Owning a Gun Makes You Safer and a Better Survivor

By Suzanne Wiley

Gun confiscation…

Impeachment…

Economic crash…

A second civil or revolutionary war?

We don’t know what’s in store for our country but if you ask certain people, they’ll assure you we’re headed straight for serious disaster. Regardless of what type of disaster is on the horizon, there is no better tool to face impending doom than a firearm. We’ve been using firearms to survive since 1354—in war, for safety and to hunt for food.

Guns liberated us. Without them, we wouldn’t be free.

Guns are the one equalizer between a bad person intent on doing harm and a woman.
…the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Today, choosing to own a firearm isn’t much different than the days of our Founding Fathers. Being a gun owner means you have taken steps to be self-reliant. It takes responsibility to own a firearm and vigilance is a personality trait gun owners either have before owning a gun or quickly develop after their first purchase.

A huge part of the responsibility of owning a firearm for personal protection is identifying threats and responding not only quickly and decisively, but appropriately. Therefore, gun owners recognize that at any time, they may have to use their firearm in a self-defense situation. We don’t have the apathetic, “it won’t happen to me” mentality like so many other people. In fact, researches find that after natural disasters, survivors report being unprepared because they didn’t believe they would be the victim of a disaster or seriously underestimated the disaster’s severity.

Step 1 Recognition

Part of owning a gun is learning how to identify threats and respond appropriately.
Part of owning a gun is learning how to identify threats and respond appropriately.

Recognizing that something bad could happen to you and being ready for it is step 1 in mitigating an emergency. Good for you, as you are already on your way to surviving an emergency!

Step 2 Self-Efficacy

Over 60% of gun owners report that keeping a gun in the house makes them safer. The feeling of security breeds confidence and confidence breeds control. Those who feel in control are more likely to respond appropriately during an emergency. Mental preparedness produces less anxiety and less fear. People who master these self-efficacy-like behaviors are who experts and psychologists say do best during a disaster.

Step 3 Situational Awareness

Self-defense minded people are aware of their surroundings.
Self-defense minded people are aware of their surroundings.

Gun owners feel a strong sense of personal responsibility, not only for themselves but for their friends, families and in many cases, the lives of all innocent people. People who own guns, especially those who carry regularly, tend to have a heightened sense of situational awareness than those who do not own guns.

Step 4 Building a Survival Kit

You’ve already nailed the first step in preparedness—building the right mindset! As a gun owner you have made the mindful decision to stay alive. Good for you. Now, let’s get to work on the other important stuff.

How to Build a 72-Hour Emergency Survival Kit

A bug-out bag includes water, food and tools to survive a disaster.
A bug-out bag includes water, food and tools to survive a disaster.

A 72-hour emergency survival kit, bug-out-bag or go-bag, whatever you want to call it, is everything you need to survive a disaster or emergency for the first 72-hours—3 days is the minimal amount of time we suggest you prep for. Many experts recommend storing enough supplies, like food and water, to last a week.  

How to Make a Survival Kit

You will need:

  • Water

For drinking and basic sanitation, (bathing, brushing your teeth, cooking, flushing, washing up, laundry, etc.) you will need more water than you think. The standard is one gallon of water per person per day, but this is for the very minimal uses of water.

  • Non-perishable food items

These are food items that do not require refrigeration. Also, do not include boxes of food that require extra refrigerated ingredients to prepare like milk, butter, sour cream, mayo or cheese. Comfort foods like macaroni and cheese are helpful during high-stress times. Freeze-dried food companies like Wise and Mountain House have many familiar foods which require only water to prepare.

  • Appropriate clothing (pack for the weather and include sturdy shoes that lace up)
  • Flashlight/lantern/headlamp
  • Batteries
  • Shelter/bedding
  • First-aid supplies
  • Prescription and OTC medications
  • Toiletries
  • Cooking utensils (metal cups, plates, and pots, can opener, spoon, spatula)
  • Fire starter
  • Repair kit (duct tape, paracord, needle/thread)
  • Tools (multi-tool, survival knife, folding knife, pliers)
  • Signaling device (whistle, mirror)
  • Camp stove or another alternative way to cook/heat up food (Don’t forget the propane!)
  • Copies of important paperwork—marriage/birth/death certificates, social security cards, insurance, driver’s license
  • Cash
  • Gas container
  • Garbage bags
  • Toilet paper
  • Gun cases, cleaning supplies and ammo
A first-aid kit is an essential piece of gear for your survival kit.
A first-aid kit is an essential piece of gear for your survival kit.

The Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act of 2006 prohibits anyone from confiscating your firearms during a disaster. Make sure you keep them holstered or cased when transporting and have enough oil and cleaner to keep them maintained.

Depending on the emergency, you might have to get out of Dodge, or you’ll have to shelter in place. Some like to have a few survival kits—at-home kit, bug-out bag (BOB) and an emergency vehicle kit. Of course, you will be able to fit more items in your bug-in survival kit if you remain in your home. Adapting your kit to a backpack means you will want to add a water filtering system and water sanitizing tablets. It is always good to keep a hammer, nails and boards handy in case you must board up your windows.

Gun owners make better survivors—we are just inherently better prepared for what life throws at us. If you aren’t already preparing for a natural or man-made disaster, then now is the perfect time to do it!

Do you have a bug-out bag? Tell us what is in your survival kit in the comment section.