Defending what is yours an age old human problem.
I am currently watching the show “The Colony” season two. It portrays a group of survivors being robbed by a larger group in the first show. In the show I just watched one of the team members was kidnapped and the team was forced to trade needed supplies to get her back. I have talked about the “birdie in the cage”. This is what some convicts call a women alone in a car that has broken down in an isolated area. In the show season one or two the base camp for the teams is as much of a trap as it is a sanctuary. This problem goes back to the beginning of human farming. When humans were hunter gathers they could only take what they could carry with them. If the hunting parties of neighboring tribes became raiding parties then the tribe could move and try to find a safer place to live. Unfortunately, when you farm you ideally have more food at harvest than you can readily consume. This food has to be stored. Now once you store it you now have something of value that others may want. If a local tribe comes with a raiding party you can let them have your food and likely starve or you can fight to protect said food. Going back to a hunter gather may not be an option because over the generations your tribe may have lost the skills they needed to live this lifestyle. So you develop technology to defend yourself. From such humble beginnings the idea of a warring city state is born.
So in something like “The Colony” what is the answer? Around the world you have situations happening daily where people are struggling to survive. In many cases this is the result of warfare. In such situations people are distrustful, despondent, and life is bleak. In America we have robberies, murders, etc. but overall we have a high level of personnel safety. We also in many cases have the right to arm ourselves for safety. America has had civil unrest and rioting but we as a people are more likely to come to the aid of emergency victims than we are to cause unrest. The majorities of Americans are not distrustful, despondent, or believe that there is not hope for a better life. So in an apocalyptic scenario how would we prevent becoming a birdie in a cage. Well in cases of rioting in the past what has happened in real life is that people came together to protect their community. In something like “The Colony” the same thing could happen if a large enough stable community can form. They would have to solve the basics of shelter, clean water, and food to support a cooperative community that is large enough to defend itself. History is full of warlords emerging in areas of civil unrest. There have been a number of TV shows and movies made on this theme. But I also believe that there are many strong communities in America that would cooperate and remain functional if something like “The Colony” happened.