Close this search box.

The “Rifle Approach” to Healing America

Table of Contents

For many years, President Ezra Taft Benson was worried that patriotic Americans were effectively spinning their tires in their current methods of defending the Constitution and attempting to preserve freedom. He voiced concern that we are swinging at the branches by trying to solve all of this nations greatest problems individually, but actually making no lasting progress.

The Shotgun Approach

President Benson called this the “shotgun approach”, saying that we are metaphorically spraying pellets, hoping that some of them will stop these problems.

Abortions, outrageous taxation, out of control deficits, $20+ trillion of national debt, civil asset forfeiture, a failing public education system, rapid moral decay, a growing welfare state, threats against the right to bear arms, out of control illegal immigration, debilitating student loan debt, skyrocketing divorce rates, shrinking family sizes, militant atheism… Need I say more? This nation is crumbling in virtually every way imaginable.

The Task at Hand

The natural tendency is for us to rally our allies and resources and fight back against these issues as largely disconnected special interest groups.

This might have been effective 100 years ago. But at this point, the problem is simply too large for this method to work.

In an excellent talk called I Testify by President Ezra Taft Benson, he provides a vision of what we are up against.

I testify that wickedness is rapidly expanding in every segment of our society. (See D&C 1:14–16; D&C 84:49–53.) It is more highly organized, more cleverly disguised, and more powerfully promoted than ever before. Secret combinations lusting for power, gain, and glory are flourishing. A secret combination that seeks to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries is increasing its evil influence and control over America and the entire world.

(October General Conference, 1988)

President Benson warned that at this rate, patriots who are concerned about the trajectory our nation is headed would completely give up. He said the shotgun approach will 1) waste our resources, 2) exhaust our energy, and 3) discourage the people.

The Rifle Approach

Rather, President Benson recommended we use the “rifle approach” to heal America. He explained the process as follows:

  1. We must make long lists of the greatest problems facing America today, perhaps a list of the top 100 problems.
  2. Then we need to categorize the problems, grouping them based on similarities.
  3. Then we must evaluate entire categories of problems, asking ourselves, “What happened to the Constitution to allow these types of problems to exist?” It may be that principles of successful government were violated either by changing or ignoring constitutional standards.
  4. Prioritize the resulting list of constitutional violations to determine which clauses must be restored first, resulting in the greatest impact per ounce of energy.
  5. Develop a comprehensive plan to restore the political process itself, thus categorically eliminating the problems at their roots.

President Benson, and many other prophets, promised that America would be saved. This is how we must do it.

Things that matter to me

I use this site to share ideas and insights about things that matter to me. It’s an archive of my favorite content and a place to share great information about politics, religion, and science.

About Jacob

Obsessed with learning new things. Trying to learn and defend truth.

Living in Idaho, graduated in Financial Economics from BYU-Idaho, and getting ready to launch several civic education projects.

I own a website and marketing business called ArcFires. Keep an eye out for my upcoming civic education projects: Liberty Library and the American Center for Civic Training.

Recent Comments

Leave a Message

ArcFires Websites & Marketing

Liberty Library

American Center for Civic Training

Related Posts

Liberalism and Conservatism

Many believe the political divide in the United States is quickly widening, and unfortunately, there’s data to back up that conclusion. Articles and publications from

Read More »

Inalienable Rights

I’ve developed a pretty unique perspective on rights over the past decade. We claim that rights come from God, yet few are able to draw

Read More »

Biden is President—Now What?

These are my notes for my January 22nd, 2021 Zoom call discussing the long-term impact of Trump’s administration, Biden’s election/administration, the capitol riots, the future

Read More »

You Might Like...


Letting Go

Tonight while reading The Peacegiver, I had a really powerful image come to mind. I’m not talented enough to write or paint this, so I’ve

Read More »
Jacob Householder

Is Judas a Son of Perdition?

Note: This article is currently being reviewed and edited. Feel free to leave feedback! Due to an interesting back-and-forth discussion in Sunday school today, I

Read More »