Life on the ground following natural disasters is often chaotic and scary. And with global warming gradually adding energy to our atmosphere, driving more extreme weather and worse disasters, it’s logical that people would be concerned. We’ve all seen the images of chaos and heard the reports of looting and violence in the aftermath of major disasters like hurricanes like Katrina and Maria. And a common way that people address their fear is by owning or buying guns. In the United States, self-defense is actually the most common reason people buy guns. And a lot of conversations in the prepper community are about what guns are best to have for personal protection in case things fall apart and the typical emergency response systems aren’t available.Welcome to the intersection of gun ownership, climate change, and natural disasters. For what it's worth, I've seen similar, if not the same, findings about lower crime rates and increased cooperation after natural disasters and wrote about them five years ago in Seeker/DNews is optimistic about how people would behave during the apocalypse. As I wrote then, "that's good news, even if it might not be good entertainment." The bad news is that domestic violence is one of the few types of crime that goes up and that guns make it more deadly. It's one of the reasons I support federal funding of studies of gun violence; it can answer questions like this.
This got us thinking: does owning firearms actually make you safer following a disaster?
So we thought we’d dig into the numbers and talk to the experts about how people respond following disasters and what the greatest risks are. And what we discovered truly surprised us.
The third day of the January 6th Committee hearings are on as I write this. Stay tuned for reactions to that tomorrow.