Patriots - please don't do what they do.
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:41 AM   #1
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Default Patriots - please don't do what they do.

Hello et al,

I see this book (Patriots by James Rawles) mentioned often enough in these forums and people often say that it is not only a great read, but is full of useful information. Now I personally read it, and I liked it fair enough (although I felt that "One Second After" was far more realistic and well-written - but that's another topic) but I have some serious concerns that I feel that I should point out so that everyones life will be better off should the SHTF.

This was a good book, a fun read, and I'm sure there are some lessons that can be learned and tips that can be taken from it. One that should NOT be taken is the idea that once SHTF it is the duty of individuals and groups to police the world.

Disasters are not God's way of telling you to correct thy neighbor, or to setup the world in your image. The best example I have from this book, that I fear people who read these books and try to emulate them without thinking about what they're doing, is how the North West Militia guys setup their road ambush in front of their cabin, the one with the foxholes and whatnot.

Now I'm all for defending your home and land. I'm all for open carry. I'm all for leading by example. I am NOT for criminal actions done with good intentions. Should SHTF, do not start looking for trouble, and do not setup roadblocks on public roads (unless necessary for defense) and start jumping out to search random passersby. If people are armed, and they might be, and you jump out at them, their first reaction wil be that YOU are a bad guy who is attacking. They will shoot you in self defense, and you will shoot back in self defense - and you'll both be right, but whomever setup the ambush will be in the wrong.

Really think about it. If you are walking down the road minding your own business, trying to get to safety with your family, you've been through a disaster, seen the riots, mobs of lefties fighting over the last can of tuna fish at Walmart. Now then a bunch of guys jump out from ditches and trees and point guns at you and start yelling - would you consider this conducive to your health, would you tink that these people are trying to help you? No, you'd probably think that they are bandits trying to kill you and steal your food/guns/daughters. You'd definitely not drop your gun, since they'd kill you if they were bandits, and you'd try to defend yourself and your family. They, would see you raise your gun, see you as a threat, and fire. Great.

Or in the surprise, a person walking down the road is twitchy, tired - potentially armed and at the ready, you jump out and surprise him - a shot gets popped off by accident - firefight.

Nobody will know that you mean them no harm and are acting for your own safety, your actions will seem hostile (because they are), and after what they have been through they will not see you in a calm and friendly way.

This is bad because you'll probably end up killing lots of innocent people who mean you no harm. Chances are you'll suffer casualties, which defeats the purpose of survival. Defense is not offense. Don't confuse the two.

Aside from that it's also a bad idea to do the "patrols" generally because honestly in SHTF don't be a hero, don't go looking for trouble. you don't need to police your neighborhood as others might also - and that's just gang warfare. walking round with guns and looking for people or stopping people without reason is really looking for trouble. don't do it.

Same thing with storing dynamite in your basement. I'm all for firearms ownership and far be it for me to tell people what to buy. But it's more likely to hurt you than come in useful.


My biggest point is this: folks books and movies are good fun, and we can learn alot form them but these are meant for "entertainment". please do not follow them as a guide for actual life as it will just cause problems for everyone. be smart and use your head, don't ust try to be a character from a book. They're not real. Be smart and don't let hollywood glory rule your mind - cause it won't work out well.
Don't be a criminal.

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Old 10-28-2012, 03:09 AM   #2
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Oh, and while I'm at it - the whole 300,000 rounds of ammunition, and armory worth of firearms. Probably a little over the top - again I admire the gusto and commitment, but honestly the average person should not do this. First off, the financial commitment to those supplies is ridiculus, and then there is the actual utility of it. (I'm totally not against stockpiling btw). I also thought it was funny that they made such a point of "group standard" guns, but seemed to have whole collections of other guns that they also used - a little counter productive.

Most people prepare for events that are not likely, or they prepare for events that could happen - but they overprepare for some things and neglect others.

Before you spend $100,000 on guns and ammo (my estimate of the value of firearms/ammo in the book) make sure that you have something set aside for retirement. make sure that you have a good supply of food and water and other consumables. Medications and medical supplies. Yes they had all this in the book, but I'm just saying that most people can't afford to have everything like they did, so they focus on what they know and like - the guns.

Some savings, and other items are important too. Buying ammo, and then losing your house to the bank to pay for it will not help you. The credit crisis that many say will cause the economic collapse that is happening right now was caused by people being foolish with their money. don't overspend on everything including survival, think and prepare in balance. Don't sacrifice important parts of your life and good financial planning for the end of the world. Of course don't neglect preparation either.

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Formerly we suffered from crimes; now we suffer from laws.
- Publius Cornelius Tacitus

"We are the people that we have been waiting for."
-Unknown-

"No Compromise"
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:14 PM   #3
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Whilst I have not read Rawles' fiction, and you make interesting if not one-sided cautionary points, I think that communities of citizens have a duty to restore and maintain order.

American patriots weren't bred to wait for the RCMP. Oh, and they have a Constitution and Bill of Rights (borne, I trust, of the same moral center and self-reliance as the folk on this forum) to guide them when in doubt. I'm sure they'll find common ground and consensus amongst their civil neighbors.

Unlike for the subjects of the The Commonwealth nations the U.S. was founded upon the principle that government derives its just and limited power from the consent of those governed. This extends to police powers. Sometimes governance is where, and as, you find it. Ambiguities notwithstanding, obvious differences between right and wrong should be fairly evident to all.

I am confident you'd see The Golden Rule vigorously enforced in a significant American SHTF situation to varying degrees including at various Ad Hoc levels. Yes, some particularly won't appreciate that. And I also think that's gonna turn out to be just too damn bad for them...

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Old 10-28-2012, 08:18 PM   #4
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I guess I agree with the part about not going looking for trouble. Leave people alone to do their thing, as long as it doesn't hurt you. BUT, might there be some people looking to harm you? Most likely. Maybe you should be somewhat pro-acitve about it. I not saying set up a road ambush for everyone passing by, but I'd damn well like to know who is in my area at all times, if possible.

As far as not going overboard preparing, +1. I know a guy who over-prepared for Y2K. Who wants to eat 400 LBS. of beans when nothing happens? And buying stuff on credit when you can't afford it is always useless....still, it'd be nice to be able to afford $100K in guns and ammo.

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Old 10-28-2012, 08:19 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by HockaLouis View Post
Whilst I have not read Rawles' fiction, and you make interesting if not one-sided cautionary points, I think that communities of citizens have a duty to restore and maintain order.

American patriots weren't bred to wait for the RCMP. Oh, and they have a Constitution and Bill of Rights (borne, I trust, of the same moral center and self-reliance as the folk on this forum) to guide them when in doubt. I'm sure they'll find common ground and consensus amongst their civil neighbors.

Unlike for the subjects of the The Commonwealth nations the U.S. was founded upon the principle that government derives its just and limited power from the consent of those governed. This extends to police powers. Sometimes governance is where, and as, you find it. Ambiguities notwithstanding, obvious differences between right and wrong should be fairly evident to all.

I am confident you'd see The Golden Rule vigorously enforced in a significant American SHTF situation to varying degrees including at various Ad Hoc levels. Yes, some particularly won't appreciate that. And I also think that's gonna turn out to be just too damn bad for them...
Key point is communities not random groups.
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:28 PM   #6
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Key point is communities not random groups.
I wish I could agree with u on this one unfortunately I cannot. We have a small group in our community and it doesn't include the slouchers and the people already milking from society. Choose wisely for your group and make sure they are a asset for your group. All I'm saying is a person or other group better have good knowledge , skills or bring something useful to the table or they can just keep looking in from the outside
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:38 PM   #7
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To Hockalouis, and everyone,

Thanks for the discussion. I'm always up for hearing more opinions! "it is the mark of an educated mind to entertain an idea without accepting it".

I should point out that Canadian morals and values are much the same as those in America. Of course there will always be people in every nation who think differently, but don't take my less militant stance on this issue as a sign of dependence on the Monarchy (which is powerless) or on the government system (which is all but powerless). I think we could certainly do without the Crown. (but shh, they might be listening!...)

Anyways, Back to the community defense - do what you need to do. But my point was more of a, "don't think that just because you were prepared that you have earned the right to control others" thing. Just because you have guns does not mean that you have de-facto control post shtf over areas and people, - even if you are well intentioned and ambivalent. That would just make you a dicatotor - albeit a "nice" one!

Now, by all means defend yourself, and I feel that you have the right to search or have some control over people who are on your land, and certainly to defend your land - even beyond the borders of your territory if threats are located there. The golden rule will apply, but remember that other people may have differing opinions on what that is.

I guess we would all have to cooperate with our civil neighbors - who hopefully would think like us, but that is no guarantee. Just remember that post shtf people must cooperate, and if everyoen takes a hard militia stance it will lead to conflict probably through misinterpretation. If little groups each try to establish themselves in a small area, and they have differing opinions it can lead to bad situations, even if none of them really meant to harm each other.

If anything - it might be good to get to know your neighbors and communities/groups now, so that you will have an open dialogue before shtf!

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Old 10-28-2012, 10:57 PM   #8
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Whilst I have not read Rawles' fiction, and you make interesting if not one-sided cautionary points.
Fair enough, it was one-sided: I open the floor to the positive and negative examples as directed in this book. (Btw I don't know if I can change the name of the thread to do's and don'ts - so that might help).

The book did make some good points that people could follow. The idea of having reasonable supply caches - beyond food and ammo, including fuel - gas/propane/firewood, medicine and generic medical supplies, and tools that require no power source ie hammers and saws etc.

Their personal training and skills were also admirable, and the fact that they had plans before the shtf, versus reacting to the bad events as they went. "group standard stuff" was probably a good idea, for supplies, bulk purchase and simplicity, although in the book they sorta mitigated that by having redundant non-standard stuff packing the gills.

Anyone else have points that were well or poorly portrayed in the book?
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Formerly we suffered from crimes; now we suffer from laws.
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"We are the people that we have been waiting for."
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:50 AM   #9
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I have not read Rawles fiction. I have read some of his nonfiction writings.

In a real long term SHTF situation a road block may be necessary. A community with supplies would be an inviting target for the desperate and unprepared. In that situation it would not be a bad idea to have some of the guards concealed.

Probably the main function of this road block would be to keep out the harmless, sick, and unprepared people leaving population centers. Some tough decisions would have to be made. Even the best prepared group only has do many supplies.

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