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I’ve got a soft spot for survivalists. I like the idea of self-sufficiency: growing your own food, rationing water, maintaining a septic system, etc. Mind you, I wouldn’t have a clue how to do it. In fact, I’d probably be that wide-eyed nutcase with a fancy AR come to raid your garden for my starving family. Anyway, has a guest post by Frank Bohan that starts innocently enough—and then makes me question my decision to give the “preppers” a pass, and makes me wonder (again) about the limits of armed  self-defense . . .

I have a good friend who is also a prepper. He has it all; a great retreat fully outfitted with food, guns ammo, workshop, garden etc, etc, etc…. I stopped by one morning un-armed when he was playing the “what if” game.

He looked me square in the eye and said, “Frank, I can not believe you walked in here without a sidearm. What if I pulled my gun on you? You’d be defenseless! “

Knowing my friend well, I knew this was no real threat. I had been in his home many times before and subscribed to most of the same catalogs he did as well. I told him that I was far from unprepared, knowing that if he did indeed pull a gun on me, that I would see his movement and easily reach up to my right and pull down the face of the clock on the wall where I knew he hid another gun in the ready and draw bead on him.

My wife was upset with me for spoiling his hiding place.

Are you prepared?

Or are you over-prepared?

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    • Ok, I have a retreat. I have 20 acres, remotely located, with a well and natural artesian. I have a commercial size generator there, a house with basement. There is a separate dwelling, a mobile home, anchored down and surrounded by porches and a raised roof above and over all. There is a tank full of diesel and a Massey Ferguson tractor with all the standard equipment. There are two steel barns with an equipped machine shop and a steel shed securing the tractor. Fertile land surrounds all and there is a deep freezer in the basement. I have many different weapons and approximately 2000 rounds for all but 2 calibers. There is fence line around all and the house is equipped with a full alarm system. If IT is ever coming, that is where I’m heading.

  1. On the flip side, knowing how to grow your own food, how to maintain a septic system, and having a system to ration water are all skills associated with the dark, secret, underground world that is sometimes referred to as “growing up in Arkansas.”

    Where I live right now, we have spent at least a week without power due to huge ice storms twice.

    I can’t recall how many times we’ve spent a from several hours to a day or two without power due to severe thunderstorms, lightning strikes, or drunken Jim Bob crashing his pickup truck into a power pole along the road.

    We are fully prepared for at least a week without either power or the ability to resupply necessities because we’ve lived it twice in the last 11 years.

    And right now, I have tomato plants, basil, cilantro, mint, peppers, garlic and pumpkins growing. Decided to not raise the cucumbers, beans and watermelons this time around.

    Going back to my earliest childhood, I have lots of experience raising corn, beans, potatoes, okra, squash, peanuts, bell peppers, turnips, lettuce, cabbage, carrots, onions, you name it, not mention raised and killed my own chickens for food.

    I dug so many potatoes as a child, that I refuse to grow potatoes until it’s grow potatoes or starve.

    But I do think having a plan to pull a gun on your friend who pulled a gun on you because you didn’t have your own gun first is a little wacko.

    • Roy, Yes! The spices you are growing will make everything taste better, folks forget about about that – good job!

    • Seems I grew up a lot like you, Roy. I grew up in Northern Canada with my grandfather (family issues – I took his side) in a cabin. We had well water and had to pump it manually to get it. We had pipes and had to have wood in a fire to keep them from bursting. The wood did not get itself. We lived on a road that was not kept by the city or province. We cleared the road. The knew all the rabbit trails for snaring, we knew all the moose trails for shooting, we knew which areas would have grouse hanging out in the trees. We knew where the best fishing was and we knew which ponds had the most ducks nesting. We grow all kinds of crops in soil six inches to one foot in depth (glacial habitat – soil was scraped into the ocean) with nothing but granite beneath. All in all we had a hard but very rewarding and sustainable lifestyle. Best of all guns were viewed as a tool much like a hammer or saw. Not like the fools who have it too easy that mark them as evil.

  2. In all seriousness, my family and I are prepared for a 1-2 week disruption of the system. Here in the desert Southwest, if the water is shut off for longer than that, we leave. Period.
    Any attempt to “survive in place” without a consistent source of running water here is doomed to failure.

  3. Funny, how what people call survivalist used to be a way of life in the USA and like Roy Hill replied still is in parts of our country. Am I prepared? You bet. Follow the Boy Scout Motto “Be prepared.” Over prepared? Depends on the scenario. But I am prepared to fire up any “wide-eyed nutcase with a fancy AR come to raid (my) garden for (their) starving family.” However if you ask nicely, I’m also prepared to share.

    • Perfect prepper answer! In these tenuous times a gun in every room is not paranoid it is practical.

      • No, it’s definitely paranoid. Don’t take my word for it. Ask a mental health professional. Seriously: if you have a loaded gun stashed in every room, get help.

          • That might not pass muster with your mental wellness care provider either. Especially if there are allied symptoms: hypertension, insomnia, etc.

        • Been there, done that. Maybe it is a result of having had people after you, with the intent of killing you and yours? Oh, I forgot, liberals always know better-until they have an attempted home invasion or a drug dealers” contract out on them as an honest cop.

          • You are legally free to keep a gun in every room. Do what you like. Make it two. I’m just telling you that if so, it’s probably because you are nuts. That level of danger is incredibly rare among the general population. It’s possible you are military counterintel or a mafia informant, but probably not. In the usual case, people are just watching too much TV.

            This has nothing to do with “liberalism.” It’s about mental health.

          • Nope, I just pissed off a family of drug dealers when they were being arrested for murder. One tried to slash me and I put him down, hard. A phone conversation was later recorded as one of them made a call from the jail, to kill me and my family at home in retribution. He had years added onto his sentence. The phone call revealed that he had my home address and a count of all in my home. As for the home invasion, that can happen to any one at any given time. The police cannot get there fast enough. As for the former, I even had a bullet hole in the hood of my van from someone sniping me as I left work early one morning.

  4. Seem like great skills and routes of self-sufficiency to me. He’s willing to spend the money and time preparing all of it, I absolutely don’t see a negative to it.

    • Here are the negatives I can see: He spells America with a k: Amerika. So he’s a fruitcake. Also, he and his good friend don’t even trust each other unarmed. That’s f**ked up. That’s not preparedness; that’s mental illness. The only way to elevate the perceived threat level beyond that point is to imagine that the wife and kiddies are plotting to get the jump on you.

  5. Survivalism sounds like my childhood. I still remember the skills I just haven’t had the chance to use them very much moving around for the Army.

  6. I never thought I was paranoid but our resident TROLLS insist that we’re all paranoid because we love guns, so it must be true. I don’t think that you can be over prepared, so just do your best with what you have.

  7. Paranoia is an irrational fear. It is rational to fear dying of starvation, dehydration, poverty, and murderers. These things are common but largely preventable ways of death. It is rational to prepare for the causes of these bad ends. It most surely seems to be that our American empire is going the way of the Roman Empire – it is most prudent, not paranoid, to prepare to the greatest extreme one can.

    The Zombie Apocalypse is getting nigh. Are you going to be prepared, or are you going to be a Zombie? Are you going to learn to live, or are you going to go through life acting out that miserable mass manufactured charade scripted by the powers that be and dictated to you by the state? Are you going to learn to use your own skills and judgment or are you going to continue to allow the state to determine what you eat, what you drink, what you drive, what kind of house you may have, and every other important thing in your life? Are you going to be prepared, or are you going to find yourself one day with wallets and pockets overflowing with worthless paper money staring into an empty refrigerator knowing that the supermarket is also empty and you think to yourself “What’s for lunch?”

    Brains of course! Those people who are unprepared for the Zombie Apocalypse because they are one of the Zombies will have to turn to desperate measures to sustain themselves. What kind of future are you building for yourself and your loved ones?

    Another question for those who think they aren’t a Zombie – are you prepared for a minor routine mishap of modern life, such as a blizzard, tornado, hurricane, etc – or are you prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse?

    • Hopefully it’s those “Dawn of the Dead” type zombies and not those “28 Days Later” zombies, those bastards are fast.

        • 28 Days BGs were not zombies. They were people who were infected with the “Rage” virus. That’s why they died of starvation, not head shots. Geez, do I have to tell you guys everything?

  8. I think a rooftop solar electric system would be an excellent emergency preparedness item, but I’m still trying to learn if my suburban home owners’ association rules allow them. Other than that, we’ve got food and water (or water purification) for at least a few weeks, and a modest supply of gasoline to get us out of Dodge if survival in place is not an option. And of course I’ve got a rifle and shotgun or two somewhere…

  9. Just cause you’re Paranoid doesn’t mean their not out to get you. Prepared to do what it takes hopeful that I dont have too. Si vis pacem, para bellum.

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