Taiwan’s Civilians Prepare To Fight…With Airsoft

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A recent video from The Guardian features interviews with several civil defense activists in Taiwan who want to better prepare their people for an invasion. But, Taiwan’s government officials clearly need to get over their fear of armed civilians for this to do the most good.

Let’s first take a look at the video (article continues afterward):

While the country’s government doesn’t allow civilians to possess firearms, there are some very committed people trying to do as much as they can with what they can get. The video shows a group of citizens working with airsoft rifles doing drills, which would definitely help them learn about sight acquisition and basic marksmanship. The event’s organizer is very clear about who might be at the business end of any guns the group might later receive: China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), or “anyone else that is endangering the civil rights.”

Kuo Chiu, aka “KC” lives in Taichung, around half way down the island’s western plains. The name of the city literally means “Taiwan Middle”, as opposed to Taiwan North (Taipei) or Taiwan South (Tainan). These three cities, along with all of the others between them, would face the brunt of a Chinese invasion.

This story goes all the way back to 1949, when the communists won the civil war and took control of the Chinese mainland. Nationalists under Chiang Kai-shek fled to Taiwan and intended for years to retake the mainland. While Americans support Chiang over the communists, it wasn’t because he upheld western values like democracy or limited government.

This began decades of brutal military dictatorship (known as the White Terror) on the island that sometimes included mass killings like the 228 Incident. Native Taiwanese (who had been there for hundreds of years) and Taiwanese aboriginals (who had been there since at least the last ice age) were treated poorly compared to those who fled from the mainland.

Without a second civil war, Taiwan’s people managed to successfully push for governmental reforms after Chiang died. The military dictatorship ended, multiparty rule began, and the military was transferred from Chiang’s party’s control to neutral civilian control. Most civil rights were strengthened and restored. But, one aspect of the military dictatorship remains: strict gun control laws.

But, given how hard it was to peacefully regain freedom, Taiwan’s citizens aren’t about to just sit there and let Xi Jinping come in and take their freedom away again.

KC is a professor of urban design at the local university, so you might think he’s the last person who might lead a militia training effort, but he tells The Guardian that his knowledge of the built environment in Taiwan led him to think about how important armed civilians might be in the future if fighting happened in the country’s dense urbanized environment (with 25 million people in habitable zones smaller than many U.S. states).

“So, if any invaders come in, if the civilians are trained for urban warfare the invaders will get into serious problems,” he said, referring to the possible use of snipers and RPGs from various building heights. He started with his original basic military training and then sought out professional help to make even better plans for not only fighting, but other vital skills like first aid.

One thing that really brought his attention to the problem was the invasion of Ukraine. Seeing that country fight off a much larger foe inspired him to seek out ways Taiwan might do something similar.

While many are doing medical training for the first time, airsoft and paintball have been popular for decades. Only now, instead of just playing, experienced instructors are working with civilians to give them legitimate training in rifle, pistol, and transitions. Nobody expects to achieve “tier one” skills like instructors with actual weapons do, but they do expect to at least be able to help protect their local communities.

What’s still unclear is how a wider mobilization would work out in Taiwan. Many of these patriotic citizens are more prepared to fight than ever, but the government still has no plans to distribute weapons beyond those called up for reserve duty, which would be a relatively small percentage of the overall population.

It’s pretty clear that Taiwan needs to relax their weapons laws at least some, even if they aren’t going to go for unrestricted carry or even “shall issue.” Allowing people to get training, go through some kind of background check and then get a permit to keep a rifle and ammo on hand for emergencies would be a big improvement over what they’re doing today.

At least some people in Taiwan aren’t going to wait for permission, though. At least one man has been caught building FGC-9 3D-printed guns (link to story here, use your browser to translate into English). According to one investigitator: “(The suspect) does not have a background in science and engineering. He is a forklift driver. He has been trying to learn related 3D-printing technologies online since September last year.”

If one person has been caught, hundreds if not thousands more are probably doing a better job of hiding it. So, if China were to invade, the communist bandits might find themselves haunted by the ghost of JStark1809 in much the same way as the military Junta in Burma.



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