Threat Assessment of Post Collapse Gang Violence

This is a guest post and entry in our non-fiction writing contest  Gayle from Gainesville

There seems to be a general belief that gang violence will escalate post collapse—that once the law enforcement structures collapse, gangs will be free to roam the country, breaking into houses, looting, murdering, raping, etc. Some even postulate that those who are unable to defend themselves will become slaves in this new world order.

I do not find this threat assessment convincing. In what follows I will first provide a brief summary of gang activity in the United States. Next, I will review the profile of the typical gang member. Finally, I will argue that in a post-collapse society, gang bangers will likely meet a violent end. And this end will be immediate and decisive.

Gang Activity Summary

The FBI defines the term “gang” as an association of two or more people bonded together by race, nationality, culture or territory for the purpose of committing criminal acts. [11] According to Justice Department estimates, there are one million gang members in the U.S. [1]

“Criminal gangs commit as much as 80 percent of the crime in many communities, according to law enforcement officials throughout the nation. Typical gang-related crimes include alien smuggling, armed robbery, assault, auto theft, drug trafficking, extortion, fraud, home invasions, identity theft, murder, and weapons trafficking.”[2]

According to this same report, the primary revenue source for gangs is illicit drug sales. Gang members are the primary street-level retailers of illicit drugs.

“Gangs earn the profits essential to maintaining their criminal operations and the lifestyles of their members primarily through drug distribution. Most gang members are retail-level dealers who use drug proceeds to make typical consumer purchases, pay their living costs, or purchase luxury goods such as vehicles and jewelry.” [1]

Profile of Gang Members

According to data from the National Gang Center, 50 percent of gang members in the U.S. are Hispanic or Latino, 32 percent are black, 10 percent are white and 8 percent are listed as “other”. [3] These figures are remarkable considering that only 16 percent of the U.S. population is Hispanic/Latino, 12 percent is black and 63 percent is white. [4] (Note: Under the FBI definition of a gang, the KKK is a gang. Such membership accounts for a significant portion of white gang activity.)

These numbers point to the fact that the overwhelming majority of gang members are Hispanic or black. Gangs in the U.S. tend to be racially homogenous. In major U.S. cities such as Los Angeles, gangs are involved in race wars—blacks against Hispanics. [8] They are killing each other off; the problem is that they are taking innocent bystanders along with them.

“The profile of a typical gang member is a male school dropout or truant, who is unemployed or has no employable skills. The gang member is usually in trouble with the police and does not receive adequate family attention. The gang provides identity and status and, in return, the member develops a fierce loyalty to the gang and nation.” [5]

The psychological literature reveals a negative relationship between intelligence markers and crime, generally, and between intelligence and gang membership specifically. Gang members are lacking in cognitive ability.

Auburn University Economics Professor Dr. Richard Seals proposes two reasons for this negative relationship. First, those who lack cognitive ability have fewer educational and occupational opportunities, and so gang membership is seen as a way to “earn a living.” And second, individuals with lower intelligence markers are more readily recruited and controlled by criminal organizations. [6]

Gangs fulfill a social need for disturbed youth. With the dissolution of the family unit in the inner city, gangs become the new family unit. Gang membership satisfies emotion needs of troubled youth in areas in which other social support mechanisms (such as family and church) are conspicuously lacking. Gangs often provide the best opportunity to satisfy economic needs (since gang members typically lack marketable skills). The bottom line: we are not exactly dealing with the cream of the crop here.


Gang members make a living by selling drugs. In a post collapse economy, it doubtful that drug addicts will survive for any considerable length of time. It will be difficult enough for those who have prepped and who are accustomed to hard work to survive. Those suffering withdrawal symptoms are unlikely to adapt to a changing environment quickly enough to survive.

It is true that drug addicts will likely become violent as they suffer withdrawal symptoms. But drug addicts going through withdrawal are unlikely to plan and sustain a prolonged attack on a defended position. I wish to suggest that gang bangers will loose their customer base fairly quickly.

Gangs will likely seek to use their considerable reserves of weapons and ammo to control local food supplies. As we know, however, the typical grocery store has a three-day supply of food on its shelves. Resources will be limited and competing gangs will fight over these limited resources.

The next logical step for those gang members who survive the race wars (and gangs represent different racial groups competing for power and control over limited resources), will be to infiltrate the suburbs. Now, let’s consider this for a moment. Gangs will likely target the more affluent neighborhoods. U.S. demographic data shows that folks who live in more affluent neighborhoods are clean-cut, well educated whites. Demographic data on gang membership shows that gang members are primarily black and Hispanic. The point here is that gang members are going to stick out like a soar thumb. If or when society collapses, these folks will be shot on site.

One objection to this line of thought is that gangs have been infiltrating the suburbs for the last 25 years. In a 2008 report, Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey says gang violence has increased in the suburbs.

“Gangs threaten our society, from city streets to suburban neighborhoods and beyond. They bring a culture of violence and drugs to our doorsteps, creating an atmosphere of fear, diminishing the quality of life, and endangering the safety, well-being, and future of our children. In partnership with state and local authorities as well as community leaders, we must be vigilant in keeping our communities safe from the curse of gang-related crime and violence.” [9]

Assistant Director Kenneth W. Kaiser, FBI Criminal Investigative Division, states the same. “Gangs have long posed a threat to public safety, but as this study shows, gang activity is no longer merely a problem for urban areas. Gang members are increasingly moving to suburban America, bringing with them the potential for increased crime and violence.” [10]

I wish to suggest that gang activity is more of a problem in our society today than it will be in a post-collapse society. The overwhelming majority of Americans today believe that a 16-year-old gang member can be rehabilitated. In a post-collapse society we will not have the luxury of maintaining rehabilitation centers. When there are no shots for rabies, it is unwise to let a rabid dog remain alive.

In a post-collapse society, justice will be immediate and decisive. And we the people will be the ones instituting justice (not the lawyers with all their loopholes). Laws will once again protect the innocent, not the criminals. Gangs are out of control today because our laws protect them. Gang bangers can no more do without the law than smugglers can do without customs.

Post Script

It is important that you research gang activity in your area. Each gang has its own unique characteristics—a clothing style, in particular the colors they wear and the tattoos that cover their bodies. Learn to identify key features of local gangs. Your local law enforcement offices can typically provide excellent information.

The following checklist is taken from Partnership for a Gang Free North Carolina. [12]

Are there gangs in your neighborhood? Gang Presence Checklist

  • Is graffiti showing up in your neighborhood or school?
  • Has any graffiti been crossed out by other graffiti?
  • Do some students or young people in the neighborhood wear noticeable colors, bandanas or tattoos?
  • Do some students or neighborhoods display behavior that may be gang related, such as meeting in groups?
  • Do some students or neighborhood kids flash hand signals?
  • Are drugs available on or near schools or neighborhood?
  • Has there been a significant increase in physical confrontation or “stare downs” in the last year?
  • Are weapons increasingly present in the community?
  • Do students use or have beepers, pagers, phones?
  • Have there been “drive by” shows or displays of weapons?
  • Have there been any “drive by” shootings in the neighborhood or near the school?
  • Has the truancy rate noticeably increased during the past year?
  • Have the number of racial incidents increased in the community and/or school?
  • Does the community have a history of gang presence or activity?
  • Is there an increasing presence of “informal” social groups with unusual names such as “SUR” or “East Side”?
  • Have your children come home with bruises for no reason?














About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. LoneStarLarry says:

    At first there would naturally be chaos in some communities for sure.
    Then after a while your astute observation (In a post-collapse society, justice will be immediate and decisive.) would do it’s job, after which everybody would be ever so nice and courteous to one another. Might be refreshing.

  2. Sorry Gayle,

    I disagree. I think that the vast majority of gangs will have a very short life after the SHTF but in the mean time they wll take out a lot of innocents in the cross fire and through raiding. In places like California with tough gun ownership rules for verage citizens the gangs will be significantly better armed than the average Joe citizen. They will use there numbers to raid and prey on the individual families but they will avoid large groups out of fear. As there members are wiped out by citizens and other gangs then they will recruit from there typical groups but will have the added benefit of that hey have food and they really are theonly employer left in there area. This will be especialy true of certain ethic groups as like you said they will stick out like a sore thumb in some other neighbourhoods, so if you know you’ll be shot at if you try to go to community X to lookfor work or food etc and your choices are gang membership and a high likelyhood of death by violence or death by definate starvation then it’s not going to be much of a choice for these young men. If you add young women into the mix it gets worse, now the new recruits can justify membership to themselves by explaining it as they are doing it to get food for mom/sister/wife/girlfriend/children.

    If they can make enough earl on gains of food and high profie victors then they will be able to recruit, a gang that hasn’t been able to secure a food store or some other early stockpile will be wiped out quickly and no one will join it. If a gang does get a good supply early they will have the ability to recruit and if they get enough recruits they can go after tougher targets (families that have held them off previously for example).

    Over time the gangs will either get wiped out once the initial food supplys gone and they can’t get another one which will cost them the ability to recruit. Or the gang will reach a certain size and become a political unit. I don’t see many reaching that size/stability but some will and more importantly the first 3-6 months will see a lot of gang warfare spilling over into non-tradional battle grounds as they have to look further afield for ammo and food to keep themselves afloat.

    When the rodney king riots occured they were “riotting” against the fact that white cops had beaten a black man. Yet the primary target of the gangs and rioters where the asian owned stores.

    • The gangs will not be wiped out for lack of food – they will utilize a new food source – people. Today’s gangs are tomorrows cannibals.

    • Exile,

      Your analysis reveals an important fact: that geographic location matters when doing threat assessments. It would be interesting to see if there are any statistics on gun ownership rates in California versus other states. I suspect that states in the south have higher gun ownership rates–though I don’t know how trustworthy such figures would be. Smart folk don’t exactly advertise that they have guns.

      • Gangs and other threats will vary widely by region and even likely by county.

      • templar knight says:

        Here you go, Gayle. The latest information on gun ownership is from Oct. of 2011, which is contemporary info. Keep in mind that his is self-reported gun ownership, so the numbers are probably higher:

        • TK,

          These are some fascinating statistics. On the basis of these figures, living in the South is good and being a highly educated liberal is bad. LOL

          I am surprised that half the people surveyed reported having a gun in the household. I certainly would not provide such information.

          My dh got a piece of mail from the Republican National Convention. (My dh is a very conservative Republican). He was offended that the envelop said, “This survey is numbered and must be accounted for.” He threw it away.

          I think it would be insane for someone to report he or she has guns in the house. The first thing Hitler did to secure absolute power was to confiscate guns from the citizens.

      • Gayle. Well since the dark lord got selected,gun ownership have gone way up in California!

    • Exile1981:
      While I agree with your statement that MUST of the gangs will be gone, the ones that will survive will be orders of magnitude more dangerous. I am fortunate that where I live, REAL gangs, the kind I worry about aren’t really here. Ours are “wannabes”. If they are armed it’s with something like a Hi Point ($170) 9mm and maybe 1 spare mag and a box of FMJ ammo. They are used to using load whines to get what they want and try to intimidate people. When the resources dry up, I think they are going to start running up against folks like those on this blog! Waiving your pistol “gansta style” or opening their coat to show it stuffed into their pants (no holsters) is just going to get you shot.

    • theGoldfinger says:

      “Or the gang will reach a certain size and become a political unit. I don’t see many reaching that size/stability but some will..”

      This logic sounds good in theory, but the reality is that the prominent gangs of TODAY, right now, have political and idealogical units. Tomorrow, after SHTF, new gangs won’t be forming and trying to achieve size and stability, people will just join already established gangs.
      I agree with you about CA though, I wouldn’t want to be in LA especially, but any city in CA would rank high in the “last place I’d want to be.”

      • What I meant by becoming a political unit was like the somalian warlords or the fuedal lords of europe. In that they will move from being bandits and criminals to having slaves/serfs who are subserviant to the “nobles” aka gang members.

  3. GT Urban Prepper says:

    I have leaned this way for a long time, assuming that gangs would dwindle quickly in a post shtf society, given enough time and the right circumstances. I, however, had never bothered to look up any statistics to back up my theory. This article was well written and had good thoughts based on fact. Thanks for the thought provoking article. I find this reason to consider hunkering down for a little longer than originally anticipated to let some of the heaviest stuff fly before i poke my head out… I guess i should get some blackout curtains for my front window… hmmmmmm….

    • GT,

      I live in a college town as well. And I plan on bugging out to my brother’s farm in rural Georgia if things start looking bad. The question for me is this: when do I pull the trigger, so to speak. At what point do I decided that staying here is a risk? I don’t want to leave too early; but if I leave too late I could get stranded on the highway in bumper to bumper traffic.

      • GT Urban Prepper says:


        I would personally plan on stocking up a few months worth of food, batteries, candles, other essentials, etc. That way I could stay past the initial wave of chaos and travel after that. Then I would bounce around at night and hide during the day until I got to where I was going. This would most likely involve walking to where my commrades in survival are and a multiple day trip. I would need to account for water and food as well as using foliage in the area as a natural shelter/hideout and planning routes that don’t involve bridges and too much open territory if at all possible.
        If you want to drive out, I would suggest setting up predetermined trigger points. Say the stock market hits X%, or crime in your area reaches a certain threshold, unemployment reaches Y% or any other trigger point you determine that would make a quick exit worth it. Once you have determined that, start gathering supplies that best fit that situation in both type and amount.. Keep some extra fuel reserves around if you are gonna drive further than a tank of gas. Have a well stocked bug-out bag and learn some basic outdoor survival skills as well as learning how to land navigate, in case you have to abandon the vehicle in route. Then, have a plan b for staying or having to take detours. The best thing is to stay flexible in your plans and read up and practice different evasion and exiting techniques. The more you know, the less you’ll need. I would also recommend a partner in crime, having at least a pair will help keep morale up and offer a different perspective to challenging obstacles. If you cannot find a travel partner, you’ll just have to make due.

        • Screw that. Its better to leave early rather then late

          • GT Urban Prepper says:

            Well that is most certainly your call and you should prepare with that in mind. Each option has its ups and downs and only you can decide what is best for you. Best o’ luck.

          • I agree Luke . It is better to be a day early then a month late.

      • GT Urban Prepper says:

        Also, learn as much about first aid and making splints etc as you can. Mechanical injury and puncture wounds can stop any trip dead in its tracks if not properly attended to.

        • GT,

          Excellent points. My main focus for the next year will be to get in more trigger time and to stock more ammo. If or when things get bad, my dh and I will be heading to Georgia. And at my brother’s house, I can fire my 30 06 in any direction and if I hit someone, they’re trespassing and deserve to be shot. (The property is posted and in a SHTF scenario, anyone trespassing won’t be a local. The locals know you don’t go on another man’s property after dark without permission.) Even in town you holler at the gate before walking up to someone’s door–least you get greeted with a 12 gauge.

      • Once stranded because of bumper-to-bumper traffic and roads becoming bottle-necked, any of us stranded might start to look like the “Homeless Zombies”.

        God help us if our skin is too dark!

        We don’t want to get shot at while trying to escape the gangs, or the hurricanes, or tornadoes, or fires, earthquakes………etc.

        • jbc,
          I will have to ask you the same question as I asked Josh. You do understand the term TEOTWAWKI. Dont you?

  4. Matt in Oklahoma says:

    Not bad, a few years actually living with them would help this some.

    “There seems to be a general belief that gang violence will escalate post collapse”. I base my belief on numerous overseas ops, LEO experience and probably the most important for us is just looking at things over the past 5yrs. I’s already happening.

    There is no neighborhood/town that does not have something. I have ben challenged many times by PDs, City Managers etc and it usually takes me less than an hour to show them stuff.

    In addition to the physcobabble reasons of why join a gang include Maslows heiarchy theory in which outside of air, food etc the number one thing human need is a sense of belonging and in a SHTF world much like prison these gangs are much more accepting than the general public. When one is sent to prison it means society has rejected them and they are immediatley looking for anyone to reach ut to upon arrival and the gansg await them with open arms. In PAW the same will happen as folks lose their jobs, homes, spouses thru economic or distructive reasons and the street rats will await them with open arms because a gang simply doesnt work without numbers. Those that are useful will thrive and those that arent will suffer and be dealt with much as it already is in prison.

    Do not underestimate them and do not think that you alone will handle the threat. Now is the time to get your stuff wired tight and form alliances with other LMIs and for Gods sake train!

    • Patriot Farmer says:

      You are correct sir. There is gang activity in every state and probably 95% of all communties. People tend to put their heads in the sand and think it can’t happen to them. A while back I lived in a small mid-Michigan town that in no way had any gangs, oh how wrong they were. One everning I watched 3 teenagers “tag” a church parking lot. I called the police and told them what they had and of course they didn’t believe me, until I brought out my reference books from work and told them what each sign stood for and which particular group they were dealing with. I also told them if they didn’t address this soon crime would be on the rise. Well they didn’t and break ins sky rocketed. I moved and left them to their problem.

  5. For my fellow Canadian Preppers here is some info on youth gangs in Canada from a 2007 study by the RCMP I found online
    -Nationally, the vast majority of youth gang members are male (94%) and fall within the age range of 16 to 18 years (39%); almost half (48%) of all youth gang members are under the age of 18.
    – The largest proportion of youth gang members in Canada are African
    Canadian/Black (25%), followed by First Nations (22%) and Caucasian/White (18%).
    – 36% of youth gangs in Canada feature a mixture of two or more racial/ethnic groups. Youth gangs in Saskatchewan appear to be the most homogeneous (i.e., First Nations).
    – Youth gang member collaboration with organized crime groups is highest with respect to drug trafficking (43%) and intimidation/extortion (23%), followed closely by theft of auto (19%).
    – 44% of respondents in Canada indicated that youth gangs have established relationships with organized crime groups. The largest proportion of these relationships (40%) are with Aboriginal/First Nations organized crime groups, followed by Asian organized crime groups (22%) and Outlaw Motorcycle organized crime groups (22%).

    Another study showed the gang membership rates as follows
    African Canadian/Black 25%
    First Nations 22%
    Caucasian/White 18%
    East Indian/Pakistani 14%
    Asian 12%
    Latino/Hispanic 6%
    Middle Eastern/Arabic 3%

    For comparison here is what percentage these groups make up of the popuation in Canada.
    African Canadian/Black 0.99%
    First Nations 4.45%
    Caucasian/White 71%
    East Indian/Pakistani 0.9%
    Asian 9.25%
    Latino/Hispanic 0.82%
    Middle Eastern/Arabic 1.17%

    • Exile1981……

      I hadn’t heard some of the terms you use before.

      First Nation and Aboriginals inparticular. Are you referring to those of Indian heritage and what is the difference between the two???

      • Hawkeye,

        First Nations are like Native Americans–they just don’t use the term Native Canadians. It is my understanding that the term applies to anyone whose ancestry goes back to any of the various “first nations” or first inhabitants of the area.

  6. Gail, while you stated a lot of facts as regards gangs, I respectfully disagree with you as regards gangs post disintegration of society. Any group with guns that are hungry and organized are going to be a threat and should be treated as same. Yes, there will be a die off of drug addicts who are already threatened because of health conditions and their addictions. But to understate the use of guns in the hands of those that are already prone to violence is not a good idea. While some may be able to deliver swift justice to those running around with guns, they will be a top priority threat.

    • Worrisome,

      I am not sure that we really disagree. I agree that post collapse, any armed group that is desperate and hungry will pose a threat. But the main point of the article is that it is unreasonable to suppose that gangs will rise to the top of the food chain when SHTF. Gang members are more likely to be killed (either by opposing gangs or by vigilante justice), than to become supreme rules of the land. Remember, the point of the article was to debunk the claim that post collapse, people who are unable to defend themselves will be enslaved by gang bangers in their new world order.

      There are more of us (ordinary citizens with guns) then there are gang members. Justice Department estimates puts gang membership at 1 million. The statistics on the link that Templar Knight posted suggest that at least half of people in America are gun owners. U.S. population is 212 million. So that means there are 106 million gun toting Americans–mostly southerners. So our odds are better than 100 to 1.

      I could even write a song about this. “They’ll be Swingin”.

      • Gayle….

        US Population is more like 313 million I believe, rather than the 212 million you mention. But that’s really neither here nor there in this discussion.

        Whether gangs will survive or not? I’d be surprised if anyone could make a definitive statement that would cover what might happen.

        A “post collapse” situation isn’t all that much different than the world some of these gangs live in now. They are organized, armed and, as statistics show, younger and therefore bolder (or maybe crazier) than the rest of us. Many are probably smart (in a “street smart” sort of way) and that would bode well for them.

        Also, there is nothing to say that they wouldn’t form alliances with other gangs, adapt and/or improvise in ways that one might not expect.

        Personally, for these and other reasons, I would expect them to be a serious threat, and plan accordingly!

        • Hawkeye,

          I stand corrected. The current U.S. population is 313 million.

          • That’s the official number more like 330-350 mil if you include the illegal aliens and homeless, etc that are, were not at an address and could not be counted or did not want to be counted..

        • In a Post TEOTWAWKI world it really does not matter what any of us were or what we did before that final unpredictable day.

          Contact with any group will be a tense and terrible moment. Filled with a thousand chances for errors. On both sides.

          Strength will be found in numbers. (You and your family of 4 will be stronger with 3 or 4 or more families).

          Strength will be found in deep moral conviction of what is right and what is wrong and in a world without 911, judges, courts, lawyers and prisons. Where every decision may mean life or death. (I cant quote the bible but there is something in there about A Time For Swords and a Time for Plows).

          Strength will be found in logistics. (Those who are the most prepared will be the stronger).

  7. I am not worried about 16 year olds, as they could pose a problem but unless they have someone over them that is their God leader think that they will be more localized and not venture far from what they know. They are territorial and it will take them awhile to figure out that it is no longer working.
    But even 16 year olds can be ruthless and deadly. As well as we can be.
    Statistics are a bunch of numbers that are to be used as guides. I have in recent years found them to be quite fantastic in the fact that all of us should already be dead. Tobacco, alcohol, sugar, food, air, war, famine etc. You name it it has a number and it has “killed more people than the others combined” has been touted.
    We are going to have to face a lot of stuff when and if the SHTF. I do not think it makes much difference if it is a gang banger or your neighbor, the decisions that we will have to make will never be statiscally marked.
    I have wrestled with all the possibilities and situations. There is no clear answer as to what we will face or have to do. All we can do is think, think, and rethink all that could happen. But in the end we will have to go with the flow and do what we have to.

  8. Ok I have a question. I worked at WalMart for a couple years before joining the army. Where did this idea that there is only enough food for 3 days In the grocery stores come from. Chances are if things got that bad, it would be another Mogadishu. Gangs would control the food stores. Are you saying that if a gang took over a food store that they would o lt have enough food for 3 days? I’ve seen food stores empty in less then a day, the same place I’ve seen go almost 3 weeks without any resupply. Not really trying to make a point, just sayin.

    • In our current society the average food store keeps enough consumable items on the shelf for a 3 day period. What this means is that if they sell 100 jugs of milk a day they tryand have no more than 300 in the store. So under optimal conditions a grocery store would start to run out of things in 3 days if the supply trucks stopped running. As we know as soon as people start to panic thy will rush to the store and strip it bare so in a panic situation the stocks will run out sooner.

      From personal experienc last year with a huge snow storm that closed the transcanada highway I know that the local store keeps a 4 day stock pile of milk etc over tweekend, usually on a monday the milk cooler is getting bare since the last delivery was thursday. The storm hit on a friday night and raged through allf saturday. On sunday I used a bobcat to dig myself to the local store, there was way more milk etc on the shelf than usual because few had gone out saturday so knowing it would be gone as soon people got dug out I bought enough for 4 days (we go through a gallon jug a day in our house). On monday I used my 4×4 to start taking people with cars to the store (otherwise they had no access) and noticed that since the supply truck no showed on monday morning and lots of people where getting out on Sunday there was no milk left early monday because lots of the ones who made it out monday stocked up. By Thursday when a supply truck finally made it in he store had no meat, cheese, milk, bread or chips. Canned goods where still plentyful as was things like TP and cleaning supplies.

      If a small group where to sieze a local store before the true panic buyng happened then they would have a lot more than a 3 day supply of food as that “3” day supply is for the normal community the store serves. So a group of 50 holding a store that serves a 1000 person customer base will have food for months, though things like milk and meat will go without power before they even use it all up.

      • Exile,

        Excellent explanation. I conjecture that if a gang took over a store, they would not be able to maintain the position for a considerable amount of time. As other gangs got desperate, they would insight a gang war over control over the store–a war that would have heavy casualties on both sides.

        As someone pointed out above, the only problem with this is that such wars (which are already going on today) not only kill opposing gang members, they also kill innocent bystanders.

        • Gayle,
          If I fear the gang more than I need the food, then I surround the place, shoot anyone who tries to leave, and torch it. The Germans in WW II did this all over Europe with defiant populations.

        • True but in the scenario I gave above agang of 50 holding a store would unlikley to be attacked by a small gangunless they were desperate. So the 10 man gang will not attack the dug in 50 man gang. Though a 20 man gang might if they thought they had surprise or where desperate. Over time the 50 man gang needs to either grow or recruit to hold off larger groups.

          • Exile,

            Here’s how you take out a gang of 50 armed men guarding the store. Get a truck. Load the truck with gasoline or other combustibles. Secure the gas pedal to the floor. Then when the truck gets almost to the store, you shoot it with a flare gun.

            If I can think of something like this, then surely people with LE or military experience can really think up a good plan to kill the gang bangers.

            • SurvivorDan says:

              Good tactical thinking Gayle. Sadly for our boys and local innocents , IEDs have proven their lethal effectiveness.

            • Keeping in mind that a store would have a limited number of egress points (doors & windows) and that in an urban setting it is unlikely that a field of fire has been cleared around the store, well placed shooters could rather easuiy keep folks in the store from leaving. Once pinned down, your truck or other methods could be used to start the fire.
              The sniper has always been a force multiplier and a small team with an overlook can controll a large area of the battle space.

            • Gayle, sorry but the way this article is written and by some of the comments it is obvious that you have little real life tactical experience or training and watch too many movies. Post STF where is this magical gas and combustibles going to come from? R you going to use up your personal stores of gas to go burn a gang out of a store? How bout your own truck? No? Where you gonna get this stuff? Sounds to me a lot like the never ending magazine from hollywood. I’ve been looking for a mag like that for years, never runs out of bullets. Unfortunately the only place I can find one is the movies…..

              Why not take a small amount of gas, put it in a cocktail and light the store on fire that way? Let them burn to death inside, suffocate, or shoot them as they run out away from the flames. It will take a while for the store to become fully engulfed, but why rush it? But then this truck scenario assumes they are all in the store doesnt it. Wouldnt you think they would set up perimeter security? roving patrol? Centuries? After all, they have fifty right? Shit thats at least a platoon sized element.

              I noticed personal experience wasn’t listed among the sources at the bottom of your article. Do yourself a favor and bug in. Dont go hunting these folks, it is clear to me that you have underestimated them. I wont pick apart your article piece by piece, but I will say that the information gleaned from government websites regarding gangs is often misleading. Much of the gang stats collected by feds comes from federal prisons and prison gangs. These gangs are related to street gangs, but they run much much differently. As such the stats become very misleading. Inside everything is about race and control, the goal is bringing things in and out, making life easier and getting messages out to the street from shot callers. Outside everything is about money and almost nothing to do with race. As a cop in LA the amount of black on brown violence or vica versa is negligible compared to black on black or black on brown. Thats because these populations dont really care for one another and therefore dont really like to live together. When the blacks move in the whites move out, when the browns move in the blacks move out and so on. This makes for less interracial violence and more blacks shooting blacks and so on. Thats because two different sets of crips are fighting over the same dope turf, it has nothing to do with pride, it is about the money. Crips fighting rival crips, bloods fighting rival bloods (which used to be rare, but now happens frequently) And mexican gangs fighting each other also…….. over money, not race.

              You do make a valid point at the end of this last remark though, those of us with experience can think of and have thought of good plans to take these people out. We seem predisposed to hunt them and that wont go away when our badges and uniforms mean nothing. We will still hunt because that is who we have become. One thing that law enforcement has taught me is that everyone is suspect, trust no one. Todays victim is tomorrows suspect. Be polite and professional but have a plan to kill everyone you meet. Follow this rule and you will not only watch out for the gang banger but also the thief who looks like your neighbor or your buddy.

              I suspect that I will catch some flack for this post. I am not writing this to be mean. I am writing this to be realistic. Defend your homestead if your bugging in, defend yourself if you are bugging out. But leave the hunting to the hunters, have an accurate view of who you are and who your are not. If you are not john j rambo in real life, then your aren’t going to suddenly become him when the SHTF…………

            • Micheal knight,
              “Be polite and professional but have a plan to kill everyone you meet” is interesting and something that my MAG practices. The problem with actually stating it is that some folks will think you’re paranoid. I’m not paranoid, just cautious, warm, and breathing, and would like to continue that condition. This is actually a paraphrase of rule #21 of “Drill Sergeant Joe B. Fricks Rules for a Gunfight” available n their entirety, here: and well worth the read.

  9. Having worked with LE gang units I have had a lot of training in this area. I agree with the writer as to the nature and what I expect to happen. Gangs have evolved though and there are leaders now that are smart and cunning. I still expect the 80/20 principal to come into play in a SHTF event. 80% will die in the first month. The 20% remaining who I conclude are smart will be left to fend for them selves. While they are smart I don’t believe they are that brave so back to the 80/20 principal. Following my logic we would be down to 40,000 smart and brave gang members to worry about. Spread out over the country they will be easy pickens. The Gang Presence Checklist is dated from the late 1990’s. All kid have cell phones. Most dress like gang members of yesterday and often use gang signs to be cool here in the burbs, they also hang out in groups. Most Hispanic gang members you meet you never recognize. They tend to dress very well. It’s not all like you see in the movies. No you need to worry about the 20% of good educated and trained neighbors who you would never expect, stopping by to take all you have. Wolf Pack these Assessments and the feed back will help you Know thy enemy.

  10. I have not really studied far into what will happen with gangs after shtf and I never studied psycology in general.With that being said ,I will say now that gangbangers and wanna be bangers Will have a hard time in general.I do not think that people will put up with there act after shtf and be more likely to shoot them.I think normal citizens will think of gangs as a treat that they can deal with after shtf.They would be more likely to engage gangbangers with aimed fire and take them out in 2s and 3s.Heck that should be why so many preppers have ar`r and ak` fllow up shots on violent offenders. Just my thinking though I can`t defend it with numbers or studies.

    • axelsteve,

      This is exactly the point I was trying to make in the article. Gang bangers will stick out like a soar thumb, and given the ratio of gang members to the total population in the U.S., they are outnumbered. They will likely do home invasions. In California where folks tend not to own guns, they may get away with it. But here in the south, they will have targets on their backs. Once word gets around that gang bangers are doing this and that, justice will be swift.

      • Damn. I can’t spell. I meant “sore” and not “soar”. LOL

        Lint, I am surprised you didn’t catch me on that one. 🙂

        • Gayle……

          You spellled “Soar” right. You just didnt spell “Sore” correctly. };-)

          • Sort of like how I spell “spellled”.

            • By The Way….I haven’t seen any comments on the new header???? Everyone to busy wiping out gangs to notice…or is it just me?

            • Hawkeye,

              I am undecided on the header. It is certainly very masculine. I think such a header would have scared me off when I first logged onto this site–it says to me “militant survivalist”.

              I like the wolf puppy print idea. LOL Some flowers would be nice too. 🙂

      • There are some of us here in california that you underestimate 🙂 We aren’t all liberals and hippies. Fortunately, the liberals and hippies do tend to disarm themselves though…….

  11. Another thing, These well armed and equipped gangs. That’s also in the movies. The only gang members I know who stockpiled guns and ammo was the black Israelite’s and they have been classified as a domestic terrorist group. Once we arrested a hardcore with a 454 casull but he only had 5 rounds. Good Lord only knows how many drive by’s we went to that the Gangs used shot guns with #8 shot. Gang members seldom stock pile ammo. The stolen gun they carry today will be traded for drugs tonight and a different gun will be had tomorrow. Some of the old G’s do have AK 47’s and SKS but very few have any of these guns long term. Every day I see ad’s where people are selling their spare magazines and ammo because the dirtbag who broke into their car or home just took the gun. Know thy enemy.

    • I asked a cop up here and because ammo is so much harder to buy up here the gangs do stock pile ammo and guns.

      When they busted that gang in Vancouver a few years ago (2008) they had a belt fed German made MG42 and thousands of ammo for it. They also had grenade launchers and land mines and silenced 9mm handguns.

      In Toronto they found a gang that was making cell phones that had hidden stun guns in them that had the voltage and amperage way up to kill people. That same gange also had scorpion machine guns and tear gas dispensers disguised as lipstick and lighters.

      Earlier this year they busted a guy who had 75 guns he had converted to fully automatic and 100,000 rous of ammo and they say he was selling to gangs.

      Those may be exceptions to the rule

      • Ok who wouldn’t want a grenade launcher, but yes in this case they also found kilos of meth and something like 100k of street drugs in the same apartment.

      • Exile1981,
        So what you’re saying is that Canadian gun control laws work really well, eh? LOL

        • +10

        • Just saying that gun control just makes the criminals stock pile weapons for when they can’t get them.

          It was reported not to long ago but very quitely that Edmonton police had found an intermodel container stored in edmonton full of chinese made automatic weapons and ammo. Seems the chinese will sell to anyone and the reciever got it through customs. The media reported it as “american type” guns because some where chinese knock offs of m16’s and M1911’s.

          • Are you sure US ATF didn’t supply them? I can see it now, Operation Northern Gun Walker. LOL
            And the clueless politicians on both sides of the border just don’t get it (or want to).

            • Maybe it was ATF but since the media really played up the “American” guns when they were obvious knock offs made me suspicious. The cops even said they were chinese made but our media cut that part of the interview.

          • If you want to know what gangs will look like post shtf, look at modern day mexico. that country is so fucked up that it basically is shtf down there. The good people are busy just trying to live and the gangs are well organized and well armed. Those who thing gangs are poorly armed and dont stockpile are ignorant. I cant even begin to tell you how many times we seize cache’s of firearms and ammo. And it isnt always shit stuff either, earlier this year, one of my partners got shot at with an nice ar-15, they other day I came across a desert eagle .44 mag. They may not have the same ammo stock as the average Idaho resident, but they do ok……….. dont be deceived

            • SurvivorDan says:

              Indeed. Here in AZ we come across rather large stockpiles of weapons ( No! Not mine!) kept by gangs. The Mexican connected gangs seem better armed than most. It’s not as it was thirty years ago when I could resonably expect to be evenly armed against a banger with my .38 revolver and patrol shotgun. Now I routinely haul my select fire .223 in any remotely ‘dicey’ situations. These modern gangs ain’t playin’.

            • SurvivorDan….

              What part of Arizona; not that it matters?

      • SurvivorDan says:

        The idea that any of us would want illegal land mines is ludicrous and insulting.
        Of course the grenade launchers are interesting. Hey, can I buy that impounded ammo from the cops?

        • I believe they destroy it after keeping it till the court case and all appeals are done. I remember reading they had to get special permission from a judge to destroy the land mines rather than store them and there was a public outcry since the cops didn’t think to evacuate any one from the apartment building until 2 days later when a military expert was called in and pointed out that some of the land mines where armed.

      • Good God, Josh. The Wolf Pack qualifies as a gang! We are two or more people banded together with a common purpose and a shared symbol (the wolf) for the purpose of committing criminal acts (storing more than 7 days worth of food).

        M.D. is our head gangster. Watch out, Lint is going to start doing some hip hop with his flashlights.

  12. I think you make great points, but it seems you are only focusing on existing gangs right now. Once the crisis hits and the people and families that didn’t prepare realize that they are about to go hungry or their children are about to go hungry or without, the violence will start. Odds are once desperation sets in violence will come out of even the most well mannered and well dressed people. During a post collapse the ugly will come out of anyone who is looking to just survive. I would suggest reading some of Selco’s story during the collapse in Bosnia. I understand that the circumstances might be different, but it paints a good picture of what the streets of a city might look like if a collapse were to happen here. I think your assessment on gangs as we know it now it quite accurate though and I enjoyed reading the article. I’m just convinced that in time of panic new gangs and thugs would emerge in a time of crisis.

    • Hillbilly mom,

      Excellent points. I am leaning toward the view that it’s not gang bangers or the homeless that will be problematic, post-collapse. We will likely be able to dispose of these threats. The bigger threat will be the desperate masses. I think the majority of parents would be willing to steal and kill in order to provide food for their children. We cannot provide for everyone, even if we wanted to. We will be forced to defend our homes (and our stockpiles) from the masses. And this means not only shooting gang members, but also people in our community.

      Note: if you choose to share your limited supplies with strangers, I think that is very noble of you. However, I will not share my supplies if doing so puts my family at risk.

      • I won’t be sharing my supplies either. I have only stored enough for me and my family. The only thing I will share is the knowledge to others on how they can do the same. If we needed to hunker down for long, bartering for random things is going to be a challenge because we will have a hard time distinguishing friend or foe. This is another reason to have knifes or weapons that can easily be concealed. If you are out walking to go barter with your rifle over your shoulder, you are a sure target and just advertising that you have a good (gun w/ ammo) that people would kill for.

  13. Good write up and discussion. Don’t forget biker gangs. They are ruthless, have a chain of command, obey orders and are not dumb. While they may not stockpile ammo to prepper levels, they will have a sufficient quantity to raise a ruckus.

    • Two additional things…
      1) This assumes that there is a period, say a week, that can be pinpointed as the SHTF. Before is civilization, after is anarchy. Maybe. It could also be a gradual breakdown over several years as the middle class sinks into poverty and crime rises.
      2) My biggest worry is Mexican drug cartels becoming more like Afghan warlords and openly coordinating lesser gangs of all types over state-wide areas. Openly challenging US military/LE if it still exists. I have seen pictures confiscated during arrests and they are far worse than what is on the narco blogs which is horrid enough.

      • Looks like David is paying attention. Well done sir. The cartels will be openly challenging military and law enforcement sooner than shtf. They have already begun. It isn;t being widely reported though because it is mostly happening in border towns and this administration wants america to think the border is secure and that they are doing something right… Lies.

        • *sigh* It kinda is sad when it takes a foreign criminal organization to develop the type of firepower that would make the second amendment live up to its expectations.

          (At least, I was led to believe that Jefferson wanted us armed so that the people could keep the government in check by force.)

          I forget what country it is, but they require all of their boys to train as a citizen militia and keep their issued firearm ready for an invasion.

          Yes, I still hate guns… too many portrayals of them going off by accident on 80’s tv.

      • David,

        I do not know if the comparison between the U.S and Mexico is apt. A significant difference is that here in the U.S., at least half the population is armed. (See the link that Templar Knight posted.) We also have a deeply ingrained “common law” morality. We have a militia mentality. We will band together to protect our freedoms.

        I take this to suggest that in the U.S. (particularly in the South) we are able and willing to form militias to protect ourselves and our families.

    • David good point on the biker gangs and drug cartels. I also think that allot of ranchers and etc who live near the border will also go hunting for gang banger and cartel types.With the frusteration of all the years of having there crops trampled and etc that they may go make my day on them. Bikers would be the same story.

  14. j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

    I live in south Texas, we have a lot of gang activity down here, exacerbated by Mexican drug cartels looking to recruit and gain a foothold on this side of the border. Bad Times will only allow them to get stronger – the river is porous and from what I understand, U.S. troops are being pulled away at the end of this month along the Rio Grande. There is only so much the Border Patrol can do.

    I think allowing Mexican truckers to drive on this side of border is a bad idea – kidnappings that occur on Mexican side would allow blackmailing of those drivers who are already on this side to do their business ( Wanna see your Grandma again? Then pick up this load and deliver it here or she dies!).

    Maybe I’m wrong, maybe the crisis would disband these gangs as they support their own families – but I doubt it. In gang life, their families ARE their fellow members.

    • …as they support their own families…

      I don’t visualize these guys as “supporting their families” now!

      They’re a whole lot better at “making families” than they are at supporting them!!

      • The type of person who joins a gang does not come from the type of family that typically fosters close personal relationships. Gang members typically come from poor, single mother households. The father typically is not a part of the picture. It is very common for the mothers to have alcohol and substance abuse problems. As a result, the pre-teens typically have a lot of free time on their hands. They are unsupervised from an early age.

        The profile of the typical gang member is a person who is unable to form close, personal relationships based on mutual respect. Indeed such concepts are foreign to them. They join gangs to satisfy the inherent need for family, for a sense of belonging.

        Gang members show loyalty to the gang and not their nuclear family.

  15. Well researched and written. I concur with the idea that the gangs will be a real problem early on. How well they will adapt and survive is a question yet to be answered. They are not the smartest people around but they are cunning. I think everyone that has not prepped will become our adversary when that time comes. Need more ammo.

    • Agreed. I’m not overly concerned with the current gangs, but the unprepared everyday folks who will form desperate raiding parties is another story…

  16. A side note re: drugs and addicts.

    According to an article published in Science Daily (4/25/11 and referencing CDC), ~ 27,500 people died from unintentional drug overdoses in 2007, the “equivalent of losing an airplane carrying 150 passengers and crew every day for 6 months.” (1)

    In June 2010, CDC announced that “the 2009 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that 1 in 5 high school students in the United States have abused prescription drugs, including opiod painkillers OxyContin, Percocet, and Vicodin.” (1)

    15-30% of “people with unipolar, bipolar, anxiety, psychotic, non-psychotic, and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders will also have substance abuse problems.” (1)

    According to Dr Paulozzi (Medical Epidemiologist at CDC) testimony before Senate Judiciary Subcommitte on Crime and Drugs (3/12/2008):
    – Current mortality rates are 4-5x higher than during “black tar” heroin epidemic in the mid-70s, and more than 2x higher than peak years of crack cocaine in early 90s.
    – The increase from 1999-2004 was driven largely by opioid analgesics – by 2004, deaths due to opioids exceeded the combined deaths due to cocaine and heroin
    – “people in their 40s are more likely to die of an overdose (opioid) than those in their 20s and 30s. (2)

    Remember, whatever the cause of SHTF (local, regional, or national), that the Emergency Medical Services team (EMS and hospitals) may/will be working with limited resources. This means that by the time EMS does arrive, it may be too late. This means that EMS/hospital may no longer have a narcotic antagonist (i.e. Narcan) to reverse the effects of the opioids. This means that there may not be enough ventilators in the hospital to breathe for the person while the narcotic wears off.

    From an Emergency Department standpoint, I wonder when we will have to say, “I’m sorry, we don’t have the staff/resources to keep your loved one alive” (and yes, I’ve been in disaster situations where we did things old school, bagging patients, and hands get tired QUICKLY).



    • Wheelsee,

      When SHTF, our medical structures will degrade quickly. If not resupplied, medical staff will be forced to close their doors–simply to protect themselves from the angry masses. (Why aren’t you helping my wife, husband, brother . . .)

      I wish to suggest that in a massive collapse, medical practitioners will be like the rest of us–they will stay at home to protect their families rather than showing up at work, especially when there are no supplies to allow them to do their work effectively.

      • Gayle,

        you do a MUCH better job at expressing yourself through the written word than I. I tend to state facts and let people figure things out themselves.

        Let me carry the above a bit further……..these 27,500 deaths are only the tip of those who overdose. I can realistically seeing that number triple (just from observations in ED). However, remember that the death rate is 1:1, therefore the addicts will quickly limit their life spans.

        Re: medical practitioners staying at home – already made that decision…… wins…..I’ll be reverting back to the “country doc” model

        • Wheelsee,

          I think a post on how the medical establishment would respond post collapse would be really interesting. I would be interested to know how to identify withdrawal symptoms of the various drugs. Does someone who is coming off crack look different from someone who is coming off meth? Is abrupt withdrawal fatal? How many alcoholics will suffer DTs, which are fatal?

          Without proper medical treatment, how many addicts and alcoholics will die within weeks of the collapse?

          Another thought: we have a tendency to think of the collapse as something immediate, as something we can pinpoint as “the collapse” of society. Yet it seems to me far more probable that we have already entered the long gradual decline of western civilization.

          More random thoughts: I suspect that after the collapse, people who know a trade will be the new “upper class”. The bankers, lawyers and professors will be virtually useless. Our new leaders will be electricians, engineers and folks who can do things.

        • If obama care goes through allot of doctors are going to stay home anyway.

  17. Cliff in Douglasville says:

    Thanks for a well written and well thought out post. While I truly understand the menace they cause I am also aware of ways to deny them what they desire. Living within 40 miles of Atlanta along a main express way I am aware that a lot of traffic will be coming this way heading to Alabama and further inland states. I am also aware of what it takes to shut down an expressway completely. Denial of access to areas is difficult but not impossible. With the Chattahoochee River to cross it’s unlikely that anyone will be swimming across or going far enough north to skirt it and come back down. We had a tremendous flood here a couple of years ago and every main road and most secondary roads leading in to and out of our county were under water. No one went anywhere without a boat. Weather like that is happening more often than not now. While we can defend against the Atlanta based gangs I am unsure of the action to take concerning the local gangs. My daughter teaches 6th grade in a middle school and my wife is a para-pro in the special education program at a high school. They both have a pretty good finger on the pulse of who is a gang member and who is a poser. While I now consider most anyone that walks around with their pants down to their knees and underwear showing as a potential threat/gang member/poser I fear that people who appear like that in public will probably be singled out and dealt with. Seems like the old adage “if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it’s going to be one supper table” will be the plan of the day.

    • Cliff,

      I do think local communities will control who gets in. I have a fear of the state of Georgia closing down the interstate or more accurately not letting anyone exit the interstate. I was driving home one time and there was an accident or something up ahead. So I went to exist I95 and take the back way to my folk’s home. Police had the exit blocked. And I had to get back on the highway. In a SHTF situation, small towns could decide to block off the exits and not let anyone enter their town. It would be scary to be three miles from my folk’s home and to have the police tell me I couldn’t exit the high way.

      • Cliff in Douglasville says:


        You are absolutely right about the ability to shut down the exits to the city. Logistically (an old word from my military days) the routes can be easily blocked, no one will proceed, back up or get off or on with their vehicles. Access denial can be as simple as a burning 18 wheeler or funnel points that are blocked at the end. We learned a lot about denying access during every war we’ve fought. It’s a fine science now if you want to do it in such a way that the roads can later be used but it is just as effective if you never want anyone traversing an area. Once blocks are in place, sniper action (Police SWAT, community militia) can effectively stop anyone on food. Once more than 3 or 4 bodies stack up then fewer people are interested in going that way. Really a gross subject to discuss but it’s a reality and the way wars are fought. I believe that the SHTF scenario will be very much like the War of Northern Aggression in that military troops will try to over power local militia. With military help they probably can. Without military quality drone operators and weapon masters then possibly not. Just remember that for every active duty guy that is still in, there are 10 or 20 others who have the same skills (maybe not quite as up to date) as the ones who can wage war and will stand by and protect the homeland from any threat, real or perceived.

      • SurvivorDan says:

        During the Katrina disaster, police in one parish controlled a bridge (with weapons) and prevented fleeing 9th warders from coming into their area. They knew that they would have been overwhelmed due to finite resources and the potential mob violence. The press played the blockaders as rascists and self-serving bastards. They were self-serving as far as their own community coming first. Is that wrong? It will happen again.
        So exits, passes, tunnels and bridges will indeed be blockaded. That will upset the plans of those of us who have a bug out route(s).

        • i dont blame them. the 9th warders destroyed Acadiana parish. it used to be a clean beautiful place. Now we have grafitti and trash all over my hometown.

          • SurvivorDan says:

            Luke – I was there with the Maricopa Sheriff’s Dept. Among other missions we relieved local police depts. They were all undermanned and out of equipment and supplies. Not to mention, exhausted. Certain lawless elements were overrunning the city. Imagine if they had a few more weeks without law enforcement arriving via other sheriff’s depts and the army. People who don’t think the poor will rise up and loot and pilage during a major disaster ignore history at their own peril.

            • SurvivorDan says:


            • you were in acadia parish? or one of the parishes that was trying to keep 9th ward trash out? you should see Louisiana now. it was a good town with little gang violence… Not so much anymore

        • Ah yes. I would have to study a map to find it again, but I think an underpass was turned into a decorative planter, and it did diminish the flow of drugs into that community.

          Ah here, if the streetview van was scared to drive there, it can’t be a very appealing to strangers checking it out. 41.595358,-87.43317

  18. “The point here is that gang members are going to stick out like a soar (sic) thumb. If or when society collapses, these folks will be shot on site (sic.).” Shot by whom? I have relatives living in those suburbs and most have never held a gun let alone shot one. The cops will be at home protecting their own families. So who exactly is manning the ramparts?

    Also, I was in Walmart last weekend in a town of 18,000, the largest town in the county. I saw an easily identifiable gang member, Latin King to be specific. Now, if he is here, there will almost certainly be others. So in a collapse, am I supposed to target all hispanics since they” stick out” just because I could ID one banger?

    It is true that the average banger is not too clever or bright, but that won’t stop him from killing you. And even if you get him, there are plenty more out there. In a numbers game, even spears can defeat rifles, think Isandlwana or Al Ubayyid. Gang leadership tends to be both cunning and ruthless and will not conveniently die just to fit your scenario.

    I agree that gang members will die quickly and in large numbers, but that does not mean that they will not be a serious threat for some time in a collapse.

    • tjg,

      Sooner or later the gang bangers are going to choose the wrong home to invade. And then they are going to be dead gang bangers.

    • tjg,

      Check out the link that Templar Knight posted. The statistics show that at least half of American households own a gun. This is a remarkable number. I would have thought that the number would be significantly lower.

      I conjecture that the vast number of gun owners when called by a polling telemarketer would either hang up or tell them they didn’t have any guns. You don’t know who is really on the other end of that phone line.

      If I wanted to schedule home invasions, I would first hack the state’s data base to check and make sure the person’s home I was fixing to invade didn’t have a cwp. If they did, I would move onto the next home. The next step is to rule out that they have a gun. I would do this by calling and posing as a telemarketer doing a poll on gun ownership in the U.S. (Of course I would plan ahead to have the phone line listed as National Polling Agency or some such nonsense.) If the folks reported having a gun in the house, I would cross them off the list. I would also ask for their political affiliation and level of education–the more education one has, the less likely one is to own a gun (or the less likely one is to report that one owns a gun).

      Back to the point, who is going to shoot the gang bangers? The 50 percent of American households who are capable of defending their homes and their families.

      I would have no problem popping a gang banger (or anyone else) who posed an immediate threat to my life or the well being of my family.

      • Gayle:

        Statistics, you have to love them.
        First: Assuming that the statistics are even accurate, other studies show the number in the low 40’s, where are those 50%? Here in the sticks, I would be willing to bet that the percentage is well over 50%, but you were talking about rich white suburbs.
        Second: Even if there is an even distribution of weapons, that leaves 50% unarmed. So continuing the even distribution scenario, that means 50% of the homeowners will be helpless victims.
        Third: Gangs attack in packs. So even if the homeowner is armed, chances are that he/she will be outnumbered and worried about saving the spouse and kids. That is, he/she will be both distracted and unwilling to expose the family to danger to group up to defend other neighbors.
        Fourth: Training and willingness to shoot. Just because you practice and are willing to pull the trigger you should not assume that all homeowners are. My grandmother, mother in law and an aunt were, at one time, all armed homeowners except the guns had been their husbands’, who were dead, and none of them had ever fired them.
        Fifth: As to the hangup factor in the gun polls; they are not stupid, they take that into account and often project the responses.

        Let’s get real. This is not 1776. We are not a nation of yoeman farmers who are members of the militia and skilled with guns from a lifetime of hunting. We generally are soft, pampered, and dependent. Some will rise to the demands of a crisis but many will not. It is just as dangerous to overestimate your allies as it is to underestimate your enemies.

        • tjg,

          We are attempting to assess various threats so we can train to deal with them. The discussion has made it clear that a single family of mom, dad and two kids cannot repel a gang invasion. When gangs do home invasions, they come with what they think is a superior force.

          Before I found this site, I looked at guns as something men should know about. But having read enough I now see that everyone in a survival group needs to be proficient in all areas.

          Discussions of threat analyses are suppose to lead to action plans that help us better prepare for an uncertain future.

  19. MustangGal says:

    I don’t know about everywhere else, but I can tell you that gangs are in small towns in NW Arkansas, including MS-13. Right now, they are under orders to keep a low profile in order to keep moving their “product.” But, it would be a mistake to under estimate them. Seven or eight years ago, when I was working as a police officer in a town of about 2000, I was threatened by young hispanic males – in one case talking about “the brown people rising up and slitting the throats of whites” – if they were saying that then, when things were good, what are they going to be saying when TSHTF?

    • Muddy Fork says:

      You are dead on with MS13 in NWA, the locals don’t seem to realize what we have boiling under the lid. They can’t even get the tags off the fences near my daughter’s school. And the Sheriff does not publicly seem to believe we have a gang issue.
      Gangs are criminal enterprises “businesses” and they will adapt to the situation and environment around them. Many will die but many will thrive. History tells us gangs and or the mob can survive most any situation. Look at the growth and power of the Russian gangs after the fall of the Soviet Union. You think that might have been a SHTF situation? Gang members are like cock roaches, there are always more of them you cannot see and they tend to survive most anything, so be careful. I have to say I’m just as worried about the gangs or regular people that will develop when they realize Wally World does not have a can of soup left on the shelf. Just remember, a hungry and scared animal can be very dangerous and it does not take long for us to change our stripes.

      • Muddy Fork,

        I agree with you 100 percent. When I worked as a reporter, I did a ride-a-long with a local cop. I had no idea there was gang activity in my small town. The cop pointed out tags, markers, hand signals, clothes styles–and what each of them meant. I was stunned.

        I tell you (Wolf Pack), there is gang activity where you live. Learn to read the signs. As someone said above, Know Thy Enemy.

  20. riverrider says:

    gayle, well written and thought provoking, but i think you seriously underestimate the gangs. first, the adverage “soldier” might not have two brain cells to rub together but the leadership of the national gangs is smart, cunning and ruthless. they roam in HUGE numbers when LE is thin. intel suggests that they are already marking such things as food distribution centers, fuel depots and store arms/ammo for takeover during unrest. they already frequently target police storage warehouses, getting away with large quantities of ammo, guns and body armor. they forsee a gang war and are preparing like we are. they plan on being the last gang standing, with us at their mercy. they will have many sheeple to feed on before they get to us. they will attack in large numbers,ruthlessly. you will be their resupply when the trucks no longer run. unless you have a small army, you will not make it if they find you….that said, i feel that after word gets out of their deeds and intensions, militias will form capable of repelling them. sooner or later there will be no safe haven for them. your job is to live long enough for that to happen.

    • riverrider,
      They may be saying, I didn’t think getting shot would hurt so much.

    • SrvivlSally says:

      Well said, riverrider.

    • RR,

      I just don’t see the gang members doing well in small town America post collapse. Yes, gang members have experience with drive bys. They have experience shooting people close range. But few of them have ever taken down a deer from 100 yards. Just about every bubba around here can take down a gang banger from that distance. (Dang. I need to practice. I need more trigger time.) I think word will get out and local militias will hunt down the gang bangers and hang them from a tall tree.

      • gayle, in time yes, some people will form militias to repel them, but you have to live long enough for this to take hold, and in some places it will never happen due to the “me” culture and the anti- gun bias…. and being a “bubba” i can tell you i am no match for their numbers even with betsy my beltfed. distance is time in the post shtf. we have to get over the negative connotation of “militia” now and form groups, as large as logistics allow. i used to be of the lone wolf crowd, but i have seen the error of my ways. lastly never, ever, underestimate your opponent.

        • RR,

          I don’t think there’s going to be too much gun bias or anti militia attitude post collapse. Forming militias will be necessary for survival. I just don’t see the gang bangers invading the swamps of Georgia to loot. I am putting my money on the good old boys–not the gang bangers.

        • RR,

          Please note that “bubba” is a term of affection around here. My brother even named his dog bubba.

  21. Gayle,
    Well written article.
    Keep in mind that my perspective is that of a long time gun owner and firearms instructor, who has also been prepping for a long time in a rural setting.
    The closes gangs of any size are perhaps 40 miles from my area, and if they choose to come here then they are on my turf. The locals here know the lay of the land, its high points, low points, and pitfalls.
    As I stated before, gangs work well primarily because of a two rules concept. They play by one set, and the rest of us, LEO’s included play by another, which although keeps us as a just society, in some ways works against us. In the situations we normally depict, the gloves come off and the rules change into those same rules that are exploited by the gangs themselves. Miranda and due process will go out the window, and trial but the jury box will become trial by the cartridge box. Those in inner city, urban, and perhaps suburban areas may face serious problems, and many people may not survive; however, in the end the gangs will end up with the equivalent of the outlaws of old, a short rope and a tall tree.

    • O.P.,

      That’s exactly what I was trying to say. Gangs are successful today in part because the law protects them. In a post-collapse society, we will protect the innocent. And if that means letting the gang bangers swing from a tall tree, well, let them swing. We will meet violence with violence. Let’s see, I am not very good with numbers (which is why I didn’t include this in the article) but there are 212 million Americans. The FBI reports there are 1 million gang members. The odds are in our favor.

      • gayle, there are 310 million americans. i hope your gang stats aren’t off as much….. there are also things called war crimes. generals are still being hunted for their actions in the bosnian war and one german prison guard just got prosecuted at 90+ years old. all he did was guard prisoners, even prosecutors admitted.. ….additionally, with all due respect to ohio prepper, your hang’em high theory will hit a snag if your towns folk won’t come out of their perceived safety to do the fighting. do you really think you’ll see a lone gangbanger trodding down your street to be grabbed and hanged without a fight? not hating on ya, just trying to get you to see that they won’t be easy prey. take care. out here.

        • templar knight says:

          I’m going to agree with you, rr. Most people who live in this country are in no way mentally prepared to deal with these gangs. Most folks are going to want to follow the law and wait for the government to do something, and banding together to solve a serious problem isn’t going to happen for quite a while. In the meantime, these people will be easy prey for gangs.

          Most people today underestimate the cunning and ruthlessness(very accurate description) of the major street gangs. Many of those leaders can appear reasonable and charming to an outsider schooled in politically-correct America. I don’t think the majority of urban and suburban folks have a clue. I was in Memphis recently and saw a gang-banger hustling some teen-age girls in a McDonalds. He had them eating out of his hands, making inappropriate comments and suggestions. And the mother of one of these girls didn’t have a clue what she needed to do. I could tell she was fearful, but she did nothing. Sheep among wolves is what we will have.

          • tk, i had a run-in w/ an ms13 in my little town the other day. i guess i “disrespected” him somehow.he squared off on me, sized me up to see if it was worth a fight. i think i would have been in for it, but i saw him focus on the rather large bulge in my front pocket. his eyes got big and he just turned and walked off. i hate to admit that when i saw that tat on his neck, a cold chill went down my spine. i’m going to start carrying my 1911 now. that 38 seemed mighty small at that moment.

          • TK,
            “Sheep among wolves is what we will have” and that is why more of us have to step up and be sheep dogs.
            While I agree that many people will be duped and possibly eliminated, at some point at least some of those left will realize that fighting back is their only possibility of surviving.
            We’ve seen too many of the old westerns where the outlaw gang is coming to town and the townsfolk are scared and looking for the Clint Eastwood or John Wayne character to save them. The real fact is that nearly everyone was armed and in a situation like a bank robbery nearly every door or window sported a rifle or a shotgun. Would be thieves would ride into town quietly, rob the bank quietly, and then try to skip out of town unnoticed, less they not make it to the city limits in one piece. These people were obviously of a different ilk than today’s townsfolk, but those who are left after the initial purge will most likely find their more brutal and survivable side rather quickly.
            Also, my short rope and tall tree was meant more as an analogy to the eventual outcome of these types of animals rather than an actual hanging.

  22. I enjoyed the article. Thank you for taking the time to research it. I am a little concerned about shooting people who look like they are in gangs… two adopted kids are black and I would hate for people to get the idea, based on statistics, that they are something they are not.

    I have also been to our neighborhood high school recently and I worry about just plan aggressive people. When you aren’t use to aggressive people, young or old, your race or another…those confrontations are really uncomfortable. What happens when it is a confrontation over something real….like food.

    • Sally,

      Looking like a gang banger is not a crime. Post collapse, folks will keep a close eye on people who look like gang bangers. And if they pose an immediate threat to life or limb, they will be shot.

      • I think the posers will start wearing a belt and speaking correct english soon after shtf,after they start seeing real bangers start to get banged.

      • Personally Gayle, I think people are alot more… Prejudice then that.

      • If it looks like a duck it must be a duck, use duck loads. Gangs use scouts too. They gather intel and formulate plans. I wont be waiting for the flock to come, I plan to shoot the scout ducks too……..

    • SrvivlSally says:

      Take some time to investigate the various gangs that are out there, what they wear, their hand signals, how they move their arms when communicating with one another, where they prefer to hang out, what types of targets the select and how to prevent your kids from getting police records for things related to gang-type activities. You may find aggressive people not so bad when you start focusing upon listening to them without any fear involved. It can be a little unnerving at first but it may be that you have been missing something all along. I do not want to imply anything here, but if a person is not getting enough sleep, suffering from an internal illness that they may or may not be aware of or are undergoing a great deal of stress, the results of those factors can cause them to be sensitive or unable to handle people that come off as aggressive. Now is the time to start practicing handling aggressive types but you should do research on them as well so you can get an idea about what you will be dealing with.

  23. This is why there is so much more to survival and prepping than just having a great food storage, garden and other self sufficient skills. If there was to be a collapse our only hope would be to find strength in numbers of other like minded preppers in your area. For those individuals who didn’t prep and had no plan come out of the wood work, hungry and desperate…they will be the new type of gang or mobs that we will need to watch out for.

  24. Sally. do your black kids cover themselves in blue or red clothes? Are they covered in tattoos? Do they speak normal english?

  25. SurviveTheGame says:

    This take on the gangs may apply anywhere but border states.
    These states are so over run with illegal aliens. couple that with the
    massive amount of offsprings they have that are raised to work the system. The disdain they instill in their children is one of serious hate the white guy. They belive they have been used and feel sorry for themselfs. the gov.wants it this way. it looks like a cloward piven system.

    • SurviveTheGame,

      You and Exile have a good point here. Exile’s comment was that the analysis does ring true for California, where there are more gangs than guns.

      The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear a case about Arizona’s controversial immigration law. If you ask me, I think the language in the Arizona law could be less controversial and yet could achieve the same point. Most states have laws on the books that require people to carry a valid, state issued ID. Illegal immigrants do not have a valid, state issued ID. Therefore they should be detained and put on a chain gang where they are paid minimum wage. Once they have paid back the state for the resources they have illegally usurped, then they can be deported.

      Do you realistically think it is an intrusion into your privacy to be asked for an ID if police have reasonable cause to believe you have committed a criminal offense?

  26. Crap!
    You guys are making me feel left out.Got no gangs or homeless to speak of here. Got nothing to talk about.
    we are having an infestation of Californicators and other forreners moving in and taking the old farms and trying to rebuild suburbia up here. Cant wait for TEOTWAWKI so’s I can do a little vermin removal.
    Gonna have to start my own gang
    the hillbillybangers

    yo blud

  27. SrvivlSally says:

    We have talked about citizens banding together…that makes a gang. We have talked about the bad guys banding together…they create rogues. We have talked about the nation’s current gangs…they are already banded together. Which gang is worse? They all carry weapons, they all have the same mentality, they all are deadly. While everybody fights one another, I will be either heading for the hills or tucked away up in them until they get done battling it out.

    • SrvivlSally,

      Simply banding together is not sufficient to be labeled a gang. The classic definition of a gang is people banding together for the purpose of committing criminal activity. If merely banding together were sufficient to constitute a gang, then my dh is a Catholic choir gang banger.

      • SrvivlSally says:

        According to, there are several definitions of the word “gang” and it all depends upon usage. For instance, if three children get together (band together) they equal a gang. Whether or not they commit criminal activity is beside the point. With that said, a mere brief example of the word “gang”, there will be many types of gangs when the ugly stuff hits the fan blades. I realise that the article is about a certain type of gang but when addressing TSHTF it is difficult not to include other types of gangs, citizen, youth, elderly, etc., and that they will be just as armed, dangerous and controlling, as those that are already “banded” together and have thus formed into “gangs.” Another aspect that should be pondered when the fan blades shoot the sh*t all over the place is that (we) may want to be cautious during that time as certain individuals, who are survivalists and preppers, know that others have prepped as they have, would not hesitate to “band” together to create a “gang” and thus (we) could very well become their targets as (we) could of our current-times gangs. Should they band together and refuse to obey any laws whatsoever, count on it, they would therefore be criminals no differently than our current-day gangs of which do not obey any laws. What makes a criminal a criminal? They do not obey the laws that have been set forth. How many will form “gangs” for the sole purpose of surviving? How many people are going to become “criminals” when the stuff flies? As an example only, some individuals will steal what you have and because you are are left with nothing, out of desperation and fear of dying, you will have no choice but to steal from other people. Like those who disobeyed the laws against theft, you too will have disobeyed and therefore become a criminal. With many people having been stolen from, they will “band” together to protect themselves, and out of desperation for themselves and for the survival of their group, they will be forced to protect themselves and thus make various disobedient decisions and use excuses as to why they (had to) did. I would also like to add that in my previous comment, I noted something to the effect that every group was packing a weapon, had the same goals in mind and thus were deadly. I do not want to be insulting but, once upon a time, I used to know a few people who were involved in gangs and I know that when people band together, complete with weapons and all, just like in my previous comment-not even close to your dh and the banging that they are doing with their fellow choir members (LOL), they form a gang. Like it or not, a gang is a gang is a gang. <:} Banging: Hey, I had a bangin' ol' time. Banging: I saw you banging your head on the wall when you were frustrated with your dog. Banging: Something a man does with another man's wife. Banging: That ride is bangin'. Banging: I heard the police banging on my neighbor's door. Banging: The wind was whipping the door open and closed and I heard it banging all throughout the night.

    • Smartest plan yet….. I wish I were smart enough to stay out of the fray…. I will likely end up food for the carrion birds, but there will be many notches on my gun when the next guy picks it up off my body…..

  28. templar knight says:

    Over the past year one of the things I’ve been interested in is the gang culture and how it would affect America if we had a SHTF worse-case scenario. I don’t neccessarily believe that this is the likely outcome, but as preppers we should at the very least give serious thought to gangs.

    The first advantage gangs will have over the general populace is that they are already organized. They have leadership that is in place, and they have experience in conducting all kinds of operations, including thefts, home invasions, asassinations and other nefarious activites. As we observed in the Katriana aftermath, it wasn’t long before looting, raping and general pillaging began. I can’t even imagine how bad it would be if the SHTF and large areas were WROL.

    Since gangs are clustered mainly in urban areas, we can be pretty sure the violence will start there, but will quickly move out into suburban areas. There are two reasons for this. First, gangs know that the things(property, young women, food, etc.) they want are there. And second, gangs have a presence(think Section 8 housing) in all surburban areas, and already operate there. You can be well-assured that gangs already know the areas they wish to hit if ever given the chance. Gangs are also aware of the fact that suburban areas of major cities have low gun-ownership rates as compared to rural areas.

    Also of note is that gangs have sent their members into the military to learn tactics and weapons. My worry is that large numbers of military-style weapons and equipment will fall into their hands, thus giving them a force multiplier. And even if they don’t obtain military weapons, I have a friend who works at a large gun shop in a large city(Houston, Tx.) who says his main customers these days are young black and Hispanic women buying AKs and ARs, obviously not for themselves. They are also buying large amounts of ammo. It would be a huge mistake to underestimate gangs, as what we see happening in Mexico at the present time is a contemporary example.

    And finally, I firmly believe that it is possible for gangs to control and operate in large areas. And do not discount the possibility that gangs won’t band together along racial/ethnic lines and cooperate in what would be the chance of a lifetime in their eyes to take what they wanted without any serious opposition. Some of my ancestors moved to Texas after large parts of the South had been ransacked and picked clean by Union armies completely cut loose from supply lines. They foraged for supplies, and found much more than one would have thought given the tenor of the times. Grant first, in the Vicksburg Campaign, and later Sherman, in the March through Georgia, proved that a large number of combatants could “live off the land” as they advanced, leaving a burned out wreck behind them. I’m not comparing gangs to the Union Army, but I want people to think of the possibilities. The Visigoth Kingdom of Spain was conquered by a very small Muslim Army that was ruthless and determined. We had better be prepared for the worst if the SHTF, and underestimating the enemy has been the end of many a people.

  29. SurvivorDan says:

    Well done Gayle. I spent a half hour examining and praising your article and then vaporized my comments into the ether. Suffice it to say that I have a law enforcement background and have read many gang assessment papers. None more spot on than yours. The final two paragraphs of your analysis says it all.

    “I wish to suggest that gang activity is more of a problem in our society today than it will be in a post-collapse society. The overwhelming majority of Americans today believe that a 16-year-old gang member can be rehabilitated. In a post-collapse society we will not have the luxury of maintaining rehabilitation centers. When there are no shots for rabies, it is unwise to let a rabid dog remain alive.”

    May seem harsh to some but with no resources for imprisonment and rehabilitation there is no alternative.

    “In a post-collapse society, justice will be immediate and decisive. And we the people will be the ones instituting justice (not the lawyers with all their loopholes). Laws will once again protect the innocent, not the criminals. Gangs are out of control today because our laws protect them. Gang bangers can no more do without the law than smugglers can do without customs.”

    Excellent assessment.

    • Survivor Dan,

      Thank you for the compliment. I spent quite a bit of time researching this topic. I am still trying to piece together a general threat assessment for my local. I am leaning toward the view that the biggest threat in my area at least will be from the entitlement folks when their welfare checks are cut.

  30. Gayle,
    Thank you for your article. I understand some of yout thought process but I must respectfully disagree with your conclusions.

    I have been around gangs and gangbangers for more than 9 years as a police officer. My 1st 1-1/2 years as an officer, I worked in a crime and gange infested area of a major midewestern city. Even though I have moved on to a suburb agency for that same city, I still have had contact with several verified gang members as well as a plethora of wanna-be’s.

    I have found a majority of gang members to extremely violent, ruthless, cunning, emotionless and even intelligent. This is a very deadly combination for the public. law enforcement and any of their enemies. This is especially true of the ones who have done prison time, which is what I view as being post-secondary education for criminals. Many gang members leave prison more disciplined, more physically fit and with a greater knowledge of, and dedication to, the criminal life. This makes them even more dangerous to society, especially a post-SHTF one.

    By the time these young men and women are in their early 20’s, they are veterans of multiple violent encounters against other gangs as well as the police. Most of them have been beaten, given beatings, been stabbed and/or shot, and have done some stabbing and shooting of their own. Being pepper sprayed, TASER’d and having guns pointed at them does not bother, and in most cases, even deter them. It’s a fact of life that they have accepted and even embraced.

    Because of their violent lifestyle, they need to be viewed as combat veterans and not as some punk kid. The FBI publishes a study every few years titled LEOKA, which stands for Law Enforcement Officers Killed in Action. Through this study, they interview men and women in prison for either murdering or attempting to murder a law enforcement officer. Almost every person interviewed for the studies, and it numbers in the hundreds, had been in at least one deadly force encounter prior to the one that put them in prison. If I remember correctly, the average was 4. This is more than most police officers will ever be involved in.

    Being shot, stabbed and beaten is nothing new to them and the threat of any of the above is NOT a deterrent. So pointing your gun at them during a SHTF event will not stop them and everyone needs to keep this in mind as you prepare to defend yourself, your family and your community.

    As I stated earlier, I have found many gang members to be fairly intelligent and organized. This is true in both prison and in society. I encourage each of you to watch some of the “Gangland” series or the “Lockdown” series. You will see gangs who are highly organized, disciplined and ruthless with leaders who are not only intelligent but very street smart.

    I apologize up front if this appears to be too long of a response or some sort of rant. I just want to make sure that no one ever underestimates the danger that gangs and gang bangers pose, whether pre- or post-SHTF. I also believe that post SHTF, they will be the greatest threat to our communities.

    • JD,

      No need to apologize. This is exactly the feedback I was hoping to get in writing the article. I am good at putting topics out there. But I depend on people like you to give me real world feedback. So I thank you for your “rant”.

    • templar knight says:

      Thank you, JD. I have studied this problem for the past year as it pertains to prepping, and I concur with every one of your conclusions. Plus, your conclusions are based on hard evidence. If you live in an urban area, these people will be your worst nightmare. Prepare accordingly. Which means you had better be prepared to be as ruthless as these gangs are, which will be quite a mental jump for most normal people.

  31. All people of like mindedness “gang” together.
    The depth of danger from any such group will be more than worrisome.
    Although it is good to have some kind of number of the dispecable tribes out there, statistics are always flawed. I would look for more (much more) trouble than the numbers predict. Looking for less would be foolish.
    An example of flawed numbers is the global warming numbers and just recently the houseing sale/loss numbers. If a man counted the items it can very well be a corrupted number.
    I give any store about 6 hours to be depleted of food. 3 for the yahoo’s to realize they need stuff and 3 to gut the place. If something desperate happens you need not bother getting out of the house. And forget about trying to take over the place. You’ll just put yourself in harms way.
    As I mentioned before there are other factions out there that could be numbered in the statistical data but are not mentioned as they are racist, extreme military type trained, bigots. Even though you cannot eat idealogy they will continue to group together. They will not only group together they will blend into regular population and most assuredly cause trouble.
    The criminal element will be a faction that will have to be dealt with. And they are another (unless they are tatooed from head to toe) that will blend in. And I am not talking about the benign crook. What is the statistical numbers on cold blooded killers etc. That don’t give a rat’s patooty who they kill, maime they will do it with no thought or care.
    The outside force’s as the Mexican gangs will cause trouble. And they will influence the gangs here as they already do. The only thing that I can hope will stop them is the territorial war between them. If they are warring between themselves maybe they will kill each other off. I know “high hopes”.
    But the fear should be placed also in the one’s that have authority now and will abuse it to the hilt. All of those in charge are not all “good ol’ boys”. I am not talking about marshall law, that is a dreaded thing, but about the ones that figure they have the right to do as they please as they have “the defunct law” on their side. And they could be considered a gang also.
    Oh! and as far as movies go. I hold no stock in the over blown action crap they put in movies. But when you watch one of the liberal butted things you should listen to and consider some of the ideas/and or dialogue behind the the things. I have been more than mildly surprised at some of the things that slip out of movies. Don’t get me wrong I watch movies for the sheer enjoyment, but there are things in them that ring more than true. I do not think that they intend to let some of it slip and I do not know how they found the information, but it is there.
    There is much to fear. But as they say “the only thing to fear, is fear itself”.

  32. I’m new on the list here. Some fascinating discussions over the pat few days. Great idea, the non-fiction contest!

  33. In the aftermath of Katrina, people took to the TX freeways to escape the wrath of Rita. They were easy pickins’ for the gangs that quickly formed on these “parking lots.”. The gangs created an identifier for each other by tearing the bottom of their T-Shirts in a certain way. They went from car to car robbing people of their water (it was over 100 degrees outside), money, food, jewelry and gas. Many folks succumbed to dehydration while waiting for traffic to move. Where there was no gang, one quickly formed.

  34. My opinion is that gang bangers are weak mentally. They may pose some threat in the begginig, but will not have long for this world. The worse the collapse, the better for gangs dispersing. They will “eat their own”.

  35. Gayle, check with your local police gang unit. Just call and ask to speak to the Lt or PIO. They can give you a updated list of signs to watch for in your area. 1 thing I have noticed is that we are on different maps about this. Some are talking street gangs, others drug gangs, others prison gangs, others criminal gangs like we think of the mafia. I mostly dealt with the street gangs, blood, chrips, ms13, utk , Memphis mafia and wsl etc. etc. then prison gangs Texas syndicate, Mexican Mafia and white supremacist. The criminal gangs we saw in movies (think Casino) were mostly a Chicago gang known as the OUTFIT. The mafia we think of (La Cosa Nostra) only controlled the 5 Burroughs, Long Island and parts of NJ. The Outfit controlled everything else in this country and Cuba. It is now controlled by Politicians in Chicago. Can you feel the connection to DC yet? Your typical street gang member that Gayle from Gainsville has wrote about will turn chicken and run at the drop of a hat. In a group they will mouth off and threaten and a few may even be armed. They fear a well trained person with a gun though. They will say “I bet you don’t even know how to use that gat” you tell them, “I trained at the police shooting range wanna see? Put that beer can on you head.” Fight normally ends there. If there are 2 of you you can get them on there knees. I guarantee you that they will defecate themselves when you put the barrel of their AK47 in their mouth. Watch the TV show Cops. Act like the Cops do. Your not a cop so never ever say you are just act like one. I can spot most cops out in public off duty just by how they hold their hands. It’s good to know what your preparing for. I think it will be private contractors hired by Uncle Sam that come to take our stuff. Today is the Bill OF Rights day. On this day in 1791 the bill of Rights was ratified. I wish we still had them. Know Thy Enemy.

  36. I think that in the beginning it will be chaos and the gangs that are still around will not pose a significant threat at first. Second everyone is commenting like they are going to be hanging out in the cities…not me…to quote Eddie Murphy ” I’m gettin the F@#k out” On a serious note I do believe some gangs will reorganize over time and pose a serious threat in the more populated cities. I would like to thank JD for pointing out that they should be considered combat veterans. People need to understand that when the SHTF it is a extremely high possibility you will have to take a human life or lives to defend yourself and your group/family. When the SHTF I would rather be judged by God later than carried to my grave now.

  37. elmer fudd says:

    Don’t underestimate the threat posed by our militarized local police forces, either.

  38. Alex(Ontario) says:

    That checklist is really well-made, except for one thing.
    The Do students use or have beepers, pagers, phones?
    line. Today, nearly every teenager has a phone, even the ones who are not in gangs. So if anyone here is using that checklist, I would suggest crossing out the mentioned line.

  39. Perhaps some of you with LE or military backgrounds could help answer this question: what is the likely LE and/or military response to a collapse over a large segment of the country?

    I speculate that authorities (state governors) will declare a state of emergency, and that will allow national guard troops to be deployed. I speculate that a curfew will be declared. What does it mean to say that martial law has been declared? Who has this authority? How is martial law enforced?

    Does anyone have a clue as to the likely sequence of events? Such information would prove useful in deciding when to head for the swamp.

  40. Uncle Charlie says:

    Lurker Bob where do you live? I want to move up there (Washington State, Oregon, Idaho?) right away. First I thought you might be Canadian but Exile1891 ruined that for me. I always thought Canada was like Heaven or Disneyland (except for their gun control) and now you’ve ruined it for me. Are you sure the guy with 75 guns and 100,000 was really selling to the gangs? Sound like a prepper or just somebody who likes guns like me. Like I said the other day, some government agencies consider anyone with a few guns and more than 3 days worth of food dangerous. I’m not sure about gun ownership statistics, but thanks to our President, we’ve had record gun and ammo sales since before he took office. He got a lot of people off their asses for sure. I voted for the other guy but he might have lulled us into a false since of security had be been elected. I don’t think things would be any different if he had been elected except for gun sales of course. SurvivorDan, what you mean about “illegal” land mines??? I thought if you put up signs, everything would be OK. Mine are war surplus signs in German which I got cheap. Gayle, you did real yeoman like job on your article and I’m sure everybody appreciated your effort whether or not they agreed with all of it. I was wondering if your DH is your darling husband or your designated hit man (or both). I used to be in a Catholic choir a million years ago. Don’t be deceived by their looks, they’re more dangerous than they appear. Reading today’s responses just confirms my opinion from yesterday, THIS group and other preppers might be the most dangerous ones out there. MD, how about giving us ID badges so we don’t end up shooting each other. You can just post it and we can print them up and laminate them ourselves 🙂

    • Uncle Charlie,

      I don’t think anyone here is looking for a fight. But if gang bangers or other criminals come into our towns looking for trouble, they will likely be hunted down and shot (or hung from a tall tree). We are talking about life after the collapse of society. Such criminals will pose an immediate threat to our survival. The can and should be hunted down like rabid dogs.

      • I think it is naive to believe that if gangs or other criminals come into our towns looking for trouble that we necessarily will win. Be it homeless from economic conditions; homeless from crazy; homeless from addiction, or organized and armed gangs, facing down fate is harder than it looks, scarier than it looks, and may be very dangerous to your well being. No matter what your gun style and ammo might be…you well might lose. It is not something to be taken lightly, underestimated, we are not super wolves, just folks trying to figure out how to get through bad stuff. While it is great to bring this all up? I think there is a huge overestimate here, that we will be able to survive a horde of desperate folks. I can only hope and pray that where each of us lives, law enforcement and others with training can help us protect our communities. Running around lynching people means you will be out and about………..risking your life and potentially risking your family by not being nearby for them. I pray daily that what we prepare for never goes this far.

  41. Sundance WMC says:

    How does one not know that these “alleged” gangs do not have members of sufficient intelligence, who may be reading “prepper” blogs? Are all “alleged” gang members stupid?
    Has anyone forgotten the somewhat recent news of gang members being in the military? (and upon discharge, training tactics to the “homies”?)
    I surely would question some of the information the government even puts out on “alleged” gang membership and what not….know whgat I mean?

  42. am i the only one who realizes how outdated this is??/?
    – Gang colours!
    – Hand signals
    – Beepers!
    – Pagers!
    – And phones

  43. BullDogBeau says:

    Good post.

    The first factor I would consider when looking at gangs or gang members in post SHTF would be the “Human Factor”. Though some are dumb gangbangers… They have the ability to adapt and overcome challenging situations. In fact isn’t that what they are actually doing. To compensate a solid family, they have their own. Having lacking morals, they have a code for each other. They have indeed adapted to a terrible situation (though self inflicted situation) already. Yes, they are combat vets, untrained combat vets, but hardened nonetheless. Confrontation with a gang isn’t easy, however can be done. We have to realize that even if an opposition only have a few guns, a few handfull of rounds. IT TAKES ONE and it’s a bad day! I don’t know about you all but I’m allergic to being shot. You have to pay attention to the way they operate. Usually in force, in an insurgent style ambush, or rush attack. I would take the fight to them using that exact strategy. Long distance shots, stalking ambush etc. If only to lower the numbers to more managable odds. I (like insurgents in Iraq) avoid return fire by not being there for it.
    As far as Marshall Law, ordered by the president I believe. Being Military Police the objective in any disorder is command and control. Checkpoints, curfews, protect points of interest (food, water, government) basicly the most strict parts of a police state. The purpose would be to try and ensure there isn’t people making the situation worse. In the SHTF scenario that would exist for a limited time, eventually leaving a soldier with a family wanting to protect them in person.

    • Allergic to being shot? I’m not sure, but I’m out five minutes at least if I turn my ankle bad enough to be fine with un-bandaged limping for a week.

      It’s going to take a live-or-die situation for any of us to discover whether we have our inner hulk. (1970’s Hulk premiere, I think?)

  44. Uncle Charlie says:

    Gayle, I couldn’t agree more. However, I’m too old and infirm to hunt them down, I will have to shoot them in place.

  45. theGoldfinger says:

    This article was well written and well documented. For the average person, who knows very little about gangs or gang life, other than what they see on TV and in film, this article might make you think you are well informed now. I haven’t read every single reply, so if there was someone who has had experience, in real life, with gang members, criminal activity, as well as prison gang hierarchy and other criminal organizations, then I tip my hat to you first, but it’s clear though that the author is merely reciting facts and statistics. Its not the 16 year old gang member you need to worry about, with his cheap 9mm and 27 rounds in reserve, its his older homies, and the OG’s.

    The “administration” of the largest gangs will order their members, from the top down, on what to do, and how to proceed. If any of you are thinking, because of this article, that the gang threat is merely a minor threat and something that will just “be handled” due to the “new rules” of society, you are mistaken. It is now common practice, I repeat, common practice, for gangs to send members into branches of the military, do their 2-4 years, then return and train the rest of them in tactics, weapons, etc.

    You will not be dealing with the disposable gang members you see in movies when dealing with groups like MS-13. These people are ruthless and dangerous , and that is how they are NOW, imagine what they will be like then..

    I have added a link so that you can see just how many ORGANIZED gangs there are in the U.S., and if you care to know more about any specific gang, you can research them further right from the link. Your best bet is to go down the list and look for the race of the gang, based on the types of races in your vicinity. From that, you can get quick descriptions of what states and cities specific gangs are active in. Some cities have no asian gangs but plenty of black or biker gangs.
    I can’t impress on you how much of a threat gangs will be in a SHTF situation.

    The article talks about how “we” will be handing out justice, not lawyers and such, and I hope that a better justice system comes out this, but it will most likely, depending on how bad it gets, resemble ‘wild west’ justice or frontier justice, and that will not come naturally to most. I posit that if you have never fired a gun before, you won’t be able to shoot someone. This goes for a lot of target shooters too. How many of you have shot at a PERSON? Not many I’ll bet. Further, its a fact, known among ‘high speed’ operators and hard core gunmen (armed bank robbers and strong arm robbers) that even if you have a gun, and your pointing it at your assailant, its very common for the average person to…”bitch out”, as they would say. They will then take your gun, and stick it up your ass, because THEY will never hesitate to shoot. Always remember that. Gang members shoot first, and don’t care about asking questions either. I could show you plenty of stats on criminals vs cops in shooting situations, and you might think the cops come out on top in most categories, you would be wrong. So, if a trained COP is losing gun fights (when they occur) which is not a every day occurrence, how well are you going to do? Seriously people, you need to re-evaluate the gang threat, its right near the top of big concerns, especially if you live in, or near a city with active gangs.

    I’m not trying to frighten you, but this article and some of the comments make it seem like they won’t be a factor, and they’ll just “naturally” be removed from the equation, and that normal folks will just execute gang members with ease. That they are more of a threat now, then they will be ‘then’. This is faulty thinking, and indicative of someone who has no real experience, in real life, with these people. I have known gang members from prominent street gangs like the Gangster Disciples to the Vice Lords, from outlaw biker gangs to made men in the russian and italian mobs, all the way to upper echelon prison gang members from the Aryan Brotherhood and the Border brothers…and none of them were 16 year old punks…they were all men. Many of whom have shot at people before, or actually shot people. Regular people, and law abiding citizens don’t do that, and don’t get to practice it either. They on the other hand, have had plenty of practice. All you ace target shooters need to remember that most of the conflicts that you will see in post F’d up society will be fast, close, and personal. Within 15 ft. I know many of us having these images of seeing the enemy coming from 50 yards away, and deciding on which rifle to shoot with first, but for most people, that scenario won’t unfold…it will be more like your going out to your car and 2 or 3 guys will materialize from nearby and will already be pointing weapons and telling you what to do, thats if they don’t just shoot first…you will have seconds to pull and fire. Forget the Red Dawn scenarios, that will be the exception, not the rule.

    I’d also like to add that while we are thinking about gangs in general, remember the 2 million incarcerated in state and federal prisons. Many are non threats like white collar guys, many of the drug related cases, the pedos (another topic), the mentally unbalanced, and a multitude of elderly criminals as well as disabled. They do not concern me at all. Its the elite gang members and their minions. What will happen to the prisons? Will the Wardens release them? Will the Warden throw away the key, evacuate the CO’s and flee, leaving them to rot? I would be willing to bet that we would see BOTH of those scenarios. Some wardens would release the men while others would either start shooting them or just leave them locked in. But without staff, those inmates will eventually get out. And the ones that are fortunate enough to get out will be ready for anything. There are truly elite criminals in prison, many in the upper echelons of gang life and regarded as “hero’s” among the street gangs, legends really. Not to mention all the 20 to LIFE crowd, whatever their criminal specialty was, they would then be free, and you will be nothing more than a snack to them. They should frighten you.

    I offer this info to make you THINK. And to see another side of this gang issue, because having facts and figures from FBI stats and being able to identify “beepers and pagers”…really? They stopped using them 10 years ago, as did all of us….my point is that these people are dangerous NOW, and more experienced than YOU in violence, plus, they don’t have YOUR conscience, and many won’t have anything to lose, and by the nature of gangs, there will always be more of them, than of YOU. Whatever you thought you had figured out about them, its time to re-evaluate.

    List of Gangs in the U.S.

  46. Not all motorcycle clubs will be a problem. As a matter of fact they would be good to have as friends. I speak this as a clean cut hard working biker. I know club members rather well. And by the way, its CLUB not gang….. There are losers in the police and everywhere. I think its better to judge by behaviors rather than by preconceived notions. Also, lots of MC members are veterens and they are good family men as well. Bikers in general don’t care for the gang bangers. Thats putting it mildly. So when the gang bangers start to loot your house you may just see some MC member happy to shoot them! But if you start shooting at someone that you think is some nasty biker gang guy you may just find a pissed off combat vet shooting back and quite well at that! I just found this blog and I like it so far. I’ve been a firearms enthusiast for years as well as a prepper and I am one of the bikers that hates them gang bangers. I’m more concerned about the unprepared masses as they are more numerous than the gangs. Just my 2 cents.

    • The problem is that most none riders can not tell the difference between outlaw gangs, the feeder clubs, the Born Agains, and just everyday bikers.

  47. Good article. Having read all the posts here i think that one ponit is being overlooked. Gangsters live by the law of the jungle. A pride of lionesses go after the young, old, sick or weak. When approaching a herd of wildebeasts they will not zero in on the big, bad bull. It’s the same with gangbangers. I’ve had minor run ins with gangsters. Pulling back my jacket, revealing my Glock and staring them straight in the eye has kept me from being accosted on more than one occasion. They are not as tough as most people think. They feel they have strength because of thier numbers. When confronted by a diciplined and determined “enemy”, they’ll lose all “unit cohesion”. The rise of “Warlords”, via Somalia, would be a greater concern. Drug dealing, car jacking gangsters are not the threat in a SHTF situation. People realizing that food and water are the most valuble commodity and using them as a weapon against the populace will be a greater threat.

  48. templar knight says:

    “The rise of “Warlords”, via Somalia, would be the greater concern.”

    That is exactly what we are trying to say can happen with gangs after the SHTF. This is already going on in a small way in cities like Chicago right now. I fear it will get much worse WROL.

    • ditto, and to think a banger will waltz right by to face their “justice” alone is completely gone to neverneverland. he won’t venture out alone, and niether should we,ever. i really fear for some of the pack’s safety with ideas like that. but like i said, distance is time in shtf. get as far away from them as you can and let nature take its course, but be aware that after that you will be facing the cream of the crop, the survivors. you know, tk, one thing nobody is looking at is real combat vets. lets say tshtf, the gov fades away,leaving 4 million service people in the lurch w/no leadership. what are they gonna do? i know personally that gangs are INSIDE the army at ft.bragg and other elite units. they have come home jacked up on adrenaline and pulled bank robberies etc. can you imagine a gang with an m1 abrams?

      • Cliff in Douglasville says:

        If we run into situations where someone is coming in a tank then we have to go to heavy duty access denial. I could be totally wrong but I’ve heard that a duffle bag full of tannerite under the edge of an overpass, when detonated by a large caliber bullet, will make most of the overpass fall down on the tank if it is so unlucky as to be traversing that area at a time. I’ve only heard that and not seen it so I have no salient facts to back it up. A lot of guys came home knowing a whole lot about IEDs and what makes them work. I personally wouldn’t want to tick them off.

      • templar knight says:

        I think we would be very foolish to assume that military equipment won’t fall under the control of gangs. My youngest son is in an infantry unit(4ID) as we speak, and he has assured me gang members are in his battalion, if not in his company. JWR has that fact as a theme in his new book(haven’t read it, but someone told me that), and he has gang members stealing armored vehicles. That is why I want a .50cal. I believe it will happen.

        And rr, even if these gangs don’t get military equipment, look at the armored vehicles the Mexican gangs have made out of dump trucks, etc. Street gangs here would do the same thing. It’s my nightmare scenario, and the one that keeps me up at night.

        • Cliff in Douglasville says:

          Templar Knight, before I began and as I look at your handle I have to ask if you might be a traveling man. I am a Knights Templar by degree and wondered if that was the basis of your user name.

          You, as a private citizen, as long as you can legally own a firearm, can own, automatic weapons, suppressed weapons, and things classified as a short barreled rifle. There is just paperwork involved. I have a gun smith who is a Class III license holder and can sell weapons to people. There is paperwork involved and fees to be paid but if you really want to be able to rock and roll, it’s possible to do.
          If you ever watch Sons of Guns on the Discovery channel you’ll see them selling fully automatic stuff, grenade launchers and stuff like that all the time and they always mention the paperwork.
          I, myself, have been to several shoots where they bring out Uzi’s and 50 cals and everything in between and you pay to fire them. It’s a great feeling to send a lot of rounds downrange in a hurry but it’s a mighty big hit to the pocketbook. Feeding those things isn’t cheap. Buying them isn’t cheap either but they are available.

          I just want to know why every time the news comes on and in some far distant country there are people all around with Rocket Propelled Grenade launchers. Where’s mine? I don’t know if there are any in the national guard armory. They may have a few Light Antitank Weapons but I want an RPG (not really because if you forget to warn the person standing behind you that you are going to fire you will do great harm to them with the back blast).

          Anyway, they are out there. Several of out local LE’s have had their trunks popped while they were on patrol and their super duper automatic, laser sighted, whiz bang rife goes missing. That scares me.

          • templar knight says:

            No, nothing as interesting as that, Cliff. I use templar knight because I had ancestors from France who claimed to be descended from a member of the Order of the Knight’s Templar, the medievel society that protected visitors to the Holy Land and fought in the Crusades.

        • T.K.
          In your vision of TEOTWAWKI there is fuel available for tanks and armored vehicles? Wow!

      • …”leaving 4 million service people in the lurch w/no leadership. what are they gonna do? i know personally that gangs are INSIDE the army at ft.bragg and”…

        You are suggesting two things.
        1. All Senior NCO’s and Officers will just disappear. Vanish. Beamed up to the mothership or what?
        2 The vast majority of military members, regular Americans, are going to throw in with a few gang bangers.
        Sorry but I dont think either one of those things are going to happen in TEOTWAWKI.

        • templar knight says:

          I tell you what I think, Ron. I think the vast majority of Americans are sheep with no idea what to do, where to go, and who have made no provision for 3 days hence. In such a sorry state as that, I’m not prepared to make a prediction of anything, but am prepared to think of different scenarios that may or may not occur. I’m not saying exactly what will happen, because quite frankly I don’t know. But I choose to THINK about things that COULD happen, and prepare accordingly. It’s my hope and prayer that none of this crap ever happens.

          And I’m not speaking for Riverrider, just for myself. As for fuel, yes, there will be fuel available for a certain length of time after the SHTF. I hope it runs out quickly.

        • riverrider says:

          ron g, no most will head home to protect the family,leaving the gangs to take the armament. when i was still in, our plan was to seize the base. we had tanks, ammo, fuel, its own grid, water sanitation, everything you could want, and our buddies were in charge of it all. all we needed was air cover.had a few chopper jockies, but no missiles. never could overcome that obstacle…

          • RR
            Remember, we are talikng TEOTWAWKI.
            How many GI’s are too slow to figure out the situation and what it means? What percentage of GI’s have a home town within one tank of gas from where they are stationed? I think the vasr majority will realize that there would be greater safety and a better chance for survival right where they were.
            Those living off post would move on if they physically could.

  49. Uncle Charlie says:

    Well hopefully being in the center of a 100 acre woods (unpopulated and up and down) off a dirt road, off a gravel road, off a county road and not too close to a state road and nowhere near an interstate will help. The county doesn’t even know a cabin is there and the locals only see me when I hunt and don’t know about the cabin (I always carry a tent in the back of the 4×4). If I’m discovered, I guess I will just grab my ankles and kiss my ass good-bye, after I run out of ammo.

  50. Cliff in Douglasville says:

    Uncle Charlie,

    It sounds like you’ve got the best of all worlds going there. Just don’t run out of ammo. Get you some black powder guns and stock up on that, get a crossbow and stock up on shafts, get you a big old slingshot and a bunch of ball bearings and if all else fails, use your rifle as a club and resupply from the folks you know the snot out of.
    Good luck and I envy your position.

  51. Pineslayer says:

    Nice post Gayle.
    I agree, city gangs will burn out and/or eat each other. New gangs will rise, comprised of those other dead beats with guns, as talked about in the previous post. I feel for those of you in cities where bugging out seems like the only option, I would feel the same way. Reality is bugging out turns you into an instant refugee, albeit a well armed one. When does being a scavenging refugee become acceptable? Are you a looter when you seek shelter in a home 100 miles from home with your wife and kids in tow wondering if you will live through the next months?Or are you just a person trying to survive? If the place is empty, what’s the harm? The book,”Lights Out”, was a good read and addressed some of these issues. Hunker down and hope for the best. God have mercy on those who would threaten my family, I certainly will not, it’s not my job.

  52. I remember seeing an asian gang on the series of gangland. They did thier homework and went to church and was required to save a percentage of there drug profits.

  53. I’m more concerned about the police acting as a gang after a total collapse. They have to eat too and they have the training, the weapons and the legal authority to enter, arrest and confiscate.

  54. I need some serious help or advise. I was born and raised in Louisiana, traveled the country and am currently setteled in Indy, served my country where we learned to depend on one another, (and Will gladly continue to fight for my freedom/survival and that of my family), I have been watching where this country has been going for some years now and kick myself for not beginning to prep back then, but I surely am now.
    By the way, I am a Black American or what the Gov. has tagged me as “African American”. I found and fell in love with this blog about two months ago when I ran across “The Poor Mans Arsenal”.
    But can someone PLEASE tell me how do individuals like myself who think and believe as most others on this blog believe, survive if the color of my skin or that of my famliy will most likely get us shot at if we had to bug out? If I were to shoot back in self defense (I too am a darn good shot with a long gun and have been for at least 30 yrs!), then I’ll be flagged as an agressor trying to steal or something instead of trying to avoid thugs.
    Honestly though, I plan to remain in place using many of the ideas from this and another site, but I wanted to point out that there are Americans of color who think, feel, hope and pray just as the bloggers here do. But from what I seem to be reading, wow! God forbid if I can’t hold my home if it looks like the thugs will gain control of the area and have to leave here to try and seek out other descent people!!! Just a thought. Any any advise is welcome and needed.


  55. That’s an interesting way to look gangs post-disaster. I’ve always taken for granted that they will be a HUGE problem in such a situation. Perhaps not, although I wouldn’t put it past them to figure out how to be a major thorn in honest preppers sides.

  56. Will 2 Live says:

    The best way to remove threats from urban gangs from your survival equation is to place your survival retreat at least 200 miles from the nearest major city. The likelihood that hungry city slicker gang members would make their way past the 200 miles of well armed rural folk and actually find you is slim to none.

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