It Is Too Late When The Riots Start

By Major Van Harl USAF Ret

Rioters loot the Ferguson Market and Liquor store on August 16, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Several businesses were looted as police held their position nearby.
Rioters loot the Ferguson Market and Liquor store on August 16, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Several businesses were looted as police held their position nearby.
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

Wisconsin –-(  For years I carried a Ruger single action 45 Long Colt, Blackhawk revolver.

I was and still am a very good shot with that handgun. It has a short 4 5/8 inch barrel and has a hard chrome finish on it (pre stainless steel) so carrying it all day in the hot steamy summer did not ruin the finish.

The problem is the Blackhawk has to be cocked every time you shoot a round, and then you have to slowly extract each empty shell case and reload six more fresh cartridges.

I know John Wayne and Matt Dillon carried single action 45 caliber handguns, but so did the bad guys, therefore it was sort of an even fight. That is if you are foolish enough to find yourself in an even / fair fight.

I had a dream many years ago that I was in a serious violent situation and I was carrying my trusty Ruger single action. The problem was the bad guys in my dream were armed with self-loading rifles and handguns. I do not remember how that scenario played out because I woke up before the shooting stopped. That was the last time I ever carried my Blackhawk as my primary or only firearm. Now mind you I still carry it and shoot it, but there is always something else (read another handgun) on my person.

I suppose Dr. Sigmund Freud or some liberal Democrats might take issue with me adjusting my lifestyle based on a dream, but sometimes dreams are meant to keep you safe. I had a couple of self-loading rifles in my closet that I had planned to get rid of. Then I watched the Rodney King riots in L.A. and decided they were already paid for and I was keeping them. There was no way in hell I was going to be able to stop rioters or looters trying to break into my home with just a single action handgun and a lever action rifle.

The Missouri gun buying public is rapidly trying to fill the void in their personal firearms needs. (See ‘Missouri Run On Gun Shops’ Seriously? Where Have These Gun Buyers Been?

I just got off the phone with an old college friend who lives in St. Louis to make sure she and her family was safe. I asked if she had her conceal carry permit and she advised me she did not even own a handgun. Now her husband has a couple of long-guns, but you cannot carry then with you to go grocery shopping without causing some alarm in St. Louis. She did tell me that they have bought some extra ammo.

I remember back in 1968 when there were riots in Chicago. One of the first things the local governments did in the out-lying cities was order the gun stores to close and anyone who sold ammo (such as a hardware store) had to lock it out of sight.

So if you thought you would run out at the last minute to buy a legal firearm to protect yourself –“for-get-about-it.”

When you are sick and making a mad dash to the bathroom it is not the time to wonder if you have enough paper products in the house, kind of the same idea here with trying to buy a rifle when the streets of your city are on fire.

Tonight some honest citizen in Ferguson, Missouri could die from a “normal” medical, fire or police emergency that in peaceful times would have had first responders rushing to their door, to save their life just in time.

“Just in time” does not work when your city is falling apart. 9-1-1 will not save you in time of extreme crisis, so buy multiple fire extinguishers, first-aid kits, extra over-the-counter and prescription medications, and firearms with fresh ammo.

How many honest citizens are hole-up in their homes, running short of food and supplies because they are too afraid to go out on the streets to shop for basic needs?

Infant food and paper products are some of the first items to get used up when there is no re-supply. If you are the parent of a baby and you do not have at least a one-month supply of baby support food and “gear” in your home you have failed your family and need to redirect your efforts and priorities in life.

Yes that is harsh and I know it is not your fault there is rioting, but you failed to prepare and your family will suffer and as you can see by the TV video footage “the government” cannot rescue you.

Support and Defend must be your person family motto, not just some words printed on the side of a police squad car.

(Read related “Top 5 Survival Things To Have In Case Of Civil Unrest” )

Major Van Harl USAF Ret.
[email protected]

About Major Van Harl USAF Ret.:Major Van E. Harl USAF Ret., 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. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Infantry School.  A retired Colorado Ranger and currently is an Auxiliary Police Officer with the Cudahy PD in Milwaukee County, WI.  His efforts now are directed at church campus safely and security training.  He believes “evil hates organization.”  [email protected]

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Robert Bostick

I well remember those riots in Los Angeles in the 1960s. I lived east of that area of Watts about 35 miles but I had a police friend later in life who was there. Doug was about 6 ft 6 inches and weighed nearly 260 lbs. However he said that the LAPD officers were never allowed to be alone but in groups of at least 4 personnel. And, they would not go into the burning and looting area. Why? Because they were not wanting to get killed. So, so much for the “Serve and Protect” logos on the squad cars.… Read more »


These low lifes are cowards. Any kind of weapon fired at them and they will break and run. It’s good to have the better weapons but anything will do. You drop one and they are all gone. When someone shoots at you are you going to look close to see if they have to reload? No, if you are defenseless you are going to run like hell.