Bob Owens

The saddest truth in politics is that people get the leaders they deserve

Oakland violence a great reminder of why you need a Neighborhood Protection Plan

Written By: Bob - Aug• 18•13

The more I look at the declining state of the nation, the more the cautionary ideas espoused in A Failure of Civility make sense. Far from the “head for the hills” mentality of some survivalists, Garand and Lawson push for sheltering in place as a community, establishing what they call “Neighborhood Protection Plans” (NPP) to protect the areas where you live when things go sideways.

I read a report this morning about a bunch of craven Oakland residents buying armed security to patrol their increasing violent neighborhood, and think they rather miss the point:

Gunfire has become so common on the streets of Oakland, California — that even in neighborhoods that once seemed immune to the city’s violence, residents are no longer shocked.

“It’s like, ‘Oh, another shooting,'” said Jan Hetherington, who has lived for 14 years in the Oakland neighborhood of Maxwell Park. It’s a place with glorious views across San Francisco Bay, neat houses and friendly neighbors.

“This is the most wonderful neighborhood I’ve ever lived in,” she said. Yet she acknowledged she has to bring in private security to feel safe.

With budget cuts forcing Oakland to trim its police force by a third, residents decided to pay themselves for private security patrols, which is understandable when you hear this from Hetherington.

“A car came down the street, three guys got out with a gun. There was a gun battle three blocks over. And I did hear actually a bullet went through somebody’s house.”

Who do you think is going to provide real security for you, Ms. Hetherington? A rent-a-cop that works at or near minimum wage with no proverbial “skin in the game,” or yourself, along with other concerned neighbors, putting forth the effort to come together to form a plan of mutual support?

The more I read AFOC, the more it just makes sense. I know one of my neighbor’s bought a copy on his own, and I’ve given away two other copies. Once folks have had a chance to read it, I think we’re going to need to hold a meeting and get our own NPP rolling.

Outside of my personal experience, I know several of you have purchased copies of the book.

What do you think of it so far?

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  1. OhioCoastie says:

    Bought a copy. Read it. Bought copies for family members, who all live near each other (I’ll be moving to join them soon). Rereading mine.

    Funny thing: now my search for a lot on which to build includes looking for sites within a mile of rivers or streams. I’ll be asking my chosen builder to incorporate sturdy features into my home with an eye toward smallarms survivability, and possibly incorporating a discrete cupola.

    Sad, really. I grew up in the 1980s, and we could have that kind of prosperity again if we really wanted it. But it seems the electorate prefers the Free Shit Fairy™.

  2. thebronze says:

    That stupid broad spent $10k but was too dumb to just spend $600 on a gun!! And NOT ONCE was a gun for defense talked about in that story.


  3. drjim says:

    It wasn’t what I expected (a novel), but it’s excellent advice, and the best planning guide I’ve ever seen.

  4. Steve in TN (@sdo1) says:

    Please stop knocking private security officers. I’ve been both peace officer and private security. I think I trust most private officers more than most sworn LEOs. Besides, the professional dedication of private security and your opinion of it is not germane to the point – which is the lack of personal responsibility and reliance for individual safety shown by most “citizens” of our nation.

    • Right_2_Bear says:

      In AFOC situation the private security officers won’t even show up. They will be too busy defending their own families and neighborhoods. This is just common sense.

  5. roger u says:

    I agree with Steve in TN, but I would add that presumably these people have jobs and no training. Hiring a private security company allows them to continue working and feeding themselves.

    This is actually a step towards independence and away from dependence on the State. They are creating their own problem solving and stability structure, taking control of their AO.

    I would imagine in any SHTF scenario there will be designated security teams while other tasks are handled by their own teams. Division of labor.

  6. Tucker says:

    Just in case anyone needs to understand why Oakland is a dangerous, crime infested cesspool of a city, perhaps these statistics might help them figure out the answer.


    Age and racial breakdown for OAKLAND CALIFORNIA 94601
    Hispanic/Latino: 49.6%
    White*: 7.5%
    Black*: 23.1%
    Native American*: 1%
    Asian*: 16.1%
    Hawaiian/Pacific Islander*: 0.6%
    Other*: 0.2%
    Multiracial*: 2.5%
    * Does not include individuals
    in this racial group
    who identify as Hispanic/Latino.

  7. Critch says:

    I’ve talked to my neighbors a few times about what we need to do in an emergency. I do not live in a large city, we all know each other and I’m not anticipating any kind rioting type problems. However, if the New Madrid Fault were to tear loose there may be problems with looting etc and we have talked about protecting each other and taking care of each other.

  8. Right_2_Bear says:

    I’m about halfway through AFOC. I find the stories to be eye-opening and gripping in particular. The biggest problem in setting up a neighborhood protection plan is getting enough people to make it work. The authors recommend six people to defend a small ranch type home, and dozens for a small neighborhood or lowrise building. For these you will need to find like-minded people who are leaders, and also armed with their own firearms – a daunting task! The authors state if you cannot find enough people or firepower you have to move. Easier said than done! Obviously if AFOC does happen then people will change their minds about a NPP but by then it will be too late (and firearms?). Anyway the realities of this is kind of depressing.

  9. thesouthwasrght says:

    ICF seems like the only way to go and that w/ it’s insulating properties it would seem like a fine marriage to off grid solar power.

  10. Terri says:

    It freaked me out and I had to set it aside for a while. :-)

  11. Comrade X says:

    I’ve purchased a half dozen copies and have only one copy left, I understand you get a break if you buy by the case; something I intend to do soon, I reckon that speaks for what I think of this book.

    The pen can be mightier than sword when it tells you how to use the sword!

    One other point when TSHF the cops & security guards will be home protecting their families not you so you better prepare or you, your neighborhood, family etc are toast!

    Death before slavery!