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Self-Made Mess

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Today we are joined by Frank Sharpe, Jr. from Fortress Defense Consultants to discuss some of the lessons that can be learned from Hurricane Sandy.

Frank has been a firearms instructor for over 10 years. As a senior staff instructor for Defense Training International (DTI), he has trained thousands of citizens, police, and military in the art of defensive firearms, and is the author of the DTI Instructors’ Standards Manual. Frank specializes in the effective instruction of female students and regularly speaks on defensive issues for women’s groups and community watch organizations.

– Brandon


“It says I’ve got 12 miles left. If I don’t get gas, I guess that’s it.” – Statement of man sitting in his car in a gas line on November 1, 2012, in New Jersey.  The lazy disconnect from reality is a term I’ve been using to describe a mindset. What I’m referring to is a person who intentionally ignores reality and engages in self-inflicted victimization. And they do so because dealing with reality would be too much work.

This comes in many forms, but the latest example is the obvious lack of personal preparation millions of people failed to engage in when they had a full week of warning that the worst storm in modern American history was about to strike them!  Many couldn’t be bothered to make the most basic of efforts. That is: to fill their freakin’ gas tanks up on the way home from work!

Somehow the ‘Just in Time Inventory’ practices of Walmart and Costco have drifted through the transom of the average American’s cranium and taken hold as a way of life. People are so detached that they must think gasoline appears from the gas-fairy and could never be in short supply, and even if it was in short supply some government Messiah will wave his or her hands and make it all better. It is literally childish. It is the thought process of a toddler that holds their hands in front of their own face and thinks you can’t see them.

Food, water and the necessities of life are all available at our fingertips 24/7, and that has reduced their perceived value to much of our population. Many no longer see any of it as necessity, but as an afterthought. The focus is not on filling their stomachs; it’s on getting the best score on Call of Duty, or securing some friend-impressing trinket or gadget. That separation from reality is now coming back to bite millions of people.

And this phenomenon is not just a general public problem – let’s not forget those self-absorbed re-election addicts called government. As I type this Mayor Bloomberg of NYC has announced they are going forward with the NYC Marathon on Sunday…


All that says to me is that it’s obvious this guy has a financial interest that is bigger to him than the dying and starving and freezing people of the city. I’m sure most of the readers here are familiar with Criminal Bloomberg’s antics with Mayor’s Against Illegal Guns and all the felonious actions he’s been up to with that upstanding group of slime balls  So, why should it surprise any of us that he might have run for office in order to expand his bank account?

I just saw a camera shot on the news of crews blocking off streets and setting up grandstands, etc., for the marathon. So that manpower and those resources couldn’t be better directed somewhere else, Mr Mayor? Like, perhaps, rescuing elderly people trapped in the second stories of their flooded homes right now?


Perhaps with enough public outcries they’ll cancel it…who knows. But the real point is where Bloomberg’s priorities and mindset are. He too, for years, has been displaying a lazy disconnect from reality. He’s pandering for personal gain at tax payer expense, and that is evil.

There are times when we all suffer from it. None of us is guilt-free. But regardless of what any of us chooses to ignore, reality is still always reality. We all have one life on this planet, and it’s up to the individual to navigate it. You can live at the expense of others and bury your head in the sand anytime discomfort threatens your bubble, or you can embrace life and all the risk and excitement and pain that comes with it. I’ve personally found that the more directly I take reality on, the less long term pain there is. The less I kid myself, the better off I am.

Because of that I have had to accept the fact that life has risk, and it is my job to manage that risk. I provide for my security, I take as much information as I can to make informed choices, and I keep food and water at home in case there’s a storm. I also understand that I will eventually die regardless of preparations or life choices. My goal, however, is to die at the age of 90 in my sleep, not at the age of 44, beaten to death in a crowd fighting for food, or freezing to death because the power went out for a week in November. Those things are EASILY avoided with minimal effort.

My life, like yours, is limited by time. The quality of that life is enhanced by work and good choices.

A wise man once said: Whether you have good luck or bad luck, only a fool believes he deserves either.

So, let Sandy be a wake up for us. We should all be making lists and executing a disaster plan for ourselves and our families. Luck will be what it is – how we deal with luck is what defines our lives.

8 Responses to Self-Made Mess

  1. Dr. L. November 3, 2012 at 5:53 am #

    Well, you were wrong about the Marathon and Bloomberg.
    And yes, people are idiots. Your observations might have gone down a little easier if they had a small sprinkling of compassion.

    • Jake November 3, 2012 at 9:49 am #

      He wasn’t wrong…

      “Perhaps with enough public outcries they’ll cancel it” – that’s exactly what happened. Bloomberg is scum.

  2. Frank Sharpe November 3, 2012 at 7:32 am #

    How was I wrong about that?

    They canceled it after public outcries. Bloomberg caved to public pressure.

  3. Frank Sharpe November 3, 2012 at 8:47 am #

    I have compassion for people who lost loved ones or their homes. I have compassion for people who have lost their businesses or their jobs.

    I have no compassion for people who get a weeks warning to fill their gas tanks and don’t. They deserve not an ounce of compassion.

  4. TK November 3, 2012 at 9:26 am #

    Nice job Frank. I had much the same argument with co-workers yesterday. We all have some level of dependence on the government and society, but the number of people who aren’t able to feed themselves for a few days while power gets restored is astonishing. What makes it even more reprehensible is the fact that they were warned for, what, a week or two? Plenty of time to buy Ramen Noodles or some rice whatever.

  5. Nancy November 3, 2012 at 9:47 am #

    Great article, and you are absolutely correct. The only reason Bloomberg canceled the marathon is that he was getting hammered in the press. As to the people who refuse to take steps for self-preservation, even after being warned by our government for a week? Sometimes, as adults, we are forced to reap the rewards of our own actions. This is one of those times. My pity is for the innocent children who are suffering because of their parents’ choices.

  6. Frank Sharpe November 3, 2012 at 11:39 am #

    If anyone doubts the mindset exists:!/news/local/Stranded-New-Yorker–People-Are-Defecating-in-the-Hallways/177007621

    He children are “starving” after 3-days…she lives across the street from a supermarket, and she’s paying double the price for a car service to bring her food. All the while she is “in an empty house waiting for someone to do something”. She had has funds and the means, she just chose to do nothing.

    And the next one interviewed states that people are now deficating in the hallways. It would appear that we have become so helpless that we don’t know how or where to s#it when the toilet is out of order.

    I fear for our nation in this way: What would we do if something really serious ever happened?

    Yes, this is serious to the people in the middle of it, but even they know that there are people who will eventually come to help, and that there is “normal life” just miles away. What will any of us do when it happens on a scale that leaves no calvalry to arrive? Are we so out of touch that we no longer understand how to prevent the most basic of illnesses by keeping raw sewage out of our living space?

    This is not a good sign.

  7. Eric November 3, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

    I’ve been through nine, count ’em, nine hurricanes. It’s the same thing each time. While this was a huge storm in size it was just a Cat 1 that hit an area massively unprepared for anything like it. I went through the heart of Andrew. 140 MPH in our spot along with vortices (think small tornadoes). Just north of us the next day was a ten mile wide swath of nothing left right across a whole state. How soon people forget. The looting was at warfare pitch and believe me the news covered next to nothing. We did well, were prepared for several weeks. I’d learned before that the three days they tell you to be ready for is no where near enough. Yet there were thousands who didn’t even do that. My son went through Katrina carrying all his lessons and did fine. My favorite brand of crazy is the people who go to the beach to party when a hurricane is coming. All you can say is so long, have you notified next of kin?

    Preparations aren’t hard or really expensive if you plan in advance but I fear the general public expects a guarantee of safety and assistance that just doesn’t exist. It can’t exist. Just the logistics are mind boggling if you have competent people running things. Introduce politicians and there’s another reason to take preparations seriously.