Don't know what the definition of when the SHTF, but I am sure I will recognize it when it happens.
My definition of when the SHTF is different than what most here think it is. I see it as anytime you have loss of control of a situation and you need to go hot with guns. Maybe not ever shooting on the street or what not, but I see school shooting and mall shooting where many are killed to be SHTF situations.
Do you think the shooting of many on the street in New York while LE tried to stop one guy was not a SHTF moment?
Situations of mass Panic and killing.
And there is that chance many will actually S^^^ their pants.
When the "fan" is on "high" and you're getting some on ya ... whatever situation that happens to be. For those deep in it, it's SHTF. I'd say, any attempted murder, robbery, rape or kidnapping qualifies.
Traditionally, though, I'd say that SHTF is typically used as a generic euphemism for TEOTWAWKI, though I view them differently. IMO, TEOTWAWKI is merely the most extreme instance of SHTF, where all levels of S are truly H'g TF ... mine, yours and everyone else's. But, garden-variety attempts at one's life via murder or robbery? Merely SHTF.
My nephew asked me why I have "so many" guns once. My reply was: "At any given time we are one LE mistake or one verdict away from having to fight our way into or out of our homes." One only has to remember L.A. after the Korean shop keeper was aquitted or London after the alleged police abuse of a minority "youth."
If my internet or cable goes down, that qualifies.
Hey, I was Air Force, I need my niceties.
If there is a major SHTF moment, you do not want to be in an urban enviroment, especially on the wrong side of the tracks. It could get real ugly real fast. I certainly wouldn't want to be in Chicago, Detroit, LA, etc.
At this moment in history, we're more susceptible to a SHTF situation than any previous generation.
Consider all the potential scenarios described above with the addition of...
When the gasoline stops flowing.
Multiple terrorist attacks.
When the ATM machine and credit cards don't work.
A massive whatever that permanently stops the Internet and / or electronic transactions.
Hyper inflation, economic collapse and our fiat faith based cotton fiber money is used to warm our homes.
The trucks stop delivering because of fuel prices, mid west earthquake, solar flare / EMP attack or a variety of other causes.
Masses of people are going to react, and not for the better. You have it and they want it.
One of my major concerns in an actual SHTF scenario is... What will they do with the two million convicts in our prison system when they can not be fed or cared for and the electricity goes out due to natural or man-made cause? And keep in mind, the tens of thousands of gang members and wanna be gang-bangers in our communities will look at this as a once in a lifetime opportunity to rape, burn, pillage and murder.
I agree with Mike 1956. I disagree with the courts not working being a SHTF event. They don't wok now in my opinion.
If our society devolves enough that there is no governmental response to calls for help such as local police not able to respond (think back to the Rodney King riots in LA), then we are very quickly at an "every man for himself" situation. The thin thread that holds our civilization together is much thinner than most regular Americans think it is. As mentioned above; If the supply chain gets broken, societal breakdown is already on the way. Hunger, cold and fear will drive otherwise ordinary people to desperate measures. A real SHTF scenario would consist of these elements. The question is; What are you willing to do to prepare? For the record, I believe we are a ways away from anything like that though. I think it would take some kind of global financial meltdown to really foul up America's social structure and supply chain.
I'm no prepper by any definition, but I do have my weapons and ammunition and I intend to protect my patch and my people. I'll help others when I can, but I won't roll under without taking a bunch with me.
I too agree with Mike1956. All his stated events lead to panic. A scary number is the number of EMS available. It is 1 per thousands. National Guard is days away, even if available in any numbers.
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What would be a SHTF type event?
I believe that the loss of the Rule of Law with no working 911 response and little or no hope of ROL returning.
The Thin Blue Line is gone and and First Responders, bless them, are not coming (they are looking after their own home etc.)
Life is totally changed and the collapse of society is upon us, due to any one of many causes already names in this thread.
One important point IMO is, know your state laws and if possible stay within them so that if the ROL returns you will have justification for your actions you may have taken during the time WROL.
God bless the Castle Doctrine states, and keep your powder dry!!!!!!
Just my thoughts/ opinion but I think a SHTF scenario will not be sudden but more of the boiled frog.
I think it will start financially with inflation, sky rocketing costs and sections of the country, urban areas specifically, where there will be riots, etc beyond the ability of LE and the NG to physically control or eliminate due to political pressures.
I think this will be mainly large urban cities/metro areas. It will start there and the financial impacts will spread to the middle and upper middle class. I think there will be some minor and some major supply chain interruptions that will lead to dramatic political and cultural shifts as well as geopolitical changes within the US.
This will happen in America as well as the rest of the world. My fear is that a dictatorial nation may get the wrong idea during this time and try to attack us. That will develop into another type of scenario.