Monday, August 14, 2017

Human Trafficking: How To Prevent Kidnapping


My daughter just got home from an LDS mission in Houston, Texas. It was so good to see her again and to have her around. She and I are a lot alike. I worried about her in Houston and had to trust in the mission and Heavenly Father that she would be protected. Houston is known for kidnapping similar to Phoenix, Arizona. I have taught all my kids safety, situational awareness, always having access to some sort of weapon, and just keeping their head. All my kids have learned to shoot. I’ve taught them the proper way to use a tactical pen, pepper spray, basics of knife fighting, and some hand-to-hand moves. I’ve always thought my kids were well prepared.

The FBI estimates that well over 100,000 children and young women are trafficked in America today. They range in age from 9 to 19, with the average age being 11. Human Trafficking is now recognized as the second largest criminal industry in the world. Often females are targeted but really males are becoming just as frequent.
As an adult or teenager here are some tips to stay safe.
Going to and from your car can be a vulnerable time. Have your keys out, your head up, and get to your vehicle quickly. Scan the inside before you get in and then lock the doors when in.
Avoid leaving your home at a specific time or during certain hours every day. Change your schedule a bit. Regular car routes to the office or to school should also be changed once in a while. If possible, change the vehicles that you use.

Be careful not to reveal too much about yourself or your family members via social media. Never reveal addresses and be sure to turn off the GPS function on your smartphones. Don’t post on social media the places you frequent. Some people are unaware that Facebook and other sites reveal the specific residential area from where you are posting on social media. The internet is not secure.

Obviously be vigilant at night but in the day too. Situational awareness is always important. Don’t be distracted by cell phones, what you just bought, or even conversation. Being with someone helps. But stay aware. If you’re alone and feel weird about a situation go back into the store, mall, or restaurant and ask an employee to walk you to your vehicle. Park as close as possible to buildings but park under lights.

If approached by someone don’t be distracted by what they are doing or saying to let down your situational awareness. Usually they lie in wait so approach in a way where you can see around other vehicles, poles, bushes, or other obstructions.
Don’t get caught up in looks. A criminal can look like anyone. Usually there are two or more involved. Watch your 6. Usually their vehicle is near. They may be in it just waiting. They will try to flank you or approach from the rear while a distraction is in front of you.
Be vocal. Yell or scream. Use a whistle or even a horn. You want to draw attention to what is going on and to them. I knew a girl who was approached by two guys and she went into a defensive stance and yelled “Come and get some of this!” They took off.
Women don’t dress skimpy. I know you think it’s sexy but it really isn’t. You don’t really want the kind of guy who is attracted to that. It may help to dress modestly. Also, consider what footwear you wear. If you spend the summer in flip flops you may want to rethink that. Sandals and flip flops are hard to run in. So are tight pants/skirts. This is not just for the women, guys can get caught in the wrong clothes too.
Be aware of your surroundings. Try to stay in heavily populated places.

Know how to defend yourself. Whether it is weapons or fighting, get trained and practice.

Tips for parents:

Know your child's whereabouts at all times.
At a very early age, teach your child their name, address and telephone number and your first and last name.
Teach them how to call 9-1-1 for help. When using the telephone for these lessons, make sure the call to 9-1-1 doesn't actually connect. When our kids were small we used an unplugged hardline phone.
Make sure children know how to make local and long distance telephone calls.
Never leave children alone in a car, not even for a few seconds.
Establish strict procedures for picking up children at school, after movies, at friends' homes, etc.
Establish a family code word that only you, your child and a trusted relative or friend knows. Teach your child to ask for the code word when approached by someone offering them a ride.
Remind your children to never accept a ride from someone you don't know, even if the child knows them.
Talk to your children about child abduction in a simple, non-threatening way. Don’t scare them.
Listen to your child when he or she discusses anyone they have met or spoken with when you weren't around.
Have photographs taken of your children at least four times a year (especially for preschoolers). Make note of birthmarks or other distinguishing features.
Have your child fingerprinted and store the prints in a safe, easily accessible place in your home.
Teach your children to:
Never leave home without your permission. Very small children should play only in areas away from the street, such as a backyard, or in a play area supervised by a responsible adult.
Never wander off, to avoid isolated places, and to avoid shortcuts through alleys or deserted areas. They are safer walking or playing with friends.
Come straight home from school unless you have made other arrangements.
Never enter anyone's home without your approval.
Scream, run away and tell you or a trusted adult if anyone attempts to touch or grab them, of if a stranger offers them a ride.
Never give any information over the telephone including their name and address, or indicate they are alone.
Keep doors locked and admit only authorized people into the house.
Rules for baby-sitters:
Leave a number where you, a neighbor or relative can be reached in the event of an emergency. In addition, if you have a cell phone, give the sitter that number and carry your phone with you while you're out. Make sure the battery is fully charged before you leave.
Never allow the sitter to admit strangers into your home. The best rule: no company allowed.
Instruct the sitter that phone use is for emergencies only, not for chatting with friends.
Leave the number for your local law enforcement agency and tell the sitter to call immediately if there are any signs of suspicious activity or unusual noises.

Being safe is not difficult but you must be vigilant and not let your guard down. Do this and you and your family can be happy, safe, and secure.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Friday, August 11, 2017

Overwatch: Drill Of The Month For August


5×5 Drill

Skill Focus: combining speed and accuracy
Distance: 5 yards

Target: 5-inch circles with center aiming dot.
Instructions: Five shots, five inches, five yards, five seconds. Starting from a low ready position, at the beep fire five rounds at the circle. The goal is to land all five shots in the circle within five seconds.
Variations: For an added challenge, draw from the holster instead of low ready. To test consistency, repeat the drill five times. A “pass” is 25 shots with no misses.
This drill was originally developed by Gila Hayes and outlined in her book Effective Defense. Claude Werner suggested the idea to run the drill five times in a row, which he calls the 5^5 Drill. The drill seems simple, but is deceptively difficult to clear 100% every time. As Hayes suggests, this drill can be used as a litmus test for whether a shooter can perform well enough with a specific gun to responsibly carry it. If you can clear the drill easily with a full size pistol, but struggle to pass with your small carry gun, it may be time to re-think your choice (or practice more with the gun you actually carry).

See “Overwatch: Drill of the Month” page for more drills

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Not Being A Man Of Blood

There is a story in the Book of Mormon that bears repeating, again and again. It is the story of Moroni, the Nephite Captain, and Zerahemnah, a Lamanite Captain. The Lamanites had a large Army. It was bigger in number than the Nephites. But Moroni was smart and outfitted his army in armor. The Lamanites only had a loincloth. Moroni and his army were also righteous. As the battle went on the Nephites were defeating the Lamanites. At one point they had them surrounded in a valley. They were winning and in the middle of it all, Moroni gave the command to stop, and had his men take a step back. Then he gave this speech:
1 And it came to pass that they did stop and withdrew a pace from them. And Moroni said unto Zerahemnah: Behold, Zerahemnah, that we do not desire to be men of blood. Ye know that ye are in our hands, yet we do not desire to slay you.
2 Behold, we have not come out to battle against you that we might shed your blood for power; neither do we desire to bring any one to the yoke of bondage. But this is the very cause for which ye have come against us; yea, and ye are angry with us because of our religion.
3 But now, ye behold that the Lord is with us; and ye behold that he has delivered you into our hands. And now I would that ye should understand that this is done unto us because of our religion and our faith in Christ. And now ye see that ye cannot destroy this our faith.
4 Now ye see that this is the true faith of God; yea, ye see that God will support, and keep, and preserve us, so long as we are faithful unto him, and unto our faith, and our religion; and never will the Lord suffer that we shall be destroyed except we should fall into transgression and deny our faith.
5 And now, Zerahemnah, I command you, in the name of that all-powerful God, who has strengthened our arms that we have gained power over you, by our faith, by our religion, and by our rites of worship, and by our church, and by the sacred support which we owe to our wives and our children, by that liberty which binds us to our lands and our country; yea, and also by the maintenance of the sacred word of God, to which we owe all our happiness; and by all that is most dear unto us—
6 Yea, and this is not all; I command you by all the desires which ye have for life, that ye deliver up your weapons of war unto us, and we will seek not your blood, but we will spare your lives, if ye will go your way and come not again to war against us.
7 And now, if ye do not this, behold, ye are in our hands, and I will command my men that they shall fall upon you, and inflict the wounds of death in your bodies, that ye may become extinct; and then we will see who shall have power over this people; yea, we will see who shall be brought into bondage.
Zerahemnah’s response was terse and adamant: “Behold, here are our weapons of war; we will deliver them up unto you, but we will not suffer ourselves to take an oath unto you, which we know that we shall break, and also our children; but take our weapons of war, and suffer that we may depart into the wilderness; otherwise we will retain our swords, and we will perish or conquer”
They finally were put in a position to take an oath and depart.
Zerahemna was not considered a good guy. He hated Nephites. He even appointed ex-Nephite leaders because he knew they were more ruthless. Yet he knew the importance of an oath. He wouldn’t take an oath he would probably break.
Moroni felt the same way.
11 Now I cannot recall the words which I have spoken, therefore as the Lord liveth, ye shall not depart except ye depart with an oath that ye will not return again against us to war. Now as ye are in our hands we will spill your blood upon the ground, or ye shall submit to the conditions which I have proposed.
He was willing to continue a battle to death rather than let the Lamanites leave without taking an oath to not come back to battle against them.
How are we with oaths? Would we be willing to risk our lives rather than break an oath?
As LDS members we get baptized and make a covenant with God. When we make this covenant it is similar to an oath. A covenant is two sided where an oath is more one sided.
June 1, 2017 marked the 288th anniversary of the first military oath taken. I know that was over a month ago, but it’s been on my mind. I know that I usually talk about this every year but I do that because I find it most important in my own life and my family’s lives.
I would rewrite Moroni’s words for myself.
I do not aspire to be a man of bloodshed. But if bloodshed must be to protect me or my family, “then we will see who shall have power over me and my family; yea, we will see who shall be brought into bondage.”
There comes a time when we must stand up. There comes a time when we must defend. Will we ever be called upon again to fight off tyranny? I do not know. I hope not. Will we have to fight off evil? We already do fight off evil, but it may come to a physical fight. Will you be ready? Will you have training? Will you have the means to defend your family? You cannot depend on anyone or anything else. If you do, you’re lying to yourself. Can the police really save your family from murder and rape? They are good, but not that good. They will clean up after all the evil is gone. They will bring the criminals to justice, but how can they defend your family in their moment of need? You must be there for them. You can’t expect God to do something you have been charged to do. If you have the means to defend, have had the training and have practiced, then Heavenly Father can step in if Devine help is needed. We must depend on God after all we can do.
I know this article is the proverbial “beating the dead horse” but I feel strongly about it and want spread this sentiment. You do not have to be a violent person to desire to defend yourself and your family. When the time to do violence comes, if you have prepared, you will do what needs to be done. But only if prepared. Be prepared.

Semper Paratus
Check 6