Internet Armchair Commando Warriors – Your Biggest Threat WTSHTF

by Ranger Man on February 17, 2011

There are any number of threats one can think of when contemplating a SHTF scenario: hunger, heat loss, sickness, etc. Even if you’re able to account for your family’s preparations in the way of food, heat and shelter, your next threat comes in the form of security, people that want need what you have, because they failed to prepare.

To my knowledge, there has been no research done by the “SHTF Institute for Survival Studies” on how much of the prepper population is comprised of people whose idea of preparation is solely “I’ll buy lots of guns and ammo and then I’ll be set”, but I suspect it’s a sizable number. One need only look at prepping blogs and compare how many comments gun posts yield to those more mundane posts like how to store food.

My impression, based on many conversations with various preppers, is that those in the “firearms only” category break down further into two categories: those that buy firearms with the intent of stocking up on other supplies later (and then never do), and those more evil individuals who plan to use their firearms to take what they need (whether they verbalize that intent or not). I suspect the majority do not fall into the latter category as I believe most people are generally kind at heart, but they may inevitably enter the “take by force” crowd when the chips are down.

These “firearms only” folks, the “Armchair Commando” and “Internet Warrior” types will be the single biggest threat to preppers when the shit goes down. Why?

  1. They recognize shit could hit the fan. They see potential threats so they won’t be entirely surprised WTSHTF. What will surprise them is that they’re not nearly as prepared as they thought they would be. Where total non-preppers may be temporarily stunned by the events, these Armchair Commandos will know they need to act – now - before everyone else freaks out. They can’t eat brass and lead, but they can feed it to you. Then they’ll just raid your freeze dried food storage.
  2. They have guns – lots of guns. They have so many guns and so much ammo that they’ll call their nearby friends and say, “See, I told you so. Get over here and gear up – we’re hitting the grocery store – now.” Then they’ll get there and realize others were thinking the same thing. (Keep your head down.)
  3. They’re *bleeping* crazy! They may have night vision scopes, body armor and drum fed assault rifles, but they never purchased a Big Berkey Water Purifier or 55 gallon water barrels. They have enough pre-loaded magazines that they can feed their rifles at rapid fire until the barrels melt. They will take risks because they have to, but also because they have illusions of grandeur. They think they’re awesome – invincible!

There are only 3 ways I can think of to defend against these folks:

  1. Stay the hell away! Keep a super low profile. Where they think they are invincible, you must be invisible.
  2. Outgun them! (Good luck with that.)
  3. Befriend them! Rather than spend large sums of money on a few more guns, spend a modest sum of money on a lot more beans, rice and wheat. Then if the SHTF, reach out to them first! “Yo dawg, you got guns, I got grub.”

Armchair commando internet warriors sketch me out.

- Ranger Man

BTW: Here is an entertaining cartoon rendition of a firearms forum discussion (email subscribers may need to visit this post directly to see the embedded video).  Note: this video contains profane language. It’s a funny clip and (sadly) possesses a certain amount of truth to it. I think you’ll like it.

Part II:

Spook45 February 17, 2011

I note all of the concern in the article, I must point out though, at least in my own experience, most of these arm chair guys dont train!! They spend all of thier money on guns, gun stuff, and ammo. We have one such fellow in our lil click In his defense he will train with us but he seems to be enamerd with magazines. We all want to have plenty if things get bad, you wont be able to run out andd buy more or replace what you loose, but this guy will buy a ton of magazines and ignore ammo:{ I dont get it, if you have a whole pile of mags and no ammo, you may as well have no gun! Most of these guys do not however spend any of thier money on training of any kind so they wont be very effective at any kind of distance and they wont be able to move without EVERYONE in the theatre knowing that they are doing so. I dont worry too much about those guys, I mean if you have to shelter in place for just a few days they will knock each other off for the most part anyway. Have no fear of the “TACKLEBERRYS” for they are just misguided, in fact when you find one close you should take them under your wing and try to help at the very least, they can walk point and take the first hit.

Jarhead Survivor February 17, 2011

We used to call those guys sandbags because that’s the only way they’d be really useful. Stopping a bullet for someone else.

Morghan February 17, 2011

I’d like to suggest adding a URL to YouTube videos for those of us who use mobile devices alone.

I have an application that can open and stream videos from a link, but embedded ones just give me a black box that tells me to upgrade my (nonexistent) flash player and does not allow me to open the actual video.

Ranger Man February 17, 2011

Great suggestion – thanks.

Jarhead Survivor February 17, 2011

“Why would you want to adjust your sites after they’re zeroed? That’s stupid.”

Man – that just killed me!

Spook45 February 18, 2011

Heh; so many meanings for the word DOPE……..

Bill G February 17, 2011

this is the funniest video i seen in the last 12 months. i belong to both THR and the firing line….and there really are idiots like this there. thank god they are in the minority. we call them mall ninjas.
if i see 1 more person ask 357 vs 9mm there i think my head will explode :)

but he was right about one thing….only calibers that start with a 4 are true combat pistol calibers :) :)

sanityjones February 17, 2011

There are those who do not prep at all who fit this M.O. as well, in fact I have a close neighbor who says he has “enough bullets to get more bullets…….or anything else he needs.” I’m glad I’ve had the discernment to keep my business to myself. I have had the misfortune to hear more than a few conversations regarding the benefits of cannibalism as well…..lots of sickos out there. I do consider myself fortunate however to be aware of these pitfalls and plan accordingly. LOL at the Vids. Here is a no nonsense pistol training site I found awhile back which I have found to be very informative and helpful.

http://pistol-training.com/

PrimalCane February 17, 2011

A friend of mine from work is a pretty like minded individual, and we often have conversations about WTSHTF. He has definitely invested more time into the firearm category than I have, but I’ve put more time into sustainable off grid living, and I thought that we’d make a solid core to perhaps build a group around and protect our families. I was rather surprised to hear him say in one of our recent conversations that he isn’t interested in forming any sort of community or group, that I was welcome to join him since he trusted me, but his plan is to find a nice farm and shoot the owner. Kinda got me thinking – Even though I had befriended the “Armchair Commando” is that really a good thing?

Suburban Survivalist February 17, 2011

I’d stay far away from that one. If someone like me finally showed up from a really long bug out trek and found your buddy on my parents farm and my parents not there, things would get real medieval. A lot of others probably would too.

russel1200 February 17, 2011

Absolutely agree. His moral compass is completely broken. The easiest person for him to go after is the easiest person to reach: that would be you.

That is a fantasy scenario. Does he even know anything about farming? You can starve pretty quickly on a modern farm if you have no clue what you are doing. And I would guess most farmers are busy, so they get their food from the grocery store just like everyone else. They are not going to be like the homesteaders who have a specific lifestyle they are looking for.

Spook45 February 18, 2011

Could be, not all of them are blatently stupid, some are just uneducated on the matters at hand. Some people can be taught or enlightened others are just STUPID…

sput February 17, 2011

Primal, best thing you can do WTSHTF is pop your “friend” and donate his gear to the farmer, who can at least produce food to feed you, which your friend can’t.
I also have been trying to mentor someone who hasn’t event bought a knife yet because he hasn’t decided between several expensive customs to buy, and can’t really justify the $300 he expects to spend, for one knife. Needless to say, he won’t be along with the group.

irishdutchuncle February 17, 2011

no amount of OPSEC is too much.

i don’t have enough guns, but then again i don’t have enough stored food or water either… not quite enough gear for mall ninja status.

the best place to discuss these subjects is on the internet, with other people whom you’ll never meet. the fewest number of your co workers that actually know where you live, the better off you are. if you choose to brag about yourself, or your “stuff”, someone will eventually come looking for it. you’ll then be lucky if you are left with your life, let alone an arm chair to sit in.

Delta Echo February 17, 2011

What a great blog. This topic is something I’ve been thinking about for quite a while and never saw it mentioned before. Good job Rangerman. I’ve also been thinking a bit like Jason lately and Really liked the way Mr. Jarhead approached yesterday’s post. Great job guys, keep up the good work and thanks for the blog. Oh, and the vids were great.

Joerocker February 17, 2011

Thanks for the vid’s, i needed that.

Suburban Survivalist February 17, 2011

A guy at work told me he didn’t need to prepare for chaos/WROL situations as he had a pistol and some ammo and thought he could get what he needs. He was a Marine and has enough training to do it, I think. They’re out there.

My thoughts on lopsided prepping;

http://suburbansurvivalist.wordpress.com/2010/03/25/the-survivalist-spectrum/

http://suburbansurvivalist.wordpress.com/2010/03/26/how-will-you-live-post-teotwawki/

russell12000 February 17, 2011

If you look at some of the most chaotic lawless periods in our history- settlers against natives- the lone wolves did very poorly. Settlers who were too far from help were often the first attacked. This is true even in partial collapse settings (Argentina or Mexico).

What is your bad going to do if he gets a hole in himself while he is taking peoples stuff? Thinking that you are going to “win” fights because you have more or better weapons, or have been to the range a lot is a pretty iffy strategy.

Even the gun enthusiast preppers (and I am a little there myself) are relatively thin on the ground compared to the average joe citizen with an old firearm and a box or two of ammo. They will still be the larger threat.

Those videos were so funny. Too true. Where on earth did all those .45 pistol-410 shotgun combos come from? When I see them at the range, they do make a lot of noise and put a pretty big hole in the paper (usually at about 20′).

Spook45 February 17, 2011

OH MY GOD! That is funnyest shit I have ever heard in my LIFE!! Whats worse is that I actually KNOW people like that! I normally dont even pay attention to people like this because…………well, who needs a fuckin reason to ignore i-dots(thats redneck for idiot) funny shit tho.

gat31 February 18, 2011

Loved the vids they were cute, however for the past 27 years l never even let my kids have water guns because l was so against guns. Since l have done a 180 with my thoughts and lifestyle l have been practicing with a 22 ruger which l absolutely love. The handguns still spook me and l don’t yet actually own a gun but l am seeing the need to change this as well. Where l live here in the south guns and rifles are commonplace so l do keep my plans quiet so people don’t look me up first if SHTF. ( especially since l’m surrounded by armed i-dots :) ) Since l am extremely new to prepping and preparedness, l would love to find a person or two that can help me understand needs and possibly answer questions about equipment and stuff that hasn’t been answered here all ready. lf you ever consider having a question and answer section or if anyone would like an email buddy it would be greatly appreciated on this end. lt gets to be lonely and aggravating never having anyone to discuss all this with. :)

ChefBear58 February 18, 2011

gat31- I am fairly new (about 6 months) to talking about prepping with other folks over the internet though I have been pretty much raised into prepping. Honestly this site is the most constructive one that I have found so far, aside from the odd person instigating arguments once in a while, just about everyone here offers insightful and practical advice/opinions on any questions you may have. If you have any questions feel free to ask and I am sure that almost everyone will be eager to assist you.

If you want to talk or ask specific questions I would be happy to help in any way I can… do you have a facebook page?

gat31 February 18, 2011

thank you both chefbear and rangerman l appreciate it. my email is bbwwlh@yahoo.com l look forward to the Q and A posts

Ranger Man February 18, 2011

Send me an email, gat31. I actually have a “Q&A” type post (of sorts) coming up.

gat31 February 18, 2011

Sorry rangerman don’t know your addy

ChefBear58 February 18, 2011

THOSE VIDEOS WERE HILARIOUS!!!!! Just what I needed after staying up all night typing a paper on police ethics! THANKS… it was great to have a good laugh after 8hrs of typing!

I only worry slightly about the “armchair commando” or “mall ninja”, I do know a few folks who are of a similar mindset but try to keep them at a “safe distance”! One thing I think you forgot in the list of things you can do to counter their efforts, OUTSMART THEM! How many of those types of folks are gonna REALLY understand real-world battlefield tactics? Simple defensive measures (if you have the manpower) can defeat any of their attempts with ease! Most of the ones I know wouldn’t have a clue how to walk through the woods and breathe at the same time! Let alone try and come at my position from the only direction where they wouldn’t be painfully obvious (and I have plans to address that issue when the time comes!). Someone with a basic understanding of how to move in the through the terrain they find themselves in will have a HUGE advantage over someone who thinks that because they have an understanding of firearms they can defeat anyone. Also, any military/history “buff” will tell you that if you have a good position, are dug-in halfway decent, and they are attacking you (barring a surprise attack) … GENERALLY the defender will have a 3-1 advantage, so they better have a decent number of fellow assholes to throw at you as “cannon fodder” if they really want what you have!

That being said, I am a bit of a “gun nut”… My friends joke around and say that when I become a Game Warden, I will probably be like the Tackleberry guy from the “Police Academy” movies (with firearms strapped to every available part of my body). I like my firearms, I like shooting, I like the challenge of hitting a target at long range, I even like cleaning my firearms…. I have been completely enthralled with hunting (archery, muzzle-loader, shotgun and rifle) since the first time my uncle took me when as a kid! I am constantly looking to expand my gun cabinet, and my knowledge of firearms. However, I also prep food/water/medical supplies/ect, some of yall may have read the articles I have written for Ranger Man and Jarhead for the site about food preparation/storage. I see no problem with a “HEALTHY” enthusiasm for firearms mixed in with everything else involved with prepping, but it will take a *special* kind of asshole to literally hunt people down for their hard earned gear/supplies/food/water/ect WTSHTF. Like Suburban Survivalist said, if somebody like these weirdo’s decides my folks, or anyone I care about will make a good target post SHTF (or anytime really) then they NEED to *PREP* for a whole world of pain raining down on them!

Just remember that the most important weapon you have in your arsenal, in ANY situation, is your mind… With some intelligence and a little imagination most of us can overcome any problem that we come up against… whether it’s hordes of zombie “armchair commando’s”, roving biker gangs, or simply opening that pesky pickle jar!

noisynick February 18, 2011

Loved those videos there HILARIOUS……….. I live on a farm in a relatively remote area. I love the thought of some city dude coming to the country with all his gear and Ammo trying to take my stuff on my ground that he knows nothing about. these folks must think all us country folk ar I-dots[like that]. I know every rock hill tree on my 200 acres aswell as the rest of the country surrounding me as do my children and family. When TSHTF these folks think everyone else will just let them walkin and take it. We shoot our guns on almost a daily basis for fun thats country folks.
We would be about as able take things from people with a city AO as they would FromThose in the country.
I agree with those who have stated keep your preps a secret and hidden from those with Kill a nd take Mentality. when out gunned or out numbered laying low is your best defense One must always think about living to fight another day. Knowledge is power especially of your AO whether it be city or country or in between Situational awareness Will save your life. A good ambush with a .22 is more successful than a firefight with a .50cal cause it only takes 1 well placed shot to end the confrontation in your Favor.
Your Blog is great………

john February 21, 2011

Well, I have convinced three of my nine neighbors on our dead end to stockpile food. The nearest one has guns and as a XMAS gift I gave him a box of 20g shotgun shells and adapters so he could use them in his 20g or 12g.

If it hits the fan my goal is to survive the 1st two months, God willing, and help some neighbors along, until sanity returns. My goal is to make it unattractive enough so gang bangers go look somewhere else to victimize someone … and hopefully get shot in the progress of doing so.

I guess my next worthless purchase will be a night scope for my rifle.

With food prices going up as they are, I think every0ne would be smart to stockpile food just to save money. But, all I get is it will never happen and Kroger’s will always be down the street.

They forgot quick enough the $4.50+ a gallon for gas and long lines with gas running out at most stations after the Gulf storm. With people punching holes in the bottom of gas tanks to steal gas.

It is not hard to imagine these bottom feeders stealing food even before they are starving to death, for profit.

If there is one thing to hope for it is if it hits the fan, the correctional officers kill all the felony lifers before leaving the prison.

2012sos July 5, 2011

Non-preppers and wannabe-preppers, yes, i agree, they are a greater threat than whatever cosmologic destruction is heading our way. A mega tsunami or mega typhoon just wipes away cities and sends trees flying through the air, PEOPLE find their down into tunnels and bunkers and never stop.

This is why i’m heading for an island. Come 2012 the billions will either be dead or killing each other, but i’ll be on my island, far away from the starving masses. They won’t be able to reach me, either, for the mega tsunamis will certainly have destroyed all boats and ships.

Recognition of this single danger when it comes to 2012, is the true test of intelligence. Wishful thinking, positive vibes, or ‘sending love to your enemies’ just won’t cut it. Even on my island i’ll be keeping a low profile, in case any pirates actually make it that far, let alone stragglers who unfortunately weren’t killed by the cataclysm and come a-knockin’.

Science backs me up; Maslow’s Pyramid, for one. Just look at Haiti today: people are raiding each other when they smell food. Only a fool would believe that people will pool resources or something; it will be dog-eat-dog. And as always: location location location.

lateToTheParty April 18, 2012

I’m confused. Islands don’t get hit by Tsunamis or Hurricanes or Monsoons? Yep some of the people in Haiti were acting like animals. How many of these people had someone that had done a little preparing and thinking ahead? I’m not even talking materials, just some thought.

Read about the Hoovervilles? Times were bad, rough and ahygienic. But after the initial shocking start, people worked together and even policed their own. I love how at one they didn’t use violence to stop bad behavior, they just tore down the offender’s house when they left. Yes, there will be some bad things, and yes there will be some ______s like Primal’s ‘friend’ but a lot more will listen to a calm leader that can get them food and water and … It’s up to that leader if they want to act like a human or not and whether they will be a self-sufficient group or be a pack or roving animals.

My plan is to be one of the leaders that causes others to stop, think, act and help others. I think if the SHTF it’ll be the only way to bring the true America back: leaders who serve, not get served. Where you can tell a true leader because he’s the busiest one, helping others, not making rules and social structures. Go live on your island, we don’t want you here to slow us down when it comes time to build and to honor our forefathers.

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