Hey, kids! Yep, it’s time for another ZAS tip. You can find last week’s here. That one’s about getting your happy butt out of urban areas. Remember, the more people in an area, the more potential zombies. So it stands to reason, right, that you want to get away from these areas.
Today’s tip: Pros and cons of guns in a zombie apocalypse.
Okay, so lots of people swear by guns in a ZA. And yes, guns can be very handy things. But be pragmatic, and think about what kind of firepower works best for you and when you’re going to use it. And you also need to think about how you’re going to base. I don’t recommend holing up in a barricaded structure because you’re going to run out of supplies. You need to be mobile until you can figure out a plan of action and eventually, you might be able to develop a more rooted place as an HQ. But in the interim, MOBILE.
Pro: if you’re a good shot, you can seriously disable or de-commission a zombie. We all know how to do that, right? Head injury. To put a zombie down permanently, you have to do serious damage to the head. To disable a zombie, you can, say, shoot their kneecaps out, which prevents movement to a certain extent. They’ll still try, but you’ve slowed ’em down quite a bit. But the head shot is the one that puts them down for good.
Con: Studies show that head shots are some of the hardest to make, especially when under stress. So you may be armed to the teeth, but chances are, you’re not going to be able to make your shots count.
Pro: Guns can be deterrents to other survivors. That is, brandishing an AK-47 at a couple of other survivors who might want to steal your gear could ensure you live to fight zombies another day.
Con: But keep in mind survivors are going to want your gun(s), too. So sure, they may pretend to go away, but you’ve just become a target for gun envy. I’ve said this before, but in a ZA, survivors could actually be worse than zombies. After all, zombies are predictable. They want to eat you. Period. Survivors want your gear and your guns. Humans, rather than try to go get their own, will covet yours and fixate on them.
Pro: You can shoot game to eat. Again, that’s if you’re a decent shot and you know what to do with that game once you shoot it.
Con: Ammo can run out.
Con: Guns require care and cleaning to work properly. Carrying that kind of equipment adds weight and hassle to your gear.
Con: Guns are not deterrents for a zombie. A zombie isn’t going to look at you brandishing your gun and think “Oh, geez. This one’s got a gun. Better look elsewhere.” So you’d better hope you can disable/de-commission a zombie with your gun.
Con: Guns are loud. Remember last time we discussed staying as much on the DL (for those not in the know — “Down Low”) as possible? Zombies can hear. If you’re screaming and talking loudly, you’re drawing attention to yourself. Ditto if you fire a gun. That could be an invitation to a buffet where you’re one of the main courses. So if you do have a gun and you know how to use it, be circumspect about how you employ it. You might be one of those yee-ha sadistic types who loves to shoot up hordes of zombies like it’s a video game, but here’s the real deal. This ain’t Wii or X-Box. You will run out of ammo in real life, and you will draw other zombies. Unlike Wii or X-Box, once you’re out of ammo and surrounded by zombies, you’re pretty much out of luck. Your character doesn’t get another chance. Think Ninja and use your guns sparingly.
Con: Guns are loud. They can draw survivors, too, and all rules/bets are off in a ZA. No more culture of manners, folks. You’ve seen what happens in a natural disaster or war situation. People go into survival mode, which means they look out for themselves first, then their relations, then their friends. Think about this, too. In a ZA, the grid will eventually collapse, and that means things like prisons are no longer effective and all those people inside will soon be outside. No more social rules, no more police force, no more armed forces. There are survivors among those prison populations, too.
So basically, if you want to be mobile and on the DL, it’s probably a good idea to carry one gun and/or pistol for emergencies — but only for serious emergencies, like, you can’t outrun these zombies or you’re possibly cornered and need to take a couple out. Remember, too, that you’ll be carrying the ammo and cleaning apparatus and that you need to know how to do all that. So if you’re clueless about guns, about the only good one’s going to do you in a ZA is as a visual deterrent to other survivors. My advice? If you don’t know how to use guns now, either start learning or get proficient with non-gun types of weapons. Better yet, do both. You need to be versatile. And that just might be next week’s tip.