Staying safe during civil unrest

In the light of the Berkeley riots last weekend, and ongoing demonstrations and civil unrest surrounding President Trump’s election, policies and agenda, it’s good to remind ourselves of the basics of personal and family safety in such an environment.  Bearing Arms has published a useful list titled “15 Actionable Tips for Staying Safe During Times of Civil Unrest“.  Here’s a sample.

2.  Situational awareness: Always know what’s going on around you. Always. At the grocery store, at red lights, in your driveway, when you’re out in public, in a parking lot, at the ATM, anywhere. If you see something that looks odd, stay away. If you see some people who look like they’re planning something or up to no good, you’re probably right. Walk proud, keep your head on a swivel, and don’t look like a victim (more on that below). Lock your car doors. Pull your head out of your app, and know who is around you. More on that here.

. . .

6.  Know that you ARE NOT safe: These rioters who trash their own cities and attack women? They ARE NOT like you. The Antifa thugs, Communists, and far-left progressives don’t like people like you. They hate freedom. They don’t care if children get hurt, or if you’re with your family; so don’t try to reason with them, because it won’t work. They are not rational, so don’t expect any favors. Valueless people act in valueless ways, and you could be shown no mercy. Know your enemy.

. . .

8.  Don’t wait for the police: If things are out of control, don’t expect the police or military to save you. You need to protect yourself and your family. In riots like we’ve seen recently, the police don’t know who the good guys are and who the bad ones are at first glance. And, oftentimes, they can’t get to you anyways. You need to take action because the police may be overwhelmed and have no way to immediately help you.

There’s much more at the link.  Useful and recommended reading.

I’d add to that John Farnam’s timeless advice, which we’ve cited in these pages several times before.

The best way to handle any potentially injurious encounter is: Don’t be there. Arrange to be somewhere else. Don’t go to stupid places. Don’t associate with stupid people. Don’t do stupid things. This is the advice I give to all students of defensive firearms. Winning a gunfight, or any other potentially injurious encounter, is financially and emotionally burdensome. The aftermath will become your full-time job for weeks or months afterward, and you will quickly grow weary of writing checks to lawyer(s). It is, of course, better than being dead or suffering a permanently disfiguring or disabling injury, but the “penalty” for successfully fighting for your life is still formidable.

Crowds of any kind, particularly those with an agenda, such as political rallies, demonstrations, picket lines, etc are good examples of “stupid places.” Any crowd with a high collective energy level harbors potential catastrophe. To a lesser degree, bank buildings, hospital emergency rooms, airports, government buildings, and bars (particularly crowded ones) fall into the same category. All should be avoided. When they can’t be avoided, we should make it a practice to spend only the minimum time necessary there and then quickly get out.

“A superior gunman is best defined as one who uses his superior judgment in order to keep himself out of situations that would require the use of his superior skills.”


Greg Ellifritz also has some useful advice, which confirms everything above and offers a different perspective.  It’s worth reading.

Read all those articles and sources, think about it, and make plans before you have to go into places where you might run into these moonbat thugs . . . then act accordingly.



  1. One you forgot, it is close to agenda. Moonbeams and snowflakes are usually not violent. Teabaggers and pigeons are. But there are not good guy groups, that infiltrate and carry out agendas. Usually stay to the outside or have a good friends all over town, can help you find someplace to slip out of the way.

  2. My only quibble with that list is #6: "They don’t care if children get hurt." They want innocent people to be hurt. I remember overhearing a conversation that took place during the riots in the 1960s between my late stepfather, then a senior staff member at U.C. Berkeley, and the then Chief of Police of Berkeley, who was a neighbor. (The police response in the neighborhood was really, really good at the time, and nobody complained about the noise when the Chief's bloodhounds were baying at the moon, or raccoons, or whatever.)

    Anyway, he described the way the violent cadres would put kids in the front lines and even arm them with rocks (intifada, anyone?) to create victims for the cameras. If cops got hurt, great! If armed kids got hurt, great! it made the cops look bad. And if innocent people got hurt, it intimidated them.

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