The Zombie Apocalypse, Part 1: Are You Ready?

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Why Zombies, and Why Now?

Jonathan Glazer, 3 July 2015

If you are questioning the need for a zombie themed discussion, you are not alone.  After all, isn’t it a bit late for something like this?  I have a picture of me killing a zombie in Gerber’s booth at the SHOT show a few years ago.  Clearly the zombie trend is not exactly cutting edge.  Perhaps this should have happened shortly before Hornady released their Z Max ammunition.

My response is that now is the perfect time for us to talk about zombies.  Recreational shooting has taken a beating in the wake of the tragedy in Connecticut.  People who were once proud to sport firearm themed attire are currently running scared and feeling outgunned in the public arena.  The threat of punitive legislation lingers in the air with the possibility that many things we previously took for granted might become contraband.  While guns can and have been used for evil, they also have been used for good.  Many people are walking around today in perfect health because they or a member of their family used a firearm as a tool for defense.  The exact number of people still alive due to the defensive use of guns can never be accurately calculated, but they know who they are.   The end result of any further anti gun legislation will be a reduced ability to defend oneself as well as their family members and loved ones.  

Zombies are an analogue to any threat to civilization and the public order.  The Centers for Disease Control put out information including a comic book which described what should be done to prepare for a zombie outbreak.  Their cogent reasoning was that if you are prepared for a zombie outbreak, you are prepared for anything.  Interestingly, firearms were not items on the list of emergency items which they suggested should be assembled.  The CDC leaves that decision up to the individual.  I know people that believe whole heartedly that zombies are real and there will someday be an outbreak of whatever it is that makes them zombies.  Several of these people are police officers.  Take from that piece of information what you think is useful.  I also know a lot of people who are survivalists and use the zombie threat as a unifying concept along the lines of what the CDC espouses.  Living the destruction zone of Hurricane Sandy, I saw first hand how thin the line of civility can be.  It was during that time that many normally anti gun friends asked me to borrow a firearm for protection.  They didn’t like the answer I gave them.  My point is that if you are concerned about a civil breakdown brought about by windstorm, earthquake, cyberhacking, tsunami, economic collapse or the flesh eating undead, your preparations should be the same.

I have been told by some that preparing for a zombie apocalypse is different because zombies do not shoot back at you.  You wouldn’t need body armor, for instance.  I disagree.  Even in the dystopia following a zombie apocalypse, the biggest single threat is from other humans of the living variety.  This is borne out by all of the zombie literature including The Walking Dead, Dawn of the Dead and any of the other popular stories from the genre.  Whether it is carnivorous former humans or another major threat to humanity, you will most likely have more to fear from the other remaining homo sapiens that you will encounter.

Now that I have answered the why, I would like to address the what.  This will be a column about how to survive the zombie hordes using which items and tactics.  It will not be a product showcase.  The gun rags do a fine job of that.  As far as I am concerned, a zombie couldn’t care less if it was a Daniel Defense AR or one made by Colt that launched a 55 grain hollowpoint bullet into its brain.  For that matter, it wouldn’t matter to the zed whether Hornady or Winchester made that bullet.  There are more important controversies to settle, such as fast zombies vs. slow zombies or caliber choices or even the use of edged weapons instead of firearms.  All these are fodder for the continued discussion of surviving a zombie outbreak.

Are you prepared?


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One Response to The Zombie Apocalypse, Part 1: Are You Ready?

  1. Greg M says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing how this develops! I’m glad you mentioned that “zombie” can mean any kind of destruction event, especially considering how people behaved at gas stations and home depot. Preparedness is key!

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