Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Grey Man Concept, Invisibility, and How Conceal Carry Is Actually Prepping:

I'm on the road tonight sitting far from my family and home as I type this, and after a long day in the sky yesterday and a day of work today, I may be somewhat rambling, but bear with me.

There are a couple of concepts I was thinking about today as I had spent time at multiple airports, and it brought to mind one concept in particular that you may have read of or heard about: The Grey Man Concept.  The GMC put simply, is the art of blending into your environment and not standing out in any way or drawing attention to yourself.  You tend to see this concept discussed more on firearms or conceal carry boards, where it does tend to be a highly pertinent subject, especially when considering ways in which not to be scoped out while carrying a firearm on your person.  More on conceal carriers in a few, let's focus on the GMC for a moment.  As you'll find out, being Grey actually will serve the beginning prepper very well, with regard to...well, pretty much everything.  Let's point out a few things that someone utilizing the GMC would not do during a survival situation, or daily life:
  • The Grey Man has decided that his plan in an economic collapse will be to bug in.  The Grey Man knows it is important to have food stored away.  However, he will not have large pallets of food (such as bagged wheat or rice from a warehouse wholesaler) delivered to his house during the day.  Another way to see it: a GM wouldn't have his new 70 inch flatpanel plasma delivered during the afternoon directly after work, nor would he then leave the box from the television outside on his curb for all to see.  Instead, he'll bring food and supplies home in smaller increments, or make it look like a standard grocery trip as he brings bags into his house.  Neighbors who see him won't think "I have a pretty good idea where we can get some food, get me my shotgun!" when the lights go Out and they have hungry kids.
  • The Grey Man has decided his plan in a natural disaster includes bugging out.  The Grey Man will not choose bug out clothing that is SWAT black, military camouflage, or multicam, or that features tacticool internet gear-company tactical vests or military style backpacks covered in pouches bulging with AR-15 magazines. He knows this is a clear red flag to anyone who may driving by, such as a local law enforcement officer that he might be a Bad Guy.  Instead, he'll wear something like jeans, a dark colored jacket or sweater, and a backpack made for camping.  All the room, none of the "Hey, I might have multiple guns on my person, and clearly believe that I am a spec-ops SWAT team G-man in training, detain me, please!"
  • The Grey Man has decided to take his family out to the movies.  The Grey Man will not wear that free Ruger hat he was given after his last firearm purchase, nor the Glock shirt he was given by a relative that knows he's into firearms.  When he pulls up in his non-flashy car, it will not have a bumper sticker on the back that says "I dial 1911", nor does the house he and his family left have signs out front that say "If you can read this, you're in range!!" 
The concept to take away from this is simple: be invisible.  Conceal carry folks use this term to describe the efforts they go to in order to make sure they aren't "memorable".  Many more extreme Grey Men drive dull cars, live in nondescript houses, do not wear flashy jewelry or dress in a way that stands out.  In this way, they feel this puts them at a tactical advantage should they be in a store when robbers kick the door in and rush in brandishing guns.  They are essentially prepping themselves to be more effective defenders in such a situation, whereas if they were wearing clothing that advertised their firearm ownership to the world, they become an instant target.  Invisibility.  In fact, there are almost certainly Grey Men around you anywhere you go in public these days. 

So, during all your preparing, remember what I said about OPSEC.  Invisibility is a HUGE part of that.  Your preparations are a considerable expenditure of time and resources.  A lot, a lot of survival boards/blogs/videos will make a point of discussing firearms (don't worry, I'll get there myself) as a means of defending what's yours.  I don't disagree with this viewpoint, but see it this way.  By not making yourself a target, or a known source of supplies, you cut out a large portion of trouble that might otherwise head your way.  Because let's be candid for a moment.  Most people aren't Rambo.  They aren't chomping at the bit just waiting for the balloon to go up, so they can rush out and start mowing people down with that AR-15 and the 25,000 rounds they hoarded because EFF YEAH, IT'S THE END-TIMES!  Most people aren't killers.  I am not a killer.  You almost certainly aren't either.  I own many firearms, but at no time do I fantasize about shooting someone with them.  If I ever had to, I would.  But it's not something I look forward to, so if I can avoid it, I will.  Alright, end of that particular sermon.  Be invisible, hide your valuables, not just physically, but conceptually, as in, don't talk about them, or let people you don't know, know you have a stockpile of supplies at your house.  You may think this is me being dramatic, but honestly, there are plenty of stories posted up of people going on vacation and coming home to find their house was broken into and cleaned out while they were gone, because one of the family posted on Facebook or wherever that they were all going on vacation, yay!  Same concept here.

That's not just common sense, that's smart planning.  I myself utilize the GMC where I can in my life.  I purposely keep the exterior of my home nondescript, even though I'd love to cover the front with plants and such to make it unique.  Sadly, I am not able to do it much in my personal life, as I am what you might call a memorable personality.  I drive a flashy car (that I do not park in my driveway, but in the street across the way), and am a tall, loud person.  Just the way I'm made.  That said, when on the road, due to what I do for a living, I practice the GMC pretty strictly.  I dress in faded jeans and a tee-shirt.  I do not make eye contact with people, nor do I strike up conversations.  Yes, it is entirely at odds with who I am at home when surrounded by coworkers, friends, or family. But you just never really know with people these days.

I have typed way too much as usual, but hopefully, I've given you, the possible new prepper a few basic things to consider and/or add to your plans.  Stay safe out there.

- Unnamed Prepper

"Perhaps catastrophe is the natural human environment, and even though we spend a good deal of energy trying to get away from it, we are programmed for survival amid catastrophe."
- Germaine Greer    

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