Apocalypse now! How hobby warriors fetishize the end of the world.

You’re headed home on Friday from work listening to another story of how political unrest is spreading throughout the country. This might be the weekend you think. You’re ready.

 

Scenario 1: You’re resting calmly in your bed in the center of your million dollar compound. You hear your perimeter alarms going off. You engage your security system. You check the camera feeds on your phone. Your weapons are stockpiled. You’ve got food for months. A solar powered generator. A collection of antibiotics. “Let’s do this.” you think to yourself.

Scenario 2: You’re sitting on your toilet scrolling through your newsfeed and you hear something falling down in your kitchen. “What was that?” you wonder. “Maybe the dog.” you think. Suddenly a guy with a revolver comes walking in. You’re stunned. “Where’s my gun?” is your last thought as you take a bullet to the head.

Scenario 3: You wake up hearing some loud noise coming from the other end of the house. You’re in a fog but you’re freaked out enough to reach for the Glock in your dresser drawer. A large masked figure walks into your room with level IV armor. Your pull the trigger. Damn, it jammed. Your wife looks over at you in horror. Bullet to the head.

Today, there exists a group of people that fantasize about the first scenario as if it’s reality when in fact that second two are much more likely.

“Giant meteor 2016!”

Really? Do you really hope a flaming ball of metal falls out of the sky and kills people instead of having to watch two divided political parties in heated debate?

Are you “prepping” for it?

Are you hoping for it?

Are you stockpiling weapons because you’re worried about “where the country is headed?”

Because you really want to live in a war stricken world for the rest of your life?

We fetishize the apocalypse. This year “The Purge: Election Year” is the highest grossing film in its franchise. Why is it so popular? Because rather than put forth the effort it takes to seek out resolution among social unrest and prioritize civility we’d rather put on an uncle sam mask and beat our opinions into our neighbors.

purge

“Point out my logical fallacy and I’ll beat you to death with a cricket bat.” “I’m a predator, not a sheep.” you think.

And no where is this more evident than in the martial arts and gun wielding communities.

We somehow think that since we have a decent double leg we’re ready for the end of the world. Two points for the takedown! Bullet to the head. That somehow because we’re modern day grapplers we’re a one-man army. “But I know some awesome inside heel hook setups!” Bullet to the head. “I was a golden gloves boxer.” Bullet to the head.

“We’re warriors.” we think. Nah, we’re hobbyists. Perhaps hobby warriors.

And so maybe you’ve taken it a step further in an effort to enhance the practicality of your skill set. I know I did. My father was pugil stick champion in the marine corps and an expert marksman. We grew up shooting anything we could. Slingshots at four years old. Pellet guns at 6. A .22 at 10. At one point I could shoot the head off of a plastic spoon at 100 yards. Am I more ready for the apocalypse? Sure, if I have the chance to set up shop, feed, cloth, and protect my family ahead of time. Not to mention what will happen to my chihuahua?

Chances are I’ll be at my office desk with some ear buds in when (missiles). And you will too.

Have you seen the data on the use of a knife vs. a gun at 20 feet? We’re not ready, no one is.

Look, I get it. My dad gave me a copy of the The Bourne Identity to read when I was a young kid. I was obsessed. Mostly with the parts about how I was going to find all the phones booths to call people but whatever. Since then I’ve wanted to be maximally prepared to protect my family. At least that’s my excuse. As fighters, grapplers, marksmen, [heck even trappers ;)] the real reason we do what we do probably has more to do with some innate and instinctual desire to control and dominate others of our species. We just happen to have a pragmatic excuse to do so.

Sure, competing, grappling, boxing, target practice can all help simulate a scenario in which we can assert our right to exist as the dominate forms of Homo sapien sapiens. Hopefully you’ll be an outlier that stops a robbery or shooting. Hopefully we’re in a situation where we’re more prepared than our attackers. But are you ready? Do you understand the anatomy of the rooms in your house? Have you rehearsed how to react to a forced entry? Do you know that these are ideal versions of these scenarios?

Let’s stop acting like we want the end of the world to come.

Sure you’re ready for a bar fight, as long as the guy doesn’t have a pencil to stab you with.

Take those canned vegetables and give them to the needy. Share your antibiotics with your friends. When someone asks you why you have all those guns tell them the truth:

“Because for some reason I don’t understand, I like them.”

or

“I’m a poor negotiator.”

Seek resolution. Engage in meaningful discussion. Let the knowledge of your expertise keep you humble.

Because if Shit Really Hits the Fan…… You’re probably on the shitter. And you’re probably dead.

 

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