An Army…with guns (Guest Post)

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“You can not invade mainland US, because there is a rifle behind every door”

This quote has long been attributed to Japanese Admiral Yamamoto, as an argument against invading the United States. It has long been used as a basis for Gun Rights advocates to strengthen the argument of an armed populace against a tyrannical foe.

But the simple fact is, Yamamoto never said that. What he did say was this:

“Should hostilities once break out between Japan and the United States, it is not enough that we take Guam and the Philippines, nor even Hawaii and San Francisco. We would have to march into Washington and sign the treaty in the White House. I wonder if our politicians (who speak so lightly of a Japanese-American war) have confidence as to the outcome and are prepared to make the necessary sacrifices?”

Isoroku Yamamoto spent quite a bit of time in the United States. He attended Harvard University for two years, was twice posted as a naval attaché’ to Washington DC, and spent much time traveling in the US learning our customs and business practices. There is no doubt that he was exposed to the gun culture of the US at that time. So the erroneous quote of a gun behind every door (or blade of grass as sometimes quoted) is not a far fetched notion of his thoughts. In his council of having to fight all the way to the White House, and the sacrifices he alludes to bear striking resemblance to the very real situation we faced at the end of World War II, when we knew we would have to fight an armed populace in an invasion of mainland Japan.

But just how real is that threat? Is there a gun behind every door, or every blade of grass? How formidable is our actual armed populace?

I decided to look into this notion because of a conversation I had with a good friend who lives in Colorado. He challenged me to look at the number of hunters that were in the field on opening day, and contrast that with the number of hunting accidents. The thought process being that America has not just a high number of gun owners, but a large number of RESPONSIBLE gun owners.

So I did.

I used the deer season in Missouri for 2012 as a data point. In Missouri, only one “Buck” or “Any Deer” tag can be purchased by any individual for the season. This is called the Resident Firearm Any Deer Hunting tag. Any number of Antlerless tags can be purchased, but only one Any Deer tag may be used. That number is staggering: 276,379.

I’m going to use this number to make two points. First, let’s look at it from a standpoint of the responsible gun owner.

A call to the Missouri Department of Conservation, Hunter Safety Division provided me with the total number of what they call Hunting Incidents for that year. Now, we must qualify that figure. It includes such things as falling from a tree stand, ATV accidents, as well as firearm accidents. In order to break it down further, I would need to submit an Open Records request. But I have chosen not to. Because I don’t think it’s necessary to prove my point. The total number of incidents in Missouri in 2012 was a whopping 35. Of that 35, 4 were fatal.

Opening day sees the largest number of hunters in the field. It also produces the largest number of incidents. Using the data raw, if 276,379 hunters were hunting on opening day, and there were 35 incidents, we can conclude that the hunters, the gun owners in the field with loaded guns are an extremely safe and responsible bunch of guys and gals. The incident rate is just a hair over .01%.

The other point I want to make goes back to the misquote of Adm. Yamamoto. Consider the number of Firearm Deer Tags issued that year: 276,379.

It is a safe assumption that this represents at least one firearm to each individual who purchased a tag. It’s a good starting point. The fact is, the number is probably far greater here in Missouri. It does not take into account those gun owners who do not hunt. Nor does it take into account the hunter who owns more than one gun. But let’s put that number into perspective.

156,000 – Number of Allies who stormed the beaches of Normandy on June 6th 1944.

70,000 – Number of Marines who invaded Iwo Jima

45,000 – Total strength of an Army Corps

Getting the picture yet?

Here’s another analysis. The estimated population of Missouri in 2012 was 6.024,522. With at least 276,379 gun owners, that amounts to 4.5% of the population armed. At least. It is said that the colonist who actually fought for independence during the revolutionary war was only 3%. I’ll let you think on that.

About Brother of the Phin

View all posts by Brother of the Phin

50 something veteran of the deep blue Submarine Force. Rancher, amateur gunsmith, hunter, conservative.

8 Responses to “An Army…with guns (Guest Post)”

  1. 1

    another vet

    This is probably the main reason why the left in this country is using the gradual Menshevik approach to implement their little Marxist “revolution” as opposed to using the Bolshevik approach of immediate violent revolution. They’d get their collective asses kicked. So wonder they are so hellbent on disarming the law abiding citizen.

  2. 2


    Of further note, the oft-cited scenario of CHL owner shooting it out with each other on the streets has yet to materialize.

    The frightened little girl left has absolutely NO basis for their opposition to legal gun ownership other than the desire for everyone to be as flaccid as they are.

  3. 3


    One of the oft-cited stories in gun lore was during the LA riots after the Rodney King verdict. As the riots appeared to spread, some of the other Hollywood celebs were calling Charlton Heston if he could lend them a gun to protect themselves. After listening to their pleas, Heston said I can’t help you out. The gun control laws prevents me from doing so. But, if I were able to help you, it would be irresponsible of me since I don’t know if you have any firearms training.

    Whether this is a true story, or not, it underscores what many who advocate for gun and ammunition restrictions do not understand of firearms owners – for the most part, we are a responsible lot.

  4. 4

    Nanny G

    As an eyewitness to those riots I note that 53 died.
    Only 11 of them by police (all shot while looting/setting fire to businesses.
    One neighbor of mine had been out with a boyfriend when the riots began.
    He brought her home safe on his motorcycle.
    Then rioters shot him to death and stole his bike just a block away from where he dropped her off.
    All covered by KTTV from their flying camera crews.
    My husband was at work and tried to hurry home, but even he had to evade rioters who were blocking exits of the freeways with tree branches and palm fronds.

  5. 5


    @Nanny –

    From the Middle East, it looked all surreal. We wondered what was going on back home. One of my teammates who was from LA said be glad we’re here and not there. He heard an old neighbor of his family, months later, barely made it home.

  6. 6


    @Nanny G:

    So, we are left to consider why the establishment leftist race-baiters and the media are trying so hard to instigate “black lives matter” riots all over the nation to take on the (much better armed) local police.

    I propose that the protesters lives do not matter to the elites rabble-rousers. And why is it that the inciters in the press are not being arrested for incitement to riot?

  7. 7

    Missouri Red

    Consider the number of Firearm Deer Tags issued that year: 276,379.

    Don’t use that as a bottom line number…we have several guns in the house, but we did not go deer hunting as we are too old to traverse the Ozarks. We go to the gun range every month. Keep in mind those of us who have guns but don’t hunt.

  8. 8


    I stopped at a fast food joint and noticed the more señor citizen next to me getting out of a rattle-trap truck. He was crippled and barely getting around, but he had all these USMC stickers pasted over the rust on his truck and something about pulling his weapon from cold dead fingers; I am fairly sure he was deadly serious.

    The WWII guys are passing on fairly quick, my dad will be passing on before long; he was one of those 19 year old lieutenants. Soon the Korean guys will be falling, but until then, there are millions of vets in this country. Many of them have no interest in hunting, but poke those old boys with a stick and you may soon have a rude surprise. I know I don’t want to prod them.

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