5 Things You Need to Do When There’ll Be No Rule of Law

Fergus Mason
By Fergus Mason March 29, 2017 11:05

5 Things You Need to Do When There’ll Be No Rule of Law

Mention a dystopia to most people and they’ll probably think of Nineteen Eighty-Four, the Thought Police and Big Brother. That’s understandable, because there are worrying hints of it in our own society – are ideas like no-platforming, safe spaces and misgendering really so different from wrong-thinking and thought-crime? – but there’s a different kind of dystopia that’s a lot more common. Unfortunately it’s just as scary.

The word dystopia itself just means a society that’s unpleasant or frightening. That can mean a brutal, highly centralized authoritarian state like the one ruled by Big Brother’s Party (Orwell modeled it on the Soviet Union under Stalin) – but it can also mean a society where the rule of law has broken down (WROL – without the rule of law), and that’s a lot more common in the world today. For every North Korea there are half a dozen collapsed societies like Somalia or Pakistan. And, while it’s difficult to impose a one-party state and organize things to the point where you have absolute control over what people do and even think, it’s easy for a society to collapse. A natural disaster can do it – think New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

Related: The 6 Golden Rules of Surviving Martial Law

Of course, that didn’t last; New Orleans is one city in a big, advanced country and the rule of law was quickly restored. But what if the government was weaker, or society was less stable to begin with? Or what if it isn’t one single event that causes the collapse, but years of neglect? Many countries are a disputed election or an economic crisis away from collapse – and there are even parts of the USA where the rule of law is too fragile to be taken for granted.

First Things First: Social Breakdown

If there’s one thing guaranteed to reduce a society to chaos, more or less instantly, it’s a sudden absence of cops. It doesn’t matter what kind of society it was to start with. For example, Canada is famously peaceful and friendly. What happened when the cops walked out? Nothing good:

“As a young teenager in proudly peaceable Canada during the romantic 1960s, I was a true believer in Bakunin’s anarchism. I laughed off my parents’ argument that if the government ever laid down its arms all hell would break loose. Our competing predictions were put to the test at 8:00 A.M. on October 17, 1969, when the Montreal police went on strike. By 11:20 A.M. the first bank was robbed. By noon most downtown stores had closed because of looting. Within a few more hours, taxi drivers burned down the garage of a limousine service that competed with them for airport customers, a rooftop sniper killed a provincial police officer, rioters broke into several hotels and restaurants, and a doctor slew a burglar in his suburban home. By the end of the day, six banks had been robbed, a hundred shops had been looted, twelve fires had been set, forty carloads of storefront glass had been broken, and three million dollars in property damage had been inflicted, before city authorities had to call in the army and, of course, the Mounties to restore order.”
canada dystopia

Unfortunately, police strikes are more likely than they’ve ever been, especially in the USA. Cops are under a lot of strain, and the media are against them right now. What happens if there’s an officer involved shooting, and under pressure from the media and far-left activists like BLM the officer is arrested? Is it that hard to believe the police could snap and walk out? And as soon as criminals realize the cops have gone home all hell would break loose.

In Montreal in 1969, the main problem was simple crime. Now there are political extremists to worry about, too. “Anti-fascist” protesters like Black Bloc are saying it’s acceptable to use violence against Nazis, and their definition of “Nazi” includes pretty much anyone right of Bernie Sanders. If you have a Trump 2016 bumper sticker, and suddenly the law isn’t being enforced, there are people out there who’ll take the chance to have a go at you – and your car, and your home, and maybe your family too. They’ll see this as the perfect chance to get revenge for all the imaginary wrongs you’ve done them, and maybe “redistribute” your property to “the people” – meaning themselves.

So, what can you do if law and order suddenly disappears and your area becomes a free for all?

What you can’t do is tool up and go on a mission to clear the streets of crime. There’s a good chance the law will be re-imposed at some point and people will be called to account for what they’ve done – and, as a law-abiding citizen, you’re more likely to get caught up in that net than someone from a gang or a far-left group.

What you need to do is take steps to protect yourself and everything that matters to you, but make sure that you can justify them later. That means your aim is to avoid confronting the lawless elements, but be ready to defend yourself if a confrontation is forced on you.

#1 Blend In

The first thing is try to blend in. If you and your home don’t stand out you’ll attract a lot less attention, and that can be all it takes to avoid being attacked. If there are leftist mobs rioting in the streets they’re going to focus on any home that looks like conservatives live there, so at the first hints of trouble you should do an outside check to make sure you aren’t being conspicuous. It might be tempting to make a visible show of support for the cops, president or whatever, but is that worth the risk of attracting attacks?

#2 Bug In

Another good way to avoid confrontations is to just stay at home as much as possible while the crisis is going on. This is one of the best arguments for being a prepper – you should already have the food supplies and other resources you need for this. If you don’t, now is a good time to start. There’s no point leaving it until a crisis is developing, because the stores will be full of people panic buying. Joining the last-minute shopping frenzy is actually a good way to get into trouble, because tempers will be flaring and you can expect outbreaks of violence as people fight over the last stocks of food. You’re much better off sitting that out in a well-stocked home.

The same applies to all the other essentials of life. If you already have medical supplies and plenty of ammo at home, you can fall back on those reserves and avoid the disintegrating outside world. If you have a generator and a water source you won’t need to worry about failing utilities (but keep the generator inconspicuous).

#3 Self-defense

In the worst case, though, you’re going to have to defend yourself. Don’t trust to luck on this; be prepared. Firstly, plan things out. Decide on a safe room for your family in the event of a home invasion or a riot outside. The best option for this is a room with solid walls and only one way in – a room at the end of a corridor is ideal, because you can cover the approaches. Clear the corridor of any heavy furniture that attackers can use as cover. Also try to choose a room that has one way in but an extra way out – for example a second-floor room with a rope ladder fixed below the window. If attackers set fire to your home that gives you a quick escape route.

Stay aware of what’s happening in your home. Keep the family together as much as you can, and do regular security checks to make sure windows and doors are secure – especially if you have kids.

#4 Carry A Gun At All Times

When rule of law has gone carry a firearm everywhere – even if you’re just going to the restroom. If a mob breaks down the front door you don’t have time to go pick up the handgun you left in the kitchen, so it needs to stay on your belt. If you need to go outside, carry at all times – but not openly. That will just mark you out as a target. Have a concealed handgun on you, and a long gun hidden but easily accessible in your car – under a jacket on the floor works.

Related: How to Make a Concealment Shelf

#5 Comply With The Rules

Even though the rule of law has broken down, try to keep within the rules as much as you can. That could make your life a lot easier when order is restored. If your home was attacked and you used deadly force to defend it, that shouldn’t cause you much trouble – but forming a posse and hunting down the bad guys might be a bit harder to explain.

Be Ready!

Like most disasters, civil disorder is easier to survive if you’re ready for it. For most preppers this shouldn’t be a huge challenge. Just be prepared to fall back on your own resources, keep your head down and wait it out.

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Fergus Mason
By Fergus Mason March 29, 2017 11:05
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  1. Kenneth March 29, 16:20

    Good thoughts

    Reply to this comment
  2. Lucy March 29, 17:42

    Thought provoking. It seems like keeping windows locked wouldn’t to much to deter a break-in in a WROL situation. Any suggestions besides bullet-proof glass?

    The idea that only the lefties would be wreaking havoc could catch us off guard. We have to watch out for the unexpected. Isn’t this why we value well trained police? We have to be prepared for everything we can think of.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck March 29, 18:15

      You can get a plastic film applied to your windows that makes them shatter resistant. The glass won’t break. It will crack and bend but the plastic film will adhere to the glass and keep it in place. And it is not prohibitively expensive to do. That’s the good. Now the bad.

      After my print shop was burglarized, I had it installed on my windows and doors. Two nights later the glass in the door was kicked out all around the frame. While the main portion of the glass held, the part that was next to the edge of the door did not and the burglar was able to kick all around the edge of the door until the chunk of glass could be pried out and he could get in. He got a roll of stamps and the change that I kept in the cash register. I always kept the cash register drawer open at night with the change in it. I didn’t want them to break a $1500 cash register to get $50. Most thieves are too stupid and having never worked a day in their lives, don’t have the smarts to open a cash register. Look at all the videos where they take the whole cash register because they are just too dumb to open it and walk out with the money.

      Sp what is the takeaway? If you are going to do it and you want to keep the glass from being broken away from the frame, you have to extend the film beyond the frame and under the wood or metal of the frame. That adds considerably to the cost unless you are installing new doors and windows. However, if it is your home, it will slow entry to the point that you can position yourself to physically deter the burglar when he finally gets the glass out. It is much better than just plain old window glass that will shatter with just one kick. Also if someone is shooting at your house, the glass will not shatter as it would if struck with a bullet. With the plastic film in place, the bullet will penetrate the glass, of course, but it will only make a hole the size of the bullet, it will not shatter the glass. The glass will remain in place. So for a home there is a definite advantage to having it in place. Also, if you live in an area that has hurricanes or tornados, the film helps protect against windows shattering. Another alternative is to put plywood over the windows. The drawback to that is that you can’t see out and you won’t get any light in. That’s not really a long term solution.

      Another solution is to keep lots of transparent packing tape on hand at all times. You can figure out how much you will need by measuring all of your windows and glass in your doors and deciding how much packing tape you are going to apply. Then if civilization does go south, you can apply the packing tape to the windows which will act much like the film I earlier described. I think the cost would run about the same, film or packing tape. Neither will keep out the determined invader, but will slow him down sufficiently to allow you to take up a defensive posture.

      Reply to this comment
      • Old prepper March 29, 21:16

        Hey, excellent Ideas, I wrote down about the plastic film and packing tape. I have that already, but will buy more. GOOD STUFF,,THANKS.

        Reply to this comment
      • Lucy March 31, 04:47

        This is some GOOD information, left coast chuck! Based on some hard-won, real life experience. I can do this! And I will pass it on, too.

        Thank you for making lemonade out of your lemons by sharing your knowledge with us!

        Reply to this comment
      • Security guy June 3, 17:19

        The window tint, or blast mitigation film should be at least 15 thousandths thick. And, as indicated, it should go all the way to the edge of the glass, not just to the frame. When installed, the glass, with blast mitigation film, should be sealed to the frame with either silicone sealant, or weather stripping adhesive to keep the glass from being pulled towards the center. It will also better quiet, and better insulate your interior, especially if you use “low-E” or slightly mirrored tint film.

        Reply to this comment
    • The Wiseman April 26, 14:18

      install burglar-resistant windows on the first floor (very difficult to smash). For ordinary windows, use clear plastic packing tape and criss-cross the inside of the window to prevent the glass from shattering when hit. Install outside doors of steel or solid wood with no window; use peephole.

      Reply to this comment
  3. Homesteader March 30, 02:38

    Two other things that help: live in the country and have a big dog inside the house.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck March 30, 03:08

      While a large barking dog is certainly helpful in any sort of home intrusion, living in the country per se is no protection against home invasions. If you recall the Truman Capote story about the losers that invaded the Kansas farm family’s home and murdered the whole family, they lived in about as rural an area as it can get. No, your safety lies in being prepared and alert. Making entry difficult and noisy helps in maintaining alertness. The secret to deterring burglaries and other intrusions is to make your home more difficult to enter than the one down the road. There is no building that cannot be breached given enough time and resources. Your job is to make it more difficult than it is worth.

      Reply to this comment
    • Ron March 30, 17:28

      I think inside the house with the big dog is an excellent idea because if he’s outside somebody can shoot them. Have him inside that way there burglars they don’t know where the dog is going to be or how he’s going to come at them

      Reply to this comment
      • Ron March 30, 17:30

        Another thing with the big dog outside they can be poisoned with meat or whatever

        Reply to this comment
        • But with all this said you can think you're 100% prepared but something will give but being prepared is better than not being preparedRon March 30, 17:36

          I bought a roll of film that is made for Car front ends that is 12 inches wide and that stuff is supposed to repel rocks and keep chips to a minimum that would work really well to. And it would be a lot faster applying it because it’s 12 inches wide with a couple swipes it’s on. As far as preparedness goes i’ve been reading every article from ask a prepper! Great advice and stored in bookmarks in safari! But with all this said you can think you’re 100% prepared but something will give but being prepared is better than not being prepared. I’m former military so I have plenty of training but it can be useless in some situations

          Reply to this comment
          • left coast chuck March 30, 20:28

            Somebody smarter than I once said, “The plan goes to hell the minute the first shot is fired.” I think that applies even more so to civilian efforts. Somebody else said, “A poor plan vigorously executed is far better than no plan at all.”

            Reply to this comment
          • Terressa March 3, 12:25

            You have the articles bookmarked in safari? Better back it up with a file saved to your phone. What are you going to do in the event of an EMP as well? All of these, my recipes, first aid and everything is on my phone.

            Reply to this comment
          • Lilly September 13, 01:18

            What is the type of car film is it ? as in, what terms would I use to look for it ?

            Reply to this comment
    • Mark March 31, 03:56

      Rather than living isolated X miles from civilization, live in a rural community (population less than 2K and at least 30 miles from a city). Become a part of that community. Know your neighbors. Provided that the situation has not gone so sour that starvation, disease, or some form of left/right witch hunt has hit, most small communities tend to band together in times of crisis.

      Reply to this comment
  4. Ed April 3, 01:29

    I missed the email on the type of holster belt is the best can you help me?

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck April 4, 04:55

      Ed, there are a couple of things to look for in a holster belt. One is that it should be sturdy enough to hold up your pants, the holster, the pistol and whatever else you are packing in your trouser pockets and on the belt. A good belt will have a sturdy buckle. It will be big enough to allow you to hang other stuff on it. Each time you put another piece of gear on the belt, it will need just a little more room, so you don’t want to get too short a belt. It’s always easier to add a couple more holes to tighten it than it is to add a couple more inches to make it fit you. I don’t think there is one “best” type. Of course, leather is the old standby. It is more expensive than a nylon (or whatever they are using these days that looks like it is woven plastic, polyester, polyethylene, polywhatever). That isn’t to say that a nylon belt can’t be a good belt. You’re probably going to buy a couple of belts that just don’t work quite right for you. Just like clothes. Ever buy a pair of trousers that looked good in the store and felt okay, but when you had worn them a couple of times you hung them in the closet until your wife put them in the Goodwill bag? I wish I could say “Buy El Mexico hand tooled leather belt, best belt in the world,” but the belt that is the best in the world for me just might be a closet hanger for you. Good luck.

      Reply to this comment
      • Lefty from the streets of Laredo June 3, 17:25

        Your points are well taken, if you have a waist that will hold a loaded belt up, and in place. But, if you are lucky enough to be skinny enough to not have a waist, or butt, then consider a good set of suspenders! Also, a good gun belt will have a steel band liner in the center to keep the belt from twisting or folding. The other half of the equation is your pants. Make sure they have at least six, and preferably eight belt loops, correctly positioned to hold your holster and mag pouches in place.

        Reply to this comment
        • left coast chuck July 29, 01:49

          Good points, Lefty. A suspender set I like is sold by Duluth Trading Company. It goes on like the Miami Vice shoulder holster and comes down to your belt or trousers with a single point on each side just slightly behind your front pockets. They have two styles, one is the traditional toothed clip style and the other has a clip that fits under the edge of your belt. If I am wearing the toothed clip suspenders, I wear a cheap nylon, polyester, poly whatever belt and clip the clip to the belt rather than crate holes in an expensive pair of trousers. Otherwise, if I am wearing an expensive belt, I use the one that clips under the belt. Suspenders.com has a very extensive list of suspenders (whodda guessed?) from cheap to very expensive and they are worth a look if you are in the market for suspenders.

          Reply to this comment
    • DEFENDER March 31, 23:37

      GUN BELT –
      5.11 Tactical Men’s 1.5″ Casual Leather Belt – Plainclothes Duty or Covert Operations, Style 59501
      About $60.

      Your local Police Supply Store or
      Amazon, Galls, etc.

      What I wear. It is good qual black leather but has a plastic insert inside to stiffen the belt.
      “Looks” like a regular belt.
      I carry a lot of gear, almost as much as a Cop.
      Gun, mags, light, knife, ….

      For a belt for a gun/holster you need some stiffness so it will not collapse/fold/sag etc. Nor hang-up/fold on a quick draw – if needed.

      Defensive Firearms Instr., Competition Shooter

      Reply to this comment
  5. gut-em April 21, 00:42

    the reason this is an issue is we didn’t gut- shoot the pos rioters when we should have, in the 60’s.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Kathleen Lake June 9, 16:49

    Thanks for writing the basic truths of surviving anarchy. People have a lot of delusions about what such a situation would be like for ordinary people. I am an unusual fan I think. You would probably call me a far left activist, however I am a veteran, I support good policing and my second amendment rights are just as important to me as my other right (and yours). Your measured, rational tone and lack of middle school hyperbole make you someone I will listen to.
    Too often we get bogged down with dismissing those who look like polar opposites when the truth is we have much more in common than our politically or social “opinions” might infer.
    A prepared, smart and pragmatic citizenry means that we the people will endure. I can get along fine without politicians, but none of us will survive without other Americans, no matter whether they consider themselves left or right.

    Reply to this comment
  7. left coast chuck July 29, 01:42

    Good post, Kathleen Lake. While the country is polarized, that is nothing new. We have been fighting amongst ourselves since before the ink was dry on the Constitution. There have been peaks and valleys in polarization since then. The War Between the States was probably the low point of the country. The big problem that I see is that it seems that folks can’t have a discussion without injecting demeaning slurs in the dialog. It really doesn’t add anything to a discussion to refer to holder of an opposite view as an idiot or worse. Reasonable minds can differ. That’s one reason why we have courts. While I find some positions held by liberal folk hard to justify, I am will ing to listen as long as they are. It doesn’t help the discussion if the holder of an opposing view just keeps reiterating, “That’s unreasonable. That’s unreasonable.” While it is better than, “You’re an idiot,” it isn’t much better and doesn’t lead to any kind of middle ground. I am a Jeffersonian Republican which means I am so far to the right Genghis Khan looks like a Hubert Humphrey liberal. Unfortunately for the Jeffersonian view of the Federal government, there are so few of us that we are like John the Baptist crying in the wilderness. The present president has failed to even make noise like a Jeffersonian Republican, so I don’t look for even the teeniest reform in the next four years or, God forbid, eight. I had to vote for him because the alternative was even worse yet. I hate wasting my vote on the least worst candidate, but that has seemed to be the choice over the last 24 years.

    Well, enough soap box. This is a prepper list, not a political list. I look forward to posts from you based on your life experience.

    Reply to this comment
  8. Joelster August 10, 20:27

    Newest addition to the club. Fantastic information from people who obviously are well informed and practical. I’m an Eagle Scout from way back and now I know why the motto holds true ” Be Prepared ” … Each comment I see has something to add to any specific situation, and thats priceless. Nothing we do will completely keep us from danger, but the collective opinions and thoughts from all of us who simply want to keep our families safe, not be in constant fear, and able to endure to the end, whatever may happen. Essentials are important but mental toughness is something I like to pass on. Having to be placed in a serious situation where you may have to take the life of another to defend yourself will be ( for many) the scariest thing to overcome. Fear is a useful tool that will aide you in ways that you couldn’t do before. Address it, master it, and don’t let it consume you. I’m looking forward to all shared information and am pleased that there are so many like minds out there..

    Reply to this comment
  9. Govtgirl July 14, 08:56

    Awesome and straight-forward. So glad common sense Articles like this are reprinted. This was written before I started getting the e-mails and is a good head-on-straight reminder. Thanks!

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck July 15, 01:47

      Govtgirl: Claude archives all his articles and the remarks thereto. The only problem is that if there is a search engine for the articles, I haven’t found it. You just have to plod through them article by article. You can see the topics in the green background, “All Articles” ” Survival” etc. If you click on the headings you will see a lit of the various articles. Good for passing the time while we are grounded to our homes for being naughty boys and girls.

      This particular article was good with sensible replies by readers. No wild, “Kill ’em all” kind of responses.

      Reply to this comment
  10. Salena December 6, 15:25

    And I kinda thought it would be the conservatives coming for ME

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck January 11, 21:21

      Salena: That is what has happened. Each side believes all who do not march in lock step with them has horns, cloven hooves for feet and a forked tail. That is because it is the lunatic fringe of each group that makes all the noise. The more moderate of each group have a lot more in common than they have differences. The problem is we have stopped talking to each other. We sit at home and read websites that are the lunatic fringe of our positions and don’t meet the folks in the middle who are pretty much similar to us. I would be alarmed at any lunatic group be it right wing master racers or anarchist all black lives are equal. The biggest difference I see between the two is that when a white criminal is killed by the police while committing some crime as a group we tend to think, “Good riddance to bad rubbish.”

      It seems to me the blacks have done so much to glorify crime in their efforts at entertainment that when a black criminal is killed the community instead of breathing a sign of relief that another criminal is permanently off the streets they get outraged for making their community safer.

      That’s my prospective. I know immediately there will be shouting from those who disagree. Perhaps if I heard more reasoned responses I might be able to listen better but with the shouting all I hear is the noise.

      Reply to this comment
      • Dustier February 3, 19:31

        Here it is, 2021, and it’s hardly just the far left we need to worry about, but also the far right, white supremacists, skinheads, etc. I notice all these articles focus on the left as the bad guys, but there are plentyof extremists on both ends of the spectrum. I am a left of center liberal, not an extremist, and my delicate feelings aren’t hurt by being lumped in with the far left, but let’s keep it real. There are several liberal preppers in my neighborhood. We do exist—we aren’t unicorms, y’ know! Lol

        Another good article with excellent tips. I would add one more that I just learned. If you have a door with a glass window, add a deadbolt to the door near the floor. Someone can smash the window and reach in to unlock the door, but unless the have the arms of an oragutan, s/he won’t be able to reach that lock and will have to kick the door in, giving you more time to take a stance. Anything to slow them down.

        Reply to this comment
  11. Comical Puma January 11, 16:59

    Good information. It gives you something to think about and maybe other ideas about how to do something.

    Reply to this comment
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