The John Brown Gun Club generated a bit of interest when they had an open carry protest in Phoenix calculated to show the alt-right that the anarcho-communist left was capable of exercising their right to armed self-defense.

They said they were “ready to rumble” with their opposite numbers on the far right, and in  recent video, drove into the Arizona desert and filmed a “range day” event that miraculously didn’t end in serious injury or death.

Watch it for yourself, though I’d warn you that it’s much better muted so that you don’t have to hear their awful music.

First, whoever selected a rock-strown hill as a suitable backstop, especially when they have easy access to one of the nicest public ranges in the world, is a complete moron. Perhaps the PJBGC chose to add their horrible musical accompaniment to cover this video to cover the sound of ricochets.

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One of the very first things I notice about the video was how close the members of the PJBGC stood to engage their targets.  While it’s not uncommon to use carbines to engage targets at 7 yards in carbine classes, that distance is typically chosen to work on very specific skills exploring such topics as mechanical offset, transition drills, recoil management in Bill drills, etc.

That’s not what we’re seeing here. We’re seeing slow, deliberate, aimed fire with rifles against stationary targets mere feet away.

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Perhaps the most amusing part of the video is their bizarre attempt to replicate a Colonial-era firing formation.

The formation itself is utterly absurd with modern weapons, and the group merely poses a huge, compressed target. If they were dumb enough to actually form ranks like this in a combat situation, we’d see someone go Benjamin Martin on them and end the entire group in less than a minute.

At the 2:04 mark before these modern day Redcoats opened fire, you can hear their nominal commander order them to take their weapons off safe. There’s then a jump-cut, as they apparently had to show this militia how to to manipulate the safeties on their weapons.

The video was heavily edited, and all the jump cuts while people were on the firing line strongly suggests to me that they were cognizant of numerous malfunctions and safety violations, and tried to remove as many as possible before they put what they could of the “range day” online.

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What they apparently didn’t know enough to edit out was the disturbingly consistent pattern of:

  1. engage target
  2. lower the weapon to point at/near the shooter’s foot with the finger on the trigger
  3. take the finger off the trigger
  4. engage the safety

There were a number of jump cuts as shooters came off target and began lowering their weapon, suggesting that their behavior was either dangerous (turning with the muzzle pointed at their comrades, failing to engage safeties, etc) or showed them to be poorly educated/trained (problems with basic weapon manipulation).

Of course, the alt-right doesn’t have any room to talk. I’ve seen their tactical cosplay as well, and most of it isn’t any better.