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“If and when the SHTF, working with your neighbors will be your most successful survival strategy.” Robert, I enjoy your site and works but must say, you’re practicing your shark-jumping with this recipe for “epic fail”. Your ‘armed intelligentsia’ might be armed, and they might be smart (and with this pronouncement, I have some doubt), but they are certainly sorely lacking experience. If you’re plan is to rely upon / work with your sheeple neighbors as ‘your most successful strategy’, you’re gonna die . . .

Have you seen how untrained, inexperienced people shoot? For all intents and purposes, you might be better off to “dig” your latrine with the ammunition you were going to “give” to your sheeple neighbors who’ve never shot a gun before.

Even most gun owners (fudds / internet commandos / gear queens) are woefully inept at putting hits on targets that are more than bad-breath distance away. Been to an Appleseed? How few put three for three on the 100-yard equivalent target right out of the gate? Damn few, that’s how many. How many lay in three for three on the 200-yard equivalent? Usually almost nobody. The head shot? Pure luck if anyone hit it (sometimes with an errant shot from one of the other targets).

Oh, they have lots of excuses, ranging from “just warming up” to “my sights are off” to “I not shooting off a rest” to “scope’s loose” to “bad ammo” to “I had an itch in an indiscreet location”.

And then there’s the matter of newbie gun safety – especially among men who think their man-card gives them all they need to know about wielding a gun effectively.

Robert, folks need to hook up with with like-minded, skilled and trained folks NOW if they haven’t already and make contingency plans for bad times that may come. Make plans to hole up at a defensible location with friends if and when SHTF. You can start by pre-positioning critical supplies (boots, gloves, shelf-stable food, water, flashlights, batteries, clothes, money, ammo, and maybe guns) and from there, if things are really bad, your friends can bring a couple of trucks over to your place and you can load much of the rest of your critical supplies to “move” to your defensible location if the worst happens.

I can assure you those unprepared, untrained, unskilled, gun-free neighbors of yours, when their kids are hungry and begging for food or when mom and dad need some life-sustaining food, water or medication, they will do ANYTHING to get it, including putting a bullet in their well-meaning, well-supplied neighbor’s back (that would be your armed intelligentsia, by the way) if push comes to shove.

You still sure you want to give them a gun?

You go ahead. Darwin will take care of the rest.

Don’t be a fool. Get prepared now – and that includes networking with like-minded folks with character, skills, and abilities.



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  1. The people they are going to be shooting at won’t be 100 or 200 yards away, they will most likely be within 20 FEET not yards away(unless you count my backyard). I do like your idea of training my neighbors about gun safety because Dec. 21, 2012 will soon be here and then the S*** will really hit the fan. I can now start my own neighborhood militia.

      • It’s a joke at my work, I tell them that they can join my militia when the SHTF (I think it’s a Mayan thing that one of the guys saw on the history channel)

    • I’m staying away from discussing that date because I don’t want to bust anyone’s balls. A quick web search will fill you in Brad. But you know that.

      I have big plans for 12/22/2012. Gonna get up and go to work. Come home and eat. Go to bed.

  2. I don’t trust my neighbors enough to use my power tools, so I’m damn sure not going to give them a weapon or ammo. I’ve seen too many people hurt themselves with “easy and simple to use tools” such as a screw driver! I often take neighbor’s and noob’s out to the range, but that is more for the social factor, and not intended to make them proficient enough to be an effective gun handler. Even those who have gone to the range multiple times with me are not -and will never be – a focal point or even a remote thought in my SHTF Plan. My guess is that if we had valid and useful data on the topic, that it would show that training and focusing on those living IN your household proves much more effective than training those who live “near” your household. While I certainly look after my neighbors and neighborhood in general, I feel that awareness and a phone are FAR more effective in helping me and mine.

    • You are correct. My neighbors can’t be trusted with my tools. Guns and otherwise. They suffer from a malady in the inner man. They only look like men but inside are immature boys.

  3. If you only knew my neighbors. In the extraordinarily unlikely event that the S does HTF, me arming them would be like Israel giving RPGs to Hamas.

  4. Surviving in the wasteland of the post-apocalyptic, zombie hoard, SHTF scenario will not be easy alone, no matter how well prepared you are. You’re going to have to socialize and interact; cautiously but you will HAVE to do it.

    Sadly, in today’s society, the people best prepared are the worst people, e.g., street gangs. And they can’t shoot worth a shit. They have a social order, they’re armed, psychotic, lean and mobile. Not tied down by encumbrances. They have nothing and they have nothing to lose or protect, except themselves. Your cache of weapons, food and supplies could end up being your Maginot Line. Or worse – a prize.

    Just sayin’. I could be wrong.

  5. I agree, arming my neighbors is a bad idea. I have spent 6 years build a stock of ammo and it is not to be wasted. Mind you, I have some good neighbors and will be glad to look after them as much as I can. But, I will not arm them.

  6. When I lived in my house with my now ex-wife, my neighbors there would’ve been coming over to my house offering guns if the SHTF. A bunch of retirement age Pennsylvania Dutchies. Couldn’t ask for better.

    Now I live in an apartment with a bunch of strangers I would let hold a bullet, much less one of my guns. I keep my fingers crossed that nothing bad happens before I can extricate myself from my current living situation.

  7. If the S really does HTF you might have to band together with people that don’t have the same “skills” as you. They might have skills that you don’t, skills that could increase your chance of survival exponentially. That’s how society stays a society, different people with different skills work together to create a functioning community. You might not like some of these people, you might not always trust some of these people. Once again, that is how society works. We don’t always trust or like some of the people we may consider our friends.

    This is where your instincts have to play a role with the people you find yourself with. If you trust them, then by all means I think that you should do your best to educate them and arm them. You shouldn’t just go handing out guns and ammo all willy nilly Soviet Conscript style, but if you get into a circle the wagons situation, you might want some extra hands.

    • That’s how society stays a society, different people with different skills work together to create a functioning community.

      I think I learned about that in elementary school.

      I think my neighbors, and more importantly my parent’s neighbors, are mostly decent and can probably handle a gun ok, since we are pretty rural. That being said, John’s point about newbs and muzzle discipline is spot on.

      My wife and I were in the desert with her parents and her dad busted out his new pistol. My mother-in-law had never fired a gun before, so with some encouragement she decided to give it a go. I said “the most important thing is just don’t point it at anyone.” Her response “Why would I point it anyone?” She takes a shot, limp wrists it, it jams, she turns and sweeps the three of us.

      • You (and John) are right on the issue of newb’s and firearms safety. You won’t hear any arguments from me there.

        I just don’t think that people should immediately be precluded from the group simply because they aren’t proficient with firearms. If my neighbor isn’t a gun guy, but he or she is an ER surgeon or an engineer, they are probably going to be useful down the road. They may even be willing to learn about firearms on a serious level considering the circumstances, especially if the lives of their families are at stake.

  8. Well, if you give them guns at least it’ll be the “woefully inept” fighting the “woefully inept” if we’re going with the theory that most untrained people and “internet commandos” can’t hit crap.

  9. First off I would have to agree with Ralph, giving my neighbors guns would be like giving RPG’s to Hamas. A couple of them actually outgun me and the Mrs.
    Secondly, I teach everything from NRA basic pistol twice a month or more to full speed force on force. Have been for going on 20 years now. I would be very hesitant to arm a previous non shooter or casual shooter as a self defense measure. I would however be very willing to take some time to teach them if they are part of my circle. But that is just silly because everyone in our circle has their own guns and would bring them and plenty of ammo to the party. Nice to live on acreage outside of town by a good bit and off the beaten path. Our place is a rally point for our tribe. All planned in advance. Even been through a real life event a few years back when hurricane season brought Ike to East TEXAS.

  10. I completely agree with John on this one. Indeed, I meant to reply to Robert’s original post but never got around to it. Depending on newbies to do anything other than burn up ammo and/or get killed if the SHTF is nothing short of ludicrous.

    As you all know, fine motor skills are hard to come by in during extreme stress causing experienced shooters groups to open up. At best, you will achieve “defensive accuracy” but the newbie won’t hit anything unless their muzzle has contact with the threat.

    New shooters almost always dip the muzzle until they are taught not to. Take a look at the video that accompanied Robert’s original post and you will see the shooter anticipate and dip the muzzle when he/she drops the hammer on an empty chamber. I also found it amusing, in a sad kind of way, that this shooter hit the hostage with the majority of shots despite being right on top of the threat. And I loved it when the moderator told us, after the fact, that the shooter was actually targeting the hostage; why, he didn’t bother explaining.

    Couldn’t agree more with the comments regarding training your friends and neighbors BEFORE the SHTF.



  11. I forget where I read it, but when asked about preparations for Y2K, one witty fellow told the questioner that he didn’t have to stock up food for disaster, since his neighbors were doing it for him.

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