I’m a prepper, he’s a prepper, she’s a prepper, wouldn’t you like to be a prepper too? Actually, I’m not much of a prepper. I have enough food and water to last a week or two (for two), a few guns and around 30k rounds of ammo. Yes, well, there is that. Like many People of the Gun, I got into quasi-prepping through firearms. Tipster One_if_by_land1776 emailed a link to a UK SKY News piece on U.S. preppers. He wonders how many people are coming at it from the other direction: preppers getting into guns. I guess that depends on . . .
How many people are getting into prepping; ’cause you can’t really prepare for the end of the world as we know it without thinking, ‘hmmm, maybe I should be armed.’ Last year, dailymail.com pegged the U.S. prepping population at 3 million and growing. SKY News is down with that. Today’s report US Families Prepare For ‘Modern Day Apocalypse’ (from which the above video was scraped) is tough on both prepping and the causes of prepping.
Why is it happening? Partly, no doubt, because it allows Americans to indulge in some of their favourite pastimes: consuming, camping and buying lots and lots of guns.
And partly because fear sells, drives up numbers for cable news, and increases sales for everything from dried food to assault rifles.
But it’s also arguably a sign of a country coping with economic decline. The end of the American Dream has left people more uncertain about their future, and their country’s.
And if you thought that was as condescendingly dismissive as a UK news channel can get, wrong!
It is also a fundamentally American phenomenon. In a country built on the radical individualism of its founding fathers, people have an inbuilt mistrust in their government’s ability to protect them.
Sociologist Barry Glastner wrote The Culture of Fear. He told Sky News: “Americans are fairly unique as world citizens in that we tend to believe that we control our own destiny as individuals to a much greater extent than we really do.”
Ironically, he points out preppers may actually be reacting to their fears in the least effective way. Dangerous weather, terrorist attacks and economic collapses are all best dealt with by higher authorities, he said.
“Where there are real dangers, to take an individualistic approach is usually exactly the wrong thing to do. So the kinds of things that the preppers are preparing to protect themselves from are much better handled on a community-wide basis than they are in your own home.”
Or not. In any case, preppers are amongst us. And the antis. How great is that? [Note to Dad: teach your daughter to GET OFF THE X.]