Monday, August 29, 2016

Survivalists stock up on guns, move to remote Pacific Northwest to await economic collapse

Todd Savage, a retired Marine, moved to northern Idaho from
San Francisco. (Washington Post photo by Matt McClain)
Survivalists, mostly white conservative Christians who fear everything from natural disasters to terrorist attacks to the federal government, are stocking up on guns and ammo and doling out large sums of money for remote homes in the Pacific Northwest to await an economic collapse or the end of the world as they know it, Kevin Sullivan reports for The Washington Post. They call themselves "the American Redoubt, a term coined in 2011 by survivalist author and blogger James Wesley, Rawles [who uses the comma as part of his name] to describe a settlement of the God-fearing in a lightly populated territory that includes Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and the eastern parts of Washington and Oregon."

Sullivan writes, "Those migrating to the Redoubt are some of the most motivated members of what is known as the prepper movement, which advocates readiness and self- reliance in man-made or natural disasters that could create instability for years. It’s scenario-planning that is gaining adherents and becoming mainstream in what Redoubt preppers described as an era of fear and uncertainty. Much of the Redoubt migration is motivated by fears that President Obama—and his potential successor, Hillary Clinton—want to scrap the Second Amendment, as part of what transplants see as a dangerous and anti-constitutionalist movement toward government that is too intrusive and hostile to personal liberties."

Repealing the amendment would take two-thirds votes in Congress and approval by three-fourtsh of the states. Nevertheless, "Online interest in prepper and American Redoubt websites is increasing," Sullivan reports. "Tools that measure online readership show that monthly search traffic to Rawles’s has doubled since 2011; an estimate from SimilarWeb, a Web analytics firm, shows that the site had about 862,000 total visits last month. Rawles’s guidebook, How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It and his post- apocalyptic survival novel, Patriots, have sold about 350,000 copies, according to Nielsen BookScan. They are among hundreds of available survivalist books."

Sullivan writes, "They live in a pristine place of abundant water and fertile soil, far from urban crime, free from most natural disasters and populated predominantly by conservative, mostly Christian people with a live-and-let-live ethos and local governments with a light regulatory touch and friendly gun laws." Walsh, who sells real estate, said most of the prepper properties have "at least two sources of water, solar panels or another alternative energy source, ample secure storage space for a few years’ worth of supplies and a defensible location away from main roads and city centers," Sullivan reports." Properties typically sell between $250,000 to $550,000, with some as high as $2 million. A basic solar array can cost around $15,000, while more elaborate systems can cost 10 times that, Walsh said.

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