Long Range Shooting Handbook: The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Precision Rifle Shooting (Ryan M. Cleckner)

Si vis pacem, para bellum. If you wish for peace, prepare for war. So said the Romans. But there is a corollary, another truth, also as old as mankind. If war is certain, you had best prepare. It is not for nothing that one of the article categories on The Worthy House is “Wars To Come.” Something wicked this way comes. Make ready.

Our enemy, like the famous engraving of Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan, is one Thing made up of many individuals, each playing a different, yet coordinated, role. Its frontline troops, today at least, are BLM and antifa. Its directors are men such as the evil monkey George Soros, together with many more shadowy puppeteers, all leading members of our ruling class. Its protectors are the “justice” system of most large cities and the federal Deep State, force-multiplied by the free-of-charge services of innumerable malice-filled lawyers. Its enablers, funders, supporters, dupes, and sycophants include much of the rest of our ruling class—the entire Democratic party, most media, most big corporations, and the Lords of Tech, along with many ordinary people. All these venomed heads together weave a deadly pattern of attack, but each is merely a manifestation of the same single enemy.

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That enemy’s aim is the invariable aim of the ideological Left since 1789—acquiring total power by any means necessary. To what end power? In order to achieve their goals. What are those goals? Parodies of emancipation and justice, the former meaning in their diseased lingo that the unclean and undeserving shall be elevated while the decent and deserving are oppressed, and the latter meaning the fruits of talent and labor shall be stolen at gunpoint and handed over to the incompetent and shiftless. To what future do these goals lead? Not to their utopia, but, as always when the Left gains power, to the destruction of all human flourishing, enforced by the killing of any enemies who dare to oppose the new masters, or might in the future oppose them, combined with the terror killing of random innocents. Hence—“Wars To Come.”

We should not believe that America has an exemption from the inevitable historical pattern of Left repression and terror, simply because for much of our history we were blessed by circumstance and luck. In no place where the true Left has gained total power has the result differed, ever, from France in 1793 to Cambodia in 1975. Nor should we be fooled that our own acquaintances and neighbors will not participate. History shows otherwise, and the “whys” are well-covered by many works, such as Darkness at Noon and Ordinary Men. Rod Dreher is wrong that “soft totalitarianism” is coming if the Left wins. We already have soft totalitarianism; it is merely an intermediate stage. Such an imperfect condition cannot be allowed to permanently exist, in the conception of the Left, because it implies that ultimate justice, so sweet, just within reach, may legitimately be delayed, whereas as we all are constantly lectured, justice delayed is justice denied. The totalitarianism will be hard, or it will not be at all.

It is not that I want war. I am middle-aged, too old now to have a young man’s eagerness to fight, and too well-informed to think that war is anything but terrible for most of those involved, even if it is necessary. Moreover, I am keenly aware that no man knows he is not a coward until he is tested—and if I am honest, I would prefer not to be tested. But one thing is certain—our world cannot flourish and advance until the Left’s vision is permanently erased from the globe. A tall order, for the seductive nature of the Left’s lies make it unclear how erasure could be accomplished. All I know is that its complete discrediting is necessary, which means we probably have a long way down to go before we can go up again. In the meantime, we must play the hand we are dealt, for our own sake, and for our children’s sake. In the classic words of Tolkein, placed in the mouth of the wizard Gandalf, “It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.”

Thus my reading of this book. Book learning by itself is poor preparation for battle, as I have noted before. Still, every person should have at least basic familiarity with weapons, and a basic suite of weapons on hand, against opportunistic wildfire violence of the type spreading today, and also to allow organized group response to coming coordinated attacks. I am quite familiar with gun mechanics, and adequately competent at using several different platforms, but deficient in precision shooting, in both theory and practice, which is why I chose this book.

Shoring up weaknesses is important; my core weakness is not precision shooting, a somewhat specialized skill, but inadequate training in all arms, combined with no practice outside of low-stress environments. But we go to war with what we have, and fill the gaps as we can. Book learning is part of preemptive gap-filling. Other than Peter Turchin, who would have thought that in the Year of Our Lord 2020, I would not only have pulled forward my reading of this book (and others), but I would spend time laser ranging landmarks around my house, marking distances on a large map set up on a whiteboard? Not me. But here we are. True, I cannot yet use the ranging myself, not competently, but perhaps it will be useful for others by my side—and given a little time, and this book, at need my accuracy will be better than it would have been otherwise.

The book is excellent. It is a primer on long-range shooting, a competent introduction to all relevant topics from an experienced author, Ryan Cleckner, layered with his opinions on key matters. We cover bullets, powder, and rifles. We cover aiming systems and accessories. We cover crucial technical matters, most of all measurement and ballistics, naturally. We cover practical matters, such as scope mounting and zeroing a rifle. To be sure, the best method for learning weapons skills combines three elements, not in order but together ongoing: books such as this (and there exist several others, some much longer and more detailed); actual shooting; and supervision by experts. Without all three, and some talent, you won’t get very far. But you have to start somewhere, and in an emergency, the ability to simply put reasonably-aimed bullets in the air, or even to project a credible threat of doing so, is something, and merely reading this book and working on skills yourself will make that possible.

In a very real way, we are fortunate in our enemies, for it is the nature of the Left, based in unreality as they are, for their reach to exceed their grasp. Thus, their terror tends to burn itself out, as they turn on each other and their opponents take advantage of resulting disarray. For similar reasons, unable to restrain their eagerness to impose their will, the Left has this past summer begun the wars early. A smarter strategy would have been to wait until November, hoping first to regain complete control of the federal government. Now they must spend energy on creating smoke screens, using their control of the media and the Narrative to try to hide the wave of racist terror they have unleashed across America, afraid they have showed their cards too early. As long as elections are held, being the proud sole owner of the position of “unhinged violent racists” is not a great position, in America as it still exists, yet there the Left sits, with only themselves to blame.

None of this is surprising from a meta-historical point of view. The cycle of ever-increasing political violence is inevitable with the Left, so it is no shock that death threats are already being made against prominent people on the Right, most notably this week against Michael Anton. I have said for some months that the next stage in the Left’s game was political murder, since we have already reached the stage of street violence and the stage of lethal attacks on police. Hopefully it won’t be Anton—I like his work! But such political murders, at this stage at least, tend not to be focused on specific pre-chosen individuals, but to be semi-random and opportunistic, conducted by lower-level operatives with the tacit approval of their directors and handlers. For example, James Hodgkinson’s failed attempt a few years back to assassinate the Republican leadership of Congress (memory-holed by our traitorous media) is a classic example; such happenings will become more common. Go look up José Calvo Sotelo.

However, if Trump wins in November, instant very widespread violence is inevitable, both mass attacks and targeted, dwarfing anything that happened this summer. It might proceed quickly to full civil war; much depends on whether the Left is willing to split America, and on what the military, divided between a corrupt leadership and a mostly based array of combat troops, does. But if Trump loses in November, and the Left cements political power, we will still get to the same point, just a bit slower. My guess is the flashpoint will be confiscation of private firearms.

The Left is fully aware that ending private ownership of firearms is the most critical element of maintaining their power, which would otherwise erode as their malice is inevitably exposed by their rule. This is why Lenin summarily executed anyone found with a firearm, except those approved by the Bolsheviks, and the same pattern is always repeated, to the extent the Left can implement it. Preventing fighting back by preemptively disarming Americans has always been their goal, but they have been frustrated by Americans’ unwillingness to cooperate. Unable to use Lenin’s method, yet, their fallback game plan has been a long-range one, the salami tactics used by the Left in every society before they rip off their masks—slice away gradually at the rule of law, most of all by using special powers granted during engineered pseudo-emergencies. With respect to guns specifically, such tactics have been very successful in the rest of the Anglosphere, from Britain to Australia. First, they demand registration, along with promises that registration will never lead to confiscation. Second, they confiscate whatever type of weapon is used in some unfortunate event, using the registrations. Rinse and repeat, accompanied by shrieking, threats, and histrionic lies.

But Britons and Australians, compared to Americans, are sheeple. (I know; I am married to an Australian, and have spent a lot of time there, and in Britain.) And there is no bedrock right to guns outside America—not that the Left isn’t perfectly happy to simply void the Second Amendment, but the existence of the constitutional right permeates the attitude toward guns here, something absent abroad. Thus, the Left has never been able to even implement their first step in America. Yes, they have in Left-dominated states, to a limited degree. That’s useless to them, though, as long as Right-dominated states still have free ownership of weapons. In fact, in some ways it’s counterproductive, because it telegraphs their intentions. Thus, a national ban on all guns is necessary, and moving rapidly toward it will be among the first acts of a Harris administration.

After this summer, where they unwisely tipped their hand, Americans, who responded by buying guns in large quantities, are not likely to stand still for this. The Left cannot ignore noncompliance, for not only does that defeat their aims, but it exposes their weakness. So they will immediately unleash their jackbooted thugs to enforce compliance, starting with killing carefully chosen unsympathetic targets (e.g., a supposed drug-dealing, “white supremacist” child molester who also owns numerous guns) as an exercise in terror. At that point, the rest of us will have a choice. I suspect the correct one will be made, though it is hard to tell, and under the barrage of propaganda combined with censorship, cutting through the noise may be hard.

What results will probably end in the defeat of the Left, even more so than if they had begun their war after a Trump victory. It is always necessary for Left hegemony to crush the spirit of resistance; hence their use of terror. But America, despite its aging and wealth, still has far more of a spirit of resistance than any other major country in the West. And in an age of 3D-printed guns, not to mention that something approaching a billion guns are in private ownership in America, and trillions of rounds of ammunition, anyone with a will and some willingness to take risks will always be able to get weapons—and with a basic weapon, he can get more and better weapons. There is good reason that historically armories are a prime target of insurgencies, and once this party starts, it will be impossible to stop until the matter is decided.

So, regardless of the mechanics of what will happen, what the future will be depends on us. If you are not already prepared, it is hard to buy guns and ammunition now. Still, do what you can. Most of all, do not stick your head in the sand, or play Pollyanna. Attention now, and action, rather than delay, when needed, will pay rich dividends later, for you and your people. And, back to this “review,” you can do a lot worse than cancelling Netflix and spending some time reading this book, and others like it.

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