_by David E. Petzal
If you’d really like to depress yourself some evening, watch “Doomsday Preppers” on the National Geographic Channel. The show details the plans of normal, well adjusted people to cope with the aftermath of fiscal collapse, nuclear holocaust, the eruption of Yellowstone, solar flares, and so on.

The New York Times noted with outrage that many of these people were accumulating guns and ammunition in order to defend their 1,500 pounds of MREs and dried brown rice, but stockpiling guns is fine with me. My concern is that most of them seem pretty inexpert with guns. One prepper was counting on a Ruger Number One single-shot which, despite its many splendid qualities, is not what you’d pick to blast the mob at your door. Another managed to shoot off several fingers during a practice session. Yet a third, a resident of the Oligarchy of Bloomberg, took lessons in knife fighting because he was unable to get a gun, ignoring the fact that everyone in the Oligarchy of Bloomberg who wants a gun has one, or several, and when the pistol-waving mob comes to this fellow’s apartment I don’t think that he and his knife will last long.

A dose of reality was interjected into prepping recently when a resident of Washington State, one Peter Keller, shot his wife and daughter to death and then retreated to a heavily fortified bunker which he had spent 8 years digging into a hillside in the woods. The cops found his hole and waited him out. Then, after a 22-hour standoff, they brought in a breeching team and blew the door off his dugout. Inside were copious guns, ammo, body armor, and everything else a good prepper should accumulate. There was also the body of an apparent suicide whom the police believe is Mr. Keller. There went 8 years’ hard work in the time it took a couple of blocks of C-4 to go off.

I have nothing against prepping. I think a certain degree of preparedness is not only worthwhile, but necessary. Hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, ice storms, and Congress are facts of life that are all too real, and we must be able to deal with the havoc they wreak.

But if you have visions of accumulating tons of .223 ammo and dried corn and toughing it out by yourself after Life as We Know It ceases to exist, I suggest you watch a film called Threads, which was made by the BBC in 1984, and shows what life after a nuclear attack is bound to be like. You will not want to be around after the Big One arrives, your 5,000 rounds of 9mm ammo and food dehydrator notwithstanding.