Jon Wayne Taylor shotgun coronavirus
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[ED: We originally ran this post in March of 2020. You’ll probably remember what things were like then. COVID is no longer the issue it was and ammo is far more plentiful, but we have other problems and lots of people seem to be anticipating interesting times in the next 12 months. My next door neighbor just asked me for help in getting a good carry gun as she no longer feels safe venturing out in many areas where that was never a consideration before. So read on and think about JWT’s advice. It just might come in handy.]

We are all getting a lot of advice these days. Some of it is even good advice.

If you are reading someone telling you what to carry, how much ammunition you should be comfortable with, or how you will behave in a gunfight, and they have not actually been in a gunfight themselves, much less prolonged combat with multiple aggressors, by all means, keep reading those articles. Keep reading them, but please understand that you’re reading it for entertainment purposes only, because there’s no real valuable information there at all.

Here’s what you can do in times like these — and just about any other — from someone who’s been there.

Carry a gun. - JWT, circa 600BC (image courtesy JWT all rights reserved.)
Rule #1: Carry a gun. JWT, circa 600 BC (image courtesy JWT all rights reserved)

Folks who read TTAG will know I have some experience in this subject. There is some value in the fact that I’ve had multiple combat deployments, and have been in direct fire at ranges from 15 yards to way-on-out-there. I’ve been attacked by known opponents and “friendlies” alike, and with all sorts of weapons.

But what’s actually valuable is my work as an Army medic, EMT, firefighter, and in search and rescue, as well as swift-water rescue. I’ve worked disasters in this country and others, and I’ve worked in first world and third world countries. I’ve been a shelter manager.

I’ve seen societies pull together and I’ve seen them tear themselves apart. I’ve lived through hurricanes and floods and survived just fine. What I say here comes from that actual experience. There are some things that make a big difference when times are…challenging.

You should always carry a gun and know how to use it well. What gun? Any gun that you know how to use well.

How much ammo should you carry? As much as you can carry on your person. That’s it. It’s really that simple.

What should you do if you already have thousands of rounds? You should shoot some of them. That’s what they’re for. You should practice and keep in reserve at least what you can carry on your person. At least.

Just as important, get to know your neighbors and know your environment. It’s never too late to do that. You might have to do it by phone, email, or just waving and talking over the fence, but get to know the people within a short walk from your home. They are the people who are most likely to help you…and the people most likely to be a threat. Either way, it’s a really good idee to know them.

Stay in regular contact with your friends and family. They may need help. You may need help. Help each other. A simple daily email, text, or phone call has been the difference between life or death many, many times.

Help your neighbors any way you can. (image courtesy JWT all rights reserved.)
Help your neighbors any way you can. (image courtesy JWT for TTAG)

Serve your community. If you are available to deliver food, do that. Call your church and ask them how you can help. If you don’t go to church, call any church and ask them how you can help out.

Food pantries need a lot of help. Call the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, anyone you can think of to get involved. If you are in a small rural community, call the local fire department and ask them how you can help.

Beyond just being a decent human being, there are sound strategic reasons for the above. The people around you are either assets or they’re threats. If you engage with them and you pay attention, they are also sources of intelligence. They may also be sources of assistance if you’re in need.

You may not want to think this way, but every one of those people is also a possible threat. They’re much more likely to be threats if they are desperate. Desperate people do desperate things. The more you know about them, the better off you are.

In general, people who are fat and happy are far less likely to rob you. They’re also much more likely to help the person who helped them than the stranger they don’t know and are wary of.

Know when to fold 'em. (image courtesy JWT all rights reserved.)
Know when to fold ’em. (image courtesy JWT for)

Finally, always be ready and able to leave. The best advice I ever heard was from Charlie Brown’s Linus, when he said “Nothing is so big and so scary it can’t be run away from.” In any environment, you should have a way to leave where you are if it’s no longer safe.

Plan on how to leave, where to go that will be safer, and how to get there. When you decide you aren’t safe where you are, the time to go is now.

If you have 2,000 rounds on hand for each gun you own, great. If not, the time to remedy that is now, not when things are starting to look iffy. If you’re well fixed you can use your money to fill your gas tank (and keep it that way) and help other people…options that are far more likely to actually make a difference to your own safety.

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  1. Excellent advise: “You should always carry a gun and know how to use it well. What gun? Any gun that you know how to use well.

    How much ammo should you carry? As much as you can carry on your person. That’s it. It’s really that simple.”

    Doesn’t get any simpler.

    • Have a gun, know how to use it and have enough ammo for it. The mission is to break contact and get away from the bad guy. It’s not the mission of a soldier or law enforcement. Poke holes in vitals fast and make him lose interest so you can get away. Anything too hard to shoot fast with pinpoint accuracy faster than he can shoot you is fine. Even .22 will do if it hits the right spot.

      If you can’t shoot it fast and with pinpoint accurately because it has too much snap and recoil then it isn’t going to do the job before he does the job on you.

  2. And if spoon fed marching Americans are to ever cease believing Gun Control is sugar and spice and everything nice don’t forget to Define Gun Control by its History…

  3. At last inventory just south of 50,000 rounds of various calibers. 3 full trauma kits/multiple wounds and surgical equip. Food stores for 6 months minimum. 300 gallons of water and multiple purification methods. We also have our own SHTF group, with specialists in several fields. Something that has been in the works for over 30 years. Really, it got it’s start back in the 80s, and has been building since then. We usually get together a 2-3 times a year, to have a party and talk things over. Interesting topic in today’s news. NASA has finally started being some what concerned with the God of Chaos asteroid, that is projected to pass within 20,000 miles of earth on Friday, April 13, 2029. Well inside the satellite ring. Should those projections be off by even the slightest degree. It could well be a SHTF situation, up to and including an extinction event. The possible panic alone could well destabilize society.

    • “And don’t look at the vomit ads…”

      At least they aren’t the ads promising to help you “Empty your bowels completely”… 🙁

    • Never see any ads here. Rarely see any ads anywhere but Breitbart has figured out a way to get the occasional one through every once in a while. You just need to know what to run and how to set it up. Everything I am using is free except for a basic android phone. No huhu.

  4. If you expect to get into a firefight on a regular basis with no DoD resupply 2,000 rounds is not a lot of ammo.
    Practice and train with the idea of a first round hit. Otherwise shooting through 6 or more rounds to hit what your aiming at is a quick way to turn rifle into club.

  5. Insert “It’s Happening” Ron Paul meme.

    2024 will be just like every other bullshit year. No calamity, no catastrophe just plenty more ledger fudging, international meddling and political shenanigans that’ll have all the boomers pretending society was ever civil.

    Still plenty enough reason to arm, train and carry because 2024’s psychotics are the same as 1024’s and the same as 3024’s.

    • “No calamity, no catastrophe just plenty more ledger fudging, international meddling and political shenanigans that’ll have all the boomers pretending society was ever civil.”

      Considering that the ledger fudging, international meddling and political shenanigans often lead to rather spectacular results, historically speaking, I’d need a definition of “calamity” and “catastrophe” before agreeing or disagree with this statement.

      Particularly given the fact that both can be viewed as a “benefit” or “good fortune” depending on your point of view.

      The methhead trying to harm you instead trips, falls on his own knife and impales himself through the aorta. For him, that’s a calamity. For you, it’s the best thing that will happen today.

      In the current political context, the situation might well be reversed depending on your politics. 800K+ illegals since Oct. 1, calamitous or the best news in the past 20 years? Depends on your point of view.

      • We already have
        -prices outpacing wages
        -too many people, legal and otherwise, for the available resources
        -large scale refusal of “authorities” to enforce the law or prosecute criminals
        -states adopting ante bellum tactics of refusing ballot access and checking racial purity
        -an obviously propped up market where everyone is trying to time the rug pull

        Yet we still live. Comfortably even.
        I figure things aren’t too bad until the banks stop collecting mortgages because that’ll indicate there is no longer any point to keeping a ledger at all and any enforcement mechanism that would come for that mortgage no longer exists. That’s when questions like which dog should I eat first start creeping in.

        Until that point it’s all just more of the same bullshit that’s been weighing us down since day one.

        • By resources i mean housing, medicine, doctors. Not the sort of nonsense from “Make room, Make room” that keeps climate changers up at night. Our shortages have been created by bureaucracy and economic policy.

        • Agree Shire-man. I see America in perpetual boiled frog mode. One day people will look around them and wonder WTF happened and it will be too late. Until then, I’m not seeing any SHTF scenario. 2020 proved enough will bow down when told to.

          I’m more concerned about dangerous individuals in my sphere than big picture calamities.

  6. I’ve done the “volunteer” and “friends and family route.” What did I learn? Almost everyone takes advantage of those better prepared and more well off than they are. I’m f*ing tired of it, myself. The word “friend” to me more likely than not has eventually meant “mooching idiot.”

    I’ve had enough.

    I’ve got more than enough for me and mine, and I have the means to defend it. Everyone else can f* off. You’ve had plenty of time to prepare. I am NOT your fall back position, so go starve and die of exposure somewhere else. I don’t give a f*.

    • Way back in the 80s (when the Stock Market was still, somewhat about, funding business growth and investing in the market was about buying/holding companies with VALUE) there was a theory that any chimpanzee with a dart board would do better on buying/sellling stocks that ANY fund manager.

      Today……. A coffee vendor is “worth more” than Ford or GM (as is a silly useless battery car company). Dozens of companies that do nothing of unique or intrinsic value are “more valuable” than any manufacturer.

      • In the early 2000’s people were saying this about Google. It’s just a billboard company that doesn’t produce anything of value.

        What all these tech companies produce is of great value. The planet is run by psychologists and each of these tech products are their means of running experiments, testing theories and collecting data.

        If Skinner was right, that there is no truly free will, then what these companies produce is absolute control.

  7. I can walk out my door onto my porch and start up my house, pull up on a chain or drop a couple of lines and be on my way in minutes. We usually travel a few thousand miles every season migrating with the seasons.

    Traffic is almost always light on the water and rare is a traffic jam like on the roads. Fuel tanks are kept always full, water tanks usually OK, reverse-osmosis desalination gear can fill ’em up again pretty fast with the motor running anyhow. Got enough solar and wind even near winter solstice to keep the batteries charged without ever running the engine and we can raise the sails and move without burning fuel and even cross the Atlantic if we had to without needing much fuel. Food? enough for months boondocking in the wilds and can always supplement protein with fishing/hunting on the water.

    We are OK on firepower too, but we don’t talk about that, especially in the boating community we are in.

  8. I got a Savage Steven’s bolt action single shot with the back sight missing and two .22 Wildcat bullet’s. I had 3 but I went target practicing.

  9. Very good advice. Never deployed at the level the author did, but I have had to look SHTF a couple of times. Social breakdown is a cast iron bitch.

    • “I’m pondering cashing out an IRA so I don’t lose it all in ’24. Don’t really know how.”

      Download a withdrawal form, instructions are available to fill out.

      There is a hefty tax for total withdrawal (and no “rollover” into another IRA/401k); about 25%

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