IS your state Zombie-Safe? The results of the Keller Study

The Hordes make their way west

The Hordes make their way west

(from the ZRS Site)

The Zombie Research Society (ZRS) is dedicated to raising the level of Zombie scholarship in the Arts and Sciences. ZRS Members represent diverse backgrounds, interests, and theories, but are unified in their support of the Society’s three foundational principles:

1) A Zombie is a biologically definable, animated being occupying a human corpse.

2) The Zombie Pandemic is coming. It’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when.

3) Enthusiastic debate about Zombies is essential to the survival of the human race.

Become a member of ZRS, and add your insights to the greater Zombie discussion. The life you save may be your own.

The ZRS has recently conducted the KELLER STUDY, a state by state survey which ranked greatest chances of a successful survival outcome in each state in the United States.  The results were a bit surprising.  However, when one considers the underlying assumptions, things begin to make sense:

The Keller Study starts with the comparison of gun ownership per capita to population density and finesses the data from there.  At first glance, populous states with low level of gun ownership, such as New York, seem doomed.  There are (one assumes) other factors in play, such as basic geography and paramilitary/military and police per capita as well.   

The results?  Well, you’ll have to visit the site to find that out.  My only comment is that my own home state, Virginia, is horribly misrepresented at fifteenth from the bottom of the barrel, New Jersey!  The survey does not factor in that Virginia may be one of the “Killin’est states in the Union”, with broad and easy access to guns (much has been made of the fact that felons from Washington D.C., where guns were illegal for many years, have easily crossed the Potomac to legally purchase weapons in the Old Dominion over the years).  There are also several military installations in the state, many National Guard outposts, the Virginia State Militia, a rigorous and well armed State Police, as well as the Shenandoah Valley to our West (nestled in the Blue Ridge, this may be a natural bastion for the survivors form the Eastern part of the state to flock too, after blocking the mountain passes).  I consider our poor rating to be a victim of faulty assumptions.  For the rest of the article, VISIT THE ZOMBIE RESEARCH SOCIETY.

5 responses to “IS your state Zombie-Safe? The results of the Keller Study

  1. Hi-

    This is Matt Mogk from ZRS. In speaking with the Researcher, Bart Keller, he said that he didn’t use the number of unsold guns, or gun shops, in his calculations because once the zombie pandemic hits it is unlikely that the shops will be open for business. So the general public will not have access to guns that they did not previously purchase.

    He did take into account military outposts, but the proximity of Virginia to Washington DC cancels this factor out, because it is likely that most troops in the region will be sent to protect the Nation’s Capital.

    Also, he states that there a roughly equal numbers of military personnel spread throughout the country, so that factor does not sway the data greatly one way or another.

    Hope this helps!

  2. Matt:

    Many thanks for your timely and well thought out response. I appreciate the empirical nature of the data that Mr. Keller was using for his survey, but I think it may overlook several critical soft factors. Northern VA may indeed be overwhelmed by the first wave of undead around the National Capital region, but in order to maintain command and control as well as POTUS level authority, you may rely on the the fact that there will be a very heavy committment of military force used to suppress the coming pandemic of walking dead. Ultimate success is fairly hard to judge at this stage but with sufficient time to react I should think the response would be fairly lethal in the capital proper, as well as surrounding counties of Fairfax, Arlington, City of Alexandria, PG county, Montgomery county and possibly points West (to maintain critical transportation and communication links to the rest of the National Command structure.

    With that said, I agree that the focus of that use of force would be establishing a cordon around the Capital, and ejecting newly created undead from the cordon. Still there are many forces on hand (State cops, the Virginia militia, and the VA Army National Guard)

    The Virginia Army National Guard maintains 67 armories, and is present in 50 communities. The major units of the Virginia Army National Guard are:

    State Area Command
    91st Troop Command
    29th Infantry Division (Light)
    Engineer Brigade, 28th ID
    54th Field Artillery Brigade

    These are fairly large units and all of them are fully mechanized with heavy duty military vehicles.

    Beyond that, once you get outside of the fifty mile radious surrounding the National Capital, Virginians have a definitive tendency TOWARDS gun ownership and … erm.. .”creative enforcement” ..

    We’re a crazed bunch of gun-totin’ rednecks down here, despite the big city being nearby. I don’t think mere numbers can reflect that.

    Yours Most Respectfully,
    Mister Nizz

  3. Hi Nizz-

    Good points. Couple thoughts:

    Every state has a National Guard and Police, etc. In fact, New Jersey – the state that rated last on the Keller scale – has 9,000 National Guard soldiers. Virginia, by contract, has only 7,500 soldiers.

    Also, the most recent estimates are that Virginia has 35.1% gun ownership. That is a good number, but not even close to the 60% of Wyoming, and well below states like Alaska, Montana, West Virginia, Idaho, etc.

    Lastly, I lived in South Western Virginia for 6 years. In my rural town the gun ownership was high, and the population density was low. We could walk out our back door and shoot off guns at any time of the day or night. No doubt people in similar situations would have a fine chance of survival, but this rating is based on an entire state’s population.

    If you and your crazy friends survive, but many others in the state die, then it is reasonable give that state a poor rating. Again, that is not to say that many will live, it just means that the likelihood of a lot of people dying is greater in your state than some others.

    Statistically, Virginia is 31st worst in gun ownership, with the 13th most densely packed population. Not too bad, but doesn’t exactly equal an idea zombie fighting location when compared to many other states.

    Hope this helps!


  4. Typos!

    “…then it is reasonable TO give…”

    “…that is not to say that many WON’T live…”

    “…doesn’t exactly equal an IDEAL zombie…”

  5. Pingback: In the coming zombie apocolypse, I am doomed. « Third Point of Singularity