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Zombie Nation Zombies

Why We Love Zombies

by Patrick Sweeney   |  November 8th, 2011 27

ZombiesWhy have zombies so caught the attention of many? Why not space aliens, vampires or subterranean mole monsters?

Well, to a certain extent, those others have caught the attention of some researchers. You can find web pages and conspiracy devotees for any and all of them. But none have been the subject of sustained interest, and ghoulish research, as zombies have. Why is that?

My take is simple: It’s personal. To many, when someone mentions alien abductions, we eye the exit, and slowly distance ourselves from the speaker. That is something that only happens to people who are just a little bit dotty to start with. When they begin to talk about it, we just want to be someplace else. As for vampires, werewolves and the like, it is too chic. I mean, when the posters for vampire movies feature stars who are alarmingly handsome, you have to wonder: Do vampires only bite the beautiful? Are you safe from the neck-munchers if you’re an average guy, or a bit on the overweight side? If so, pardon me while I stay away from supermodels under the full moon. And no, I’m not interested in plastic surgery to make me better-looking.

But zombies? Anyone can end up a zombie. Get bit, or splattered from the thrashing feeding of a zombie on someone else, and you too could be infected. Your neighbors, your family, your kid’s soccer team — any of them could be a zombie, and if the coming apocalypse hits soon, they all will be.

That deeply personal “It could have been me” aspect of zombies is, I think, is what keeps them an evergreen subject. Even if some of them are a bit green from decay. We shrug off earthquakes, tsunamis and other natural disasters, especially if we don’t live near where they happen. People who live in Kansas each know how many steps it is to their tornado shelter, but if you mention “tsunami” to them, the likely response is to be “gesundheit.”

Plus, there is the loss of personal identity. Hey, if I’m a vampire and Buffy is hunting me down, that’s OK, because to a certain extent I’m still me. I have to avoid the sun, and when Buffy stakes me, I’m a puff of dust, but until then I can read a paper, drink coffee, chuckle at jokes, etc. If I’m a zombie, I’m nothing but a shuffling corpse.

Also, zombies are a mental code for “disaster.” People who are otherwise just a bit queasy at the thought of saying to someone, “I’m prepared for economic meltdown,” are more than happy to discuss the differences between radiation-induced zombification and viral outbreaks. The thought of driving their normal, non-zombie neighbors off at gunpoint, because the prepared ones stored food and the neighbors didn’t, is a thought not to be entertained. But shooting zombies is all in a day’s post-apocalypse fun.

We fear the loss of personal identity if we become a zombie victim, but that same loss of personal identity allows us to mentally prepare for other outcomes, outcomes that are perhaps a bit more statistically likely to happen. The Euro can collapse, taking western civilization with it, but we can prepare for that by being prepared for zombies. Making sure everyone you meet actually has a reflection in a mirror does nothing to prep you for the day when some teenaged hacker crashes the power grid.

So be proud of your preparations for the coming zombie apocalypse. They will serve you in good stead for all the other possibilities. Oh, and as for vampires and werewolves? Dip your bullets in holy water and have them blessed, unless you can afford silver bullets. The mole people? Inside information tells me that anything .30-06 or bigger does the job. As for alien abductions, you’re on your own, pal.

  • mick

    The obvious point has been missed. Zombies do not have a lobbying group and/or lawyers to cry discrimination and that their feelings have been hurt.

    • David

      I thought lawyers and lobbyists WERE zombies. If not, how do explain their predilection for living off of others?

      • Hersfelder

        Hey, lawyers and lobbyists ARE zombies! There are always too many of them around and it takes a head-shot to REALLY eliminate them!

  • Fred

    In my opinion,zombies are enemies with absolutely no thought or abilities. This state would allow us to vent every sort of hate and anger against them without ever worrying. I'm sure the best zombie hunters would be those who are mentally insane and sociopaths.(extremely violent). Not to mention seeing a zombie get killed with a shotgun is just awesome.

  • John Doe

    "As for vampires, werewolves and the like, it is too chic."

    Actually it is too CHICK. Chicks fantasize about getting their necks nibbled on, who else bites necks but Vampires? I guess the Werewolf thing is for chicks that like hairy guys? Nobody wants to be bitten by a zombie, they don't stop with just a bite, they want to eat all of you. I like zombies because even if you hit 'em in the chest with a pair of hollowpoints they keep coming. Gotta go for the head shot. :)

  • John

    The best reason! Ther'e already dead. You can't be charged for cancelling one out.
    How come we never see any Zombie LEO"S running around with their guns still strapped on them?

  • jvasd d

    Please stop with the stupid zombie crap Is this a gun website or comedy central Gun articles – pleeeeease.

    • dbw

      I agree please end the zombie crap! The anti gun crowd allready thinks gun owners are unstable nut jobs. Are we trying to prove them right by promoting this zombie thinking.

      • Mongo1

        I don't know where you live, but gun owners are the norm here (Indiana). We're considered Stable Pillars of Society. Instructors at the 4-H shooting sports and a very hostile environment for Zombies, Ha Ha Ha

  • jc2601

    Zombie fascination? LAME.
    Why is it popular? Because people know (consciously or subconsciously) that we're going to hell in a hand-basket, and they're just not mentally capable of mentally preparing themselves for having to defend themselves against wide-spread "civil disorder" up to and including shooting their desperate (because of a lack of preparedness) neighbors. So instead they project onto this zombie fad.

  • Breeze

    I'm pretty sure our congress and president are zombies.

  • Irritated

    I understand the real meaning(s) behind 'preparing for the zombie horde', but I too am tired of seeing all these different so-called professional gun sites and magazines talking about shooting zombies and not getting infected and having to make head shots and what kind of zombies move slow and fast and on and on with MEANINGLESS CRAP! Pick up a comic book if thats the kind of entertainment your after. The only zombies I worry about are crackheads and tweakers and headshots arent mandatory. I can kill them just as easy as they can kill me. Zombies? grow the hell up.

  • Still Irritated

    Anyone catch the new cartridge from… (i forget who) called The ZombieMax round or something like that? "Made especially for zombies" The dumbest product ever! For use only on zombies. grow the hell up.

  • JRB

    Gentlemen, enough of the zombie non-sense already. Get back to more useful topics.

  • John

    You guys need to lighten up! We're just some normal folks who shoot and love guns trying to releive a little stress from our long hard working, hectic days by conversing and poking at our messed up Administration and Gov't. BTW, we now have a new class of Zombie. That right! The TALKING ZOMBIE. His name is Eric Holder. Keep an eye peeled for him.

  • Jim

    In case nobody noticed…it is November! Halloween has come and gone. Time to think about turkey and deer hunting. Let the stupid Zombie crap go!

  • Scottydawg

    Jeez, lighten up, already! With all the serious crap in life you think some folks would welcome a little comedic relief. Can't some of you guys take a joke? Meanwhile its back to the reloading bench for me, stocking up on ammo for the coming (fill-in-the-blank) apocalypse.

  • TruGunNut

    It's unfortunate that there are so many sad people with no sense of lightheartedness. Those interested these zombie articles are just as much a legitimate group of readers as those interested in cowboy action shooting. At least the zombie crowd doesn't play dress up and go pretend to be cowboys (you wanna talk about needing to grow up, let's discuss that). AND you never hear anyone from the zombie crowd whining about another cowboy shooting article being written. We're all here for the same reason, because we cherish the 2nd amendment and enjoy our trigger time in a plethora of ways (and believe it or not, there's more than one way to enjoy firearms for those who truly are enthusiasts). To each his own fellas. I you don't like it, don't read it.

  • JRB

    I do have a sense of humor, but enough is enough. Too much of any one topic gets a little irritating from G&A, so let the zombies go for now. I enjoy a little comic relief but I take guns and shooting too seriously to enjoy another zombie article.

  • WerkinHard

    Eh, it is fun to say, "If the living dead were to walk the earth again, I would do . . ." Just like to see a natural disaster movie and on the way home think to yourself of what you would do in your particular surroundings.
    Some of the lengths some have gone is getting into the just plain silly (people arguing penetration, hollow point expansion effects on the living dead, etc). And others are looking to cash in on the craze.
    Me, I knew all about zombies before it was cool. Hence my FN SLP purchase (that is a joke).

    I do find the comparisons of zombies to the average American consumer to be rather fitting.

  • John

    Hey Jim, bet you piss your pants when Bambi starts doing the shuffle towards you, baring her teeth and you can't figure out why she's not going down, shot after shot in the normal kill zone. :)

  • Adam

    Very well said, TruGunNut! We all know zombies don't exist, but that doesn't mean than it can't be entertaining! It's the thought of getting to unload on some moving, somewhat-organic target and not feel like you are guilty of murder, animal abuse, or just plain sick! Or perhaps some guys actually dream for a zombie apocalypse to happen, then they will actually be important…. think of how many "useless skills" will become very useful during such an event ;)
    Me? I love long range rifle marksmanship, and I think it would be quite fun to shoot at a group of zombies 800 yards away, aimlessly staggering around as the bullet hits it's target… sounds fun to me! Like the zombie movies, cowboy action shooting, and many other things; IT'S JUST ENTERTAINMENT PEOPLE!! Are we the ones who need to grow up, or are you the ones who need to check into a retirement home?? ;)

    • John

      Love to chat with ya some time. Building a new Sniper Shot out of my old Savage 110 long, .30-06.
      Waiting on the barrel a long time. Big bucks but it should be fun! Recommend a Long Distance, reasonable priced scope? I'm still trying to figure how to hide the cost of the barrel from the little lady. Thanks!

  • Metalchemist

    For informational purposes "the power grid" IS NOT on the internet.
    The zombies are the politicans, NGO's and bankers that are destroying the lives of countless people.
    Maybe you know some one that has been affected by these nefarious governmental activities.
    Buy precious metals and invest in large quantities of guilded lead, preferably "ZOMBIE GRADE"
    Semper Peratus.
    Acta Non Verba !.

  • Judy

    Right now, zombies are popular. And everyone assumes they'll be a survivor instead of a zombie. It's just something fun to talk about. Some people think we talk about guns too much and go to too many gun shows. It depends on what you like to do.

  • Doug

    Patrick – I gotta give ya credit. Anything that get as many comments, as many people stirred up and active (on both sides of the issue), and anything that can make me smile this much. Pal, that's a winner ;-)

    Now for the quintessential oxymoron – Long Live The Undead !

  • triplefoot

    Zombies are the PC way of discussing what to kill your "competitor for survival" with in the most effective way.
    It takes the humanity out of the equation.
    Also it allows us to reduce those we don't agree with to mindless objects to whom no laws or morals apply.

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