Thursday, January 31, 2013

Disaster Preparedness: Firearms

Seems like such a serious title and it is. Around the world weather has changed so dramatically that no one really can say what the seasons will bring anymore. Tornadoes are commonplace EVERYWHERE now. Hurricanes seem to favor the Mid-Atlantic coast more than ever. Brush fires, mudslides, earthquakes, all showing up in their normal spots as well as new ones. We need to be ready and we need to know how to be ready.

There is a great discussion about disaster survival topic going on at Down to Earth. Now, Down to Earth being an international blog and I, as an American, noticed the one thing not discussed in this post, which makes me wonder if I really do live in a much more violent society than others.


This is the touchiest of subjects, especially here in the US right now, but I feel it has its place when it comes to disaster survival. If, God Forbid, things get really ugly and desperate the police will not be able to reach you then what can you do? I am not dying for bread or water, but I do have a child to protect. A friend of mine who lives in Georgia also had this discussion with me. Neither of us are comfortable with guns in the house, but we do understand from a survivalist stand point, the purpose of owning one. The question then goes which kind should you have and why? I favor the Walther PPK series and the Dominator Nighthawk.
Let me back pedal a bit here and say I know nothing and I mean nothing about guns. In one of my novels, my heroine is a former marine turned bounty hunter, so I had to do A LOT of research and ask a friend who is Captain of the SWAT team about firearms and how they work. She uses the above guns I mentioned and now I can say I know a tiny little bit about guns, but it would never impress anyone. The reason I bring firearms up at all is because when Hurricane Sandy hit, within a few days people started to snap over gas rationing and lack of power. People who were ill prepared for such a disaster were getting hostile and voicing such hostility on the radio for all to hear. To be that at a loss without the Internet or TV is a little frightening. Yes, some actually complained about not having their computer or TV. Dude, people lost their homes and you are pissed because you missed an episode of something or can't access Facebook? Some complained about not having lights. How do you not have candles or lanterns? I understood being angry about not having heat or your food spoiling, but again, if you were semi-warm and dry and with a roof over your head, you were ahead of the game than most. The year before, Hurricane Irene, Hurricane Lee and the freak snow storm in October sort of told us that this was the "new normal" here in NJ and we better be ready. Of course, those who lived down the shore or in Queen and Staten Island could have had everything ready, but they were still going to lose their houses and in some cases their lives, which was and always will be beyond awful. I hope some of them had bug out bags ready so they were not caught off guard too much, but I have a feeling a lot of our citizens were not ready and some will still not be when it happens again.

Yes, I believe this will happen again.

And with that will come the jerks who loot and harm others in the middle of this crisis. These are the people that made us discuss owning a firearm. Those that think nothing of taking advantage of a bad situation. As I said to my husband, "If someone thinks they can just bust into my house to take stuff, they are wrong." This conversation happened because you could feel the tension in the air. Like some people were on the brink of doing something desperate since supermarkets were closed and could not get deliveries and gas was scarce. I have no problem helping others in need and we did, but if you come in by force, no way. You are getting carried out in a body bag. God, I sound so awful. Are these really the times we live in? Or am I imagining a boogeyman? I do not really know. All I know is, when there is a disaster you may need a way to defend what is yours. I don't care if you use your hands, a baseball bat or a gun, but part of survival is having a way to keep your home, your family, safe. I mean, you can maim someone with a martial arts move or a shovel just as easy as a gun. Do you plan a panic room instead or have an escape route to save your family if some jackass comes waving his own gun ready to steal? This is a topic I wish more people would discuss, not just on survivalist boards, but in general.

On a brighter note, I was happy to see most of the population come together and help one another sans violence. Lending a hand, gathering clothes and supplies to be distributed to those who had nothing but the wet clothes on their backs. People opened their homes to house those same people and that is a kindness one cannot measure. That is the society I prefer, not this current one where violence is the solution to protect what is mine. I want that type of decision and violence to stay in my novel, in that dystopian world that we are not a part of...yet.



  1. I actually really like this post. It is very human & real, and yep, I agree with a lot of it. It is a sad world we live in sometimes, and yet at others a lovely world, and we have a duty to promote the lovely, but not put blinders on to the ugly side we may have to protect ourselves from. Thank you for writing this & I am glad there are people like you in the world!! :-) Lynne fr NY (some day I too will have a blog but not quite ready yet!!)

  2. It is a tough topic and rightly so, but you never hear it discussed much in the mainstream unless it is for political gains and I think we all deserve better than that.