The Ultimate Firearms Destination for the Gun Lifestyle


Across the firearms industry, there is a sense of hope rising in 2020, as events, some influenced by mankind, some natural, have shown that in the end, we are the ones most responsible for our own wellbeing. For many people that meant buying their first firearm, for others, that meant seeking out training to become more proficient with what they have. Through the pandemic and social unrest many were woken up to the realization that No One Is Coming To Save You.That is the motto of RUNENATION.

While this knowledge may sound crippling at its face, for those familiar with the writings of the Stoics and of Ian Strimbeck, know that the obstacle is indeed the way. It is facing the daunting task of taking such responsibility that leads to living a better life, and being a better marksman.

We had an opportunity to talk with Ian about overcoming adversity and defeating censorship.

What is the mission of RUNENATION?

“From the macro perspective, my goal is to help individuals see the greatness and possibilities within themselves. Many people look at what I do from strictly a firearms standpoint. Sure, I teach how to run a gun faster, how to shoot more accurately, and that is the vehicle I use to deliver the information. From this broader concept, its about growing confidence in those who may not have it, or restoring confidence in those who may have lost it over the years. It is transforming students into better people than who they were yesterday.”

runenation ian strembeck

How did you start teaching ?

“I got out of the Marine Corps in 2010, and moved to the draconian state of Massachusetts, and that's where I got my feet wet teaching the very basic concepts of firearms instruction. For example, in Massachusetts you have to take a Basic Firearms Course, which is six to eight hours of death-by-powerpoint going over the very basic concepts of firearms ownership, such as the various types of firearms. So as an instructor you are supposed to have one of every type of firearm from lever action to pump action, double action handgun, single action only, double action only, and so on so that people can become familiar with them. They (students) would have to pay a fee for the course and then another fee to the state. I did that for a bit, and started teaching more advanced concepts with live-fire, because the Basic Firearms Course didn't even require you to fire a gun.”

“I then started teaching under someone until 2014 when I graduated from college with a degree in journalism, and modern psychology. I moved up to New Hampshire, and kept teaching under someone else. In 2017 I left my full time position in a corporate environment and have been teaching as RUNENATION ever since.”

RuneNation has a distinct aesthetic, which you talk about in your Discourses. You present your brand as wanting to build people up, to make them better versions of themselves. This industry is often about being a better protector, a better person. We're dealing with a world, however, that doesn't seem to like that message. What challenges have you faced getting your message out?

“The most obvious is branding and marketing across social media platforms that choose to limit what tools you have available. For example, Instagram will deny any branded sponsorship opportunities if the content is in any way gun related. So, regardless of that, so even though I cannot pay for a branded sponsorship, I've just remained relentless at getting content out there, which is where many people give up early on, which also applies to other things like shooting, jujitsu, building a brand, or even raising a family. Even if it's inches at a time, it is relentless commitment to moving forward. I feel that this is where many people get discouraged as we live in a world where everything is instantaneous. You can pay for 1 day shipping, which doesn't apply to getting a black belt in jujitsu or building a business.”

You touched on the censorship of the industry, which is a touchy term. Do you have any examples that you use to show what it looks like?

“I haven't seen examples of them singling me out, but anyone in the firearms industry deals with their content being limited in some shape or form. Which is why I talk about being relentless, whether it is hardware like parts or software such as training, people fail when they rely solely on branding themselves instead of having other people spread their word. They're limiting themselves in that way.”

runenation ian strembeck

Printed on your shirts is the phrase “No one is coming to save you.” Which is a heavy thing to say, and a dangerous thing to censor if true. Can you explain that more?

“I think about it as time. There's only so much time in our day, and we're only allotted so much time in our lives. The only thing guaranteed in life is that some time our heart will stop. That being the case, there's nothing I can do right now to stop censorship, to suddenly make it disappear, and it's not like people's businesses will magically start to grow if it just disappears. The only thing I can do is what influences my personal circle. And the moment we try to reach for excuses or point fingers, we are burning that time. Time that we can't get back.”

“I don't really care, I don't let it hold me back. Rather, the moment you accept that everything good or bad that happens in your life is your fault, regardless, it opens many doors for you. When it comes to censorship, whether in the media or the firearms community, it's about putting in the work, day after day, and not making excuses. We cannot go through our lives having our hands held.”

“Many people have never been placed in adversity before. From my perspective, we'd find a whole lot less people with anxiety or depression and less suicide if people embraced adversity and struggle on a day-to-day if not habitual basis. We're in a time in society where people view it as a negative, where they avoid it like the plague.”

“Adversity or struggle works like a baseline that people can compare with their current difficulties, and the only way that people can grow is to fail and to fail forward.”

rune nation ian strembeck rifle


While some of Ian's lessons can only be gained through his courses, there is much to glean from his philosophical take on life and training. There is truly no way of escaping struggle and difficulty on this earth, and even if it were possible, many great minds from the past have concluded that it would render life not worth living. We can either choose to be crushed by adversity, or learn from it.

Year after year, the statistics show that Americans recognize the Second Amendment embodies this principle in our government. It gives teeth to the idea of self-ownership and self-reliance. To see what I person truly believes, look at what they do.

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  1. Mikial says:

    I can’t express how much I appreciate people like Ian and the massage he sends to everyone. I never plan on anyone coming to save me or mine. My wife and I take care of ourselves because we know we have to. We plan and train for it and in many ways we prefer being responsible for ourselves. My son lives across the country from us and his girlfriend was murdered by her ex a little over a month ago.

    She had a protective order and even though the ex violated it four times in a month, the police did nothing. He finally ambushed her as she was getting out of her car in front of her apartment and shot her 8 times in the head. My son was on the phone with her when it happened and was the first on the scene. He tried to save her with CPR but he knew she was already gone.

    I spent 12 years in the Army and then 13 years as a private security contractor in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, and I put the lessons I learned in my life into every single day no matter where I am. All anyone with any common sense at all has to do is read the news and they will quickly realize that we are all on our own. No one is coming to save any of us.

  2. Paul Compernole says:

    Teach your girls to shoot your ass off. S 4 ur loss.

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