attention into a constructive activity. You can find plenty of rifles these days and it would be a side story to talk about how to pick a quality rifle for your purposes, but I will say this. The first thing you need to consider is what the mission is for the rifle.

Is it a serious duty platform, a plinker or something you plan to use in competitions? Each of these platforms will have different requirements and expectations to meet. What I really boil it down to, is whether it’s a tool or a toy. Answer that question first and you’ll be on your way to selecting the best platform for your needs.

How to Outshoot the Shooter

I’ve had plenty of people ask me for advice on selecting their first rifle and I’m quite flattered. My advice is to pick the highest quality manufacturer you can afford. Not all rifles are created equal and that might sting a bit for some companies, but it’s the truth. You may not need to get the most expensive rifle, unless you’re just trying to keep up with the Joneses, in which case go for it.

I see so many different rifles come through our classes and while many do a fine job, many also fail to meet the expectations of the owners. Here’s the other truth, every rifle from a reputable manufacturer will outshoot the shooter. Don’t get too wrapped around the axle on whether your rifle is good enough, the real question is: are you good enough to take advantage of it’s performance?

Yes, we Americans are a proud people and rightfully so. We love our guns, especially our rifles. Damn straight, there’s glory in a rifle. It signifies our independence, our freedom and heritage.

“Pick up a rifle and you change instantly from a subject to a citizen.” – Lt.Col. Jeff Cooper

Minute Man Statue

Editor-in-Chief’s Note: Jeff Gonzales was a decorated and respected US Navy SEAL, serving as an operator and trainer who participated in numerous combat operations throughout the world. He now uses his modern warfare expertise as President of Trident Concepts, LLC., a battle proven company specializing in weapons, tactics and techniques to meet the evolving threat. Bringing the same high-intensity mindset, operational success and lessons learned from NSW to their training programs, TRICON has been recognized as an industry leader by various federal, state and local units. Organizations interested in training with TRICON can call 928-925-7038 or visit for more information.

Did you get more than 14¢ of value today?

If so, we’d love to have you as a Crew Leader by joining our annual membership! Click the Learn More button below for details.

Thanks to the generosity of our supporting members and occasionally earning money from qualifying purchases as an Amazon Associate, (when you click our Amazon links) we’ve eliminated annoying ads and content.

At ITS, our goal is to foster a community dedicated to learning methods, ideas and knowledge that could save your life.


Do you have what you need to prevail?

Shop the ITS Store for exclusive merchandise, equipment and hard to find tactical gear.

Do you have what you need to prevail? Tap the button below to see what you’re missing.