Richard Mitchell, an OSU professor of sociology, wrote the book after meeting with a variety of self-described survivalists at clandestine training camps, conferences, gun shows and the residences of home-based groups. He says that there are bands of self-styled survivalists prepared to arm themselves for action to protect America against domestic threats --- real and imagined.
Now, I don't know why his article miffed me so much because I have never claimed to be a survivalist, I am truly a sustainst, supporting ideals for feeding ones self and taking care of my family without commercial, corporate or governmental support. This man lumps all types of people with these kinds of values in with nutcases like Tim McVeigh and James Oliver Huberty?
Mitchell fills his book with fascinating characters of all sorts. Dentists, millionaire business leaders and other professionals, mix with gun enthusiasts, blue-collar tradesmen, and hard luck characters trying to scratch out a living. Some are sympathetic; others are frightening.
"One retired military officer preaches killing all Jews and overthrowing the government, while a computer engineer buries 42 school buses in his back yard to shelter 500 of his neighbors in time of war," Mitchell said. "And then there's the unemployed construction worker who sells his expensive guns to care for the family's ailing dog."
These are real people, Mitchell says, and they all head survivalist groups. Yet you likely wouldn't know they were survivalists if you ran into them on the street.
Defining what makes a survivalist isn't as simple as it sounds, Mitchell said, but in general survivalists are looking for trouble. "But for them," he added, "trouble also has possibilities."
Since when does wanting to stay safe and fed translate into "looking for trouble"? I do what I do to stay out of trouble! Do people really think about what I'm doing for my family like this? Is this why my neighbors roll their eyes when I suggest that they stock a little food up?
"Survivalism helps ordinary people imagine themselves as extraordinarily useful," Mitchell said.
"Are they always realistic about what they do? No. They buy gas masks, build fallout shelters and hoard food supplies when they know the real problems are with big business, foreign policy and changing morals.
So now canning my own home grown food is hoarding????? What should I do instead... wait in the bread line like a good little sheep with my hands out begging?
Okay, I need a cup of coffee and a smoke. Maybe an aspirin too............