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David Hines [userpic]

When the SHTF

September 2nd, 2005 (01:38 pm)

There are a number of reasons that people own guns. I enjoy target shooting, myself; some people like to hunt. Others are historically or artistically minded. We're fond of talking gun lore, gun capabilities, after-action reviews, that kind of thing. Eventually, however, the late-night talk often winds around to the kind of breakdown in New Orleans -- the kind of scenario we call SHTF (Shit Hits The Fan). SHTF discussion doesn't just include guns, but preparedness kits: medical supplies, food, that kind of thing. Guns, though, are very much a part of any SHTF planning. And if you've seen the news coming out of New Orleans, you know why.

If you're not reading interdictor, you're missing the best on-the-ground coverage done online. He's former Special Forces, and right now he's using his training to keep his company running and the world informed. He's even managed to debrief a few folks who've seen other parts of the elephant. One of those folks infuriated me:

During the recon, I spoke to some Federal Marshalls and NOPD. Morale is LOW. Very low. They're not seeing the military presence they say they were promised. . . I asked if citizens can have guns for protection and he said if someone thinks he needs a gun, he should have already evacuated.

interdictor lets that pass without editorial comment. He is a much better man than I. My editorial comment to that marshal would be along the lines of, "Fuck you; strong letter to follow."

At this point, large numbers of the New Orleans Police have simply quit (scroll down; according to CNN's Jim Spellman, up to 60% of some districts' *are not showing up,* some because they've joined the looting. The honest ones who are left are outnumbered by any number of emergencies.

If you are in New Orleans, you had goddamn well better have a gun, because the multiple screw-ups of the city, state, and federal governments have made it clear that the only person who has the inclination and the ability to protect you is *you.* Did you get to the Superdome, like the Mayor told you? Congratulations; you stand a chance of getting beaten and raped by the guys who, when they're not finding smaller, weaker prey, will try to jump the few national guardsmen for their rifles. Did you make it to the Convention Center? Congratulations; you get all of the above, plus no food or water. For three days. Oh, and you have to stay there to wait for the buses, which are coming, really this time. What's that? You called your friend on your cell, and he has a working car, and he's on a road that isn't flooded, and he's coming by to pick you up? No, sorry, you're not allowed to leave.

Are you holed up in your house? Well, I hope to hell you and your buddy have a shotgun and a .357 Magnum, because people are going to come by looking to steal your generator.

Are you on a boat? Rescuing friends and family, or just trying to make it to higher ground? Watch out for fucking pirates.

Oh, and if you do get out? Hope you had a gun with you on your way out of town. Because if the undergunned cops see you, they're going to beg you to borrow it:
Police officers were asking residents to give up any guns they had before they boarded buses and trucks because police desperately needed the firepower: Some officers who had been stranded on the roof of a motel said they were being shot at overnight.

(Reminds me of the infamous North Hollywood bank shootout of a few years ago, in which two extremely heavily armed and armored men held off the undergunned police during a bank robbery, requiring the police to make emergency purchases at a local gun store. By the time the cops got back from the gun store, however -- I like to think it's because they had to fill out all the damn paperwork -- one robber had committed suicide and the other had been taken out by a (rifle-armed) SWAT unit. But I digress.)

At any rate, the marshal is full of shit.

My recommendation for civilian armament in a New Orleans-type situation would be a shotgun: good defensive weapon, more effective than a pistol, and shotguns loaded with slugs can be used to blow off padlocks and open doors, if you're trying to get out of Dodge and your way is blocked. They can also (rough) breaching tools, which can be useful if, like some folks in New Orleans, you've had to retreat to the attic against rising waters but will have to get out to the roof so you can be rescued, eventually. I wouldn't mind something fully automatic for a full riot situation, in which one is faced with a hostile crowd, but that requires a class III permit, so the people most likely to have them are bad guys.

I've been poor before, and I've weathered a couple of hurricanes. I've never gone to a public shelter. After seeing the response to Katrina, I'm never going to.


Posted by: Musings from the CZ unit (cz_unit)
Posted at: September 2nd, 2005 06:17 pm (UTC)

*nod* I've been a target shooter with .22 for a while, never owned a gun since the wife does not like the idea. Also shot trap with her father down in MS with the classic double barrel.

I should say "Did not". We had a talk last night, and she's ok with a shotgun. Local store has the Mossberg 500 for $300. Good, general purpose 8 shot rack gun. I don't think I need a semi-automatic, what do you think of the Mossberg series?


Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: September 2nd, 2005 06:40 pm (UTC)
wonder woman

Never owned one, but the folks I know who have love 'em. I'll be getting one fairly soon, and I'm thinking about the Mossberg Mariner, which is a 500 with a spiffy anti-corrosion (and salt, hence the name) finish.

Posted by: Musings from the CZ unit (cz_unit)
Posted at: September 2nd, 2005 06:53 pm (UTC)

Thanks. It looks like their price is in line as well.

Guess I will pay for this purchace out of the "household overhead" budget.


Posted by: Dammit, Clark's penis is going in *something*. (thete1)
Posted at: September 3rd, 2005 02:13 am (UTC)
Jim thinks guns are neat.

This is the gun which, iirc, my brother spent about three hours waxing rhapsodic about. Ex-Navy and *I* certainly trust his opinion.

Posted by: tried to eat the safe banana (thefourthvine)
Posted at: September 2nd, 2005 07:06 pm (UTC)
Time won't find the lost

Feel like recommending a gun? And telling me how the hell you learn to use one? I've never had one or known anyone who had one for personal use, and I live in California, where no one owns guns (or admits to it, anyway). My sum total gun experience consists of learning to take apart a 9mm and put it back together and load it. Oh, and being shot once, but I assume only right-end-of-the-gun experience helps.

I don't like the idea of having a gun around the house, but I live in a major earthquake zone. And we likely won't even have a chance to evacuate if things go south. So, you know, I'm thinking about NOLA, but with nine million people, and it doesn't sound pretty. Water...yeah. Food...yeah. Dog food...yeah. And...gun?

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: September 2nd, 2005 07:46 pm (UTC)
wonder woman

There are several options for learning how to use a gun. The National Rifle Association was founded to promote marksmanship and gun knowledge among civilians, and it still does, even though it's more famous these days as a political lobby. The NRA has basic training programs for new shooters, and odds are they've got something in your area. You can take a short and inexpensive course (basically, you pay for the instructor's and the range's time), and get advice from knowledgeable folks as to what kind of gun is right for you.

Lately, there have been a rise in nontraditional shooters. By which I mean: people who aren't heterosexual males. The Second Amendment Sisters, a women's gun-rights group, have chapters all over the country. For those who want a queer-friendly environment, there's Pink Pistols (motto: "Armed gays don't get bashed"), who are a good bunch of folks. They also tend to be geeks, so it's a nerd-friendly group too. If you don't want to go the NRA route, and there's a PP chapter in your area, check 'em out. The more people in the community you talk to, the more you'll get an idea of what is right for you. Also, most gun nuts love to take neophytes shooting, so you'll get to try a wide variety of armaments.

(My personal suggestions would be something like the Mossberg linked above for a shotgun, and/or a revolver in .357 Magnum for a handgun. Something light and portable, like this -- haven't fired that model, but Taurus revolvers are affordable and work well. Don't just listen to me, though; go out and see what kind of thing might work for you, if you're interested.)

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: September 3rd, 2005 07:09 am (UTC)

I gotta say, while I sure as hell would want a gun if I were stuck in NOLA right now - I'd much rather be not stuck in NOLA right now. In that sense, I thought that marshal had a point.

If I had a lot of possessions in NOLA, I would've wanted to move them out of NOLA days before.

If I had a house in NOLA, I would have moved, at least to higher ground.

Since you never quite know when a bad guy will come, you pretty much need a gun, always. But if you're in a high-risk area, don't look for trouble you don't need, either... move. (Well, that, or get on your local admin's case about the $@#%! crime in your neighborhood, set up a watch, etc.)

Posted by: pokeyburro (pokeyburro)
Posted at: September 3rd, 2005 07:09 am (UTC)

Er, crap. Thought I was logged in, sorry.

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