Survivalists/preppers have never been portrayed well in the modern media and entertainment fields. At best, they are portrayed in as a comical cliché like in the 1983 movie “The Survivors” (Walter Matthau, Robin Williams, Jerry Reed – very funny actually!). But most often, preppers are portrayed as camo-wearing gun-toting pickup-truck-driving back country no-education nut cases just itching to shoot first and not even ask any questions ever. Sadly the latter is far and away the popular view than the former in spite of the growing interest in preparations.
I don’t think we can change that view overnight.
Maybe not ever.
A journey of a thousand miles starts with but a single step.
If you are known to your family, friends and/or neighbors as being a prepper then hold yourself to a higher standard of personal conduct. Break the mold.
A few suggestions (some have been covered in other articles as well):
Don’t start every conversation with how bad you think this or that politician is doing.
Don’t brag about having found a great buy on this or that food – or ammo.
Don’t tell people “Saturday morning is my range time!”
Keep the camos off daily use.
Don’t put the usual political stickers on your cars and doors.
It is a very sad state of affairs that people who have taken extra steps for preparation and awareness in any endeavor are held out for special (and not good) treatment verses unprepared/unaware people. If something did happen, not necessarily a SHTF event but something extreme and extraordinary in your life, you can bet your neighbors and “friends” will be eager to tell police, investigators, the media etc. about your views and “extreme” beliefs! Even if that plays nothing into the scenario that is what stands out in their minds’ about you and that’s how you will characterized. The reactions of police, investigators, insurance companies, a sensationalizing media, etc. will be easily shaped by these characterizations.
Recently on another website I read a story about a man who had a commercial boat Captain’s license. He was taking out his private boat (not a for-hire trip) and someone in another boat made a dangerous turn that required him (and several other boaters around) to take an extreme evasive maneuver to avoid a collision. The other boat ultimately did hit a dock, damage their boat, and the bay constable had to be called. Upon arrival and taking statements from witnesses (including the licensed Captain) he was given a ticket! The driver of the other boat got nothing. According to the article the bay constable told the Captain that since he had a license he should have been prepared for such an event and should have known better how to avoid the situation! The Captain said he went to court over the ticket and the judge agreed with the bay constable! (The ticket was reduced to a warning, however.)
In another article about internet security it was discussed people on laptops and mobile PC’s connecting to other people’s wireless home networks to obtain child porn and other illegal material. This way if/when law enforcement tracks back those who access this kind of material it will lead to you and your home network and not back to them. The article recommended putting a password on your home network as a simple way to block most network hackers. Most; Because some hackers know how to get around the password (not that hard really if you understand network masks) and still gain access to your home network for their own use. However, the article went on to say that if/when law enforcement tracks down those who access the material to your home network actually having a password on your system can be incriminating! The idea being that since you have a password how can someone else have used your system without knowing it? The technical ways around the password won’t fly as an explanation in court. It will be hard to convince a judge and jury that a pedophile is that advanced to be able to get around your password, as oppose to the more simple answer that you are guilty! So the argument was made to either leave your home network totally open or turned off entirely.
It is ironic that someone who prepares or just takes a lead role is put under such a microscope of scrutiny while the unprepared or untrained get a free ride of excuses as oppose to being told they should have done more to educate and prepare for themselves.
Another example of “brother’s keeper” thinking.
Excellent article. As peppers we must take the lead in shaping other’s impression of our community.