Tag Archives: WROL

Perimeter Home Defense For The Urban Prepper & Survivalist

4 Jun

This post is a response to the excellent post over at Thoughtfullyprepping about perimeter defense.

“Does that mean I’ve largely written off urban dwellers?
Realistically? Yep, you’re toast.”

This is true if you face a large mob in complete chaos. Thoughtfullyprepping is correct. In the country, you can use distance to create a “barrier” between you and your attackers. Open ground is the best. Open ground is an odd sounding “barrier” but it works.

If you’re a great rifle shot and those attacking you aren’t, you have a chance to keep them at bay. Many shooters aiming at you from 150 meters could get you, but you’re much better off than being taken on up close by superior numbers.

This assumes you’re a better shot than those trying to take you out. A professional sniper can hit you in the head from 500 yards out. If you’re up against those guys, you’ve got trouble.

Any kid who’s watched old westerns knows you’re safe at day! It’s at night when they’ll come for you. You won’t see them. You can’t shoot what you can’t see. That’s offset somewhat if you have night vision capability. John Wayne would have been a real bad-*** with a night scope on his 44-40.

You need enough numbers so some can sleep while others keep watch. From an attacker’s standpoint, waiting till your target falls asleep isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. He could just be waiting for you to crawl a few more yards forward before he shoots you. “Yeah. He’s fallen asleep. Sweet.” Bang.

In the military, there are many ways to discourage opposing soldiers from wanting to come at you through open ground. Barbed wire, claymore landmines. Anything that slows the attackers down or thins the herd helps.

In the city, this all falls apart. I’ve said exactly this in my book. In the city, one guy with a good arm can hit your home with a Molotov cocktail. Regardless of how you fortify your dwelling, attackers can burn you out. Thoughtfullyprepping makes this exact point. Toast is a good word!

There is one thing you could hope for and that’s a community response. If citizens came together to protect their homes, you could create a defensive perimeter. You’d keep the bad guys out of your neighborhood.

This could fall apart for many reasons. Are your neighbor’s dead because they starved? Did they flee because there wasn’t any food? Are they willing to work together or have they turned on each other as each tries to provide for his family?

As a small group of neighbors, I like the term defensive perimeter more than perimeter defense. What is a realistic area you can control? A block? Four Blocks? That only offers a bit of a buffer.

For most of us most of the time, as homeowners, we think of our perimeter as our walls or maybe a fence. We can’t keep out a mob intent on killing us. We can highly discourage the typical small gang of robbers or looters.

Morality Question During WROL

21 Apr

I’m commenting on two great posts:



The question: Will you do whatever’s necessary to protect your family and loved ones during a WROL?

There is a famous debate question about morality. Read the story and decide:

Heinz’s wife was dying from a particular type of cancer. Doctors said a new drug might save her. The drug had been discovered by a local chemist and the Heinz tried desperately to buy some, but the chemist was charging ten times the money it cost to make the drug and this was much more than the Heinz could afford.

Heinz could only raise half the money, even after help from family and friends. He explained to the chemist that his wife was dying and asked if he could have the drug cheaper or pay the rest of the money later. The chemist refused saying that he had discovered the drug and was going to make money from it. The husband was desperate to save his wife, so later that night he broke into the chemist’s and stole the drug.

( quoted from http://www.simplypsychology.org/kohlberg.html )

The question: Did Heinz do the right thing? Would you have stolen the drug to save your wife?

In a long-term WROL, would you take supplies from others if it were the only way left to save your own family?

Prepper Lessons From NY Motorcycle Attack

4 Oct

It sounds like a bad movie. A beautiful Sunday. A husband taking his wife out to celebrate their wedding anniversary. On the road. Suddenly surrounded by dozens of hostile bikers threatening them. Isn’t this the script from Mad Max?

This played out in real life to a hapless couple in NY. The incident was videotaped by one of the bikers:


Many if not most of these bikers didn’t have street legal motorcycles. Several didn’t have valid driver’s licenses. They tried to force other vehicles from using the road so they could “perform” motorcycle stunts. One fellow, Alexian Lien, in a Range Rover, was trapped in the middle of this chaos with his wife and baby.

Let’s begin by saying this was a temporary WROL situation. There was no law enforcement on the freeway for eight minutes. The bikers had shutdown entries to the freeway, blocking legitimate traffic. They wanted to turn the public freeway into their own private playground. 911 operators received over 200 phone calls about the illegal, careless, and reckless motorcyclists, who darted around cars on the freeway. The police hadn’t responded. This family was on their own.

Video before the attack shows just how out-of-control these bikers were:


A motorcyclist pulled in front of Alexian and slowed down, while looking behind him at the Range Rover. The video makes it clear his intent was to force the Range Rover to stop. When the SUV slowed down, it was swarmed by aggressive bikers.

Prepper Quiz, Question 1:

When harassed and threatened by sixty motorcyclists, if one pulls in front of you and tries to force you to stop, and you accidentally bump his bike, you should:

A) Stop and exchange insurance information with the 60 hostile bikers.
B) Keep your vehicle moving.

It’s important to know when you must throw aside the conventions and niceties of civilized society in order to survive. Too often criminals take advantage of the basic humanity of others. You stop to help somebody, and it’s a ruse to an attack. You want to shake hands, and you’re sucker punched.

It’s ironic and maddening to realize that the biker who slowed down was counting on the basic humanity of the SUV driver not to hurt him, while the intent of the bikers seemed to be to harass, intimidate, and physically assault the SUV driver. This motorcyclist was not injured.

Alexian stopped and his vehicle came under attack. Fearing for his life and the life and safety of his family, Alexian drove ahead, as his vehicle was assaulted. In his path was another stopped biker, who Alexian drove over. If he hadn’t pushed through, the video looks like he would have been assaulted by dozens of attackers. Being beaten by this many attackers could easily prove fatal. Who knows what would have happened to his wife and baby?

The motorcycle driver run over didn’t have a driver’s license. Worse, he couldn’t have a license until 2017, because he had been a habitual traffic offender.

As a fan of smaller fuel-efficient vehicles, I must admit the preppers who favor larger trucks and SUVs have a valid point: If you must ever use your vehicle as a defensive weapon, there is no substitute for size and mass. A family in a Honda Civic wouldn’t have had the same options as a family in a Range Rover.

One commentator to the video: “Best. Range. Rover. Commercial. Ever!”

Alexian sped away from the attackers and several followed. He used exceptional restraint. As the bikers closed in on him, it was clear to me, and to other posters at websites, that all he had to do was brake hard and he could have taken out a biker behind him. Swerve side to side and he could have taken out other bikers.

It’s good he didn’t do this, because it might have led to criminal charges. In my view, even those acts would be self defense: He’s fighting for his very life, and thinning the herd can give him more of a fighting chance at the end. It can discourage other attackers from continuing the attack. That’s not the way this situation is seen by the broader society. Many don’t understand that when defending your life, you must be aggressive. The best defense is a good offense.

In a total WROL with no help ever coming, you’d want to mow down as many attackers as you could. Swerve, brake, throw stuff out of your vehicle to force the bikes to wipe out. Alexian only ran over one biker because he blocked his escape.

Alexian left the freeway and hit a traffic jam, where he was physically pulled from his car and assaulted. The bikers started by smashing in his windows. According to reports, he failed to lock his car door. This isn’t surprising. When in a panic, the most basic things flee memory. This is why people in shootouts keep pulling the trigger, never realizing they must take off the safety. Commentators said he should have backed up. Same thing. Fleeing in one direction, away from danger, it’s difficult to mentally shift gears and go in reverse.

Staying on the freeway offered the least chance of being forced to stop.

When the SUV stopped, Alexian had no weapon. He was in New York. If he had the option of having a pistol, it’s clear the more shots the better. A few extra magazines in his glove box or under the seat wouldn’t have been bad. For those of us who like snub nose revolvers, this is a case where the limited capacity could be an issue. Zombie Biker Apocalypse situations aren’t supposed to happen in real life!

If things can get this bad in NY today, what would happen if there was a more permanent breakdown of law and order?

The wife of the injured motorcycle driver asked, “Who is going to pay for these [hospital] bills?” To sue the driver of the SUV, the motorcyclist’s family hired TV courtroom attorney Gloria Allred.

It’s not enough to be harassed and physically attacked, Alexian might be sued for defending himself and his family. Luckily for Alexian, the video makes it clear he was defending himself from a mob. One member of the mob was the injured driver.

A whole book could be written about the mob psychology aspects of this incident. While many posters see all these bikers as scum, it’s difficult for me to believe they’re all bad people. They are careless, reckless, and fail to obey traffic laws, putting innocent lives at risk. That is un-debatable. But when a person becomes part of a mob, they change. They don’t feel a personal responsibility for their actions. They’d do things they’d never do without the encouragement of the mob.

If a WROL situation, mobs would be a huge problem. Even under civilized times, we sell just how lawless a group of people can become when they don’t feel personally responsible for their actions.

There is a good discussion about what to do in this situation over at defensivecarry.com

The post by rjinga sums up all aspects of how to proceed rationally.

This is a great article about the myth of “stopping power” of various pistol calibers.

Here’s a good video about setting up a security recorder for your home.

Long Term WROL: It’s Worse Than You Think

8 Jul

Many gun focused preppers like to talk about what weapons they want to have for a WROL situation. What is the definition of WROL? It stands for Without Rule Of Law. This corresponds to a situation where police and the military aren’t adequately enforcing the law, and honest law-abiding people are left to the mercy of criminals.

Short term WROL can and does happen. Police can be overwhelmed. The National Guard hasn’t been mobilized. Citizens are disorganized. The result is that crime runs amuck. A prepper armed with a 12 gauge shotgun or an AR-15 could protect his family against the small bands of criminals. A family of preppers could protect their retreat.

What about long term WROL? What would that look like and how well prepared would we, as preppers, realistically be to deal with it? A interesting article about Somali warlords provides some insight: “What I Learned from a Somali Warlord” from Wired Magazine.

In 1991, when civil war destroyed the ability of the army and police to enforce the law, Somali fell into a state of WROL. The article tells the story of Ali Dere, the warlord controlling the city of Mogadishu. To fight looting, he raised his own personal army. How did he pay his army? He made businesses in the city pay a tax. With funds, he was able to purchase automatic rifles on the black market.

Ali Dere is only one of fifteen major warlords who control an estimated 30,000 armed followers in Somalia. That means a run-of-the-mill warlord controls about 2,000 men. Too often, when we picture WROL, we have an image of a truck with a few armed men in it. That doesn’t show the true force that even petty warlords have.

Somalia has a population of about 9 million people with a population density of about 40 people per square mile. America has a population of about 300 million with a population density of about 74 people per square mile.

If there ever were a break down of law and order for an extended time in America, citizen militias would develop. Given America’s large cities, there might be hundreds of warlords each commanding 5,000 or 10,000 men.

Unless the event that precipitated WROL here hobbled the whole world, these warlords would have access to weapons provided by international gunrunners. As long as there was lootable wealth, taxable wealth, or natural resources, warlords would be able to arm their men with AK-47s, heavy machineguns, and RPGs.

Armed, smaller groups that would not assimilate to the powerful warlords would be driven into the countryside. These groups might number well into the thousands. Influential survivalist Jim Cobb came up with the expression “Lone Wolf Syndrome” to describe the hardy younger guys who plan to take to the woods and live out of their backpacks. He’s right, most of us couldn’t survive this way. But if long term WROL hit America, even three or four united prepper families with several armed men wouldn’t be much of a match for a petty warlord, if they tried to defend a fixed retreat.

The Sharp, Sudden Decline of America’s Middle Class
Rolling Stone has a story about how the economy has forced some people to live in their cars.

This is a link from the book The Prepper Next Door (& a follow up to generators): Northern Tool Generator Buyer’s Guide

Here’s a great prepping site I came upon: Simple Prepping Now
(simplepreppingnow.com). It discusses many homesteader skills; like chickens and eggs. More for rural preppers than urban preppers.

Land of 100,000 gun carriers  (Minnesota Specific: 1 in 40 Minnesotans now has a concealed gun permit.)