…as back and forth helps to flesh out all of the details, including the ones that have gone mostly unsaid. I’ll explain in a minute on the other side. What I’m going to respond to is this portion of a comment on WRSA (linked):
“So, symbolism, demonstrations, marches, speeches, yadda, yadda, yadda, have their place, but extremely limited value. I would say that we should train, drill, and prep all the time, and then do it some more.”
Please see the entire context at the link, but I’m going to address this portion separately because I get the feeling it expresses a lot of the sentiments of some of the RTC naysayers out there who support the idea of what we’re doing, but think it’s a waste of time. I honestly don’t know if the commenter, Sean, is referring to RTC’s specifically or just demonstrations in general. In any event, the above quote seems to suggest that demonstrations and marches and speeches are something entirely different from training, that target practice and PT are training and that marches and speeches are purely symbolic. If you don’t see where I’m going with this by now, here it is…….
……..RTC rallies ARE training!
And, to some extent, so are other political rallies, potentially.
What’s the first thing that happens when you arrive at Boot Camp? Do they give you a rifle right away and have you load it? Do you go immediately into patrols and ambushes?
No. They give you a speech. They have you and the rest of the new recruits assemble at one place, and then march, that is, move as a group in a coordinated manner to another location. Eventually, this is done with weapons, and eventually, new military personnel are trained to move in an organized manner with loaded weapons.
Remember 4-19? Remember when we gathered at Ft. Hunt, VA with our weapons, listened to some speeches, and then travelled to Gravelly Point with our weapons, all the while avoiding going into DC and getting arrested? I’d say that had some training value, no?
But, back to the first day of boot camp analogy. The first thing to do if one wants to train as part of a unit is to show up and know that the rest of the unit is likely to show up. Showing up at 4-19 wasn’t easy for those folks. Showing up for RTC’s can be uncomfortable and seem risky at times to some. That’s part of the training, and it lets you know that you aren’t the only one willing to take a stand and come out. Going to RTC’s gives participants confidence, real confidence, not false confidence, that others will be at their side if they need to hold an armed gathering in their area under stressful circumstances.
Any old gun owner can go to the range, take his rifle out of his trunk, shoot, and pack up and go home. I’ve done it a few times. No funny looks. No police cars. No SWAT teams with rifles drawn. No cameras. No counter demonstrators.
Again, I’m not so much responding to Sean individually as he may not have meant to say that RTC’s are merely symbolic. He may very well be an RTC’er himself. I’ve actually linked to one of his comments before as a “comment of the month.” The point I’m trying to make is that there does seem to be this sentiment out there that political rallies, including RTC’s, are merely symbolic, and that it’s better to do “real training.”
Don’t make it your excuse.