Camping & Survival

Guest Post: Commander Zero on Preparedness and the “Blood In The Streets Scenario”

In recent months we’ve seen a surge in people preparing for… something. Preparedness is all fine and good, but what are we preparing for? Many talk about “blood in the streets” and the need to stock up on ammunition and firearm components, but how likely is that scenario? Commander Zero of the Notes From The Bunker blog wrote recently about this and more, and is our guest blogger this week. Here’s his take.

I finally got back my copy of “One Second After” the other day, but not before lack of new reading material got me thumbing through a copy of “Lucifer’s Hammer”. (And if theres a difference between the last two thirds of both of those books, I cant see it.) Books like that make a person wonder what the end of the world will actually look like. I’m probably the most optimistic survivalist you’ll ever meet. Of course, at the same time I hedge my bets. Someone was saying to me the other day that they were talking to someone who firmly and passionately believed that, by Crom, it was all going to come to a head by December and there’d be blood in the streets. Who knows? We all have beliefs that other people may think are ludicrous but make perfect sense to us. Space aliens, global warming, religion, conspiracy theories, etc, etc….you name it and someone somewhere believes in it with the same conviction they have that the sun will come up tomorrow. (Although, to be sure, there’s probably a few folks around who will happily take money against that.) Do I really, genuinely, honestly believe that there will be some huge Bosnia-esque civil war with armband-wearing factions running around with stolen military weaponry leading a great revolution against [insert nefarious cause/organization/person here]? No, I do not. I would sooner believe that a comet will hit the Pacific Ocean and wipe out California than believe that you would get a coast-to-coast widescale shooting war in this country. Why? Well, for one thing, by and large, most Americans are simply too lazy. We have our houses, our cars, our mortgages and our jobs…to risk all that you would have to genuinely believe that not only is your cause a righteous one but that it’s a winnable one. While there are certainly plenty of people who probably do believe they could foment a successful armed revolution in this country I think its extremely unlikely that there are enough of them to amount to anything bigger than a Shay’s Rebellion type of scenario. Armed uprising? In all states? With tens of thousands of armed citizens willing to throw away everything they’ve worked for in their lives and face the rest of their lives in jail if they don’t succeed? Nope…not seeing it. (Because, unlike Shays Rebellion, there ain’t gonna be any amnesty.) Sure, there are plenty of people in this community with sig lines that say things like “vote from the rooftops” or “Soap box, ballot box, cartridge box…in that order” and other pithy bumper sticker slogans. And some of them may mean it quite seriously. But are there enough people who genuinely believe that to pick up a rifle, kiss the wife goodbye, march off to wherever, and join some partisan army of thousands who think the same way? I doubt it very much. It’s happened in other countries, to be sure, but the motivation…the catalyst…for those incidents was much more pronounced than whatever affront we currently feel we are being forced to face. Quite simply, things are not bad enough to really make huge numbers of people want to sacrifice everything they have in their life at this point and in that manner.

Keep in mind, though, I’m talking about a nationwide type of insurrection (or revolution or civil war or whatever you want to call it). On a local, smaller level…well, that’s a completely different story. Smaller venue, smaller forces. Still awfully unlikely though. And there’s still the usual race/class riots but, again, that’s usually quite localized.

No, I think that when the big event(s) take place it’ll be something, anything, other than some enormous citizen uprising that tries to ‘restore’ or ‘replace’ the current government. Earthquakes, hurricanes, riots, depression, hamthrax, economic collapse, terrorist nukes, etc. all seem far more likely than some sort of replay of the Revolutionary War. As an aside, it is interesting to note that while we think of the American revolution as something that swept up everyone in a united cause against the British the facts are that while there were Loyalists and there were those wanting independence there were far, far more who simply just wanted to live their lives, which were already difficult enough, without buying more trouble. I suspect that’s quite true today.

Where do I sit on that? Well, I’m all for ‘reforming’ or changing a few faces in the .gov and there are plenty of ways to do that that don’t involve marshalling an army. It’s a lot easier to put together $100k for opposition campaigning and a good smear job than it is to put together $100k for munitions and remote operating bases. Heck, we’ve just seen that a guy with a radio show can get people punted out of national-level positions…that’s a lot easier than convincing 500 people to run off into the woods and sacrifice their lives for a cause they cant be certain they’ll win. At this point, I’d say that money and media will change government faster and more effectively than any armed insurrection will.

So will it all come to a head by December as this fella opined? Maybe, but not in the form of revolution or armed uprising. Maybe in December the bottom will fall out of the stock market and we will enter a depression, maybe we all get hamthrax and die, maybe an earthquake turns Nevada into oceanfront property. What I will guarantee will not happen is a parade of armed citizenry marching down the boulevards banging drums and waving banners urging people to enlist and ‘take back’ their country by force.

I think by December you’re just going to see more of the same of whats going on right now…political shenanigans, economic gloom, unemployment and blame games.

Commander Zero makes his home in Montana with his wife where he is an active member in the preparedness community. You can visit his blog at

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