In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, reports emerged that Nancy Lanza, the mother of gunman Adam Lanza, was a member of the “prepper” community, a group of people who stock food, water and supplies in preparation for an impending apocalypse. Many collect weapons and medical supplies, fearing that socioeconomic collapse or deadly pandemics are imminent. Mrs. Lanza, some outlets reported, collected guns because she was a survivalist who was well-acquainted with the prepper movement.
Many of these reports were thinly-sourced, based primarily an an account from her ex-sister-in-law who said the two had discussed prepping.
As it turns out, real preppers are none too happy with the way the media has portrayed them in the wake of the shooting. One, named Daisy Luther, took to the blog Prepper Central to lament the “psychological warfare” media organizations have unleashed on the prepper community. Those of us with more mainstream beliefs find it threatening, Ms. Luther argues, that preppers do not blindly swallow what the media feeds them or rely on government safety nets:
The propaganda machine is not only going after guns in the wake of the terrible tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School – this has become a two-for-the-price-of-one crisis, allowing the government and media to yet again, demonize preppers…Preppers have been cast in an ugly light for quite some time. We are painted as camo-clad survivalists, clenching a knife in our teeth while unloading an automatic weapon into some real or imagined threat.
She has a point!
Preppers have already been immortalized in the Discovery Channel show Doomsday Preppers, which, like every reality show, finds the most extreme possible example of the subculture and edits it to make them look as insane as possible. Though, to be fair, it’s probably not very difficult to make preppers look rather out there. (Here is a post about how you should be prepared to use deadly force to protect your loved ones this holiday season.)
Of course, if the apocalypse does begin tomorrow as the Mayans supposedly predicted, we’re probably going to all wish we, too, had a mountain of water bottles in our basement.
(h/t Christopher Mims)