I’ve been working on this article for a while and maybe now’s the time to share it. I would like to have a page of orientation information to post at our bugout encampment or in our neighborhood after we’ve implemented the Community Action Plan and the dust has started to settle.
So this is my best attempt to put together some foundational ideas that should apply to every situation. I’ve deliberately tried to keep it conversational, simple, and friendly (maybe even slightly humorous), because there are a lot of “don’ts”. I’m looking forward to seeing what else the SurvivalBlog community suggests! Then I’m going to print off several copies to have on hand, because I probably won’t be able to print or copy it after the “collapse”!
Keep on trusting God, and be prepared! We can do both.
The Orientation Flyer
We made up this flyer to address a few of the most frequently asked questions around here since the “collapse”. Yes, the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights are still in effect in this neighborhood/encampment, as are any state or federal law that doesn’t violate the Constitution or common sense. We are a freedom-loving, God-fearing, law-abiding community, and we mean to keep it that way.
- We prefer that everyone in our neighborhood carry a firearm or always have one handy. From past experience, we just never know when someone outside this community is going to start trouble and, well, we’re all responsible for our own safety. Like it or not, you have an obligation to God to defend the innocent, and that includes your innocent self! “Be Prepared” isn’t just for Boy Scouts.
- We expect everyone– e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e– to follow the Four Laws of Gun Safety: (1) Treat every firearm as if it’s loaded. (2) Don’t point your gun at something you don’t want to kill. (3) Be sure of your target and what’s in front and behind it. (4) Keep your finger off your trigger unless you’re really going to shoot. If we have to explain why these are good rules then you aren’t smart enough to carry a gun and someone else is going to have to pack your gun(s) for you while you’re here. You won’t get a warning. Kids under 12 will need their parents or guardians to keep their firearms while they’re in the neighborhood.
- When you’re passing through or visiting, we expect you to keep your rifle slung on your back with the safety ON. It’s not polite to walk through someone’s neighborhood with your rifle at low or high ready like you’re some Special Forces operator at war. People get concerned, and that starts trouble, and then accidents happen. Don’t do it.
- Don’t use your rifle optics to look at things, unless you’re aiming to shoot them. Pointing your gun at a person or animal or thing just to get a better look is just stupid, not to mention threatening and intimidating. We shouldn’t have to point that out, and you probably already know that, which is why you’re doing it. Besides, it’s illegal (“assault”) to point a gun at someone unless you’re going to use legal force. Dismount your weapon scope or use your binoculars or spotting scope, or just get closer if you need to see something better! We don’t take kindly to being threatened, and pointing your gun at someone who don’t need killin’ is likely to get you shot right quick (See #1 and #5).
- We have persons who have been deputized by a vote of our community to serve and protect with the usual law enforcement powers of investigation, arrest, and the use of force. These men and women are peace-keepers, not meddlers, so give them the respect and support they deserve. You’ll recognize them by the gold-colored whistles they carry and the reflective orange shoulder cord. Stay back and let the deputy do their job. However, if a deputy needs help, we expect everyone near him/her to assist in any way they can. A safe neighborhood is everyone’s business.
- If you get arrested, just go along and have your day in court; it’s your right and it won’t take long. You can have a jury if you want, and you can ask someone else to represent you in court if you want. We keep it simple! Just so you know, we have an informal neighborhood court that meets weekly (sooner if need be), with the most qualified person from the community presiding. We don’t do lynchings, and if everyone is all worked up we’ll wait until they calm down before convening court. If you got in trouble somewhere else and someone comes to fetch you, we’ll try your case in our court first if both parties agree. We want to see justice done just as much as you, and frankly we trust our own process more than others.
- If you are here on law enforcement business from outside, you are out of your jurisdiction, so see a deputy first. Sorry to burst your bubble, but you are not the exception, no matter who you are or what “department” or “agency” you’re still loyal to. We’ll be very glad to help you, but you’ve got to follow the rules or be arrested yourself. We’ll be more than happy to help weed the criminals from our midst, but we’re having trust issues right now with outside organizations, and we hope you’ll understand. Don’t turn a minor procedural issue into a huge armed standoff (See #5). We are the friend of justice, truth, and the law, so show a little respect for what we’re trying to do here.
- Don’t start fights. Get someone to bring the deputies, and they’ll straighten things out. Don’t drink alcoholic beverages (or take intoxicating drugs) and carry a firearm at the same time; that’s not smart and not allowed. Don’t use your firearm to make a point. There’s nothing glorious about dying for nothing. Folks here have no tolerance for bullying, and we all look out for each other, because that’s what neighbors do.
- N-e-v-e-r escalate. Swallow your pride, vanity, arrogance, or whatever it is that’s short-circuiting your good sense. It ain’t worth it. Shut up and step out before someone gets hurt. Then, go find the deputies, and they’ll help you work it out without anyone getting permanently and painfully killed.
- Everyone has been under a lot of stress lately, and we all need to get along to make a real community. We have health rules. We have disturbing the peace rules. We have rules against slavery, theft, and cheating. We have rules about selling food safe to eat and so on. However, all you really have to do is exercise a little common sense, follow the Golden Rule– “Do to others what you would want them to do to you”, and be nice to people, even people you don’t particularly like. If the rest of us can do it, so can you.
- Every newcomer and visitor gets a quick orientation to where everything is (outhouses especially!). We’ll also want to know if you have any news about the country and region, and one of the deputies will interview you and your group, because we have to try to keep troublemakers out somehow. Also, we give everyone a quick firearms safety orientation. One of our community medical staff will give you a quick check-up to see if there’s anything we can do to help you and your group/family with an injury or illness. We might need to quarantine you if you’re sick and you want to stay. We’re here to help, but we also have to protect the community from contagious diseases, and we hope you understand that. All this will only take a few minutes, we promise, and then you can be about your business!
- We keep a list of the most important community rules posted on the Announcement Board, if you want to see them all. If you don’t like our rules or you just can’t bring yourself to follow our rules, then our community/neighborhood/encampment isn’t for you. Just back away and go find some other place more to your likin’. There’ll be no hurt feelings and no harm done. Troublemakers and slackers are not welcome. Just remember, if you’ve been uninvited, don’t come back! It wouldn’t be prudent.
And for everyone else, thanks for being understanding! Sorry for sounding so negative, but some points need to be made right up front. We want this neighborhood to be a safe, secure, healthy, and prosperous place. Strictly speaking, this is not a “pure” democracy. We do take votes on everything affecting the community, but no rule or decision can violate the moral principles of the Bible, the U.S. Constitution, nor the Bill of Rights.*
Maybe you’d consider staying a spell and helping us make this a workable community? If you have specific concerns or questions, speak up. Don’t do something that gets yourself embarrassed or hurt, just because you were too shy to ask a neighbor, a deputy or the mayor for help.
Oh, and WELCOME!
*1 Freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition. 2 Right to keep and bear arms. 3 No quartering of soldiers (we don’t have soldiers). 4 Freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. 5 Right to due process of law, freedom from self-incrimination, double jeopardy. 6 Right to a speedy and public trial. 7 Right of trial by jury in civil cases. 8 Freedom from excessive bail, cruel and unusual punishments. 9 Other rights of the people (just because we don’t mention it here doesn’t mean you don’t have other rights too). 10 Powers reserved to the states. (Doesn’t apply to us.)