You Can’t Shoot A Hurricane

You Can’t Shoot a Hurricane!

By James C. Jones, EMT/CHCM

There was a picture in the news recently of a guy shooting at a hurricane. The poor fellow was taking out his frustration, anger and apparent helplessness by emptying the magazine of his handgun into the wind and rain.  The hurricane was unimpressed.  Some people have an emotional attachment to firearms and an attitude that having guns is the answer to every survival problem?  Gun organizations generally have larger memberships and bigger budgets than preparedness groups and gun shows bring in thousands more than the most successful preparedness shows. While I may own a few firearms and I make frequent contributions to gun rights organizations, I consider firearms as just one part of a comprehensive survival, and self-reliance system.  In fact firearms are the solution to only about ten-percent of the potential threats to your survival.  Emergencies that you can’t shoot include:

  1. Communicable diseases
  2. Famines
  3. Droughts
  4. Floods
  5. Earthquakes
  6. Blizzards
  7. Utility outages
  8. Hurricanes
  9. Tornadoes
  10. Wildfires
  11. Severe bleeding
  12. Cardiac arrest
  13. Hypothermia
  14. Hyperthermia
  15. Radioactive fallout
  16. Toxic chemicals
  17. Biological weapons
  18. Home fires
  19. Terrorist bombs
  20. Economic collapse

Admittedly, looting and civil disorder secondary to some of these events could require armed protection at some point.  Firearms are an absolute survival necessity in surviving criminal assault of any kind and could help in hunting for food in a famine. Being able to protect your survival and self-sufficiency supplies is a critical and necessary capability, but being armed without being truly prepared and self-reliant is irrational.

A truly comprehensive survival battery requires four or five well-chosen weapons.

  1. A large caliber, high capacity handgun for home defense
  2. A small compact handgun for concealed carry
  3. A tactical rifle for serious home protection or evacuation during a major disaster
  4. A scoped hunting rifle and/or a shotgun for hunting if that is part of your survival plans.

You should have plenty of ammunition, spare magazines and parts for these weapons and practice shooting enough to be proficient in their use.  Beyond the basic battery you are a gun collector or hobbyist. While it’s fine to have a large collection of firearms they can become a liability under some survival conditions.

  1. If you have a home fire they may be destroyed or the fire department may be “concerned” upon finding them.
  2. If you are forced to evacuate, can you move them all without sacrificing bringing other more useful supplies?
  3. If you cannot bring them all with you, will they be destroyed or looted before you return?
  4. What do you plan to do with the excess weapons? Trade them for supplies?  Give them to your neighbors to support community defense?
  5. Once you have the basic defensive weapons and ammunition, will you balance your preparedness by spending on other survival supplies?

Now, I have encountered people (they are not survivalists) who actually say “I can survive because I have my guns”.  Such attitudes are morally indefensible and functional impractical.

  • Those who have what you need are probably survivalists (admittedly or not) and are going to be armed and resist any attempt to take their supplies.
  • Those who you can intimidate or loot without armed resistance are probably unprepared and have little to take.
  • Having to fight for every meal and shelter will quickly wear you down and result in growing injuries and losses. You and those with you will become detested and will be hunted-down or shot-on-sight by responsible survivalists or law enforcement.

Firearms and firearms related skills must be part of a balanced and responsible emergency preparedness and self-reliance system, but is not the answer to most survival challenges.  Live Free USA started out in the 1960s as a shooting club and evolved into a broader-based survival and preparedness organization precisely because we recognized that you couldn’t shoot most of the dangers to life and freedom that were coming our way.


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