Zombie Apocalypse: The Only Good Zombie is a Dead Zombie… Not Necessarily?

by Dan S

A nuclear explosion has destroyed Phoenix, Arizona. You live 50 miles outside of the kill zone and up wind and you can see the mushroom cloud. But you and your family are fine. Good siting of your retreat buddy. There is nothing on the radio or TV (EMP effect…perhaps). Maybe the whole country is wiped out. This is the BIG ONE!

All your prepping was worth it. And thank God you have weapons galore! It’s only a matter of days ‘till the zombie apocalypse hordes that survived the blast reach your area. But you are ready for them. You have the right weapons and ammo. You and the missus have trained for any scenario. Your tactics are sound. The killing ground is prepared. You are at peace with your decision to shoot and ask questions later. After all, you have two young children to protect and can’t take chances.

There have been many, many discussions about weapons and tactics to use when the SHTF. What is the best and most effective handgun to use? What is the best and most lethal long gun for dispatching your potential zombie hordes?

Do you eat your adversaries or merely toss them in the compost heap? Maybe make soap out of them and feed for the hogs. I have seen hundreds of back and forth comments arguing the merits of this particular type of ammo regarding its lethality.

This disposal method, that meat harvesting technique, etc.  A man comes to your door drunk and belligerent and yells for you to come out and help him, and you blast him. Ask questions later, eh? Some people are outside your retreat pleading loudly for food.

You warn them but they keep yelling and threatening you. Finally you sneak around behind them and cut them down with a burst from your modified AR-15. Then you cut up their corpses and feed the flesh to your hogs. Efficient use of their protein. Well done. Really?

Within weeks the Feds have declared martial law and restored order to the Phoenix area. Law enforcement (though military) has been reconstituted. After several months military detectives (anonymous tipsters have fingered you for murder) come poking around your homestead.

Two months later the provost-marshal in charge of your sector has you arrested and charged with first degree murder and mutilation of corpses. You are also charged with interfering with the investigation and with the cover-up of the shootings. Your wife is also charged and your two children become wards of the state. The state appropriates your property and your five years of stored foods and supplies. National emergency regulations provide for this confiscation.

One could argue the legality of arresting you considering the exigent circumstances under which your ‘crime’ occurred. One could further debate the ethical and constitutionality of the Feds declaring martial law and‘ruling’ with an appointed provost-marshal.

None of that matters while you rot in jail and it could all have been prevented.

Much of what I read on survival blogs are debates about the efficacy of this weapon or that. Tactics for neutralizing (killing) possible zombie looters. How many thousands of rounds of defensive ammo one has. One fellow has improvised explosives to use as anti-vehicle weaponry. That car comes barreling up the road to your retreat and….BOOM…that’s all she wrote brother! Zombie scraps! If it is a total Collapse with a ten-year or longer recovery (if ever) then might be right, my friends. But when will you know that is the case?

I have a good friend and crony in prepping and he has absolutely no less-than-lethal self-defense weapons. I am constantly bugging him to fill that short fall.

I have a good ballistic vest with plates. You may think that is not a less than lethal weapon but it may give me the extra edge and confidence to deploy a less than lethal response to an intrusion on my property like the ones I mentioned earlier. I may venture forth to deploy a large, nasty pepper spray fogger on the group of people clammering at my gate while Mrs. Survivor Dan covers me with an AR. I will be wearing my personal body armor and be carrying a conspicuous and rather nasty looking firearm (to hold their attention) while welcoming the crowd with a blast from my pepper spray fogger.

If any are still standing and functional I may drop them with a baton or my Taser. Please don’t proclaim your perception of the lack of practicality of my plan as I have enough experience with these techniques and less-than-lethal devices to know their and my capabilities and limitations.

My point is that while the Levels of Force may be lowered in exigent circumstances allowing greater use of force than in normal conditions, one cannot arbitrarily kill people simply because one is afraid.

You must be able to demonstrate and articulate that you were in fear of your life (and/or great bodily harm) and had no other choice but the level of force that you used. Now, if you first pepper sprayed and tasered your assailants/belligerents and someone still poses a very great threat to you and yours….well let go with your roscoe and drop ‘em.

You attempted to use less force but they forced you to utilize lethal force. That is dependable behavior. Simply whacking everyone you come across post collapse (and it may not really be a post-Collapse situation) is not a proper course of action.

“Yep! They done come around and I…well…I jest whacked ‘em! Probably a bunch of cannibals. Damn zombies!”

Not going to go over well with the gendarmes du jour. They will probably cuff you on the spot and haul your butt away.

Get some ballistic vests before you get more guns. Train at armed and unarmed combatives. Take a course in the use of collapsible batons and pepper spray. Acquire a taser (not a touch stun gun) and get the training in its proper use. I have a dedicated shotgun with less than lethal rounds in it. Practice with one. Imagine scenarios and plan tactics using less than lethal devices and techniques. And yes, always have someone right there on over-watch with lethal weapons.

I can kill a man but I wouldn’t do it lightly nor put myself in legal jeopardy in the doing. Living with your thoughts after justifiably killing folks is hard. Killing people without good reason and rotting in a federal prison is worse. S.D.

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of TheSurvivalistBlog.net. 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. Oh wow.

    I preach this all the time!! People get obsessed w/ weaponry without considering the long-term affects of using it. People toss around all sorts of murderous rhetoric without considering what it’s really like to take a life — or what the consequences may be. I have seen this hundreds of times.

    Great points and well said.

  2. dan, finally somebody with some sense! great job, and don’t forget war crimes tribunals. they are still prosecuting nazis and chasing serbian leaders down for genocide. i guess they thought they would be in power forever. and look at mubarik, ka-daffy and others who thought themselves immune to prosecution. again, great job, reminded me i need to fill a couple of holes too. thanks!

    • Rich Muszynski says:

      greetings. note they will never prosecute American war criminals like the Bush’s or Obama. but we are not politicians so they sure as well will hold us to the law.

  3. Sundance WMC says:

    Boy did you blow this one away……You made more sense than damn near everyone I read….Yes, for sure, there is another way. Being prepared in all ways, using all means is the key. The reasoning is totally sound. How long does one really know it will take before order is restored.

  4. Survivor Dan. Good article. Reading a situation correctly is an art in and of itself.

  5. I honestly don’t know what to think of this one. If “zombies” had been in the nuclear zone, survived, and made their way to my place located many miles away then that would mean they would be contaminated with nuclear radiation. Why would I want to risk eating contaminated flesh or feed it to my hogs knowing I will contaminate myself or my meat supply? Dump the bodies as far away from home as possible and let the wolves do the rest.

    So far as shooting first and asking questions later, what is the alternative? I’m certainly not going to go out and try to reason with starving contaminated people or deny my family their stockpiled resources in order to feed strangers. If they surround my home or try to enter it uninvited then I can view that as a threatening act of aggression and defend against it. They aren’t playing around, they will kill me for what I have so I’m not going to bother with playing around with scare tactics either. There is something to be said about having less-than-lethal weaponry; but they will be back in greater numbers if they think you have something worth protecting.

    Those who escape my wrath are probably not going to survive very long anyway if they have thyroid cancer which is growing by the day. Those who do survive long enough to accuse me will have some explaining to do. Authorities will want to know what they were doing on my property in the first place and why they didn’t leave when I threatened them. And where is the evidence which backs up their story? Perhaps they should ask the wolves as I certainly won’t have much to add to the story.

    In this martial law scenario, I personally think law enforcement and soldiers should be considered zombies too. They are no longer bound by the Constitution and I will not be able to trust them to behave in a way which is in my best interest. They will not respect my rights nor should I be expected to continue abiding by old laws which have been thrown out the window. They will not be interested in investigating the murder of contaminated blast victims inasmuch as they will want to control everything and everyone. They can take over my home and use it as a base of operation while also seizing my food supply and weapons. During martial law, law enforcement and soldiers are no different from any other group of zombies you mentioned so I will have little choice but to resist them as part of my fight to avoid becoming a zombie myself. Sure, it may be akin to Custer’s Last Stand, but the alternative you mentioned isn’t much better.

    • Lol, yeah, you may get a few, but law enforcement and military will be better prepared and better armed and better trained than you, I guarantee it. Why would you make yourself a target by starting a fight. why not just hide what you have and hope they move on? If you really had concern for your family, why would you start that fight and sign their death certificates as well? you think the military would just kill you with those big shells and rockets? You comment brings to mind Waco texas and ruby ridge idaho. Yeah you may get a couple, but they will just burn you out in the end. I can tell you right now that here in LA when there is a barricaded cop killer, they dont mess around with the lesser tactics for long, they throw the hot gas in and wait till you either burn to death or shoot you when your running out from the flames. And who could blame them if you give them a reason by shooting them unprovoked on sight? I wouldn’t blame them that’s for sure. You assume they wouldnt be acting under the constitution. How would you know? without national communications? If they are in uniform then they are likely trying to just restore order so that rebuilding can happen. I’m not saying you should trust anyone, but I dont think shooting on sight is the answer either. How about a bullhorn for your preps so you can call out without exposing your position. Maybe try to communicate with the folks before you start dumping rounds like General Custer?

      • Who said anything about me starting an unprovoked fight? My post clearly suggests I would maintain a defensive position and get aggressive in response to aggression. You assume I’d just start pulling the trigger at the first sign of a trespasser who is minding his own business, which is not the case.

        Did I suggest that I would be better trained or equipped against law enforcement or the military? Of course not and I even suggested the act of resistance against their attack would likely be futile. However, the fact you laugh makes me believe you would submit to a military invasion which aims to toss you out of your home and loot your possessions just as barbarians did in ancient history. I’d prefer to die trying to resist and make them burn my possessions along with my body rather have them benefit from my hard work and preps. Like what happened in Waco and Ruby Ridge, the deaths which resulted sparked national outrage and hundreds of militia groups were formed in the aftermath. They won’t be able to treat citizens like this for very long before they are seen as the enemy by all citizens.

        Why would I assume they aren’t working under the Constitution? Because that is exactly what martial law means!

        • You said you would start an unprovoked fight in your last paragraph. Read it again, I’m not the only one who took it that way as you can see by others follow up comments. You said you would target law enforcement and military because you dont trust them. I’m not putting words in your mouth. If you dont like the way people respond to your words maybe you should reconsider them.

          I wouldnt be submitting to anything buddy, I would be one of the ones patrolling the streets enforcing the curfew for the zombies, ie martial law, trying to keep people safe and alive to use their preps. But If you target me while I try to keep the zombies at bay, then stand the f$$k by because we know how to bring the thunder.

          Most people understand that we are in place to protect the sheep from the wolves, you seem to have missed this. That’s ok, but all I am saying is there is no reason whatsoever to proactively target police and military personnel. If that wasn;t what you were saying then fine, but it sure seemed to be from what you wrote.

          Instead of all this hypothetical crap, lets just look at recent history, katrina, la riots, these are realistic reasons you need preps and arms. Did you see any cops messing with the koreans who were armed to protect their businesses? No, we were glad they were there, we were all on the same side ( I say we because though I was ten during the riots, I am a member of law enforcement now and the sentiment amongst our ranks has not changed). The only people who had anything to fear from law enforcement in either katrina or the la riots were the looters, murderers and criminals, not the preppers, not the good people just trying to hold onto their own shit.

          Get it straight buddy, same team. Martial law isn;t to confiscate your crap, it is to put a curfew in place to keep zombies away from your house while it is dark out. And so that you dont get confused for a zombie in the night.

          • Sorry Michael, some examples of New Orleans finest after Katrina:


            Do fully agree that the police would “bring the thunder” down on anybody that got in their way though.

            Not to suggest all LEO’s would turn into criminals, only that percentage wise they’d commit roughly the same amount of crimes as non-LEO’s, difference being that their crimes would be under the color of law and protected by the blue code of silence.

            • Hunker-Down says:


              Thanks for the links. I’m collecting them along with stories about the collapse in Argentina, Germany, Zimbabwe etc.
              “I have seen the enemy and he is us”.
              The more we can learn about the many faces the coming collapse may have, the better prepared we are.

            • I thought that it was humerous when the police were talking about finding guns in alleys and abanded houses. Also stating that they will return firearms to people with the bill of sale and will have to go through a background search.What a bunch of lying lowlifes. When I buy a gun I throw away or destroy the reciept a few months after purchase.No need to keep it after knowing the gun is not defective in my book.The constitution does not state that we are able to have guns with proof of purchase.

            • RED – I disagree – Most LEO’s are good guys – there are a few bad apples (just like every batch of Humans on the planet). First law of any group is protect your own. You stated
              -“this martial law scenario, I personally think law enforcement and soldiers should be considered zombies too. They are no longer bound by the Constitution and I will not be able to trust them to behave in a way which is in my best interest. They will not respect my rights nor should I be expected to continue abiding by old laws ”
              – They would be performing their sworn duty to serve and PROTECT – I see LEO’s or military – I bring out my honorable discharge and my SAR card, and ask what can I do to help them.

              just sayin….

            • SurvivorDan says:

              There are a few bad apples in any organization but Far more officers are men of principle and duty.
              Went to Katrina with my AZ sheriff’s dept to relieve the overrun, undersupplied and undermanned police force.
              I met a disheveled, bedraggled, exhausted but courageous 23 yr old police officer who (though he had lost all his own possessons) stood 12-18 hr shifts – week in and week out. I fed him 3 MREs the first night because he was nearly starving. While on looter patrol with him another night he confided that he had planned to quit but Katrina hit. I asked him why he didn’t leave now to go home to Shreveport and his parents. He seemed surprised at my question and said, he couldn’t leave the folks in NO when they needed him . I witnessed many selfless deeds and acts of heroism among the local officers and the many who volunteered to go and help.
              So ‘percentage wise’ you think that such men are equivalent to the average Joe in the number of crimes they would commit? Wow. Did you ever consider the main stream news tends to sensationalize the worse (and things with only the appearance of wrong doing) of the few bad apples among the officers? Clearly you see what you want to see. I was there and saw what happened. Sorry you don’t like LEOs. I have lost comrades over the years who laid down their lives to protect folks like you. And in their memory I will remain civil. Hope you never need a young officer to sacrifice himself for you.

            • SurvivorDan,

              I believe you misunderstood my comment. I don’t dislike LEO’s, I just don’t believe they are ethically superior as a group. Of course there are far more good cops than bad, same as good people in the population as a whole. It’s also a good thing when bad cops get caught, and it happens every day (I won’t link any, unless you ask). No “appearance of wrong doing” or media sensationalism, real crimes committed by real people that happen to be cops. Dismissing those examples I cited as seeing “what I want to see” is disingneous – unless you really can’t accept that a criminal might wear a badge?

              Police can, and should, do a better job of policing themselves. Additional sentencing guidelines should also be added for crimes committed by police. Anyone that chooses to take an oath to uphold the law should be subject to more punishment if they violate it. Just as we hold doctors to a higher medical standard, LEO’s should be held to a higher legal standard – wouldn’t you agree? Consider, if your testimony is going to carry more weight in a court of law, should your punishment for perjury be weighted accordingly?

              Either way, Merry Christmas.

              And to Anonymous above, I didn’t write what you attributed to me.

          • I believe we are talking about two separate locations, you are talking about a urban setting while it was my understanding he was 50 miles from town. Being a former Military Police Officer and ex law enforcement I agree with you about keeping the streets safe at night how ever if I am at my retreat location ( which is in BFE) you better be law enforcement or military if you are entering my property.

            • Steve R:
              I’ve had several people that have jokingly said that if the SHTF “I’m going to your house.” My response has always been “Call 1st!” . Showing up at someones retreat location unannounced and/or unexpected can be very dangerous.

            • SurvivorDan says:

              Red: “Clearly you see what you want to see.” Okay, that was snide on my part. Apologies sir.
              When I read a statement that only emphasizes the bad police officers (hopefully former and now current felons) and does not cite the good work performed by officers, I over react. One does not have to present both sides of the story to make a specific point. There are some bad officers who need to be weeded out and punished.
              Officers who have the power of life and death (and incredible access to the average citizen’s personal records/histories) should indeed be held to a higher standard.
              I think doctors do get away with murder. Is my anti-doctor bias showing? Maybe. But I don’t really think all doctors are careless or criminal. Just pointing at the bad ones. Your point is taken.
              I get too defensive at times when I think of some of the fine young officers I know. But people do need to keep an eye on any police officer’s unstable or criminal behavior and keep the heat on the bad ones.
              I still disagree about the proportionality. Ha! But I might be biased a bit! Merry Christmas!

            • Dan – nobody (or group) is perfect, and no apology needed. Happy New Year. Red

          • A “Katrician” nurse aid/caregiver told me she was one of many CITIZENS walking on whatever roads in their area that weren’t flooded – northbound into Graetna. Graetna’s LEO’s fired warning shots to prevent the Katricians from entering. It’s been theorized that the alleged gunshots from “jonesing junkies” — that justified bringing in professional mercenaries — were actually from the Graetna LEO’s.

            Add NOLA’s LEOs’ actions, and your example loses serious cred.

            • Anonymous, those were some crazy days! We stayed in the parking area next to the Circuit City in Watts and don’t know if you were one of the NG units being transported around on bus. We had a few Nam vet bus operators that were packing .45s and one was carrying an M1 carbine enforcer model saying he’s going home.

              As a 19 year old kid I was more in awe of them than I was our grungier jarheads lol

            • SurvivorDan says:

              Shreela: Professional mercenaries? Really? What are your sources for this info? What kind of mercs, how many and who paid for them?

          • Michael, I was in the LA riots as a 19 year old Marine. Our unit was fresh (less than a year after the Gulf) and when someone with an AK was firing on LAFD and LAPD, we assisted and when LAPD yelled “cover me” we opened fire on the house with “cover fire” and we not only scared the crap out of LAPD for the lack of communication (their cover me meant aim in the direction of the target our means open fire while other move on the target) we followed LAPD after an officer gave the military hand signal to cease fire (he was a Nam vet) and when we entered the house we had missed him by inches and him laying on the floor and made a mess of his pants. He was lucky an officer knew the hand signal or he would have been killed.
            National Guard being deployed in any near future catastrophe will be the most well trained, best equipped National Guard in our history.
            I would not risk it.

            • That story is notorious. Heard about it in the academy. Your talking about an incident where someone was shooting at the good guys right? As previously stated, you get what you get when you do that. Also as previously stated and illustrated by your example, you were there to protect the good people of LA not shoot at random civi’s. Thanks for serving brother.

            • Michael, yeah, the LAFD was putting out a fire and in many situations before the Marines were called in (due to many National Guard units were not issued ammo because it was mostly up north due to the Gulf War had ended) but many times civilians were protecting fire fighters until LAPD, LASD and almost 100 LE agencies (city, county, state and fed) were able to get a foot hold and when we came in people identified we were not NG so things started to quiet down.

              The man in question was shooting at LAFD that was responding to a call. When he started shooting at them, they called in for help, LAFD was at our command post and the call went out he was armed with an assault rifle. We got orders to go with PD and took fire upon arrival. We got behind the cars and when one of the officers yelled cover me we opened fire on the house (miscommunication in terminology of usage of the word cover me) and the rest was swift movement.

              People think LE can’t shoot because they hear 3 officers, 12 rounds fired, they know nothing of tunnel vision or contagious fire. I was in a fire fight in Somalia where a few people shot at us and two squads (26 Marines) opened up maximum rate of fire and they were hit with over 30 times each before hitting the ground dead, I wasn’t going to wait and see what my Marines were going to do and them the same.

              People forget that many LE especially now are combat vets and National Guard is the combat wing of the reserve forces most with combat experience if its an MP or 11B (Infantry) units.
              Many of my friends are LE and NG so I train with them and communicate so I have a different perspective and insight. I also know they can come to me if needed and in a SHTF scenario, it may take a while but its increased due to our friendship.

            • JarHD – We shared some time, I was there and OnDuty during the riots – 1st184thID arng Full time trainer – I remember pulling patrol duty on Pico Blvd – and covering a LAPD station with a .50 cal on the roof – Had a low rider with five guys jeering a couple of police officer from their car – slowly turned the .50 to cover them and counted to see how long it took the to relize what I was doing – at eight , one of the guys in the back seat damn near screams as he points toward us – the driver looked (I will always rememb the police officer face – he glanced and smiled and slowly backed up) they left the area immediately – Now Im forty and I go down to the shooting range the sheriffs use and sit and chill with them. semper fi 🙂

              just sayin…..

          • Back after Christmas vacation, hope everyone had a great one.

            Just following up, my last paragraph suggested I would “resist” law enforcement, not proactively target them. They leave me alone, I leave them alone. To resist implies they first want me to do something I don’t agree with, such as search my home, confiscate property, etc. If they insist then I must resist, plain and simple.

            There is simply no difference between zombies and the military when both would not hesitate to use brute force to take my food supply and perhaps even my weapons too. They are both wolves, but military more so because they are so well armed and operating under color of law. Perhaps you would help the military enforce their curfew but that would only last until the day they enter your home and take your food supplies too.

            Maybe it’s age or experience which causes some to mistrust more than others, but Red’s post with all the links clearly shows law enforcement and the military cannot be trusted to do the right thing or look out for citizens.

            The link I had in mind to share is one of an old lady who let police into her home during Katrina while cameras were filming the encounter. She reveals she has an old revolver and holds it in a manner which cannot possibly be considered threatening, yet the police took her down right there in her own kitchen. Young officers treated an old woman with such aggression she required hospital care.


            It should also be noted thousands of firearms will never be returned to their proper owners because law enforcement insists on claims being accompanied by the original receipt of purchase. The receipts may have been stored in safe places at one time but they were destroyed by the flood waters of Katrina.

      • SurvivorDan says:

        Besides all the other common sense suggestions I like the bullhorn idea. Will get one.

      • SurvivorDan says:

        Bullhorn . Great suggestion knight. I will get one. Too old to shout for long. Besides with a microphone corded to a bullhorn I don’t have to stick my old gray head up.

      • I have to say that for this senareo, the best course of action appearrs to be the null target.
        That is don’t attract attention at all. Better that the zombies beleave that you are yet another empty baracade. Be they civilan, LEO or .mil, the best zombie is the zombie that just passes on by.

        There will always be a risk to you, and those with you, every single time you engage. Engage only when that risk is outweighed by the cost of doing nothing

    • robert in mid michigan says:

      well all i can say is if you decide to dance with the law and the military you have effectivly signed the death warrant of you and your family thier will be no trial and i doubt thier will be many bodies of the enemy at your feet. the first response of the military to an armed combatant in deep cover for the military is to make a radio call and fall back. you dont waste your blood when you can use artillery even the lowly 80mike mike will make you wish you were somewhere else. m203 a couple in everysquad will end the party if all else fails the 105, jdam or what have you comes a knocking.

      weather they are respecting your rites or not legal or what not does not matter at this point because the lead is now the law and they have access to toys you can only dream of.

      it could have all been avoided by proper opsec, why are they around your place if you arnt advertising. common sense use of deadly force hey if they come in the door and threaten you and yours dont hesitate pull the trigger. if they are just outside even pepper spray may be a stretch best bet is to make it like you are not even thier.

      if we get to this point the rules have changed and your best bet is to play by them and pray you never need that deadly force.

      • Kate in GA says:

        I have to disagree with Dan and agree with MR. Read Selco’s blog. Everyday killings to protect your family went unprosecuted in that war. And one of his most recent posts talks about a moment of hesitation – the one who hesitates dies.

        I have some questions about this: Why are there witnesses to a bunch of people trying to break into your house? Who are these people and why are they on your property? If you shout for the zombies to go away and to leave you alone and they don’t, what is the point of discussing anything?

        If they demand anything then they are a threat. I will not answer the door if someone is trying to break in. If they continue, I will shoot and not ask them why they came.

        If you can’t legally shoot someone trying to break into your house, then move to a state where you can.

      • Robert – I think you got it right (except its 40 mm not 80 – an 81mm is a mortar….just FYI)

        just sayin…

        • robert in mid michigan says:

          could have sworn we called the morter as a80 mike mike been a long time but yeah i was talkingabout the morter because every company has a copuple attached. i know as a grunt i would have been as happy to watch the fireworks as to have to risk everything to dig a guy out the old fashioned way.

          m203 is for direct sight that doesnt work call in the morter after that well it just gets worse.

      • SurvivorDan says:

        Robert in mid Mich: Well said. Low profile is the first layer and best of all defenses.

        jarhead 03: Thanks for your service. I related to your comment about the NG not having ammo at first. During the huge Rodeo-Chedeski fire of 2002 in AZ, I was doing looter patrol after the evac. in Show Low and my two NG back-ups had not been issued ammo. But they bluffed well. Stood up on the sides of their deuce and a half and stared folks down! Gutsy kids. Semper Fi!

    • mr,
      “Akin to Custer’s Last Stand”? Not really, Custer had a much better chance than you will have if you open fire on organized and trained folks.
      Keep in mind that in most jurisdictions, you may only use lethal force when you are in fear of death or serious bodily injury. Id the perp is within perhaps 10 yards and has a lethal weapon you probably have a good self defense scenario (assuming you didn’t aggrevate the conflict) but simply shooting someone 50 or 100 yards out because they were trespassing and possibly contaminated will definitely not be in your best interests’ long term. Large signs and a verbal warning should be how you start any initial contact.

    • SurvivorDan says:

      mr: I understand your viewpoint brother. Don’t fault your opinion at all. By ‘zombies’ I meant just anyone who comes a knocking. An obvious threat of desperate and violent looters would have to be dealt with by force of deadly arms. And who can say which of those knocking at the gates are not a threat? I’m no genious. I just suggest having less-than-lethal weapons and tactics at your disposal when there is doubt. Believe me I have many lethal force weapons. And if you choose to resist the Feds authority in such a situation out of general principles……God be with you. I respect your thoughts on the matter.

    • Rich Muszynski says:

      greetings. excellent points. why should we be obligated to obey laws that our own leaders don’t? is not the actions of the leader the example for all the people under him? if that is so then we are not required to be any more law abiding then Obama or any of the military that have violated their oath on enlistment to defend the constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic. or the police for that matter who no longer serve the public but pepper spray them and kick pregnant women to cause miscarriage. so we are still in a bind. and our enemies mount a hell of a long way for the horrible zombies to blue suits and camo of soldiers being a bigger threat. and better armed as well.

      • Hunker-Down says:


        Any LE person who kicks or hits with a nightstick an unarmed individual already on the ground is a coward.
        We see it on TV almost every day and that’s why my posterior puckers every time I see one on the street. They have lost my trust.

  6. Repair Mama says:

    I know this may not be the appropriate time or spot for updates, But I just wanted to let everyone know that we lost mom wednesday night. Her battle was long, and she was just tired. The prognosis was not even close to surviving the kidneys shutting down and the constant dialisys and bipap for breathing were the only things keeping her going. She did regain alertness, and for a few brief hours, we talked, loved, made jokes and managed to make her laugh a few more times. We apologised to each other, prayed, and said our good bys all in tears. She said she did not want any more of the machines and pain. We talked to the doctors to make her comfortable and remove the machines. All in peace, she held our hands, and her angel. we prayed with her and the minister that came in to be with us. She drifted off with loving whispers in her ear, and me stroking her hair telling her that we loved her and she was gone. 71 years were not enough, but she lived them!
    All in all, I will have to remember what she taught me. I will tell you all as well. “Do what you have to do, but dont forget to live today as if it were your last. Always take the time to love and smell a few roses”
    Enjoy what you have and dont fret over what you dont have. Life is more than possessions. Remember to forgive, love, help others, hug, laugh, run, play, smile, and keep your family and friends close. That is what life is for. If it isn’t worth living, what is the point of survival??

    Thanks to everyone for your prayers and well wishes. It was just her time. She was ready, she told us so. The best gift was those hours when she was alert and talking. She was herself under all of the masks, tubes, and such. We actually got to say goodbye. I promised to take care of my brother (developmentally handicapped) and she seemed relieved. I told her I wanted her to be happy and I hoped the last few years here with me were enough.
    She is an angel now.
    Fly away Mommy
    We love you

    • Repair Mama,

      So sorry to hear about your mother – I don’t know what I would do if I lost mine. You and your family are in my prayers.

    • Repair Mama;
      You have my deepest sympathies on the loss of your mother. My prayers and thoughts are with you and all of your family.
      God Bless.

    • Hunker-Down says:

      Repair Mama,

      You put tears in my eyes for you.
      When its my time I hope to have people like you with me.

    • A am sorry about your loss mama.We lost a loved one thursday morning and I guess you never forget the sting of death because it revisits you from time to time.I hope all does not get nast and no vultures(human) start to circle and stir up hate and discontent. Take care mama sincerly Steve

    • Sorry to hear that. Best wishes to you and your family.

    • robert in mid michigan says:

      first and formost you have my sympathies and prayers. the last few hours were a gift that you do understand. the time to say good bye you cant place a value on remember her fondly and know she is in a better place.

      may god be with you and yours

    • Mother Earth says:

      My deepest sympathies to you and your family.

    • I am really so sorry to hear of your losing your mom. But I am happy you were able to spend those last few good hours with her.In the long run you will be glad she was awake and able to know and love the great family she had. God bless you.

    • Sorry to hear of your loss. But glad that you had such a grand send off with her.

    • Repair Momma, I am sorry for your loss, but I am glad you got the chance to say goodbye and let your mom go in peace. I am sending you and yours my thoughts and prayers.

    • i’m so sorry to hear about your mom. my prayer are with you, your family and your mom.

    • Repair Mama,
      So sorry to hear of your loss and so glad to hear you had a chance to exchange goodbyes.
      Take care.

    • MtWoman (N Texas) says:

      My condolences, repair mama. Blessings to you and your family, and much love.

    • Kate in GA says:

      Repair Mama,

      I am so sorry for your loss. I know this is even more difficult at this time of year.

      It never helped me when I was told that that my parents were in a better place, but do know it is true.

      I will say a prayer for you at this difficult time.

      • Condolences! Prayers! Tough time of year to go through this! Bless you and yours that are dealing with it all right now!

    • My deepest sympathies for your loss.

    • I am so sorry for the loss of your mother, Repair Mama. You and your family remain in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Repair Mama,

      I am sorry to hear the news about your mother. I will continue to pray for you and your family.

    • Repair Mama , my condolences on your momma’s passing . I am so glad you all had those precious few hours for parting. May the Good Lord bless you all with continued recall of the good times you shared . I and the rest of the Pack are there for you and anyone else in these times of discontent! My prayers for ya’ll !

    • Copperhead says:

      My sincere sympathy to you, repair mama. It is hard to lose a parent, no matter their age. God’s comfort and blessings to you and yours.

    • blindshooter says:

      Repair Mama, I’m so sorry for your loss and so glad you got time with her at the end like that. My Mom died in a coma with me wishing I’d been smart enough to say some things earlier when she could still understand. I’ll pray for you and your family.

    • I can only add mine to the growing list of condolences and say that my thoughts and prayers are with you.

    • I am really sorry to read about your mother’s passing. Our thought and prayers are with you all.

    • Vienna (Soggy prepper) says:

      I am so sorry to hear about your Mom passing away. That is never an easy thing, but it sounds like it was also beautiful. It was wonderful that she was aware and you both got to spend precious moments together before she left.
      My prayers go out to you and your family.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Repair Mama, I am so sorry you lost your mom at such a young age. Glad you had a chance to say good bye before she went home to be with God.

    • breadmomma says:

      sorry so sorry for your loss…may God grant you all peace…we all know she is in his loving hands now…

    • SurvivorDan says:

      Very sorry Repair Mama. My folks are in their 80s so I will face this myself in the near future. God bless you and yours.

    • Luddite Jean says:

      Repair Mama,

      God bless you for taking such care of your mom. May he be with you as you come to terms with losing such a wonderful person and face the future with the strength, love and hope she gave you.

    • Repair Mama, this was exactly the right time for updates.

      Sincerest condolences to you and your family.

      So glad that you could see that your mum was ready to let go, to leave all her pain behind and that she was surrounded by her loving family.

      Your timely reminder to love and cherish our loved ones is spot on.

      May you continue to be blessed and strengthened in caring for your brother.

    • Prayers and sympathy are with you hon…*hugs*

    • Rich Muszynski says:

      greetings. my sympathy to you. you most certainly did right. no one should have to die alone. you made her passing so much easier for her. I commend you.

    • STL Grandma says:

      I weep with you and hope you celebrate her life for years to come and keep her memory alive. Condolences!

    • I hope when its my time to go, that my daughter does what you have. Prayers to you, as long as you remember her – she is with you.

      just sayin….

  7. Excellent article! Well thought out and presented. As one of the older people on this blog, I will be unwilling to chance CQC unless there is no alternative. I like the idea of a shotgun loaded with no lethal rounds (such as rubber bullets that they use on bears) that can be used at a distance. I will be reading all the comments to find others ideas for acceptable distance non lethal alternatives.

    • SurvivorDan says:

      As ex-LE we were trained that an assailant <21 feet away is considered within 1.5 seconds of striking range with an impact weapon or edged weapon . So one's age and agility does come into play. I wouldn't have my father (81) risk the deployment of less than lethal weapons in most cases. The lack of reflexes and agility make their effective use too risky. And I did stress taking classes and training with them. Even if some of us have the speed and agility…."We fight like we train". If you don't train with non-lethals and you are not confident with them…don't use 'em.

      • Hunker-Down says:


        Thank you for pointing out that I am at the age where rubber bullets and stinky stuff may be detrimental to my well being. I will stick to the bang sticks if staying hunkered down fails.

  8. Breath of fresh air. That puts into words a lot of my misgivings when I hear the macho talk about shooting dead. Your approach is the smart one I think. Never heard of collapsible batons – can you tell us about them please?

  9. Repair Mama, so sorry to hear of your loss. I lost my mom just a couple months ago. She was 91 but you are never ready for them to go. May God wrap you and your family in his loving arms during this time of grief.

  10. As Clint Eastwood said “It’s a hell of a thing killin’ a man. You take away everything he’s got and everything he’s ever gonna have.”

  11. Alittle 2Late says:

    I’m sorry for your loss Repair Moma, She is in good hands now. Sending prayers to you and your family.
    More states are adopting a castle doctrine law. Each situation is going to be unique and plans will need to be improvised. By no means am i condoning mass murder BUT what if one of the “Zombies” can shoot a gun and has said weapon, your taser/pepper spray is gonna be like shooting a grizzly in the ass with a pellet gun.
    If I have any whits about me and look at you I can tell if your wearing a vest. That said your gonna get a double tap in the forehead, I’m not wasting my time trying to see if my new ammo will go through your vest. A warning shot might be a good start, sheeple startle easy. desperate people don”t.
    Your best bet in this situation, “Nuk Zombie attack” is to be invisible. I’ve been through all of these scenarios in my head never came to the same ending. Remember “IF” is a really big word. Just look at the tools/tactics radicals use now. Now add desperation……What would you be willing to do IF you and your family survived the blast and came to a place that looked like it had what you would need to survive and mend your family? Is a taser and pepper spray gonna stop you? It wouldn’t stop me.

    • SurvivorDan says:

      Understood. Again, I said I know the limitaions of less-than-lethal weapons and my own abilities and limitations. And properly applied under the right conditions I have stopped quite a few desperate people with batons, pepper spray and tasers. And as you stated sometimes its necessary to use deadly force. just offering options.

  12. Hunker-Down says:

    I’m confused. I agree with everything Dan said. I agree with everything mr said.

    There is a new law in my state that says I can shoot to kill if you are on my property and threatening me. But Dan said the government will prosecute me if and when order as we know it is restored.
    I cant foretell the future, so to be prepared for both scenarios:
    1. Apply pepper spray or taser.
    2. Apply ar15
    3. Apply more pepper spray (for the lawyers).
    4. Bury, to keep the black plague away.

  13. I think less then lethal defense is valid as long as it does not wind up killing yourself in the process.I like the idea of beanbag shotgunloads and pepperspray grenades. I think that I would prefer 00 shot for angry crowds though.

  14. Survival Dan. I agree with much of what you said. Spoken like a veteran cop (and maybe one time soldier). I do take issue with one thing however:

    “If any are still standing and functional I may drop them with a baton or my Taser. Please don’t proclaim your perception of the lack of practicality of my plan as I have enough experience with these techniques and less-than-lethal devices to know their and my capabilities and limitations.”

    Yeah, I dont know about that one buddy. they are outside your gate? peppersprayed? I’m with you there. But the taser is only a five second ride after which the person is going to be mobile again, you may also have your darts deflected by the gat or broken off if the person rolls. Plus, how many cartidges do you have? enough for the whole crowd? People can fight through the spray when they want to, you know that. As far as the baton goes, not so great for a crowd, too easy to take from you, you can hit groups of people effectively with it. Based on your training and experience claim (which I am inclined to believe due to the way you right and your extensive knowledge of cop lingo beyond what I have ever heard any phonies use) you should know better than trying to engage a large crowd of people you just pissed off with pepper spray using a baton, you need numbers for that, so maybe if you had a decent group of buddies also trained in those tactics, I would probably just leave the gate closed and whack em with the baton when they try to climb it. Have Survivor sally nock em dow with the rubber bullets from a bit farther off. Why go outside your barrier? Use it as a control aid so you dont get surrounded. I had the unfortunate experience as a rookie of getting sucked through a gate full of zombies and my partners had to beat their way in to me with batons. Fortunately the zombies were pissed but not brave enough yet to attempt to disarm me because I was way outnumbered. My partners got to me and we called in the cavalry to turn the tide, but it could have been much worse. Lesson learned, use all your tools to your advantage, the gate both keeps them out and you in. Engage from the better side of the gate. Just my two cents.

    I agree with pretty much everything else you wrote. Very sound arguments and well written. So far this article will get my vote for the contest.

    • Micheal knight,

      “The taser is only a five second ride” not true. To keep the charge going just keep pulling the trigger it will keep going until the battery is dead.

      • Md, thats great in theory, but while the guy on the wire is riding the bull, what are you doing about the others if there are any. Plus legally, if you drain a taser battery on one guy…………. you may as well hit him in the head with a gun stock or a baton, it is about the same level of force these days thanks to san diego coppers and the ninth circuit. Maybe you got a better model taser than they give us, ours are good for five seconds per pull, yeah you can pull the trigger again and again, the most I have ever needed to give anybody was four, but you still only have so many cartridges and batteries…….

        my point was, if they are outside the gate, do they really need anything more than spray until they try to get over the gate? I surely wouldnt open it to get some stick time and taser rides in…..

        • Micheal knight,

          I never said anything about confronting a group with a Taser in my comment or that it was a good idea, just that a Taser can be effective for more than 5 seconds. Second the post details Survival Dan’s (the guy that wrote the post) defensive plans and strategies based on his needs and abilities and the same may not be appropriate for everyone. For example it probably isn’t a good idea for a 76 year old 100 woman to be fighting off zombies with a stick…

        • Personaly a taser might kill me.I am on meds for not having seizures and I wonder what a taser do to my system the way it is. It may be like tasing someone with a pacemaker or some other device such as that.Heck with that it may be better for me to get shot.

      • SurvivorDan says:

        MD is correct. Additionally, I can taser one person and touch another with the end of the taser gun and shock him as well, simultaneously! A practiced reload and second shot takes 3 seconds and a second taser is even faster.
        Not that I recommend typically wading into an angry mob with less-than lethal weapons. And as I said, I do have less-than-lethal shotgun rounds. These are alternative defensive weapons and their deployment will be based on the situation at hand and one’s personal capabilities. Just one more tool in the arsenal, frends.

    • SurvivorDan says:

      Sound tactical reasoning knight. Yeah it depends on the scenario and the risks one is willing to take. I have been dragged into the department shrink a time or two for risk taking. Despite my good results I got my ass chewed. And thanks for the vote but I didn’t intend to submit this for the contest. There are many prepper subjects that are far more important and deserve to win. I was jsut in the mood to vent. 🙂

      • I think the hardest thing for people to understand sometimes is the time factor, IE, when is time on our side? when is it time to act? When is it time to wait? When is it time to shoot? when is it time to run? Once again, great job on making people think.

  15. robert in mid michigan says:

    most of the talkers have never been in the life and death situation they dream about. i know what its like to aim at a man and know what its like to be shot at luckily i have never had to actually pull the trigger. my brother has scene the elephant as they said in ww1 hes a differant person now and i have no wish to experiance his pain. would i? i believe under the rite circumstances that yes i could pull that trigger but until you are thier you will never know.

    i personally believe the next shtf scenario will be much like the great depression with people slowly dying off from malnutrition rather than the zombie hord. i own weapons but they are a last resort not my first line of defense. concealment, blending in and not being noticed is the plan of the day for me. i have three weapons in the house and as of rite now i have 30 rounds for the 30-30, 20 for the 12 guage, and 150 or so for the 10/22 do i need more? probably but thier for hunting animals if that much ammo is needed for defense i have done something really wrong or it doesnt really mater at that point anyways.

    good post and first in a while that made sense on this subject.

  16. Dan – Excellent article!
    So much survivalist information that I read today seems written by folks who’s only experience has come from movies and video games – it’s wonderful to read there are those who have actually considered how things may truly be.
    I hope your article will be remembered and cause people to think twice before they write of using the homeless for target practice or killing everyone within range of a 30-06.
    Again, well done Dan.

    • K Fields,

      M.D. Creekmore has been saying this for years see:


      Could not agree more. Mr. Creekmore is one of the only real survivalists without all of the Rambo shoot’em up BS that you find at other SurvivalBlogs.

      Thank you Mr. Creekmore for being the real deal…

      • SurvivorDan says:

        Indeed. That is why I always check out this site. have learned a lot about prepping from Mr Creekmore and the Wolfpack.

  17. Sorry, I forgot this one, read: On Subjectivity and the “Moral High Ground”. Murder or killing.


  18. Good luck trying to survive using pepper spray, taser, baton, rubber bullets, etc against a threat of unknown strength. Any semi-clever person running a small group of zombies/migrating horde will send a few dirty and hungry looking unarmed women and/or children to your gate knowing full well you are not likely to shoot them at first sight. Their sole mission is to draw you out from behind cover. While your sniper/wife is covering you, their sniper(s) will locate her and pick her off. Then you have no backup and they will take you out while you are out from behind cover to use your non-lethal weapons. How many times do you think you can pepper spray people without getting blown away? I wish you the very best but I’m reasonably sure if you regularly use the weapons you describe, your family will be gone well before order is restored.

    PS There are a number of other clever ways to lure you out from behind cover and make you a target. Might want to think about them some before they happen. In your case, maybe the worst one being one of the kids sneaks outside to play and gets caught.

    • RW – Wow, those must be some freaking well organized, well led – tactically trained and fairly well supplied zombies – oh hell they get upgraded to warband for all that. They do all that, They get what is on the shelves and leave (Probably burning what they don’t take) Then they go down the road to the farm the has about fifty horseback riding pistol shooting rednecks (that I have been paintballing with for about a year) and learn what chaos in combat (ie the fog of war) is. As multiple sniper trained (I know as I trained them and I was a sniper) hunters watch them come from burning me out, and pick them off allong the quarter mile two lane road ( swamp on one side small mopuntains on the other)……then its the end of this Kevin Costner movie.

      What are we talking about again???? Oh yes – Im dead for not shooting helpless women and childern – Im ok with that.

      Just sayin….

    • Like I’ve said before:
      1: Dont get bunkered.
      2: Always plan from both the defensive side AND the offensive side.

  19. I want to know where I can get can of pepper spray like that LEO was using in Oakland

    • They sell it at stalin mart right next to the baby seal clubs…. Just kidding, that must be the LT. sized can because they only give us the one two sizes down. Seriously though, check your local listings, most stores only carry the sizes legal for citizens to carry. So if they dont have it it might not be within the legal limits. Most of the time though there is no limit on the number of smaller cans you can have though…….:)

      • Carl – Get the bear spray (longer range and more of it)

        Micheal – The clubs are for clubbing trout and thats in the hunting isle – great thing for in the car (its fishing gear)

        Just sain….

    • SurvivorDan says:

      Click on pepper spray in the article as I believe MD has provided one such source. Else try http://www.sabrered.com/servlet/the-68/HOME-DEFENSE-PEPPER-SPRAY/Detail

      • Wasp spray at wally world. $3.00 a can, shots 25 to 30 feet. My daughter and wife each have a can on the night stand and one by each entry door. Non lethal? Probibly. It does allow time for escape and evade…

  20. I have all the standard weapons, 9mm, 45 auto, 30-30 and 30-06 rifle and a 12 gauge and 22 and a few hundred rounds for each and a lot of knives, batons etc for personal protection use. But my feeling is that since I am not really combat trained and if I needed a couple thousand rounds and an AR platform then shit has gotten way worse than I wanted to plan for and not something I really want to survive to anyway. Lived quite a good long life so far and at peace with myself and all I have done and have no problem going to the great reward if it decends into chaos. Now I will defend myself and my family if I have to but really don’t want to nor think it will have to start shooting mass hordes where I am, I guess we will just have to see what the future brings.

    • Shoot and shovel says:


      Sounds like you are defeated already. Yours has to be the sadest comment that I have ever heard. What about your family?

      • No, not sad, I have just thought if it gets to the point of where you have to shoot every person that moves because you have to fight over the last pound of beans and wheat what kind of life is that. I have been through a lot of very rough patches in my life, probably rougher than most and came thru with a positve attitude. I do believe that we will not desend into chaos and there will be riots and systematic looting. Look how the pioneers lived 150-200 years ago, they had to fight and work hard but they were not going around in gangs killing each other for food and toilet paper all the time. Yes it may be really bad in the major cities, but I do not live there. If I have to fight off gangs of 50-100 every other day then what kind of life is that??? And if none of you that have prepped very well have never thought how far and how long will I go and what will I put up with to just scrape by then you have not really planned and prepped to the full extent that you should have. I am not one of the hard core people who look forward to anything we prep for and by you name Shoot and Shovel, are you really prepped to help others and your family or are you just looking to “Shoot and Shovel” because that is what you are prepped for? I have never killed but I have quite a few times defended myself with non lethal methods and put some hurt on others, do I look forward to actually taking someones life NO! will I if I have to, probably, but not very with any kind good feelling about it. I hope none of us ever has to really find out.

        • “”Look how the pioneers lived 150-200 years ago, they had to fight and work hard but they were not going around in gangs killing each other “”

          True, but the population today is much higher, more dense and way better armed than 150 years ago.

      • You won’t make it through a single winter with this kind of mentality. People will have to band together in small groups and cooperate for protection but more so for food production & planting in the spring.

        • Nah I will be fine . I live a couple miles outside of my small little town and know all my neighbors. They are all armed and in good shape, some with small families. I may have to help feed some but that is one of the things I prep for. I have built a lot of skill sets in my life from quite a few different self defense skills, am a master gardner, expert marksman but I shoot for fun and not to practice killing people, and can teach lots of other survival skills. I am just being realistic in my thinking things through. What kind of world would it be if you had to drive around with a shovel and bags of lime for just in case I had to take care of someone.

      • S&S – go up a few and read RW’s post – at least George knows that he is not Rambo and that there are those out there that can kick his ass (and mine too).

        George – I hope to survive just long enough to enjoy my last breath (I don’t want the rest).

        just sayin…

    • SurvivorDan says:

      Yeah, let’s all be prepared and also pray that it won’t come down to having to engage in mass killings.

    • I can see your point. I think the world post-shtf will be a world for the young and healthy. There comes a point in how bad things get where we each have to make a decision as to how much we are willing to endure. Even the most well-equipped, prepared person may eventually sit down to decide if it’s worth it.

  21. Shoot and shovel says:

    I live way back in the country and always have a shovel and several bags of hydrated lime just for this purpose. No one is going to take my stuff without a fight. Anyone that rolls over don’t deserve to survive.

    • robert in mid michigan says:

      thier is a diferance between rollin over and looking for a fight. i will hopefully have what it takes when the time comes to defend me and mine but if they are just wandering through ill let them go and try and not be scene. opsec is everything now and when the shtf i think it may be more important. you start sending rounds down range they will know you have something worth protecting the only way i blow cover is if i have no choice. every fire fight you enter puts you at risk you only get one shot to protect your family you die and you can no longer do that. a few beens in the garden isnt worth that i have hopefully preped enough i can handle the loss of the garden and still come out ok. not what i want but if all i lose is the garden and i can stay out of sight i can replant maybe next week maybe next year. if they are living of scrounged foodstuff they wont be around long.

      if that garden stands between life and death for my family then things change but you have to way every decision from a gamblers perspective 36 black isnt a good bet (red not sure) i would rather play black jack the house advantage is only like 53% in roulette its one in 38. risk/ reward is everything and if the reward isnt worth the risk i choose not to play.

  22. Survival Sam says:

    I see a collapse like the one in JWR’s first book. My group will defend what is ours no matter who is trying to take it. Sometimes you have to take a stand, that is what is wrong with this country no one has any fight anymore.

    I was in south-east asia from 1965 to 1967 and watching the troops return from Iraq many claiming post traumatic syndrome and other mental disorders because of what they went through in the “war” well hell just over 4000 Americans killed from start to finish, cry me a river over 50,000 were killed in Vietnam. Most battles in WW2 had over 4,000 dead in an hour.

    We have turned into a nation of spoiled crying whips… we have no will to fight for anything. Looks like we are the new French…

    • Tinfoil Hat says:


      I’m not going to flame you, only say that you’ve no clue about the character, honor and patriotism of me and the others I served with, so you, sir, can go take a flying leap. But thanks for your service in SEA.

      • Survival Sam says:

        Tinfoil Hat,

        Can you spell brainwashed?

        • Tinfoil Hat says:


          I’m not going to get into an argument or pudding contest with you. You do not have to respect the sacrifices my generation of veterans have made. I, however, will continue to respect the sacrifices made by yours.

          • SurvivorDan says:

            Well said Tinfoil Hat. You are both to be commended for your service. Hell guys, you’re on the same side.

    • Thanks for reminding people that in a life or death situation it is just that, your life or your death. Playing nicey nicey will get you toes up quick. When or if our national situation deteriorates to the point of anarchy why in the hell would people worry about obeying the law or hurting someones feelings? Double tap trumps pepper spray any day. Please folks get a grip and understand anything you have lived by in the way of social interaction will be moot once someone covets what you have. So many nowadays could not tell you a thing about World War two or the horrors of being in country during Vietnam.

      • SurvivorDan says:

        My point was about the uncertainty of knowing when you are truly in a state of unrecoverable anarchy. Of course if I were defending my grandchildren maybe I would shoot first and ask questions later .
        Who can say? I just like having options of levels of force in my arsenal.

    • robert in mid michigan says:

      to start with thank you for your service from what i have scene of the nam vets it was hell. please do not belittle those who fought in the middle east because they only lost 6,316 men in iraq and afghanistan because in truth many cam home from nam with the same issues. to have lived and depended on one another the death of a brother in arms is a tramatic event period. they served with same honor and courage as every american who has put on the uniform and fought for thier country.

      the main reason i posted here is to correct your idea of the mass blood shed of world war 2 very few if any battle saw the casualties as high as 4k per hour in our 4 yeasr of war the united states lost 291,557 men in combat, another 113,842 other deaths probably the main way was to air casualties but having a hard time clearifying that.

      my grand father was in the 2nd marine division during ww2 not sure who during korea but fought in both and many say that these men came home and did not suffer the post tramatic stress that thier children and grandchildren are coming up with. i saw him in his sleep when you could not go near him for fear he would do damage to anyone who touched him, you see him cry out in fear, pain what have you i dont know he never shared that info it was his private battle and i know he suffered with it his whole life.

      the taking of a human life is not to be undertaken lightly. it eats your soul. to say we have no fight we are whimps well thier is a time and a place to fight because someone is walking across your yard isnt the fight i would fight. each of us has to wiegh the consecuences of our own actions and live with the consequences. just understand at no time in history have the people been allowed to be a mass murderer and get away with it that is for the realms of teh governments and even they are called on to pay the piper. aka soddam and quadafy

      • I have uncles that did WWII and Korea. One was in the Pacific, one went to Germany. When Viet Nam came about and there was endless discussion about whether it was a “true war” or a skirmish, I remember one of them saying this. “Where ever you are, when someone is pointing a weapon at you and is intent on killing you, it is war.” It was profound for me and something I have never forgotten. When those around us speak of “blowing away zombies, or “my gun and I” are going to take care of business………I shudder. Not because they are necessarily wrong, but because it is a very final and life changing moment for all that are involved in the scene. It may well be that someone who thinks they have it covered, will die in surprise. I have said this before, I hope and pray that none of us here ever have to be tested this way and that we find better means of getting through all that appears heading our way. However, I will stand before anyone and take a bullet for any member of my family and send one if necessary.

        • robert in mid michigan says:

          my grand father used to say when the lead is in the air all the dirt tastes the same. anytime people are shooting at you its was war in his opinion. he was at tinian(think i spelled that rite) i know for a fact so he saw bad things in his life but i know he respected the nam vets for thier service and would buy them drinks at the vfw. his last ten years he spent bouncing from grand child to grand child as we could handle having him live with us and raising our own children it was hard on him i know but we did the best we could. so i we used to take him to the vfw every week for his couple of vodkas and to socialize with his friends he treated everyone thier with respect.

          the one thing i did notice they never talked about the killing part of war( i dont think they needed to) but they would talk about so and so or the funny things someone did lots of times the story ended with funniest guy i ever met he died at put time or battle in here. and they would kind of drift off and you know they were back thier even for just a few minutes.

          i could live my whole life and never have to live with that and it would be fine by me.

          when my brother got married thier were like 20 marines thier myself army and roughly another 25 former service men and as we were getting my grandfathers blues on him he looked at my mother and told her

          i fought my wars so they would not have to, im sorry

    • breadmomma says:

      Survival Sam….such a cynical person….tsk tsk…it is not wise to make such broad and generalized statements….
      My son in law is like a lot of the KIDS as you call them…he did two tours of duty, in Iraq, had to kill a few folks, some face to face, some younger than him…all kill or be killed situations…carries the ghosts with him…. in 2004 and 2005 during some of the worst, took a lot of fire, was blown up by a road side bomb, crawled back with his injured buddy that he dragged back to safety and when he came back home with a lot of permanent damage, he dusted him self off, healed up and went back for that second tour…he is back at home now, still serving in the reserves, goes to school and works full time, and he is just like a lot of these KIDS as you call them… and I would stand him next to any of the Vietnam Vets, Korean Vets (another group that got forgotten along the way) or WW2 Vets any day…I am proud of this young man and ANY man or woman that puts on the uniform deserves our respect…you sound like some of the Vietnam Vets that cry over the fact that many were spit upon, not treated with the respect of other solders from other wars,…bwaa, bwaaa bwaaa…sour grapes perhaps? why are so many Vietnam Vets painted like drunken screwed up drugged up whiners? Well at least that is what the media paints them… in reality, most Vietnam Vets went back to their homes and lived productive well adjusted lives… see how those false generalizations feel?
      as for protecting me and mine and screw you all…well, you are welcome to your opinion, but I am glad that I live here in this community of like minded folks with a preference for working through tough spots instead of shooting first and asking questions later…you enjoy your Ruby colored ridge and we will enjoy our happy ocean breezes…

      • Hunker-Down says:


        It is good to be among good people on M.D.’s blog like you who speak out when the need arises.

      • SurvivorDan says:

        Wow. Missed your comment breadmomma. Well said. Kudos to your son-in-law for his service and kudos to you…for being you.

    • Rich Muszynski says:

      greetings. not the French. we are the new Nazis with our brand new Fascist government run by the rich. why pick on the French? in world war 1 they lost a huge amount of troops fighting the Germans. while the U.S. came in at the end just to be on the winning side and lost few troops. yet we are supposed to call the French that fought that war for years before we butted in where we had no call to cowards? and you are right, we have no balls anymore. i note no one is calling for the impeachment of our president or the other war criminals. Americans seem to be more like the old concept of the Irish, crying about things but not doing anything about it. at one time they were called the cry babies of the world, like the Israelite s.

    • Damn! Talk about hijacking a thread!

  23. The Three-Percenters aren’t going to care. When it kicks off, it kicks off, and nothing short of absolute victory is going to disuade them.


  24. Tinfoil Hat says:

    AMAZING POST! Spot on! Great Job and I couldn’t agree with you more. Let me say how utterly correct you are on ones thoughts after a justifiablekilling. I “played” in the Sandbox. I’ve done the convoys and perimeter defense. Do I fully understand that pulling the trigger was a justified and necessary action, completely in line with all international laws? Yes I do. Does that quiet the thoughts and reflections that run through my mind at night when the lights are out? No, it doesn’t. I sometimes find myself utterly frustrated with people on the blogs who so cavalierly talk of wasting people. It is apparent that they’ve either NEVER pulled a trigger under duress, or that they have, and either enjoyed it, or are apathetic about it (which is a very bad sign about your humanity). Would I do it again? Yes, if I had to. Would I want to? Absolutely not. But most.folk don’t understand until they’ve been there. I’ve seen grown men, hardened soldiers, cry at night for doing what they had to do. So many underestimate the weight carried after events like that. Killing a man ain’t something you get fired up to do. Not when you’ve done it and.seen it.

    • SurvivorDan says:

      I don’t believe that I did anything unethical or immoral when I served. But more than thirty-five years later I still have terrible dreams. I remember foes and my companions, especially those that fell. (If I get one good nights sleep it is time to celebrate.)
      Killing a man is a terrible thing. It is the absolutely last thing a decent thinking human being wants to do. Defend yourselves and your loved ones. Don’t hesitate when the shtf. But there are consequences. There is anguish that never really goes away.

      As Tinfoil hat so aptly put it. “Would I do it again? Yes, if I had to. Would I want to? Absolutely not. “

      • Harold Dean says:

        I think that having to kill one who is out to do the same thing to you was a distasteful thing to do but necessary and was easy to put aside. The one that can’t be put aside is having to kill the child who is running toward you with a bomb strapped to their body or a live hand grenade with the pin pulled because a parent told them to do that in the name of their religion. I am neither whining or crying or glorifying the necessity to do this. Would I do it again? Yes, if I absolutely had to since I still want to enjoy a few more years left.

  25. If you survive the first weeek or two after a nuclear blast you are probably NOT going to die in a couple of days or even a couple of years. In general you either do or do not get a sufficient dose to kill you and if you do not it is more likely that you will die from something else rather then from the nuclear blast. If you don’t have physical injury or a massive dose of radiation then you will live for years and years unless you walk in front of a bus or car.

    • Hunker-Down says:


      The nuked bodies will become food for rats.
      The rat population will explode.
      Fleas will feed on the rats.
      Rats + fleas = the black plague.
      We’re dead, unless you bury all those bodies.
      Are you up to it?

    • SurvivorDan says:

      Indeed. My mother’s family lived near Hiroshima. Two of my aunts are in their nineties. People are very resilient.

      • Rich Muszynski says:

        greetings. some resilent, yes. all or commonly radiation proof? not likely. Hiroshima was a big black eye for the U.S. First for using it while the Japanese were negotiating for surrender and by the embarrassing survivors of our supposedly total lethal to all life forms super bomb. not everyone there died during the attack. and we don’t know why they weren’t killed. still don’t know diddly about radiation poisoning. note Obama has just signed papers to have the Japanese build 3 new nuclear plants in our south. same corporation that built the ones there that have melted down.

      • S.Dan – Human can be amazingly resilient. (Sorry for the rest of my post here)

        Rich – again…..History fun. Hiroshima was destroyed as a legimate target of war “•Hiroshima had a high concentration of troops, military facilities and military factories that had not yet been subject to significant damage’ (http://www.hiroshima-spirit.jp/en/museum/morgue_e12.html) – Most other cities in Japan had been destroyed by bombing (tokyo firebombing) all as a legimate WAR……Its was also seventy years ago and was used to reduce american casualties. I met several suvivors of Pearl Harbor and from them – they were happy not to have to invade the country because we didn’t have enough men to do it. Please remember at that time (end of WW2) we had a million men in uniform, and that wouldn’t have been enough.

        Now back from rant……..where were we…..

        Just sayin……

        • SurvivorDan says:

          Very true Anon. Wasn’t even criticizing the USAs actions in dropping the bomb. Probably saved a lot of our boys from dying while taking the Japanese homeland the hard way – boots on the ground.
          Just agreeing with Sweet Peas assessment of the resiliency of humans who have been exposed to radiation.

  26. MENTALMATT says:

    Hey guys great post, well I think having less than lethal options is a great idea, however if it comes down to me and my family lethal is the way i will go. Now listen you dont have to kill everyone in sight, only an immediate threat. I totally agree that you will not stand much of a chance against trained police or military. I always dictate common sence in everything and the ability to articulate the circumstances as to why you used deadly force. Hey maybe someday the true libertarians will take over this country and we can really enjoy our personal liberties as defined in the Constitution. Oh and by the way that is the true job of any law Enforcement Officer. God Bless

  27. MtWoman (N Texas) says:

    Two things:

    1) as someone who went to a gun range yesterday…for the first time ever… and shot a handgun…for the first time ever…I have to concur with whomever it was that said that killing someone is serious. I left the range with many thoughts and feelings, including how I will avail myself of all possible means for self-defense before using a gun.

    2) We have no way of truly knowing what a SHTF scenario will be like, and what shape WE will be in in one. What if (God forbid) WE become a “zombie” (airborne disease?) and need help? IT COULD HAPPEN. I don’t care how “prepped” we get, there is always SOMEthing that can bring us to our knees and take our “security” away. Thinking otherwise is foolish and arrogant. I plan to be as prepped as possible, as armed as necessary, and as wise as possible….taking each day/hour/moment as it comes, and responding accordingly. Hopefully, I will recognize danger and not-danger as it comes and use appropriate behavior. I hope I can and will help when it’s called for, and not when it’s not.

    Thank you Dan S for stating some reasonable ideas. I think we all can and do get carried away…out of fear, anger, confusion, not knowing, etc, and it is good to have someone state some balancing thoughts. I also think it is very difficult to go to such lengths to “prep” and not have some sort of ‘pull’ towards wanting a bad scenario to happen to validate doing it…kinda a “catch-22”. We can all help each other with this, as you have done with your article.

    • Rich Muszynski says:

      old military saying. always make alternate plans for combat because the original plan will fall apart as soon as the first bullet is fired. plan if you want. but plan B and the rest of the alphabet as well. and anyone who stands and makes a stationary target for his enemies need not worry for long.

      • I like Sun Tzu’s saying re: planning
        26. Now the general who wins a battle makes many calculations
        in his temple ere the battle is fought. The general who loses a
        battle makes but few calculations beforehand. Thus do many
        calculations lead to victory, and few calculations to defeat: how
        much more no calculation at all! It is by attention to this point
        that I can foresee who is likely to win or lose.

  28. blindshooter says:

    Good post.
    I have never killed anyone and pray I’m never in a situation that calls for it. I cried when the vet killed my dog this week but have killed more deer than I can remember and shed not a tear. How does someone like me with no military or LEO training know where the line should be drawn? I don’t know how I would react after being forced to kill another human but I believe I’ll sleep good if the SOB was going to do me or mine harm. I prep more for a slow decline rather than quick collapse but of course a N,B or C attack would change the game quick. I guess it pays to know ones limitations and plan around them? Maybe hiding most of your food and gear and hiding in the bushes until things calm down(or die off?) then crawling out doing the best you can with what’s left is the way to go. I have been mulling this option for a while since I had to move and my new place is not so good for a defensive stand plus I’m alone now as well.

    • Rich Muszynski says:

      Be wise to check how the guerrillas that our government keeps sending the troops out to fight survive. you will note we lost every single war that we had against guerrillas including now Iraq. note they never stand up to be shot. they shoot you from behind anything to hand and when it isn’t going well simply fade into the background and live to fight another day. they fight only when the chances are they will be able to escape. they never try to destroy the enemy forces, only to peck away at them, one enemy at a time. Too bad our leaders never got to understand that. maybe because none of them had actually had to face the ghost warriors of the guerillas?

    • Blindshooter – The line is where you feel in danger enough that your life (or property that gives you life ….food) is at risk. That is the survival situation. The biggist trick that I hope to always achieve is never letting myself get into that situation again (a lot of misspent youth and lots of training). Remember you can always learn more. I have three ways from damn near every situation I am in. Travel, home ,work, church, stores.
      Kind of like the movie “Zombieland”
      – Rule 22 – 22.When in doubt Know your way out

      Just sayin…

  29. Nice that this article was theorized in Phoenix, AZ.

    This article has a lot of “what if’s”.

    What if martial law is declared? What if they charge you with a crime?

    Well, if they establish martial law, who is “they”? Is “they” the current military and government folks before the bomb struck? Are “they” a new batch of folks? What “laws” are they enforcing? The old ones? New ones?

    If they’re old ones (which your article would lend me to believe, since you state order has been restored), Arizona has Castle Doctrine laws, which I’d be perfectly within my rights to fend off an attack using deadly force.

    Once you say “order is restored”, which lends me to believe it is the order of the current constitution and laws of our great state, then again, I’ll easily defend myself using Castle Doctrine.

    If they’re new laws, then the whole thing is moot.

    I really dislike “what if” scenarios….they never end!

    • CountryGirl says:

      Ahhh! But what if the scenarios did end???

    • SurvivorDan says:

      I did say that one has to be able to demonstrate and articulate that one was in fear of death or great bodily harm when one has used lethal force. I love the Castle Doctrine. But consult a criminal defense attorney. Respectfully, the Castle Doctrine does not indemnify one during a shooting irregardless of the circumstance As an example. You are confronted in your home by a weaponless wheel chair bound man who threatens you with death. But he doesn’t have the means to accomplish this threat. Secondly, you keep a table between him and yourself so he doesn’t have the proximity to harm you. I’m not tring to be a wiseass, just saying many conditions have to be met for a justifiable shooting ruling even in Arizona.

      • No wiseass image here, Dan, we cool!

        It is interesting but again, what if’s!

        I do not disagree with your post; it is always good to have multiple forms of defense at your disposal and know how to use them. I’ve studied these situations for years and my public safety background helps too. There are just so many unknown variables with situations that are discussed here that the only way to play is to ask what if’s….

      • Rich Muszynski says:

        greetings. sure about that? much of our laws are no longer valid. note the new laws just signed into law by our great leader. many sections of the constitution are now invalid as are a number of the articles in the bill of rights. our leaders no longer are required to obey the laws that everyone here seems to be terrified of, are they not our shining example of what we should be and do?

    • I really love what if scenarios. Here’s why:

      I am rarely surprised.

      What if I am on a traffic stop and the door opens?
      Answer: Gun comes up on target, verbal commands given unless a gun is seen then I squeeze.

      What if I am getting someone out of their car and they drop their hands out of sight? Answer: disengage, create space, prepare for attack.

      What if I am on patrol and I see an armed robbery occurring and the bad guys haven’t seen me? Answer: Stay out of sight, keep a long eye on the situation while radioing for backup. wait for the bad guys o exit the store away from innocents then engage.

      What if What if What if.

      I always ask myself what if. It is mental training for every eventuality. If you have already been over it in your mind you are less likely to vapor lock out of shock when it actually happens.

      What if one of my buddies is shot on duty? Yep, that on sucks, but guess what, the what ifs saved his life. Because responding officer had already what if’d it to death, cleared the threat and rescued the downed officer.

      The point of what if’s is not to say for sure I would or would not do this or that, though sometimes that is the result. The idea is to think of possible solutions to given situations you might run across and try to see where the options lead. Often towards the end of what iffing something we do settle on a desired course of action. This is great because sometimes there is no time to think about it when it is happening. Things happen too quick sometimes. But if you have already seen the scenario in What-ifs then you will likely just do the course of action you have already trained and decided on during the what if’s. Under pressure people resort to training. What if’s are part of this training if you take them seriously.

      I’m not condemning you for hating the what-ifs just trying to offer up a different perspective. What-ifs can put you ahead of the curve and cut reaction times. If you have already thought of a well reasoned course of action for something, then when the time comes for the round table, people may take your opinion more seriously because it will sound well thought out and reasonable, and it will be.

      • Having said all that though, the proof is in the pudding, there are a lot of people that talk a good game but when the shtf lack the will to act. Let them talk anyways, they may actually say something useful to you, and when it comes time for action they will either be the quick or the dead.

        • Agreed Michael! I have always lived by the “what if”. What if the freeway is shut down how do I get home?
          Pre-mapped routes.

          What if if these guys try to rob me while I’m pumping my gas?
          Pump the gass on them and pull out my lighter.

          What if I’m getting the look at the bar like they want to fight?
          Offer to buy them a drink, verbal judo and if I have to fight, strike fast hit hard, have witnesses I tried to avoid it.

          What if the guy next to me in the car gets aggressive on my tail?
          Get distance between us, know all exits, put vehicles between us, call 911 with their plate and vehicle description that they hand gestured they have a gun, have my pistol at the ready trying to shake them.

          What if friends say they will come to my house if SHTF?
          Start prepping now, don’t come at night, I’m not welfare and I’m not a charity if you didn’t prep.

  30. As I said above, reading a situation correctly is important to both your safety and sanity. I want to bring up the lack of sanity shown today all over this nation over a stupid pair of $180 Jordan Air shoes!.. California, forcing the doors of a shopping mall at 6AM, some place else gunfire going off, another place fist fights and beatings……………I pray for the police tonight! God Help Us, it is two days before Christmas and the whole purpose of Christmas is perverted.

    • robert in mid michigan says:

      scary to think people have that little regard for life, or put that much emphasis on material posessions. as i have said i do not rule out lethal force but hope to stay hidden and out of sight so i dont have to make the decision

    • Rich Muszynski says:

      greetings. i pray for the young woman that the police pepper sprayed in the occupy movement then forced her to the ground while she was screaming that she was pregnant. the good policeman settled that for her. he kicked her hard as he could in her swollen belly. she miscarried in the hospital from that example of the police protecting people legally assembling to protest government policy.

      • Think it would be good if you cited some sources on this

      • Rich – You are talking about Jennifer Fox, 19, Nov. 22 at 3:47 PM: Yesterday Jennifer Fox claimed (first on this blog and then to The Stranger) that she miscarried her fetus, three months into her pregnancy, five days after police pepper sprayed her at an Occupy Seattle protest. I repeatedly asked if she could provide any medical records to back up her claim—a claim that doctors at Harborview Medical Center said her clash with police caused the miscarriage—but she said she would be in touch with a case worker.

        This is from -http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2011/11/21/pregant-woman-blasted-with-pepper-spray-by-spd-reportedly-miscarries

        Ending question – three month preg out in 40 degree weather in the OCCupy movement – Why the F$%k was she there to begin with? My 20 yr old daughter works/goes to school/makes time with her man (not happy about this part)/and donates time with USO.

        Just sayin……

        • Vienna (Soggy prepper) says:

          Glad you posted that Anonymous. I read that article as a follow up to the bleeding heart lame stream media post of the liberal whiny boo hoo LIE of a story. Truth vets out. Course the follow up was small and hidden. Wouldn’t want to ruin a good story with the facts!

  31. I think there are very few of us here who have actually had to take a life, knows what it is like, and the after effects of it. I hope the rest of us never have to find out.
    I believe that there are those among us who thinks that if the time comes, they will be able to pull the trigger and find out they cant. I also believe there are some who doubt that same ability and will find out they can. Either way, we will have to live with the decisions we make, and when judgement comes, be able to say without a doubt that it was the only solution.

  32. I understand both sides, I have friends who are gung ho and say they would shoot anyone and everyone who came near them that had a crazed look. But I also have friends who can’t even set a mouse trap because they don’t want to hurt a mouse. I think each situation will need to be taken to the level it needs at that time. If there is someone coming onto my property who is visibly carrying a weapon, then I am not going to confront them with pepper spray. I’m not saying I would shoot on site either. I think anyone who has been around guns and has gone through the training would agree that we understand the ramifications when a shot is fired. Before you ever shoot your gun, you are taught that you have just taken on full responsibility as to where that bullet goes. I would hope that most of us who own and handle guns have the common sense to address the situations as they arise and act accordingly. I know for a fact I am not going to taze or use pepper spray an obvious hungry, desperate, and violent “zombie” or trespasser. The only thing I would be doing is creating a hungry, desperate, violent and PISSED off “zombie”, who won’t just leave my property quietly once I gave him a dose or a zap. Often times just the sound of a “pump” of a shotgun, will let it be known that you mean business, (this sound also works with burglars) and lets them know they don’t belong here. Either way I think it is hard to say exactly how anyone will react when posed this situation.

    • SurvivorDan says:

      ” I think each situation will need to be taken to the level it needs at that time.” Sums it up.

  33. To Repair Momma, my deepest and sincere sympathy to you and your family on the loss of your mother. I am sorry to see that several people have experienced such a loss recently,

    S.D…excellent and thought provoking article. One of the things that I love about this website and the wolfpack is the sheer plethora of ideas and the willingness to share, and even sometimes debate.

    I see the point that MR and others have made about not being willing to use less-lethal force as quickly or as much as S.D. has advocated.

    The most important thing to keep in mind is what a nationally-known firearms trainer once told me: “We all live and die by the decisions we make.” Everyone has to do what they feel/believe is right for them, their situations and their families.

    Depending on the level of SHTF-type scenario, there absolutely could be repurcussions for our actions, especially violence against others. We need to keep this in mind.

    Some other possible less-lethal options would be the pepper-ball gun. Stings like a paintball gun but disperses pepper-spray contents upon contact. Police responding to riots have used them effectively.

    A paintball gun could be of some use as well (as long as you have compressed air) but may be more effective with marbles instead of regular paintballs. Just some things to think about.

    To those here who have served our country, no matter how you served, when or where; Thank you for your service and my fredom!

    Merry Christmas to all!

  34. Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

    This is probably the first Guest Post that has actually offended me. The people who regularly post comments on this blog do not talk about blowing people away for sport (except in jest, and only those people who have no sense of humor would take those few comments seriously). The regular posters discuss ammo, guns, trip wires, booby traps, etc. as DEFENSIVE weapons, not OFFENSIVE devices. I don’t believe I have ever read anything here about killing without cause. The few people who do say such things are quickly brought to their senses through the comments and criticisms they receive. IOW, this is a Pack of ethical and moral people, not blood thirsty wannabe murderers.

    I will defend myself and what’s mine with lethal force if/when necessary. I pray it never gets to that point. If somebody is honestly in need and not threatening me, I will provide some help before sending them on their way. But I will not – whether today or during TEOTWAWKI – take a knife to a gun fight. That’s just stupid.

    Maybe other blogs discuss using lethal force needlessly, or shooting first and asking questions later, but that is not the norm for this blog. The people here are mostly God-fearing, charitable folks who have frequently discussed having some supplies on hand for charitble giving. Would we defend ourselves? You bet! Would we shoot out of fear? Maybe. Would we kill because we don’t want to take any chances? Probably not. Hard to say without being in that situation.

    Survivor Dan, I don’t know you but I have a feeling you won’t last long if TSHTF and you’re the only guy on the block with any food. Good luck.

    • Excellent reply, Lint. I hate what if’s…..

    • Have only been reading this blog for a couple months and commenting the last few weeks. Lint , what you have just said is why this is now the number one site I go to and read on a moostly daily basis and I agree with you 100%!!! If TSHTF one of the best ways to survive it with any quality of life and dignity is to try to keep a sense of civility and honor and not just thank god that now I finally get to shoot my guns and people whenever I want. Now there will be bad people out there but they and you will need to be able to defend yourself and family, but shooting others for me will be a lost resort and hopefully others will feel the same way about me. I will be armed and will hope that I will not be shot on sit,e as I will not be looting or taking anything from anyone else, if anything I would be giving aide to others and would hope that can identify myself before someone reacts out of desperation.

      • SurvivorDan says:

        Oh and as to my chances of surviving TSHTF……….better than average. Good luck to you too. 😉

    • SurvivorDan says:

      I respect most of the people who’s comments I read on this blog and never meant to imply that most of the regular people commenting were bloodthirsty fools. Not at all. Quite the contrary.
      I agree with your assessment of the WolfPack.
      “Maybe other blogs discuss using lethal force needlessly, or shooting first and asking questions later, but that is not the norm for this blog. The people here are mostly God-fearing, charitable folks who have frequently discussed having some supplies on hand for charitble giving.”
      I believe MD Creeekmore sets the tone with his calm rational approach to matters of self-defense related survival matters. Never meant to give offense. There are some persons who believe in the doctrine of shoot first (not talking about the jokesters – I understand the jokes) ask questions later and I was addressing them and raising the subject of non-lethal self-defense because I personally, don’t see it brought up that often.
      My experience with a few preppers of my acquaintance is that they do not put much focus into such equipment and training. Simply raising the subject and you will note that a few people asked where they could get such equipment and MD has provided for that. Click on “pepper spray fogger” or “baton”. Not everyone is as experienced/familiar with alternative weapons as you probably are.

  35. You know what would suck?

    Thinking it is The Walking Dead, but it is just Katrina knocks out power in New Orleans for a week.

  36. I thought only headshots and machettes count with zombies.

  37. I hate to be the wet blanket, but if you are planning on engaging masses of zombies who show up and you have not improvised some form of automated large casualty producing devices, then you are fooling yourself as to your life expectancy. Not trying to be caviler or macho about it. It’s a simple numbers game. This game is also known as risk management. http://www.armystudyguide.com/content/powerpoint/Safety_Presentations/risk-management-4.shtml
    For the majority of the people who comment here it doesn’t sound like they have a large group of persons to defend a homestead of 1 – 10 acres. Based on some of the posts it can also be concluded that they are over 40 and may have disabilities or physical limitations of age. Now, go ask a vet how many well trained, top physical conditioned soldiers were required to protect a 1/2 acre for 24 hours a day more than ten miles out of the main perimeter in either recent conflict. Ask them how they received non-military indigenous personnel. Question them about their defensive weapons and bug out plans. Next find out about their rules of engagement (This last part may be an important prep when speaking to your family/group about the use of deadly force). I think you will find the information very useful.
    If your plan A is to meet large groups of zombies with pepper spay and threats then make sure you have a plan B, and no I don’t care what level of training you have. For a reality check just look at the recent occupy protests. How many overweight and or out of shape officers in full gear did it often take to subdue just one unruly, UNARMED protester? There will be no second chances in our game.
    If you will truly be a humanitarian, then look for ways not to engage these zombies but to help them provide the basics for themselves. After all, even zombies will include American citizens that are some other persons loved ones.
    Now I would rather concentrate on my garden and food supplies because I don’t want to think about a world where roving zombies are the new normal. That and I read Gayle’s post about food boredom. May the good Lord fill your heart with warmth and love this holiday season and bless you and yours. Rejoice with Christians as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and seek his wisdom.

    • MtWoman (N Texas) says:

      Mexneck…can you recommend links (if there are any) for rules of engagement and the other things you speak of? I am truly interested. Thanks.

      • Hi MtWoman,
        sorry all the links I could find are on sites that require registration and passwords. I will try again because it may be important to know for the pack.

  38. Excellent, excellent, excellent!

    I might add that not only do I worry about being prosecuted for crimes like this, I worry about my own conscience and morality. Much of my home defense design is less than lethal.

    If we are the survivors, then the world will be what we make it. I don`t want the world to be a place where people are shot dead for venturing onto someone else`s property.

    Thank you for this post!

  39. My apologies for hijacking the topic, but I couldn’t seem to find a good place to make this post, lol.

    I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We have a hard one ahead of us as we all know so take time to enjoy your family and friends this year.

    Many thanks to MD and the rest of the Wolfpack for teaching me so much this year!

    Hope you all get LOTS of preps as gifts! 😉

  40. It was hard to get past the “Zombie” thing and read this article. Dissapointed this even got to the page. The whole “zombie” fascination is another sign of how morally lost and dark our society has become. Especially teens and younger adults are really into this weird scene. The culture of death strikes again. The zombie thing also just serves to deligitimize and marginalize the properly inspired motives and efforts of people who are living a self-reliant and prepared lifestyles as a normal course of living – not getting ready for some 1960’s-like B-rated horror movie with walking dead. Face it – there are no zombies – never will be. There are people- some alive and some dead – We are all on our way to the latter and some of us are better than others at making use of the living phase. Those fascinated with zombies have clearly no idea of how weirded out they have become. They should spend time talking to men and women ( or read their stories at least) who have lived through war, famine, disease, buried their own children, friends or parents, adopted orphans, suffered under brutal regimes, been tortured – overall witnessed real horrors.. After which, in a sane persons mind, the “Hollywood horror” (zombies) becomes so ridiculous and silly that it is pushed to the world of morons , cheap entertainment for the braindead and criminally insane – like it should be.

    • Scout,

      I think you completely missed the point of the article – it was not referring to “the walking dead” but to the unprepared masses as Zombies.

    • Scout,
      A Zombie in this instance is a polite way of saying human being. They could as easily be referred to as Tangos, or some other reference, but the point is that most folks don’t like to discuss terminating other fellow human beings, so the metaphorical use of zombie or tango gets the point across to those who understand, without freaking out those who would condemn defending against fellow humans under many circumstances.

    • As other have point out – zombies are another name for tangos/oscars/badguys – but there is a point to it also – when the CDC came out with its page, at the bottom was a small sentence that “if you are prepared for zombies , your ready for any thing” – That is the real thought behind it. Instead of talking about any possible calamity(Tsunami,Earthquake,Flood,Nukes,IRS, etc…) just prepared for zombies and you cover almost everything at once.

      just sayin….

    • SurvivorDan says:


  41. Good thought provoking article. Been down this mental road myself. Haven’t read all the comments yet, so maybe more later.

  42. Agreeing with BamaBecca, I am here today mainly to wish each of the members of the Wolf Pack a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  43. No matter what side of the fence your on ………. we can hypothesize till we turn blue in the face . Its good to run things through your mind , it helps you prepare . But lets hope we never have to find out , sorta like building a bomb shelter in your back yard like the 1950s cold war era . Never happened and was never needed . Lets hope it goes like that .

    • I of coarse would not know about now , but during the cold war . It was planned by both the Soviets and the United States , that in the event of a nuclear exchange , ALL countries were targeted . Especially Latin America , by us to prevent them from rising up as a power after we got down with the Russians , Africa , the middle east , all nations . It would not surprise me if this was still policy , if not by us but by our allies ( and enemies )

  44. Dan S,
    You bring up a lot of good points here. I’ve been a firearms instructor for a little more than 20 years, and especially in the Pistol classes we teach for the Ohio Concealed Handgun License (CHL) we see a lot of misinformation and machismo when the classes begin. By the time we have discussed safety and talked about your rights and responsibilities under the law, we quite often see that ignorant machismo replaced with a somber retrospective. I’d estimate that perhaps 20-30% of our students elect not to get the license, once they understand that there are definite rules to follow, and that breaking them can put you behind bars. Firearms ownership and self protection are rights, but one needs to understand that those rights come with responsibilities and in some cases consequences. I like many, would rather be tried by 12 than carried by 6; however, with proper perspective, planning, and training, it is possible to avoid confrontations that can be potentially lethal in both directions. Reading and understanding the basic concepts of Sun Tzu’s Art of War is a great place to start. Winning a battle by never having to fight it is always the best solution.

    • SurvivorDan says:

      “Firearms ownership and self protection are rights, but one needs to understand that those rights come with responsibilities and in some cases consequences. ” Well said.

      Have a dog-eared copy of the Art of War in my study. Had my youngest son take it with him while he was at a FOB in Afghanistan; that , an extra Surefire and a good boot knife. He brought the book back in May. Semper Fi

  45. Awesome article -totally agree. I got a plant mister I have installed over my doorway – am currently experimenting wis cayenne(sp?) sauce. Neighbors think I’m hiding a Tex/Mex chef in my home. (and they keep asking for chili recipes.)

    Starting to layering defenses in my home. Always have a backup plan.

    Just sayin….

    • SurvivorDan says:

      Mister pepper sprayer! Like it!

      • Works really well. Had a little bastard of a neighbor kid who kept coming on to the property(he is 8 yrs old , so he lives) 0- he is trying to get a peep at my daughter thru her window (cheeky little bastard) – any way lined the mister along the roof all the way around the house with them (picture a covered wrap around porch) – hit the button when I saw him one the porch – took about ten seconds to start – for about thirty seconds nothing , then he starts running and whining – about a hour later his father comes over – we talk and he finds out what his son has done…….that nite he marchs his son over to apologize to me and my daughter – the boy was tear staind and eyes red

        just sayin…..(funny though)

  46. Dan S.
    Just re-read your piece and noticed the last sentence. It reads, “Killing people without good reason”… Thats called “murder”.

  47. SurvivorDan says:

    Thanks for your comments positive and negative. All good for the discussion . And even an old desert rat like me knows he can learn some things from the WolfPack..
    Appreciate the consideration of my topic. I appreciate all the advice and critiques..
    And thanks to MD for the opportunity to voice my thoughts on the matter..

  48. Another thing is , unless your a complete sociopath , we cant be completely sure how we will actually react . The situation may change daily and at times by the hour . Do the best we can and make the best decisions we can with the information we have at the moment is all we can ask of ourselves . Mistakes are going to be made but may not be obvious at the moment we make them .

    • SurvivorDan says:

      I’ve done and seen my share of mistakes when all hell broke loose. We plan a raid to the last little factor and the plan often goes to Hades in the first minute. Some changes in tactics are not indicative of mistakes in planning but rather adapting to new information and evolving scenarios. Adapt, overcome.
      Here in the forum we do the what-ifs. Later, as you said, we do the best we can.

  49. I’ve read most of the comments and being a vet, I just want to change the subject. It’s Christmas brothers and sisters.

    We want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

    I realize that many of us celebrate Christmas in different ways and in
    some cases for different reasons. Speaking for myself only, as my wife
    can express herself quite well. I celebrate Christ Mass or the birth
    (beginning) of the greatest gift mankind was to receive 33 years later.

    Yes, we have a tree. Even that, I seem to see in a different light than
    most folks. Icons and/or idols are man made. A material or inanimate
    object is nothing more than what it is, unless made into more by man.
    Santa Clause for example: The jolly, old, fat man in a red suit was
    created to give people a visual of the Spirit of Giving and look at
    what we (mankind) have turned him into.

    Christmas is also a time of gathering (family, friends [loved ones].
    As we gather to celebrate this special birth, this spirit of giving, and
    this time of love with family and friends, lets not forget to give thanks
    to He who give us this great gift, He who was this great gift in the
    flesh, and He who was sent to dwell within us by this great gift.
    The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit!

    With a Brother’s Love,
    Rex J.

  50. Uncle Charlie says:

    I only shoot people for eating grits with sugar. Seriously, in law school I was instructed to drag the body into the house before you call the police. In GA you have to be in fear of your life, you do not have a duty to flee as in MA. Apparently, in Texas you can shoot people for stealing from your neighbor. I remember a case when a sleeping college student was awakened in the middle of the day in Atlanta and shot through the door and killed at least one of the attempted intruders. No charges were brought, but he was lucky. So blast away in Texas and be prudent else where. I thought the idea was to keep a low profile anyway. I don’t expect to see hoards in the middle of no place with an extremely low profile, but that idea just got shot to hell when I read the following in another blog.

    [By Miles Stair
    Ultimately, we will all probably be cooking and heating with wood stoves. But in any type of emergency scenario, it would be much safer to cook and heat with kerosene stoves and heaters. Wood stoves radiate a huge thermal plume visible to infrared detectors, so anyone with night vision goggles, or anyone looking down from a helicopter or airplane, would definitely be able to spot your location in a flash. During daylight hours, the smoke is visible for miles, sort of like a neon sign advertising “free hot food here for the taking.” No thanks. It is better to keep out of sight, out of mind until the dust settles, and use kerosene heaters and cookers.]

    So much for my hidey- hole theory if black helicopters hunting me down with infrared. You can burn smokeless more or less but you can’t hide your heat signature or am I just being paranoid. I hope they have better kerosene heaters than I tinkered with 20 years ago. They smell to high heaven.

    On that thought merry Christmas and happy Chanukah to everyone.

    • SurvivorDan says:

      Good to be cautious but the likelihood of black helicopters wasting fuel and manpower looking for any of us individually is slim, as you know. I was taught, many years ago, that if I desired a low profile I was to use the smallest fire possible with the driest wood and only around dawn and dusk. Harder to spot. A Dakota fire has the smallest wood fire heat signature as much of the light and some of the heat is nderground. Check it out – Dakota fire- Utube etc. And having been stationed at Ft. Polk, La I learned that sugar topping grit eaters are despicable!

  51. Great article Dan! I missed it with such a busy week.
    I had the opportunity to use Less than Lethal munitions in Somalia (bean bag rounds, rubber buck shot, foam baton rounds, wood baton rounds, pepper spray and stick foam) and we had some success using it.
    I was involved in the LA Riots and saw a mixture of Less Than Lethal and lead
    I spent many years working the County jail as a jailer and in Executive Protection.

    Less than lethal definitely has its place and while I am one who stocks up on ammo and picky on my fire arms I to have a collection of Less than lethal and impact devices. From rubber buckshot, bean bag rounds Mk 4 and Mk6 size containers of pepper spray and a box of pepper balls for a paint ball gun, if I could avoid killing someone I would love to. I agree with you and others who don’t have to be a Rambo of shoot a gun to prove they are a man or say they can kill someone when they never shot someone let alone shot at some shooting at them. I saw a place for less than lethal in combat, I saw it when a taser or pepper spray avoided killing someone and it sure as hell has helped officers go home at night without having to have killed or wound them like they would have 20 years ago when most of the technology was new or too expensive.
    I commend you.

    • SurvivorDan says:

      Thanks Jarhead 03. My youngest is a leatherneck. Going for his second tour in Crapghanistan soon. Hoo-rah! And all that. If you were doing executive protection work as a civilian contractor in Somalia…. Power to ya. Bit hairy I imagine. My best friend is a corrections officer. I tell him he’s nuts but he likes it. But I admire your grit. Engaging in a gunfight is one thing, but being locked in (unarmed!) with a bunch of felons raises the hackles on my neck! lol Merry Christmas! And stay safe.

      • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

        SD, when you get a chance to do so, I ask that you pass along to your son just how much his service to our country is appreciated. I humbly thank him for his service.

        • SurvivorDan says:

          Thanx Lint Picker! Done. since he is here visiting. I’ve had him checking ot MD’s blog and he thought it was very cool to get a nice thank you from someone from the WolfPack. Very kind of you.

  52. Uncle Charlie says:

    200 yards of road frontage MD? Paved road frontage? That’s not very low profile. I hope it’s all dense trees and tangle.

    As I said earlier today, Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to everyone and a happy new year with nothing necessary for us to use our preparations for except enjoyment.

  53. karla from colorado says:

    Thanks, Dan, for the good thoughts. I will definitely add some of the non-lethal stuff (that I can personally use) to my list. Planning to follow the ‘lay low’ strategy, but will certainly have means to do my best to defend myself.

    And thanks, M.D., for keeping things sensible and practical without the freaky stuff! I appreciate all the good, realistic prep information and also I am SO grateful for you sharing that you are a rational Christian person – the combination of those two attributes seems extremely rare! I am thankful for you and your loyal ‘wolf-pack’ for helping us be ready!

  54. Sister Judi says:

    Yesterday today and tomorrow my Plan A is to seek Gods Will and Grace to do His will.Plan B is to learn to survive daily and not count on the Government the Police or the community to take care of me or mine. I will defend and protect what is mine. I will pray for the knowledge of Gods Will for me.I will pray for the ability to discern the GOOD and the Evil.I will and have prepared daily,physically,mentaly,and Spiritualy.If it comes to kill or be killed.I will defend and protect,my life and my families life.I will love and serve God all the days of my life.Merry Christmas,Happy New Year my dear Brother and Sisters.

  55. well said! good job SD.

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