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

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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.

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  • redraven88

    Great article, Jeff; this year I’m getting my first AR. Glad im not the only one who feels extra American when I pick up a rifle!

  • Mark Preston

    I honestly believe, it is our constitutional right to bear arms to protect our families from enemies, both foreign & domestic, regardless of political party affiliations & agendas. 😉 That right also includes the choice of non ownership or carrying practices.

  • Mark Preston

    Ownership & carrying a firearm has nothing to do with the realism of being an American. but the rights of CHOICES do…;)

  • Mike

    My first rifle was an M1 from CMP.  Wouldn’t do it any other way.

  • Bill Anderson

    Freedom & independence?
    You need a license or permit (+Fees & taxes) to do damn near anything in the u.s., how is that freedom?

  • alecks_f

    I’ve lived in Australia since I was 12 and trying to explain that guns aren’t about ‘getting your gun off’ to people is really hard, it is a complete culture shock. 
    I find myself lately feeling an urge/compulsion/need/instinct, I’m not sure which, to handle a rifle, almost as if it’s in my DNA, that original Sons of Liberty passion that the people shall not be ruled and that we all have a responsility to each other.
    When I say to people that the Sydney cafe crisis would have been over very quickly if firearm laws were different, people look at me and think that I’m crazy, but I bet if it was them in the cafe they would be thankful if someone drew a concealed firearm or any weapon and ended it before it even began.

    A little of topic, but I’m just trying to say that even an American, dual citizen now, living in another country can stil instinctually feel that independence, freedom and heritage that comes from a rifle, without even picking one up.

    Those in the US don’t take your gun ownership rights for granted or lightly. I can’t even carry a pocket knife without people thinking I’m a hardened criminal.

    • @alecks_f Thanks for sharing and good to know there is representation Down Under!

    • James A1

      I whole hearted agree with you on this. I’m in Perth and watched it unfolding on the news. Shocked that it had to come to outcome that it did.
      I know they done what they could and we can all say from the comfort from our homes that things should have been different, and perhaps they should’ve, but the main point is it should never have gotten to that stage.
      Here in Australia we think we’re safe from such things happenings, but we’re not and we need to do what we can to protect ourselves and our loved ones from this kind of threat.
      I have started making changes in the way I do things now and making changes with my better half so if things go down we have a plan. Evac plans, meeting places, EDC essentials which is all thanks to ITS and your stories and posts. Sorry for off topic.
      Love the site guys. Your great inspiration !

    • alecks_f

      James A1 
      I am conflicted everyday because technically I’m breaking the law but I do EDC a pocket knife very discreetly. I just hate that if I used it to defend myself, my family or others I would probably end up in jail with the other criminals that choose to violate people’s basic rights.

    • James A1 Thanks for the kind words James! Glad ITS is a source for inspiration and helping you and your family be prepared!

  • John Duerr

    don’t for get strength

  • Chance Michael GrosJean

    You don’t need a military weapon to hunt or defend yourself! This is the reason why we have so many domestic terrorist in this country. Because people think that with a high power military assault weapon they have all the power in the world. It does more harm than good, and till you see that nothing will change for the better

  • Kythe Stillwell

    Great post and Dam straight U0001f44d

  • Josh Duke

    No, but it is nice to have.
    And, you DO need it to deal with a tyrannical government.

  • Henry TwentySixteen

    You have a lot to learn.

  • Josh Duke

    The Constitution grants exactly ZERO rights.
    It is a charter that aims to severely limit government while also charging those in government with the task if securing our natural rights.

  • Kythe Stillwell

    I take it you have never served and Not just the military.

  • Kythe Stillwell

    The gun is not evil just the person that would do evil.

  • Nate Sutton

    Are you huffing paint or something, fuckstick?

  • Chance Michael GrosJean

    So every time someone shoots up a school with an assault rifle we should have more, because then it can prevent it? That’s a lame ass excuse for wanting a gun with that type of power

  • Adam Torma

    Boy did you stumble on the wrong page, LOL.

  • Cathy McMahan

    the 2nd amendment is not about hunting, wake the hell up

  • Pierce Tomas
  • Ryan McManus

    Why not ban alcohol? Think of all the people who die every year as a result of drunk driving and the lives we could save. (over 10,000/yr)

  • Todd Dunn

    How about banning gangs or drugs? If you think more laws are the answer, you aren’t asking the right questions.

  • Matt Ewasik

    “High powered assault weapon” is just another media term. .223 is actually a very small bullet, it’s usually not used in hunting because it’s too weak. There’s nothing “high powered” about it. What do you really consider an “assault weapon” and why? Because of cosmetic features? Please…

  • Mike Russo

    Don’t feed the trolls.

  • Frank Rock

    What if I told you that no school (in recent history) has ever been “shot up” with an assault rifle?

  • Sean Moore

    He’s a Canadian IT worker who lives in NY. His arguments are thusly entirely invalid.

  • Alan Vales

    Plus 1 on the Constitution NOT giving us rights, but limiting government. Details matter, More important than “clip” vs “magazine” terminology.?

  • Vetpad Vetpadpro

    Freedom is given by GOD, guaranteed by the 2nd amendment.

  • Pablo Chesscobar

    “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government – lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.” – Patrick Henry

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