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By January 17, 2013 Read More →

Guns For My Neighbors; In Consideration of Community Preparedness

In a fortuitous Shot Show meeting in the Press Room, I had an excellent conversation with Robert Farago, publisher of “The Truth About Guns”, he proposed an interesting idea from an East Coast perspective:

“If a storm rolls through my area and things get bad enough that looters are a serious risk, my neighbors not only do not have the skills to protect our neighborhood – they don’t have the tools.”

Storing food specifically for neighbors who do not prepare is something we already advise and teach – the idea of storing firearms that your neighbors can use to help defend your neighborhood is a new perspective for me (of course, in my neighborhood, everyone has an envious arsenal).

So, what parameters need to be considered with this idea?  Consider that these neighbors likely know nothing about firearms, potentially have never shot or even held a firearm and certainly may have no training at all.  How can you incorporate all that into a plan to be able to relatively safely hand out firearms to your neighbors to man a line to keep looters out?

Robert’s suggestions include a revolver so they don’t have to figure out how to load magazines or anything complicated and a heavy trigger pull so they don’t accidentally discharge their weapon.  For longer range work he proposes a lever-action .22 with a tube feeder.  This will allow them to utilize the firearms easily with minimal instruction and basically turn it into a point and shoot experience.

Many of you will share his perspective of having such inexperienced neighbors, fortunately I don’t have any experience with that viewpoint to really expand on the situation other than stories I’ve heard/read.  I really liked his ideas of simple use firearms that could be handed out and, of course, I love the idea of Prepping for your neighborhood to hold off the looter hordes.  As Robert said, “You’ve got to plan for stupid!”.

How does this idea strike you?  Are there opportunities to discuss this with your neighbors at all before this kind of scenario becomes reality?  Could you get your neighbors to get some training ahead of time?

Obviously, this idea means that you will have to have considered how you will rapidly train your neighbors to manage to not shoot each other, how to hold a line and how to use the simple firearms you’ve provided them with.  Not only will you need to add the firearms to your preps (seriously, who has a problem with getting more firearms anyway) you’ll also need to make sure you have ammo for them.

What other types of firearms might be useful?  I’m somewhat inclined to expand my collection of Ruger 10/22’s with hot lips mags and plan to teach them to use the speed loader.  That does add to the complexity a bit, but I would prefer to do that over keeping a different type of rifle than the one I keep for my kids.  Cheap “Saturday Night Special” .22 revolvers would be great to store for this scenario, even if it never happens, .22 ammo is super cheap and you could use the same ammo for the revolver and the long gun.

Are there other firearms that would fit nicely into this paradigm?



Posted in: Firearms

About the Author:

Phil is one of the co-owners of The APN. He was raised in a Preparedness Oriented family, living a self-sustaining lifestyle as a third generation, LDS, Prepper. He grew up farming, canning and learning to live off the land in the forests, mountains, rivers, oceans and cities of Missouri, Tennessee, Hawaii and Utah. In early 2008, he co-founded UtahPreppers.com as a blog to talk about and teach Prepping. Over the next couple years, they produced hundreds of articles about Preparedness. Prior to UtahPreppers, he had been actively blogging elsewhere about building his self-sustaining farm and raising his 8 children in a preparedness lifestyle.

40 Comments on "Guns For My Neighbors; In Consideration of Community Preparedness"

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  1. George Hockhousen says:

    Phil,
    I have considered this exact dilemma for quite some time and here are my thoughts. My initial reaction was, if they aren’t prepping now, they don’t deserve any help later. My second thought was, if they don’t have a gun by now, unless they are very young adults, they probably are anti gun, and would just turn it in the first chance they got.
    I also worry about arming someone who hasn’t prepped at all, and then providing that person an opportunity to turn that gun against me. Finally, I came to the realization that, as much as most of us would like to be an island unto ourselves, to survive the ZA, we will need the help of others. If our untrained neigbors can at least offer a first line of defense, or at least be cannon fodder, perhaps I can keep my place safe. An armed neighborhood is a much more formidable target than an unarmed neighborhood with one household armed to the teeth. I know my immediate 3 neighbors, and they have been good people. I would be far more likely to provide arms to them than those farther away that I do not know. I have also decided, that while I can turn most people away, my extended family members, I could not. My immediate family, wife and children, have their own firearms already, but my sister and her family do not. If they came begging, I couldn’t turn them out on the street. —- My conclusion is that I agree with the premise that I need to have a reasonable supply of firearms to give to those who are dear to me, or those who can help me defend our area. —- I completely agree with Robert Ferago’s thoughts that the weapons need to be simple, and easy to operate. I also needed to be able to acquire a lot of them, and a lot of ammo within my budget. —- I looked to history for help. My choice was a quantity of Russian surplus Mosin Nagant rifles. The peasants of Russia used this arm to defeat the Nazi’s in WWII. I was able to afford more than a dozen of them last year, for what I would have paid for one quality AR-15. The prices have gone up, but they are still very affordable. Ammo is both pleantiful and cheep. I was able to buy 440 round spam cans for $90/ea including shipping last year. The prices on 7.62x54R have gone up some, too, but it is still usually found at a bargain compared with other ammo. The spam cans are sealed well for long term storage, which is also a plus. 7.62x54R is very similar to .308 Winchester or .30-’06 Springfield in power, falling right between the two. This is more than enough stopping power for zombies, and can certianly be an effective game getter. —- I can show someone how to load and operate a Mosin Nagant in under a minute, and how to be reasonably proficent with one in under 15, although I would obvioulsly not expect them to be skilled marksmen If I am trying to arm my own group of peasants, I feel this is a good choice. —- I would agree with Mr. Farago that a double action revolver is a good second choice in arms. If I had more financial resources than I have, I would buy some inexpensive, but durable double action revolvers. I have seen as recently as November, surplus Rossi 841 revolvers being sold for $150/each. They were trade ins from overseas police and security departments. While .38 Special is not a perfect defensive round, it will get the job done, and I can build them cheap. I would prefer .357 Magnum Smith & Wessons or Rugers, but for most families on a middle income budget, buying 10-20 of them would be out of reach. $1500-$3000 for the same quantity of Rossi surplus handguns is a lot more obtainable. —-The trouble with handguns is it takes repeated practice to be proficient with them. Most people who only shoot one box of ammo a year will miss low in an actual combat situation. Even police officers across America only hit their intended target one out of every five shots! 20% is a low number, and we are talking about personel with regular training, not someone who you just handed a gun yesterday. That’s why I think a rifle is a better choice for the unqualified masses who you might want to arm. A bunch of Mosin Nagants in a wall cabinet looks pretty cool, too. If I was smart enough to know how to attach a photo of the ones I bought, I would. ;-)

    • tia teach says:

      I am a single mother of 3 boys. i am the sole provider and their guide as well. we dont have money.. live paycheck to paycheck and barter for alot of what we need. We have no guns and are having a hard time building our bugout packs and whatnot. are we Prepared?? not really in they typical sense. What i have been motivated to do, is get a few bows and arrows, blow guns and slingshots, learn how to store and prepare food in the wild for easy travel and making nets and such. i dont own a house, we rent (not that it would matter anyways)  If anything major went down, we dont have anywhere to stay or defend, so my mentality is how can we survive on the move. . ive been learning how to live off the land, heal with my hands,  and make medicine from weeds/plants. this is a huge part of the reason i chose to move to the Pacific NW. water food and shelter everywhere. I ihave been working on getting guns and ammo at least a shotgun and .22cal rifle, but now with everyone hording – it doesnt seem likely. The comment above “if they aren’t prepping now, they don’t deserve any help later” is a typical American minded response and i feel it is a blanket statement, and this mindset is a major part of the issues we have with creating a strong sense of community. We are all valuable in some way. even the so called “sheep” have their purpose in life and people feeling as if they are better then them for whatever reason is only fooling themselves.  perhaps it would be wise to have an arsenal for yourself and defend your land (which isnt yours anyways) or we can all start helping each other to use the untapped resources all around and understand that life is rented. what are you defending? that is the real question. 

      Love and Light  _Tia  ♥♥♥

  2. probably help loot or hide in their homes. a couple of them would probably start some patrols and walk arounds but i live in a fenced in trailer park.

  3. Doug Pixley says:

    I agree with the use of a “Wheel Gun” for newbies. But I hope to hell you, or they have something better than the RG POS shown in the pic. Just saying… : )

  4. Alex Johnson says:

    I’m fortunate enough that I live in a very rural area and every one in my neighbor hood all know each other. Since we live less than 1.5 miles from a prison 98% of us all own and know how to use various different types of fire arms. That said, we all look out for each other all the time we don’t just wait for an emergency need, we have not had any major crimes in our neighbor hood, ever, the worst crime being some small items disappearing off of carports or out of tool sheds nothing over $50. This is the way it has been since my parents moved us here when I was 5 and I love it so much I bought the house next to my parents and moved back here 5 years ago, hoping to raise my family here when that day comes.

  5. First off my “NEIGHBORS” wouldn’t do a freaking thing (using term neighbors loosely) – 2 of them are the exception. Some of the most self centered people I’ve ever met. Myself and the 2 great neighbors would be taking care of most of it. This was proven during the outages from “IKE” and the severe ice storm that followed 2 months later. Everyone else ran to hotels and/or to other people they could sponge off of. Since hotels filled up fast most did the sponging thing. funny thing, these are the people who joke on us for being prepared? Go figure. So, would I still defend the “Neighborhood”? Yes, but only to a certain point. I’m not risking everything I’ve worked for, for people who would not help themselves, much less anyone else.

  6. keep it up you crazy preppers. I love to watch Doomsday Preppers. That show makes me feel so sane. LOL

  7. To Alex – You are so very lucky.

  8. I would be the defender of my neighbors that could not defend themselves, which is mostly women with age. The men on the other hand need to protect their own or join my ranks and follow my orders.

  9. Jody Ramsey says:

    @Nancy…CRAZY?? What’s crazy about being prepared for an emergency? Any emergency? It’s common sense to be prepared to take care of yourself and your family, to protect them and what is yours.

  10. You know what is crazy Nancy? Doing absolutely nothing to plan for disaster situations and leaving your family at risk. Doomsday Preppers is circus side show created to get ratings by highlighting the most outlandish extremes.

  11. What is prepping? A few years ago we experienced a major statewide ice storm. We never lost power at our house, but we gained the Mother-In Law, Daughter and her family, and son, all who were without power at their homes for a week. Nearby groceries lost power – NO mile, NO frozen foods, NO fresh veggies, and NO CASH REGISTER to be able to ring up anything else. We had plenty in stock to feed all for the week. We were preppers…when prepping wasn’t cool (apologies to Barbara Mandrell!).

  12. Terry Allen says:

    I wonder if Nancy has any insurance? You know, like car or home insurance?

  13. I’m hoping Nancy was just being sarcastic. :)

  14. I’m hoping Nancy was just being sarcastic. :)

  15. I’m hoping Nancy was just being sarcastic. :)

  16. Alex Johnson says:

    @ kelli we are always happy to add new people, families etc who fit in and work well with others there has recently been a new subdivision being built around the lake here and the people moving in there don’t seems to be ” community minded “

  17. Alex Johnson says:

    @ kelli we are always happy to add new people, families etc who fit in and work well with others there has recently been a new subdivision being built around the lake here and the people moving in there don’t seems to be ” community minded “

  18. Alex Johnson says:

    @ kelli we are always happy to add new people, families etc who fit in and work well with others there has recently been a new subdivision being built around the lake here and the people moving in there don’t seems to be ” community minded “

  19. Cindy Payne says:

    Honestly, I’m surprised that Nat Geo would do their Prepper show the way they are going about it. Most of the “preppers” are just silly. Every now and then I will watch one that actually teaches me something! I really like those folks. I’m from south La. and went through 2 weeks of hell with Hurricane Katrina. I was lucky though. When I heard there was a hurricane in the gulf, I went to town with every gas can we owned and filled them all up and the truck. Then I took the car and filled it up. No long lines and plenty of gas. Then I got a lot of non perishable food that we could eat with little preparation, say w/boiling water or on the grill. I also got food we could eat with no preparation. I washed all the dirty laundry and tried to store as much ice as possible.

  20. Cindy Payne says:

    Honestly, I’m surprised that Nat Geo would do their Prepper show the way they are going about it. Most of the “preppers” are just silly. Every now and then I will watch one that actually teaches me something! I really like those folks. I’m from south La. and went through 2 weeks of hell with Hurricane Katrina. I was lucky though. When I heard there was a hurricane in the gulf, I went to town with every gas can we owned and filled them all up and the truck. Then I took the car and filled it up. No long lines and plenty of gas. Then I got a lot of non perishable food that we could eat with little preparation, say w/boiling water or on the grill. I also got food we could eat with no preparation. I washed all the dirty laundry and tried to store as much ice as possible.

  21. Cindy Payne says:

    Honestly, I’m surprised that Nat Geo would do their Prepper show the way they are going about it. Most of the “preppers” are just silly. Every now and then I will watch one that actually teaches me something! I really like those folks. I’m from south La. and went through 2 weeks of hell with Hurricane Katrina. I was lucky though. When I heard there was a hurricane in the gulf, I went to town with every gas can we owned and filled them all up and the truck. Then I took the car and filled it up. No long lines and plenty of gas. Then I got a lot of non perishable food that we could eat with little preparation, say w/boiling water or on the grill. I also got food we could eat with no preparation. I washed all the dirty laundry and tried to store as much ice as possible.

  22. Cindy Payne says:

    We had a generator so we got by. I heard many stories but one has really stayed with me. A man in New Orleans decided to stay in his home and protect his property. It was dark because there were no street lights working. He heard noise outside. He saw 2 men trying to tow his friend’s car. After talking with his friend via cell, and learning that there was no towing ordered, he calmy opened his upstairs window, racked his pistol and said in no certain words to go away fast or he was prepared to shoot. Well, they heard the gun and the voice and quickly left! So, I feel the need to at least know how to shoot and handle a weapon because you never know when you may need one. So- I guess this story was mostly for Nancy’s enjoyment. I hope she learned something.

  23. Tony Dettra says:

    After reading all these posts I’ve concluded I’ve got some really great neighbors whom I will enjoy working with if worse comes to worse… And like my neighbors there are always some who I will just sit back and enjoy “Watching them run Around” ~ Aesop’s Fables “The Ant and the Grasshopper” (Nancy)

  24. I’m glad some agree with me about the people on the Prepper shows. Yes I believe in being prepared. I don’t agree with those that feel that being prepared involves arming themselves to the teeth and preparing to kill their neighbors over a loaf of bread.

  25. Doug Larson says:

    My rural neighborhood was forcibly evacuated for 5 months due to the Corp. of Engineers piss poor decision making abilities. We were unable to even get to our homes due to flood waters and threats of arrest/imprisonment if we attempted it. All of our roads were just … gone. One neighbor owns a Cat bulldozer, he built us a road! Less than 24 hours after that, the looters where in tearing peoples houses to shit for whatever they haul off. We, as a neighborhood, started watching each others back. If you don’t watch theirs, who will watch yours?

  26. Sarah Smith says:

    Depends on how hungry you or they get.

  27. As a prepper, I would probably be more inclined to share a loaf of bread with my neighbor, ’cause I have two, but, Nancy, I just can’t guarantee that someone wouldn’t try to kill me, to take the other one. That’s why being prepared should include a plan to defend yourself and your family.

  28. We are very fortunate that all of our neighbors are preppers and all are armed. We will stand our ground!

  29. Explore this link–apparent evidence that the Sandy Hook shooting was stagged to lead to gun control.

  30. Shebow says:

    Phil is right about .22 ammo. It’s relatively inexpensive (although wal*art doesn’t ship anymore).  I have 4 neighbors I could trust for help with defense, but this article made me think about the fact that we have never met at the range, and never discussed collaboration on defense in a serious way.   

    #Nancy on the other hand, would be pretty hungry in my neighborhood if sthf.

  31. VetMike says:

    I know my neighbors as we live in a small village a few miles from a much larger town. The issue is that their political leanings are as varied as heir personalities. At least one is so anti-gun that she calls the police if she sees me outside with a gun. Many others are older and couldn’t physically stand up to the stress of combat. There aren’t enough of them to use as cannon fodder either. The same can be said of my family. Many are hunters but are very resistant to any sort of regimentation so it would be difficult to train them into a cohesive unit capable of defending itself. At least two think no-one should own an “assault rifle” and would likely turn me in if the government decided to confiscate them. None have any food stored up and I carefully avoid any of the preparations we have made. My point is that I am very reluctant to approach any of my neighbors or family to discuss preparing for a ZA or SHTF event. I also agree with another poster that I may find myself facing a gun I gave someone to help defend me when that person decides they need my food more than I do. 
    I am also reluctant to approach one of the very few prepper groups here in our state. How do I know I can trust them? And what can I do to let them know they can trust me?  Mysteries piled on conundrums. 
    Lastly, there are people who believe that the Sandy Hook shootings were staged to further the Obama Administration’s gun control platform. The “evidence” presented by the conspiracy theorists is so flimsy you van see through it. Please stop spreading this wild rumors. It just makes us look bad.

  32. Karen Fudala says:

    In my neighbor….we are all ready to defend each other !!

  33. Les Legato says:

    “Storing food specifically for neighbors who do not prepare is something we already advise and teach ”

    Can you point to some links where you discuss this please?

    TIA.

  34. Reddog says:

    I set up a neighborhood concealed carry class and got half the neighborhood there. I picked up a bunch of cheap machetes at Harbor Freight for the others. Will distribute as needed. Nice psychological weapons, no training required, no accidental discharges.

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  36. I am a handicapped senior citizen. I do believe in prepping, but I do have problems. Little over two years ago, I lost my mother one day and my brother the next day. 6 months later I lost my husband to cancer. My daughter and I live alone on a small 5 acre tract.. She works at a casino,, and I draw my Social Security. So we are on a very fixed income. Still paying on hospital bills, and funeral expenses. I am in a wheelchair,so am limited as to what I can do, but give it my all. I buy all the meat and veggies each month I can afford, and have been dehydrating them or canning them, We buy canned food whenever we have money. Been hording medicals supplies and meds. Health care products, tp and sanitary products for clean health. Stock-plying water that is purified. Juices and powdered drink mixes. so far we are doing fair. little by little we are making headway. out situation is, after my husband passed away, our home was broken into and all his tools and guns and ammo was stolen. Shotgun, pistol and 30/30. We do have a good watch dog, but our only bodily protection is our knives and a small hatchet. Been trying to save enough to get a hand gun, but about the time we get enough together, we either have car trouble, got to fix, or my dryer went out, , then my icebox went out, so I keep replacing home appliances and cannot get enough together to get a gun. What is a good item to get for us to use for our protection? I know how to use a pistol and shotgun, just being in a wheelchair kind of limits me a bit on getting around. My daughter is a fair shot with a hand gun and shotgun, her dad took he hunting years ago, and always let her do some target practicing when he was alive. Our neighbors would help in a pinch if something were to happen, but so far they are not into prepping, they think everything will soon work out, and we will be fine. Any suggestions as to what we can do to help protect ourselves. We live with 30 min of a major City with a AFB close by, so I feel if anything were to happen they would come our way to do their looting, and not go towards the Air Base and where the military is.



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