Thursday, 27 August 2015

07:56 – Many of the alternative news sites are claiming that the shootings in Virginia yesterday are identical to the Charleston church shootings a couple of months ago, a racist shooter killing people of another race and then posting a long racist manifesto. The white shooter in Charleston was described by MSM reports as a white racist targeting innocent black people simply because they were black, which is an accurate summary. The black shooter in Virginia was described by MSM reports as a troubled man who targeted former co-workers in an incident of workplace violence, and then posted a long racist manifesto. The implication is that the Virginia murders were not racially motivated, or at least not exclusively so, and that while the Charleston shooter was an evil racist, the Virginia shooter was merely mentally ill. There’s a kernel of truth in that, because the Virginia shooter didn’t go out and shoot up a bunch of random white people but instead targeted two specific white people who were known to him. But the effect is the same, regardless of the two shooters’ specific motivations. Charleston gave ordinary black people yet another reason to mistrust whites; Virginia gave ordinary white people yet another reason to mistrust blacks. As if either group needed that.

I received the following email from a long-time reader, and am posting it with his permission. I think it provides a valuable perspective on prepping.

Hello Bob!

If you are willing to share, I would love a copy of chapter one of you next book. I think your openness about your writing process, in addition to the work you do in general, is one of the things I admire about what you do.

I am slowly working at building my stocks of useful supplies, food, weapons, medicine, etc. It has been on my list for several years now.

My life took a serious slide sideways five years ago, when my wife, Karen, was diagnosed with breast cancer. She passed away a few months ago, at 48 years old. I am rebuilding everything, almost from scratch, with a new house and what we had in storage. At the end of 2011 we sold our home and eventually moved into my sister’s house to afford medical expenses. About the only thing I gained from the last year Karen spent in hospice care were the medical supplies. I have bandages and medicines by the crate full.

I am sharing this, not for sympathy, but as an anecdote on how preparedness can help, even when disaster is limited to immediate family. It is a bit of a ramble. My apologies.

A few months before Karen was diagnosed with cancer, I was explaining to my daughter, then about ten years old, how even though we have a nice home and I have a good job, there is no guarantee that will always be true. We could lose the home suddenly, and may need to live in a way very different than before to survive. It turned out that we did.

Preparedness is not just about what you have in the cupboards. It is also communicating with your family, your dependents, about what could happen, and what you might do about it. It may not be a written plan, but a form of awareness and expectations. It is about being able to have reasoned discussions about possibilities, and not get stuck in a “this could never happen to us” frame of mind, thereby denying conversation. I avoided unsustainable debts, and now that our circumstances have changed, I am able to afford a home again. That took awareness and planning, and a family that realistically accepted the situation. There were tears and complaints, but no denial. We could always discuss issues freely, and make reasoned choices, even when we had no certainty on what might happen in a week or even the next day.

I’ll leave out my gripes about health care insurance.

Interestingly, my daughter, soon to be sixteen, is now fully onboard with “prepping”. She told me yesterday she is interested in being more comfortable with different guns and how to be a better shot. She already has basic self-defense skills, and various martial-arts weapons, which is nice. She also likes that we are building our food stocks and even suggested we have a practice weekend using only stored supplies. This was not from direct prompting by me, but her realization that it makes sense should the world change around her. I think our experience was a lesson, and she learned from it. Another good thing, I guess, to come from an unpleasant time.

I am also hoping I can un-pack my lab gear soon, which I mothballed. Cancer sucks.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and for doing what you do. It is inspiring.