There has been a great deal on social media the last couple of days about parts, if not all of the United States seeing martial law implemented before January 20th.
None of us can see around corners and only time will tell if the chatter is right the question is, should it occur what’s the best way to deal with it?
The projected active duty end strength in the armed forces for FY 2016 was 1,301,300 people, with an additional 811,000 people in the seven reserve components. (source) This is the total of ALL members of the armed forces and includes 338,000 personnel serving outside of the Contiguous United States. That leaves about 960,000 plus the 811,000 reservists.
Add to that the 1.4 million members of the National Guard giving a final figure of just over 3.1m people the government can call up to implement martial law.
There is no way of knowing how many of these people are Oath Keepers and would therefore not obey orders to impose martial law on citizens of the United States. Police officers, first responders, firefighters and search and rescue operatives are also involved in the Oath Keepers movement.
So, let’s say for a moment that New York City was placed under martial law tomorrow. New York City as of March this year has a population of 8.5m people. Even adding in the 34,000 officers currently employed by NYPD to help them out it would take a hell of a lot of personnel to oversee the inhabitants of New York, and that’s if they were all upstanding citizens that behaved themselves, which of course they wouldn’t be otherwise it’s unlikely martial law would have been implemented in the first place!
So in addition to the military personnel ‘overseeing’ the population you have the ones going after the troublemakers, the gangs, the armchair Rambo’s who want to see some action. Many of these people will die, but so will some of the military.
Then you have to cart off those arrested alive for violation of curfew, protesting etc, that takes more manpower.
It would be silly to suggest that the rest of the country is going to sit back and say “oh dear, we’d better behave ourselves”. Holy hell would be breaking loose left and right as people kicked back against the establishment.
Los Angeles has 4m inhabitants, projected to be 4.1m by the end of 2016. Half the population of New York city so we will say for the purpose of this thought experiment that half the personnel required in NY will be needed to control them. Then lets add in Chicago, Detroit, Washington DC and any other city you care to name.
The adult population of the United States is just short of 250m people and between them they own an estimated 300 million firearms. 10 guns for every member of the military that could possibly turn up.
So, the bottom line is that even if martial law was implemented most of the population will still be in their homes, maybe under a curfew and with travel restrictions in place but the vast majority would not be rounded up and sent to a FEMA camp, it would be a physical impossibility. Just the door to door checks to see who’s in each property would take a massive amount of manpower, then there’s the round up the known criminals and dissenters on top of that.
So, if martial law comes to town what do you do to avoid getting carted away in the middle of the night? You prepare for the possibility now that’s what.
Any announcement about the implementation of martial law will be made after the first boots are already on the ground, the government will not pre-warn people of their intentions so you need to be ready.
As the situation moves forward the military and law enforcement will become thinner on the ground as they are deployed to other cities around the country and it’s at that point that you can consider your alternatives. Do you have relatives in rural areas, a bug out location you could go to? If you have maintained a reasonable relationship with the military they are far more likely to answer questions about if you are allowed to leave the area etc.
As always with prepping it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.