Quantcast

Arm Thy Neighbor

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Travis McGee, Mar 27, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Travis McGee

    Travis McGee Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2003
    Messages:
    1,790
    Location:
    NE Florida
    Arm Thy Neighbor
    by Matthew Bracken

    If you don’t presently own any firearms, you may have been considering taking that step in order to protect yourself and your family. Or perhaps you already have what you consider to be an adequate home armory, but is it really enough? In the event that our economy tanks, one certain outcome will be much higher levels of criminal violence. Read Fernando Aguirre’s excellent “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse,” based on his experiences in Argentina after 2001, to see what happens to civil society when a national currency collapses and the banks are closed. Today’s career criminals will be that much more desperate and willing to use violence against their victims. The feral youths who need little encouragement to bust heads for sport in times of relative plenty may be starving, and no moral consideration will keep them from sticking a gun in your face or a knife in your back.

    At the same time, the federal government may define this surge of criminal violence as civil disorder and enact emergency decrees, especially if armed citizens begin to fight back on a wide scale. One need look no further than the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to see how officials react toward ordinary people with firearms during a period of civil disorder. A freeze on gun sales and/or ammunition is a predictable outcome during government-defined “emergencies.”

    Most of the readers of this column probably don’t need to be convinced of the wisdom of owning and practicing with firearms. You may even believe that you already possess all of the guns you need, whether a .38 caliber revolver in your bedside table or a small battery of handguns, shotguns and rifles in your closet or gun safe. You may even own one or more of those liberally despised so-called assault rifles. In any of these cases you may think you don’t need to consider any more gun purchases.

    There is, however, one reason to purchase at least a few more weapons: to arm thy neighbors. I can hear you saying, “What is Bracken talking about? If that foolish grasshopper of a neighbor didn’t bother about his security when guns were readily available, why should I worry about him now? Besides, he may even be an anti-gun liberal, so the hell with him!”

    This reasoning is short-sighted on several levels. First, we have all heard the old saying that “a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged.” When violence explodes during an economic collapse, millions of new conservatives will be created from former left-wingers. And besides philosophically anti-gun liberals, many folks simply grow up in families where guns are not present and reach adulthood having never touched a firearm. But no matter why they don’t own firearms, when the ultra-violence breaks out your neighbors down the street will deserve a way to defend themselves from criminal predation. Simple charity, Christian or otherwise, suggests that we should not leave the elderly couple, the widow or the single mom with young children defenseless against evildoers bent on rape, robbery or murder.

    When the incidence of home invasions, carjackings and “express kidnappings” skyrockets, some of your neighbors will discover a sudden interest in acquiring firearms, just when firearms may not be available through normal channels. These unarmed neighbors may then ask if you have any extra firearms to lend to them. Which one of your carefully considered collection of guns will you hand over to arm your defenseless neighbor? Your high-end “concealed carry” pistol, which fits your hand like a glove? Your wife’s? Your pump-action shotgun? Your AR-15 Sport Utility Rifle? The fact is, you will be loath to give away any of them, not even to a neighbor in need. You have acquired each of them for a carefully thought-out reason!
    But your neighbor is still defenseless.

    That is why I encourage you to buy a few extra firearms in anticipation of this future need. I would suggest that a revolver is the simplest entry-level firearm to provide to a non-shooting neighbor. There are no magazines, safety catches or slides to learn to manipulate. You simply open the cylinder, insert the bullets, close the cylinder and the revolver is ready to go. A revolver has the shortest “learning curve” of any firearm. Anyone can learn basic gun safety and effective close-range self-defense with a revolver in one afternoon. In dire extremes you could hand a revolver to a non-shooter after a five-minute period of instruction and dry-firing. Revolvers are intuitive; you can even see if they are loaded or unloaded simply by looking at the cylinder.

    Of course, a much greater level of firearms training is highly desirable if there is time for it. If possible, take your non-shooting neighbor to a gun range now, in advance of a period of “civil unrest.” Training a non-shooter in the safe operation of firearms also shows your own overall knowledge of security issues. This demonstrated firearms proficiency will stand you in good stead when your leadership skills and tactical knowledge may benefit your overall neighborhood security posture.

    Beyond the simple morality of providing a means of self-defense against criminal violence, there is another reason to be prepared to arm thy neighbors: the force multiplying synergy of multiple fields of fire. Recall the old cowboy movies when the gang of black hats rode into a town where the citizens were forewarned and prepared. As an historical example, consider what happened to the vaunted James Gang on the Northfield Minnesota Raid when they lost the element of surprise. Only Frank and Jesse escaped unhurt. The rest of the armed gang were killed by the townsfolk or captured shortly after, badly wounded.

    An armed and alert neighborhood is a very dangerous environment for criminals. In a time of rampant violence, with the ever-present threat of home invasions, more armed neighbors mean more angles of fire for the criminals to confront. Instead of focusing their evil intent on a single home, selecting one sheep in a helpless flock, they will be threatened by fire from many directions and their retreat may be cut off. This compounds their risk compared to attacking a neighborhood where most folks are unarmed and cringing in corners, praying to remain unmolested.

    Of course, it is best if your neighbors have all received a high level of firearms training. Otherwise, the risk of a “friendly fire” accident while repelling an armed gang with shots from multiple directions is increased. And of course, you should not provide a firearm to a drunk, a druggie, or a mentally unstable neighbor for obvious reasons. But the danger of living in an unarmed neighborhood is even greater, because such an area is a magnet for repeated violent criminal attacks.

    The best outcome would be to leverage your training of individuals in safe firearms usage into general neighborhood self-defense drills. Then if the “James Gang” rides in…they won’t necessarily ride out! Word will get around, and your neighborhood will achieve an aura of armed strength that deters future criminal incursions. Consider why tiny Switzerland has never been invaded by its much more powerful and often bellicose neighbors. It’s not because of the Alps. It’s because the Swiss have a strong tradition of armed self-defense at every level. Both invading armies and criminal gangs go around “hard targets” that are known to shoot back!

    If nothing else, from a strictly selfish standpoint, the humble .38 revolver you lent to that widow might provide you with a critical early warning of imminent danger when she fires it in self-defense. Forewarned is forearmed, even if the warning is a rapid series of pistol shots heard from up the street at oh-dark-thirty. But in any case, I would rather hear the widow’s defiant shots than her helpless screams.

    So, consider buying a few extra firearms and ammunition while you can easily and inexpensively do so. A used revolver in good working condition can be purchased for as little as $250, a used pump-action shotgun for not much more. And if you don’t know what an SKS rifle is or what they cost, find out. Then you will have the option of arming your neighbors in a time of extreme peril, without diminishing your own family armory.
     
  2. Travis McGee

    Travis McGee Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2003
    Messages:
    1,790
    Location:
    NE Florida
    Travis McGee is me, Matt Bracken. Feel free to repost this essay anywhere you want.


    [​IMG]
     
  3. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2006
    Messages:
    5,149
    Location:
    CT
    I didn't get a chance to read the whole thing. Only a little past the half way point.

    But I agree 100%. I actually got a couple extra Mosin Nagants because I figure I can hand them to neighbors.
     
  4. uspJ

    uspJ Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Messages:
    603
    Location:
    Georgia
    i agree, i have "loaned out" guns to friends and family members.

    off the top of my head i've given
    -8mm mauser
    -sks
    -several .38 revolvers and 380 autos and a few 9mm
    -mossberg 500
    -savage single shot 12 guage
     
  5. WoofersInc

    WoofersInc Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2007
    Messages:
    1,111
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    Nice thing for me is that I live on a cul-de-sac. All the neighbors are friends, and look out for each other. I have enough AK's and shotguns to arm the whole street. Heck I can even through in a handgun each.
     
  6. NMGonzo

    NMGonzo Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    Messages:
    2,691
    Location:
    Albuquerque & Santa Fe
    Author is spot on.

    I am Argentinean and I've seen what he describes not once but twice.
     
  7. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Messages:
    19,802
    The very thought has entered my mind.
     
  8. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Messages:
    4,787
    A friend was a clerk in a Los Angeles gun shop when the Watts Riot erupted. He said every liberal, socially elite, politically correct nimrod was lined up demanding to buy a gun... any gun along with a box of ammo. Handguns required a 3 day wait in CA back then so all the long guns sold out in an hour.

    He said over the next two years almost every one of the guns was sold back to the shop (at half the original selling price) as the owners no longer felt immediately threatened with violence. Some people never learn...

    If I were take the writer's advice I would buy half a dozen Marlin 22 semi-auto rifles to hand out along with 2 boxes of ammo to deserving neighbors foolish enough to be caught unprepared and unarmed in a national emergency.
     
  9. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    23,908
    Location:
    Arizona
    The points on are firearms are well taken, but don't forget that without ammunition they are useless. It's a given that if the government cracks down on guns during an "official emergency," ammunition sales won't be very far behind.

    One might consider two options: (1) one a supply of ammunition, and (2) a reloading set-up with a supply of components. Keep in mind that if you have dies, certain kinds of powder and bullets can be used to reload different cartridges and even shotgun shells. This gives one a certain flexability over just stocking ammunition.
     
  10. leadaddict

    leadaddict Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    523
    Location:
    Iowa
    We live in a pretty rural area, so most of our neighbors are pretty well armed, but ammunition would be key as most don't have more than a few boxes of whatever they happen to hunt with.

    I didn't know you where on THR. I'm a big fan of your Enemies books! Do you have anymore books in the works?
     
  11. texas bulldog

    texas bulldog Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Messages:
    1,013
    Location:
    Central Texas
    i have a couple SKSs that i would likely be willing and able to hand out in such an emergency as well as a revolver. but i really can't see myself giving out more than a box of ammo to any one person. as old fuff points out, it's just too valuable.
     
  12. Vonderek

    Vonderek Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,486
    I dunno, I've seen first hand how neighbors quickly become "un-neighborly" in a short time even after a mild event. If you arm them you better be able to deal with possible unintended consequences afterward. If things really do get that bad, I'm sure if your neighbors have neglected to purchase firearms beforehand they sure as heck have neglected to purchase extra food, gasoline, and supplies as well. They will run out of food and gas before you and guess whose door they will be knocking on. If your neighbors become desperate and you have armed them you may find yourself looking down the barrel of your own gun.

    Another possible outcome...you give Johnny Neighbor a handgun or rifle and he has never handled one before or he is unstable or has a bad temper or is a felon or whatever (no one has seen this side of him in public before). He kills a kid stealing oranges from his tree. Eventually, societal order will be restored and eventually Mr. Neighbor stands trial. You sure you want to face the possible charges, criminal and/or civil, of aiding and abetting by arming this guy?
     
  13. berettaprofessor

    berettaprofessor Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Messages:
    2,382
    Location:
    Kansas
    My immediate neighbors are all pretty well armed. But I've got a few weapons I'd loan out to someone who looked like they would be worth the help; They'd get the CZ82, Mosin, and Mauser :)
     
  14. erichtmobile

    erichtmobile Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Messages:
    57
    Location:
    North Texas
    So matt bracken is a THR member? Anyone who hasn't read his books should give them look, several free chapters on his website.......good stuff
     
  15. Zoidberg523

    Zoidberg523 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Messages:
    230
    Location:
    Michigan
    Viddy well little droogies, viddy well. :)

    Good points all around. I can certainly see where an armed and jealous neighbor could cause problems. Best just to stick to the ones you know somewhat personally: A good reason to go and get to know your neighbors in these troubling times.

    A neighborhood full of armed friends certainly is better than a neighborhood full of armed people that despise each other.
     
  16. wishin

    wishin Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Messages:
    2,430
    Location:
    Georgia
    Very good point. I would gladly arm my neighbors with arms in an emergency! No need to buy a cheapo gun to lend them.
     
  17. taliv

    taliv Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2004
    Messages:
    23,829
    while Matt mentions the value of training several times in his essay, there's another saying worth repeating

    owning a firearm doesn't make you 'armed' any more than owning a piano makes you a 'musician'
     
  18. Nicodemus38

    Nicodemus38 Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    Messages:
    583
    the OP forgets one little thing that made the eradication of the James Gang by a bunch of farmers who loved long range target shooting in minneapolis, is the fact that
    the citizens had the weapons, the warning that crap was coming, and that the citizens had absolutely no qualms, "buts", or "ifs" about defending their town and life savings in the bank.

    few people TODAY have the brass to VOTE for what is right, let alone to actually get off their ass and do somthing about. Most people still believe in "if the armed criminal wants something, give it to them in order to keep the 'moral" highground".

    And arming the neighbors is in theory a nice thought but however to many issues arise with it.

    some states require the OWNER of the weapon to have it stored in a safe in their own home. hence letting the neighbor keep it in their house is a legal no-no.

    liability. can not get over that fact. if your weapon is used in a crime, they simply consider YOU to be the culprit who knocked over the gas station and killed the 3 clerks in the bathroom.
     
  19. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    10,756
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    Several years ago I passed up a deal on a 10 rifle "Investor Pack" of SKSs for a good price ... basically its 10 SKSs in a big wooden case ... would have been perfect for this.

    2ch6yj7.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2010
  20. leadaddict

    leadaddict Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    523
    Location:
    Iowa
    Whoa! That's awesome!
     
  21. jonmerritt

    jonmerritt Member.

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    Messages:
    463
    If the shtf, several of my neighbors would take out a couple of our neighbors so they don't cut our throats when were asleep. Yeah, those type of neghbors. And he owns his own guns,but for some reason he keeps them at his sons house a couple hundred feet away. I checked he is legal, but he is under a doctors care and on medication for some mental and physical problems. And he likes to try and creat trouble among the other neighbors. Tries to get us arguing amongst ourselves, I ended part of that by not talking to him at all. I also learned alot about him from a local deputy, he is a trouble maker. So we know who to take out first, the enemy within.
     
  22. Big Bill

    Big Bill Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,476
    Location:
    Idaho
    Thanks Matt! I admire your work.
     
  23. Travis McGee

    Travis McGee Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2003
    Messages:
    1,790
    Location:
    NE Florida
    I don't disagree with any comments above about the possible pitfalls and perils of arming neighbors. The essay was just intended to spur thought. And you won't have the option of arming a neighbor later, if you don't buy "extra" guns and ammo now. That's the point: to have the option later.

    And that SKS "investor case" just blows me away! Too cool!
     
  24. Bubba613

    Bubba613 member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Messages:
    1,953
    Screw that.
    My neighbors had every opportunity to buy guns and ammo just like I did. That they didn't isn't my fault. Nor is it my responsibility to correct it.
    Giving a firearm to someone who might be a convicted felon, might be prohibited, probably has no idea how or when to use one sounds like a very very bad idea. Where will civil liability rest when it comes out that I gave a gun to someone who then used it basically to commit a crime?
    Maybe it sounds un-neighborly but I can live with that.
     
  25. shockwave

    shockwave Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2010
    Messages:
    1,182
    Location:
    Florida
    This is my thinking also. Fortunately, one of my neighbors is an ex-highway patrol officer, the other has a hobby building tactical ARs, so we've got this end of the cul-de-sac well covered. What I'm doing personally, however, is buying ammunition at regular intervals. Don't know about you guys, but I'm thinking something like 1000 rounds per weapon will be an adequate supply.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice