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Saturday, April 02, 2011


This is Steven Petrick posting.

I had mentioned that if "Battle: LA" were actually going on, I would be heading towards the "sound of gunfire and explosions and the rising pillars of smoke." It is not so much that I think I could do anything individually to save the world. My current physical limitations are such that the best use that could be made of me would be to position me somewhere you needed to not have the aliens capture. I am not able to rapidly run away from them or rapidly charge towards them, but I am quite capable of standing my ground, to the bitter end if need be.

So, what can I bring to the dance? Among the things I have is a fairly eclectic selection of firearms ranging from a shotgun to a .22 rifle. WhatI would take is my Mini-14, because it can use the standard round used by the U.S. Military (cal .223/5.56mm), and I have a good collection of magazines. I also have, from my days in the service, a secondhand set of LBE (Load Bearing Equipment), including magazine pouches and a canteen. I have some Battle Dress Uniform jackets that still fit, after a fashion, blue jeans, and some well broken-in boots. I would probably take a BDU cap. I have a selection of hand arms (ranging from a .22 up to .44 magnum), but I lack anything in the 9mm range. (If I ever win the lottery, I will pick up a 9mm pistol, but for now I lack one.) I do not have copious supplies of ammo for any of my pistols, and so in the name of saving weight I would forgo taking one on me personally.

I would, however, load every one of my firearms and all available ammunition into the car before I headed out to the front, as well as any containers of water and cans of food I could acquire. I may not need to use my 98K, but there may be someone willing to fight who knows how to operate a bolt action rifle and he can have mine, as well as any of my other weapons. This is "win the war; worry about the losses later."

If I wound up with real combat troops, then the first time someone is no longer able to use his M16, I will replace my Mini-14 with his M16 and swap out magazines. My Mini-14 can fire the same round, but the barrel is not designed to use the hotter loads modern M16s fire. I will loot casualties of things, like a helmet to replace my hat, unused grenades, a radio. These make me more useful to the combatants (since I would not be aware of the aliens tracking the radios).

I have served before, so I have some useful skills. I can take over a machinegun, or if held in the Forward Operating Base I can serve on a mortar crew.

I know how to follow orders. I know the difference between cover and concealment, although arguably what is cover against an M16 may not be cover against the aliens' small arms and I will need to learn that difference and quickly.

In short, from a standing start at my home I can arrive in the combat zone semi-equipped to fight (I do not have a radio, but I have a first aid kit, food, water, weapons, ammunition, knives, an entrenching tool, binoculars, clothes, boots). And I have at least a modicum of the knowledge of how to conduct myself in a combat zone and function as part of a military unit.