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  1. This is a needed article! I am now very elderly, have been seriously “prepping” for MANY years. To say I am disappointed in my lack of ability to convince virtually no one this is a worth while life effort, is an understatement. I do have plenty of those “jokers” in my life who will show up at the door…or at least plan to. That whole evolution is going to be virtually impossible in a serious meltdown, so they will not be an actual factor.

    The only thing that makes me continue, is that I’m doing almost nothing that both sets of grandparents did not do as a matter of course(I’m a depression kid). Might be the failing memories of an old man…but all our neighbors were like minded

    1. Great article. I have also had the negative experience of trying to convince people that prepping is a necessity. Not a single person will follow through. I don’t beg or speak in a panic. I am a retired LEO and unfortunately none of the guys I worked with do much more then stock up on ammo. My neighbors closest to me I hardly know and from what I can tell, prepping is not a concern to them. Frustrated.

  2. Great start to a series E.M.
    To add to your points about firearms, most have never had so much as a paintball fired AT them in anger. Shooting perfect groups at the range or hitting a stationary deer at 200 yards will never tell you how your group members will react when bullets start coming from the opposite direction. Believing a firefight will only go one way is the most dangerous delusion. Force-on-force training is a must.

  3. Some people can be ruthless but it takes an immediate need for them to be so, and until that mom sees one of her kids being choked and carried off, she probably won’t ever pick up a weapon or feel the blood rushing to her head. Like the peaceful neighbor who puts up with a lot but one day is pushed just that little bit over the line by a whining neighborhood mooch and shoots him out of hand. You don’t know what you are capable of until the emergency is hot upon your heels, the unlikeliest folks can turn out to be heroes. This always assumes of course that the rule of law is nonexistent and no cops will be showing up.

  4. So far, so good. This article is definitely based in reality. Have tried to keep my preps a secret although just buying 20 gallons of water from the local supermarket produced the comment, ” are you some kind of prepper ? ”

    No, was my response. The local water is bad ( it really is ) and left it at that. So there is an attitude from your neighbors in times of trouble they are entitled to your supplies.

    Working at the local prison it was easy to make plans for SHTF. Now retired living in an upscale suburb surrounded by useless yuppies the prospect for mutual aid is dismal .

    Working on joining a auxiliary department. LE and military are the only useful souls i can think of for bad times ahead with the occasional tradesmen or truck driver that’s aware of the impending trouble.

    Plan on using hit and run ambushes well away from the house. Everyone points out the fallacy of going all “Rambo” , but there have been Japanese soldiers and woodland hermits that have avoiding people for years.

    It’s my only plan. Probably be dead in a week 🙂

    1. Ambushing is not exactly hermit-like behavior. If you start ambushing people you will likely be unable to avoid people. You’ll likely find yourself on a kill list and be systematically sought out.

      1. Well the idea was to “take the fight to the enemy”. See bad guy activity in your area, engage at a safe distance from ones domicile.

        Disappear back into the woods. If successful might even make that area a no-go zone. People walk in,vanish sort of thing.

        As this author points out the chances of making a cohesive “survival group” is pretty slim. Trying to gather a loose bunch of people whether they by neighbors, co-workers, even family will be a recipe for disaster .

        Existing groups like LE, military and even street gangs stand a better chance.

        With rules/regulations, rank/hierarchy they will be very deadly opponents indeed.

        1. I am growing more and more self-conscious going out hunting and simply exploring in the Redoubt for fear of someone taking a shot at me. Or, even worse, my young sons. The rules for distinguishing “good guys” from “bad guys” seems to vary wildly from one group/individual to the next.

          1. Interesting. Always thought living out in the country would give someone the best chance of surviving.

            One group I know plans on dropping concrete barriers out at the state highway to prevent people from driving into the town, commandeering the gas station and grocery store then set up their own little militia to ward off any invaders.

            Their policy is to shoot all outsiders on site .

            It doesn’t get any better in the city. Have heard retired cops at local gun shop bragging they have no need to prepare, they have a gun. Of course my response was, that’s nice so do I !

            So , yeah, it’s going to be very hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys.

            Good luck and God bless.

  5. It is very important that young men be taught basic combat skills in their late teens. Other nations, cultures and religions do it, but Westerners for the most part, want no part of it. I talk to young men every day with no interest in this subject, their minds full of frivolous skills and information. When the empire declines and chaos reigns, it will probably be too late. This will be critical to survival in the coming years. Departing from the following, the father needs to make sure it gets done, use Valor Ridge or Front Sight if you have to.

    “We are steadily asked about the age at which to teach young people to shoot. The answer to this obviously depends upon the particular individual; not only his physical maturity but his desire. Apart from these considerations, however, I think it important to understand that it is the duty of the father to teach the son to shoot. Before the young man leaves home, there are certain things he should know and certain skills he should acquire, apart from any state-sponsored activity. Certainly the youngster should be taught to swim, strongly and safely, at distance. And young people of either sex should be taught to drive a motor vehicle, and if at all possible, how to fly a light airplane. I believe a youngster should be taught the rudiments of hand-to-hand combat, unarmed, together with basic survival skills. The list is long, but it is a parent’s duty to make sure that the child does not go forth into the world helpless in the face of its perils. Shooting, of course, is our business, and shooting should not be left up to the state.” – Jeff Cooper

    1. In pre-modern Japan, samurai women were trained to fight with weapons to defend their homes/castles when the men were absent or at war. I’ve seen a woodblock print; the young woman is armed with something resembling a halberd. They were distance weapons, not swords or knives, to keep a stronger opponent at bay.

      Home defense does not require the ability to backpack fifty miles.

      In a TEOTWAWKI situation, there will be plenty of children and babies because there will be no effective birth control methods, other than the ovulation method, which very few women have been trained in. Pills are so much easier (though not more effective).

      Consider having the women specialize in home defense. Those children and babies should provide sufficient motive.

  6. Schützenfest, has anyone ever been to one of these, something small at the local level, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sch%C3%BCtzenfest#History

    “During the Middle Ages, many towns had to find ways to defend themselves from gangs of marauders. For this reason clubs and associations were founded, comparable to militias; these paramilitary associations were sanctioned for the first time in the Law for the Defensive Constitution of the Towns by King Henry I, and officially integrated into the towns’ defense plans. Accompanying the military exercises and physical examinations of the towns’ contingents, festivities were held combined with festive processions. Participants from other parishes and at times even the feudal heads of state were also invited to these Marksmen’s Courts (Schützenhöfe). However, the self-confident spirit of the townsfolk that marked these festivities was not always regarded positively by the authorities. For this reason, different traditions developed in different regions. The military significance lessened over the course of the centuries and became meaningless with the creation of regular troops and garrisons for national defence. The Schützenfests however continued in the form of a regional patriotic tradition. ”

    Excluding the big national events, does this kind of thing happen at the local level here in CONUS?

    1. Yes !!! Schützenfests do still happen in CONUS. One here in West Central Iowa at the Five Mile House south of Westside, IA,, and one near Omaha due to the German American Club in Omaha

  7. Just go to any outdoor pistol range , everybody stands there shooting and thinks they are great marksmen. Most don’t take any tactical classes let alone learn to draw & shoot. We have draw booths at the range, never used. May as well they stick to video games. Also I told one of the few friends, You come empty handed in a crisis, expect a small helping of lead before you make it to the front door. Wish I could afford a farm.

  8. I LONG ago knew what I could/would do if it came down to my survival or someone I cared about. Am just thankful never have – yet – had to. Most people seem to be inwardly fearful about examining that side of their personality. It is critical that one knows both the “angel” and the “devil” that sit on their shoulders, and know that sometimes the “devil” is the only thing that stands a chance of keeping them or those they value alive! Introspection is a critical skill to acquire to KNOW when you might use “deadly force” to stay alive! Sadly, my younger relatives so far seem to shrink from the “thought” of using means still available to most Americans to save themselves. They hide their heads in the sand and act like “everything will be ok” and someone else, ie. govt/LEO’s will save them!

  9. Started prepping,seriously, around 1984. My wifes comment at the time was “do what you want,just leave me out of it” so I did 🙂 fast forward 16 yrs. She finally came around,we moved to a small town, somewhere north of Mass. The town I now live in is filled with mostly semi self reliant people, the kind I was looking for. I have no doubt that the ones I have met are people I can count on,and they feel the same about me. The point being,except for my daughter and grandson(41 and 22 respectively) I don’t expect anyone from my past to make it up here,despite my years of trying to persuade them to at least start prepping. So be it, they don’t know where we live,and probably couldn’t get here on their own anyway. Find people in the community you want around you,stop trying to change anyones mind it won’t happen. Just go on with preparing,trust me you’ll find plenty of compatible people th kind you want around you.As for those you leave behind? Sucks to be them,not your problem.

  10. Great article! And for all the reasons described in it, my inability to find a trust-worthy group remains my greatest failure in two decades of Prepping. I consider it unfortunate so many readers seem to focus on weapons and killing mindsets.

    Even a casual study of past public disasters affirms far more will die of disease and starvation, than from bullets. Those who intend to offer their shooter skills & mentality to a hard-pressed group–in exchange for food & shelter–may likely find their ‘skillset’ is a cheap commodity in a market featuring an over-abundance of cheap guns for hire. As opposed to the few medical, communications, and Intelligence-trained types in the scene.

  11. As the old saying goes “necessity is the mother of invention” I think that in a survival situation necessity will be the mother of cooperation. For all the technological advances we still have some very basic traits that have remained with us (the human race) for hundreds of years. When you think back, tribes were very common for the collective defense of people. I believe that in a post-TEOTWAWKI world people will be forced to work together or die. Those that won’t, and I suspect even those that can’t, will find no pity as survival of the fittest (both mentally and physically) will carry the day.

    Cooperation between those with physical strengthen and this will intellectual strength will have to work together for each to survive. I think back to my military days when I worked with people for Collective survival yet in the civilian world we would not have ever considered even speaking or looking at each other. Those social issues like race, social class, and life style (rural/suburban/urban) don’t matter – it’s work and fight together or risk dying. Leadership, true leadership, not what we have in many of our city, state and federal governments today is what will also be needed.

  12. Re: Shooters

    In his biography, Dick Winters, a retired Army Major from WW2, RIP, who was considered one of the finest leaders of that war, was featured in the HBO miniseries, Band of Brothers, noted that only about 15% are “killers”. These were the soldiers who were consider the most effective in battle. This percentage was from the highly trained Airborne troops. Band of Brothers along with the movie, Saving Private Ryan are said to reenact what battle would be like, better than most of Hollywood’s portrayals.

    I’ve experienced much of what you have so far have written. It took years of sweat and disappointment , then years of prayer to get it right, and eventually find the ‘right stuff.’ There will always be deficiencies and problems to overcome, and that’s why having a team of problems solvers, with a never quit, or a ‘can do’ attitude is critical. This what Special Forces is looking for. Having combat experienced members would be a good thing too. And having equally yoked people is priceless.

    Stuff is essential, but even tons stuff ain’t enough, when there is not enough of the right attitude to make it happen, and a warrior’s mindset to protect it. I would happily give up stuff to have the ‘right stuff’ with me. Having God in ours lives is number one, but ‘security’ will be job one.

  13. @Michael, you might consider joining a church or some kind of club (gardening, Ham radio, etc) and see where it leads. Gun skills are important but you cannot eat bullets. I, too, am turned off by the types you mention and they worry me as well.

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