Last week I
wrote an article
in response to the media’s vilification of preppers in the
aftermath of the horrible tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. The article
was quoted in an article on Yahoo.com, to my great astonishment,
and that is when I saw how little most people understand about prepping.
You can see in most of the 4492
comments the article received that many folks just don’t
My inbox was
filled with a barrage of hate mail and a number of people felt compelled
to leave angry (and rather ignorant) comments on my website. I got
messages from people that called me “batsh*t crazy”,
messages from gun control advocates, messages from people who directly
blamed me and all other preppers for the massacre, and even one
particularly hate-filled email from a person who said “I
hope that your kids are killed at the next school shooting.”
All of this
leads me to reconfirm my belief that people sincerely do not understand
why we do what we do, and that ignorance leads to fear.
what they don’t understand and hate what they can’t
conquer. ~ Andrew Smith
If you go back
through history, the “visionaries” or “wise ones”
were always mocked at best and feared at worst. They were cast out
of society to live alone at the edge of the village; children would
sneak onto their property to show their bravery; they were burned
at the stake as witches and heretics. Anything the larger percentage
of people does not understand is treated as something evil and frightening.
Am I saying
that preppers are all visionaries and sages? Not in a mystical “Joan
of Arc” sense – but I am saying that preppers
are willing to see the writing on the wall and search for a deeper
are preparing for an economic collapse and the subsequent social
collapse that will be close behind.
If you don’t
think this is realistic, then you aren’t paying attention
to the world around you.
this image of hunger – they see it as the skeletal dark-skinned
children in some third world country, bellies protruding as malnutrition
But the face
of hunger and poverty today is as close as your next door neighbor.
Millions of North Americans can barely afford to put their next
meal on the table. They are living in their cars, if they’re
lucky, and without shelter if they are not so lucky.
For many people
the economic collapse has arrived. Their “end of the world”
event has already occurred in the form of a job loss, the foreclosure
of the family home, or an illness that has caused such massive personal
debt that there is truly no way out of it. Less
than 60% of Americans who are of age to be in the work force
have a full time job. When you tally that, it means that more
than 100 million people are out of work. More than
100 million people in the United States have no jobs. For
more than 100 million people, the economic collapse has arrived
in full force.
as people all over the globe (think Greece, Italy, Spain, Argentina,
the UK) struggle with high rates of unemployment, the prices of
everything have gone up. People are struggling to keep such simple
necessities as running
electricity. Grocery costs have skyrocketed – the World
Bank released a statement that global food prices increased
by 10% in ONE MONTH – July 2012.
The price of
food is increasing rapidly and dramatically. Mac Slavo, of SHTFplan,
seen what happens in countries where the populace is forced to
spend 50% or more of their earned income on food. Despite how
the media portrays it, the riots we’ve seen in the middle east,
Greece and Spain have been largely fueled by cost increases in
food and the inability of individuals to provide the basic essentials
for their families.
have been, for the most part, immune from these pressures thus
far. But the social safety nets are very quickly becoming overburdened
and prices at grocery stores are rising consistently and without
coming to a standstill, continued central bank monetary easing,
job losses and wage reductions, and the urbanization of millions
of people, it is only a matter of time before Americans are forced
to spend 50% or more of their paychecks just to stay alive.”
When you read
the above information, the case becomes clear for stocking a long-term
food storage pantry. It makes personal
economic sense to purchase commodities like grains for your
family at today’s prices to be consumed when the price skyrockets
It seems, from
some of the comments I’ve seen and received from non-preppers,
that stockpiling food is acceptable, if somewhat eccentric. But
being able to defend that food is strictly out of the question.
have no problem with anyone stockpiling water and food for their
ability to prolong their agonizing but inevitable death should
this generation experience the “end of the world”. Unless you
have a new planet in your back pocket that is complete with a
an oxygen supply, food and water, your efforts to live past the
rest of us will be the least enjoyable time spent here on earth.
I believe it is the preppers’ need for stockpiling ammunition
that is the bizarre twist on these so-called survival skills that
is the “killer”. Pardon my pun. You see, if your survival depends
on killing others than the world in which you will exist will
not be worthy of keeping.”
are delusional anti-social people. If you try to reason with them,
you are attacked in the forums. You try to point out to them the
truth, they slander you. These “preppers” should ALL
be arrested , their food stockpiles distributed to the homeless,
their guns conficated [sic]. Start with the people on the survivalist
all due respct [sic], many people are missing the point. Our Constitution
garentees [sic] us the right to bear arms, but not to stockpile
an arsenal. You folks who stockpile food and supplies are wise.
It is the guns and huge quantities of bullets that are the problem.“
dont [sic] kill people. People who have no friends and have basements
jammed full of ammo and canned goods kill people.“
know…this is just a bunch of gun nuts going out and buying
all the guns they can get before the laws become stricter. Just
a bunch of weak people living in fear of nothing. I choose not
to live in fear and if the apocalypse comes…oh well. Sure,
I’ll stock up on food when a blizzard is in the forecast…but
do I have an arsenol [sic] in my basement…no. Honestly,
people like peppers need to stop thinking all hell is going to
break loose, and just live in REALITY.“
So, this leads
us to the next misconception about preppers – why do many
prepared individuals feel that there might be social collapse to
go along with the economic collapse? Why do they feel that in the
wake of a disaster that they and their families could be threatened?
There are very
good, well-documented reasons for this. Recent history tells us
that frightened, hungry people become desperate and often violent.
In the aftermath
of Hurricane Katrina, CNN
reported that the city was under siege.
Emergency Management Agency Director Michael Brown said his agency
was attempting to work “under conditions of urban warfare.”
Police snipers were stationed on the roof of their precinct, trying
to protect it from armed miscreants roaming seemingly at will.
Officers warned a CNN crew to stay off the streets because of
escalating danger, and cautioned others about attempted shootings
and rapes by groups of young men.”
A similar experience
occurred after Hurricane Katrina struck the East Coast in October.
The unmitigated violence and looting had residents terrified, especially
after dark. Via Twitter, people actively planned “looting
parties” as the storm bore down on the area, according to
a report by Infowars.
described the scene to the Huffington
Post. “People are turning on each other — they’re
attacking each other. Even when there’s no disaster, this
building is disastrous. But after the hurricane, it just got crazy.”
it isn’t just in the wake of a disaster that the need for
personal security is rising. As the economy plummets, violent crime
is in the upswing. In 2011, the overall rate of violent
crime increased by 18%. (The numbers aren’t in yet for
2012. As funding to police departments is reduced, the criminals
have a larger window of opportunity. The police are throwing up
their hands in defeat - they feel that they cannot protect people.
In Detroit, the police department warned people to enter the city
at their own risk as budget cuts result in fewer police and shorter
hours of operation.
As the economic
collapse increases and more and more people are going hungry, the
need for proper security and self defense will also increase in
a direct ratio, particularly for those who live in highly populated
areas. Desperation breeds crime.
educate themselves on the relationship between economic need and
violent crime. Only then can they make a reasonable (and morally
acceptable) plan to protect themselves and their families.
collapse is not some far-fetched, end-of-the-world fantasy. It is
the reality that is occurring all around us, incrementally. The
collapse that has been occurring since 2008 has been one of 1000
small cuts as income goes down and expenses go up.
Ask the people
in Greece whether they regret not having stocked up on food supplies
when those supplies were abundantly available. Ask the people in
Argentina whether they feel the need to be armed against roving
gangs and home invaders – violent
crime increased by 35% in one year. One
study went so far as to call property crime a tool of redistribution:
”Overall, these results suggest that property crime has been
used as a redistributive tool for the poorest to compensate for
their impoverishment during the last decade and in particular during
the ultimate crisis in Argentina.”
is not fantasy – I have provided links to
support every fact I have mentioned in this article. Hunger, cold,
crime and fear are the daily realities in many countries that once
enjoyed a similar standard of living to that of the average North
American. That debt-based standard of living is unsustainable, though,
and you must be able to connect these trends with what is happening
in your own country in order to see the need for preparation.
For those who
say it is selfish for me to plan to take care of my responsibilities,
I respond that it is selfish of you to expect me to take care of
your responsibilities. You have the same opportunities that I do
to prepare. I am far from wealthy (our income is actually below
the “poverty line”) but I make room in my budget by
eschewing foolish expenditures like twice-yearly vacations, new
cars and the latest I-gadgets.
live in fear – I live in security, knowing that through my
personal responsibility, my trust in my own instincts and my faith,
I have done everything possible to protect my family from poverty,
hunger and crime. If you aren’t currently prepared, I hope
that the facts and statistics I’ve provided cause you to consider
doing the same thing.