Open Carry in a Post-Apocalyptic World

By Skip Coryell
NOTE: This article first appeared in Michigan Open Carry’s new newsletter.

Mad Max
Open Carry in a Post-Apocalyptic World
Michigan Open Carry
Michigan Open Carry

Michigan –-( Okay, open carriers. Here’s the scenario.

There’s just been a cyber- terrorist attack on the nation’s power grid, and a cascading power failure ensues.

Eventually every toaster, light bulb and television set goes dark and powerless, leaving the world without Twitter, Facebook and cable TV. What a dark and nasty world that would be. But that’s exactly what happens in my novel ‘The God Virus’ .

That thin veneer of civilization is stripped away and the demons of a million souls are set loose on an unsuspecting and unprepared humanity. Well, I guess that’s a worst-case scenario. I suspect that most open carriers would be more prepared than the general population, and here’s why.

Because we open carry as a way of life, we already move and live in a world of heightened awareness. We know that at any moment in time Johnny Badguy can pop up out of the woodwork and do his darndest to put us under. But as an open carrier, you see him coming, pull your favorite firearm and double-tap center of bad-guy-exposed-mass (before most people can clear leather) to remove him from the gene pool and keep your family safe. Happy ending to a scary story.

Isn’t it nice to know your draw is quicker than most, because you don’t have to worry about first clearing that bulky clothing? When I teach my advanced concealed carry classes, I routinely watch shooters struggle with clearing the vest or jacket or shirt while drawing. It slows them down and even adds an element of danger. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched people try to re-holster their pistol with nylon or cotton fabric shoved into the holster. It just gums up the whole works and breaks your rhythm.

In today’s politically correct and “proper” world, sometimes open carriers are frowned upon by others in the gun community. We are sometimes referred to as “the rebels of the gun world.” In a post-apocalyptic world, all that political and useless BS would go away. There would only be two categories of people: those with a pulse and those without. Not only can I live with that rebellious label, but I can also wear it like a badge of honor.

In the post-apocalyptic world, after the Shit Hits the Fan (SHTF) society would cease to function as we know it. The world would suddenly revert to its natural state. (If you haven’t already, I recommend reading James Wesley Rawles’ book How to Survive the End of the World as we Know it . )

Preppers commonly refer to that as TEOTWAWKI.) In the world of TEOTWAWKI, very few people would bother to carry concealed. What for? It would serve no useful purpose. Let’s face it, the only reason peo- ple bother to cover up their gun in today’s world is so we don’t scare the sheep.

In my book Blood in the Streets: Concealed Carry and the OK Corral ( ) I make this statement:

“Sheep are born and bred for one purpose: to be killed and to have their parts processed into something useful by predators. They stand on the hill and go “Baa”, as they’re being slaughtered.”

If open carriers are sheep, then Justin Bieber’s a cigar-smoking body builder.

When the SHTF you don’t want that gun covered up. You want it accessible and flaunted out front as the mother of all deterrents. In all honesty, anyone with a lick of brains will not only be openly carrying their pistols, but they’ll also be carrying their favorite shotgun or home defense rifle. Now that’s the ultimate in open carry. In a TEOTWAWKI scenario, open carry would become the norm, and concealed carry would go the way of all things electric.

However, probably the one trait open carriers possess above all others that would enable them to survive in the post-apocalyptic world is this: Many open carriers just don’t give a damn what other people think about them. They tend to do what’s right regardless of the judgment of others.

That in itself is a very freeing benefit. Open carriers would no longer be stopped by police simply because “they were carrying,” because there would be no police. It would be law of the jungle and the rule of tooth, fang and claw. In a wild world of survival of the fittest, open carriers would survive; no, more than that; they would thrive and move to the top of the food chain, helping others in their community to adapt to the brutal changes of this new life.

Hmm, is that a comforting thought, that we would survive and thrive in a world where good and evil battle for control on a daily basis? Perhaps, to some, it’s not much of a consolation being the most prepared for the end of the world as we know it. But then again … it sure beats being a sheep. And next time … we talk about Zombies! (Yes, that was a joke.) In the meantime, carry safe and carry often.

Skip Coryell lives with his wife and children in Michigan. Skip Coryell is the author of nine books including Blood in the Streets: Concealed Carry and the OK Corral, RKBA: Defending the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, The God Virus, and We Hold These Truths.

He is the founder of The Second Amendment March, a Marine Corps veteran, and the President of White Feather Press. He is an avid hunter and sportsman, a Marine Corps veteran, and a graduate of Cornerstone University. For more details on Skip Coryell, or to contact him personally, go to his website at . Buy Skip’s latest book The Shadow Militia at

About Michigan Open Carry
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But we’re talking our current society. If you’re looking at a true SHTF/TEOTWAWKI scenario, civility goes out the window. I think you will be more likely to become a target in that type of situation. Right now we live in a civilized society where most folsk still have something to lose. Even BG’s have a willingness to live and follow some type of logic. But in a SHTF situation, all bets are off. Look at the Walking Dead tv series. As soon as thy encounter a stranger or group of strangers, they get offensive/defensive. And if the others have weapons,… Read more »


I never understand the CC logic behind “I don’t want the BG to know I have a gun”. In my estimation, that is unnatural logic. Look, you don’t mess with a bear because you know it has teeth and claws, and if pissed off will KILL you and won’t think twice about it. You don’t mess with things you know that can/will AND IS ABLE to kill you if needed. A BG is the same way – they just want to do their thing with minimized acceptable risk vs benefit. They are far more unlikely to perform criminal activity if… Read more »

Dan Griffin

> My problem is with open carry, Your (sic) one of the first targets.

I hate it when that happens.


My problem is with open carry, Your one of the first targets. Conceal Carry is the way to go.

Dan Griffin

Brian, there are only about 800,000 federal, state, and local police in the United States. There are over 300,000,000 people in the US, and about 300,000,000 guns. Controlling one town is nothing like trying to control an entire country after a national disaster. And most people in Katrina were compliant. Very different scenario.

Buck Crosby

Ive never read Skips books , sounds like I have some catching up to do because they sound like my king of reading .


Skip, I respect your reply and the fact that you can disagree in a respectful, logical, well written manner. It’s refreshing and something you don’t often find on the ‘net. And I understand that something world wide or even nation wide would be much more damaging then just the localized Katrina. While I believe that many people will flee cities, many others will flee to the cities. Many will try to cling to some sense of normalcy. Remember, if nothign than by pure dumb luck, many “sheeple” will survive. And without survival skills, they will turn to others for support,… Read more »


The “someone will try to take it” argument rates right up there with “the streets will run red with blood” and “it’s for the children” While I assume that it has happened before, the statistical chances are probably about as close as getting hit in the head by a pinppoint meteor strike after being hit by ligtning on a tuesday at noon on a year that is divisible by four…


Ceapea, people always say that… but then they just can’t provide but 1 or 2 cases in all of history to back it up. The fact is, GUN GRABS ARE VERY RARE among non LEO. The deterrant value of OC is much more valuable. People can make wild allegations as easily as I can make them against CCers. Here, let’s try: Why would anyone NOT want people to know they have a gun? Why would they NOT want a potential robber to see the gun and figure they should choose someone else?! I’ll tell you why, it’s because they DON’T… Read more »


I agree with Ceapea, there’s still an advantage to keeping your weapon concealed. For one, it won’t escalate a situation that doesn’t need escalating and two if they (the bad guy) don’t know whether or not you are armed, it may keep them “polite”. Also, if someone sees your gun, they may decide to snipe you and then add to their collection. As Brian said, there will still be police and military people around.


What perceived “advantage” do the police and military lose when they open carry, Ceapea? It seems like they choose open carry because the tactical advantage outweighs perceived losses. I wonder what kind of response you would get if you announced to a police department that from now on, they have to conceal? If you have problems maintaining positive control of your sidearm, then I definitely suggest that you continue to conceal carry. If you are worried about someone grabbing your weapon, then don’t open carry, but I wonder if you can cite any open carry incidents in which an open… Read more »

Brian J

Ceapa: How many times has your fears materialized?

Of the thousands and thousands of OCers everyday, your predictions just don’t happen and if it does it would be statistically insignificant.

The advantage to OC far outweigh those perceived advantages of CC.

Now CC does have some advantage from an offensive standpoint, but from a defensive one OC wins.


Brian, you fail to take the population versus number of police and military assets. Many of whom will not report to work because their first and foremost concern will be to protect their family and loved ones. No doubt a police state will try to form, but probably localized to very specific areas, leaving a vast wasteland of lawlessness elsewhere.

Skip Coryell

Hi Brian. I respectfully disagree with you. TEOTWAWKI will be nothing like Katrina. I respect your opinion, but all the experts agree that a nationwide, long-term power outage would result in total overwhelming of local and federal governments. Experts estimate up to 75% of the population would die. Disease and chaos would rule the cities. Most people would flee to the countryside away from the violence, disease and famine. Read some James Wesley Rawles. The scenario I described in my article would be one thousand times worse than Katrina. As for a response to Ceapea, I’ll refrain since he didn’t… Read more »


I just can’t see the advantage of the LOSS of advantage, of concealed carry! It makes no sense to me to let anybody know that you are armed. There will eventually be someone, who sees your defensive weapon, that will decide that they can “get it from you.” This just starts an unnecessary and dangerous series of events. Begging “them” to try and take it, almost. There are a lot of people, out there, that are just crazy enough to try it. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be able to open carry. Just that if you’re intelligent about your… Read more »


The one problem with your scenario is that you assume that there will be no police. Given the current administration, the equipping of police forces to be small armies, and the Dept of Homeland Security being its own army against the citizens, it’s highly likely that there will be a a police force. Most likely, our whole country would go into a police state. Look at New Orleans after Katrina. ANd we had a much better Administration at that time. Imagine now…police, National Guard, NHS…you’d probably be shot on site for open carrying or being out after curfew.I was in… Read more »