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Preparing to Survive Riots, Terrorist Attacks, or a Civil War

Of all of the “worst case” possibilities that we prepare for, near the top of my “most dreaded” list is a second civil war.  This falls in the category of a “highly unlikely, but profoundly inimical if it were to occur.”  In this essay, I will discuss a full spectrum of threats, including contingency preparations for surviving riots, terrorist attacks, or a civil war.

I believe that the United States has entered a period of great instability, born of political divisiveness. The sharp differences between liberals and conservatives are now profoundly felt.  Virtually every topic and issue has become heavily politicized. This polarization seems to have grown worse with every month since Barrack Hussein Obama (BHO) took office. And the divide has grown even more pronounced under the administration of Donald John Trump (DJT). The mass media simply loathes Trump. They are doing their best to foment or even fabricate a crisis that could be used as an excuse to see DJT impeached.

The Bard of the American Redoubt, Alex Barron, noted that some leftists have dubbed the current era a Cold Civil War. In fact, they did so quite soon after President DJT took office. The question is, will their Cold Civil War ever turn Hot?

Those sentiments are shared by legendary investor Doug Casey. In a recent interview, referring to prospects of a second civil war, he said:  “I think, as I’ve thought for a long time, that we’re heading for a disaster of genuinely historic proportions.”

Troubles Of Our Own?

The situation that develops in the next few years will most likely be characterized by riots and isolated terrorist attacks. The Antifa crowd may be the key instigators. But there is a small chance that it could morph into an outright civil war. And unlike the Civil War of the 1860s, this one would not have sharp geographic dividing lines. It will not be a war between States. Rather, it will be a war between World Views. As I view it, one world view is essentially Biblical and freedom-loving, while the other world view is Secular/Statist/Socialist/Globalist.

With no sharp dividing lines, a 21st Century civil war in America would be a very messy conflict.

In a recent interview on Radio Free Redoubt, I posited two parallels for a near-future American civil war:

  • First, a similarity to the domestic terrorism in the U.S. of the late 1960s and early 1970s. I’ve already discussed this in SurvivalBlog, so I won’t repeat it here. (See: The Antifa Threat Spiral: Some Safe Predictions on the Coming Unsafe Era.)
  • Second, a similarity in the level of violence and profound ambiguity of The Troubles in Northern Ireland, in the 1970s.  In The Troubles, there were lots of double agents, uncertain allegiances, large scale infiltrations, wiretappings, false flag attacks, internecine fighting, kneecappings (mostly of alleged informants or collaborators), bribed (or extorted) officials, conveniently “missing” police department guns, “missing” explosives, arms smuggling operations, and robberies. All of that was in addition to the expected riots, bombings, kidnappings, assassinations, sniper attacks, and arson attacks of a modern  civil war.
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Not surprisingly, the Irish “civil” guerilla war reached all the way to London and Boston. And although officially “disarmed”, some of the IRA old-timers are still at it. In my estimation that war isn’t truly over. It is just enjoying a Half Time celebration, sans the leggy cheerleaders. Oh wait, they’ve got those.


What We Might See

If a “hot” civil war breaks out in the United States then the initial battle grounds will probably be on city streets. These will be Protests on Steroids.  The fighting will not be just with batons, rocks, and pepper spray. At some point the street brawls will evolve into gunfights.

We are also likely to see a larger number of mass shootings of soft (disarmed) targets. Schools, amusement parks, public memorial sites, churches, synagogues, and any public events that have security searches of hand baggage will all be targets. (Commonly called Second Amendment Free Zones.) Public meetings of any churches or civic groups that espouse conservative, libertarian, or nationalist positions are probably at the top of the potential list of targets.

The other likely development is of domestic kidnapping teams and hit squads.  So… If you are a high profile individual, take note!  You may end up on their target lists, even if you don’t live in a coastal state. take appropriate security precautions. Do a web search on: Executive Protection. Think it all through.  Forewarned is forearmed.


Study Up, Stock Up, Team Up, Train Up

Regardless of the potential range of severity or likelihood of riots, terrorist attacks, or a future civil war, it is wise to prepare. There are many existential threats. As I’ve written before, it is wise to Study Up, Stock Up, Team Up, and Train Up. The same preparations that you make for an economic collapse will look a lot like preps for a surviving a civil war. Think in terms of: Location, Logistics, Training, Communications, and Force Multipliers. The SurvivalBlog archives are replete with useful knowledge on all of those. Dive in deep and take full advantage of those educational resources.


Pick Your Fights Wisely

The risk of a second civil war is low. But if it does come then its implications would be huge. Be ready. But also be ready to make big decisions. First and foremost, unless you want to willingly put yourself and your family in the line of fire, then relocate. Where? To a lightly-populated region that is well-removed from major cities. (Does that sound familiar?) Every adult has to know how to pick their fights. For those with families, we have to recognize that our first and foremost responsibility is to protect those that we love. But beyond that initial binary decision, the big decisions become very difficult. Should you be an active participant? In a support role, such as medical or safe house provider? A financial supporter? An armorer, or logistician? Or should you even involved at all? As an example, look at the choice made by my fictional character Ben Fielding, in my novel Founders.  Such big decisions are sometimes simultaneously both simple and complex. And, of course, you must follow what you know to be right. In the emotional heat, never let anyone convince you to do something that you know is wrong.

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An Instructive Precedent From Lore

I’ll round out this essay with a bit of Rawles family history that dates back to the War Between The States. California was officially a Union state, but  unofficially it was neutral in the Civil War. There was no draft there, and the fledgling state was essentially just an observer to the nasty conflict between the eastern states. Its main role was simply in supplying gold to finance the Union. There was plenty of northerner/southerner animosity, but very little outright conflict in California during the Unpleasantness. Along with his parents, my great-great uncle, Joseph William Rawles had relocated from Missouri to Illinois and then to California in 1856, settling safely in Mendocino County, California. There, they established a large horse and sheep ranch. When news of the outbreak of the Civil War reached California, Joseph, who was then 19 years old, decided to return to Missouri, to enlist in the Union Army. Already an accomplished civilian horseman and marksman, he joined a Missouri cavalry unit, initially riding the same horse that he’d ridden from California.

At the end of the Civil War, Joseph Rawles made his way back out west, a changed man. He was by then in possession of two Colt’s revolvers, a Henry repeating rifle, and what could best be termed “special skills.” Family members later recalled that he was “…a wonderful quick shot with a pistol.” En route to California, he got into a shooting affray in the mining camp town of Silver City, Idaho. There, he was forced to shoot a man named Sim Oldham, in self defense. Fearing that he couldn’t get a fair trial, he fled the camp in the dead of night. After returning to California, Joseph Rawles used some of his 1860s-vintage “Operator” skills and became an armed stagecoach driver. He died a few years later, when he was bushwhacked in Cloverdale, California by a stagecoach robber named Joseph Gibbons. Ironically, Gibbons was a relative of Rawles, by marriage. (He was an in-law outlaw.) But that is another story.


The important lesson from the foregoing traverse into family lore is that actively participating a civil war can be optional, at least for some men. Even if you survive it, it is sure to change you, and not necessarily for the better. Civil war is never pretty. We need to be honest with ourselves about our ability to be combatants versus support troops, or just financial or logistic supporters. Please pray about being on the right side of history. But again, pick your fights wisely.  – JWR



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