- How and where to establish a stronghold
- How to gather and protect loved ones
- How and when to form alliances with other survivors
- Identifying safe routes
- Establishing and caring for sustainable food supplies
- Provision of clean water
- How to source or simulate medicines and medical care
- Morale/mental health
Not because I would have an issue dispatching zombies, self-preservation and terror-adrenaline will have me primed to do my best not to be eaten or infected.
Because I'm an Australian.
And I honestly have no idea how I would get my hands on a gun or what would do with it if I did.
Well, obviously point the bang bang end at whatever you need to shoot and pull the trigger but loading, maintenance, gun discipline...
Add that to the fact that I live in a country that isn't particularly big on guns, doesn't have a super huge range available openly to the general public, and that I would feel a bit like a nervous crackpot if I tried to purchase a gun and I'm in trouble.
I don't think the zombies will calmly wait for me to learn how to shoo before they attack, they're not known for their social niceties.
My relationship with the idea of firearms is a bit complicated.
On one hand I would really quite like to learn how to shoot, just as a technical exercise.
I think I might be good at it if given the chance.
For instance, I had the opportunity to fire a simulation F88 Austeyr at an actual Army base Weapon Training Simulation System facility (where active Service members qualify and renew qualifications on their weapons) and this was my grouping firing an official qualification serial.
This was the first time I have ever fired a gun that was not attached to a game system and which was built and weighted to ape reality, so I was understandably pretty stoked.
If you click on the picture to get the big version you can see the cluster size of my groupings, including the scribbled note down the bottom that my three-shot zero grouping had a spread of 62.4 or 64.2 mm*.
That and my awesome nerf gun story both have me convinced that if I had a proper crack at it, I could be a decent markswoman.
But on the other hand, the idea of actually owning and operating a gun in a pre-zombie world for any reason other than pure unadulterated pride in accuracy and precision makes me feel deeply uncomfortable.
If I could be guaranteed a clean kill shot, I might be OK with some types of hunting.
I'm an omnivore, I eats the meats, I'm aware of where it comes from and the part I play in that system so responsibly killing your own game as long as you're going to utilise it properly and aren't just into killing animals, is theoretically fine.
But the idea of wounding or causing suffering to an innocent animal that I would then have to run bawling after in an attempt to put it down mercifully gives me a major case of the sads.
And pointing a weapon at another human being?
I would have to be sure, DAMN sure that they actually meant me or somebody else unequivocal harm before I pulled that trigger because otherwise the guilt would consume me.
I feel guilty enough about boring, mundane everyday stuff like forgetting somebody's birthday, I'm not sure the bar graph goes high enough to show how bad I would feel about injuring or killing someone who didn't have to be impaired or killed.
I know gun enthusiasts say that guns themselves are just tools and that in the hands of responsible owners they are safe (or useful) and are not inherently evil and sure that's technically true.
I know I thoroughly enjoy Erin Palette's Monday Gunday posts and her passion for the technical side of gun ownership and operation.
The fact still seems to remain that unlike cars, gardening implements, cricket bats and other things that could at a pinch be turned into weapons against the living or the undead, guns were specifically designed to kill or injure.
It isn't a side effect or bonus feature, it's what they're designed for.
Just because you aren't using them for that and God/Gods/Flying Spaghetti Monster/Universe-willing never intend to use them for that purpose doesn't take away from the fact that's what they're designed to do.
So the idea of going out and purposefully purchasing something that could be used to quite easily kill someone... someone who wouldn't have a chance to get close enough to fight back or defend themselves... it doesn't sit quite right with me.
They seem to make it too easy to make a mistake or do something you'll regret.
At least with a knife you have to get close enough and have the intent fully lodged in your mind before you can do actual damage.
You have to mean it.
This discomfort and reluctance clashes pretty badly with the cultural conditioning that I've received at the hands of movies, books and other media that guns can be used to Save The Day.
Of course they're also usually being used to menace the day which makes them a neutral third party in the conflicts...
Just to mess with me, my brain has no problem with the idea of owning a fully functional set of Japanese ceremonial katanas.
Maybe because you couldn't have one on your person walking down the street.
Maybe because they're such a well-established historical item that I really do see them as predominantly decorative rather than immediately functional these days.
Maybe because they're pretty.
Maybe because you would need to train like hell to be proficient with them and to be guaranteed to hurt others rather than clumsily maim yourself.
The thing is, guns are pretty.
The antique ones are gorgeous examples of workmanship, craft and function.
The nicely designed modern ones are elegant with nice clean lines and smooth surfaces.
|Image of Glocks found whilst trawling aforementioned Monday Gunday posts|
I like the look of them.
And yet my brain keeps coming back to 'But you don't want to kill anyone do you? DO YOU!?'
And I really don't.
At least not until they reanimate.
*By the time I got my printout I'd forgotten which one it was :-P