Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Mormon Urban Survival

Years ago I met a good friend. In another life he was a brawler. He’s seen the error of his ways. He has taught many people self defense. He’s actually my home teacher. He and I have discussed self defense and “street fighting” often. He refers to “street smarts” and being street wise a lot. We discussed this and I am taking his definition as my own. Street wise is more than just knowing how to fight. It’s situational awareness and being able to recognize, avoid, or stop a threat. It’s also being cognizant of what is going on in the world, and locally where you are now. It’s being able to form your own personal or family security and mold it to the situation and political climate.
What would you do if the world around you is not completely chaos, rule of law exists but barely, and you still are functioning with work, school, church, and a little leisure. But when you are out on “the street” you feel the uneasiness and tension. How do you handle that?

1. Situational awareness (SA). Being aware of what is going on around you is ¾ of the battle. Even when confronted with violence, you at least can see it coming and are prepared. SA is tied to your “instincts” or following the Spirit. If you are aware that you are going into a particularly bad area you can be prepared and highly aware. Assess people and areas. I’ve been in an area where I’ve said to myself, “What a perfect place for an ambush!" If possible, avoid these places.

2. Evaluate. Evaluate the risks and your security plan. Take a look at your home and property. This should be your safe zone. But like a “Green zone” in combat, always be in Yellow. (see blog Yellow to Orange 3/20/2014) Blend in. Don’t call excessive attention to yourself with your dress or vehicle. Can you avoid the area altogether or pick a different time to be there? Does your family know what to do under certain circumstances? Is your physical security where it should be? Lights, locks, alarms. Does your plan have a safe room? Do you have a fire plan? Evaluate your security plan annually.

3. Neighborhood. Have you discussed any of these things with your neighbors? Do you have a neighborhood watch? Are you aware of the people and vehicles that should be in your area? Involving your neighbors in the neighborhood security is a force multiplier. Look after each other. Work together. Let your kids know they can go to your neighbors for help if they are home alone. This applies at church too. Don’t be complacent and slip into White.

4. Everyday Carry (EDC) Items. There are things you can use to improve your safety. A whistle or air horn to attract attention, a flashlight for attention and to see. Non-lethal and lethal weapons are always a consideration. Be trained and licensed if necessary. One of my rules has always been don’t leave home without a knife or a gun.

I also subscribe to the adage “He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day”. Don’t go into a dangerous place to begin with but if you must, avoid a confrontation. I would rather run away from than shoot someone. Am I prepared to shoot someone? Yes, close and engage! But if I can avoid it, I will. Your demeanor and attitude is everything. Don't be too trusting. If you feel threatened don’t make it readily apparent.
Use common sense in all that you do and don’t expose yourself to dangerous things, people, or places on purpose. Be able to deal with all kinds of people and situations.

Being street wise is important for everyone whether you live in a city or small town or even in the country. Sharpen your skills, be aware, and reevaluate regularly.

Semper Paratus

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

EDC Series: Food (Part 3 of 5)

What do you think of when you hear Everyday Carry (EDC)? EDC means different things to different people. (see blog 7/16/2014 EDC What’s In Your Wallet?)
In this series, I’m going to go through ideas for “kit”, loadout, or whatever you may call your basic EDC.
In doing this series, I’ve reevaluated my idea of EDC. This is where I am working from:
Level 1: Clothing and everything on your person.
Level 2: Items in a pack, bag, purse, or case that you have with you all the time.
Level 3: Items in your vehicle (Obviously if you are on foot Levels 1 and 2 apply only)
When I teach survival or preparedness I teach with this foundation and the acronym ASWiFFS. That is: Air, Shelter, Water, Food, Fire, Security. That is what I will base this basic EDC on.
Do you carry any food with you? I do in Level 2. My get home bag in my vehicles have non-perishable food in them. At times, I’ve carried power bars with me. Of course, depending on where I’m going, I may have some food with me.
One thing I have in level 1, 2, and 3, is means to procure food. I have line to fish with. Wire to snare with. Knives to clean and prepare food with. Something to start a fire.
A knife has multiple uses. A multi-tool has multiple, multiple uses! To get food you must have some skills. Learning to prepare an animal for cooking is important. So is filleting a fish. Learning to fish, snare, and trap are skills that need to be honed with practice. Most of what I consider EDC are skills. Some tools make things much easier, but skills as always, trumps gear. Learn the basics of getting food. Know a little about the edible plants in your area. Be careful with plants, if you are not sure do not eat a plant you only believe are edible. I’d rather be just hungry than sick and hungry.
Remember the rules of three’s. You can live 3 minutes without air, 3 hours without shelter, 3 days without water, and 3 weeks without food. And you usually have 3 seconds to react to a threat.
Not only do you need skill in catching food for your EDC. You need skill in preparing this food. Making fire is extremely important ( and it’s the next “F” in our acronym). Ever skin a rabbit? If you know a hunter or someone who lives in the country, let them know that you’d like to learn and see if they can get a rabbit for you to learn on. Most would be happy to teach you and give you that experience. When I was in survival school, we had to snare an animal and eat a portion of it without cooking it. I’m here to tell you rabbit eyes are like eating soft nuts. Salty. I knew I should have caught a fish. But I guess I’m not that fond of sushi either. Old survival manuals and old Boy Scout manuals can teach to snare and fish.
Insects and birds are also a source of food. Learn which insects are easiest to catch. Crickets are considered a delicacy as are grasshoppers. Grubs and mill worms are edible and a good source of protein. There are classes that are taught on this subject. Seek them out. Again survival manuals can help with this information.
Fire starting and building is a lost art. I was on a training camp out once. This was adult leaders being trained for Boy Scouts. In this portion of the training, adults camp and live like boys would in a Troop. We had just gone through some training on teaching fire building. We were talking about what it would take to start a fire. One guy issued a challenge. He said he could start a fire with just two matches. Someone else said they could do it with one match. So the next day we set up a competition. Whoever could boil water the fastest would be the fire building champion. There were a lot of friendly ribbing and boasting. Norm, the quietest guy of all was the last. He took out a squeeze bottle of insect repellent, squirted it on his tinder, threw a match and had the water boiled a full minute under the leader. When some guys balked at his accelerant, he said “There were no rules!” He had taken the easiest and most effective route to fire that he knew. And he won! I learned that it’s possible to use flint and steel to start a fire. A bow and drill will work too. But the easiest way that I know would be a match or lighter! Use the easiest way you know how, but practice the more difficult way. Know how to start a fire in a variety of ways with a variety of materials. This is something that has no short cut. You must practice to stay proficient. We’ll talk about this in greater detail in the next article.
Hunting is also a skill that should be learned and practiced. If you have a gun in your EDC, then hunting could be a viable option. Too many people hunt by baiting and waiting. If that is possible, then do so. In most survival situations you won’t have this luxury. Hunting this way is certainly easier than actually tracking an animal. If your hunting experience is sitting in a deer stand waiting for deer to come to the whir of the feeder, then maybe you’d better find someone with real “hunting” experience to teach you and show you how to hunt for your game. I grew up hunting game, it wasn’t until the last 20 years that I learned how easy it is to sit in a deer stand and hunt. Also, finding game animals is great, but in a survival situation eating snake, porcupine, raccoon, or even skunk might be what you kind find. Don’t think a McDonalds hamburger is going to just walk into your camp, you must make your own opportunities.
When you think of your EDC, consider what you could include for food procurement and preparation. These are life saving skills.

Semper Paratus

Mainstream Media Will Mislead You

Guns used most in crime

According to Time Magazine:
1. Smith and Wesson .38 revolver
2. Ruger 9 mm semiautomatic
3. Lorcin Engineering .380 semiautomatic
4. Raven Arms .25 semiautomatic
5. Mossberg 12 gauge shotgun
6. Smith and Wesson 9mm semiautomatic
7. Smith and Wesson .357 revolver
8. Bryco Arms 9mm semiautomatic
9. Bryco Arms .380 semiautomatic
10. Davis Industries .380 semiautomatic
This information is from BATF from 2000, so it’s old.
I find this all very interesting about what is on, and not on, this list. I emailed 3 experienced law enforcement professionals. 2 federal and 1 local. In their experience, Hi-Points are also highly used, as are Cobra and Charter Arms. Also, the guns that are not on the list according to what mainstream media says are used so much they should be controlled: AR-15′s, AK-47′s, and Glocks. Now, crime according to the Movies and TV: AR-15′s, AK-47′s, Uzi’s, Desert Eagles, Mac-10′s, Nickel Plated 1911′s, HK P-7′s, and Walther P99′s.
The reality of guns used in actual crimes are that they tend to be cheap, and they tend to be stolen. S&W revolvers in .38 to .357, this report is as specific as saying “Ford Truck”… You are talking about the most common longest continually made double action revolver on the planet that’s been manufactured since 1908 with the first Hand-Ejector model. That’s over, by my math, a hundred years of constant production. They are going to be out there in some numbers. A brand new full sized S&W 686+ is not a cheap gun, MSRP is $849.00. But I doubt that criminals are sporting a brand new gun. Not unless they stole it in a home invasion.
This statement is not necessarily true: “If you can’t take care of a threat in 6 shots then you’re in trouble anyway.”
Obviously sometimes more is needed. I would like to think that I could get it done with 3 well placed shots, but I sure would like an additional 13!
The hype of gun control does not fit the facts. Next time you hear a “news” report on the evils of guns, remember this short report. The hype is not really the truth.
Most mainstream media cannot be trusted. "No news in the truth, no truth in the news".

Semper Paratus

Monday, July 28, 2014

Taking A Girl To The Range

I do not give out much information about myself here on the internet. I believe less is more and in COMSEC, OPSEC, and INFOSEC (communications security, operations security, and information security). But I do admit I’ve been married for several years, I have more than 1 daughter, and more than 1 daughter in law, and I have friends who are female. I’ve been shooting many, many times with women. This article is about taking a inexperienced woman to the range. If it were about taking an inexperienced man to the range it would be a completely different article. Men seem to need more attention and training than women. This article is not meant to be sexist, so please don’t take any of it that way. Women as a rule need less instruction, and are better shots than men. But they are different, and that’s why this article is specifically for men in teaching women. Some of you guys won’t be able to do this successfully. You will fail miserably because you are thinking like a man, and trying to teach like a man. For those of you who cannot overcome your ego, will not be humble and patient, ask or hire someone else to help the female in your life on the range.
Some women will tell a story such as this one:
“The first gun I ever shot was a double-barreled shotgun. I was 15 years old and my best friend’s older brother had set up two liter soda bottles outside for target practice. I didn’t have any real interest in shooting, but he insisted that I give it a try. I had no ear protection and was given zero warning about the giant bruise that would form the next day on my shoulder. I took aim, and to my delight, I blew my arch-enemy, Mountain Dew, into another universe. I shrieked, jumped up and down with sheer joy, and promptly planted the barrel of the gun into the soft sandy soil. My friend’s brother did not share in my ecstasy, but lectured me about how he was going to have to spend all afternoon cleaning his gun. His dark looks did not encourage my inner-sportsman. Since then, I was given a couple other opportunities, but due to my previous experience, I never relished the idea of shooting anything unless it was plugged into a gaming console.”
I would suggest having a talk before you even leave the comfort of her living room.
In this talk emphasize safety and trying to help them to feel comfortable. Tell them what to expect. I’ve never shot consistently at a indoor range. But if this is where you are going let them know how loud it will be. Let them try on the hearing and eye protection. Let them wear earplugs and muffs at first if it will relieve some anxiety. Emphasize that guns don’t just go off. The trigger has to be pressed. Let them use a “blue” gun or dry fire to get an idea of the feel of the weapon.
Of course the first thing to teach is safety. Sometimes experienced shooters take this for granted. I explain to all my students not only the 4 safety rules, but the reasoning behind them and how most accidents or negligence is from breaking one or several of these rules.
I’ve always started my kids off with a Ruger Mark II pistol and a Ruger 10-22 rifle. These weapons are so easy to operate and have relatively no kick. Let them watch you first. Do everything slow and deliberate.
Teaching anything should be done carefully no matter who you are teaching. Do not talk down to anyone. Especially don’t try to impress your student into thinking you are the best shooter since Chris Kyle. Understand that most of what you are teaching is brand new. Do not use jargon. Most women (some do) don’t read gun magazines and go to gun sites and forums online. They don’t know the difference between MOA and FPS. So don’t throw out acronyms and slang that will confuse them. Explain everything. Encourage them to ask questions. Encourage this by giving them confidence by not smiling, snickering, or rolling your eyes when a question you think is simple is asked. If you can turn this intimidating experience into something fun and positive, they may return. If you turn it into a contest or a “guy thing” who in their right mind would want to return? One of my daughters was hooked the first time I took her out. I don’t think it was anything I did, she just took to it!
Be very patient. They may forget something you just told them because of the loud noise. Gently remind them but don’t nag. Let them try something they think might work for them. Don’t worry so much about stance unless they are doing something unsafe. Make sure they have a good, safe hold on the weapon but don’t worry so much about grip. This is supposed to introduce them to shooting not prepare them for “Top Shot”.
You get more with honey than you do with salt. Praise them when they do well. If they do something wrong, show or tell them what they missed and let them try again doing it right.
Let them do things that are easy, but if they desire something more difficult or challenging, instruct and let them try.
If you will teach and train this way with every person, but especially women, you may have a shooting partner for life.
I love shooting with my wife. She enjoys it, but not as much as I do. She will never sing like I do, “Home, home on the range!”
Semper Paratus

Concealed Carry:The Aftermath of a Defensive Shooting (3 of 3)

I apologize. This article is not mine. I can not locate the source to give them full credit. I appreciate the information and have never seen another article like it. Again, my apologies.

Disclaimer: The listed information, details or story are by no means all-inclusive, nor is it intended to be complete information on the subject of defensive shootings, the defensive use of a firearm, or for self defense in general. This article does not represent any or all legal advice outside the legal representation of an attorney of choice. Consult a qualified attorney, versed on the subjects of self defense, gun rights and defensive shooting practices. No part of this article should be construed as professional therapist counsel. Seek out professional medical help if needed.
This article is the last in a three part article on ideas for After the Shooting is Over.

11. Your Family & Friends – The Personal Aftermath
Your family, in most all cases, will be supportive of you.
Your friends, well they can be on either side of the gun rights / gun control fence, based upon their political beliefs.
Limit your conversation to only those with whom you can trust.
Ask your friends and family not to involve themselves in interviews with the news media.
Do not give any false information to your family or friends regarding the shooting incident. It may get out.
Do not ask your friends or family to lie for you.
Ask your family and your friends to help you cope, or help you deal with the aftermath of the shooting event. Ask for help, should you require it.
12. Avoid Your Attackers Family or Friends
By all means, it is imperative that you maintain distance away from the suspect’s family.
Be ever vigilant at home or when out in public.
Do not call them, email them or send them a letter in the mail, asking for forgiveness or to apologize for what took place.
If you are involved in any legal proceedings, do not engage the family members of the person or persons who attacked you, your family or others.
Should you be approached by one of them, attempt to avoid them, if at all possible.

In the event that you are confronted, threatened, or intimidated by one of the family or friends of your attackers, contact law enforcement or the courts for relief or to file a report.
13. Surviving the Courts – The Legal Aftermath
In regards to your shooting event, you were either right or wrong. You were either within the parameters of a good self-defense shoot, or you were outside the scope of what the law allows.
By this time, you will have obtained legal counsel. Seek their advice and representation on all legal matters involving the courts or law enforcement.
Always present yourself professionally and ethically. Everyone is watching you now as you are center stage in these legal proceedings. Be involved in your own defense, but trust your attorney’s guidance. Sometimes remaining silent, even during the court proceedings, may be your best defense strategy. Refrain from outbursts in court. It doesn’t look good on you.
In the event that the decision of the court does not go your way, appeal those decisions of the court or the jury.
14. The Aftermath – Getting On With Your Life
Wounds heal. So do emotional scars. Think positively. This is not the time to dwell on what has happened. Be grateful that you have survived the threat. Move on.
Getting back into a routine is paramount in your emotional recovery.
At some point, if not already, you should get back into carrying a firearm in public again, or by having it stored safely and readily available in your home.
Although armed encounters are not like lightning, it could happen to you again. So be prepared for it. Talk in confidence with your friends or family when you are ready.
Maintain dignity and composure when out in public. You’ve done nothing wrong.
Smile and start to enjoy life again.
15. Remaining Vigilant – Always Be On Your Guard

Complacency kills. Make and maintain a plan of action to protect yourself, your family and others. Be ready, be alert and ever vigilant on protecting yourself and others always. Attacks can happen anywhere. At work, at school, in a mall, on the streets or even in your home.
Make a plan to survive, then work that plan. Be forever ready to survive the threat.
Continue your training. Practice with firearms often. Never give up your will to survive.

Final Thoughts
It is sad that we as Americans must live this way in the land of the free. But how grateful I am for our founding fathers who recognized the need for self defense. Don’t ever apologize for defending yourself or others. We who recognize that evil exists and the government can do little to stop it, must always remain vigilant. The founding fathers knew this and felt that citizens should be able to take care of themselves. Our modern LEO’s do the best they can, and they do it well, but “When seconds count, the police are minutes away.”

Semper Paratus

Friday, July 25, 2014

Concealed Carry:The Aftermath of a Defensive Shooting (2 of 3)

I apologize. This article is not mine. I can not locate the source to give them full credit. I appreciate the information and have never seen another article like it. Again, my apologies.

Disclaimer: The listed information, details or story are by no means all-inclusive, nor is it intended to be complete information on the subject of defensive shootings, the defensive use of a firearm, or for self defense in general. This article does not represent any or all legal advice outside the legal representation of an attorney of choice. Consult a qualified attorney, versed on the subjects of self defense, gun rights and defensive shooting practices.
This article is the second in a three part article on ideas for After the Shooting is Over.

Note: I have the utmost respect and admiration for Law Enforcement Officers (LEO’s) in this country. They have a thankless job and they must deal with the worst of society. I think they are the best in the world and would hate to be without them.
6. Talking To Police-“No good can come from talking to the Police”
It is an unfortunate fact that not all police are helpful. Everything you say can, and usually will be used against you in a court of law. Even if you are in-the-right.

Advise the officers that the person attacked you or caused you to feel that you or someone else’s life was in imminent danger. Advise the officers or detectives that you were in fear of your life, based upon the actions of the attacker or intruder, and that you had no other alternative but to use deadly force in order to protect yourself or other’s lives.
Be careful of your responses or comments to LEO’s.
Once you have given some basic information about yourself and your fear factor of having been attacked or potentially being attacked by the suspects, say nothing more.
Advise the officers that you are now going to exercise your right to remain silent and ask for a lawyer.
Do not fall into the Q&A trap with officers or detectives. Remain silent, and again ask for your lawyer.
You may want to add that once you have spoken with your attorney, you might make additional statements, as per your attorney’s instructions.
Remain silent until you speak to your lawyers. Remain firm, but non-combative.
7. Know Your Rights – Exercising Your Options
Know what your legal and constitutional rights are.
Know your state laws for self-defense and for the use of firearms or other weapons.
Exercising your rights may be subject to interpretation by the media, law enforcement officers, the prosecutor’s office and even the grand jury.
Know the laws regarding search and seizure, your right to remain silent and others.
Know about your right to counsel (lawyers).
Exercise your rights, often.
8. Lawyer Up- A Professional Attorney versus an Ambulance or Media Chaser
Never make statements to the police without a lawyer.
With all due respect to the greater part of those in the legal profession, not all attorneys are ambulance or media chasers.

There are a great many attorneys out there who have a specialty in armed citizen encounters. Not all attorneys are experts in this area of legal representation or defense; therefore you should seek out the attorneys who are well versed in this type of defense.
If you do not have a lawyer, or do not know a lawyer, speak with an attorney (who might be on call) briefly, who can give you some legal advice until you can acquire one.
Hire an attorney who will best serve you and your case responsibly.
9. Emotional Aftermath – Your Stages of Emotion
Although many may suggest several more stages of emotion, and rightfully so, here are just a few that you may or may not encounter following a shooting event.
There are several stages of emotion following a shooting event. Whether you are a civilian or a trained professional, no two people will react to a shooting event the same.
Here are some emotions that you might encounter following a shooting event that you are involved in; Elation, Revulsion, Remorse, Self-Doubt, Acceptance and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Of all of the emotions listed above, self-doubt, when communicated to others or to the police, may put you in jail. Watch what you tell others.
Should you be in need of professional help, seek assistance from a medical professional as soon as the need becomes apparent, or under suggestion from someone close to you.
10. Dealing With The Media – The Social Aftermath
I view media, especially the main stream media, as either “The Good, The Bad, Or The Ugly”. Most, you will find, tends to fit into the latter when it comes to a defensive shooting event from an armed citizen.
You will find that many reporters will invade your space, your property, and may sometimes get in your face, or in the face of your family or friends.
Say nothing to them. Or if you do, remain calm and ask them to remove themselves from your property, or your face. Do not go “on-the-air” answering their questions.
Ask your family and friends not to talk to the media. Ask the media to respect yours and your family’s privacy.
If there is no story, no interviews for the media, then they will leave in search of another story to report.

Do not ever threaten them. I assure you it will end up on every news station. If you continue to get calls on your phone from the media, file a harassment report with the police.
Call the police if they are persistent. Say nothing to them, and just hang up.
Also, watch what you comment on, or respond to on your Facebook, Twitter, email or any other social media or online forum.

Next article will deal with the personal and legal aftermath.

Semper Paratus

EDC Series: Water (Part 2 of 5)

What do you think of when you hear Everyday Carry (EDC)? EDC means different things to different people. (see blog 7/16/2014 EDC What’s In Your Wallet?)
In this series, I’m going to go through ideas for “kit”, loadout, or whatever you may call your basic EDC.
In doing this series, I’ve reevaluated my idea of EDC. This is where I am working from:
Level 1: Clothing and everything on your person.
Level 2: Items in a pack, bag, purse, or case that you have with you all the time.
Level 3: Items in your vehicle (Obviously if you are on foot Levels 1 and 2 apply only)
When I teach survival or preparedness I teach with this foundation and the acronym ASWiFFS. That is: Air, Shelter, Water, Food, Fire, Security. That is what I will base this basic EDC on.
EDC Series: Water
I live in a very hot and dry place. Rainfall often is non-existent. Water is always an issue. I live outside of a city and have a well for my property. One of the things that concerns me is that if the electricity is out, I have no water for my home. To remedy that, we have a generator so that we can run the well for a short period of time to get water. We also have several gallons of water stored in a tank, barrels, and jugs.
Water procurement is the key in EDC. In my vehicles get-home-bag I have a water filter straw. I store 3 gallons of water plus various containers with water in them. Also in the bag is a “camelback” type of bladder for water and water purification tabs.
What can you carry all the time for water purification are the pills or tabs, but also a filter straw. These come in various sizes and are able to purify a variety of gallon amounts. I like the Aquamira Frontier filter straw. It will only filter up to 30 gallons, but it is very small and very light. The price is usually under $15.00 so it’s pretty affordable. There is also the Lifestraw. This is a little bulkier item, and a little heavier, but it will filter 264 gallons. It’s about double the price but 8 times the filter power in comparison with the Frontier.
Now as I have said before, my definition of EDC is pretty rigid. I am seeing that I should be a little more loose in this. Before I defined EDC as what you have on your person. I see that a fanny pack or backpack, or even a briefcase or purse can extend that. Then there is your vehicle that can expand that even further.
A non-lubricated condom is small, light, and very affordable. They can be used as a water container in the event that you’re able to find water and purify it. As I said, I live in a dry place, yet I am still aware of ponds, rivers and creeks, and a lake nearby. Be aware of these small and large bodies of water near you. They will be your water sources if things ever get to that point. Swimming pools and Jacuzzis may also be a source. Be aware of where those are located near you. Of course, these are owned by others but if a disaster happens when they are away on vacation or otherwise not at home, these may be options. When it comes to water storage in the home, there’s really no excuse. Every person can have some. It just takes a little effort and some ingenuity. We use juice containers because they are food grade and usually a thicker plastic. There are larger bulk water containers for bottled water systems. There are also drums and barrels and tanks out there if you have room. You can use bleach or chlorine to help keep the water fresh and algae free. I know this is not EDC, but it can help your water storage program which can contribute to your EDC.
1 Gallon of water is disinfected by 8-16 drops of regular household bleach (visually about 1/4 of a teaspoon) - double that for cloudy water. Shake and let stand 30 minutes. One teaspoon will disinfect 5 gallons. Immediately after treating, water must initially have a slight smell of chlorine. If it does not - repeat the process.
Only use HTH Pool Shock that does not have any algicides or fungicides. Ingredients should read CALCIUM hypochlorite and inert ingredients. Use a brand with at least 73% Hypochlorite
Before you begin mixing any chemicals in any way, please follow basic safety precautions. Make sure you do this in a ventilated area. Have plenty of water to dilute any mistakes. Wear eye protection for splashes. Lastly always mix the powder into the water NOT the other way around. Also, watch your clothes, chlorine will stain and ruin clothes in such a concentrated form.
Add and dissolve one heaping teaspoon of high-test granular calcium hypochlorite (HTH) (approximately 1/4 ounce) for each two gallons of water.
Other ways to get water are:
Experts disagree on how long water needs to boil in order to be safe for drinking. I say that’s because they are not experts. Water boils at 212 degrees F (100 C). Protozoa cysts are killed rapidly at about 131 F (55 C). Common bacteria and viruses such as E. coli, Shigella, and Hepatitis A are all killed rapidly at temperatures at or below 149 F (65 C). Even raw milk (which can be swarming with microbes compared to backcountry water) is normally pasteurized for only 15 seconds at temperatures of no more than 161 F (72 C), based on standards designed to kill the most heat-resistant disease-causing bacteria.[USDA 2004] Although the boiling point is depressed at higher altitudes, even at the 26,000-foot elevation of Everest base camp it's (72 C) 161 F, which is high enough for complete pasteurization. It is not necessary to boil for a certain amount of time in order to kill microorganisms. It's true that certain microorganisms can survive being boiled for a short time and still cause disease in humans. These are bacterial spores from the genera Bacillus and Clostridium. Examples of the diseases they cause are anthrax, tetanus, and botulism. However, these diseases are not transmitted by ingestion of the spores in drinking water, so they're not a concern here.[Ericsson 2002] For example, when people get botulism, it's because they ingest the growing organism, which has been proliferating in food; you don't get botulism by ingesting the dormant spores.
If you are still not convinced, boil for a few minutes. But if you have limited water in a survival situation, you will lose some water boiling for longer than a minute or two. I prefer conserving water and fuel and only bringing my water to a boil then letting it cool. Use a lid or cover also to keep water in the container. Make sure when you take off the lid you let the condensation in the lid fall back into the water.
Water still:
To make the aboveground still, you need a sunny slope on which to place the still, a clear plastic bag, green leafy vegetation, and a small rock.
To make the still--
Fill the bag with air by turning the opening into the breeze or by "scooping" air into the bag.
Fill the plastic bag half to three-fourths full of green leafy vegetation. Be sure to remove all hard sticks or sharp spines that might puncture the bag.
CAUTION: Do not use poisonous vegetation. It will give you poisonous liquid.
Place a small rock or similar item in the bag.
Close the bag and tie the mouth securely as close to the end of the bag as possible to keep the maximum amount of air space. If you have a piece of tubing, a small straw, or a hollow reed, insert one end in the mouth of the bag before you tie it securely. Then tie off or plug the tubing so that air will not escape. This tubing will allow you to drain out condensed water without untying the bag.
Place the bag, mouth downhill, on a slope in full sunlight. Position the mouth of the bag slightly higher than the low point in the bag.
Settle the bag in place so that the rock works itself into the low point in the bag.
To get the condensed water from the still, loosen the tie around the bag's mouth and tip the bag so that the water collected around the rock will drain out. Then retie the mouth securely and reposition the still to allow further condensation.
Change the vegetation in the bag after extracting most of the water from it. This will ensure maximum output of water.
This is but one way to make a still. There are others. Seek them out and learn them. Then you must practice or you will lose the skill.
Condensation Trap:
Water can be obtained by placing clear plastic bags over the leafy branch of a non-poisonous tree and tightly closing the bag's open end around the branch. Any holes in the bag must be sealed to prevent the loss of water vapor.
During photosynthesis plants lose water through a process called transpiration. A clear plastic bag sealed around a branch allows photosynthesis to continue, but traps the evaporating water causing the vapor pressure of water to rise to a point where it begins to condense on the surface of the plastic bag. Gravity then causes the water to run to the lowest part of the bag. Water is collected by tapping the bag and then resealing it. The leaves will continue to produce water as the roots draw it from the ground and photosynthesis occurs.
The vapor pressure of water in the sealed bag can rise so high that the leaves can no longer transpire, consequently when using this method, the water should be drained off every two hours and stored. Tests indicate that if this is not done the leaves stop producing water.
If there are no large trees in the area, clumps of grass or small bushes can be placed inside the bag. If this is done the foliage will have to be replaced at regular intervals when water production is reduced, particularly if the foliage must be uprooted to place it in the bag.
This process works best when the bag receives maximum sunshine at all times.
All these things can improve your water collection during a crisis. A plastic bag should be kept with your EDC at whatever level you feel it should be in.
There are other ways to find and transport water. Learn what will be best for your EDC and practice it.
Semper Paratus

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Remember: Happy 24th!

Happy 24th of July! Remember the sacrifice that many made, and still make, to do the work of the Lord. If you’re in Utah, enjoy your day off. (see blog 7/3/2014 Self Defense and the 4th and 24th of July) Everywhere else, you need to pause this day to remember. I hope all members can remember. Many LDS members gave their lives that we as a people today can live where we like without persecution. I believe persecution is again in the Church’s future. The Last Days are here and there will be difficult times ahead. Pres. Hinkley said it this way in 1998: “There is a portent of stormy weather ahead to which we had better give heed.” He also said, “But I am suggesting that the time has come to get our houses in order.” Now, Pres. Monson also said in 2009 and at many other times, “My beloved brothers and sisters, fear not. Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith.” I believe him. I know that when we are prepared we will not fear.
On this day of all days, re-evaluate your preparedness, both temporally and spiritually. Pay attention to “…prepare every needful thing”. Look at your home security plan. Look at your personal defense plan. Look at your preparedness plans. Make changes where needed and continue to be vigilant.
Semper Paratus

Concealed Carry:The Aftermath of a Defensive Shooting (1 of 3)

I apologize. This article is not mine. I can not locate the source to give them full credit. I appreciate the information and have never seen another article like it. Again, my apologies.

Disclaimer: The listed information, details or story are by no means all-inclusive, nor is it intended to be complete information on the subject of defensive shootings, the defensive use of a firearm, or for self defense in general. This article does not represent any or all legal advice outside the legal representation of an attorney of choice. Consult a qualified attorney, versed on the subjects of self defense, gun rights and defensive shooting practices.

This is the first in a three part article on ideas for After the Shooting is Over.

1. Preparing To Survive A Defensive Shooting Event
Mind, Body, Training, Tactics, Preparation
Mind: Begin by preparing your defensive and survival mindset. Prepare mentally.
Body: Get and keep yourself into physical shape. You must be physically fit to survive a fight or an altercation with your attacker.
Training: Train with firearms, edged weapons and in self-defense. You can never train enough. Practice often with your firearms, knives and hands/feet for close range encounters.
Tactics: There is no such thing as a fair fight. Use every method and every tactic available to you to survive the threat.
Preparation: Combine the four previous methods, mix generously, and overcome your attackers with determined effort.
2. Defensive Gun Usage – How To Survive The Threat
While At Home: Engaging the Threat
Harden your home defense with alarm systems, locks and lights. Use them if you have them and get them if you don’t.
Create a home defense plan. Know the plan. Drill the plan.
Have a go-to zone / safe room in your residence. Engage your “stand your ground” tactics accordingly.
Have a safe and loaded firearm ready. Take it with you to the go-to zone / safe room.
Keep a charged cell phone nearby. Take it with you into the go-to zone / safe room.
If someone enters your residence, take charge. Think, react and control the situation.
Work the home defense plan. Rush or retreat to the go-to zone/safe room. Dial 911.
If threatened or attacked, you must engage your threat. Shoot center mass and continue to shoot until the threat has been stopped. Reload and re-engage your threat again if necessary.
Stay in your go-to zone / safe room as long as it is safe to remain there.
While In Public: Engaging The Threat
Know and plan your course of travel.
Harden your soft target defenses.
Travel with a friend.
Everyone should be alert and responsive to threats. Have situational awareness.
Wear clothing that gives you easy access to your firearm or other carried weapons.
If possible, disengage from the threat, seek cover and monitor the threat.
If your attacker is an imminent threat to you or others, if you are armed – engage your attacker by shooting center mass.
Continue to shoot your attacker until the threat has been stopped.
Reload and re-engage your threat again if necessary, but only if necessary. Don’t give a “just for good measure” shot. You will be prosecuted. Stop the threat only. Don’t chase your attacker shooting.
Remain in a safe area (behind cover) if it is feasible.
3. After The Shooting – The Immediate Aftermath
Stay put, unless it is more dangerous to remain in-place. Do not approach the threat.
Keep a visual of your attacker, in case they are only wounded.
If your attacker is wounded, keep your firearm aimed at the intruder. Only engage them again if they threaten to harm you or others, or continue their attack.
Ensure that you have an adequate amount of ammunition loaded into your firearm; reload as necessary, however do not traverse to another area to gather more ammo if doing so will place you into further danger.
4. Calling 911
Call 911 (if not already on the telephone with them). Do not wait. Call them immediately. Tell them that you just shot an intruder or attacker and that you were in fear of your life. Remember, the 911 call is recorded.
Ask for an ambulance.
Tell 911 who you are and how you are dressed.
Tell 911 where you are located, and who is with you.
Give the 911 Operator a description, if available, of your attacker, and their location.
If your attacker was armed, describe what type of weapon they had, or you observed.

Tell 911 that you are still armed and that you will set your firearm or weapon down once the police have arrived and when you are safe from the suspect’s threat.
If requested by 911, stay on the line with them.
Give no additional statements, admissions, comments or apologies at this time. You are being recorded
(5) Waiting for the Police to Arrive – Securing the Scene
Remain on the 911 call if instructed to do so by the 911 operator.
Just like law enforcement officers (LEO) do, and if it is safe to do so, you need to secure the scene to the best of your ability and for your safety.
Don’t move any evidence and don’t move the suspect’s body. Keep the integrity of the shooting scene intact.
Remain vigilant for others who may be associates or additional attackers.
Watch out for crowds forming. They may be friends or acquaintances of the subject you just shot. Watch out for onlookers or associates who might attempt to remove evidence, (i.e. gun, knife, weapon) from the scene of the shooting event. Identify them if required.
If evidence is taken, describe it and its location to the best of your ability to LEO’s.
Upon police arrival, place your firearm or weapon in a recoverable place (such as safely on the ground in front of you), and inform the responding officers of your firearms or weapons location. Identify it to officers without pointing it at them. Comply with officers instructions. You may even be handcuffed. They are trying to protect themselves and they do not need to also get into an encounter with you. Remain calm.
Direct the officers to the attacker’s weapons (if there was one).
Identify the attacker as the person who attacked you or threatened you with death.

Next article we will review talking to authorities, rights, and media.

Semper Paratus

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

EDC Series: Air and Shelter (Part 1 of 5)

What do you think of when you hear Everyday Carry (EDC)? EDC means different things to different people. (see blog 7/16/2014 EDC What’s In Your Wallet?)
In this series, I’m going to go through ideas for “kit”, loadout, or whatever you may call your basic EDC.
In doing this series, I’ve reevaluated my idea of EDC. This is where I am working from:
Level 1: Clothing and everything on your person.
Level 2: Items in a pack, bag, purse, or case that you have with you all the time.
Level 3: Items in your vehicle (Obviously if you are on foot Levels 1 and 2 apply only)
When I teach survival or preparedness I teach with this foundation and the acronym ASWiFFS. That is: Air, Shelter, Water, Food, Fire, Security. That is what I will base this basic EDC on.
The first being Air. We need air to survive. So do I suggest keeping a can of air in your backpack? I might consider it… Air is free but the quality can sometimes be in question. I have a nephew who was a smokejumper. Air quality is very important to your survival around a forest fire. My EDC actually includes a N85 or N95 mask. This mask is good for pandemics, fires, and nuclear mitigation. But I keep this in a “get-home-bag” in my vehicles. I’m not sure that counts as everyday carry. A handkerchief or hand towel is also better than nothing. If you carry a mask, take note in how to use it correctly. That’s all I really have in the area of air.
What you carry your EDC in will determine if shelter items can be included. I believe in considering 3 things when it comes to EDC, size, weight, and bulk (SWB). When I am in my vehicle, my get-home-bag takes care of a lot of needs. I also carry water (at least 3 gls) and a first aid kit, toilet paper, and blanket. Each vehicle has a basic tool kit, and jumper cables. Each car has a basic knife and lighter in each glove box. So, if I am with my vehicle, I am with a lot of preparedness gear.
Some people may take a fanny pack or a small backpack with them everywhere. Many women carry purses. If I am on foot, I only have what’s in my knife case and holster, what is in my pockets, and what is in my wallet. So the way you decide to carry everything with you everywhere, will determine what you can carry.
This entry is actually going to be about Shelter.
I do not carry anything with that would be considered shelter. If I am in my vehicle, I consider it shelter. But what I do carry, is things to build shelter with. Learn what improvised shelter is and how to make it. Anything can be shelter. A cave, a tarp, a fallen tree, a car, or a building. Determine what your needs are for your situation. I have tools, and paracord. With these two items, I can make a shelter.
There are numerous places to learn to make shelter. A class or course would be best. But you can learn from the internet, videos, books, and magazines. Boy Scout and old military survival manuals are a good source. Learn what works for insulation and what will keep out rain.
I keep a length of paracord on my knife case and wear a parcord bracelet all the time.
Some would say the shelter is not the first worry in survival. If it is cold you need shelter before anything else. If it is hot water may take priority over shelter. But depending on the situation, shelter may move up to the top in a hot environment too.
Depending on your EDC preferred carry, a emergency blanket or emergency poncho could be used as a improvised shelter. Some people may use a fanny pack, briefcase, or backpack in which case they would have room.
There are tube tents which are light and portable. Those would fit nicely into a backpack and are very SWB friendly. Just a small tarp could be a shelter against rain, sun and wind. A poncho, similar to a military poncho, is designed to be more than a poncho.
A debris shelter can be built with a variety of things.
Here is a basic design and instruction:
1. Find a large forked tree or rock that looks like it would make a great place to stay. You may also make a bottomless triangle with large sticks and place the ends of the sticks in the ground. Not too close to the water or not near the home of any animals.
2. Find one big stick known as the backbone. It must be very tall and thick. Lean it up against the tree or rock that you have picked.
3. Find many sticks. Gather lots of then and lean them according to height to the stick. When all of your sticks are tightly together, leave an opening for you to get in.
4. Take lots of leaves and put them on your structure there should be more than 1 inch of leaves and small branches.
Any variation to these instructions can be made to fit what your situation is.
In the end, skill trumps gear and you should know how to improvise to survive.
Carry what you need and you will never be caught unprepared.

Semper Paratus

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

200th Hour revisited and Plan to Train

I was talking to my wife last night. I mentioned the way my youngest son was mishandling a pellet rifle. This was just hearsay from his sister so I took it with a grain of salt. I talked to my son and he said he did not point the weapon at anyone. My son is a teenager but is very trustworthy. The thing that bothered me was my wife’s comment when I mentioned it. She said “It wasn’t loaded”. How many people have been shot with an “unloaded” gun? Now, to my wife’s credit, I knew what she meant. She meant he had cleared the weapon and was not breaking any of the four rules. I gave her a hard time about what she had actually said and she explained that she saw what he had done. My older teen aged daughter knew I would hear her say from the living room “Don’t point that at me!” But I also know better about my son.
What this exchange brought to my mind is the 200th hour. Do you know about the 200th hour? It is used in the military and was started I think in the pilot world. Statistics have shown that around the 200th hour of flight experience pilots have gained enough knowledge and experience that they get over-confident and thus make a mistake. The 200th hour is when stupid mistakes are made. Hopefully, not too serious of a mistake, but don’t depend on that.
When I was in the military going through jump school we were told about this 200th hour. I was attending a refresher course in Tampa, Florida. We were jumping from a helicopter into Tampa Bay at night. We all had many jumps under our belts, we qualified every 2 years, but it was about our 200th hour of training. One of our class members did not operate his chute correctly and it did not open. Luckily, we were not jumping from 20,000 feet and we were jumping into water. He survived his jump and learned a lesson at his 200th hour!
In my 200th hour mistake I installed the gas piston in a M60 backwards. This is not a horrible mistake
because it turns the weapon into a single shot gun. That is not a problem on the range, but had that weapon been in combat, it would have been a major problem! It also meant that I did not do a function check on the weapon. In my defense, I was distracted many times during reassembly, but that’s no excuse. I am glad to see that the “pig” (M60), as we lovingly called it, is still in the inventory. Now the gas piston will work either way it’s installed.
Look at your own training. Maybe you started carrying a weapon a few years ago. Let’s say you go to the range weekly for a few hours. After 2 years, you’d be close to your 200th hour of training. This article is a call to action. If you are in your 2nd or 3rd year of carrying a weapon, do something unusual to ensure your safety skills are intact. Even if you’ve been involved in shooting and training for 20 years, take this time to re-evaluate. That could be taking a basics class again. It could mean taking specific time to review safety and to review your own training. Be brutally honest with yourself and evaluate how you train. For me, I find someone to teach who doesn’t know much about guns. I offer a basic training course so that I will force myself to review and focus again on safety and the basics of shooting. Take this time to evaluate your training to upgrade it. If you’ve been running a particular drill for two years, find a replacement. A drill that may emphasize a different skill, or a skill you feel you’re weak in. Maybe upgrading your training to make you stretch a little more than you have been. Remember back to when you first started shooting and do some of what you did then to strengthen your foundation. Get back to the basics. Don’t become stale, especially when it comes to safety. Do something different to remind yourself of the safety rules. Place or move a sign. Teach someone these rules that are not aware of them. Find creative ways out of your norm to remind yourself to follow these rules.
I think the 200th hour can also apply to our training. I’ve seen it a hundred times, and have done it too many times. I’ve watched people who shoot pretty well. Maybe they compete and win here and there. Competition is only something they use to train better. They get to a certain level, and it’s not a bad level, and then they plateau and stay there for years. I’m actually describing myself to some extent. I used to train this way. It wasn’t until I changed 1 drill in my routine that things changed. Not only did I improve, but I also brought back the magic of shooting that I used to have. The drill doesn’t even matter. It could have been any change that would make the same old thing different. I know what I need but I have put off doing it. I need to design 4 or 5 different training programs for myself and rotate them ever 6 months or so. I’m doing it now, but it would be easier to sit down and do it on paper.
I know an ex-Navy SEAL. He’s been an instructor for years. People ask him all the time how they can shoot like a Navy SEAL. His answer is always the same, “Dry fire, lots and LOTS of dry fire!” How can this be? Not a drill? Not a special workout program? How about a video or book? No! The fundamentals of shooting can be practiced in dry-fire mode. It’s not as fun or exciting as going to the range, but the truth is, that is where you really improve. It’s just like a sport. A professional athlete takes the fundamentals of a sport and then adds their own power and skill to become the best at what they do. Shooting like a SEAL takes lots of work. Not just watching a video or just going to the range. The boring dry-firing, and gun cleaning work. To be honest with you, I shoot about once a week. That’s probably not enough. I’ve got changes already in mind.
If you don’t know how to get started, ask someone you trust to steer you in the right direction. I could give you what I do, the drills, the dry-fire, but you need to tailor your training program to yourself and your skill level. I would recommend once you get the basics down such as grip, stance, and especially trigger pull, that you incorporate movement and cover into your routine. Most of what I do is engaging at anywhere from 20 to 5 feet with a handgun. Try to put some stress into your training. Some running will get your heart rate up. Using a timer will put you under some stress. None of these things duplicate the adrenaline, heart pounding, fear of a real firefight, but it’s better than nothing at all.
Where ever you are in your skill, start where you are. Don’t wait for some new fangled accessory or futuristic gun. Evaluate and then take what you already have and get everything you can from that. If you’ve been shooting for a long time, you have books, magazines, articles, DVD’s, and even favorite Youtube videos that you’ve already used to improve. There is probably more there you can learn. Try to not let yourself become stagnant. Use the things you’ve already learned to the fullest.
Truly, shooting like a master is just shooting the basics smooth and fast. So make a plan. Write it down. (A goal not written is only a wish) Then get out there and work that plan to the fullest you can. Make small changes to keep it fresh and yourself engaged. Work the basics and create ways to keep safety at the front of all you do.
Semper Paratus

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Tactical Doctrine

Tactical doctrine is defined as “A standard set of maneuvers, kinds of troops and weapons that are employed as a default approach to a kind of attack.” – Wikipedia

In order to be efficient in self-defense, it is crucial to develop your own personal “Tactical Doctrine”. According to “Tactical Pistol Shooting” 2nd edition, there are three “keys” to threat avoidance. These include:

1. Street Smarts
2. Threat Analysis
3. Trade Craft

After studying the blurb following each key, I have decided to put their descriptions in my own words and terms. Hopefully this will make it easier to grasp.

Street Smarts include mental preparation and conditioning. This means to develop key #1, we need to not only train in physical defense, we need to train our minds for defense as well. This is called the “defensive mindset”. Have you ever heard the term “you fight like you train”? This is one of my favorite mantras because it is so true. Bearing that in mind, doesn’t it motivate you to learn more and train harder?

“In a life-threatening situation, you will not rise to the occasion; you will simply default to your level of training”. – Tactical Pistol Shooting 2nd Edition

This is why many people just freeze. They don’t know what to do because anything even close to the situation they are experiencing has never occurred to them. If you practice, even occasionally, you will default to that training. Although, training should be more than occasional. Even if it’s just a mindset. As you walk into a convenience store and see someone lurking you may think, “If he does this, then I’ll do that.” This mental preparation is important too.

Threat Analysis is built upon the foundation of awareness. Situational awareness is the number one tactic to staying safe from an attack. You should have your head on a swivel, be aware of changes in your surroundings and follow your gut instinct. This is actually the Spirit, so being in tune is important in a number of ways. There is far little worse than being shot, but I would consider being shot by my own gun one of those few.
As you pay more attention to who and what is going on around you, you will start to notice that your subconscious often gathers and retains information faster and better than your conscious. Once you have built the habit of staying aware, you will be able to analyze your attacker much more clearly. Just like on the show “Criminal Minds” when the team gathers as much information as they can and then uses those clues to fill in the blanks.

Tradecraft is basically training. Like I said before, you train physically; but you must put equal, if not more, effort into training mentally. All I can say is: train, train, train and then when you’re done; train some more. There may well be more main keys to your personal defense doctrine; this is something you should think about, write down, and practice. Remember, when under attack you must act immediately and action is always quicker and more effective than reaction.

If we can practice the simple things, we will be more prepared for self-defense. Those of you, who have access to a weapon, a gun, and a place to shoot, should be training as much as possible. Winter is so much more difficult to train in unless you can find an indoor facility. I am taking this winter time to put together a shooting training program. I want to be ready for better weather to start a training program that I hope to continue even into the winter months.
Speaking of doctrine, I have some personal doctrine I try to live by.
I’m a fan of the TV show NCIS. On NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs is a former Marine Scout Sniper and he has a rule for everything. If you’re not familiar with “Gibbs’ Rules” I invite you to do a Google search and you’ll find several reference sites with them. In my life I’ve developed a set of rules as well, but never before did I list them. Here they are.
Burn’s Rules of Engagement (Rules of Life)

1. God, Family, Country.
ALWAYS in that order!

2. Family should never fight alone.
See Rule #1. Whether it’s a physical, mental, or a spiritual fight. We stand together or we fall apart. Loyalty goes a long way! Family doesn’t necessarily mean blood.

3. Service and Charity never faileth.
You are never too busy, never too poor, never too tired, to give service and help a fellow human.

4. Avoid debt like you would disease.
“Rather go to bed supperless than rise in debt.” Benjamin Franklin

5. Ain’t no one happy unless Mama’s happy.
“Mama” could be your wife, your Mother, your girlfriend, your sister. Make them happy.

6. Never give up if the task is just.
"Don't be discouraged at seemingly overwhelming odds in your desire to live and to help others live God's commandments. At times it may seem like David trying to fight Goliath. But remember, David did win.” David B Haight

7. Work smarter, not harder.
Work as hard as you can, no one ever drowned from sweating! Don’t be afraid of the harder but smarter is usually better.

8. Trust, but verify.
Never assume or take for granted. Trust those you love. But remember, trust can be broken in an instant. Rely on the Lord.

9. A soldier’s way saves the day!
Use your head. How can you use that item, any item, as a weapon, tool, whatever your need may be? Ingenuity goes a long way.

10. Don’t follow the “red herring”.
Don’t get distracted from your mission. Stay on target. Distraction can waste time and keep you away from what you should be focused on. Sometimes it’s camouflage. (A2S=Adjust to survive)

11. Don’t leave home without a knife.…or a gun.
I’ve followed this rule for years. Make sure whatever you carry, you carry legally. If you’re licensed for a firearm, always carry.

12. Have thick skin.
Be hard to offend or anger. “No one can offend you without your permission.” Elenor Roosevelt

Develop your own tactical doctrine. My ROE (rules of engagement) are just rules I use to govern my life. By developing this type of doctrine, you can live a much more prepared life!

Semper Paratus

Family Security: Talkin' Trash

Operational Security or OPSEC is what the military defines as: The evaluation and control of any critical information that could be used against you by an adversary.
Why is this important to us as civilians and you and your family? Because there are those who would use this information to steal from you, take your identity or worse, to do you harm. A friend I had worked as the Information Systems Director for the Department of Corrections in a populous state in the US. When he was at his office near the State Capitol, he wore a tie, nice shoes, and a business suit. But when he had to travel to the prisons, he would dress in jeans, tennis shoes, a faded work shirt, and would drive a State vehicle to and from the prison. He did not want the prisoners to know his appearance, or information about his personal car or license plate number. The reason is that he had intelligence that certain criminals said they were going to kidnap the Information System Director, as they thought he had access to the computer system and could lower their sentences by altering the computer files. Even though the computer system was set so that no one person could change anyone's sentence, the implications for this man and his family were the same. Criminals want to take from you and others want to control you. There are many aspects of OPSEC but I’d like to focus on one, trash. Now, your trash doesn’t probably mean much to you. But it is amazing how a little information can lead to a lot. For instance, I was driving with my youngest son the other day and I pointed out the truck in front of us. From just the stickers on the back of this truck I could tell a lot about the owner within a certain percentage of accuracy. From the NRA sticker I could see the owner was pro 2nd amendment. From the Vietnam service sticker I knew he was in the military at one time. I learned his political views from his anti-Obama sticker. From the Christian Fish sticker I learned his religious leanings. All that from the back of a truck. Imagine what your trash would tell. If you don’t own a shredder but have a fireplace, burn your mail instead of shredding. Shredders are not very expensive but worth the security. As a Mormon, safeguard your tithing information. I know federal officers who prefer to not have their names on a Ward Directory. This info should be safeguarded also.
A firebox or safe would also be a good idea to secure the documents you need to keep. Even a place to hide your important papers would at least keep them from burglars or prying eyes. Don’t leave mail or bills out at home or in your car. Guard your credit card numbers and social security numbers as you would cash. I may order from a gun accessories store through the mail but I don’t want anyone else to know that. If I buy a new rifle, I don’t want the box to be in front of my house for all to see. It’s not a great secret, but others do not need to know that information. I was talking to a law enforcement officer a few weeks ago and he commented about how he could learn almost everything he needed to know about someone by going through their garbage. Everything from their favorite restaurant to where they work, to how much their car payment is. He reminded me of what I’ve known we need to remain vigilant in. Most people think once you toss it, Poof! It’s gone. Not so, of course. Be mindful of what you throw away. Most sanitary workers are good, honest, hard working Americans. All it takes is one unscrupulous worker to steal your identity or notice that big screen TV box in your trash. (There was a group in Washington DC that would empty the garbage cans of powerful people, such as Henry Kissinger and others, and report the interesting items they found. Quite a find, and there are very few laws against taking someone's garbage.)
I recommend shredding or burning anything with this information on it:
Your name
Your name and address, even shipping labels from boxes
Insurance/medical statements
Statements or advertising from financial institutions or service providers, banks, etc. anything that links you to a company
Catalog back covers (or wherever your address is)
This list is not 100% complete, but look what you throw away and decide
If you reload ammunition there is certain packaging that might tell someone what you do. Even archery or other preparedness activities you may not want to advertise. This is in your trash.

There are two issues you should consider in conducting “OPSEC” in your home. Criminal activity, and privacy. These are the two reasons for trying to keep your “trash intell” from telling anyone anything.

Do an OPSEC assessment of your activities and home, school, and work. Look at what you do and how you do it. In some LDS areas, the whole neighborhood is away from home at church for 3 hours every Sunday. If this is widely known, you could be a burglary victim. Be aware that this could be a weakness exploited.
The steps for developing your own OPSEC are:
1. Make a list of any critical information you have that can be used by an adversary.
2. Determine who your adversaries are.
3. Look at all the ways your critical information can be compromised.
4. Make an assessment and rate the items of information that are the most likely to be used by your adversary, and what countermeasures you can employ.
5. Consistently employ your countermeasures and other security for your most vulnerable assets, in priority order from the results of step 4.

I’ve been called paranoid and maybe there is truth to that. But we believe in fire extinguishers and fire alarms, seatbelts and child protective seats. Most people wear a helmet to ride a bike, something I did all of my childhood without a helmet! (Maybe that’s why I’m paranoid!) Being prepared and concerned about security could be considered paranoia. If I wasn’t prepared, I WOULD be paranoid!

Semper Paratus


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

EDC (Everyday Carry): What's In Your Wallet?

I left the house a few weeks ago and left my phone. I felt almost naked all day. I do use that phone throughout the day, but not extensively. Have you ever forgot something like that and felt off all day? That’s because that item is part of your EDC or every-day-carry system. Everyone has one. It may just be a purse or wallet. It may be a little more involved depending on the work you do. I used to spend some time on a very active flight line. There were lots of loud aircraft blasting back and forth. Part of my EDC was my earplug container with 2 pair of plugs. Now, I carry different things. During training in the military we were tasked with carrying LBE (load bearing equipment) with various items, canteen, first aid kit, weapon magazine pouch, flash-bang grenades and also our primary weapon, the M-16. If you were caught further away from any of these things, especially your weapon, of more than an arm’s length, you were punished either verbally or through the written word. You didn’t want to have to answer to the 1st Sergeant why you did not secure your weapon.
EDC is something I don’t think about much but is a big part of preparedness. Every person will carry a different group of things. Most of us have a cell phone and a purse or wallet. Ever since I was a teen-ager I have carried a band-aid in my wallet. When I played basketball once in a while I would get a blister. I didn’t want to have to stop playing to take care of my feet, so I carried a band-aid and that would take care of it. I can’t tell you how often that has come in handy for me or for others. This is true especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors. I would encourage you to take a look at your EDC system and see if you can change it to make yourself a little more prepared. When I was a Scoutmaster I started to carry a pocket knife. I loved the Swiss army knives for their size, weight, and bulk (SWB) capabilities. I carried one for many years before I went to a Leatherman multi-tool. I now carry a Gerber multi-tool but I think I may switch back to a Leatherman. As you try different things you’ll find out what works for you and what doesn’t. I wanted a knife pouch that had a clip on it so I could transfer my knife from pants to shorts easily without removing the belt. Well, I found one brand called “Rip Off”. It happened to have a side loop for a flashlight. I didn’t want it just sitting there empty so I bought a mini-mag flashlight to go there. I use the flash light at least as much as the multi-tool. It always makes me smile when I use it. I tease my wife with a quote from the movie “The Burbs” with Tom Hanks. Tom Hanks neighbor’s name is Rumsfeld who is obviously ex-military, and he has the best lines in the movie. My favorite quote is “A soldier’s way saves the day!” My kids get sick of me quoting it but it fits how often I use my EDC.
The question is, whether you should incorporate a weapon, lethal or non-lethal, into your EDC. Obviously, if you can’t legally carry a gun you should not. But if you can, and you feel the need, get the proper training and experience, and carry always. The last thing you want to live with is the regret “If I only had my gun, I could have saved that person.” If you have the license, you should always carry, and carry legally. Other weapons are also an option. Non-lethal such as pepper spray, a telescopic baton, or a fighting knife are options with a lethal potential. Get trained and experienced with any of these also. There’s nothing more dangerous than an untrained person with a weapon. Each state and city has their own laws concerning lethal and non-lethal weapons carry. Find out the facts and if you choose to carry a weapon, do so legally.
I realize an EDC system is individual but I’d like to make some suggestions in addition to hearing your suggestions.
I’ve spoken about multi-tools and flashlights. I feel they are invaluable. I also suggest a good pen. I don’t use a pen as much as everything else, but enough to know I need one.
I don’t go anywhere without paracord. Paracord is the cord used to suspend a parachute. It’s strength is 550 pounds. That’s a good amount of strength in a small light package. (More SWB) Since my jump school days when a great guy named CSM Billings gave me a paracord bracelet I have made it a point to have paracord handy. I usually wear a bracelet but I also have about 10 feet wrapped around my knife case belt clip. Ensure the cord you are going to purchase is the true military spec cord. Many will be labeled “military spec” or “official” but don’t be fooled. The actual government stock number is NSN- MIL-C-5040H Type III. Different “types” have different strengths. The true specs on this cord is:
305 tinsel strength on the cord sheath and 35 on each of the 7 strands inside. Ensure your cord has 7 strands. 5 or 3 are lower strength types. Each of the inside 7 strands is made up of 3 strands. Anything less and you get less strength.
I am also a proponent of carrying something to start a fire with. I like a firesteel sparker. I love it’s SWB. A lighter is always a good option. Matches are another. What ever it is, ensure you know how to use it to start a fire. I carry a sparker because I’ve used one for years. But I believe in redundancy. I also know how to build and use a bow and drill. I would have to have the material to build a bow and drill set but I am confident most places I will be I can find what I need. Maybe not in the middle east or northern Africa, but I don’t plan on being there. If I was to be deployed there or would be in those areas for an extended period of time, I’d change my EDC.
Little things such as a safety pin, a band-aid, a spare $20.00, or any other small items you think you may need would be appropriate. I also carry a carabineer and my original “P-38” can opener on my key chain. I don’t feel as strongly about these items so they are not always with me. Most of the time they are. For those of you who are LDS I also carry consecrated oil.
A non-lubricated condom may be a good item (again SWB) that may be used for a water carrying container.
Lost? A compass is a life saver. But, you have to know how to use them. Take a course, find a good book (Boy Scouts of America has great manuals), or ask someone who knows to teach you land navigation. I know of several ways to find direction with the sun and so forth, but I like to carry a button compass so that I don’t have to take the time to do these skills. It’s not a difficult skill, but you need to take the time to learn.
I would recommend a personal weapon of some kind. Lethal or non-lethal weapons should be accompanied by training, practice, and legally carrying.
Survival skills are such an overlooked tool in basic survival. All the equipment in the world won’t help you if you don’t have basic skills. Your EDC should contain you! The skills you have acquired before there is an emergency or disaster. Your preparedness education is the best tool in your EDC.
Like the Boy Scouts “Be Prepared”. Look at your EDC and see where it can be improved. Then use your items to know if they have flaws you can correct. “Carry On”.
Semper Paratus

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Gun Care: Taking Care of Magazines

Magazine care is an often overlooked practice. For someone who shoots a lot under many different conditions magazine care is a must. As I train I do several magazine changes. Those magazines usually fall in the dirt and rocks. In the process of training in this way my magazines take a beating. So I naturally need to maintain them and keep them clean. This is something that is not commonly talked about in the shooting world. If you casually shoot then you may not see a need for this and you may be right. The traditional “training” of standing in front of a paper target and shooting for accuracy is what many people do. I’m not completely down on this training, it can be fun, and can teach many things. But when you get into the reality of a firefight, it becomes more like combat shooting. Shooting from cover and in different positions, often one handed, is more what it would be like in a firefight. So magazine care should be part of your gun maintenance routine. The only people that don’t need this are the revolver and lever action shooters. But more than likely, there is a semiautomatic weapon in your collection somewhere.
There are some things to remember when maintaining your magazines.
When you disassemble your magazines, do them one at a time or segregate the parts. Ensure there is no mixing of parts from one magazine to another. When the magazine spring is removed from the magazine tube, take note of how it was positioned in the tube. In many cases there is a specific top and bottom as well as a front and back to the spring which means that you have three out of four options to get it wrong if you didn’t pay attention when it was removed. Carefully mark the spring with masking tape if you need to.
If the magazine spring is installed incorrectly a variety of problems may occur, all of which will create less than satisfactory performance. The rest of the parts are pretty simple to remove and install. Match the shape of the parts to the shape of the magazine tube if you forget how it came apart and you will have a good chance of successful reassembly. If you are that unsure of your memory, slowly take the mag apart and take pictures as you go for reference later on.
Inspect the parts for cracks or damage after they have been wiped clean and lightly use a rust preventative (that won’t contaminate your ammunition) on the metal parts before reassembly. Once the magazine is reassembled, use a cleaning rod or similar device to push the follower from top to bottom ensuring smoothness in both directions. Finally, load the magazine to capacity and test for the vertical movement of the rounds using thumb or finger pressure.
There are a number of polymer magazines on the market, and most of them are much easier to disassemble and clean.
Treat each magazine the same way and your magazines will serve you well for a long time to come.
Here are some basic steps that will apply to most magazines but not all. Take note to how everything comes apart and all the parts orientation for reassembly. Ensure ammunition is out of each magazine and safely put aside. Safety first and last.
1. Slide the floor plate from the bottom. The spring is usually still held in place by the floor plate; in case it is not be ready to catch it if it comes flying out.
2. Remove the spring and follower from the bottom of the magazine body.
3. With the spring and follower out, wipe down the inside of the magazine by pulling a clean microfiber cloth through the hollow tube of the magazine body a couple of times.
4. Wipe down the spring and follower to remove any remaining dust and sand. I like to lightly lubricate my springs to inhibit rust, although you may prefer to keep the entire assembly dry depending on the environment it will be used in. Remember that oil attracts dust in dry and arid environments, and bear that in mind when deciding whether or not to very lightly oil your magazine springs.
Reassembly is the opposite of disassembly.
The first completely modern removable box magazine was patented in 1908 by Arthur Savage for the Savage Model 99. Other guns did not adopt all of its features until his patent expired in 1942: It has shoulders to retain cartridges when it is removed from the rifle. It operates reliably with cartridges of different lengths. It is insertable and removable at any time with any number of cartridges. These features allow the operator to reload the gun infrequently, carry magazines rather than loose cartridges, and to easily change the types of cartridges in the field. The magazine is assembled from inexpensive stamped sheet metal. It also includes a crucial safety feature for hunting dangerous game: when empty the follower stops the bolt from engaging the chamber, informing the operator that the gun is empty before any attempt to fire.
AR-15/M16 magazines were initially designed to be disposable and not reused, hence the lightweight aluminum design. The US Military, always wanting to save a buck, soon decided that the magazines were not disposable and reused them. Soon after this decision the design of the M16 magazine changed to allow them to be more easily disassembled and cleaned. Most handgun magazines by contrast are designed to be used hundreds of times and are easily disassembled for cleaning.
Magazines enable us to not only reload quickly, but to reload with several rounds. This concept makes a big difference when fighting for your life. Care for this big upgrade in weapon design should not be neglected. Learn about your weapons magazines and the best way to care for these marvels of the gun world.

Semper Paratus

Friday, July 11, 2014

Training: "X" Marks the Spot, Now Get Off of It!

Where are you sitting/standing/laying right now? Look under you, do you see an “X” marking the spot there? Well you probably won’t. “X” is wherever you are right now. Most of the time you’re standing or sitting if you are attacked. To get off this “X” you must move. You should move quickly if possible.
I was in a mall doing some business one day. I was dealing with money and was followed out of the mall by two idiots. They were intent on robbing me. Or at least that’s what they thought. They were young and stupid, thank goodness. Had they been older and more “experienced” things would have been different. As it was, I stopped and we talked. I moved and we talked again. I was constantly making him adjust his position. That is what getting off the “X” means, moving.
Your mindset should be to not only defend, but that if needed, you will do harm to another. This can be lethal or non-lethal harm. Skill is important, but mindset rules.
Many things these days are called tactical. Whenever I put 550 paracord on something, I tease my wife and call it “tactical”. There’s a tactical mirror in our shower. But literally, thousands of pieces of gear are called tactical. Most have little to do with tactics. Tactics are actions to achieve an objective. If you are ever in combat, you should listen to this sound advice: Shoot, move, communicate. One of the key elements in this mantra that the Army pounds into their soldier’s heads is that of movement. This is the most important thing you can learn to survive a firefight. One of the first things to do is actually a tactical move. Get off the “X”! Execute a quick lateral move off of the spot you were standing. More than likely, this move would be simultaneous with your weapon draw. It would be a good thing to train and get in the habit of moving to reset the attackers OODA loop (See blog 3/20/2014 The OODA Loop – Combat Concept). Always be in threat condition Yellow (See blog 3/18/2014 Yellow to Orange). If you are aware and going through your own OODA Loop and can move off the “X”, your attacker will have to reevaluate and go through his Loop. If you keep moving, he will have to do this more than once. That takes time. Even a fraction of a second can make a difference. Do this more than once and the time adds up. Time to maneuver, to shoot, or find cover. Just as scanning, looking left and right, can break our own tunnel vision, moving can give us that “break “ in concentration and tunnel vision too. In a fight, especially one you did not initiate, you need all the advantage you can get. Movement makes sense in so many ways. Beside what we’ve discussed, moving makes you a harder target. It can move you toward cover if needed. It can give you more distance to the attacker. Moving to your 9:00 or 9:30 (the attacker being at 12:00) gives the attacker much more to deal with. He’s worried about being shot too. The more lateral you move, the more the bad guy will have to change his OODA. The benefits from this simple movement is amazing.
This isn’t to say if you do this you won’t get hurt. Improving your odds is all you are trying to accomplish.

The days of going to the range and standing there popping off perfectly placed shots should be over. Shooting from cover, shooting from various angles and positions, and of course movement should be in every training program. This is closer to reality.
Two of my favorite drills that help in this are as follows:
The El Presidente Drill -- At ten yards, facing three targets placed one yard apart, shoulder to shoulder. At the signal, draw and fire two rounds on each target, reload, and re-engage each target with two rounds. The shooter should fire as fast as they can and still keep all hits within the A-zone of the target. Once the shooter can perform this Drill with consistent good results, practice the traditional "El Presidente" Drill: Begin with your back to the targets. At the signal, turn and then draw and engage each target with two rounds, perform a mandatory reload, and re-engage each target with two rounds. The goal is accuracy, shooting quickly yet keeping all rounds in the A-zone of the target. Another alternative is performing either one of the versions above, but after the reload engaging the head of each target with either one or two rounds. Doing this teaches the shooter to "change gears" -- first engaging the targets fast with coarse accuracy and then slowing down to deliver precision head shots.
El Presidente was designed by Jeff Cooper as a rough benchmark of handgun skills. It is probably the most widely known handgun standard around.

Shoot And Move Drill -- Fire five shots moving forward. Then five shots retreating. Then begin at the 10 yard line and leave a magazine on the ground at the 3 yard line. At the start signal, move forward firing until you have reached the point where you placed the fresh magazine. Pick up the magazine from the ground and reload and then fire as you retreat back to the starting point.
This drill was developed by shooting champion Rob Leatham

Like Distance, movement can be your friend. Even if you never get to a skill level where you can move and shoot, at least develop a shoot, move, shoot regime. Often this is just as good and accuracy goes way up!

Semper Paratus

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

One Handed Fire

I got caught the other day at the range. No I wasn’t breaking any safety rules. I wasn’t shooting anything illegal or automatic (although I really want to, but I restrain myself). No I was going through some drills and a fellow range member watched for a second and then asked why I was shooting with one hand? I told him I have two friends. One is a combat veteran, ex Special Forces. Another is ex Special Forces but also had a long dangerous career in the FBI. Both have been in numerous firefights at different points in their careers. When I asked about shooting on the run, shooting from cover, and the “fog of war” they confirmed that 1. You do default to your training, and 2. Tunnel vision is quite common. They also said two handed grips and stances give way to shooting from cover. (see blogs What Cover Is, 6/6/14 and Shooting from Cover, 3/21/14) That’s how you don’t die. Often shooting from cover is being prone, squatting, or leaning. Most of the time two hands may not be possible. They recommended practicing shooting from all angles, many odd positions, and of course, one handed. One of these brave men had been wounded in combat. His wound was in his shoulder and he couldn’t use that are right after sustaining the wound. He had no choice but to shoot one handed. Lucky for him it was his weak hand that was wounded. If you call a wound lucky. And that was why I trained with one and two hands. The problem with having no fighting experience is that we can only guess what it is like. Also, we want to learn the basics of shooting and have a good foundation. But if you shoot because you feel you may have to someday protect you and yours, then it’s important to train like you will use your weapon.
There is no proof that two handed shooting in close quarters defensive shooting situations is any better than one handed. Common sense suggests the opposite: a shooter may not be able to extend both of his or her arms far enough forward to shoot two-handed in a close-quarters life-threatening situation.
From 1854 – 1979, 250 NYPD police officers were killed in the line of duty. Of these, only one officer was killed at a distance beyond 25 feet—by a sniper 125 feet away. 92% of the fatal confrontations occurred within 15 feet. 96.4% went down under 25 feet.
Distance equals time, or lack of time. If you don’t have the distance or time to assume a “proper” combat stance and grip, you won’t do it. (see blog Distance is your Friend, 6/4/14)
It is very important in your training that you think about the order of events that would be most likely for your success and practice them relative to what you would want to do in the fight. For example, if your slide locks to the rear during the fight, forcing you to do an emergency reload, and sometime during that fight you are wounded, moving off the “X” (move from where you are engaging the enemy. See blog The OODA Loop, 3/20/14) might be a better option than standing there and trying a one handed reload. If you have trained with and can use a technique while you are on the move, you might embrace that technique rather than one that causes you to stand still in this particular situation. Regardless of what technique you use, I have found that the best option to avoid getting shot is to get off the “X” as aggressively as possible and then do the reload once you are in some other spot, hopefully behind cover. Besides being wounded, another reason for shooting one handed is your weak hand or arm may be occupied. You may be holding someone who is injured or shot. There are many reasons your arm could be occupied.
As far as drawing your weapon goes, you should be familiar with drawing with your weak side. Can you even reach it? Maybe you should rearrange the way you carry to give you other options. You may not need to practice this draw a whole lot, but you should know that if you had to, you could draw with your weak hand. Can you re-holster with one hand too? Remember the rule of keeping your strong hand free. But if you have to or choose to violate that rule, it would be good to know drawing your weapon is still possible. Any spare magazine, flashlight, or other accessory should be accessible also.
What you may want to do is to test your equipment to see if one handed operation is possible. Check everything. Flashlight operation, lasers, but most important is weapon manipulation. Does your rear sight slope forward? You may not be able to rack the slide with one hand. Test everything you carry and the location of it all. Do your best to relocate gear that cannot be used with an opposite hand. Look at guns with ambidextrous controls. These may be a better choice of carry weapon.
There are a few ways to be able to secure your weapon for manipulation. One of those is between your knees. You can replace a magazine this way and possibly rack the slide. Replacing a magazine can also be done with the weapon in the holster. Depending on your sights and the configuration of your gun, turning the gun over and racking the slide on the edge of a counter, or other object, is possible. Securing your gun behind your knee and bent leg are also an option. Practice these tasks and ensure that you are able to do them safely pointing the weapon away from yourself.
These are considerations that may save your life one day. Be aware that one handed shooting and manipulation is possible and should be integrated into your training. I usually do a rack and magazine procedure every month. I don’t need the muscle memory just the experience actually doing it. Some of these procedures may break one or more of the basic safety rules. Consider that before adding these things to your training program. If you do decide to practice manipulation in these ways, practice with a un loaded or “blue” gun before doing it at the range. Be safe in everything you do. Don’t compromise your diligence with safety unless you feel it will save your life. Practice, practice, practice.

Semper Paratus

Monday, July 7, 2014

Unarmed and Paranoid

I had a anxiety attack today. No, I don't have phobias, I had just realized I left my weapon at home. I don't know why I did such a thing, I've never done it before.  I have never forgotten a gun unless it was secured.  For instance, I locked a gun in a lock box and forgot it was there.  I think once I secure a weapon, I know it's secure and tend to dump that info from my brain.  I don't always forget where I've put my gun, just occasionally I've forgotten where I've SECURED a weapon.
While in the military we were taught that forgetting where you put your weapon is an unpardonable sin. There are great consequences to being so negligent.  An Army vet put it this way:

"The first priority is locating your weapon. The military will literally shut down an installation to find an errant weapon. There is no stone they will not turn over, no length to which you will not be driven to find that weapon. They will recall everyone who was in your location for the last day, line them up, and read off serial numbers until they find it. I've seen people practically holding hands as they walk through the woods looking for a lost weapon. I've seen entire battalions placed on lockdown and forced to stay in their location into the wee hours of the morning, and they would still be there if the weapon were not located.

After that hell of wasting hundreds of people's time, keeping people from their missions or their families or their personal time, after making everyone so insanely mad at whoever was careless enough to lose their weapon, what happens to you?

You have no idea.

The very smallest punishment for misplacing a weapon, if it's found within a reasonable amount of time, is a "Company Grade Article 15." That means you can lose one grade of rank, a week of pay, and two weeks of extra duty. If that's all you lost, you got off very, very lightly.

More often, and especially if you lose your weapon in a combat zone, you're looking at a "Field Grade Article 15" if your chain of command is feeling very generous. You would risk losing at least one or as many as three grades of rank (E-4 to E-1), one half of your base pay for two months, 60 days restriction, 45 days extra duty.

That's only for enlisted though. If you do the same as an officer, you won't get the same slap on the wrists as a punishment. Your career is over. You may as well start looking around for a new job and hope you don't get a bad discharge.

So we check our sensitive items religiously. Normally there are two checks a day, and your gear is either on your person, or locked up somewhere secure. A lot of people tether their gear to themselves using a rope so there's absolutely no chance of losing something important. For attachments like scopes, you have to tether it to the weapon with a rope.

Accountability and personal responsibility for your equipment is something the military takes so seriously it's not even funny. Because if there's a fight, and you don't have your weapon, then you're a huge liability to everyone."

This is how the military deals with this type of negligence.  Here's another story to bring this home.

Susan Gratia-Hupp and her parents were having lunch at the Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen in 1991 when a mass shooting took place. The gunman shot 50 people in all, killing 24 of them. Of those fatally wounded, two included both of Hupp's parents. Hupp later expressed regret about deciding to remove her gun from her purse and lock it in her car, lest she risk possibly running afoul of the state's concealed weapons laws; during the shootings, she reached for her weapon but then remembered that it was "a hundred feet away in my car." Her father, Al Gratia, feeling he "needed to do something", tried to rush the gunman and sadly was fatally shot in the chest instead. Hupp, eventually seeing an escape through a broken window (broken by the shoulder of another horrified, fleeing victim), grabbed her mother by the shirt telling her "Come on, we have to go now!" As Hupp moved toward the only escape, she believed her mother to be following behind. However, upon reaching the safety of outside, she then realized her Mother, Ursula Gratia had stayed behind for some reason. Hupp was told soon after the incident that her mother had instead watched her daughter get to safety and then turned to her Husband. Ursula stayed by the side of her mortally-wounded husband, cradling him as he slipped away. Al Gratia died almost instantly. Ursula Gratia had time to glance up at the gunman afterward and back down at her husband when the crazed man then shot her in the head at point-blank range, killing her instantly.

I have known a law enforcement officer who would never be without his weapon.  He told me a good friend of his, who also was a policeman, did not carry to church one Sunday when a nut came in and killed several people.  This is why my friend was always armed.  He said, "I could not live with myself if this happened to me and I could have saved lives."

My fellow shooting, LEO's, and military friends.  Could you live with yourself?  If you can legally carry, always carry.  Then you won't be like I was the other day, unarmed and paranoid.

Semper Paratus