Preparedness and The Tin Sign

By Major Van Harl USAF Ret

Never Underestimate The Power Of Stupid People In Large Groups
Never Underestimate The Power Of Stupid People In Large Groups
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

Wisconsin –-(  I was attending a gun show in Milwaukee.

Yes, there were guns, ammo and other related hunting and shooting support items, but there is always the off-the-wall stuff at gun shows.

On one table, they were selling tin signs. These signs had antique gun and ammunition advertisements on them or very manly Hollywood stars with guns and military uniforms on. Some, however, just had humorous or poignant sayings on them.

I spotted one tin sign that had an artist’s rendition of what was perhaps a scene in a “B” grade 1950s movie. It looked like a young Ronald Regan holding a 45acp pistol in his left hand and a hysterical woman in his right arm. They both appeared like they are about to be attacked and suffer a fate worse than death. The caption on the sign is what attracted my attention. It stated “never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.”

I don’t know if a large group of people was charging the young Regan or a giant green blob of Hollywood created slime was trying to take out the future president. Whatever the threat, he was prepared to deploy his handgun.

Americans do not handle sudden change very well. Just look at the folks in New Jersey and New York after Hurricane Sandy. Take out the word “stupid” from the phrase on the tin sign and replace it with: unprepared, frightened, cold, hungry, homeless, powerless (both electrically and politically), unrestrained, bored, clueless or-the worst one-evil.

I tried to research where the phrase originated from. It would appear it has been around since the 1950s, but it was the comedian George Carlin who gets the most credit for using the phrase.

I continue to say we live a 911 society. We believe we will always be able to dial 911 on our cell phone from any location in the country and in minutes all our fire, police and emergency medical needs will be met. I just do not believe that is a good personal back-up plan for my safety and the safety of my family.

People may not start out stupid with the intentions of trying to harm me and take what is mine. It only requires however, an interruption in the daily order of North American life and very educated and normally well-meaning people can turn to mob rule.

“If the government cannot get me what I need, then my new found street friends and I will just have to take matters into our own hands.”

When the Japanese suffered their tsunami, the US press kept belaboring the point about how nice and polite that country and its citizens are, even after days and weeks of living on the “edge” due to loss of home, place of employment and lack of emergency management support. I am pretty sure, because I have seen the video footage in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, that modern American people fail to do well after only a few hours of discomfort caused by a disaster, let alone weeks and months.

We have over used the identifying word “special” in this country. Our children and other family members are told they are so extra special, just because they happen to be present for duty when it comes to daily functioning in our society. I am sorry, but there really are not that many outstanding or extraordinary people walking around, and when crisis hits, they learn very fast just how un-special they actually are. They also learn that sometimes, “God helps those who help themselves.”

I suppose the young actor Regan could have pushed the screaming woman away, fired the big 45 pistol at the charging mob and then run for the hills. You realize that by sacrificing the pretty female from his arms, into the arms of the large group of stupid people, young Regan could survive. What about his manly pride and his honor to defend the weaker ones?

I hear the phrase “man-up” used all the time by the female broadcasters on Fox News. Allegedly, “God did not make all men equal, Colonel Colt did.” Stupid (what I really mean is desperate) people in large groups are not your friends in time of distress. Besides your 2nd Amendment Right there is a practical reason for owning black rifles and high capacity magazines.

Police, firefighters and EMT folks are not the first responders as you have been mislead to believe-you are. In many cases you are the only one out there who can react in a timely manner. Do you have the right tools to save lives?

Major Van Harl USAF Ret
[email protected]

About Major Van Harl USAF Ret.:
Major Van E. Harl USAF Ret. , is a career Police Officer in the U.S. Air Force was born in Burlington, Iowa, USA, in 1955. He was the Deputy Chief of police at two Air Force Bases and the Commander of Law Enforcement Operations at another. Now retired, these days he enjoys camping, traveling, volunteering with the Girl Scouts and writing. [email protected]

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

The police cannot, and in some cases, will not protect you. You and you alone are responsible for your safety. Anyone who says different lies. The problem with patriots during this current craziness is that they fail to ask the gun grabbers the "right" questions. Here's one: why do obamas kids deserve protection and mine don't? Ask it and keep asking it and don't let the coward liberals off the hook. Its time to get in their faces folks and quit gining them the power of only they have the right to take away what is rightfully yours. The only… Read more »


Jolly good article. Praise the Lord and pass the ammo! Gun control advocates are the freaks. Their reasoning is totally biased and fantasy. I know a woman who was trying to get away from some guy following her car on a long deserted road. She had a phone and called 911 and her parents. She didn't have a gun. They buried her 3 days later. If there is one thing that you can do for your daughters that will help them throughout life, is to take them hunting with you from the time that they are young. Give them the… Read more »