Ret. Army Col. Lays Out the Science for Why You Should Buy an 'Assault Rifle'


You’ve heard it a thousand times before from critics of the AR-15 and other so-called “assault rifles.”

“You don’t really need that much firepower, do you?”

Kurt Schlichter says you do. He’s a retired Army infantry colonel, lawyer and columnist at In a piece Monday titled “Why Science and Experience Command That You Buy an ‘Assault Rifle,'” Schlichter argues that rifles are an essential part of self-defense — both of the personal and political sort.

“It must be nice walking through life believing that the paradise the founders built here in North America is the natural state of man, and that we can therefore forgo the difficult and dangerous tasks associated with defending it,” he wrote.

“But some of us don’t have the luxury of illusions. We know that peace and civilization are not the natural state of man, and that the black swan events that we have somehow convinced ourselves could never happen do happen with startling regularity. And this is why you should buy guns and ammunition.”

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And not just any gun, according to Schlichter.

“Specifically, you should own, at a minimum, a modern semiautomatic rifle like an AR-15 that is simple to operate, easily accessorized for the individual user, reliable, and rugged.

“Liberals call these ‘assault rifles,’ though they are not. Insisting that liberals be accurate when describing what they seek to ban is ‘gunsplaining,’ a heinous macroaggression that is right up there with assuming someone’s gender on the Big List O’ Liberal Sins.”

As Schlichter points out, we’re living through a time of political instability, the kind the founders had in mind when they wrote the Second Amendment.

Do you agree with Kurt Schlichter's position?

“We are watching a real-time elite coup to undo the election,” he wrote.

“Our rights to free speech, freedom of religion and the right to keep and bear arms are under vicious attack by liberals and their cultural and corporate cronies. The elite is no longer even hiding its belief that Normals have no right to govern ourselves.

“And the Normals feel it. They have the unsettling, nagging feeling that the fabric of society is fraying, that this is all starting to fall apart. And their anxiety manifests not just in whispered questions like ‘Do you think this is going to end in a civil war?’ (Probably not, but the good news is that if the Democrats provoke another one the Normals will win again),” he added.

“It manifests in the culture. Look at the popularity of apocalyptic entertainments like ‘The Walking Dead.’ Look at the number of TV shows about people prepping for disaster. Heck, look at the sales of my novels about America’s fate if liberals are allowed to rule unchallenged — and the terrible conflict that would lead to.”

Schlichter said that “having the means to physically defend yourself and your rights (that means guns, folks), is the rational choice, the choice compelled by science. It is also your legal duty — and moral duty — as an American citizen.

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“Or you can be defenseless. Helpless. A subject instead of a citizen. But science makes clear that chaos is a real possibility. Are you going to be ready, or are you just going to deny science?”

He points out that liberals don’t ever particularly think that civilization has any chance of collapsing. Schlichter disagrees.

“I know. I was there,” he writes.

“I saw it with my own eyes about 26 years ago right here in the middle of a huge American city. I was in the midst of the Los Angeles riots, in South Central and elsewhere, as an Army first lieutenant, starting the first night. And now I don’t have the luxury of comfortable limousine liberal fantasies about how you can outsource your duty to defend yourself, your family, your community, and your Constitution.

“I saw the terrified, defenseless people at the mercy of thugs. The cops? Gone. But those Korean groceries on the rooftops with their rifles — they were not defenseless,” he added. “I was unarmed at first, and I won’t make that mistake again. I preparing for my first year of law school final exams when the trouble started. I was home in Pasadena when I saw the broadcast of the Reginald Denny atrocity — that’s when a bunch of animals dragged a guy out of his truck and smashed his head in with a brick on television after the LAPD fled.”

At the time, Schlichter was with the Army National Guard and was called into the battalion headquarters, which was in the middle of the riot zone. He describes taking “the advice of a frazzled cop with a pump-action 12 gauge at a road block off the 405 who was baffled at why this white Army guy in a 1988 gold Chevy Beretta needed to drive toward the fires. I drove really fast.”

Schlichter said it required “two divisions, about six combat brigades, of soldiers and a bunch of Marines to pacify just one part of one city.

“The Army currently has 58 active and reserve brigade combat teams. Again, do the math. The military will do its best, but the cavalry is almost certainly not coming,” he continued. “When I got off duty after three weeks, before I even went home, I stopped at the packed Turner’s Outdoorsman in Pasadena and bought a weapon.”

He also notes that the liberal arguments for gun control so often ignore science on the issue of how to most effectively stop gun violence.

“Liberals who want you disarmed will often point out that you have a higher chance of being killed if you have a gun in your house,” he wote. “This is probably true. After all, criminals have guns in their houses and criminals are more likely to be killed, so that probably skews the numbers. Perhaps the fact that a gun is in your house makes it more likely, to some degree, that you may be killed by it, most likely by yourself, because suicide counts for (more than) 60 percent of gun deaths in America.”

So, if you’re not a criminal, you should probably buy a gun. And, if you don’t, Schlichter argues that you hate the one thing that liberals claim to love so much.

“If you don’t agree with me, you clearly hate science,” Schlichter noted. “Why do liberals hate science so much?”

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture