The following post was originally published over at 299Days.com.
By Glen Tate
He doesn’t seem like it; in fact, he looks kind of wimpy. He’s not a jack-booted Homeland Security trooper breaking down your door to take your guns, so he can’t be a threat, right?
Wrong. Dead wrong. He’s a bigger threat to most of you than the government.
Of course the government will be a threat, especially in urban areas where they will congregate and hold onto power in their fiefdoms. Gangs will also be a threat (more on that in Part 2 of this series). My point is that the guy pictured above – the unprepared neighbor – is the one most likely to actually try to take your stuff and, if necessary, hurt you and your family.
Who is this guy and why is he a threat?
He’s the guy who lives next to you. Just an average guy. Maybe you even gently tried to bring up the topic of prepping with him. He looked at you like you were from Mars and said, a little sarcastically, “Oh, like those people on Doomsday Preppers?” Being a good (feminized) male in the suburbs, he thought preppers were a bunch of right-wing crazies who just had some weird fetish about (icky, icky) guns. He had plenty of opportunities to prepare but spent his time and money on concerts, trendy clothes, and whatever else most of America thinks is more important than taking care of their families in a crisis.
Then the Collapse hits. Very soon his high-end grocery store is out of goat cheese and the police are no longer functioning. After the shock and total disbelief wears off, he is terrified. Not just scared, but lose-your-mind hysterical. He’s been awake for several days because of all the gunfire he’s hearing, the baby has been crying, and his wife has been screaming at him for hours to “do something!” (This, of course, is a story in itself because she was the one who told him he can’t have a gun like Todd and Chloe in the 299 Days book series.) Your unprepared neighbor is not thinking rationally. He’s desperate. Studies show that after about 72 hours without food, people – even “nice” ones – will do horrible things to feed themselves and their families. He needs to shut her up, get some food, and feel safe. He’ll do anything to make that happen. Anything.
He remembers that conversation he had with you about “having a little bit of food in case the power goes out during the next ice storm.” He remembers seeing you putting a gun into your car that day you went to the shooting range. It all becomes “clear” to him: You need to give him food and a gun. It’s only fair. Besides, he tries to reassure himself, you are a nice guy. You’ll help.
He walks over to your place. He’s nervous and scared of what he’ll do. He politely knocks on your door. You don’t know it’s him so you don’t answer – home invasions are happening everywhere and the last thing you want to do is let anyone in.
The knocking gets louder. Then even louder; by now, it’s pounding. Who ever it is banging on your door is angry.
Finally, you recognize his voice.
Should you let him in?
How you answer this is a personal choice and depends on the circumstances. However, my point is that you must recognize this guy for what he is: your enemy. That’s kind of harsh, but here’s why.
You can’t solve his problem.
You can’t feed him and his family for the next few months or even years or guard his place all night instead of guarding your own. You just can’t. That was HIS job and he failed miserably. He feels humiliated that he didn’t take care of his family – and his wife won’t stop yelling at him. You are the reason (in his mind) that his problem isn’t getting solved. So, instead of you being able to solve his problem, you ARE his problem.
Whether or not you let him in and give him a little food, he will start to talk to all the other neighbors who, of course, are not prepared either. They will decide that you’re a “hoarder.” Maybe the authorities are out looking for “hoarders” or “illegal guns” and one of the neighbors suggests that they turn you in. You get the picture. This guy is your enemy.
What can you do? Two things.
First, recognize that a seemingly harmless guy like this will, indeed, be your enemy. Recognizing this is the first – and biggest – step in successfully navigating this problem.
Second, get the hell out of that neighborhood at the first sign of the Collapse.