In a recent post about stockpiling food preps a reader calling himself bob left the following comment;
“I’m good. I have an acre of land that I use for gardening that I tend daily, plus I can fish, I can hunt and I’m surrounded by freshwater. If that fails, I’ll take what I need. With force if necessary. I’ll spend this $260/yr on ammo. =)”
The 1st part of his comment about “gardening”, “hunting” and “fishing” is typical of what many of us have planned. Many of us do those very things now as part of our daily lives. The remainder of his comment, specifically (“If that fails, I’ll take what I need. With force if necessary.“) seemed to venture into an unfamiliar area. bob’s fallback position was something new. I personally don’t recall ever reading anything on such a tactic being a viable part of prepping. Had I completely missed this new and developing strategy for survival?
I quickly searched some of my favorite prepping sites looking for content, I found none. Googling also proved ineffective. Hungry to learn more about this new tactic I considered where I might find some valuable insight. I realized that even in the worst of times this type of action would likely be considered highly illegal. Perhaps the criminal mind could shed some light on how a prepper might effectively carryout this strategy. I made a mad dash to Google and spent the next couple of hours digging into the psychology of the criminal mind, the street tested methods they use, and why. I then created an overlay of the criminals strategy and placed it upon a typical prepper’s needs. I should note here that this turned out not to be anything approaching brain surgery. Typical criminals are a rather unsophisticated lot, akin to a plexiglass caged ferret taught to ring a bell for an edible prize. Despite this, guidance was found and some strategies formulated.
The 1st and most important consideration is target selection. Lots of variables with this, like local population density and your personal proximity to potential targets. The very basics of the criminal mind tells us to select the very softest of targets, and none are softer than the elderly. The older the better. They are slow to react, often hard of hearing and equipped with questionable vision. They are weak, damaged and easy to knock over. They offer little resistance. You can get in, take their food and get out before they even understand whats happening… easy breezy. For those without an adequate supply of defenseless old people the next best target is the single mother. Usually overly concerned with their children’s safety, at the slightest threat they will wilt and beg you not to hurt their children. Caution should be used here, some mothers might fight you out of a displaced sense of protecting their young. The gold standard of this category is the pregnant mother with children, the further along the better. She will offer little resistance for fear of damaging her unborn child. Not much more than some yelling and pointing your gun at the kids will garner complete cooperation. Grab every last remaining bit of sustenance they have and then hit the bricks. Job well done.
Now that we’ve gotten this far I would be remiss if I didn’t bring up a couple of issues that go hand in hand with executing this new prepper tactic. The 1st has to do with “conscience”, do you have one? If you do then this might not be a viable option for your own survival. Can you live with yourself after roughing up some elderly folks and taking their food? Can you deal with the images of desperate, terror stricken children clutching their mother as they watch the last of their food being spirited away… by you. Trust me on this, that image will be tattooed to the inside of your eyelids. If you can’t live with the memory, you probably won’t.
The 2nd issue has to do with judgement. T here is always a risk that you’ve misjudged the severity of the SHTF event your dealing with. What if after a few months of your sentencing many others to starvation because you forcibly took their food, things get better? Suddenly the cops are back and sifting through dozens of complaints about your crimes. There is only one way to eliminate this possibility…. leave no witnesses.
I’m sure, (at least I hope that by now) you know that I am being facetious. bob’s fallback position is no position any prepper should ever consider. In many ways it’s antithetical to the prepper’s ideology, to the extreme point that we actively prepare to protect ourselves from becoming victims of the very thing bob suggests he would do. We prep to protect our lives and the lives of our loved ones from tough times, in those times morality will be as important as anything else you stockpile. It’s true that many of us arm ourselves, the goal of which is to protect what we have, not to take what others have. In the end you have to be able to live with the life you save, especially if it’s your own.
bob may be a great guy. He might be a superb frontiersman and survivalist, but is he a prepper… I think no.
John Gault … somewhere in Georgia