Re-Post: The Importance Of The Right Label

While talking with a guy the other day, he became adamant about not calling himself a “Survivalist” because he thought the title had been sullied. He thought it was more important to say he was part of a “militia” since as he put it, “It’s authorized by the Constitution.”. I had to spell out for him that the “militia” has no more authority or allowance by the feds than an Neighborhood Protection Team (NPT) or a Survivalist group, and suggested he do some research before we continued the conversation. I also pointed out that the term “militia” has been turned into a term of disdain by many, due to the media spin and a few asshats that made a name for themselves, and not a good one. Here’s what I’ve written about labeling yourself and why it’s important to be honest about it. Flowery politically correct labels won’t save you or make you more palatable to the masses. The media has seen to that.

5 August, 2014


As a Kid of 12, I had already labeled myself a “Survivalist”. I watched “The Day After” and knew I had to learn how to survive such a catostrophic event.  I had a desire to learn all I could about every facet of self sufficiency, whether It was fighting the Ruskies (Ala, “Red Dawn”) with small unit tactics, and running a highly efficient combat rifle, or gardening, and hydroponics. My first issue of a survival magazine, did nothing but wet my appetite to fulfill these desires. Here’s a pic of that first issue (yes, I still have it, ask Mosby)


The term “Survivalist” became a term that was used, abused and distorted by liberals and their minions in the 80’s, and was used anytime a group with nefarious intentions (neo nazi’s, etc.) was in the news. I remember watching a 20/20 segment on “Survivalists”, and even though some of it was OK, the majority was misleading at best, and an outright lie at worst.

Enter the 90’s, where we had situations involving Ruby Ridge/the Weavers, Waco, and Oklahoma City, and the term “Militia” started to overtake the “Survivalist” label to a degree, as being the new boogieman title. At the end of the 90’s, we started hearing a term describing those that were getting ready for the Y2K event, and that term was “Prepper”. The term “Prepper” was apparently politically correct, at least as much as a term describing a self reliant individual could be. My take on the “preppers” of that time frame was that they wanted to be ready, just in case, but they generally didn’t want people around them to know they were “nutty” preparedness types.

Since the 90’s, we’ve had a few scares that smacked people out of their “situational awareness slumber”, but for the most part,  people have stayed asleep. One of those events was 9/11, and still another was Katrina. All the while, the average person that readies him or herself for a cataclysmic event, is still calling themselves “Prepper”. I believe there are three types of people that call themselves “Prepper”. 1) Is the “New to preparedness” types, who just don’t know any other term to use. 2) Are those who are hobbyist preppers.  They have nothing better to do with their time right now, and “prepping” is somewhat in vogue. These are the types that would cease and desist tomorrow, if the feds said it was no longer legal, without so much as a peep, except the complaint of time and money invested. 3) Are those who are actually “Survivalist”, but don’t have the guts to admit this, for fear of being thought of as a “Nut”

This is one of my favorite quotes describing what I think a “Survivalist” is.

.”A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.
Specialization is for insects.”             Robert A. Heinlein

A “Survivalist” is one who isn’t afraid of the task ahead. Even though those tasks appear foreboding. The “Survivalist” is optimistic about the outcome of any future calamity, and realizes that being prepared for anything is a lifestyle, not a hobby. A “Survivalist” doesn’t give two shits about being politically correct. since reality dictates that “The politically correct” will be the first to die. This is true, when you consider their lack of foresight and the unending need for their “perception of things” to be real, and that perception will always override the true “reality of things” in their mind. Max did two interesting posts here and here, concerning the perception of labels and titles for those that desire to be, or are self reliant.

I have been asked plenty of times if I am in a militia. My response generally is a variation of “Although we are all part of “The Militia”, I am not part of “A Militia”, I am a Survivalist and a trainer, plain and simple. I train people in “Survivalist” skills. whether it be a married couple, learning wilderness survival skills and empty hand combatives, or a militia unit, learning squad and detachment level small unit tactics.

I’m sick to death of the least qualified and worthy among us (liberals, socialists, entitlement apologists, “reality” theorists, etc.) dictating what we can say, do, or call ourselves, all the while using an imbecilic, juvenile, and petulant media to forward their twisted utopian agenda. Guess what? I could give a rat’s ass what someone thinks of me, my decisions, or the fact that I call myself a ‘SURVIVALIST”.

I AM A SURVIVALIST, not a Prepper! I don’t need to use a politically correct term (or make a new one LOL) to describe my less than politically correct mindset and actions. My concern for the mental fragility of those who piss their pants if they think someone in the room is armed, let alone think someone in close proximity is prepared for TEOTWAWKISTAN ( a mystical place full of many challenging situations, especially for the unprepared), is non existent, and bordering on an open hostility towards them for expecting others to take up the slack, when a survival situation occurs.

August '86 Wolverine

Me “The Survivalist” at fifteen, with my “Survival” gun a .223 over 20 ga Savage M24

As a kid I read books and articles by Tappan, Cooper, Gear, Angier, Duncan,and Benson. Some, I’ve realized should be taken with a grain of salt. Others were spot on in every aspect, but I can honestly say I learned something from every one of them. One of the themes that runs rampant through a lot of their writings, is being responsible for yourself, and making self sufficiency a way of life in every aspect. Except for Brad Angier, none of them really had a “Lone survivor” type mindset or approach to survival living (he lived in a very remote area, with only his wife). The majority advocated “Survival Groups”, as the smartest way to efficiently go about the task of living through a calamity.

Whether it is an extended family group, or a small social group, working as a team is the way “Survivalists” will survive (“Why Survivalists Will Survive The Apocalypse” was what my Senior year term paper topic was in HS). If you don’t have a group (family, or social) learn what you can through training and education, because after SHTF, you will be a resource that will save lives. Learning to survive alone, and planning to survive alone are two different things. The difference is similar to the difference between “Living” and “Existing”. Don’t make the mistake of going it alone, if given a choice.

What’s my definition difference between a “Survivalist” and a “Prepper”? A “Survivalist” has a mindset that makes preparing for bad times a lifestyle and looks forward to the training, education, and acquiring of the means to accomplish that goal. A lot of the “Preppers” I’ve met, on the other hand, seem to have a mindset similar to “If I acquire enough stuff, I’ll be fine.” A number of them don’t want to be “labelled” as that “Nutty Survivalist”, or a “Bert Gummer” (personally, I liked the Bert Gummer “survivalist” character in “Tremors”).


Bert Gummer, “Survivalist” extraordinaire.

Here’s the problem, if you’re not willing to use a term that aptly describes you and the choices you’ve made about your lifestyle due to a societal faux pas, and because it might cause you mental anguish. Why would anyone think you could be counted on when things get physically tough? Whether you are a “Survivalist”, or a “Militia” member, NUT THE HELL UP ALREADY! If we’re right and somethin’ is a’comin’, you’re gonna need ’em.


American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE


3 thoughts on “Re-Post: The Importance Of The Right Label

  1. Bradford Angier–now there’s a name that’s great to hear! “Survival With Style” became like a Bible to me as a teenager. Time to pull it off the bookshelf and get reacquainted…

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