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Zombies! The fight is on
By Thane Burnett
London Free Press
MANCHESTER, N.J. - When they come, you can try to reason with them, using that delicious brain of yours.
You can remember they were once people too, figure out what it is you did to make them want to now eat you and hope to convince them you want to live in peace. Rather than pieces.
But I'm going to fight the undead bastards.
And I'm not alone.
For the worriers among us, there's a lot of random and unscientific stuff to fear in 2012. The end of the Maya calendar in December, some believe, heralds our collective end. Online, some are chatting about three alien spaceships heading our way, along with Planet X that will sideswipe Earth. That's if solar flares don't burn us to Tator Tot crispness first.
It's impossible to reasonably prepare for these threats NASA says are unreasonable. But we can ready ourselves -- gather our meat-cleavers -- for any fight with the undead.
You heard me. Don't try to look away. It's time for every man, woman and child to soldier up.
From Los Angeles to London, zombie survival courses are filling up fast.
In the '50s, families worried about commies.
Today, it's reanimated corpses.
"In a time of catastrophe, some people find their humanity; others lose theirs," explains Michigan State University professor Glenn Stutzky of his summer course, Surviving the Coming Zombie Apocalypse: Catastrophes and Human Behavior.
He's interested in teaching behaviour through pop culture, such as Brad Pitt's zombie movie World War Z, due out next year. If there is a next year.
Me? I'm interested in keeping my head.
At a course in Worcestershire England, they've practised fighting zombies with paint balls and simulated grenades.
But I need real firepower to preserve my humanity.
And who would have guessed our best hope would be found in New Jersey.
Tucked in the New Jersey Pines, there's a winter hunting club that, at this time of year, turns into the Zombie Survival Course.
With apple blossoms in the wind, it would be easy to lulled into a false sense of ease here. But this is the home of the mythical New Jersey Devil, a flying biped with hooves.
"Growing up, every kid is taught unexplained noises are the New Jersey Devil," says Sue Scelza, who runs the school with husband Mark.
Any strange clamour, these days, could be cadavers heading away from the hunting club, where students practise with 9-mm and .45-cal. handguns along with M4 carbines and Smith and Wesson M&P 15-22 rifles. Did I mention the crossbow?
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