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American Rifleman’s Editor-in-Chief Mark Keefe: My Disaster Gun

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American Rifleman’s Editor-in-Chief Mark Keefe: My Disaster Gun

I saw the scenes of despair, the aftermath of natural disaster followed by the human lawlessness. The looting, lawlessness, the depravity and the mishandling of the public trust by those tasked to protect the citizens of Louisiana. Then I noted the marked contrast between the tragedy of New Orleans and the devastated areas of neighboring Mississippi. In Mississippi, no public officials tried to take honest people’s guns away—to deprive them of the right to self-defense in the face of societal collapse. When you put signs out that say “Looters Will Be Shot,” you usually don’t have to shoot any. Opportunists and predators look for the weak, the vulnerable, the unarmed and the hopeless. An alert man with a rifle that knows how to use it is none of those things.

My friend Marty Morgan stayed behind in New Orleans—he lived on high ground and had plenty of food and water—and he had a rifle, an AKM. He survived the natural disaster no problem, but knew he might not live through the rampant anarchy that followed. There is no doubt in his mind that, if not for that rifle, he would likely not be with us today.

Handguns are handy in such situations—and I will always have one on my hip in such times—but a rifle is essential. A man with a rifle has options, he can put distance between himself and predators, and he has long-range firepower that is effective at long range, but devastating at close range. A man with a rifle can defend his home and family, or strap it across his chest and walk out, away from disaster and danger.

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