No lib’rals and Commies in the bunker

Posted in Crazy Weapons, Extremism at 1:23 pm by George Smith

The Arizona Star published a big piece on survivalists/preppers today. It featured Tim Ralston, mentioned previously on the blog as Tim Thumb, the man who shot a big chunk of his opposable digit off in a gun accident for the worst reality tv show, ever, Doomsday Preppers.

Why feature the heevahavas?

Well, they’re local color. And for some, including Tim Thumb, training preppers has become a business in a down economy. While the logic of taking survival advice from someone known for a spectacularly stupid and painful accident with a firearm on television escapes me it has apparently worked in just the opposite manner for Ralston.

Kooks love more of the same, one supposes.

Notable for a droll tone — you have to read the bits about the zombie network survivalists, some excerpts:

There are firearms too, including handguns and a laser-sighted rifle. Because if there is one thing Ralston is sure about, people are going to get very angry very quickly when a solar storm knocks out the power grid. Or the economy collapses. Or zombies attack (though fictional, Ralston still has the perfect tool for reintroducing the undead to death).

The more people ready to face doomsday, he figures, the fewer who will come knocking at his bunker (and those of others) looking for food and water.

And that day could arrive next year, Ralston says, riding a coronal mass ejection (which is even sloppier than it sounds) that triggers an electromagnetic pulse …

Lisa Bedford considers herself a turtle in the disaster-prepping race. Slowly, steadily, the Peoria mom has amassed the food, water and equipment necessary to deal with a disaster — not the “asteroid strikes Earth” kind, necessarily, but the sort that might force the family to live on their own for weeks and months.

Bedford is a calmer survivalist, cringing when she hears of people talking about super volcanoes or nuclear attacks or melting polar ice caps and the global flooding that will result.

“It (doomsday prepping) seems to hinge on fear-mongering,” Bedford says. “At the core, I believe it’s about common sense and an awareness of what’s going on worldwide, not just in America.”

Certainly survival plays a part, and the author of “Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst-Case Scenarios” has a gun and knows how to use it.

Her fears are more down-to-earth than those buried 3 feet under in a bunker. Should economic jitters give way to strife and panic, she will be ready. And if the doomsday scenarios pitched by extreme preppers make people more apt to stockpile necessities, so be it.

“Yes, the shows are fear-mongering,” Bedford says …

There is mention that preparation mania has roots from deep in the Cold War, specifically mentioning the Cuban missile crisis. There’s not much merit to the argument. A nuclear exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union was a real possibility although the number of warheads in the arsenals made fallout shelters pointless. And everyone was in the same boat together.

For the modern preppers/survivalists, everyone is definitely not in the same boat. If there is a shared community, it is one on the extreme nuts right and most of its theology is aimed at telling stories about how all the undesirables “in the city” will need to be warded off and/or killed after a disaster. And the end-of-civilization scenarios have little basis in the real world.

This bothers one of the preppers profiled in the Arizona Star piece. It’s been his business for decades and of the current craziness:

Cody Lundin of Prescott is someone who knows well the cyclic trends of prepping.

When Lundin began preaching the value of self-reliance almost 30 years ago … he was a voice in the wilderness …

But Lundin is having a difficult time bearing all the doomsday-prepper chatter. He shakes his head at the extremism espoused by those who want to store mountains of food and an arsenal of guns in a remote bunker.

The survival at all costs ethic makes him queasy.

Reporter Scott Craven mentions Tim Thumb’s Crovel entrenching tool for beating someone’s head in as a hit with the prepper crowd.

Readers may remember it from here.


  1. User Hostile said,

    May 18, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    I recently received a ham radio license and got noble idea to volunteer for the county’s emergency organization as a radio operator.

    It went well at first. I went to a meeting and ran into a great bunch of people; they gave me a phone number as a contact for some other business I needed to know.

    So I called the guy and he gave me some information that I needed, and then I asked about the emergency organization. He told me that he wasn’t an actual member. Confused, I asked why? As you would expect, you need to have a standard criminal background check. “No big deal,” I thought. The problem occurred with respect to there requirements: that you would consent to “other means” as part of the background check. And nobody would elaborate on what “other means” entailed.

    Hmm…hmm…it all fits together…connect the dots, people. My chance to help the local community in case of a natural disaster a possible conspiracy to commit an act of terrorism!

    Well, that settled that: I’m just too dangerous to trust–thank God, they’ll have one less person manning the radios when disaster strikes and people die as a result of sans User Hostile–cuz, otherwise, the terrorist would win.

    That would be end of the story, but…a little later, I ran into my sister who spoke about a mutual acquaintance. He, too, had received a ham radio license. He’d gone to a club meeting (which I’d about joining) and discovered that a substantial minority were survivalist. As I understand it, our acquaintance wasn’t too concerned at first (he’s pretty conservative and a devout Christian, but also a live and let live kind of guy), but gradually realized that for all intents and purposes they were creepy and profoundly selfish people.

    I stuck with being a volunteer at a food-bank instead. So far as I can tell, the terrorist and survivalist are not targeting the poor and destitute in this country….

  2. George Smith said,

    May 18, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    For most of the stories in newspapers there’s always one of the prepper/survivalists saying something to the effect that people used to tell him he was nuts but then they stopped. The prepper makes the mistake of thinking they’ve come round to his or her way of thinking when what has more probably happened is that others have just given up trying to talk to them because it’s like having a conversation with an old horse shoe..