Fight them or Feed them

looters and preppers
Sign could read “Looters will be fed”
A long thread on City-data Forum has a number of individuals discussing their attitude towards looting in the event of a general social collapse or weather crisis.

One said he would without a doubt be a Looter because he was not in a position to prepare for possible crisis.

“I’m not going to lie. My preparedness is almost nonexistant at this stage. I would label myself a “well planned looter”. I have maps and plans on how to take the things I need from various places in local areas, but financial means keep me from stocking up on much of anything I would need for any bad situation.

In my neck of the woods and with my mindset, the situations I want to prep for the most are Civil Unrest, a Meltdown from a “nearby” Nuclear Reactor, and Martial Law/Hostile Military Presence.”

Another contributor replied that people who did not prepare would not survive – either they would starve, or be killed – and the author seemed quite ready to do the killing:-

“I don’t really prepare for any one specific scenario (other than what I’ll discuss in the next paragraph). I have a rotating stock of food and supplies that I use now and could use for probably a couple years without resupply. But that’s not really me being paranoid about what may happen; it’s simply me being frugal and efficient. That frugality and efficiency just carries over for many events that might cut my ability to restock. It wouldn’t have been anything out of the ordinary or “paranoid” 100 or 200 years ago.

Having said that, there is one thing that I do take seriously and prepare for: that is those who lack the intelligence to have a few extra cans of food in the cupboard and lack the dignity to not become part of the problem should something bad happen. I’m pretty good at taking things at face value. I know exactly what they will do because I see exactly what they do now. I see a society that absolutely crucifies anyone who would aspire to have any level of emergency preparedness, yet see bands of looters and “desperate people” stealing, killing, and maiming as being perfectly acceptable in those conditions. That’s upside-down, just as our entire society largely is on most any matter. The bad is good, and the good is bad. So, as an individual who would rather die than bow down to those too stupid to prepare for such things, I’m as prepared in that sense as I am capable. I might share a bowl of oatmeal with you if you ask, but you’re going to have a much harder time taking my oats — I don’t stock my pantry for subhumans.

I DO believe in natural selection and consequences for one’s actions (archaically referred to as “taking responsibility”), and if anyone out there doesn’t want to have a safety net of food and supplies on hand, that’s fine by me… as long as they are willing to let natural selection run its course and live with any consequences of that that may befall them. If the squirrel is too stupid to store acorns for winter, the squirrel faces possible starvation. Simple concept; it’s not rocket science.

Another identified himself a s a very determined kind of looter – -together with a group of other former soldiers, they wold scientifically strike at vulnerable families who had what they needed to drive.

“I’m quite sure that many people that are dedicated to firearms proficiency could in fact consistently make shots well in excess of 200 yards, and many of those can accurately shoot 600, 800, or more yards. However, I get the feeling from reading statements such as I’ve quoted and from people I speak to in real life that people seem to confuse accurate target shooting with spidy sense, ESP, Bruce Lee, and Matrix style abilities. I also walk away with the opinion that everybody that’s hording the dark guns and insists on magazine capacities of 30 or more rounds seems to think that the number of bullets in the firearm equals 100% accuracy and 30 rounds means 30 dead bad guys dispatched in less time than it took you to read this last sentence.

I’m sure that if there is a meltdown of biblical proportion, many of the looters in the beginning will be bold, brazen, and inexperienced, which means a lot of dead looters. Not every looter is going to be stupid. Moreover, once the herd of looters is culled, the remaining lot will be very deadly and they won’t come knockin’ on your door during reasonable hours greetin’ with a grin and a handshake. Hence, looters will be very unpredictable, come when you least expect it, and hit you when they have you at the disadvantage. Any looter with half a brain, and there are a lot more than most people are willing to accept, so you can’t just disregard them all as idiots, will have the advantage because he/they choose when and where they’re going to strike, whereas the homesteader, prepper, and person hunkering down in a static location has to watch his stash 24/7 and it’s impossible to such maintain 100% readiness. Anybody whose done security, walked guard duty, and the like will know what I’m speaking about.

We’ve been in a war for ten years now. Currently, we have a huge population of men that have received military combat training within the last thirty years. A fit fifty year old man can often dog an 18 year old boy, so when things get rough, people will turn to looting out of desperation and we have a fair population of men trained for combat by the military aged 21 – 60. In a few control group starvation studies, within 5 days, the 90% of the group was willing to steal to procure their next meal. After 14 days, nearly 100% of the group was willing to resort to cannibalism. Just flip back through history and see what happens to groups of people that are cut off from a food source for a few weeks. Thievery, mayhem, and cannibalism always happens, so what do you think’s going to happen when 10% of the population that’s received combat training and or has combat experience turns to looting in order to feed themselves?

I do not prep. I think it’s pointless unless you’re in a remotely populated area where everybody’s a rancher/farmer/homesteader and there’s a huge sense of community. I don’t however disregard the fact that there could be a collapse. Hence, I have joined a group of five men. If it happens we have a rally point that we will all check every few days. Each member has told others, so this group could be larger. Every one of us knows bushcrafting, wilderness survival, and we’re all combat trained and or combat grunts that have seen more than a year of actual combat. I personally have no combat experience, but I’ve had several years of combat training in the Corps. I seriously doubt that the average homesteader/prepper will be ready for a full out surprise assault by trained men working together in a group. After watching a target for three days, noting every move, and when things are done, when the attack comes, the target will never know what hit them. There are also a few young and attractive women in this group. If there’s a complete collapse, children will be taken in as well. How many men / women / groups will fall for the maiden in distress or the Campbell’s Soup kid showin’ up with a skinned knee and cryin’ ’bout how hungry he is? That maiden and kid could well be a shill agent of a hostile group… When I talk about recruiting people, and a group of men I belong to, we do not actively recruit people or go out and train. We’re not a group of wacky nut jobs. We simply realize that a complete collapse could happen, and thus we’ve made plans. The only practice any of us do is going out solo camping and bush crafting using self reliance, and on rare occasions, we go out together. Throughout my years of life, I have noticed that I am not unique, so I suspect that there are also a lot of people planning the same thing I am.

All I can say to preppers that think a bunch of dark guns with trendy gizmos, sniper rifles, and years worth of supplies will see them through it all is good luck! You’re going to need it because most of us are going to die because there’s not way we can feed and hydrate 300 million people using primitive methods.

For those prepping for short term localized disasters that knock out utilities lasting 1 – 30 days, I don’t consider that prepping. Prepping has become a perverse market in our lovely consumer based economy and people are panic buying themselves into bankruptcy.

Yet another contributor echoed the previous and said it would be easy for a determined and intelligent small group to wipe out a much larger one

It really depends upon the size and remoteness of your community. I hear suburban cul-de-sacs residents talking about how they’re going to defend against looters.

Most looters by our standards right now are probably low level opportunists like you’ve described, but to paint them all with a cowardice brush is quite foolish in my opinion. For those that seem to think that in a post SHTF scenario all the rules/people will remain the same, I say that you lack imagination and the inability to read through the history of mankind. The fact is that once the harsh reality of “I’m going to die soon if I don’t eat,” half driven by starvation and half driven by delirium due to malnutrition will cause many to loot, steal, and murder. Comparing normal everyday home lovin’ American L.A. Riot type looters to desperate people in a lawless SHTF land dying from lack of adequate shelter, dehydration, and or starvation that are just trying to survive isn’t a fair analogy.

For all but a few preppers in some huge remote organized community, it doesn’t take a pack of ex-seals to defeat you. All it takes is a couple of people with half a brain working as an organized team to watch your every move for three days, and they’ll hit you when you’re at the disadvantage. You’ll be hit when most are sleeping, while you’re doin’ your business, or when you’re working your land. They might pick you off one by one, take one of you hostage, or send in a shill agent. They have every advantage because they’re not tied to their house and they’ll dictate when and where the fighting is done.

While there may be easier targets out there, you could be viewed as a threat that needs to be gotten rid of or as competition for resources.

Don’t be so sure of yourself, your abilities, and such because we have a huge population and no matter how good you are, sooner or later somebody’s going to be better, smart enough to catch you off guard, or just ordinary lucky. For most people, it’s impossible to maintain 100% readiness 24/7. Sooner or later you’ll have to sleep, let your guard down due to the mundane chores of life, and who knows what.

If you’ve read my first post on this page, I’ve included myself in the casualty list because the odds are against me, and I am no looter. I am just willing to accept the fact that in these ridiculous scenarios that people are prepping for, I’ll probably die because some looter got the best of me, mob rule, and who knows just how the police, military, and or government will react?

Perhaps the key contribution came from the man who had started the thread – he said he wanted to prep but simply could not afford to:

Well, where to start. First off, to me SHTF events are not a job loss, a storm, or the power going out. That’s life. SHTF means something that affects the infrastructure and basic commodities for people in a state wide or greater area. Generally speaking, nation wide or globally is what should be the most S*** hitting the fan.

And I’m happy for any individual or group that has had the fortune and resources to fully stock themselves in preparation for such an event. But the fact of the matter is that the majority of Americans can’t afford to prep, even if they wanted to. I make less than $20,000 a year. I pay rent and utilities. I buy my food. Other than my $60 a month phone bill. That’s the only luxury I have, beyond AC.

So when I say that I’m going to be a looter, it’s not a choice made of wanting to be Jesse James and robbing people for the fun. And I don’t intend to go around raiding pantries. I plan to raid commercial and industrial sites for equiment and supplies that will make long term survival easier.

I have the skills to survive in the woods. I can track and hunt. I can make fire and shelter. I know what’s safe to eat locally and what’s poisonous. But such a life offers no security if I don’t have a safe place to lay my head. And it doesn’t help my family who don’t have the same skills. But that doesn’t make them useless. My grandmother, bless her soul, has had a garden every year for the last 2 decades. That to me makes her useful.

My grandparents own some property on a mountain, in a remote area. But it’s in no way secure. But if I go to my old job site and take a welder and a few of the dozens of stacks of sheet metal they keep on hand, I can fortify the area a lot better than it is.

If I go steal that frontloader from the place I used to work forms, I can cut down some trees and block roads. Clear land for farming. If I go take a truck from the Spargas station, I know we’ll have propane for heat and cooking through at least the first winter.

It’s not about supplying yourself for the rest of your life. It’s about giving yourself an easier adjustment to going without the things you’ve taken advantage of all your life.

And Bollio, thank you for your point. Eventually everyone is going to steal, or kill, or do things they could never imagine doing, just to eat. I’m simply ready to let go of those constraints as soon as it becomes clear that things are not going to be okay anytime soon. This gives me an advantage. Let people raid Wal-mart for canned goods and drinking water. Let the truly stupid kill each other over TVs and laptops. I’m going to be the guy breaking into a factory and stealing tools I can’t make. I’m going to be the guy pulling up into Lowe’s with a flatbed Semi trailer loading up 4x4s and plywood.

And while I’m at the local Co-Op filling up a 300 gallon deisel tank, I’ll grab the ignored 80 pound sacks of feed grain corn, seeds, and canned dog food if I have the space in the truck.

However the most prepared of preppers will always be one step ahead of the looters, according to this posting

I have no problem scavanging from junk yards or abandoned items, but just planning to steal as my primary plan is an anethema to me.

If the family is starving, yeah, I would do anything I could to take care of them including stealing, sorry, “looting” , but that is only after every other option is exhausted.

I too have served in a few vacation spots overseas where there are bullets in the air, mines in the dirt, and a definite hazzard to life and limb exist.
I have seen how people live who have been in the middle of a genocidal war have had to live. I get it, people will do things they wouldn’t normally even consider in extreme circumstances, but that is part and parcel of being self sufficent, so you never reach that level. 

If you find yourself in that situation, it is because you failed to plan ahead and make provision, not just because of circumstance because it is rare that you can’t extricate yourself from a bad situation if you have a plan, supplies stored away from your primary residence, and the ability to think and adapt, and the skills to use the resources that are available.
You don’t have to dive to the bottom of the barrel right out of the gate, and that becoming the lowest common denominator is your only plan.

I live a long way from any population centers, probably the closest major city is Alberta Canada, and it is over 500 miles away, so isolation does provide for a certain measure of security because those too lazy to take care of themselves sure aren’t going to walk for hundreds of miles over very rough terrain with very bad weather and through lots of dangerous wildlife to find me.
Even if they are able to find potable water on the trip, or enough food to live until they get within range of my place, they will be weakened and probably low on ammunition by that time.

Once they get within say, 20 miles of my place, then they have to start combing the mountain ranges, up each gulch and ravine, to locate me, which could take a while because there are no real indicators of where my place is. The road in is a wheel track, just 2 lines in the grass, across creeks and up over hills. It could be just a 4 wheeler run or a ranch road, nothing says there is any reward at the end of the road.

IF they find the place, and IF they make it through the safeguards I would install in that situation, (yes, I do have a lot of experience with special surprises used in war zones ), IF they are lucky enough to actually find the place, guess what? I usually only keep about a weeks worth of provisions in the house, the rest is secured in other locations that I can get to, but are dug into the ground, Root Cellars that don’t have a sign pointing out where they are, and are pretty stout because of the grizzly bears so getting in would still be a chore.

Am I 100% prepared? Never. I could survive indefinately, but I can always install luxuries like a waterwheel powered generator for electricity, or another spring house, or another root cellar, or clear another garden space and put up high fences to protect it from wildlife.

I am a blacksmith, I can always use new tools and techniques, Steel can be scavanged from junk yards and abandoned vehicles to make tools and weapons.
I make my own bows and arrows, I would like to have a dowl cutter to make it simpler, quicker and less work to make my arrows.

I would like to dig a pond I could stock with fish as another food source.

I would like to get a few more cattle for work and food, I would like to get another team of horses too.

I would like to update and expand my diesel plant for better production.

You are never 100% when you are self sufficent, there is always something more you can do.

I know how to make gunpowder as well, but I could add to my lead supply for my flintlock…. black powder also works well for moving boulders or digging cellars, or even for some of those surprises I mentioned…

Maybe that should be first to provide insurance against those who can’t be bothered to do anything for themselves because they plan on stealing from others 

Read more: https://www.city-data.com/forum/self-sufficiency-preparedness/1909766-what-specifc-shtf-scenarios-do-you-4.html#ixzz2ZRERLyHe

3 Responses

  1. Thanks. I needed to read/hear this from someone else. All the mentioned scenarios have played out in my head for 25+ years. I too am limited by my financial resources but my resources are not limited by my mind. I recon on a daily basis if not by the minute by the mile. Resources are all around me, but so are the bad guys. My fear was becoming one of them. Now I’ve embraced the possibility of resorting to their tactics. Thanks again for the post it was truly cathartic.

  2. Having read these, all for me none for you, posts it is plain to me that nearly all have decided their only option for survival is at their neighbors exspense. This is todays America, godless and lawless! I suspect many are the ones that think the Government stealing from them and arming to the teeth is an evil: and they are right, which makes them just as big a bunch of stealing, murdering scumbags also! The “firey trial” all are talking about here has long been fortold in the Good Book. So has the Judgement that follows for all. Becareful with your plans of conduct, as if the Judgement proves as right as the trouble fortold, I suggest you revisit your plans. Best Regards,

  3. While we hold a Christian viewpoint on charity even post-shtf I cam tell you that Sarah and I will not tolerate even the risk of looters.
    I think the important thing to take away from all of this is general OPSEC.
    There’s a local group of preppers who plan on being looters. They have only enough provisisions to get them through the front end and then plan on aggresively looting for survival. These are the people you.musy be concerned about. Be sure to minimize your expoaure to them and ensure they do not have enougj details to find you. Then be prepared for preemptive action if needed.
    The world will turn into a scary.place. While helping is important you must realize that you cant help anyone (including yourselves) if you’re dead and all your preps are stolen.

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