Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Living in Fear

So many people have it in their heads that "survivalists" are living in fear. We own and carry guns because we're afraid that a gang of thugs is going to rape our families and torture us to death. We have thousands of rounds of ammo on hand because we're afraid that we'll be at ground zero when world war 3 breaks out. We have pantries full of weeks or months worth of food because we're afraid that we'll go to the grocery store one day and there will be no food on the shelves. It amazes me how some people can draw conclusions like that from those types of actions.

One of the first things that people ask me when I start getting on the subject of preparedness is "what are you afraid of?" That's the thing. I'm not afraid of those types of things because I've prepared for them. I don't strap my gun on every day with the thought that I may have to use it. I carry it for the same reason that I carry a flashlight or a lighter. It's there in case I need it. If things get to the point where I honestly believe that there's a very real chance that I may have to use my gun then I'll be used to carrying it all the time, anyway. If things never get to that point then it will always just sit in it's holster and not bother anyone.

Living in fear, to me, isn't admitting to myself that bad things can happen and preparing myself just in case they do. If someone breaks into my house I can have some control over that situation. What I don't have any control over is when some bureaucrat decides that I wasn't within my rights to defend myself when I kill the intruder. The thought of another terrorist attack doesn't scare me at all. The chances that I'll be a victim of said attack are about as good as winning the lottery. What I'm afraid of is how the mainstream media will hype it and what lawmakers will be "forced" to do to "protect" us from another attack. I'm not afraid of some major panic where everyone rushes to the store and fights over whatever is left. I can assure you that you won't see me there if it happens. What I'm afraid of is government "officials" showing up at my door and demanding that I surrender everything that I've put away because unprepared people are starving. I'm hardly living in fear today. I just do what I can to prevent ever having to.


theotherryan said...

The link between preparation and fear is loose at best. In my car I have jumper cables, 2 first aid kits, 3 flashlights, a crowbar, an ax, a leatherman, assorted toolsm a fixed blade knife and bolt cutters. This is not because I am afraid of some very complicated situation in which I will need all of those items but because there is a chance I will need them.

Between the Boy Scouts and the US Army (the two are more similar then most would admit) I have gotten accustomed to being ready for a variety of situations. I am not particularly worried about food shortages or massive civil unrest but it does not hurt to be prepared for either.

To me it is not about fear but piece of mind. Does it worry me to have only 1 weeks worth of food on hand, not particularly. Does it comfort me to have far more then that in the pantry and closet, yes.

The difference is murky but significant. Fear is what keeps people up at night and peace of mind is what lets them sleep soundly (or atleast not stir about that particular topic).

BigBear said...

To me it is not about fear it's the challenge of surviving independent of support structures.

Wolverine said...

Seems to me we have a few choices. We can wait for FEMA or the police to show up and help us out, we can hope our neighbors are willing to help, or we can do what it takes to make sure our family is prepared. Otherryan and I have similar teachers. Growing up on a farm with parents that survived the Depression as kids help shape us to be survivalist today. The Scout taught me how to go about learning things and the military taught me first how to follow orders and later how to teach and give orders.

In the last two months in my area we have had the following events. Water intake from Lake eire froze and city ordered businesses closed to conserve water. Two rivers have flooded near downtown areas and closed businesses and whole neighborhoods are isolated, fires have swept a whole city block of stores and two major factories have closed, one forever, one short term. (All this in towns around me, not one town but one area.)Each of these is a SHTF for a group of people.

I don't remember when "survivalist" became a bad word. I still live by two simple words that have been a good motto for nearly a century, "Be Prepared!"


Anonymous said...

I think there is some other psychology in action, but I'm not sure exactly what it is. I lived in Southern California and had prepped for an earthquake. You know, bolted my book cases to the walls, velcroed my heavy art to the walls, child-proofed the cabinets so they wouldn't pop open, kept my stash in several trash cans behind the bushes (so they wouldn't get buried if the shed collapsed). Bag in the car with walking shoes, water, food bars, headlamp, etc. I was the laughing stock of the neighborhood. And even AFTER the quake hit, and damage was done at other homes (none at mine), people still made fun of me. But I got to enjoy sitting in the front yard watching them make trips to their trash as they threw away damaged goods and furniture. You know what? Screw 'em.