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So You Think You’re Leonidas With a Rifle…

Before I get beyond the first sentence, I need to say that it is not my goal to make someone butt hurt, but if the shoe I am about to describe would fit, then lace it up and wear it. If you are offended by this article odds are that it is directed at you.

There are people who say Molon Labe and truly mean it, but the vast majority would quite literally piss down their leg if the fight ever came to their doorstep.

With the attacks on the Second Amendment coming from all sides, there has been a sort of catchphrase that has arisen that lets everyone know you are a firearms guy or gal, and you are ready to fight to the death to protect your firearms. The Molon Labe movement as I call it has unified us as firearm people and protectors of our rights, and for that I am proud. But what I am absolutely sick of is where I will piss off many.

If you know me on a personal level, you will know that I’m not a fan of the morale patches. I realize I am in the minority on this one and that’s fine, if most of the world agreed with my views we would have some serious issues to deal with, but I digress. It seems that many people have morale patches that show off their inner Leonidas with sayings like “Come and take them”, “Embrace the suck” and “Major League Gunfighter”. Unless you are in Afghanistan/Iraq/Africa or other hostile fire pay zone, or have fired a shot in anger in your life (and I don’t mean because you’re pissed off that your $800 AR is jamming) my personal thought is you need to take that shit off your backpack and get back to reality. There are truly rough men in this world that do the dirty work to keep us safe, these men are the true Major League Gunfighters, even though they would never use that term, mainly because truly badass people don’t talk about how badass they are. They don’t self-promote, they don’t call themselves gunfighters. They are quiet professionals; they do evil, but in a very good way.

If there were men on this Earth that could claim Leonidas status, it would be men that have answered the call, in battle, amidst the chaos that comes in battle, and have proven themselves to have mettle; not a middle aged balding guy who watches “Rifle Kata” DVD’s and fashions himself a defender of the Union. While earlier I said I was proud of the Molon Labe movement for helping to unify the firearms community, I am still at a loss as to how the aforementioned self-proclaimed gunfighters will stand up, scream Molon Labe, and take on the US Government in a fight to the death, when most haven’t been in a fist fight in their entire life.

To me if you are willing to tell someone to “come and take them” and I walk up to you, punch you in the face and take your rifle, you had better be ready to shoot me on the spot. If not, then take that shit off and help fight the anti-gun people by other means. The anti-gun people have it in their heads to confiscate all things that go “boom, bang, pop, and snap” and to this end we will see a fight. But don’t say “come and take them” and then just turn in your weapons when the police show up for your gear.  Because the time may come when you have your chance to stand and fight, but don’t threaten an armed march on DC just to prove you have balls. As a Weapons SGT once told me, there is a big difference between courage in the face of danger, and danger in the face of stupidity.

A friend of mine in the People’s Republic of Kalifornia has told me for the better part of a year that there are people who can fight on the front lines, and there are people who can help those who fight. Much like Combat Arms and Support units in the military; one is no more important than the other, as they have to have each other in order to be successful. I am not saying not to fight the asshats that are pushing their anti-gun agenda on us, I am saying stop trying to be Billy Bad Ass, and just be Regular Joe who supports our Second Amendment.

If I haven’t managed to offend you yet, stick around, because next up I’ll be talking about embracing the suck.


51 Responses to So You Think You’re Leonidas With a Rifle…

  1. Old Man P June 18, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

    Thank you. I’m glad someone finally addressed all this molon labe BS. It’s amazing how everyone wants to pretend they are a badass. Well done SGT.

  2. Sovo June 18, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

    Hahaha, I agree to most people haven’t been in a fist fight their entire life (not saying that I am one of them).

    What do you say to Infantry who haven’t been in a gunfight while serving, though (got a few buddies I know, two active and one reserve in the Corps)?

    Or those equally if not closely trained in rifle and pistol tactics and high threat training (e.g. via Academi, Craft Int., or other training outlets)?

    Are those guys “ok” to wear those patches in your opinion or must they legitimately train in the Official Special Operator tradition by signing up and doing their due diligence to be considered “eligible”?

    Mind you these are questions to get your honest opinion and see what you think, not to exploit you or piss you off in anyway, thanks.

  3. pase' doble' June 18, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

    Thank you SGT Ray! I am NOT one of these guys and spend my time listening to these nitwits bravado. Can I shoot? Sure. Do I regularly take training from professionals? Sure. Am I in fairly good shape? Sure. Am I your go to guy in combat? An emphatic F**k No! I REFUSE to wear that gear because I haven’t earned it. If the day comes that I am needed for this, I promise to be the very best ammo carrier I can be!

  4. Jeremy June 18, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

    As a proud member of the Average Joe Support Squad, I couldn’t agree more. When physical limitations kept me from joining the fight in person, I began my support efforts through various charitable causes and political action groups. Being a lifelong gun enthusiast and retailer doesn’t make me “an operator”. It makes me a family man with a desk job and a passion for things that go bang. You won’t find any patches over here, but all of us at the Suburban Arsenal do love a good t-shirt! I’ll send you a copy of our latest as soon as we get them back from the printer.

  5. Godngunz June 18, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

    Very well said. I work at a very popular gun shop in my area and I get to see the full spectrum of patch wearing self glorification. Someday the time might come when those folks get the chance to “walk the walk”, until that time, I also believe you have not earned those patches. It is my intention to train hard, support the second, and stays humble because I’m not a “major league door kicker” as the patch describes.

  6. Yough Pirate June 18, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

    Well said SGT Ray!

  7. Jim ”Seamus” Harrison June 18, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    Right on! Okay, so that gave away the fact that I am an old man. My Army training taught me my own limitations, physical and mental, some thirty plus years ago. While I engage in activities to ”protect and defend”, these are mostly exercises of my God given rights in the form of writing my elected officials and making a pain in the ass of myself. Yes, I will fight with my last breath to keep my firearms, but I know that I’m not a Billy Badass who proved his mettle in the heat of battle. Nor do I need to wear a patch to boost my morale. Just a regular Joe who has some skills learned years ago. I love my God, family and country. Mess with them and you will hear from me.

  8. EmptyMags June 18, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

    Molon Labe has turned into a political statement. Nothing more. Sure, some ‘average Joe’ gun owners would stand and fight if they had to. Sure, it’s likely that most would shy away. But because of the unity it has brought among the firearms community, I support the notion for that phrase specifically.

    On the otherhand, if you play at something you’re not (Major League Gunfighter), you’re likely a dbag.

    Also, can I get a “Major League Gun User” patch? I’ve never fought with a gun, but I’ve sure used the hell out of em!

  9. Lou June 18, 2013 at 2:08 pm #

    I am a citizen and a patriot, and have the mindset that I will hurt anyone that tries to harm me, steal or by aggression against me or my family take or destroy something of mine, and have no problem taking someone out that attempts it. I’m not the biggest badass of them all. I am determined to protect what is mine by any means possible. I’ll give you the shirt of my back for the asking if you ask me, but try to take it without my permission, and I will resist by all means possible. I am used to pain, and stubborn as a mule, still have my teeth, and can take a punch better than most. I am as friendly as they come, but as mean as I need to be. Just an ordinary guy. I seek to live peacefully with others, and will let you do so, as long as you let me.

  10. Jim June 18, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

    Probably most will never know how they will react until the shtf. I know I won’t just as many of the Patriots didn’t in the Revolutionary War or the War between the States. I have found most people have different ways of reacting to danger but one thing I have seen over the years is that when anyone is backed into a corner or feels that their loved ones are in danger then look out.

    • EmptyMags June 18, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

      ^^ this is the truth on the matter. Most people don’t know themselves how they will react to a situation they’ve never been in before. You can plan or train for it. But until the time to act comes, no one truly knows. Not even the individual.

      I think that if a loved one or myself was a victim of a violent attack I would have the juice needed to use force to stop it. I think that if faced with a situation where I may have to sling up my rifle and fight and I believed in the cause, I would do it.

      Until those times come (hopefully they never will) – I can’t say for certain that what I want my reactions to be and what they really are, are the same thing.

  11. aaronymous June 18, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

    I, too, am a proud member of the Average Joe Support Squad. I have the phone numbers of my elected officials (their offices)saved in my phone and I have the US Capitol Switchboard number saved in my phone so I can CALL my elected officials and be heard. I’ve written snail mail and email to them, multiple times. I’m behind the lines in Kalifornia and I probably know the face of this battle a little better than many of these guys in states where the 2nd amendment is under far less threat. I donate to and support organizations like Calguns, people who are fighting the fight everyday in a courtroom, because right now, THAT is the theater of battle. I love this post. I also love SGT Ray Gunbunny’s bio.
    Full disclosure, I have some California Republic patches, some Haley Strategic dragonflies and of course, a Monderno patch.

    • Brandon June 18, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

      I have Monderno patches too (haha) which SGT Ray gives me crap about ALL the time. He’s grumpy, you see.

  12. lo7us June 18, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

    Agreed, I am often surprised how people see themselves as more patriotic or verbalize a “dominate” behavior once armed. Perhaps somewhere in my youth I lived the life of “get some”… then when fighting to keep myself and my crew alive, I “became” the armed threat to my enemies. Not something I would brag about… actually quite the opposite. I did what I had to do, what I was highly trained to do, and then I came home… this was the real shocker, knowing how to stand-down when would-be “alpha males” would test their dominance. Recently I was used in a TV news report, as a member of the vast majority of level-headed, safety practicing, registered gun owners who complies with all laws. I felt the responsibility to show the many who fear what they do not understand, that we are not aggressors, we are protectors. If I have learned anything in my extensive “live fire” life… is the calmer you get, the better decisions you can make. I firmly agree, lets’ not “rattle the saber” when confronted… let the enemy expose themselves first… and make carefully coordinated surgical strikes where it counts, the republic of LAWS… if you don’t like a law, you have a few choice, the best one is to respect it as part of a process, and change it! When you are in the “fog” you need to be the calmest one there to prevail. Yes we are under attack, but being rational trumps emotional responses. One of the reasons I’m still alive (and a hardened leader) is using my head more than my arms. I respect my brothers in arms, and hope you are able to see the point of not yelling threats.

  13. Stephen June 18, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

    Best commentary I have read in a long time. Honest, truthful and from someone obviously living in the real world. Thank you.

  14. Greg Toal June 18, 2013 at 2:59 pm #

    I think it’s called …. “POSEUR”

  15. Stranger June 18, 2013 at 3:38 pm #

    Well, call me neutral. I have “seen the elephant” and know all too well about the confusion of combat. But I have also seen a Caspar Milquetoast who has never been further than the county seat almost casually relate how he was awakened from a sound sleep by three guys in his bedroom. And how he reached under his pillow, drew his .38 and put one wadcutter center mass in each of them.

    I long ago came to the conclusion that you cannot tell how people will react. This little red headed lady made the news when she took a knife away from a guy, kicked him out of her van, and then ran over him. A 77 YO dude in the wheelchair shot two guys kicking in his door. And a civilian grabbed a frozen with fear cop’s gun and accurately returned fire when lives were at stake.

    I will observe that when the chips are down, the citizens success rate in criminal vs armed citizen encounters is just over 90 percent.


  16. clay June 18, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

    As a broke down Grandpa, my days of being a badass are years in the past. I will gladly support those who are truly badass.
    So if you need a camp cook, let me know. But with all my physical problems, dont expect me to “saddle up” anymore. I know I’d be a major liability.

  17. elimn8uGene June 18, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

    Average Joe checking in…I do use a MolonLabe avatar on a few sites I must admit but I make no illusions about my abilities as I’m an old dog trying to learn some new tricks…I will support those who can to my utmost!

  18. TK June 18, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

    Well said SGT. Having said that…

    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ bitches.

    • Brandon June 18, 2013 at 5:44 pm #


    • EmptyMags June 18, 2013 at 6:54 pm #

      ^^ Win! lol

    • Sovo June 18, 2013 at 11:14 pm #

      Ooh ok! I’m not important enough to answer so fuck it, I’m with TK

  19. Chris June 18, 2013 at 5:58 pm #

    Who gives a shit?

    Not everyone who put’s “ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ” in their email or in a sentence or on their backpack in the form of a patch is trying to be a “Billy Badass”. Some people honestly like poking at the asshats in office. Some people are saying it to inflate their ego. Some say it because they just think it’s cool. Whoooo really cares?

    Personally, fuck the government. They are ass backwards and full of shit. They are treasonous and scandlous. They need to know that we, as United States citizens will not lay down for them if the time comes. If they care to go door to door,


    • Brandon June 18, 2013 at 6:03 pm #


  20. David June 18, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

    Excellent read. I have to say that you, the others below me, and myself sound like we are cut from the same cloth. I get tired of those who are quick to pound their chests. I completely agree, but I will say that you’re wrong about the quiet professionals doing evil, in a very good way. There’s nothing evil about what those brave men and women do. Their kills are justified in battle. It’s not murder, which IS evil. Other than that, the blog post is spot on!

    • Joe June 18, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

      Im a combat vet and Im not a bad ass so I know that the guys that never served, or served in non-combat MOS’ arent either. That said I have to agree you never know how an individual will respond in any given circumstance. Ive seen grown men cower in fearin combat, Men who had on previous deployments fought like caged animals. Everyone has a breaking point. Also as used as a political message it is truly effective it can also be a great conversation starter with someone not up on their history. I dont wear any patches although I confess to a now worn off Molon Labe decal on my truck. Molon Labe is to Gun guys and gals what the peace sign is to hippies and wannabes.
      Keep your mags topped off and Semper Fi!

  21. Jonathan SnodBlog June 18, 2013 at 8:31 pm #

    I don’t always take carbine courses but when I do I’m a gunfighter

    • harry golden June 19, 2013 at 6:16 am #

      hahaha… Snoddy!!! we took our carbine course at the same place… al anbar baby!!!

  22. Brenda June 19, 2013 at 10:02 am #

    Excellent article. It set me free. I’m a newbie to this fight. I’ve never shot a gun, I have a Makarov, I’ve never shot it. I will have my CCL in September. The county I live in in Oregon is backed up 4 months on issuing licenses. I wholeheartedly support the idea of fighting till the last bullet but I know I’m not up to the task. The thought of an all out war against the leviathan is terrifying to me, but I will NOTsuccumb to the to the tyranny. I’m glad there is a place for me in a support capacity. I will probably purchase some patches, tee shirts, and wrist bands, they will go on my dresser with my other collectibles. I really love that “Come and Take It” flag that Jeff Quinn has! I’m thankful that you were able to articulate what I was sensing and now I can feel a part of the team without having to go full out badass!

  23. Stephen June 19, 2013 at 11:14 am #

    The only morale patch I wear is a US Flag. Only one I want.

  24. Billy Bowers June 19, 2013 at 11:26 am #

    Billy Bad Ass no! Served from 1966-1970 part of that time was shot at. Got out worked as a Fire Fighter/Paramedic for 29 years got shot at there also. During this time I worked as a Reserve Deputy/Paramedic on a SWAT team. Been with the Sheriff Dept. now for 20+ years. Am I now an Old Man yes, Am I now out of shape and wore out Yes. Laid up right now with total knee replacement. Now If you try to hurt me or my family or someone else I love will you be hurt Yes. Do I think My SH*T doesn’t stink NO. Do I still train yes. Never judge a book or a man/woman by the way he/she looks on the outside they may surprise you and you might die.

    • SGT Ray June 19, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

      “truly badass people don’t talk about how badass they are. They don’t self-promote, they don’t call themselves gunfighters. They are quiet professionals; they do evil, but in a very good way.”

      I’ll just leave this here, I thank you for your service during that time, as I know it wasn’t the time where all things were warm and fuzzy. I wasn’t trying to truly piss anyone off, more just put it out there that if your gonna talk crazy about how badass you are, don’t be surprised if someday someone pimp hands you back down to reality.

      FYI I would never judge a book by its cover, the worst ass kicking I took was by a 5’2″ Puerto Rican, after Slim & Swinging Dick decided it was a good idea to make fun of him about his height….. Those little bastards left me there to take that whoopin while they were in the parking lot laughing…

      • Billy June 19, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

        Sgt Ray, Didn’t piss me off, I quit getting pissed off years ago. There are just some out there that look at someone for what they see on the outside. Be ware of Old men because you don’t know how they got to be old. Some of the meekest people I have ever met were MOH recipients’. Keep up the good work.

  25. godgunspolitics June 19, 2013 at 11:38 am #

    I agree that if your pretending to be the billy badass that you aren’t, it means you’re just an ass.

    That said I wouldn’t be totally dismissive of us non-badass civilian types lol several conflicts throughout history have shown that the American citizen can rise to the occasion pretty darn well.
    While I pray that no need for the cartridge box even besets our lands in my time, I also pray that should it come, that I am able to act properly as an American to defend my freedom as best I can. Whether in combat or no. As has been said, I don’t know how I’ll react in those days, but I know how I want to. And as a Texan we have a history of normal citizens standing up to tyrants; After all “Come and Take it” isn’t an exclusively Greek idea .

    • Brandon June 19, 2013 at 12:07 pm #


  26. mason0528 June 19, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

    1)I, sadly am not Leonidas with a rifle. Have you seen my gut? It’s a pony keg, not a six-pack. Sadly-er (it’s a word, I just made it up, go with it), the keg is filled with Natty Light… never mind.

    and B. ‘Embrace the Suck’ is such a great phrase! I just want to use it in regular life such as:
    ME- Embrace the suck!
    PERSON OF RELIGION OF PEACE- America Great Satan, derka derka Jihad!
    ME- Smile and wait for the flash to meet Allah! *BOOM* Embrace the suck!

    So while I agree with your premise, I shall endeavor to seek out Embrace the Suck merchandise!

  27. SPC C June 19, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

    I agree that the guy who bought his first black rifle after the mass shootings and shot a tin can for the first time since boy scouts probably should not be wearing the patches you are referring to. I think that you have forgotten why we wear them though, especially here in Afghanistan. For us, it’s a proverbial F*** Y** to the unrelenting crap that a soldier see’s almost daily.
    -Embrace the Suck, the heat, the sand, the rotten stench, and some bright desk jockeys idea. You either embrace it for what it is or it will consume you whole.
    -MLG, you might have me on that one, unless your a tier 1, A type personality that personally teaches others of the same caliber, then your probably playing triple A ball at best. Then again, most of the ANA make the peace corps look like a SF group.
    My favorites
    – Harden the F**k up – Everybody is going through the same shit, Plus you signed up for this, Man up
    – Why This – The afghans broken English has turned this into a great phase when spotting something stupid
    But on a serious note, I carry on me or my gear.
    I have a small HS dragonfly on my collar that is never seen, just reminds me messages that Travis has ingrained into my every day life. A disruptive environments specialist patch. I currently run 4 weapons systems including a SAW and it really stands up to the meaning of ‘Disruptive’ And last but not least, A POW/MIA patch, that say, Bring em home, or send us back. A mission I would volunteer for without hesitation for the rest of my life.
    I haven’t been home for awhile, I really hope I don’t see 400lb sloths at the local gun counters with MLG patches or Embrace the suck. The worst suck he’s seen all year was shoveling 2 inches of snow or mowing the lawn in August heat.

    • SGT Ray June 19, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

      Just wait for the next article, the Embrace the Suck will be much along the lines of this.. And the only patches I ever wanted to wear were the ones I earned, but then again I’m no body too. Men such as yourself and the men I fought with, and those who came before us give us all the right to wear a pink Effin BRONY patch if ya want to…

      • leonidas June 21, 2013 at 12:18 am #

        While I appreciate and honor the service of “rough men,” they didn’t give me squat in the way of rights. Rights are inherent and the source can be found elsewhere. So climb down from the false self deprecation and realize that you ain’t all that, either.

  28. Doc June 19, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

    Having been downrange in the Sand Box (2004 -2005 and 2008 -2009) as a combat medic and get the reasons for a lot of ‘morale’ patches… a typical if not natural response to Military BS, especially the beaucracy, PC ROE’s and assorted unnecessary shit, So … Embrace the Suck just about tells you all you want to know about the M.E. my fav though was the instruction patch wore on the back of the choppers crews flight helmet, Get In, Strap In, Don’t Touch Nothing and Shut the F**K Up. I have 3 in my truck, one on the passenger side dash and one each on the back of the head rests for back seat drivers…
    Keeping it real one day at a time.

  29. Chris Duram June 19, 2013 at 8:47 pm #

    Tactical Beard Owners Club. Because i have a beard and its toungue in cheek. Not because my beard operates in operations.

  30. Alpha Mike Foxtrot June 19, 2013 at 10:19 pm #

    How is this any different than Monderno using the Spartan helmet?

    Butthurt & offended, not on YOUR life. As a Greek from the Sparta region, last name ends in “is” ; ) , and as an American and a LEO, it’s about mindset and spirit. We’re taught from a very young age that you NEVER back down. Good or bad, right or wrong, you draw the line, you take a stand, you fight for what you believe in, you’d kill for it or you’d die for it.

    If those 4 inspiring words bring together so many, what’s the problem? Like people from all walks of life coming together during a natural disaster and helping each other, these 4 little words are doing the same. Here’s another, maybe you’ve heard it?


    In these trying times, wouldn’t it be better to inspire the masses to come together, than to make fun of them ?


    (that’s Greek for Victory)

  31. Marc June 20, 2013 at 11:34 am #

    Your wearing your patches wrong.

  32. deadhorse June 20, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

    I don’t see what the big deal is. If it brings more awareness to the “movement”, be it cursory or “all in”, then do whatcha have to do.

    Personally, I like the morale patches and collect the ones I like. However – I do not go around wearing the like of the “MLG” or “MLS” or “MLD” or ones that imply I am something I am not. That’s just me. I prefer the satirical ones or the Texas related ones(just scored the LaRue Texas dillo patch!!). There are a few of those patches that I do “qualify” for, having BTDT in the AOR numerous times but I do not necessarily go out of my way to buy or wear them.

    As for the average joe sporting something he doesn’t “qualify” for, it is none of my business. This is a free country(supposed/used to be, anyway) and he is entitled to purchase and wear wtfever he wants. If he turns out to be someone that is less than the patch he is wearing, that is fine with me. All I ask is that if the SHTF, he stays the hell out of my way.

  33. jarhead in dixie June 20, 2013 at 9:10 pm #

    Agree with the article. Either you’ve been outside the wire and put your ass on the line or you’re just another freaking fobbit wannabe. Does not take away from those that truly mean what they say though. I figure less than 1% would stand in the population and of those 75% will be vets. Just my thoughts though. We should however take some of these guys and gals under our wings and help motivate them properly should that day ever come. Bravado from either side is as much a deterrence to the direction that our nation as chastising them for wearing shit they don’t really rate. JMHO>

  34. dannyexplosiondannyexplosion June 23, 2013 at 12:38 am #

    Lighten up Francis.
    But since you are all telling me what to wear because of how you feel about patches and stuff
    When you punch me in the face and go for my rifle can I stab you instead when you are in close like that ? Bullets are so hard to come by these days.
    I wear no patches or slogans but if you do whatever… the movement is so much bigger that that.

    • Brandon June 23, 2013 at 11:18 am #

      Who leaked that SGT Ray’s real name is Francis!?! No one was supposed to know…

  35. AlleyF July 4, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

    Still waiting for the next article, my curiosity was quite piqued…

  36. John July 8, 2013 at 1:21 am #

    While it was an entertaining read based on an initial straw man argument (Molon Labe = you claim to be Leonidas), any opponent would love to ask: what can we assume about someone who wears a Moderno spartan helmet morale patch?

    Don’t forget to buy your spartan helmet moderno morale patches right here, folks!

    • Brandon July 8, 2013 at 9:19 am #

      I think perhaps you missed SGT Ray’s point John. And it’s Monderno, not Moderno. Have a good one.