I certainly wouldn't call myself a survivalist; I'm nowhere near prepared enough. But I'm a bit of a survivalist enthusiast. People who can do stuff are interesting, and the skills survivalists talk about are often fascinating, so browsing their blogs is an entertaining way to pass some time.
So when Dave Black's new book, Survival Retreats, came across my desk, I gave it a flip through.
I'm no expert on survivalism, but I know guns reasonably well. Let me give you an excerpt from his section on defense and security:
Die-hard survivalists insist on the necessity for the immediate availability of weaponry for a hard response. While going without weapons certainly causes no harm and eliminates the threats of family suicides and homicides with those weapons, the absence of those weapons in an [end of the world] bedlam situation would increase the likelihood of successful victimization.
Of all the topics in the survivalism realm, armament is by far the most controversial. The mere possession of a firearm in the home enormously increases the likelihood that you or a loved one will be killed by it. While I have spent much of my life with weapons in the home and did twelve years in the military, in my seven years as a paramedic in the American West, I encountered hundreds of gunshot wounds, and by far, the majority of them were suicides. The rest were accidents or resulted from domestic disputes. None of them were defensive in nature, a fact which pretty much verifies the statistics the gun-control crowd is using...
Unless there's an imminent danger of attack, guns should be stored, unloaded, with trigger locks in place. Ammunition should be stored and locked up separately.
This, incidentally, follows immediately after he's discussed the possibility of stopping intruders with buried IEDs and booby trapped foyers that can be flooded with toxic gas.
He goes on to suggest loading your defensive shotgun with birdshot to "mitigate overpenetration", recommend the Hi-Point 9mm pistol as a practical budget option, and to say that if you insist on using "assault-type" rifles because you're drawn "like ants to sugar" by their "romantic silhouettes", then you should consider using frangible ammo.
This is before recommending the Ruger 10/22 as a ".22 caliber sniper rifle".
Flipping further on, I noticed a picture of a certain trendy handgun:
"The perfect traveling companion? The Public Defender variant of the Taurus handgun, "The Judge," is a five-shot revolver that shoots a .45 caliber round or a .410 shot shell. It's small and light, built and promoted as a concealable self-defense or home protection weapon...Loading a Public Defender with alternating .45 and WSE .410 rounds results in a formidable close-quarters personal defense weapon.
I don't have the expertise to assess his other sections on history, location selection, food and energy sustainability, and home security, which may be above reproach. I'm not in the market for a survivalist retreat, myself. But on the off chance that you are, dear reader, I'd suggest that--on the chance that Mr. Black brings the same knowledge and wisdom to those topics that he does to firearms--you may want to look elsewhere.