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ATTENTION DOOMSDAY PREPPERS… DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A REAL HERO?

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Mark D

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You’ve stopped in the post office to get your mail after returning from a camping vacation with your family. A city councilman happens to see you and asks your opinion on a drainage project. After a brief conversation with him you head home, getting smiles and waves from everyone you pass. People like and admire you. You have respect in your community. You are a Community Hero—a person who uses your life to make a positive difference in the lives of others. You’re also a Prepper—a person with food and supplies stockpiled in case of an emergency or disaster. If anything should happen, you know your family will have what they need. You’ll also be able to help others in your community who are not as well prepared.

The councilman asked your opinion because he knows you have knowledge and skills about how things work and how to get things done. People in your community know you are the go-to guy when it comes to problem-solving and how to handle things. You don’t worry about the future because you are actively working in the present to make sure things go as well as they possibly can.

That is what the life of a prepper should be.

A life of joy, quality time with family and friends, freedom from fear, and the confidence that comes with knowing what you know. An active life, being involved in your community, volunteering in schools and mentoring programs, going to city council meetings or just helping in small ways that make a difference in the lives of others.

The alternative is to hunker down, never going out, hoarding food, supplies and gear, living in fear of a failed future. Or worse, sitting in a prison cell, thinking about your family home alone and fending for themselves. That’s a miserable way to live. And it’s all because of one very basic flaw many Preppers miss in the prepper philosophy.

I am a doomsday prepper, a fifty-one-year-old white man with the intention of providing safety and security for my family in a time of crises. I had all the supplies, food, gear, and skills. I studied, trained, and forged friendships with retired veterans who gave me private Army Ranger training. I was prepared for natural disasters and social upheaval.

It started with sound bites—about FEMA Camps, Continuity of Government, riots exploding in cities across the country, and how the prepper movement was all about getting ready to face these huge issues. I tuned in and listened to the news stories, I read everything I could get my hands on, and it all scared me half to death! I jumped into the prepper movement and took my family into it with me.

I had the knowledge, the gear, the training, and at one point I joined a local militia group where I was promoted to a position of overseeing state-wide member training. I chose to buy two unlicensed and unregistered fully automatic AK-47's. Experience shared with me by two former combat veteran army rangers led me to believe in the importance of such a weapon.

I had everything a true prepper should have. At least I thought I did.

It ended with a visit from the ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms) and my subsequent arrest for having machine guns. I knew, on some level, that having machine guns without a special license is illegal. First, I am not an army ranger, second, we are not at war, third if I really wanted to own them I should have sought the appropriate licensing. This type of weapon is extremely lethal and should be controlled. The actual federal statute that I broke was 922 o, possession of a machine gun by a restricted person. However, I justified having them because in my mind, those guns were for defensive purposes only, and for some future point in time. It never really registered to me that they were a problem—I never thought of them as a concern in the present—they were a precaution for the future. This thinking was what ultimately led me to failure as a prepper. I am currently awaiting sentencing by a federal judge and the sentence range is 0 to 120 months. That is 10 years!

There is a fundamental problem with the prepper philosophy that I missed. From personal experience, there are many preppers who make the same mistake. The flaw is in HOW we interpret and apply the information we get. The sound bites, the alternative news coverage of big issues in this country…those are not to scare us into hunkering down with artillery and paranoid scenarios of a failed future. That is preparing for a battle we can never win.

Those news stories are there to show us what is going on,

to highlight issues that need our attention now.

If you are hunkering down with your hordes of gear and supplies, waiting to be attacked, you are not being effective to your family, your community, or to yourself. If you are hiding from the present, hoping someone else is going to deal with the issues and the problems, or maybe the next generation will “fix” it, you are not being a true prepper. You’re not being a hero.

Take a hard look at why you aren’t getting involved in your community now. Are you nervous about speaking to other people? Are you too lazy? Too unconcerned? Do you think preparing for some great “what-if” is more important than paying attention to a smaller matter going on in your town now? Maybe you don’t think one person can make a difference…

How effective is all your prepping? How effective are YOU?

Are you are prepping for a future of survival after catastrophe? A future where every decision you make and everything you say might be uniquely significant? If you don’t have the courage to volunteer at a school function, how do you think you are prepared to be a leader in a failed future? Can you make comfortable shoes? Decent toilet paper? A simple Q-tip?

I encourage everyone to be a prepper—to a degree. Being prepared in any sort of emergency is a good thing. It makes you and your family self-sufficient, allows you to help others, and keeps you from being a burden on those who are trying to help the victims of the disaster. But there must be balance in your life. Living in fear, putting all your family’s finances and resources into gathering more supplies, more gear, more items of defense…it’s a dark and unhealthy way to live. if you have machine guns and get caught you will lose your ability to take care of your family. If a true emergency happens now my family will suffer.

I moved my family to a very remote part of Kentucky nestled within the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Being self-sufficient preppers, we have no modern furnace. The winters can be long and cold. While I am sitting in a federal detention center my duties have fallen to my wife and daughter. They must chop wood and run our farm now, and my skills, abilities and insights are of little use to them. This is just one example of what happens if you choose to own unlicensed machine guns.

It comes down to making correct decisions.

If we all put as much energy and focus into facing the problems of the present, we might not ever need to worry about facing a failed future and the much bigger problems that come with it. Be prepared, certainly. But don’t ignore the present moment. Don’t miss out on your children growing up and the wonders of living a joyful life right now. I suggest that if you have unlicensed machine guns you should make sure that you are in full compliance with all federal, state, and local firearms laws. Destroy them according to ATF specifications. If bump stocks become illegal, destroy them as well. This is the only way you can insure true victory. There are no heroes in prison and never will be.

Stop planning to be a hero—Be a hero right now.

You don’t have to do anything that sweeps the nation. Small acts make a significant difference in the lives of others. Help by mentoring someone with your skills, pick up litter and make the parks a more beautiful place to be, volunteer to help coach a team, go to a city council meeting. These things may seem trivial, but they start conversations and help you get to know people in your community. Small activities that build relationships and get positive changes accomplished are a start that, when combined with the small acts of others, make an enormous impact on our world.



Machine guns are illegal in America.

If you have unlicensed machine guns, place them next to your wife and family and choose, because in today's America you can't have both. Working for a life where machine guns are never needed is a much better way to use your time and talents and skills. Get involved in the present. Be a hero now.
 

Rellgar

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This is why we all must stop the governments unlawful abuse of its power. Otherwise our constitutional rights mean nothing. Machine guns are not illegal in the USA. Improper use of machine guns in certain restricted areas is statutorily illegal. Its unfortunate that you where the victom of the government abusing its power and authority. The government is corrupt and being compliant with there corruption, will not stop there abuse.
 

TexasFreedom

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Mark,

I agree with your comment of being a contributing member of society, for the better of all.

But your ending is totally off base and just plain wrong. There is nothing illegal about machine guns, if you go through the right channels. They were invented for a purpose, and that purpose is as true today as ever. If you don't understand that, you should read more and talk less as you learn.

But I won't jump on you. Please, welcome to the forum. I'm glad you're prepared. Maybe we can learn from one another.
 

Brent S

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Very impressive post, and thought provoking. I am sorry you are awaiting judgement on atf charges, but I will say that you knew what you were playing with when you bought them. It might seem easy to say to yourself that you had good intentions about them, but in the end you did know what you were doing. That being said, I do think you probably had good intentions, and I suggest you have your attorney show this well thought out post to the judge. Hopefully it will at least show your mindset of thinking it was for the benefit of your families safety vs being a nutcase/terrorist. There are plenty of legal defense weapons available in this country. As far as fully auto, it's just a waste of ammo anyways. Especially if there is a shtf situation, and you can't just go out and buy ammo anymore, it would be a precious commodity and you wouldn't want to waste it. One carefully aimed shot is worth more than a haphazard spray of thirty shots anytime. I wish you luck with your situation and hope you don't think I am being judgemental, but I just wanted to reinforce the fact for others that there are consequences to your actions.
 

TexasFreedom

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Oops. I just realized I didn't read the whole original post, and completely missed the part about Mark & the feds.

Wow. I feel for you, but really? You thought owning machine guns without proper licensing was a good idea? I have no idea how you were even able to purchase the weapons, but it's no point to rehash that. It's not a question if full auto is effective or not.

On the good side, the feds treated you much better than they did Randy Weaver. You make a great point. Do not violate the laws. No reason to give the feds more reasons to hunt you down. That's double true when you can do some paperwork to make everything perfectly legal.

But at the same time, we all draw the line somewhere. Let's say all guns were banned tomorrow, how many of us would decide those laws are too much to follow? Or if they were to ban Christianity? We all have our limits.

Mark, I do pray for you. Only advice I'd have is get the best lawyer you can.
 

toexist

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Very impressive post, and thought provoking. I am sorry you are awaiting judgement on atf charges, but I will say that you knew what you were playing with when you bought them. It might seem easy to say to yourself that you had good intentions about them, but in the end you did know what you were doing. That being said, I do think you probably had good intentions, and I suggest you have your attorney show this well thought out post to the judge. Hopefully it will at least show your mindset of thinking it was for the benefit of your families safety vs being a nutcase/terrorist. There are plenty of legal defense weapons available in this country. As far as fully auto, it's just a waste of ammo anyways. Especially if there is a shtf situation, and you can't just go out and buy ammo anymore, it would be a precious commodity and you wouldn't want to waste it. One carefully aimed shot is worth more than a haphazard spray of thirty shots anytime. I wish you luck with your situation and hope you don't think I am being judgemental, but I just wanted to reinforce the fact for others that there are consequences to your actions.
Thank you Brent for taking one for the team and reading all of that. I thought it was a poem.
 

grayghost668

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I was going to let your choice of living outside the law slide,but the more I think about it,I can not,,,

,,,,you decided you had to have 2 full auto AK 47s and now you are crying because you got caught,,,,,you are lucky you are not sitting in a jail cell right now,,,,,,,,,,what kind of penalty did you get hit with,a huge fine only or did you forfeit your right to own a firearm also,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,this is your own fault,you can not blame the ATF for your screw up,,,,you either run your mouth about having them or someone you know turned you in....it is as simple as that..............

YOU HAVE NO ONE TO BLAME BUT YOUR SELF,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

I am not a kind and forgiving person ,my opinion here may sound harsh but if you stay within the law you can own most anything you want,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
 

TexasFreedom

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GG,

That's not necessary. Nothing you said is wrong, but none of it helps. He messed up, he knows it. And the consequences are going to be severe.

Felony conviction, penalty/fines/jailtime, don't matter. He won't be able to own any weapons. He won't be able to vote. He will have a hard time getting a job. And it's not like he's lived a life of crime, I suspect this has been his first arrest and criminal charges. It really shakes up a man.

Mark, this is a time to lean on your faith. The Bible tells us that God never gives us more than we can handle and that he walks side by side with us. 23rd Psalm.
 

grayghost668

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GG,

That's not necessary. Nothing you said is wrong, but none of it helps. He messed up, he knows it. And the consequences are going to be severe.

Felony conviction, penalty/fines/jailtime, don't matter. He won't be able to own any weapons. He won't be able to vote. He will have a hard time getting a job. And it's not like he's lived a life of crime, I suspect this has been his first arrest and criminal charges. It really shakes up a man.

Mark, this is a time to lean on your faith. The Bible tells us that God never gives us more than we can handle and that he walks side by side with us. 23rd Psalm.

yes mother,,,,,whatever you say mother
 

grayghost668

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Sounds like he is seeing the wisdom in it now. Sometimes the school of hard knocks is the way people have to learn.
I could have some sympathy if this was a young person but his profile says he is 51,,,,,at that age he should have known what happens when caught with illegal weapons,,,simply by watching the News ,hardly a month goes by that there is not a piece about it some where in the USA,,,,,,,,,,,,it happened right here to a fellow I know 2 or 3 years ago,,,there was no jail time that I know of but I am sure they fined the snot out of him
 

abreve

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not me. man. i dont want anyone to even notice me, much less know about my preps or abilities. I'd much rather back-shoot some pos and just slink off than wait for the lawsuits from all the snowflakes about how I gave them PTSD by saving their lives.
 

Brent S

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I have been thinking about this thread some lately. I sounded pretty unsympathetic for someone who knowingly broke the law. My thoughts have wandered to what if the mass shootings lead to not just banning sales of guns, but go retroactive to all existing guns. How many would risk being an outlaw by not turning in their guns? Would I be so willing to give up my ability to defend myself and my family from those that kept illegal guns? Other countries have banned all firearm ownership by civilians, don’t be so assured it couldn’t happen here.
 

Rob Painless

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Bummer about the detention center thing. We've all made mistakes. Some we got away with and some....not so much. Good luck with the outcome of all that, Mark.

On a better note.....Howdy from west Texas. Welcome to the forums. Hope you get to spend some time here.
 

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I can't get past what is probably blatant repentance. You are greatly motivating and well spoken/written.

I am sorry for the trouble you seem to be in. If it is your first run in otherwise with law enforcement I hope they are lenient. You seem well intentioned enough which I wish was enough to matter...
Sometimes even the worst of things happen even though they started with the best of intentions..

Are you seeking outlets in which you can repent in an effort to show a judge or jury reform? -Because this is what it looks like to me, perhaps I am a pessimist. You ARE obviously my definition of a prepper and forgive me for not already saying welcome!

The hero thing was a bit extravagant for my taste. Sorry for thinking outloud, I do that.. maybe some will appreciate it. (maybe not)
 

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