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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:08 pm 
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A warning to readers this is an adult subject that is very long. Some of the links contain graphic photos. Please read the thread and the links before you post. Posts to this thread should not be political, describe proscribed actions, bash anyone and should be confined to the subject at hand. This thread is not meant to bash or judge anyone listed herein.

In short, consider this an exercise in both responsibility and accountability. Thank you.

Begin Post.

I see many threads and read many posts by a variety of people discussing and planning for a “PAW” and how they plan on protecting their family and their property. The assumption is that some switch will be turned on and the rules of law will some how, at some point, be suspended. It will then be acceptable both morally and legally to do that which we individually deem "necessary" to ensure the “survival of our family and ourselves”.

The purpose of this thread is not to discount that likelihood or even the probability that a PAW environment can exist but rather it is to discuss the fact that a more probable event is one where there is significant disruption of law and order. However that ultimately this law and order will be restored. In such an environment you may be called to answer for your actions in what you perceived to be the PAW but in reality was not a PAW.

During the immediate aftermath of Katrina there was a widespread feeling in the GNO area that the world had indeed ended. That we were living in the PAW. Even I felt this way initially. It is easy to get into a mentality where you think you can do something, that no one will care and that you will not be held accountable for your actions. Fortunately I did not do anything that will get me in trouble but I was very aware that others did not believe this.

In my Katrina story I recounted an experience in which a Joe Friday LEO seemed to indicate to me that the LEOs had a Wild West mentality. In other words if someone gets shot by the LEOs they would simply ignore the whole event. There have been many stories most of them centered on the NOPD, however there is no reason to assume that others both LEO and civilian did not engage in similar activity.

Recently there has been intense federal scrutiny into the actions of various NOPD officers during the aftermath of the storm. These stories have been circulating for many years. They may or may not be true. That is for a court to decide, not me or others on this forum.

The other reason for this post is to understand that in each incident we may be on either end of the situation, either as a survivor, LEO/NG or homeowner. There are lessons to be learned for all in these incidents.

Finally I note that I am not picking on LEOs or even the NOPD. Also anyone who dismisses this as a GNO only phenomenon I would point out that this article deals only with the NOPD. Similar misdeeds have been reported for other federal and out of state agencies and are still under investigation.

I believe that we are all responsible for our own actions; especially where the use of firearms and lethal force is concerned. I believe in the right of self defense, but I also believe in the rule of law and personal accountability for individual actions. I think it is important for anyone who finds him or herself unexpectedly in a serious SHTF situation to recognize that you should assume at some point in time you will likely be held accountable for your actions. Life is not a video game and simply saying I was defending my self or my stuff may not be sufficient if lethal force is used. Remember this before you decide the rule of law is gone.

The local newspaper (N.O. Times Picayune) did an excellent article on several shooting deaths that occurred in the aftermath of Katrina. This series of article are my primary source since it is easily accessible via internet.

A link to an Overview PDF

First Incident
The first incident details an incident witnessed by reporters in which they saw “the motionless body of a man at Religious and Richard streets in New Orleans on Sept. 1, 2005. After the photographer snapped this image from the window of a car, the police tried to confiscate the memory card that contained the photo, but took the card from a different camera instead. The former NOPD 6th District commander says although it’s possible the man lying on the ground was roughed up, the man was not dead.”

The photograph at the top tells the story.
Link to full story

I think the lesson to this story is that you should not be out for a casual stroll to see the sights in the aftermath of a disaster.

Second Incident
Matthew McDonald was out walking when “five officers were in a white GMC pickup driving down Burgundy Street in Faubourg Marigny on the afternoon of Sept. 3 when they saw McDonald".

In interviews with Sgt. Doug Eckert, the officers said they observed McDonald carrying a “handgun and a bottle containing an unknown liquid” in a white plastic bag. The report doesn’t explain how the police could tell the bag contained a gun.
According to the report, Lt. Bryant Wininger hopped out of the pickup armed with an assault rifle and commanded McDonald to drop the sack. McDonald ignored the order and “reached into the bag in an attempt to remove a handgun,’’ the report said.
Wininger, the report said, feared for his life and fired four shots in rapid sequence, the last two as McDonald lay on the ground. The officers said they then immediately rushed McDonald to West Jefferson Medical Center in Marrero”.


Link to Article


The lesson here like the one above regarding a casual stroll while obviously armed is not very smart. However the key lesson is if confronted by a LEO during said stroll, immediately put your hands where they can see them in a non-threatening manner. The comment I hear from LEOs about this is “In God we trust; everyone else keep your hands where we can see them” and it applies here.

The other lesson is that in a SHTF situation the LEOs may not be everywhere but they will be traveling in force, not alone. If you see one LEO or NG you should assume there are many others in very close proximity. Do not do anything stupid or even appear to do anything stupid. Do not resist or hesitate in any way. Obey their commands ASAP.

The final lesson is for those who claim they will stand up for their rights to be armed and resist being disarmed: In the above situation it would not be difficult to assume the man in question told the LEOs that he had rights and could walk where he wanted. In such a situation if you try to be a street attorney the best outcome you can expect is to get you butt kicked, weapon taken away, handcuffed and arrested. What happened to McDonald was a bad outcome, death, but at least they took him to the hospital. A worse outcome is that they leave you in the street to die.

Third Incident
“Danny Brumfield Sr. was among thousands of people gathered near the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on Sept. 2, 2005. Inexplicably, the report said, he leaped onto the hood of a police car and made a “stabbing motion” through the passenger window while gripping a potentially lethal weapon — a pair of scissors. Fearing for his life, the officer in the passenger seat fired a single blast from his pistol-grip Mossberg shotgun, a personal weapon, killing Brumfield with a shot through his left shoulder, the report states.”

He was using the scissors to cut up boxes so his grandchildren did not have to sit on pavement and approached the vehicle with said scissors in his hand. The scissors are visible near the head of his corpse.

Link to article

This is an example of why you should stay the away for any LEO/NG during a SHTF situation. They are likely to be stressed and in a really bad mood. Any act of aggression on your part is likely to be misinterpreted and result in a very bad outcome for you. I said this in my Katrina article. In a SHTF situation you should not assume the LEO/NG are your friends or even on your side for that matter. Your best bet is to simply stay away from them.


Fourth Incident
“The tip came in on the morning of Thursday, Sept. 1, 2005, as disorder was spreading through the devastated city: Somebody had stolen a Kentwood Springs bottled water truck and was luring in thirsty flood victims with a promise of free water. As people approached the truck, they were being attacked and robbed.

Capt. Jeff Winn, then the commander of the New Orleans Police Department’s SWAT team, said the information had come from a fellow officer. “We heard that they had actually shot and hurt somebody and thrown ‘em off the Claiborne overpass,” Winn recalled later in a taped interview, adding that those involved “were actually raping women.”

Winn organized a strike force of SWAT cops and K-9 officers, according to police documents. Officers gathered at Paul B. Habans Elementary School on the West Bank, the SWAT team’s temporary headquarters after Katrina, and then headed to the tangle of highway onramps and exits near the Superdome.

He rolled out in a Ford Crown Victoria with Lt. Dwayne Scheuermann. At about 1 p.m., they found what they were looking for: several Kentwood Springs trucks parked on the overpass. Winn and Scheuermann drove onto a ramp and took up a position overlooking the road while other officers approached the trucks.

The two said they immediately spied trouble: a man with a handgun standing near the back of the trucks. Armed with assault rifles, Winn and Scheuermann fired a barrage of high-velocity rounds. They peppered the torso of Keenon McCann, 28, a tall, beefy 9th Ward native.

There was just one problem: When the officers apprehended McCann, they didn’t find a gun, according to NOPD records. The officer who later investigated the incident speculated that McCann threw his weapon off the overpass.”


Link to Article

This incident shows why looting is not smart. If you are even in close proximity to looters you are in danger either form the looters or anyone arriving on the scene. Someone arriving on the scene may or will assume you are a looter; regardless of your actions. Assuming the person in the picture was not doing anything but rather just an innocent bystander he was nevertheless targeted and shot. Not a good outcome. The lesson is simple: If it is not your property leave it alone and stay away from looters.


Fifth Incident
Henry Glover was shot on Sept. 2, William Tanner was on Seine Drive near Texas Drive, not far from his home, talking to a woman about where he might find gas for his car. Suddenly, out of the corner of his eye, he saw a man fall to the ground at the street's edge and he heard somebody exclaim, "Henry Glover got shot."

Tanner put Glover in his car along with the injured man's brother and another man and drove him to where the NOPD SWAT team had set up camp during the storm. Glover had apparently been shot by officers of this SWAT team while looting a nearby store and the LEOs assumed they were all looters and proceeded to rough them up.

At one point, an officer took Tanner's key chain, removed the key to his car and headed toward his Chevy Malibu, with flares sticking out of the front pocket of his cargo pants, Tanner recalled. The officer took off in the car, following other officers who were in a white truck, he said.

Eventually, a police officer recognized Tanner as someone from the area who had helped her on an earlier day. She intervened with the other officers at the school and they agreed to let Tanner go, he said. The other men were also eventually released.
Tanner grabbed his house keys and walked home, calling his wife to ask her to drive back to New Orleans to pick him up.


The car along with Glover’s body was eventually found several months later in the torched remains of Tanner’s car.

Link to story

The lesson to learn here is that if you assume no one will care what you do and that the PAW is upon you; you should also keep in mind that you may have federal agents investigating your actions several years later. DO not fall into the mindset that you are not accountable for your actions. These LEOs clearly made that mistake.

Glover also made a mistake by going to a store to get "things". He was shot for his trouble. Tanner almost went to jail for being a good citizen. If he had stayed home this would not have happened. Once again strolling around after a disaster is not smart.


Sixth Incident
This incident and the recent legal developments are what precipitated this thread. An NOPD officer was recently indicted and will likely plead guilty to the following felony indictment.

Link to Indictment

This incident actually made national news the day it happened. A truck load of NOPD officers got in a shoot out with some bad guys. The problem is that the people shot and killed by the LEOs were not armed and they were simply survivors walking over a bridge. They were in fact running from another groups of armed people and simple were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The NOPD then actively covered up their actions. They are now about the pay the price for their lack of responsibility.

Link to Story

The lesson to this should be clear to everyone by now. Walking around in a disaster zone is dangerous. If these people had been dressed in cammies and had other mall ninja gear it is likely everyone would have been targeted and killed without question. In such a case the LEOs would likely have been praised for killing gang bangers/snipers/vigilante/pick you own bad guy. Carrying weapons openly and dressing in cammies (even if legal in the area) will get you killed in a SHTF situation.

The other lesson is don’t stay in a disaster zone if you can avoid it. This group of people had the means (car & money) to leave before the storm and they chose to stay. They were not adequately prepared. They chose to leave their apartment to go to another more secure location. If you choose to bug in, chose you bug in location carefully and be prepared to deal with the likely threat for several weeks and stay bugged in during this time.

The final lesson is that I am sure all of the LEOs involved here, assumed no one would find out about their mistake; after all the world had ended. Right? That said, several years later they are now being asked hard questions for which the answers are difficult for all involved. Do not assume just because TSHTF you are absolved of your legal obligations when you act.


Edit:
As a post script, Phil posted this comment before this thread was posted publicly. This is exactly the situation you will face in a SHTF situation. Be careful who you chose as a target or chose to disobey.

phil_in_cs wrote:
I'd note too in your first link, 3rd photo, officer Fath: There's no way to know he is an officer from that photo. Wearing a 'wife beater' undershirt, shorts, camo hunting shotgun, holstered pistol.
Image

His buddies know he's an officer though, and if you think he's a common looter or miscreant and treat him as such, your world is about to end.


Edited to add disclaimer:
I have no personal knowledge of these incidents beyond the published reports. I was not at the scene of any of these incidents and was not a participant in any way.

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Last edited by raptor on Sat Feb 27, 2010 3:48 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:53 pm 
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All I can think is "WOW! :shock: I know you all went through Hell a few years ago in Katrina and I would think you still continue to, to a certain point. I have had the pleasure of reading many of your posts, while sharing your experiences through the catastrophe. I know many people state what they would in certain situations, to that I believe most likely they would do what they stated, however noone ever truly knows how they would react, until put in that given circumstance. You Sir, have lived it and know it even better. Thank you!

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:13 am 
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Thank you

I do want to be clear that his is not meant to be a rehash of Katrina. Rather it is a real life example of the consequences from the situations we may face in a SHTF situation.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 11:01 am 
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Great post, Raptor! I especially like Phil's comment at the end. You shouldn't make assumptions about any armed person in a PAW-like situation.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 11:04 am 
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One of the things that struck me was that walking around with camo on and with a rilfe was a problem, even the 'grey man' had issues as well. As Raptor had stated, your best bet is to hole up somewhere and be invisible.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 11:16 am 
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I'd say that if you are bugging in, your best bet is to button up, stay quiet, and mind your own business. It isn't the time to be sightseeing, playing Duddly Do-right to the rescue, or breaking the law. If your supplies and circumstances don't permit you to stay buttoned up, get out early and away from the area.
Katrina may have made New Orleans temporarily into an Apocolyptic locale, but it wasn't worldwide and sure as hell didn't make it to the "Post" stage.

There are always consequences for your choices and actions, with or without the absence of law.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:21 pm 
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Some of those reports made me sick to my stomach. I agree that being out and about alone or with a small group is asking for trouble in such a situation.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:45 pm 
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Rough to read. Bad thoughts and all that. Seems like damned if you do damned if you don't in a lot of those situations, for the innocent peoples victimized except that one looter dude... Thanks for writing that Raptor, good brain food.

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Excellent article.

It gives me some perspective.

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Excellent post, I think we should be reminded from time to time. Something occured to me, in regards to shoot-em-up kind of thinking. I know many survival types, even here, have the idea that if things get bad the law no longer applies. Not just shoot/no-shoot scenarios, but other gun laws as well. Specifically magazines. Up here, folks can get ARs if they don't mind the price, and the rules; however magazines are limited to five rounds. Ten for handguns. I know that lots of Canadian preppers think that they'll unpin their mags when the ballon goes up. But, leaving aside the legality of carrying a firearm or keeping it accessible, or the ramifications of firing said piece, what if you've underestimated the scope of the fall, and you get in shit for carrying six illegal magazines? You've probably just lost the right to legally own guns. Even SKSs need to be pinned to five, making their strippers useless. This is yet another reason I'm content with my Lee-Enfield for now. Ten rounds is cool for a bolty.

Back on topic, I know lots of us here worry that the "unprepared" will be the cause of violence in hard times. But I sometimes wonder how much will come from preppers who thought that the stranger approaching for directions to the breadline was trying to rob them.

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Bubba Enfield wrote:
But I sometimes wonder how much will come from preppers who thought that the stranger approaching for directions to the breadline was trying to rob them.


There were many stories about "vigilante" activity. Most are BS but I am sure there is grain of truth to some.

There is no doubt in my mind that people (not just preppers) would pose a significant risk in a similar situation.

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Personally I would believe the sign...even without the man sitting there. But that is just me.

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Just a bump-post, mostly. Want this one to get more eyes on it.

Recently I've been reading more ZS stories and posts about what a PAW might really look like, or how it might arrive and in what kind of timeframe. This one is top-notch as it isn't speculation. I'd like to also read more about slower, creeping societal breakdowns. Like an Argentinian economic melt-down lasting for years, but taking a while to actually ramp up to the point where anyone with the means got the hell out. Anyone got any handy links?


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Rainman wrote:
I'd like to also read more about slower, creeping societal breakdowns. Like an Argentinian economic melt-down lasting for years, but taking a while to actually ramp up to the point where anyone with the means got the hell out. Anyone got any handy links?


Read FerFAL's posts and his blog: memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=6931

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dogbane wrote:
Rainman wrote:
I'd like to also read more about slower, creeping societal breakdowns. Like an Argentinian economic melt-down lasting for years, but taking a while to actually ramp up to the point where anyone with the means got the hell out. Anyone got any handy links?


Read FerFAL's posts and his blog: http://www.zombiehunters.org/forum/memb ... ile&u=6931


That was it! Funny, I stumbled into ZS after getting links from a friend to FerFAL's blogspot writings. Thanks!


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ttt!

Great post, Raptor.

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I recall one of the JPSO deputies I know mentioning that he'd fired 300 rounds keeping back "looters" from the hospital I work for prior to the 82nd Airborne (I shit you not) showing up to provide security.

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Cybrludite wrote:
I recall one of the JPSO deputies I know mentioning that he'd fired 300 rounds keeping back "looters" from the hospital I work for prior to the 82nd Airborne (I shit you not) showing up to provide security.


Jesus, that sounds like something out of a Romero movie.

Only further emphasizes Raptor's point though. Sometimes it can be like a Romero movie, but as is evident now, only a handful of years later, they're packing downtown celebrating a Superbowl win, and prosecuting people for recent crimes.

I have nothing constructive to add to this post other than mentioning that this is a good example of why, when I see Raptor's name as the "Last poster" in a thread, I know there's something worth checking out.


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Cybrludite wrote:
I recall one of the JPSO deputies I know mentioning that he'd fired 300 rounds keeping back "looters" from the hospital I work for prior to the 82nd Airborne (I shit you not) showing up to provide security.


If I had time I'd set up a fancy math looking function, but basically if you have low training and high stress, the rounds used will approach the rounds on hand.

Meaning, if he'd had 20 mags instead of 10, he'd have shot off 600 rounds.

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Thanks for the post raptor . I'm still showing your katrina post to friends and family .

I can't imagine any disaster going any less scary ! Stressed out police / national guard / etc and regular citizens react in scary ways .

Hopefully I would get me and mine out of the area quickly . Being there at all is too risky .


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Outstanding thread. ZS needed this.

I don't want to sound like a suck up, but having people like Raptor who have actually been there and done that to share their experience is invaluable. We all have ideas about how we think things might go down, but compared to this kind of hard, empirical analysis, thoughts and imaginings are almost worthless.

I think one of the several important things to take away from this thread is that even if you are minding your own business or being a good Samaritan, bad shit can and quite likely will happen to you. I am guilty of thinking that helping people won't get me into trouble myself, so this thread has helped me there. I'll still consider helping those around me, but this really pressed home to me that I absolutely have to think about the consequences for my own well being before even taking on the most simple seeming attempts to help other people not within my own circle of close friends and relatives.

Interestingly, I am doing research on the evacuation of Rangoon, Burma during the Japanese invasion during World War II and I have come across a lot of accounts of events that remind me of events in this thread, especially concerning the behaviour of authorities, cases of mistaken identity and just being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

One such situation concerned a group of 50 or so armed police threatening a shoot out with soldiers guarding and organising evacuation via rail. These police officers were anxious to board a train out of Dodge by force if necessary and the ensuing mayhem could have easily turned into a blood bath. The people who you might normally expect to behave according to regulations and laws are very easily changed to well armed regular people who are just as eager to take whatever they want, even to the extent of turning on other authority figures to the point of lethal force.

The picture at the end of Raptor's post reminded me of another situation where the author of one account, an army officer ordered to clear out and prevent looters, opened fire on a man he believed to be looting (incidentally, they were using shotguns loaded with birdshot, which they seemed to be their preferred means of dispersing looters by force while reducing the number of fatalities they had to deal with). As it transpired, the 'looter' was in fact a disheveled member of some authority under orders from another officer to gather supplies and fortunately was not hit by the shot fired.

Just goes to show that it is hard to tell who's who and what's going on in a situation that either you or an LEO may come across. Add in a healthy portion of nerves and expectation of violence and you end up with a good chance for trouble. In this case, it's just lucky that neither man was injured or killed, but I'm sure we can all appreciate that situations like this are unlikely to go so well all of the time.

As an aside, anyone who wants to do some reading about urban evacuations and long haul mass bug outs of refugees should definitely consider checking out their local library for books on the British retreat from Burma during the Japanese invasion. All of the accounts I have read have been very interesting from a prepping point of view, as well as for their own historical significance and interest.

Anyway, great post!

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:34 pm 
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Agreed on all points.

Agreed it is an excellent post. Probably one of the more useful posts I have seen on this board. I hope people pay attention.

Having been on the other side of the equation a couple of times (but not this one) I can tell you that I cringe every time I see posts of the type about getting the same type of ammo as the police and military because they will share some with you, or maybe taking some off of a dead soldier.

Walking out of a disaster area with an AR/AK in hand may sound practical to some but will be likely to get you killed by an incompetent or corrupt police force, or even a ethical and professional one. By all accounts NOLA was out of control and there was and still is little accountability to what actually did happen but the other shoe is starting to drop, ever so slowly. However, don't think that you won't end up a charred corpse in an abandoned SUV somewhere because some people will do whatever it takes to protect their careers and those of their fellow law enforcement workers.

A wounded bureaucracy, like a wounded animal will strike out blindly to eliminate threats to it's survival. But it will have a lot more assets at it's disposal. If no help comes to the government the weaker the government will become until it will eventually melt down internally as those in power loot the treasury and run off with the resources. Figuring out where the end of the road comes: (Somalia 1995) versus where it simply becomes an unsteady police state above accountability: (Cambodia 1978) is not easy to determine. Even countries that break into smaller states (Yugoslavian Balkans) where there are varying levels of accountability the local warlord or whoever will try to enforce some type of accountability or rule of law, just to make things more manageable. Just to give you an idea of who that person is, if you are reading this thread it likely is not you...

But a localized disaster, even a regional one? There will be some type of accountability once the government is back in control.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:46 pm 
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QFT:
"Carrying weapons openly and dressing in cammies (even if legal in the area) will get you killed. "
I think I'll sig that one. Thanks for the post.

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Carrying weapons openly and dressing in cammies (even if legal in the area) will get you killed.

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So now ... we [are] worried that we may be faced with multiple heavily armed and armoured assailants in our day to day life ... I must have accidentally stumbled into the Somalia chapter subform or something.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 11:35 pm 
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Fantastic post.

Basically, get all of your shit ahead of time, and keep your:
- head down
- eyes and ears open
- mouth, doors, and windows shut

Do what the LEO/NG tell you to do. Keep your hands in plain view, and no sudden movements. They're under at least as much, and very likely more stress than you are. Keep their point of view and mindset in mind; agree with it or not, they outnumber and outgun you at this point.

Only defend yourself, your family, and your stuff to the level of, and under the same conditions that, you could before your particular disaster hit.

No superheroes.
No vigilantes.
No looters.
No idiots.
No assholes.

Correct me if I'm wrong here, folks, but Raptor basically just captured the very essence of ZS, here in one post: planning ahead, keeping your head on straight, getting caught up in as little mayhem as you can, and doing whatever you can to remain as civil, human, and humane as possible.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 11:44 pm 
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Good info. I'll definitely be passing this link around. For further examples of the dangers during short-term disaster and a breakdown of law and order, I'd suggest folks look up the New York Draft Riots during the Civil War.

Another something to consider. One of the most common phrases I've heard when discussing the mass riots Post-Katrina and post-Earthquake Haiti is "Folks around here know better than to act that way, that's just shameful. Those folks in (fill in the blank) are savages", and this gives me the impression that they believe their community has some sort of magical protection from a civil breakdown. I have a beer cooler that expresses something that applies. "God must love A$$holes. He made so many of them. Dicks and desperate folks live everywhere, and these dicks will use ANY opportunity to grab something if they have the chance.

A note on military presence in a SHTF scenario. These guys aren't police officers. They don't train the same way LEOs do. They have a different job. These guys are brought in during emergencies because they are armed, they work well in groups, and there's a whole buttload of 'em. These guys are not performing the missions they prepped for, and have the additional stress of trying to adapt to the new mission on top of the normal stresses associated with restoring order after a breakdown of law enforcement. When I was in the military, I was trained to identify irregular combatants this way. "If the bullets are flying, anyone holding a gun and not wearing a friendly uniform is a threat". When patrolling with the Iraqi military I was even told to keep an eye on those guys.

And yes, running around in your cammies or mall ninja gear is a bad idea. You could even be charged with impersonating an officer or soldier after TS gets cleaned up.

If TSHTF, evacuate if ordered, bug in if you can't, and if TSHTF becomes a real PAW, then reassess and go from there. Even in the PAW you could be held responsible for breaking long-held common laws like murder or raiding.

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