2020 was an eye-opening year. The divisions and turmoil that have been bubbling under the surface of American society for years, erupted spectacularly. Many people all over the country were jolted out of their quiet slumber of middle-class suburban life, to watch in horror as neighborhoods burned, and society along with the institutions assigned to prevent such tragedies stood by, impotently. It was an eye-opening moment for some who realized that in the moments that you need them the most, the security apparatus of the State will abandon you.
What do we do with this information? The first step is to realize that in essence, 2020 was not an aberration, but a revelation. For instance, did you know that under Supreme Court precedent, police are not legally obligated to protect you as an individual (link)? Their charge is to protect society (the unanswered question is how well they even carry out this task). The riots that swept across the country in 2020, demonstrated that in times of true adversity, even society may be left to fend for itself. If the police will not actually carry out their charged mandate, where does that leave you?
First, we must confront a fundamental fact: our comfortable modern existence is a historical abnormality. Blogger Peter Nealen summarizes this concept quite neatly:
‘Life isn’t safe. The one constant of life is that it ends. Everybody dies eventually, and you don’t get a vote in how it happens. You could live to be a hundred, and die of old age, or you could die tomorrow due to a car crash, a freak medical condition that had gone undiagnosed, a natural disaster, or a violent confrontation. You can either face that fact, mentally and physically prepare yourself to deal with what you can deal with, while accepting that eventually you’re going to die anyway, or you can live in terror or denial. One is paralyzing. The other is delusion. (…)
Life isn’t safe. The real world is fraught with risks. This isn’t a call to be afraid, it is the opposite. In the immortal words of Herger the Joyous, “Grow stronger.” Get out of your bubble of concrete, computers, and safe spaces, realize, and accept that sooner or later you are going to die, and learn to embrace the tools to thrive with that danger, instead of embracing wimpiness, rejecting responsibility, and shunning the strength of our forefathers. Nothing you do is going to make life easier or longer. Harden up and learn the tools and skills to survive and thrive.’Peter Nealen- “Do-Something-ism” and Societal Childishness
So, if our lives as we’ve known them are a historical aberration, and those that society has specifically empowered to protect us are not actually charged with our protection, where are we to turn? The answer starts within. Individuals must build robust foundations for their own personal security (PERSEC). No one is more invested in your PERSEC than you. Step one is to recognize and accept this obligation and to begin equipping yourself with the skills necessary for success. But personal security is not a gentleman’s game, carried out under a sanctioning body with clearly defined rules. It is in fact a cut-throat bare-knuckled brawl with only one rule: win.
In addition to the unforgiving challenge that you face, these encounters (or more precisely asocial transactional encounters1) have no defined time boundaries or beginning. Typically, the opposition will determine the date, time and duration of the encounter. You will also most likely begin every encounter at an initiative deficit. You will have been selected by your opponent because they believe they have the advantage. At a basic level, humans are ambush predators. They will look for their prey to present weakness: weakness = opportunity. In addition to waiting for their prey to present weakness, human predators will actively work to enhance their target’s weaknesses, primarily by increasing their strength. They do this by building their skill set through experience and bringing their friends.
If it appears that we’re painting a bleak picture we are. There is no sugar coating this; you are preparing yourself for the worst day of your life. If society continues on its current trajectory (and all current indications in Jan. 2022 are that it will), the frequency of these twisted encounters will only continue to accelerate. Desperation is a powerful motivator and will push more “good” people across the line between civilization and chaos. You will be forced into encounters, with no guarantees, increasing frequency, and decreasing support from societal institutions that have historically stood as a bulwark. What can we do to protect ourselves? We can prepare for expanding chaos, harden our personal security, and join a community of like-minded individuals. Why should you join a community?
Community empowers individuals. Communities take disparate pieces of the puzzle and create coherent results. In the context of security and self-defense, no single one of us is as powerful, capable, and competent as all of us. Weakness can be covered, strengths nurtured, and bastions of freedom established. As society crumbles and the barbarians advance, communities will rise and become the new bulwark against the forces of chaos. Communities cannot be built overnight. They must be nurtured and nourished in their infancy so that they flourish and unleash their full potential. The time to join and build your community is now. We must begin working together, to form mutual aid societies and take back ownership and responsibility for our security. These concepts lie at the very heart of the agorist movement.
So where should you begin? First, acquire a good quality firearm. In the author’s opinion, the best choice is an AR-15, of fighting rifle quality. What is fighting rifle quality? It is the quality of the rifle, that will work on demand, regardless of circumstance, every single time. Of course, nothing in life is free and fighting rifles are no exception. A fighting rifle quality AR-15 will easily run $1,200-$1,500, from a reputable manufacturer (Bravo Company Manufacturing, Sons of Liberty Gun Works, and Sionics to name a few). That is a significant investment for most. If that is outside of your budgetary constraints, don’t compromise with a rifle of inferior quality. Instead, purchase a fighting pistol. Striker-fired pistols such as Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0’s or the ever-present Glocks, can be found for substantially less, as low as $4-600. The most critical feature of any defensive firearm is it must work. When you move down to the lower-cost budget options, reliability is the first thing sacrificed. Please don’t bet your life on that trade-off.
Regardless of the firearm that you select, if you fail to learn to employ it, or if you fail to use it regularly, you will essentially have a heavily regulated, and expensive paperweight. Guns are not magic talismans and relying on their mere presence to dissuade a determined attacker is foolish. One must simply look at the Kyle Rittenhouse saga, to see this point amplified. Regardless of your feelings about what occurred in Kenosha that night, it is obvious the presence of the rifle meant nothing to Rittenhouse’s adversaries. Any respectable self-defense instructor will tell you the same thing. For a firearm to be truly useful, one must train and practice with it. Seek out instruction from qualified individuals that will enhance your ability to employ your chosen platform.
Quality training will not only teach you to be proficient with your chosen weapon it will also teach you the totality of self-defense. As I mentioned earlier, weapons do not ward off evil-doers by their mere presence. Odds are, they will bring weapons of their own. Quality training will teach you how you can deter bad guys. It will create an individual framework, based on principles, that will empower you to take ownership of your personal security. It will also teach you critical knowledge around the current laws around the lawful use of self-defense. We still have a somewhat functional legal system so you must remain mindful of that.
Another often overlooked aspect of security is medical training. If you learn how to poke holes in bad guys, you better learn how to patch holes in the good guys; or as the pithy saying goes, “Do no harm. Do know harm”. On a two-way gun range, the bad guys get a vote too, and sometimes they make their votes count. A great place to start is with a certified Stop the Bleed course. The course was created by trauma surgeons and provides outstanding layperson accessible training on techniques and methods to deal with traumatic bleeding. After Stop the Bleed, I would recommend a CPR/First Aid course next, and if you’re interested in, even more, look for a Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) course. All of these courses are available locally, in the Chattanooga area.
While the picture might be bleak, we are not without hope. Taking the simple step of confronting the truth and preparing for what is to come, puts you well ahead of the majority. Resolving to not be easy victims, we will ready ourselves to counter the chaos around us. You are also not alone. Join the Chattanooga Voluntary Society today, begin to build a tribe, and be better prepared for the coming days of strife and turmoil.
The United States of America has had a long run. It’s not guaranteed to last.