Kirby: As for me and my house, we’re keeping the ammo

By Robert Kirby

The Salt Lake Tribune

Published: September 21, 2012 02:21PM
Updated: September 21, 2012 04:32PM
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Robert Kirby, Tribune columnist

Mormon food storage is back in the news again, but this time with a caveat. We’ve been counseled by a church leader NOT to store ammunition.

Instead, we’re to focus on food and other emergency essentials such as water, medical supplies, church publications on CD, Rolaids, etc. for the tough times ahead.

Such preparation is not unusual given that most faiths believe the world is going to end horribly at some point, with a stretch of increasing horribleness leading up to it.

No one knows exactly when all this will start or how long it will last, but it makes sense to prepare for it. If you’re going to be left behind in the Rapture, you might as well have snacks. There’s really no point in being damned AND hungry.

But the ammunition thing came as a surprise. It’s the first time in our history that 800,000 rounds of belted armor-piercing 7.62x51mm NATO have been mentioned in a church discourse.

OK, it wasn’t mentioned specifically. But it was there in spirit. I know because I’ve been a Mormon my entire life. Also my wife now has a reason for me to get rid of it.

Great. Just when you think you have everything figured out, along comes an ecclesiastical leader who ruins everything. No ammunition effectively undermines my entire food storage program.

Over the years I steadfastly maintained a balanced emergency storage program. It was a well thought-out plan of just how much ammunition it would take me to get whatever food was in your basement.

It gets worse. As if the counsel against ammo storage wasn’t restrictive enough, we were also told not to support or form right-wing paramilitary groups in preparation for the end of the world.

This is downright odd given our history. Mormons once had a standing army (Nauvoo Legion) and we fought the federal government (Babylon) to a draw (Mormon War). There was no “para” about any of that. Unless of course you count the Danites.

But counsel is counsel. Not only will the ammo have to go, but so will the Noble Urban Troopers of Zion (NUTZ). We’ll have to disband just when things are starting to get interesting (Mormon in the White House).

Pity. After two years of recruiting, we were all the way up to seven members — me (acting colonel), Keith, Carl, Sheldon, Tony, Sonny and Bammer. We’re just your average apocalypse fodder now.

NOTE: Sonny and Tony were really just honorary members. As the only two non-Mormons in NUTZ, we planned on them bursting into flames at the first sign of the Lord’s coming anyway.

Still, now that NUTZ is finished, I have no idea who the church will have saving the Constitution when it’s hanging by a thread, or shooting looters for the Lord come the end times.

That’s OK. Honestly, I never understood the survivalist desire to survive a world meltdown. I mean I’m going die soon enough as it is. Why spend the last few years eating expired tuna fish through a gas mask? Rather be dead.

On the other hand, I wouldn’t want my kids and grandkids to starve to death or get marched off as slave labor.

OK, I’ll keep all of the food AND the ammo. It won’t be the first time I haven’t gone along with the entire program.

Robert Kirby can be reached at rkirby@sltrib.com.