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The rabbi is as right wing as they come, and he comes armed to the teeth. David is a member of the oft-mentioned liberal base. He keeps enough firearms and ammo for a two-month running gun battle. Both men are united in the Glenn Beckian belief that America ain’t gonna make it. That our society will break down, devolving into a less-then-gentlemanly fight for resources. Every man for themselves (and their family). May the best armed man win! Quite how that would play out is a whole ‘nother matter . . .

Our Martin Albright contends that a post-apocalyptic urban dweller’s best chance of immediate survival would be a federal facility of some kind. A “camp” that offers food, shelter, medecine and protection. Which would require you to disarm. Unless you bury your firearms and ammo before entering, the end result would be the same as if you’d never bought a gun or a bullet.

Others, myself included, see the Katrina Superdome fiasco as indicative of the sort of “assistance” Uncle Sam would provide. A hurricane is an event with an obvious endpoint. How would anyone know when a social or economic breakdown was over? Anyway, the feds couldn’t possibly nanny 300 million plus people. You’re better off winging it at home.

Of course, that’s nuts as well. You’d need to stockpile an awful lot of food, fuel and water to survive for any length of time in your house. And if you had that kind of stockpile, and needed to use it, you’d have to defend it. Oh sure you’ve got an AR and several dozen million rounds. But a house is not a fortress. And you and your family are not an army. At some point, you’re screwed.

Well, not necessarily. You might need to defend you and yours temporarily . . .

Martin maintains that a socio-economic breakdown wouldn’t be a single, large sweeping event. It could take the form of a gradual, localized de-evolution. The obvious losers: large pockets of unemployed, unorganized and unarmed members of society’s bottom strata. If they go hungry, well, we’ve seen this sort for thing before.

Generally speaking the result is called a “riot.” We have LOADS of armed professionals to tackle that problem, in the form of the U.S. Army, National Guard and police. Hence the training highlighted by Mr. Beck.

That said, this scenario does indeed present a need for armed self-defense for some, for a while, depending on geography. For example, the East Side of Providence (a.k.a. “the bubble”) abuts onto some less privileged communities. There is no defensible perimeter. It’s possible that upscale economic enclaves would face an riotous assault until armed defenders arrive.

Even if there was a pandemic of intra-society violence, I reckon the iron hand of The Powers That Be would put a lid on it, eventually. My faith is based on the idea that American society has enormous resources and the political structures needed to be . . . flexible. In other words, if large swathes of American society lacked food, water and shelter, American society could reorganize itself to create and provide it. In fact, we do it all the time.

Any “transition” during a time of economic or social unrest would certainly be bumpy. But I don’t foresee a need for “bugging out” or extended “bunkering,” or any practical way to successfully accomplish either without dedicating enormous personal resource to those strategies. Still, maintaining a reasonable stockpile of self-defense armament and ammo (definition paranoia dependent) and achieving proficiency with same isn’t a bad idea . . .

Here’s a better idea: form a working relationship with your neighbors. If you’re going to face challenges above the nuclear family level, threats that the police, National Guard and Army can’t address; your local collective is going to be a better bet than relying entirely on yourself.

My plan for when the SHTF: organize the mother of all neighborhood watch groups. What’s yours?

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  1. My plan is to bulk up and wear an iron face mask, start calling myself “Lord Humongous” and lead a band of S&M bikers across the wasteland looking for fuel. The only thing I still need is a scoped Model 29 in a presentation box.

  2. Seriously though, I agree with the author. Humans are social animals that tend to organize. It is not really possible to have a long-term sustained disruption without some kind of war on our soil. Even in those cases humans still get organized and do things like snatch service age males up off the street. See the beginning of the Korean War”Tae Guk Gi” (The Brotherhood of War) for the true worst-case scenario.

  3. There are 6 homes in my culdesac and all have guns, ammo and people who know how to use them. It’d be pretty easy to organize an effective neighborhood defense. I also do a lot of canning of my wild game meat and garden potatoes, my family wouldn’t need a fridge or freezer for a couple weeks.

  4. Robert, I think you’ve mischaracterized my position. I don’t neccessarily think a government facility would be the safest place to be (FWIW I think staying at home is actually the safest thing to do which is why I don’t like the notion of a “grab and go” bag. Unless there are flames or floodwaters sweeping towards my house, I ain’t going anywhere.)

    However, lets say it’s a Katrina-like situation. You can’t stay at home because it’s under flood waters or soon will be. You can’t take the the highways because the highways are all blocked and you’ll soon be out of gas. Even if you’re not, if the 500 cars in front of you are, and there’s no exit off the road, you might as well be. You could take off to the woods, but remember there’s a hurricane: Drenching rain, howling winds, street signs being hurled with the velocity of cannon balls.

    My take on this kind of “bug out” situation is that too many “gun guys” focus on which guns they’d carry (an AR, a few hundred round of ammo, a handgun, 2-3 magazines, maybe a shotgun…) and they don’t stop and think that you’re in this situation and you get up to the Superdome/Red Cross Shelter/National Guard Armory/High School Gym or some other kind of government (not neccessarily “federal”, but government) facility, and you’ve now found a way to keep your family warm, dry and safe from the marauding looters.

    Do you really think they’re going to let you take your arsenal in with you? Of course not, because they don’t know the difference between a reasonable, prudent gun owner and a redneck yokel or gang banger who’s going to start shooting or threatening people inside the shelter, and they don’t have time to find out. So the choice is going to be a stark one: You can surrender your weapons and go inside, or you can stay out to the mercies of the weather, the looters and whatever else awaits you outside.

    It’s easy to talk tough on the internet and say “I’d never give up my guns” but now imagine your wife, and your children, looking up at you, as you decide what you’re going to do. Inside or out? That’s your choice.

    What, after all, is the objective? Is the objective to hang onto your guns, no matter what? Or is your objective to survive?

    • If my family and I weren’t allowed to bring in our guns we wouldn’t go into any “federal” safe house. If my family needed anything I’d go find it and take it…by the muzzle of my AR if necessary.


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