Likely you’ve seen at least one of those doomsday prepper shows, or some news segment on TV by now, showing how truly prepared Americans are going to have to be to survive in a world where everything else collapses.
Whether you opt to stock up on cans of Hormel Chili and Chef Boy-R-Dee, or freeze dried cuisine from your local military/apocalypse surplus store, you know you’re going to have to feed your tummy when the local grocery store is looted dry and there’s no more Doritos on the shelves. Of course, what prepper would not have his (or her) trusty gun available which we know would soley be used to protect his/her own family or food caches from those nasty roving gangs of godless killer scavengers.
The problem with that is, in a real apocalypse or government collapse and loss of civil authority for whatever reason, we are all just three days away from being a godless killer scavenger ourselves. While it might be true that you will have all your survival beer and jerky to last a year secreted away, someone will likely take notice that neighbor George from down the street sure looks well-fed compared to the rest of the neighborhood. It won’t take long before someone wants what good old neighbor George has and therein rests the problem. Surviving after the complete breakdown of society as we know it is going to be a complete free for all. I mean, we are talking gun battles and firefights 24/7, at least in the urban areas, and until the bullets run out.
Whether you subscribe to the estimate that there are 200 million guns in America or 300 million guns… the point is, that’s a lot of guns. Now, let’s presume for a moment all those trigger fingers are attached to hungry people. Suddenly the idea that the gun is a purely defensive weapon will vanish in favor of more offensive needs. I mean, let’s face it… what would YOU do to protect your family; to keep them from starving? On any good day in America there are those of us who proudly prance about in the noble cause that we need our guns to defend our house and home and family in case the government goes haywire. Well, the point being that you might be able to do that against one person but you’d not likely have a chance at defending yourself or your family from the neighbor down the street who suddenly decides him and his kin are going to rule the world, or from an army of renegade socialists sent to do you in by the next dictator wannabe who promises to restore life to the “old ways”. So the presumption that your cache of weapons will hold off invading post-apocalyptic gangs of hungry heathens is likely not going to work either. You and your family will die, plain and simple… and, yes… women will be raped and people will be tortured regardless of their ages or gender. This is the history of man. Here’s another thing… you could be the one doing all the torturing. I guarantee each one of us has NO idea as to how we will react under lawless situations where we might do anything to survive… even kill, rape, and torture to save your family.. or yourself. In the least, in any post-apocalyptic scenario, most of us will have to learn to kill or be killed.
Now, you will notice in all the lovely doom & gloom I’ve painted so far we’ve not even discussed trying to survive what might have caused this apocalyptic nightmare to begin with (poor sentence structure intended there). On top of trying to survive against each other’s natural instincts, we might have zombies, aliens, giant insects… the threats are as numerous as the stars in the heavens (or movies from Hollwood). While we are trying to fight off our neighbors we might have to also contend with a changed physical environment and climate brought on by meteors crashing, volcanic eruptions, shifts in the magnetic poles, or the spread of disease. It’s not likely that on Day Two we will simply walk out of our homes to the sun shining and simply deciding to grab our bugout bags and head out to Aunt Edna’s farm in the country or the family cabin in the Catskills to begin a pioneer or agrarian lifestyle (more than likely if you try that stunt you’d be a ready target anyway and not likely to survive into Day Three).
So what’s the answer? Well, have you ever seen the movie Wargames? It’s a fictional story about a super artificial intelligence computer installed at NORAD (the military underground complex that controls our nuclear strike capability if attacked by another country) that takes the place of humans in the decision-making process to launch missles or not. Of course the idea is that the computer ends up interpreting an incorrect real life situation based on playing its own war scenario, or game, regarding who would win (survive) such a nuclear strike. As the clock counts down to missle launch and potential world doom the characters instruct the computer to play a game of tic-tac-toe. In the process the computer comprehends that tic-tac-toe has no winner and thusly draws the relationship that in a nuclear war there was no scenario where anyone would win… and shuts down, thus saving the world. My point here is that… maybe our various scenarios about surviving a post-apocalyptic world is also a no-win situation. That, like tic-tac-toe, there is no winner; no one survives… or in the least, survivors will not be what we would ever imagine. Maybe it’s better we put all our energies into avoiding an apocalypse to begin with, certainly of the man-made kind, if for no other reason than the bulk of Americans (especially gun owners and preppers) are overweight and couldn’t dodge a bullet much less some “enemy” anyway (in fact, obese people, like myself, make for bigger targets and consume more food; not a good combination heading into an apocalypse).
Our guns may buy us a few more minutes of survival time depending on the situation but the real survivors will be the ones who use their heads rather than their trigger fingers. In countries where there are less guns the potential for longer term survival could be the greatest. Rather ironic when you think of it… in an apocalypse us Americans will be killing off each other for toilet paper. In Europe, Asia, Africa, civilization will start over… someone will take a boat and “discover” America again… and history repeats itself.