Monday, June 16, 2008

Cold, cold water

In an earlier series of posts, I wrote about my family's approach to "bugging" -- by no means gospel, not even a primer, simply a humble and personal description of what we do.

Preparedness accounts for security, survival and defense "when the worst happens." Some call that SHTF, others TEOTWAWKI -- whatever the label, the scenario or the scale, "the worst" involves clear and present threats to our survival.

Preparedness is neither a game nor an obsession -- it's a mindset. It's an attitude that allows us to live our everyday lives, yet be ready to confront and dispatch threats when they present themselves.

On the last page of the June issue of S.W.A.T. magazine is a column by Louis Awerbuck, one of the nation's top instructors in gunhandling, marksmanship and tactics. Entitled "Welcome to the Jungle," it delivers a blunt and sobering perspective on surviving a "doomsday scenario."

The column concludes:

"No, you don't have to be Mad Max, Rambo, or paranoid. But it would be nice, for example, for those of you who have families, if you could make your way back home to protect your spouse and ankle-biters when that never-going-to-happen disaster hits. The first of the loot-shoot-scoot brigade will deploy immediately after a disaster, looking for an easy mark. Those who have nothing to lose will be ready to take, and the sooner they start, the more they can take.

"Traffic will be snarled within 15 minutes and there will be no emergency response units available to solve your little problems -- so you'll have to do it all by your lonesome -- and on foot. And even if you find a desirable route, perhaps you've forgotten about that gun thingummybob I mentioned earlier. One teensy-weensy bullet through your head and I now own your Hummer and everything in it -- including your address. You know -- that place where your widow and kids are waiting. Sorry about that, but survival of the fittest and all that good stuff, don't you know.

"Remember the Los Angeles riots, post-Katrina New Orleans, or New York during the infamous eight-hour Con-Ed blackout? The shooters and looters were at work within the first hour.

"Now decide if you want to be the chef or the entree, because the Hell Restaurant is open for business, and only the man with the carving knife and the full belly is walking out alive."

As raw as Mr. Awerbuck's words may be, don't recoil from them and, whatever you do, don't dismiss them. Let them sink in.

Our society, in the midst of a crisis, operates exactly as he describes. Arguments to the contrary are pure fantasy.

Is he giving us a do-or-die choice? Absolutely -- the stark picture he paints is as accurate as it is disturbing.

It's a bucket of ice water in our faces, leaving us with but one responsible course of action.

Prepare now.