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If you think you’re prepared because you have a bunch of guns and ammo, you’re a fool.

Preparedness is a pretty big part of my life, so occasionally I’ll talk to people about preparedness related topics and (especially in group settings) it is not unusual for someone to either brag or joke about having guns and ammo instead of having food storage or other sorts of emergency preparations.

These people always have one of three rationales, and all of them are deplorable.

The first explanation – “I’ll just hunt for food”

If you think you’ll actually be able to survive on game, think again.  Every year hunters buy permits to hunt because in most cases there are not enough animals out there for people to hunt as many of them as they want.  If an animal population drops sharply, food will be scarce, and it will take awhile for the population to build back up.  In an emergency, more people will be hunting, not fewer, and the deer or elk (or whatever else you think you want to eat) will have a tough time rebounding.

Even if you do manage to hunt a little, you may not have electricity, so what are you planning to do with all of your meat?  Unless you’ve done more to prepare, you won’t have any way to preserve the food.

Plus, you’ll need to have the right type of gun and ammo for whatever you’re able to hunt.  If you have a gun and ammo for hunting rabbits, you’re not going to catch a moose.  And vice-versa.

The second explanation – “I’ll be able to trade ammo for anything I need.  Ammo will be the new currency.”

This explanation is just as ridiculous as the first.  Ammo will never be used as a currency, because it does not have much value.  Here’s why: if you’ve ever been to a gun store (or even a Walmart), you’ll know that there are dozens of types of ammunition.  In most cases, they are not interchangeable.  I had a revolver that not only required a specific type of ammo, it required a certain brand of ammo; the cheap bullets got stuck.  So, there will be some rounds of ammo that are more popular than others, but even if you choose to load up on popular types of ammo, it won’t be in demand for a second reason…

Most ammo won’t be shot in an emergency.  Unless you’re a bad hunter or part of a roving gang that shoots people to steal their stuff, you’ll probably fire shots pretty infrequently.

The third explanation – “I’ll use my gun and ammo to take things from other people so that I have what I need.”

I have a tough time accepting this idea–really, you want to put yourself in a position where you are relying upon stealing from other people or hurting other people to take their things?  I think most people faced with a situation like this would feel extremely guilty, and they should.  Why would people choose to set themselves up for this sort of parasitism?

But, suppose you have your guns and ammo and you are planning on taking things from other people…it’s still a really bad plan.  Confronting other people–especially prepared people–is dangerous.  Who is to say that the people you’re confronting won’t have better guns and ammo than yours?  And that they won’t reach for theirs faster than you reach for yours?

A gun should not be your only emergency preparedness, but guns are often part of a balanced preparation  Next time we’ll look at how a gun (or guns) can play an integral part in your plan to protect your preparations.

5 Responses to “Guns and Ammo Are Not Enough”

  1. millenniumfly

    Can’t argue with these facts! Though, I’m sure it will be tough to convince most preppers that their stockpiles of ammo won’t be barter items when SHTF.

    • Emily

      millenniumfly – I do think that ammo will have value as a barter item…but I doubt that it will be as valuable as food, or something that people actually need to survive. You can’t eat ammo. So, if you (or anyone else) wants to stockpile ammo, by all means, go for it! Any preparation is better than no preparation. But, an emergency will be a lot less disruptive to the lifestyle that you are comfortable with if you have more to your stockpile than just ammo. Things are going to feel pretty bad when the guy with all the food feels like has enough ammo and doesn’t need to trade anymore. But, I would say this about any single item, or any single method of preparing–you ALWAYS want a back up plan, and as many alternative back up plans as you can come up with! I think aluminum foil will be a good barter item, too, and propane, and toilet paper…but I wouldn’t even feel comfortable stockpiling only those things. For some reason gun enthusiasts sometimes think each case of ammo is a separate back up plan–I think that is not a very good way to prepare.

  2. Anonymous

    I love the lead in with “. . . your a fool.” Tell me, did you have a date for prom? I’m right and you’re wrong is a great way to sway people.

    • Emily

      Anonymous – My intent was to capture the attention of readers and have them want to know WHY I think it is foolish to only prepare with ammo. I guess in your case it worked, because you took the time to comment, didn’t you? 😉

      The definition of a fool is “A person who acts unwisely or imprudently; a silly person.” It is absolutely unwise and imprudent (or “silly”) to prepare by only stocking up on one thing, and even more silly to think you are prepared when your plan requires victimizing other people. What kind of lifestyle would that be, anyway?

      And yes, I did have a date for prom. Actually, I had two dates for prom. All the best of luck to you with your preparations; if there is an emergency and you’re hungry or thirsty, don’t bother coming to my house for food–our guns are probably bigger than yours, and we have our own stockpile of ammo already, thanks. :)


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