Reprint of a submission to The Truth About Guns
by John Boch
In More Thoughts About Buildings and Food. And Guns, Mr. Farago continues his “end of the world” contingency planning. Once again, RF states that he’d give his neighbors a crash course in defensive firearm skills—this time to secure the seventeen entry points to his manor. Assuming he can find enough neighbors willing to abandon their own homes and the contents therein to pull off his plan (not to mention feeding them), I find myself asking, “What are you thinking?”
Don’t get me wrong. May God bless his plan to repel hordes of smelly, unshaven mutant biker zombies with crooked teeth. But I’d like to offer an alternative scenario and still yet another more likely scenario.
The first rule of winning a gunfight I teach in my gun classes is simply not to show up. You live every time that way. If something bad happens suddenly, you make the best of what you’ve got, of course.
However, 99 and 44/100ths percent of the time, you will have an opportunity to make yourself scarce before things go so badly that you find yourself in a position to be lawfully pointing a gun at other people.
As an example, if you’re at Denny’s while two groups engage in a fight over maple syrup or some woman’s honor, this is a time when you should make yourself scarce instead of ordering up some popcorn and videotaping it on your iPhone.
Your car is your escape pod and it’s usually always nearby. Keep your car fueled and keep basic supplies in your trunk – things like an MRE or three (or “Heater Meals” if you want to blend in with the sheep), water, flashlight & batteries, work boots and gloves, warm clothes, a hat and winter gloves, some basic tools and so forth.
You should already have an emergency evacuation plan in place (Google “Listening to Katrina” for a great, albeit not yet finished, guide) to leave your home in short order in case of fire or other emergency. That plan will help you protect your health, wealth and ability to earn an income while not losing all of the aforementioned defending the indefensible.
I live in a fortress compared to Robert with only three entrances (without explosives, that is), but I recognize that my home is not defensible if there are more than a few desperate or violence-prone individuals prowling my neighborhood. I’m not going to pull a Don Alejo Garza Tamez “True Grit” suicide mission defending my home. No, I’m getting me and mine the heck out of dodge if things are getting that bad and you should too.
And because of relationships I’ve developed, I’m lucky enough to have the right sort of friends who will come move us out if it’s really getting bad, as I’d do for them.
My neighbors in that unlikely apocalyptic mayhem scenario are on their own. Life’s full of choices. They chose to take golf lessons instead of shooting lessons. Let them accept the consequences of going up against violent predators with a five iron or a putter.
All of that aside, the localized emergency is more likely – such as a tornado, earthquake or massive winter storm – or maybe a hurricane for those readers within a couple hours of the coast.
You’re probably not going to need your guns or your tactical skills if you have those emergencies – certainly not right away. Instead, you’re gonna need a pair of work gloves and boots, a decent flashlight and the willingness to help close friends if they need you. If they are fine, then you’ll look out for your immediate neighbors.
In my case, this might mean shoveling some snow so the frail old woman who had a bypass last year doesn’t have to. Or making sure my neighbors have a working flashlight or two and anything else they might need if the power goes off – or perhaps a warm place to stay for a time if the power is out in the wintertime. Tip: Offering a Thermos of hot chocolate or hot soup to the old couple next door unsolicited will further cement your reputation as a great neighbor and they’ll go out of their way to look out for you in the future.
No, most of the “SHTF” we’re likely to encounter is not going to involve guns, zombies or thugs preying on sheep. It’s not going to involve a crash course in teaching non-gunowners to use that double-barrel coach gun for home defense. It is, though, going to involve being a good neighbor for those less fortunate or prepared.
Don’t get me wrong: My family comes first. However, because I’ve planned ahead and prepared, most emergencies that are commonly encountered won’t be for my family and we’ll have the luxury of being able to help our friends first, then our neighbors.
Hopefully, readers of this will also have made preparations for emergency scenarios and built relationships with like-minded folks so they can work together to overcome adversity as a group and assist those less fortunate.
That’s the American way.