It is without question that America has descended into a largely lawless state but for most of us we don’t see it directly on a daily basis. Cops aren’t kicking down our doors (yet), roving bands of diversity aren’t ransacking our homes (yet). We bitch but we pay our taxes and stop for stop signs and return carts to the corral at the store. Where we are now is not the worst of it, not by a long shot.
The precise tipping point is uncertain but certainly close, the point where the law is no longer in force in any meaningful sense for most of the country.
Prepper types love our acronyms and this the acronym used to describe this sort of breakdown is WROL: Without Rule Of Law.
For the most part we can’t imagine life without the rule of law, without cops or firefighters showing up when we press three buttons on a small plastic box. We follow the rules because we are taught to follow them but also because we trust that most everyone else will also follow those rules. Of course there is a small segment of the populace that doesn’t and we call them criminals, expecting that the police will catch them and a jury of our peers will send them to jail to rot. The system mostly works, it really does. Compared to a lot of places in the world, it works nearly flawlessly. Although most people have some direct experience with minor criminal behavior, usually something minor being stolen, few of us have experienced a serious crime because the system mostly works.
What happens when it doesn’t?
** A quick note for the gen-u-wine, certified “shooters” and assorted employees of Federal agencies. This is not intended as an incitement to action and is presented for entertainment purposes only regarding what life might be like following a collapse of the rule of law. The “rules of engagement” will change when the rule of law stops functioning. **
When the rule of law ceases to exist, and damn son we are close to that point now, the worst dregs of society won’t hesitate for even a moment before they kick off an orgy of theft, assault, rape and murder. They are already mostly out of control but when the rule of law ceases to function, it won’t be long before the chaos really kicks off.
This will of course be most pronounced in urban areas where the rule of law barely exists as it is. There will be a tipping point where the remaining cops will be overwhelmed and so outnumbered that they stop responding to calls at all. The ferals will sense this long before media reports it, the word will spread like wildfire among the ghetto-dwellers that they capped Da’Lishush and the cops never ever showed up.
The important takeaway here is that the response time to WROL will be far shorter for people operating on the fringe of lawlessness or already over the line anyway compared to suburbanites and others who fall under the umbrella of “law abiding”. Those who hold up “The Law” like a talisman to keep them safe will take much longer to abandon that mindset and that delay might be fatal.
The time to begin to change your mindset is before things go sideways. When the hordes are approaching is not the time for you to have a moral crisis. I keep banging this drum, the mantra of changing your emotional and mental framework now.
For example, Peter at Bayou Renaissance Man put up a post with a provocative title:
“Child” in this case is referring to feral yoofs/rowdies/teens. Peter quotes from the article he links….
Getting killed by a group of children is still getting killed.
Your children will never see you again. You family will still lose you.
You don’t get a mulligan because your skull was caved in by a 15 year old instead of a 25 year old.
You must deal with the threat as it presents itself, and that threat may be a bunch of teens with hearts full of murder.
You might have to kill a child in self defense.
Be prepared for that reality.
Dead is dead and many teen “children” are as large as adults and utterly amoral. Too many people conflate a nice 12 year old suburban White kid in the school marching band with a 12 year old black or mestizo kid that has grown up in a violence-infused culture that glorifies and encourages random violence. Many of these young thugs-in-training have learned that “I want, I take” is the only rule and if you are strong enough or violent enough you can have whatever you want since they were old enough to understand such concepts.
In a WROL situation, things like basic courtesy and rules for civil behavior change. In a Survival Blog post Letter Re: A Veteran Policeman’s Observations on The Golden Horde, the writer talks about the different waves of The Golden Horde fleeing the cities and a good rule of thumb:
When dealing with all of the above types, caution is the word. Never let them get even a glimpse of what you have. Never let them get past your outer barrier, be that a fence, abatis or boundary line. Its best to keep verbal contact to the barest minimum. A terse: “We have nothing, go away or we will shoot” is a good example. I have seen them be charming and seemingly harmless while edging into a fence gate or otherwise getting closer until they are in range to strike. You must always remember the 20 foot rule (Never let anyone get closer than 20 feet from you at any time).
I think 20 feet is not nearly far enough. Most urbanite ferals will be armed with handguns or maybe stolen rifles/shotguns they are unfamiliar with and even held sideways a Glock at 20 feet is dangerous. Much of it will be situational. A White family with small kids is one thing, a dozen urban ferals is something else entirely and should be warned off as soon as sighted and dealt with decisively if they don’t heed the warning. In fact the guy that wrote in this letter commented five years later and expanded his zone:
Even 30 feet is too close when people are desperate but I assume that anyone reading this knows that when we are in a WROL situation, waiting until certain groups get within 30 feet is unacceptably dangerous.
We mostly think about The Golden Horde fleeing the city and then wandering out to where we live once they strip the suburbs, and that makes sense. The reason for this post is to suggest you add to your mental preparation beyond just getting to a place where you can do what needs to be done when hungry hordes show up and also to consider a very specific sort of area study: who in your area of operation is likely to flip the switch and go rogue once the rule of law is suspended?
Without getting into specifics, there are definitely people who live in my area of operation that I will work with and provide protection to. Then again there are also, without getting into specifics, people I have already identified in my mind that are going to be immediately problematic.
For example, even out where we live there are a handful of sex offenders on the registry and several of them are listed as “violent sex offenders”. These aren’t guys who are flashers, they are rapists of some sort. My general policy is that while some criminals can be reformed, violent sex offenders almost never can be. These guys have likely been eyeballing young girls and children for months or years, waiting for an opportunity. What do you think a convicted rapist is going to do as soon as the fear of being sent back to jail disappears?
Sex offenders are obvious. There are others, and I assume most people have them as well no matter where they live. The sketchy people, the guys you suspect of minor crimes like petty theft and vandalism but no one has caught them. There are a few of them around here, guys you wouldn’t trust any farther than you could throw them under ideal circumstances, but under WROL circumstances? They would turn in a hurry.
Out in rural America there are unfortunately a fair number of people who are addicted to opioids or meth. When they can’t get their high easily, it is unlikely they will just say “oh well” and turn to painting or something. They will be far more prone to start hitting house after house looking for medicine cabinets with opioids. When they have broken into your home and are already inside, it is getting pretty late to do something.
My point is that there are lots of people no matter where you live that are going to become immediately problematic as soon as calling 911 doesn’t result in cops showing up. It will require a new way of thinking and it is far better if you start to cultivate it now rather than once the wheels come off.
Am I saying that you need to cap troublemakers before they can cause trouble when we live WROL? I am not saying that but I am also not NOT saying that. Specific prescriptions require knowledge of specific situations. A guy with a drug problem who is otherwise a decent dude might need to be given a stern warning and a reminder that one warning is all they get. A violent child rapist? Maybe he doesn’t get the first warning or he gets a notification delivered at 3000 fps.
Start thinking now about your area of operations. Highlight people that are going to be immediate problems, those who have the potential to be problems due to a lack of preparedness and of course those who are like-minded and can be part of a team.
On the other hand, WROL is double-edged sword….
When the rule of law goes away, frontier justice will replace it. I like this from a few years back at Instapundit:
Police don’t actually protect law-abiding citizens from criminals so much as they protect criminals from the much-rougher justice they’d get in the absence of a legal system.
Burglars would be hung from lampposts, and shoplifters would be beaten and tossed into the gutter if there were no police, as in fact happens in countries where there isn’t a reliable justice system and a civil-society culture that restrains vigilantism. Reminder to the criminal class: Ultimately, we’re not stuck in this country with you. You’re stuck in this country with us.
We don’t shove child molesters into woodchippers now because we trust the system to deal with them, even though it often fails to do so. That trust is fading fast and when it disappears, good men will have to do unpleasant things to deal with bad men. The bad men already feel they can act with near impunity and often are heard to comment “what are you going to do about it?”, knowing that generally the answer is nothing. We don’t do anything because the law would come after us. What most don’t seem to realize…
If you can get away with committing crimes, we can get away with meting out justice and skipping the public defender and jury trial.
WROL cuts both ways. The cops won’t come when we call but they also won’t come when we pop some feral rowdies in the head.
There is a lot of pent up anger and frustration in the country at seeing criminals get away with their bullshit. The rowdies could get a quick and brief lesson in why our people were once feared the world over.
Of course you need to compartmentalize this. Walking around all day thinking about capping bad people is not good for your mental health. Figure out what you might need to do and put it aside in your mind behind a “break glass in case of emergency” barrier. Like a fire extinguisher you hope you don’t have to use your new mental position but also like an extinguisher you better have it if there is a fire.
A world under WROL is going to be ugly and unpleasant in many respects but on the other hand, we are on the verge of a one-sided WROL anyway, where the criminals operate without fear of the law but decent people get locked up for defending ourselves or for unauthorized sight-seeing in a public building. Whether we want it or not, it is coming and mental preparation is going to be just as critical as physical fitness and owning the right supplies.