Are you well-grounded?

Well Grounded personI frequent a number of different prepper-related websites to stay in-tune with the pulse of preparedness from other perspectives. Most of the time, not always, it is pretty boring, information that is either marginal or worse, some is just blather. What I do find really interesting from time to time are the personalities. The last couple of weeks more so than usual.

Let, me back it up for a minute and explain where I am coming from this morning. During emergencies and disasters the world around you will become hectic, disorienting, and potentially filled with potholes. Those potholes could have dire outcomes if you are not well-grounded in your ethics, beliefs, and morals. I will explain through an example.

There is this guy on one of the websites, he is obviously intelligent, and he can argue an issue pretty decently. I’ve seen many people be wooed by him. He will weave some truth together but he liberally (no pun intended) mixes in a whole lot of inaccurate information and lots of personal agenda. By doing so, he will get some people to think he has a valid point because some of what he says will “ring true.” But, that smidgen of truth is overshadowed by the real trash he is promoting. But…only if you can see what he is doing and how he is doing it.

One of his primary messages is a person must always support government to the point of virtual blind obedience. Blind Obeidience walking off cliffHe has consistently advocated that all citizens must, absolutely must, obey the law no matter what. He actively pushes the idea that any civil disobedience is wrong regardless of the underlying issue(s). He also believes, and preaches, that actively fighting tyranny is against all core tenants of his religion and Christianity. I am constantly surprised at his ability to twist and manipulate his way through a debate on these subjects while hiding behind the skirts of his church’s leadership. And, I might add, misrepresenting his Churches’ positions.

But, why is that important, or even related, to your prepping?

Great question, and one that won’t produce an answer with a direct relationship between your prepping and this person, or his over the top government allegiance. But, it important to view how similar situations and people could present everything from a unpleasant situation, to a fatal set of circumstances that may challenge your beliefs and morals.

Let me define the backdrop to this discussion first. Emergencies, while they present challenges and disappointment, seldom result in the rule of law breaking down. The same could be said for the threat of violence during an emergency, it is seldom a problem of any significance. When we are dealing with disasters though, the Hurricane Katrina satalite imagesituation will probably change to the point of the threat of violence becomes more prevalent, if not pervasive. However, it is my belief violence would be more wide-spread during more serious disasters. Disasters along the scale of Hurricane Katrina.

When large-scale significant disasters hit they tend to grow in scope until they approach a “grid-down” situation. Most disasters however stop short of a full-on grid-down. Hurricane Katrina began as an emergency in so much that people where having to prepare for the approaching storm under increasingly dire conditions. However, once Hurricane Katrina wide-spread floodingthe storm hit it immediately transitioned into a disaster without any question.

Then we saw another transition take place as the disaster of Hurricane Katrina moved into the realm of grid-down. However, not the entire storm affected area went into grid-down, many areas remained in the disaster category. There were areas where grid-down was in full force; the Dome for instance. There were other Hurricane Katrina superdome grid-downlimited areas of the city and surrounding area such as the “bridge” where the police simply shot and killed a number of unarmed citizens for sport. There was also wide-spread gun confiscation in New Orleans as well, which certainly would have pulled the disaster into grid-down territory.

Each category (emergencies, disaster, grid-down) presents moral challenges. The presence of those challenges require grounding in core beliefs that will help you safely navigate the waters of moral and ethical choices. Let me explain that a little bit by asking a dramatic “war gaming” question…

When are you prepared to kill your neighbor?

I bet you weren’t expecting that question were you? Most people would be appalled by that question. However, for preppers it is a legitimate question. I really hope you didn’t have a snap answer to that question, I would like to go through a little exercise to see just where that line is. To do so let me use myself as the guinea pig.

My neighbor is an absolute idiot, he is an alcoholic, drunk almost every weekend/all weekend, he is an ugly drunk, a loudmouth who views himself as a bully, he has abused his wife in the past, he is arrogant…yeah, a real gem of a neighbor. So, where is the line where you would kill a guy like this during an emergency, disaster, or grid-down?

In the situation of an “emergency” when would you be prepared to take this guy’s life?

I would propose something along the lines of –Man attacking woman

  • The attacks you or a family member with any kind of weapon.
  • He attempts to sexually assault someone.

But what about –

  • He tries to steal your food?
  • He tries to steel your generator that is running while the power is out?
  • He starts yelling at you for having power, food, or water when his family doesn’t?
  • He’s pounding on your door demanding you share your gasoline with him?

To me the first group (attack & assault) are warranted, the second group it isn’t. Why? Well, under simple disaster conditions why wouldn’t you share your food, water, gasoline, generator, etc. with your neighbor?

Now, let me throw in some more information right about now that will muddy the water a bit. My neighbor’s wife is a very nice person. They also have two teenage daughters, 16 & 19. Both of those kids are really, really nice people, pleasant to be around, respectful, and just nice kids. Do I make them suffer because of their idiot father or husband?

I hope I have you thinking about now. But, let’s move along…what about a full-blown disaster…where is the line where he deserves to die?

Now, is it warranted if he tries to steal tools, food, water, gasoline, propane, etc? Does he deserve to die for those things?

I maintain that the first couple situations are still morally acceptable to take a life – stopping an

  • Attack on you or a family member with any kind of weapon.
  • Sexually assault.

What about in week three and his family is really hungry and they want to eat some of your food storage and he is BlindObeidience-004in your face yelling and screaming as well as threatening you with physical harm? Is that the line he has crossed that deserves a life to be taken?

I say, “No.” Why? Taking a life, even injuring someone is a pretty serious step to take. He is probably not reacting any differently that anyone would, maybe even how you would react if you had not properly prepared. Remember, the stuff you share with him you can replace at the store once the disaster is over, even it the incident lasts for several weeks. That time period should not have exhausted your supplies, you should be better prepared than that.

Let’s move into the “grid-down” situation now. Does this change anything?

Just to make it easier, we are talking a hard grid-down situation where there simply won’t be a resupply of food for months, maybe years. Fresh water is no longer available and fuel is no longer in existence. The grid is down, and down hard. What now?

I say that he gets a quick ride to the next life still if –

  • The attacks you or a family member with any kind of weapon.
  • He attempts to sexually assault someone.

But now, with the situation significantly changed, what about –

  • He tries to steal your food?
  • He tries to steel your generator?
  • He is in your face, pushing his finger into your chest, yelling at you for having power, food, or water when his family doesn’t?
  • He’s pounding on your door demanding you share your gasoline with him?
  • He’s been talking trash to the neighbors telling them you have a whole warehouse of food but won’t share…and they should simply take it from you?

Where is your line now?

Actually, let me ask another question at this point…Have you ever thought of this stuff before? Meaning, where is BlindObeidience-005your moral line.

OK, I am not asking for answers to the question. What I am really asking about is are you well-grounded enough in your own moral base to know now where that line is, where your boundaries are?

I thought about it a whole lot. When I was writing the first two books of My Journal series I really thought long and hard about it. I wanted to portray in the book what was realistic in terms of moral struggle in taking a life…and when it was warranted.

I am a Christian, and as such I profess to believe that all life is sacred and precious. I am also a father and husband, so the lives of my family are important. So I had to deal with the challenge of…When is the life of a family member worth more than anyone elses life?

Whoa…there is a serious challenge!

But let me completely change directions on you again. Let’s pull this conversation out of the “live or die” scenario. Let’s talk about rights, freedoms, and liberties. When, or do we, ever give those up? Or, when do we take them from others?

And that brings us back to the “well-grounded” question that I started off with. What are your core beliefs…about anything?

Another example is needed…

The grid is down hard, violence is everywhere, gangs are roaming, etc. Your neighborhood has a meeting and TownHallMeeting-001decides to organize as its own self-contained and self-governed community. Someone proposes to do things democratically, elect a leader by simple majority, and then have a committee make rules and laws. Those rules and laws will be presented to the community and voted on, majority vote required to pass them. Do you support that?

Well, depends on if you believe in a democracy or not.

Do you? Do you believe in a democracy as a legitimate and proper form of government?

Let’s listen to what our Founding Fathers had to say…

“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner.” – Ben Franklin

“Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.” – Alexander Hamilton

The United States is a Constitutional Republic not a democracy! The Constitution and the Bill of Rights was not the founding documents of a democracy, they are the foundation of a Constitutional Republic.

If you understand a democracy and how it works, democracy is nothing more than mob rule. Yes, maybe a well thomas jefferson Democracy Is Mob Ruleorganized mob, but still a mob. Supporting an organization that brings a neighborhood together is great; supporting it under the concept of “majority rule” is supporting a non-Constitutional form of government. Are you prepared to do that and live with the consequences?

What if that democratic neighborhood government holds a vote and Town Hall Meetingthe majority decide to share food among all families? And they then demand you to turn over all of your food to be distributed to others…what now?

Would you ever steal food from someone during a grid-down event? How about a disaster?

Wait, maybe I should ask you a slightly different, although related, question…Have you ever been truly hungry, such as in you haven’t eaten for a couple of days kind of hungry?

OK, let me bombard you with yet another question…You are living in a disaster situation, your child is diabetic, you are out of insulin, your child is going down hill rapidly, death is within days, maybe less. The local pharmacy has insulin, plenty of it, but your prescription has lapsed, your doctor can’t be reached, no other doctor is willing to talk to you, no hospital is available, the pharmacist is adamant…no prescription = no insulin.

Would you steal the insulin?

How about…would you hold up the pharmacist at gun point to get the insulin? What if the pharmacist said you would have to kill him to get more insulin without a prescription. Now what would you do? Where is that line…your line of morality?

In the Bible there are great admonitions; love your neighbor as yourself, take care of the poor and needy, the Good Samaritan, turn the other cheek, etc. Wonderful advice, terrific stories, and divine guidance is found in that brilliant book.

So, would I let my neighbor steal the food from my family to feed his family?

Would I let my neighbors confiscate my food storage because they had a “vote” and decided that was the right thing to do?

Something a bit less dramatic…Would I share my food storage with my neighbor knowing that it will make my Violent Mob approachingfamily starve sooner?

What about a mob advancing on my house demanding that I share my food storage?

Once again, I am not asking what you would do. I am asking…Have you thought about where is your moral line on these matters?

In other words…When would you pull the trigger?

Or, like the individual that I describe being a “government is the answer” guy, would you know when, how, or why to object to his arguments? Better yet, would you know how to plead a case against him to a group of people he is trying to lead astray? Or, would you give-in to his golden tongue and follow his false ways? Would you just silence him with an inner-cranial lead injection?  Would you even know just how wrong someone like that is?

Are you well-grounded or just well prepared?

Which is most important to you?

Have faith in yourself!


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2 thoughts on “Are you well-grounded?

  1. I must be clueless.
    I say that because I figured those who really prepare would have had these kind of conversations (both in their head and with others in the family/group) as a part of being prepared. Personally, I’ve thought about it a lot, and perhaps that is because I’ve spent years studying, taking classes, and teaching use of force/CCW, etc. I expected hard core shooters and preppers to have done the homework 98% of my students don’t do.
    I don’t think my ROE will change much with the situation. I say this because it still comes down to defending the lives of me and mine.
    Will stealing my food or other necessities lead to my death? Given the right amount of societal disruption the answer is an unequivocal yes.
    Will that armed robbery or burglary still be a felony.SHTF or not? Yes.
    Under normal circumstances (in most jurisdictions) does attempting to commit a violent felony upon another person give the potential victim the right to use deadly force? That is another YES.
    Burglary, armed robbery, home invasion, rape, aggravated assault, battery (the definitions of those last two vary by jurisdiction), all can be cause for use of deadly force. Does the threesome of Ability, Opportunity, and Jeopardy still apply? You bet!
    What will that be different about that in an SHTF?
    Nothing as far as I can tell, but maybe so- I haven’t been through an SHTF, ask me after the lights come back on.
    How about the crowd/gang/mob coming to your door screaming “GIVE US YOUR STUFF OR ELSE”?
    Would a reasonable person believe they were a threat capable of causing grievous bodily harm or death? I think so.

    The real question for me is the mindset of the person confronted by the shoot/don’t shoot decision. Will they have the ability to pull the trigger when the time comes? Will they hesitate when they should act?
    That is why the mental exercise of “drawing lines in the sand” is so important for anyone who is armed. The question “when do I shoot” should have been pondered at length, and should be revisited from time to time. Information and situation (like age) change, yet you must still be ready. The “morality” of the action should be the same, once you identify the threat.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great, thought provoking post.
    A couple of things occurred to me as I read this:
    1. Without sounding like a broken record, OPSEC is paramount. Your neighbor shouldn’t know you have all the stuff you have. On that note, perhaps OPSEC becomes a moral question for us. Perhaps I wouldn’t have a confrontational neighbor if he was clueless.
    2. My line is real clear about the closeness of someone screaming and poking me in the chest. That is too close for a reasonable reaction time should he become violent. Some distance should be maintained. If he continues to cross the line despite warnings, I would have to act. My first priority lies in taking care of my family. Without me around, I would be throwing them to the wolves.
    3.The church has always taught (until some recent super-progressive, wanna be theologians came along) the right to self defense. St. Thomas Aquinas has a wonderful dissertation on the morality (even more so – the duty) of self-defense from a person entrusted with others care.
    Thanks for greasing the thought wheels – all the more reason to maintain a daily prayer life and scriptural reading.
    God Bless.

    Liked by 1 person

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