The riots in Ferguson, MO may have died down for now, but they leave a lasting memory that serves to once again proven how fragile society is and how many problems can be caused by violent looters. All it takes is one police shooting, one jury verdict, one natural disaster. A town can melt down into utter chaos and look like a scene you’d expect to see in Iraq or Afghanistan.
And remember, it doesn’t matter where you live in the U.S., every town is susceptible. This is why you need to know how to survive. Especially when you’re surviving social unrest and protestors begin lobbing Molotov cocktails left and right and looting run rampant.
The fact is, looters and violent protestors are so dangerous. They’re not a group of human beings who you can deal with rationally. Clearly, if people were rational – use Ferguson, MO as an example – they would wait for the facts to come out before destroying buildings and robbing small business owners of their life’s work.
Hopefully, you can agree that if Michael Brown had his hands up and was not a threat to the officer but was shot six times anyway, then that would be murder and the officer should go to jail. On the other hand, if the officer’s account of the situation is true that Michael Brown was fighting with him and trying to take his gun, then the officer was correct in shooting Michael Brown and deadly force was justified.
The facts will eventually come out but the damage is already there. Ferguson and many people were injured as a result. The world can get more out of control. So here’s what you need to do to keep yourself safe if you suddenly discover your town in a civil disturbance and has become the next Ferguson, MO:
How To Deal With Looters
1. Control Your Emotions
Unlike the looters, you need to have self-discipline and be able to control your emotions in a civil unrest. If you’re walking down the street and you see guys running out of Best Buy with TVs in their arms, just keep moving. Don’t stop and lecture them or yell at them or try and stop them. Yes, looters are low-lifes but now is not the time to give them a lesson on the Ten Commandments.
2. Blend in With the Enemy
If you have to make your way through town, you want to blend in with the protestors or looters. If they’re holding a sign that says, “Death to Police”, then you better start chanting that too or grab a sign of your own. The worst thing you can do is to let them know you’re not on their side. This can easily make 100 angry protestors turn on you.
3. Do Not Go Out at Night
I once heard a wise man say, “nothing good happens after midnight.” When it’s dark out, people tend to become more out of control. They think they can get away with more violent behavior. Unless it’s an emergency, don’t leave your home if your city is in the midst of chaos.
4. Always Have Your Gear on You
Since you never know when a city is going to erupt, you always need to have certain gear on you. For instance, I always carry concealed. A few of the different guns you might find me carrying are a Ruger LCP, Glock 19, Smith & Wesson M&P, Sig P226 or Sig P250. If I had to leave my house while looting was taking place I’d have a gun on my hips, such as the Glock 19, a gun in my pocket, such as the Ruger LCP, and a gun on my ankle, such as the Glock 26.
In addition to guns, I always have a knife on me, usually, a Benchmade clipped to my pants pocket or a TOPS Knife clipped to my belt. I also carry a tactical pen on me at all times. A tactical pen is one of my favorite weapons because I can bring it virtually anywhere. And since it’s a pen, it doesn’t draw much attention.
Other gear that I carry with me includes paracord, a lock pick set, bobby pins, a credit card folding knife, a hair barrette, a handcuff key, and $300 in cash with one $100 bill.
5. Watch the Flow
If you’re walking around in the streets and run into a mob of several hundred people, never try to walk through them and go against the flow of traffic. First, you’ll draw a lot of attention to yourself (remember, blend in) and second, you’ll likely get trampled. Simply go with the flow of the mob and have patience. You might have to delay your plans to get to your destination. Though your life is far too valuable not to have patience and take your time.
6. Stay Away From the Leader
Every mob has a leader who others follow. You can find him usually at the front of the pack. This person is the most vocal and draws the most attention to himself. If this leader starts fighting with police, others will follow… if this leader starts hurling rocks, others will follow… if this leader decides to smash a storefront window and start looting, others will follow. The area around this mob leader is very dangerous. You don’t want yourself or your family anywhere around this person. Once you identify this leader keep your distance and stay near less violent and less volatile individuals.
7. Be Prepared to Ruthlessly Fight Back
By following the first six tips above, you’ll hopefully be able to keep yourself safe and won’t ever have to defend yourself against a mob. However, because a mob of looters is such an unpredictable group, anything can happen at a moment’s notice.
Check out this video by epicfailthis about a flash mob in Washington DC:
If somehow the mob turns against you, prepare to strike back quickly and ruthlessly. If you hesitate at all it may cost you your life. A good book to read on this subject is Principles of Personal Defense by Colonel Jeff Cooper.
In addition to reading, you also need to train. You need to take a defensive pistol course. Practice your draw so you can get your gun out lightning fast. You also need to learn some hand to hand combat moves and some knife defense. This way you’re ready if you’re put to the ultimate test.
The bottom line is, I hope your city never turns into a Ferguson, MO where they throw the rule of law out the door and people are having a free for all. But, if it does, following the above tips will keep you and your family safer.
Think you can survive a mob of looters given the situation? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Up Next: 10 Riot Survival Tips for Patriots
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on September 17, 2014, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.