Sunday, November 30, 2014

Concealed Carry: Does Self-Defense Really Happen?

I had a discussion with a left leaning friend the other day. He said that he had never read about someone defending the self without shooting a shot. I said that I actually defended myself in broad daylight, at a busy mall parking lot, in our small town, with my knife case! The problem is, it's not really news so you won't read about it. My friends problem, amount other things, is that he believes if you don't hear about it in mainstream media, it doesn't happen. This of course is not true.
Surveys have said that defense with a gun happens between a few thousand to a million times per year in the U.S. With the Internet we are becoming more aware of these events. They are often in local media. In the majority of cases there is no police report. I've heard these stories in classes, on ranges, from law enforcement and tucked into articles like this one. I'm convinced that these kind of things happen often.


I live out in the county. , Around 1/2 mile from me a bad guy tried a home invasion on Daniels Road. This happened just 30 minutes ago. Bad guy tried to bang the door down while the good guys wife called the sheriff. Bad guy picked the wrong door. Good guy held the bad guy at gun point, ( God Bless Texas ) until the Deputies could transport him to the jail.. Turns out, the Bad guy was on a major parol violation from the State of Texas Prison System, and was to considered armed and extremely dangerous. A very good ending of what might have been very bad. Look up the Otero family murders in Wichita Kansas. I was a Deputy Sheriff there. At dark, as Susan, my daughter can attest, I never answer my door unarmed. Sorry Susan about you former boy friend. H
The location was listed as near Wichita Falls, Texas.

Because stories of self defense are few and far between in mainstream media, there has been fostered a belief that they happen. This is pure fantasy. Back to my self defense with my knife case.

I was collecting coins from a business we have in the mall. Some undesirables noticed me and followed me outside. I was not armed but I carry a large knife and flashlight case. When confronted by an idiot who was not very determined and his friend, I patted the bulge from my large case under my shirt and told the guy he should be worried about about what I had in "here" eluding to what he thought was a gun.

The website has an area of self defense stories. You can browse by state logo find stories in your state or any other state. There are over 1500 stories.

It only stands to reason that we should defend ourselves. If you do not, you're just playing the odds. You are hoping nothing bad ever happens to you or your family. This is foolish and dangerous. Having faith in God is good, but faith without works is dead. Trust in God after all you can do.
Joseph a Smith received this revelation:

…we believe that all men are justified in defending themselves, their friends, and property, and the government, from the unlawful assaults and encroachments of all persons in times of exigency, where immediate appeal cannot be made to the laws, and relief afforded. (Doctrine and Covenants 134:11)

Note the conditional: we are justified in defending ourselves, our family and friends, our property, and our nation when another recourse is not available given the time constraints. This caveat perfectly illustrates why every family should be armed and knowledgeable in defense. Most rely on the police to defend them should something happen, but the average response time of a police officer nationwide is seven minutes. Remember, when seconds count, the police are minutes away. This amount of time, of course, is an eternity when faced with an immediate threat. The reality is that the police do not prevent crime at all-their job is primarily to write crime reports after the crime took place. Sometimes they even get lucky and solve a crime. But by no means are they a proper and adequate substitution for personal defense.

I hope you will consider the defense of your family. In my own opinion, and that's all this is, I feel it is the responsibility and duty of every head of household to ensure the safety and defense of their family. If you are confident in doing this without a gun, then mire power to you. Other weapons re available and hand to hand combat us an option. I like redundancy so other opinions are good. But my Prichard defense in a gun. What happens when the priesthood holder is not at home? I endure my family has the tools and training to defend each other. I feel that is part of the duty too.

Don't be found short in this area.

Get trained and get training for your family.

Semper Paratus

Check 6


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Phone Numbers You Should Consider In Your Phone

Most people don't have phone numbers memorized anymore. I never can remember my own cell number. Consider writing down (or printing if you have the option) all your contacts in your phone. It's handy if you lose your phone or change phones.

Not every situation is one that requires dialing 9-1-1; that line should be kept clear for true emergencies only. defines a true emergency as “any situation that requires immediate assistance from the police, fire department or ambulance.” They also recommend that if you’re unsure whether the situation is a true emergency or not, call and let the call-taker determine the best course of action.
What if a non-emergency situation arises that could still use the assistance of a police officer or fire department? Do you have their numbers saved into your phone? What are some other numbers you should have ready at a moments notice?
Here are 5 to get you started:
1. Local Police Department
Having quick access to your local police department’s non-emergency number is useful in the case you need to report someone disturbing the peace or acting suspicious. You may also be able to request increased patrol due to prowlers, speeding vehicles or similar concerns. Again though, if you feel the situation is life threatening, you should call 9-1-1 but for everything else, your local police department should be able to answer a lot of questions.
2. Poison Control Center
You may think that most calls to poison control are about young children accidentally getting into medicine or cleaning supplies but the call-takers are also available to help in a number of other ways. They deal with everything from identifying recalled food products to snake bites. The poison control hotline is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and the call is always free. If you have any questions at all, call: 1-800-222-1222.
3. Local Fire Department
One instance for calling the local fire department would be to inform them of a small fire that’s now extinguished, but one you could still use their help with to check things out or assess for more damage. Another common reason is getting spilled gas or vehicle fluids cleaned up after a car accident. As just one example, AAA Road Service won’t tow your vehicle after an accident until the fire department has cleaned up fluids on the roadway caused by the accident. Don’t call them if your cat is stuck in a tree though. Maybe just ask to borrow a ladder from your neighbor.
4. Animal Control
If you see a sick or injured animal, it’s best to call for help. Whether this is a domesticated or wild animal, you can’t be completely certain of the situation and it could have rabies or another harmful disease. You can also call animal control if you’ve lost your pet or need to report animal cruelty as they often have records for those things.
5. 3-1-1
It may be so short that you don’t need it in your speed dial, but it’s still a great one to have on hand. Dialing 3-1-1 in most U.S. cities is available to answer loads of non-emergency questions. Some possible calls that would be covered by calling 3-1-1 are reports of animals either confined or dead on the road, noise and air pollution, reporting of litter, graffiti or even potholes among other things. It’s a type of local directory specifically for your city’s services.
Adding titles to the names of family members in your phone’s address book may prove useful. Titles such as “wife” or “brother” before the names could even help get a lost phone back to you more quickly. Many people also utilize the “ICE” method in their phone contacts list for use during an emergency.
If you aren’t familiar, some advocate typing “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) before certain names in their phone so that first responders or good samaritans will see it and call that number. In most true emergencies however, first responders will often be too busy trying to help you than to go through your phone.
I asked a Law Enforcement officer and a few of his colleagues for input on the “ICE” method. They came to the conclusion that while this method would rarely be used during an emergency, it’s still not a bad idea to implement. It was also noted that most people have their phone locked with a passcode, which would make searching the phone impossible. A downside to both the family member title and ICE methods are that if your phone is stolen, the thief may be able to use that against you by contacting family members and asking to meet up or give personal information through a text message or email. Just something to think about.
Another phone number that could be beneficial to have on speed dial is the number for the American Red Cross Safe and Well program: 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). During a disaster, you can call that number and provide your contact information, so family and friends will know you’re safe. Alternatively, you can search for people you know that have marked themselves as safe if the situation is reversed.
While almost everyone these days has smart phones, those that don’t may need some help looking up the numbers or addresses of local businesses. Dialing 4-1-1 isn’t free anymore and the best alternative from Google has been discontinued. If you don’t mind sitting through a short advertisement, you can call 1-800-FREE-411 (1-800-373-3411) for free directory assistance.
On a lighter note, if you’re bored and not in any kind of emergency, give 719-26-OATES a ring. It’s “Callin’ Oates,” your “emergency Hall and Oates hotline.” Perfect for when you need just a little Hall and Oates.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Be "Sharp", Sharpening Your Knives

I love knives. I have quite a few of them. Knowing how to maintain tools is important in my book.
I learned to sharpen a knife from my Grandfather and Father. I knew how to sharpen a knife before it was taught to me as a Cub Scout. My first knife was the Official Cub Scout Pocket Knife. This was the classic 3 blade, black “wood” grain pocket knife with the official Cub Scout logo. It had a regular drop point blade, a bottle opener/flat head screwdriver blade, and awl blade.

A sharp knife isn't just sharper, it's a safer, more efficient, more precise tool. If you’re like most people, your knives are probably dull. Here's how to fix that quickly, easily and cheaply.

Why do you need to sharpen knives? A sharp knife stands less chance of slipping on the material being cut and, because it requires less effort and force to use than a dull knife, you're less likely to cut yourself. Working with a sharp knife is faster and easier, too. It also damages the material being cut less — ever tried to slice a tomato with a dull knife? It doesn't exactly produce clean results.

Is there any cooler item of outdoors gear than a big, fixed-blade “Rambo” knife?

When should you sharpen? Most knives don't come sharp. That's because the final few degrees between being able to slice butter and being able to pop hairs off your arm isn't often achieved with a machine and most knives are produced by those, in a factory. So, sharpening is the first thing you need to do when you buy one.

You can easily tell the difference between a very dull knife and a sharp one, but how do you divine degrees of sharpness once it's sharp enough to cut you? In my experience, testing the blade on your arm hair is the easiest way.

A note on safety: Never run your finger along a knife blade. If you're using your finger to get a feel for the degree of sharpness, run it lightly across the edge, perpendicular to the length of the knife.

Making the knife sharper involves diminishing returns on your labor and creates an edge which can be a little delicate. But, if you want to try and make your knife as sharp as possible — a good idea on paring knives and other small blades used for detail work — then you'll want it capable of popping the hairs off your arm with little to no pressure. Just touching it to a hair should be enough to sever that hair.

But I'm not normal. You may like to slice a piece of paper by holding it from one hand to test sharpness. If arm pattern baldness isn't your thing, maybe try that. The sharper your knife is, the cleaner the slices it'll make and the easier it'll make them.

Decide how sharp you'd like a particular knife to be, then endeavor to keep it in that condition. How you do that is covered below.

Whetstones: The oldest and simplest way to sharpen a knife remains as effective now as it was when your granddad was a Boy Scout.

The basic idea in all knife sharpening is to maintain a consistent angle of contact between the knife and the sharpening medium. You want to sharpen at the same angle your knife came with from the factory. On most quality outdoors blades, that's 20 degrees on each side, I use that angle for kitchen and other knifes too, just to keep my life simple. 20 degrees will give you a good, strong edge that's not prone to rolling.

Where more complex systems help you maintain that 20-degree angle, a wet stone requires you to employ sight and feel. If you're new to this, the best shortcut I can give you is a Sharpie. Use one to color in the knife's bevel — the angled portion of its blade at the bottom, leading up to the edge. Do a couple swipes on the stone and then examine your edge. If all the Sharpie mark is gone, you're at the correct angle. If there's marker remaining on the top of the edge, it means you're holding the back of the knife too high. If there's marker on the bottom of the edge, where you're trying to sharpen, then you're holding the knife too flat. This method works equally well on other types of sharpeners too.

To use a wet stone, always move the knife edge-first across the stone. Hilt to tip or tip to hilt, it doesn't matter. What does matter is light, even pressure, little more than the weight of the knife. Don't let the tip roll off the end of the stone, this can blunt or damage it.

To sharpen the knife evenly, count your strokes and do the same number on each side. I typically do 20 strokes on one side, 20 on the other, then evaluate my results.

Wet stones are called that because you need to apply a little bit of oil, spit or water to them, which carries away the microscopic metal shavings you produce by grinding at the edge. If you're worried about food contamination, use vegetable oil for any knifes that are going to touch stuff you're planning on eating or serving to others.

Sharpening Rods: Rods are a perfect system for you and what you should go buy right now if you're serious about having sharp knives. That’s my one and only “knife guy” advice that I don’t really follow. I love a stone.

Many people call these "diamond rods" or stones or whatever. You can order industrial diamond-coated rods separately, but they're very aggressive and mostly applicable to blade re-profiling and working out major edge damage, not for your typical sharpening needs.

To use sharpening rods, you hold the knife vertically and swipe it down the edge of the rods while pulling the knife towards you. The trick is to maintain that perfectly vertical orientation and consistent, light pressure. Do so, and the system makes achieving a perfect 20 degree edge angle or 15 degree back bevel really easy.

When you're done, use Comet, Ajax or similar to scrub the black residue off the stones, ready for the knife or to be stored away awaiting the next sharpening.

Mouse Pads And Sandpaper: A cheaper, but also very effective method for knife sharpening is to affix sandpaper to an old mouse pad and draw the knife along the paper again at the correct angle, but using a trailing stroke, where you're pulling the edge away from you, the opposite of using a stone or rods; the sponginess of the pad is what makes that possible.

You can use this method for primary knife sharpening or to put the final touch on a blade after you've used a stone or rods. If you're starting with a dull knife, use a medium grit sandpaper like an 800 and work up to a fine grit like a 1200. If you're just putting the final touches on a blade, start with 1200.

The trailing stroke is great at removing the small burs stones and rods leave on edges.

The give in a mouse pad also allows you to create convex edges if that's your thing.

Stropping: The key to hair-popping sharpness and a step most people miss. It's also designed to remove any burr or false wire-edge (basically a straight, perfectly aligned burr) and it's what barbers are doing when they run their straight razors up and down leather belts.

You can do it that simply, with an old belt and a trailing stroke, or you can get a little OCD about it and make your own dedicated strop using a larger piece of leather and applying an abrasive compound to it. Honestly, it's worth the time, the results can be phenomenal.

Pull-Through Sharpeners: This is where I disagree with all the knife guys. I like pull through sharpeners. You can’t just pick it up and hap-hazardly pull the knife through a few times. You must be careful to pull the knife through with care of the angle. If you watch what you’re doing, this can work real well for you. Don’t use a lot of pressure.

Knife Guys: Taking your knives to a guy who sharpens them for a living can be a great idea if you've got a very dull blade, a damaged edge or just too many knives and too little time. I see a guy at my local farmer's market, but any good outdoors store like Cabela's should also be able to sharpen blades at the knife counter.

These guys use grinding wheels or belt sanders to quickly and easily put a solid working edge on a knife. You can use these machines too, but be warned, they take off a lot of steel very quickly, leaving little room for error. You need to be able to maintain that consistent edge angle while using one and while holding the knife securely, so it isn't flung into yours or someone else's eye.

Typically, you'll still need to strop a knife after having it professionally sharpened. So few people want that level of sharpness that it's just not worth their time to take knives to that point.

Scissors: Scissors need sharpening too. To do that, fold up a piece of aluminum foil and cut it to bits. Job done.

Why is sharpening so difficult on some knives? Because you've bought a knife with a very hard, stainless steel blade. The better a knife retains its edge, the harder it is to sharpen. D2, S30V and other "super steels" require hours and hours of work to bring back from dull, essentially impossible in the field. I take my stainless blades to the knife guy, strop them, and call it a day. Carbon steels like 1095 are a much better option, combining decent edge retention with ease of sharpening. If you plan on using a knife often and heavily, start there.

Cheap blades tend to be easier to sharpen. If you've bought a Swiss Army or Case knife or similar, you likely fell for the "Surgical Steel" line, which is meaningless bologna and indicates the use of a cheap, no-name steel. The upside is that they take very little work to sharpen, just a few passes on a stone usually does it. Just don't expect them to hold that edge for long.

The real trick to sharpening a knife is consistency and patience. Maintain that consistent angle, don't be tempted to press hard, relax, turn on the TV and settle in for a solid hour or two of Zen-like meditation. And don't be afraid to take it to an expert if you're stuck.

Learn to sharpen your knives and you will save yourself, time, money, and accidental cuts.

Semper Paratus


Concealed Carry: Pocket Pistols

I live in the Southwest. It takes Winter a lot longer to get here. That’s what I like about living here. I served my mission in Eastern Canada. That was cold. Anyway, this time of year has it’s perks and challenges for concealed carry.
I usually revert to a pocket pistol. Some people that hear that will be surprised. In the Winter we usually dress in layers and that makes a inside the waistband carry (one of the most popular ways to carry) almost impossible.

These are my ideas and feelings about a pocket pistol.

It should be concealable.
This is obvious. These days there are many pistols that will work. There are even some revolvers that will work.
It should be light.
There are many subcompacts that fit this criteria. Many composite autos are only a few ounces. If it’s heavy and you put it in a coat pocket it will weigh down one side and make the coat hang awkward. That may compromise a concealed carry.
Some revolvers will also fit this criteria.
There should be no external or shrouded hammers. This only will catch on clothing when drawn.
The pocket you put the gun into is exclusively for your gun. Anything else in there could be a hazard or may impede a smooth, quick draw. No coins, chapstick, or even paper. Some things would stop you from a good grip others may get in the trigger guard and cause a negligent discharge. Your gun in a pocket holster only, nothing else.

Semi autos should be true double action only, hammer fired, with no safety. Make sure your trigger is at least a 10 pound pull or more. I know the safety issue is a controversial one. I will deal with a heavy trigger rather than a safety. I know there are many out there that disagree and that’s fine. I would not recommend a striker fired weapon without a safety.

Centerfire calibers small pistols can be uncomfortable to shoot. 9mm and larger caliber and some .380’s can be not too pleasant to shoot. I have a 9mm sub compact and I find it comfortable enough to shoot but the size is hard to deal with. It’s almost too small so I’ve had to learn to grip it a little different than I would a compact or full sized gun. Practice has made the difference witht hat gun. I’ve figured out how to handle recoil and the size, weight, and trigger pull. Non practice with a sub compact is not an option.
Smaller pistols are less forgiving when it comes to cleaning. Make sure you keep a small gun clean. If you are using it as a carry gun then keeping the gun clean is something you won’t skimp on. You life depends on it. Make sure you wipe it down and run a bore snake through it at least once a week at least.

Whatever gun you end up choosing for Winter, make sure you spend some time practicing getting it into play. Again, the advantage of a coat pocket gun is that you can have your hand discreetly on a weapon without other people knowing, which can give you the initial advantage in a potential life threatening situation. But that won't do you any good if you've never practiced drawing and shooting from that pocket. So make sure you get your trigger time in.

Semper Paratus


A Time of Thanks, A Time of Vigilance

Happy Thanksgiving!
I hope all of you have a wonderful time filled with family and good cheer and food!
Often on this website I feel I am forced to be “gloom and doom” because of the reality of crime, violence, riots, disasters, and terrorism that is filling the earth. I do not mean to be, but I want to be a force of good on the internet. I want to help anyone that I can. Security and preparedness can be serious business. But I do have fun! I’m going to the range with my son today to sight in his new Remington .308 rifle. I do love to shoot and everything about it. I sing a song to my wife, much to her dismay… “Home, home on the range…!!” I feel at home on the shooting range.
This time of year as we remember the great and marvelous blessings which we have in this great country, I hope we will count those blessings and know how, and by what means, we have received many of them. Our Heavenly father has been very good to us in this country and in our family’s. In my family we welcomed three babies into this world and 2 new daughters in law, and 1 son in law. I don’t consider my “in-laws” strangers, but additional kids. Our family is growing and it’s good to see the happiness it brings.
At the same time, we must be vigilant in our guard of our way of life, liberty, and families. Being security minded is sometimes hard in the lap of family, good will, and freedom. That is why vigilance is so necessary.
I really like an old TV series called “The Unit”. It only went 4 seasons and was cancelled coincidentally when President Obama was elected. I’m not sure that election had anything to do with it’s cancellation but I do wonder. Anyway, for those that may not know, The Unit was a series about a unit in the Army similar to Delta Force in Special Forces. This was several teams of operators who answered only to the President of the United States and would be used for covert missions throughout the world. In one episode this team was home in the United States enjoying dinner with their wives when they were targeted by terrorists. In the middle of their meal they were attacked yet every operator was prepared with a concealed weapon. Of course the bad guys lost and the good guys won. It was a fictional show. But what I liked was the detail and back ground that was realistic in the sense of the military. The advisors of this show really advised well.
The reality of life is that at any moment evil people can purport violence upon law abiding U.S. citizens. There are many things in place to stop that. The best trained military in the world stands ready to defend us. Well trained valiant law enforcement and first responders stand at the ready to care for each of us. Even with all of this, bad things can happen. We must be trained and prepared.
During this special time, and the beginning of the Christmas season, remember how blessed we are and those that serve and protect our freedom. Count your blessings and prepare for the worst, so you and your family will be ready for what may come.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Monday, November 24, 2014

Concealed Carry: The Perfect Gun

Someone asked me the other day what gun I thought was the perfect carry weapon. I said, “One that goes bang!” I was semi-joking. The serious half of that answer is that wheat ever is carried needs to be reliable, needs to go bang. This is the most important thing. Everything else is secondary.
Conceal ability is next on my list. Not necessarily the size of the weapon. It doesn’t have to be small to be concealable. Sometimes that helps though.
The person who carries regularly today is very likely not a life-long gun enthusiast. They may only own one gun for a specific purpose: personal defense. They aren’t shooting on the weekends with their family, they aren’t hunters, and they aren’t willing to wear a tan vest every day or otherwise dress around their gun. They want something with a high degree of what I call carryability, and slim 9mms are very carryable.
I like those 9’s too. First of all I like the 9mm round. In the ballistics I’ve seen I don’t see a big enough difference between a 9mm and .40 to justify carrying a .40.
When I started shooting in the late 60’s and through the 70’s .38 and .357 were king calibers. The guns that went with them were not very petite. A Colt Python is not real concealable even in a 4 inch barrel! Well, gone are those days and I say good riddance! Gun makers now must care about the different customers they have to compete. Many more women are buying and shooting and they usually have smaller hands. So the gun makers have complied. Manufacturers have been responding not only with single-stack designs, but also with less girth in the area of the grip that is held between the thumb and index finger of the strong hand and with deeper in-cuts at the top of the back of the grip area. If a gun doesn’t fit a person’s hand well, they will not be able to shoot it intuitively or naturally. Their shooting will be forced and mechanical, which means their efficiency, will suffer.
A list of features I feel would be a perfect carry/defensive gun are:
Perfect reliability
Striker fired
At least a 4 inch barrel, 5 inch preferred
No manual safety
Ten plus 1 single-stack magazine capacity
Magazine must extend beyond the bottom of the mag well
Ambidextrous magazine release
Big ejection port
Rounded front of the trigger guard
Trigger pull of 6 pounds or less
First shot trigger travel of .5 to .6 inch, short reset
Tapered leading edge of slide at muzzle
Low bore height, relative to the hand
Non sloping sights
Non slip rear slide serrations
Simple take down and small number of field stripping parts
Some pistols come very close to most of these. Some are way off. The first point, reliable, is what I seek most. Don’t give me problems that I need to take care of even if your guarantee and customer service is the best.
Remember, a carry gun is only good if you have it with you. Remember to bring a gun to a fight. Then, keep yourself out of that fight as long as you can and by any means. Your gun is your last resort!
Semper Paratus

Concealed Carry and Terrorism; Indirect Threat

Indirect threat. The first time I heard this phrase I wasn’t sure what it meant. It was given to me by a DiploSec (Diplomatic Security) operator. He was explaining to me what is sometimes thought to be a criminal threat. In more and more cases it turns out to be domestic terrorism. Some whack job trying to get a body count somewhere.
On June 8, 2014, a couple who deemed themselves American "patriots" walked into a Las Vegas pizza joint where two police officers were taking a break, smiled at them, then whipped out guns and assassinated them. On one of their corpses, they left a Gadsden flag, once a symbol of the American Revolution, the coiled rattlesnake with the motto, "Don't tread on me." At the scene, they babbled something about "the revolution."
The pair — he already armed with a Smith & Wesson 9mm pistol and she with a Ruger LCR .38 revolver — then stole the 9mm handguns and spare magazines from the officers' bodies, adding an HK pistol and a Glock to their armament along with a pistol-gripped 12-gauge shotgun the male was hiding in a carry bag. They ran a short distance to a nearby Wal-Mart, where they separated. The male, appearing to witnesses to be acting alone, cleared the shotgun from his bag and fired a blast into the air, screaming at people to get out and announcing, "The revolution has begun!"
As shoppers stampeded out, one armed citizen, Joe Wilcox, attempted to interdict. He drew his own Glock and moved toward the male suspect. However, the female spotted him, slipped up behind him, and shot him dead.
The psycho couple barricaded at the firearms and auto supply displays, the woman unsuccessfully ambushing the first responding officers, who returned fire. Police .223 bullets mortally wounded the male gunman, and anchored the female on the floor. Security cameras showed that she tried to shoot her male partner, failed, and then turned the pistol on herself and committed suicide. The pair turned out to be long-time whack jobs who had shown up for the Cliven Bundy ranch standoff, and been booted out because they were too radical, and revealed to the others that they were felons in illegal possession of firearms.
Murder. Twisted political agenda motivation. "The revolution has begun." Do their actions fit the profile of "terrorists"? Yeah, pretty much.
The sheep dog is the one who moves toward gun fire instead of away from it. Joe Wilcox is one of those rare sheep dogs. He is a hero and it’s tragic that he gave the ultimate sacrifice trying to defend strangers. I do not want to perceived as being critical of him or the two law enforcement officers that also gave their lives in the service of others.
But we can learn from these three unfortunate victims
I discussed this incident with my operator friend in e-mail. We came to the conclusion that some things were done wrong by the good guys.
The two policemen should have been a little more vigilant although, maybe they were. Police can’t and don’t walk around with a gun in their hand waiting for an attack. The bad guys may have just got the drop on them. But sometimes even law enforcement is lulled into complacency by a comfortable rule of law situation. I drive my wife crazy sometimes with the “gunfighter” seat in a restaurant. If I can, I get a seat close to an exit, with my back to a wall in sight of the front door. I want to see who is coming in. It is not a sure thing, but I try to give myself every advantage I can.
In the “fog of war” sometimes it’s hard to see anything but the target. It’s important that we train and act differently. Maneuver for a position where you can attempt to neutralize the target without someone coming upon you from behind. Perhaps some cover or at least concealment.
Bad people are becoming better prepared in their attacks. Often they will be in a group with someone on “overwatch” as we call it in the military. A look out. In this case the terrorists separated and hid their weapons.
In this particular situation, my advice would be not to draw the gun until you positively identified the Bad Guy as such, and not an off-duty cop or another armed citizen. Determine that the target is a danger to innocent human life who has to be taken out. Maybe also in a position where you are certain you can get the necessary hit and terminate the threat without your own gunfire endangering innocent human life. Dropping to a kneeling position to angle your fire upward, perhaps for a head shot, will reduce the danger of a miss or an exiting bullet striking a bystander. Once you've made the shot, scan quickly for additional threats and then, holster your weapon or at least hide it to others view. Your rescuing gunfire will have drawn attention and may, in all the excitement, have created the false illusion that you are the dangerous one. The Army teaches “Shoot, move, communicate.” If you decide to shoot, move to another safe location. Responders may include cops in uniform or in plainclothes, and other well-meaning armed citizens: you standing there over a dead body with a smoking gun in hand are now doing a convincing imitation of the Bad Guy, and you don't want to become a "friendly fire" tragedy.
In September of 2013, a squad of at least four terrorists reportedly belonging to the Islamic group Al-Shabaab attacked the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi, Kenya. They were armed with AK-47s and grenades, and some were wearing "suicide vests." In a siege lasting some 48 hours, they murdered more than 60 innocent victims and wounded approximately 175. Armed citizens may have kept the toll of dead and wounded from going higher: there were multiple reports of armed citizens going against the terrorists and helping many victims safely escape.
Years earlier, in a crowded market in Israel, a woman described as a housewife observed a terrorist about to activate an explosive vest. She drew her personal 9mm pistol and shot him dead before he could trigger the device, saving countless lives.
It’s possible to save others as well as yourself if you plan accordingly and think about what you are doing. As terrorists and criminals get a little smarter and adopt some military or law enforcement tactics, the armed citizen will have to be smarter in the way we protect ourselves.
Crime will not stop in this country. It’s the cost of a few things I believe. Liberty, privacy, and unrighteousness. As a nation we have chosen a lot of things over God. But that is another article. Terrorism will also continue for some of the same reasons. We live in troubled times and it is wise to be aware, prepared, and careful.
Semper Paratus

Skills: Emergency Communication

Survival skills are very important if you spend a lot of time in the outdoors. It’s also important in preparing for many scenarios.
Communication is very important during a rule of law situation or even without rule of law. Calling for help is something we all need to know and teach.
What if you are out of cell phone range? How would you call for help?
Here are some simple ideas.
In most places, three repetitions of any loud sound are recognized as a distress signal. In the Alps, mountaineers use six repetitions, with rescuers responding in threes, both per-minute. Regardless, it's a good idea to leave some space between each noise, not only does a regular interval highlight the deliberateness of the call, but it also allows someone hearing it to recognize the call, then locate its source.
So, a call for help would sound like NOISE — five second gap — NOISE — five second gap — NOISE. Wait a minute or however much longer feels right and repeat regularly.
Whistle: Throw one on your keychain or attach it to a zipper pull. They're tiny, virtually weightless and pretty much indestructible. They can also be heard up to a 1/4-mile away over land or 1/2-mile over water, enabling you to signal without a line of sight to other people. Blowing on a whistle requires vastly less effort than shouting loudly, meaning you'll be able to keep it up for longer or do it while exhausted or injured. Keep a powerful whistle on your keychain. The ability to call for help is incredibly important if you're outdoors doing active things, regardless of your skill or preparedness.
Gun Shots: Depending on the environment, type of gun and ammunition and weather conditions, a gunshot may be able to be heard miles away. Make sure you deliberately space out your shots in that five second interval so you don't just sound like a hunter not shooting well.
Improvise: You can bang sticks on a hollow log, slam pots together, and hit your knife on something, whatever. Anything's likely to be more effective than shouting, but you can do that too.
Use these when an audible signal won't work, either because your potential rescuer is out of hearing range for whatever sound you can make or is in a vehicle. The trouble is you need someone to be able to see your visual signal; particularly if you're working with limited supplies — flare gun ammo, flashlight batteries, whatever — spend it wisely.
Flashlights: At night or in low-light conditions, a powerful LED flashlight can be visible for miles. This is where you'll want to use Morse code to avoid any potential confusion. Dot, dot, dot; dash, dash, dash; dot, dot dot. Repeat. This is SOS recognized worldwide.
Mirror: You'll find little signal mirrors in off-the-shelf survival kits. They're not great, but can work in a pinch. To use one, look through the hole in the middle while extending your other arm out towards your "target." Hold two fingers in a V and try to catch the sun's reflection on them. Align the target inside the V and, with the glare lighting up your fingers, you can aim your signal.
Flares: With a hand flare, fire it and wave it over your head.
Flare Gun: Much more effective. Being able to fire it up into the air allows you to clear visual obstructions and attract attention over several miles. Don't point it at your face. (I can’t believe I actually have to say that!)
Flags: Easily improvised; any national flag flown upside down is an international call for help. If your nation has a symmetrical flag, tie a knot in it. Any flag flown with a "ball" (read: circle) does the same. Just flying a white flag from a disabled vehicle or remote campsite will achieve the same and you can always scrawl "SOS" or similar on it as well.
Fire: Three fires arranged in a regularly-spaced row is an international distress signal. During the day, you can also attract attention with smoke. Green wood and leaves produce smoke, as do manmade materials like tires. Start a fire using dry wood and add smoke producing fuel to the fire after it’s going well.
As you can see, there are many ways to signal a need for help. Most are pretty self explanatory and all are easy to remember. Remember that movement and non-natural colors are easier to see than a static signal.
I keep certain things in all my vehicles glove compartment. That is, a knife, a lighter, and a whistle. This is always there even though I carry a get-home-bag in each vehicle along with a first aid kit, flashlight, basic tools, and a blanket too. Like your kits, check the items you keep in your glove compartment occasionally. The lighter can eventually leak. I like redundancy. Remember that skills trump gear always. Training is an important part of preparedness.
Semper Paratus

Friday, November 21, 2014

Walk Softly, Carry A Big Stick

“Speak softly and carry a big stick.” This was President Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States, foreign policy. Roosevelt attributed the term as "a West African proverb".

I have a love for sticks. As a young Boy Scout I would collect walking sticks and staves while camping all over, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado. As a Scout leader I continued my collection much to the dismay of my wife. I finally settled on a 5 foot Hickory staff from Colorado. I’ve taken that stick on many camp outs and hikes.

I like the idea of a stick as a weapon. Many years ago I gave my wife a traditional “night stick”that she keeps under her mattress to this day. In the Victorian era, police in London carried truncheons about one-foot long called billy clubs. Sticks have been a weapon used by police the world over.

Selecting your stick is more difficult than you think. There are many varieties from a typical night stick to a 32” telescopic steel baton.

There are a lot of choices out there when you are talking about items for self-defense. A good choice is an impact weapon such as an expandable tactical baton. Most impact weapons work pretty much the same. Like any weapon it has its strengths and its weaknesses. Unlike some weapons, such as a stun gun, the baton does require skill to use effectively.

An important concept you need to know about any expandable or retractable baton is reaction time and distance. As an impact weapon, the baton requires time to gain momentum in order to be effective. That time translates into some distance that you must maintain between you and your attacker, for the baton to be effective. Ideally, you want to remain about 1-2 feet outside of the range where you can just strike the opponent. This distance not only enables you to slip forward and strike with power, it allows you the reaction time you need to step back and make a defensive move with your baton when your attacker strikes.
As you might imagine, this distance requirement is both an advantage and a disadvantage. The advantage really comes from the length of the baton and you may very well be able to stay outside the effective striking range of your attacker and yet still be able to strike back at him. This is especially true if you target the weapon, hands, or arms of your attacker. A good strategy is to target whatever part of your attacker happens to be closest to you rather than trying to get in a strike to his body or head. This gives you the advantage in both reach and reaction time. If your attacker can move inside of your optimum striking range or reaction distance, you are at a serious disadvantage.
The second thing you need to consider is what area of the opponent you target with your baton. A big advantage impact weapons have over other types of close combat weapon is that you can effectively strike at the attacker’s weapon, not just the attacker. This allows you to stop the weapon of an opponent, which can be very valuable in keeping you safe. It is quite possible to disarm an attacker with a good strike around his grip, hand or wrist. Besides the attacker’s weapon, you typically want to target bony areas when striking with an impact weapon. These include the wrist, elbow, knee, ribs, collarbone and head. A strike to muscle with a baton will cause pain and possibly some muscle cramping, but it won’t be nearly as debilitating as a strike to bone. One solid strike to an attacker’s knee will probably end the encounter completely. That is another advantage of the baton – it has the ability to disable an attacker without having to kill him to do it. This can be a legal bonus. The disadvantage is that bony targets may be difficult to strike in the heat of combat. Anywhere you strike with an expanding baton will do damage, but bone is definitely better. Any strike to the head, neck or spine may legally be considered probable lethal force.
The legality of carrying an impact weapon such as the expandable baton may differ. In every state, it is illegal to carry such a weapon concealed without a permit. In some states, it is illegal to carry one at all.. In quite a few states, a baton is legal to carry, as long as it is not concealed. So check with your local regulations and the laws of any state where you will be traveling before deciding to pick a baton for self-defense. If you do choose to carry a baton, buy a good quality one because it will hold up when needed.
Such weapons have both advantages and disadvantages, but the advantages usually win. Regardless of what weapon you choose to carry, whether it is pepper spray or a stun gun or anything in between, remember that it is only a tool and the best advantage you will ever have comes not from your weapon, but from your brain and your attitude. Those are the things that will determine how useful your weapon can be. Most importantly, get trained, practice and always be prepared. Remember to always be legal and know the laws where you are for being armed with anything including a gun.
I urge you to get yourself a friend and a couple of sticks and have some fun. You can make inexpensive trainers by sliding pipe insulation over the stick or PVC pipe and wrapping it in a few spots with tape.
Semper Paratus

Protecting Your Spouse; Marriage Team 6 (aka my wife and I)

Over 30 years ago I had the great opportunity to be married in an LDS Temple to a wonderful girl. After several kids and some grand kids I still like to open the door for her. I do this for several reasons. One is, I love and respect her now more than I ever have. I’ve seen her in good times and bad times and I’ve seen her patience and faith tested and how she has withstood trials and triumphs with great grace and steadiness. So opening her door is the absolute least I can do. Two, it gives me the tactical vantage point to scan buildings and vehicles to see what may be coming our way. Therefore, something as simple as splitting up while walking to the car prevents the bad guy from containing both of us within arms’ reach. It also allows us to divide and conquer should the person who approaches decide to draw a weapon. With each of us on opposite sides, the bad guy would have to divide his attention beyond his peripheral vision in order to be a viable threat to both of us, and either my wife or I would have the tactical advantage should he turn to look or engage the other.
Of course, my wife and I understand the basics of not getting caught in a crossfire situation. With practice, anyone can work through and understand the proper angles. We don’t really practice like executive security, but talking it through as you do it occasionally will keep it fresh in your minds.
These things don’t have to be overly complicated. One situation we discuss and train for is what we would do if we were walking through a parking lot and observe an individual who raises our suspicions and puts us in Condition Orange. While we would be a formidable force fighting together side by side, we’re also an easier target if we allow that individual to get close, say under the guise of asking a question, and then pull a weapon in an attempt to rob or kidnap us. Separation from each other and distance from the attacker is important to remember. Distance is usually your friend.
Now my wife knows my secret and readily accepts the logic behind my chivalrous deeds. She is still enamored that I open doors for her. But now she also knows she plays a critical role in our safety plan and that we are stronger as a team during a critical incident than we would be if one of us did not know how to react or failed to react to the other’s input if we ran into a bad guy in a parking lot, mall, etc. We even talk about — and train for — that unlikely occurrence.
Being prepared is something both of you need to understand as husband and wife.
There are no definitive solutions in many of the scenarios that could happen. There are no guarantees that if you are outside your vehicle while your spouse is inside, and you’re suddenly approached by an armed robber, that he can safely be engaged from within the vehicle. The backstop, time, position, anything could affect the outcome of this or any of these scenarios.
However, one thing is certain. If you never discuss with your spouse the possibility of what could happen at the places you usually go and in the manner you usually travel, then if something does happen, he or she will be unprepared to respond in a pre-determined way. This forces a reaction, versus a response, that may not lead to a desired outcome for you both. This all takes practice and communication. It takes teamwork!
So remember, the next time you walk into a store, take the time to open the door for your spouse. Take the time to help her into the car the next time you’re in a parking lot. And when you do, take the time to look around and scan your surroundings. You’ll find she appreciates it and you’ll both be a little safer.

Semper Paratus

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Knife Blade Steel

I’m slowly turning into a knife guy. I’ve always loved good knives but could not see spending so much for a good quality knife. I’m changing my mind and my collection is growing. This is what I’ve learned about knife blade steels. When choosing quality knives the kind of steel is always a consideration. Most people just pick something they like until they have to use the knife a lot. Then they find out what works best for the job they have.
The making of stainless steel begins by melting steel in a furnace. Alloying elements are added to the melt, and the molten steel is poured into molds called ingots. Once the ingots have solidified, they are processed in a mill to make usable shapes and sizes (plates, coils, etc.). Buck Knives uses plates and coils, depending on the type of steel and its thickness. Plates are turned into knife components by laser cutting and coils are shaped into components using a fine blanking press.
Properties of Steel
The selection of steel for specific applications is based on the properties of the steel and other factors like manufacturability—if the steel is difficult to fabricate, then it is not practical for use in a manufacturing environment. These properties are established by the alloys added to steel and by the methods used in its manufacture. Some of the important properties of blade steel are:
Hardness : A measure of the steel's ability to resist permanent deformation (measured on a Rockwell Scale)
Hardenability : The ability of a steel to be hardened (through the heat-treating process)
Strength : The steel’s ability to resist applied forces
Ductility : The steel's ability to flex or bend without fracturing
Toughness : The steel’s ability to absorb energy prior to fracturing
Initial Sharpness : The sharpness of the blade "out of the box"
Edge Retention : The ability of the steel blade to hold an edge without frequent resharpening
Corrosion Resistance: The ability of the steel to resist deterioration as a result of reaction with its environment
Wear Resistance: The ability to resist wear and abrasion during use
Manufacturability : The ease with which steel can be machined, blanked, ground, and heat-treated (made into a blade)
Stainless Steel
Advantages Disadvantages
Easier to sharpen Dulls quickly
Resistant to rust Susceptible to staining
Ideal for survival situations Not as sharp as other materials
Better in wet conditions
Carbon Steel
Advantages Disadvantages
Holds an edge longer More difficult to sharpen
Harder than stainless steel Susceptible to rust
More durable in abusive situations Highly susceptible to staining
Well suited for hunting

I hope this bit of information helps you in your search for the right knife.

Semper Paratus

Ed's Red Bore Cleaner

I was first introduced to Ed’s Red in the early 90’s by a Force Recon Marine who knew weapons like the back of his hand. I’ve used it for over 15 years, even though when I got out of the military I found that CLP worked best for me. I highly recommend Ed’s Red especially if you clean a lot of guns often as I used to.
“By C.E., "Ed" Harris
Since I mixed my first "Ed's Red" (ER) bore cleaner five years ago, hundreds of users have told me that they find it as effective as commercial products. This cleaner has an action similar to military rifle bore cleaner, such as Mil-C-372B. Itaner, such as Mil-C-372B. It is highly effective for removing plastic fouling from shotgun bores, caked carbon inn semi-automatic rifles or pistols, or leading in revolvers. "ER" is not a "decoppering" solution for fast removal of heavy jacket fouling, but because is more effective in removal of caked carbon and primer residues than most other cleaners, so metal fouling is reduced when "ER" is used.
I researched the subject rather thoroughly and determined there was no technical reason why an effective firearm bore cleaner couldn't be mixed using common hardware store ingredients. The resulting cleaner is safe, effective, inexpensive, provides excellent corrosion protection and adequate residual lubrication. Routine oiling after cleaning is unnecessary except for storage exceeding 1 year, or in harsh environments, such as salt air exposure.
The formula is adapted from Hatcher's "Frankford Arsenal Cleaner No.18," but substitutes equivalent modern materials. Hatcher's recipe called for equal parts of acetone, turpentine, Pratts Astral Oil and sperm oil, and (optionally) 200 grams of anhydrous lanolin per liter into the cleaner.
Some discussion of the ingredients in ER is helpful to understand the properties of the cleaner and how it works. Pratts Astral Oil was nothing more than acidg more than acid free, deodorized kerosene. Today you would ask for "K1" kerosene of the type sold for use in indoor space heaters.
An inexpensive, effective substitute for sperm oil is Dexron III automatic transmission fluid. Prior to 1950 most ATF's were sperm oil based. During WWII sperm oil was mostly unavailable, so highly refined, dewaxed hydrofinished petroleum oils were developed, which had excellent thermal stability. When antioxidants were added to prevent gumming these worked well in precision instruments.
With the high demand for automatic transmission autos after WWII, sperm oil was no longer practical to produce ATFs in the needed quantities needed, so the wartime expedients were mass produced. ATFs have been continually improved over the years. The additives contained in Dexron include detergents or other surfactants which are highly suitable for inclusion in an all-purpose cleaner, lubricant and preservative.
Hatcher's Frankford Arsenal No. 18 used gum spirits of turpentine, but turpentine is both expensive and also highly flammable, so I chose not to use it. Much safer and more inexpensive are "aliphatic mineral spirits," which are an open-chain organic solvent, rather than the closed-chain, benzene ring structure, commontructure, common to "aromatics," such as naptha or "lighter fluid." Sometimes called "safety solvent," aliphatic mineral spirits are used for thinning oil based paint, as automotive parts cleaner and is commonly sold under the names "odorless mineral spirits," "Stoddard Solvent" or "Varsol".
Acetone is included to provide an aggressive, fast-acting solvent for caked smokeless powder residues. Because acetone readily evaporates and the fumes are harmful in high concentrations, it is recommended that it be left out if the cleaner will be used indoors, in soak tanks or in enclosed spaces lacking forced air ventilation. Containers should be kept tightly closed when not in use. ER is still effective without acetone, but not as "fast-acting."
"Ed's Red" does not chemically dissolve copper fouling in rifle bores, but it does a better job of removing carbon and primer residue than most other cleaners. Many users have told me, that frequent and exclusive use of "ER" reduces copper deposits, because it removes the old impacted powder fouling left behind by other cleaners. This reduces the abrasion and adhesion of jacket metal to the bore, leaving a cleaner surface condition which reduces subsequent fouling. Experience indicatesrience indicates that "ER" will actually remove metal fouling in bores if it is left to "soak," for a few days so the surfactants will do the job, when followed by a repeat cleaning. You simply have to be patient.
Addition of lanolin to ER is optional, because the cleaner works perfectly well and gives adequate corrosion protection and lubrication without it. Inclusion of lanolin makes the cleaner easier on the hands, increases its lubricity and film strength and improves corrosion protection if firearms, tools or equipment will be routinely exposed to salt air, water spray, or corrosive urban atmospheres.
I recommend the lanolin included if you intend to use the cleaner as a protectant for long term storage or for a "flush" after water cleaning of black powder firearms or those fired with military chlorate primers. This is because lanolin has a great affinity for water and readily emulsifies so that the bore can be wiped of residual moisture, leaving a protective film. If you inspect your guns and wipe them down twice yearly, you can leave out the lanolin and save about $10 per gallon.
At current retail prices you can buy all the ingredients to mix ER, without the lanolin for about $12 per gallon. I urge you to mix some yourself. I ame yourself. I am confident it will work as well for you as it does for me and hundreds of users who got the "recipe" on the Fidonet Firearms Echo.
CONTENTS: Ed's Red Bore Cleaner
• 1 part Dexron ATF, GM Spec. D-20265 or later.
• 1 part Kerosene - deodorized, K1
• 1 part Aliphatic Mineral Spirits
• CAS #64741-49-9, or substitute "Stoddard Solvent", CAS #8052-41-3, or equivalent.
• 1 part Acetone, CAS #67-64-1.
• (Optional 1 lb. of Lanolin, Anhydrous, USP per gallon, or OK to substitute Lanolin, Modified, Topical Lubricant, from the drug store)
Mix outdoors, in good ventilation. Use a clean 1 gallon metal, chemical-resistant, heavy gage PET or PVC plastic container. NFPA approved plastic gasoline storage containers are OK. Do NOT use HDPE, which is permeable, because the acetone will slowly evaporate. Acetone in ER will attack HDPE over time, causing the container to collapse, making a heck of a mess!
Add the ATF first. Use the empty container to measure the otherainer to measure the other components, so that it is thoroughly rinsed. If you incorporate the lanolin into the mixture, melt this carefully in a double boiler, taking precautions against fire. Pour the melted lanolin it into a larger container, rinsing the lanolin container with the bore cleaner mix, and stirring until it is all dissolved. I recommend diverting up to 4 ozs. per quart of the 50-50 ATF/kerosene mix to use as "ER-compatible" gun oil. This can be done without impairing the effectiveness of the remaining mix. Label and safety warnings follow:
Contents: petroleum distillates, surfactants, organometallic antioxidants and acetone.
1. Flammable mixture, keep away from heat, sparks or flame.
2. FIRST AID, If swallowed DO NOT induce vomiting, call physician immediately. In case of eye contact immediately flush thoroughly with water and call a physician. For skin contact wash thoroughly.
3. Use with adequate ventilation. Avoid breathing vapors or spray mist. It is a violation of Federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with itsonsistent with its labeling. Reports have associated repeated and prolonged occupational overexposure to solvents with permanent brain and nervous system damage. If using in closed armory vaults lacking forced air ventilation wear respiratory protection meeting NIOSH TC23C or equivalent. Keep container tightly closed when not in use.
1. Open the firearm action and ensure the bore is clear. Cleaning is most effective when done while the barrel is still warm from firing. Saturate a cotton patch with bore cleaner, wrap or impale on jag and push it through the bore from breech to muzzle. The patch should be a snug fit. Let the first patch fall off and do not pull it back into the bore.
2. Wet a second patch, and similarly start it into the bore from the breech, this time scrubbing from the throat area forward in 4-5" strokes and gradually advancing until the patch emerges out the muzzle. Waiting approximately 1 minute to let the bore cleaner soak will improve its action.
3. For pitted, heavily carbon-fouled service rifles, leaded revolvers or neglected bores a bronze brush wet with bore cleaner may be used to remove stubborn deposits. This is unnecessary for smooth, target-grade barrels in routine use.
routine use.
4. Use a final wet patch pushed straight through the bore to flush out loosened residue dissolved by Ed's Red. Let the patch fall off the jag without pulling it back into the bore. If you are finished firing, leaving the bore wet will protect it from rust for 1 year under average atmospheric conditions.
5. If lanolin is incorporated into the mixture, it will protect the firearm from rust for up to two years, even in a humid environment. (For longer storage use Lee Liquid Alox or Cosmolene). "ER" will readily remove hardened Alox or Cosmolene.
6. Wipe spilled Ed's Red from exterior surfaces before storing the gun. While Ed's Red is harmless to blue and nickel finishes, the acetone it contains is harmful to most wood finishes.
7. Before firing again, push two dry patches through the bore and dry the chamber, using a patch wrapped around a suitably sized brush or jag. First shot point of impact usually will not be disturbed by Ed's Red if the bore is cleaned as described.
8. I have determined to my satisfaction that when Ed's Red is used exclusively and thoroughly, that hot water cleaning is unnecessary after use of Pyrodex or military chlorate primers. However, if bores are not wiped between shots and shots and areand shots and are heavily caked from black powder fouling, hot water cleaning is recommended first to break up heavy fouling deposits. Water cleaning should be followed by a flush with Ed's Red to prevent after-rusting which could result from residual moisture. It is ALWAYS good practice to clean TWICE, TWO DAYS APART whenever using chlorate primed ammunition, just to make sure you get all the corrosive residue out.
This "Recipe" has been placed in the public domain, and may be freely distributed provided that it is done so in its entirely with all current revisions, instructions and safety warnings included herein, and that proper attribution is given to the author.”
Semper Paratus

A "Reverence" For Shooting

This is a portion of an article written by Gun writer C.E. “Ed” Harris. This was first published on Gunwriters on the Web. Ed's Essays: If you were around in the days of yore before the internet you know that the precursor to the internet were bulletin boards, or computers, connected by phone lines to each other. You had to have your computer “call” another computer to log onto their board. Many boards were run by the government and there was little to no security or any type of password protection. I was in the military in the early 80’s and I remember downloading programs from other bases boards.
Ed first started writing gun articles on the internet in the mid 80’s. He competed and hunted and shot guns during a time when you could buy .22 for $10.00 a brick. I remember those days well.
As you can read in this article Ed chose to leave the industry for a time. As far as I know, he is back to shooting, but I couldn’t find any more of his writing. Maybe someone out there can tell us about Ed.
I feel somewhat the same as Ed in this article. Shooting has changed since I started seriously in the 80’s. It’s lost the class it used to have. There are still those who give the right attitude and feeling to the sports of shooting and hunting.
“By C.E. "Ed" Harris

It wasn't that long ago I thought that reloading 500 rounds to shoot every week, and working for a year on a magazine article that didn't pay enough to cover my expenses, actually was fun! At the range, rude clowns would pester me with stupid questions while I tried to "work." They'd blab on without the courtesy of waiting for a reply, interrupting with an answer they already "knew," being ready to argue for hours, while ignoring any pretext of science, engineering or common sense. Those days are gone for me now, thank God!

I've lost all interest in club shooting and competition, selling my Rod & Gun Club membership. So they won't see me at the range any more. A few old friends I'll miss know who they are and still stay in touch. It's ironic that from a club of hundreds of members, after 30 years I can count on the fingers of one hand the intelligent, well mannered gentlemen still living whom I am honored and thankful to have known.

The shooting game in America is dying because young people are not taking up the sport. Liberals and entertainment media use violence to sell the fearful on big government, trading our rights and freedom for the false security of "Homeland Defense" after September 11. Anti gunners are waiting patiently for the rest of the post WWII "baby boomer" generation to die off, so that the politicians can ban private ownership of guns outright without today's spoiled brats even raising a whimper. They'll get away with it, because most shooters are too stupid to see past the next election.

What was once the honorable hobby of outdoorsmen, citizen soldiers and amateur historians has been prostituted by costly games having no basis in reality. Competition has no purpose other than to sell more guns and accessories in a saturated market. Our head-in-sand Liberals of mis-applied compassion don't even have to ban guns. This is because our own shooting industry, advertisers and mass marketing have turned sport shooting into the pastime of monied elitists.

The cost of sport shooting has been driven out of reach of most ordinary working people and is surely killing our Second Amendment heritage just as certainly as if the cursed liberals had done it legislatively. The "gentleman good guys" such as the late John Amber, Bud Waite and Col. E.H. Harrison are surely rolling in their graves.

America's sport shooters who survive have forgotten that competition is about skill and hunting is an expression of reverence for our great outdoors and the game. The noble simplicity of it all hidden by today's advertising hype. The great outdoorsman Frank Marshall, Jr. killed most of his deer with a sporterized .303 Lee Enfield while wearing a tattered flannel shirt, bib overalls, smoking a Lucky Strike, watching the wafting smoke and stalking up on quietly upon them from downwind. Today's arrogant kids who learn how to hunt on the Internet need to get out of their tree stands and learn to enjoy nature and walk quietly around the woods so that they may truly enjoy them instead of worrying about how they smell!

After I changed careers and left the shooting industry, I didn't fire a shot in four years and didn't miss it at all. After my Dad died I started going back up to our country place, in the mountains of West Virginia, escaping daily suburban stresses to recall a simpler time. A neighbor invited me to help him zero a woodchuck rifle at his farm nearby and hunt deer with him in the fall. This was like turning the clock back 30 years and returning to my boyhood home. An occasional outing with a few close friends was delightful, 100 miles away from obnoxious newly rich who shoot the same arrogant way as they drive their expensive German cars which seem to have replaced the Fords and Chevy's we grew up with.

I don't have as many guns as I used to, but the favorites which I kept serve my modest, practical needs. What little hunting I do these days is for deer, varmints in my vegetable garden, wild turkey, rabbits and upland game birds close to home. My target shooting is informal, with revolvers handguns and traditional, muzzle-loading black powder rifles to 100 yards, centerfire rifles to 300 yards, mostly for woodchucks, but certainly not the fantasy 600 to 1000 yard "sniper" ranges anymore.

Ken Warner wrote in his Practical Book of Guns that before 1950 most American homes had a .22 rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun and either a .30-30 lever action or .30-'06 bolt action. Most handguns were .22s, but if center-fire, were almost certainly a .38 Special, unless a returning WWII veteran was an officer who kept his .45 automatic. Things were practical and simple then.

I learned to fire the Springfield and Colt Official Police revolver young enough to be confident of their accurate rapidity. They appear far less sinister than a semi-automatic such as a Garand or AR-15 and get the job done without scattering the fired brass all over. My "West Virginia battery" has built-in redundancy, because experience taught me that all essential systems need a backup, whether they be motor vehicles, two-way radio communications, home heating, knives, or firearms.”

Ed’s views on redundancy I echo. Remember, 2 is one and 1 is none. I also echo his feelings about many new shooters. I believe shooting requires a “reverence” for it, no matter what shooting sport you are into. There is a respect for those who have gone on before in shooting like Carlos Hathcock, Jeff Cooper, and many others. There is also a respect for the weapons that I don’t always see. So I can understand Ed’s reluctance to return to the industry.
I guess this is really just a rant article and a pleading to have a better understanding of shooting and shooting sports.

Semper Paratus

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Concealed Carry: Be Polite, But Have A Plan To Kill Everyone You Meet

“Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”
General James N. Mattis, USMC, Commander US CENTCOMM

Why do you think this General gave this advice to Marines in Iraq? And how does this apply to you and I as concealed carry civilians? Should we plan on killing everyone we meet? Actually, that is not completely the way we should think or act. But when you go out into public armed you are in essence living by this saying.
In a combat zone that advice will keep you alive. In this country under rule of law the same advice will keep you alive also. The difference is that in the United States under the rule of law there are many less people who are trying to do you harm. The problem is the same as in Iraq. Which person that you see or meet is the one trying to do you harm? Many people in law enforcement go through an entire career without drawing their weapon to defend themselves or others. In a combat zone there are numerous times you will pull your weapon up with the intent of defending yourself and your mates.
There are very few people who want to kill another human being, but there are many who are prepared to. I met guys in the military who were “itching for a fight”. Most of them thought they were ready and had a lot of vibrato about “greasing Charlie”. One of the things I noticed about being in the military and having the potential of having to kill is that human beings don’t want to really do that. Even the toughest soldier is still human and so it isn’t in his nature to kill.
My Father fought in the Pacific in the Navy during World War II. I noticed the captions written on the back of his pictures during that time has a reference to the Japanese, our enemy during that war. My Dad was on a ship that was sent to Sasebo, a Japanese island that we paid dearly to take from the Japanese. Many died on that island during the battle to take it. My Dad had taken pictures of a Japanese soldier sent to his ship to help them navigate into the Sasebo harbor. On the back of the pictures of the Japanese soldier it says, “Nip soldier in Sasebo harbor”. I never knew my Father to be even remotely a racist yet he referred to a Japanese as a “Nip”. The reason we come up with these derogatory names for the enemy during war time is so we can kill them. It’s too difficult for the human mind to think of the enemy as a father, husband, Uncle, or a kind, decent human being. Most enemy soldiers are just that, decent human beings. So in war we have to save our sanity in an insane situation so we call the enemy “Nips”, “gooks”, “ragheads”. This way we can live with ourselves when we must kill. We do it even today. Criminals aren’t people, they are animals. Most criminals are not upstanding citizens where enemies on the battlefield may be good people.
A mindset that you may have to kill someone because they are trying to harm you or your family in many ways is like the mindset of combat. To protect yourself you must understand that you may have to take another person’s life. Does this mean you look for a fight? You must be more vigilant than others to ensure you do not get into a fight. Because every conflict you get into if you are armed is an armed conflict. You know there is at least one gun there. With that knowledge comes the realization that your weapon can be taken from you and used against you. This happens to trained police officers far too often. Being vigilant means possibly having to change some things about yourself. There are many things in life that we can’t control but we can control ourselves. Most of the time we can control where we go, what we do, and what we say. Conflict has 3 elements: You, The Circumstances, and the Attacker.
The first element you have complete control over. If you think you can bar hop or go to questionable places and not have a conflict, you are mistaken. Most problems can be avoided if you have the discipline. If you carry a gun, you should have the discipline. Most shootings occur because people are at a place they should not be doing things they should not be doing.
Do not engage in illegal or immoral activities if you don’t want to get into trouble. Exercise good judgment. Many times those who carry guns think that it is magical and will keep them away from evil. As a result they are quick to shoot off their mouth and try to push others around. Remember if you are armed, every conflict is an armed conflict. There is an old saying from author Robert Heinlein that says:
“An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.”
Being polite is not a sign of weakness. It can save you a lot of trouble in your life, and possibly save your life.
You control what you say and how you say it. You control where you go and when. You are different because you have the responsibility of a weapon. Be wise in your self control.
If you must go to a place that is questionable, choose the best time to go there. That would not be at 3 AM. There is another saying that says “Nothing good happens after midnight.” This is usually true. Be law abiding and conduct your legitimate busy in daylight hours. Along those same lines, situational awareness is always needed if you carry. Know what is going on around you and who is around you. You can control some of your circumstances but it takes effort.
The last element is a little tricky. Keep angry, dangerous people away from you. First of all you don’t need that in your life, second, those type of people cause trouble for themselves and everyone around them. If someone makes you uncomfortable with the way they are acting, get as far from them as you can. If it feels bad it probably is. Don’t get on an elevator or go into a garage if you are uncomfortable with someone. This can be called instinct, but as LDS members we know this is the Spirit. Trust in the Spirit.
Leaving a situation is not cowardice, it’s smart. If you have to and can, run! If you are alone and can get out of a situation safely, do it!
Make sure you carry, always, everywhere you can legally.
What follows this advice is always, train. Jeff Cooper said “Owning a handgun doesn’t make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician.” So become a shooter by getting training and practicing.
In the military they teach that the enemy is not a person, but a thing. Something to be conquered. This mindset helps when it comes to criminals. Many criminals have the idea that if they can take something and get away with it, that it’s OK. Some feel like the world owes them something. For whatever reason, a bad childhood, mental problems, it doesn’t matter why, for some reason criminals don’t know the difference between right and wrong. Or they just don’t care. These will be the criminals that intend to just rob someone, then one decides to kill someone in the process. There is something that is wrong in their mind that processes things in a skewed way. It’s not just a difference of opinion, it’s recognizing right from wrong.
Most people know right from wrong even though some have different degrees or interpretation of their actions. When it comes to killing or injuring someone without provocation, the average American recognizes this to be wrong. Defending yourself is usually acceptable.
This takes us back to the above quote:
“Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”
Being realistic is important. Everyone you meet doesn’t have a violent way of thinking. The problem is it’s hard to tell the sheep from the wolves. You may have to shoot someone someday. Thus, have a plan. Be prepared. But above all, don’t forget the first thing mentioned in the quote, “Be polite.”
Semper Paratus

Preparation and Others

It never ceases to amaze me how some people think. For instance listen to this story.

“It recently came to the attention of some folks I was working with that I made a habit of keeping a first aid kit in the backpack I usually carry with me. They thought that this was a strange practice. One even went so far as to ask if it wasn't a bit paranoid to carry a first aid kit wherever you go. I'd imagine a sizeable chunk of the population would agree with that sentiment seeing as how the vast majority of them get through the average day without needing a first aid kit. Not even ten minutes after someone questioned the level of paranoia necessary to keep a first aid kit handy another someone managed to slice themselves open. At the moment when the dismissive individuals were faced with someone bleeding and teetering on the edge of going unconscious due to being panicked at the sight of their own blood, they stared in (mostly) mute helplessness. It was left to the "paranoid" guy to open up the med kit no one else had the foresight to bring or apparently inclination to use, glove up, and apply some gauze to stop the bleeding.

It wasn't a life threatening injury...and thank heaven for that. The people who thought I was a bit touched in the head weren't much help in the situation. Even in this very minor event with only a little bit of blood spilled (by my standards, anyway) they seemed incapable of following the clearest of directions or performing a simple action they had performed many times in the past like starting a car so we could get the victim somewhere they could receive proper care. I don't really want to know what it would be like to try and manage them in a situation where the bleeding was serious and someone's life was at stake. Most don't like to dwell on the more unpleasant possibilities of life and I totally understand that. I don't spend my free time contemplating doom, either...but when something like this happens you get the feeling that some have never contemplated even the possibility that something bad will happen. And sometimes they're pretty smug about it.”

I have lived this story. Several times. Occasionally a member of my family will ask for a item in my Everyday carry (EDC). Occasionally I won’t have the item. I will then say “Don’t get upset because I’m not prepared for you…”

This happens when it comes to guns. Those who want more gun control often think that anyone who would own a gun is an idiotic good-ol-boy. This is not reality of course. I have been surprised a few times at the range to find certain people who feel strongly enough about a gun to buy one and practice with it. (My favorite was a Priest!)
I am not doom and gloom but it is amazing that some people think bad things will NEVER happen. I’m not sure what kind of life you must lead to think that way. Why someone would think that social breakdown is not just a verdict away is beyond me. This country has great freedom and with that freedom comes the right to protest. Sometimes a non-violent protest can turn ugly real fast. We’ve seen these things happen all over the world, but especially here in the U.S.

Those who will make fun of you for taking some sort of responsibility for what happens in this world will, without even the slightest hesitation, try to squeeze themselves under the protective umbrella of your good judgment when things go badly. When the danger is over, they'll return to contempt without any sense of irony or ability to even recognize the folly of it. Some people will still think I have some sort of psychological defect because I have a med kit handy. It doesn't matter that when someone is bleeding you’re the only guy on scene who had a plan or any capability to do something'll still be a nut to a chunk of them.

Don't let the inexperienced, the feckless, or the willfully stupid draw the line that separates preparedness and paranoia in your mind. Those people, after all, will not help you when things go wrong. If things do indeed go wrong, you'll find their opinion offers little comfort when someone is bleeding and stuff is on fire.

In the Book of Mormon is a story of Lehi’s dream. Those who were making right decisions were being mocked by those in the spacious building. I feel that way often about other members. I shouldn’t feel like this but it always comes. Being prepared is actually following counsel and keeping commandments. Can it be all consuming? Yes. I’ve seen others go crazy with preparedness to the detriment of everything else in their lives. I understand how that can happen. As we live in the last days and things get hot in this world, it’s easy to see why someone might get obsessed with preparedness. Some may feel they are behind the curve and are trying to catch up. It’s always good to look at what you have prepared in place to ensure that it will work when needed. Keep a good perspective though so you won’t go overboard.

What others say should not matter. Do what you feel you need to for yourself and your family. Follow inspired leaders and personal inspiration and you will never go wrong.

Semper Paratus


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

How Safe Is Your Family When You Are Away?

How safe is your family when you are away?
I’ve often asked this question of students and others that I have worked with through the years. I’ve received a variety of answers. Often it has been that guys have tried to teach their wives or even children and it has not gone well. Maybe other family members are not interested enough to actually want to learn self defense. This is something you need to discuss with your spouse seriously. Can your spouse be serious enough about self defense to learn whatever it takes to defend themselves and the household? I’ve been fortunate that my family enjoys shooting enough to get trained and to practice.
Often men will be the instructor of the family. Sometimes this can work, but often a husband and wife shouldn’t be together during instruction. I’ve seen many couples split up because often the husband brings more stress to the situation than is already there. I’ve also instructed my wife and kids and it’s gone quite well. My wife is very independent and that helped a lot. I was able to share with her the basics and then let her go. If a husband feels he can instruct his wife, make sure you are very patient, teach clearly and don’t assume, and make sure your spouse is comfortable and not intimidated. If you can’t do this with your wife, find a competent instructor for her.
The size of weapon is always a consideration. If you are considering a weapon for home defense being size conscious is not really a consideration. A weapon that has little recoil is always good for those smaller in stature. A rifle or shotgun can be considered but sometimes even they are too long for home defense. I would recommend a larger handgun. You will have to determine caliber. As with all home defense weapons, consider the danger of possibly shooting through walls.
Remember that education is protection.
Your children should be given gun safety instruction. You must decide at what age you teach them to shoot. I have several children and all of them have learned safety and shooting skills. Some of them have embraced shooting and others see it as a once in awhile activity. I’m grateful my family has seen the importance of defense. You may have to convince your family of this need. If you as the “shooter” of the family are away often, convincing them may not be as difficult as you think.
The times we live in a very perilous. We should do our best to care for ourselves including family defense. Most spouses will see the wisdom in this and do what they can to learn and be more self-sufficient.
Again I ask, are you confident that your loved ones can defend themselves without you?

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Fundamentals of Home Defense

Most people remember where they were when the twin towers went down on 9-11. This cowardly act was terrorism at its worst. Criminals do their own brand of terrorism called home invasion. Law enforcement defines this as an incident where the house is occupied by the family or owner and they are confronted with an imminent and potentially lethal threat by an intruder(s). In recent years, the occurrence of these violent encounters inside the home has been increasing, as has media coverage of their outcomes. This growing concern has prompted a surge of new gun owners who intend to keep that newly purchased firearm for the primary purpose of home defense. There is a void in the training industry regarding this type of incident.
There are many “tactical” courses out there that proclaim to train students in the art of safe rooms, room clearing and building searches. These are concepts that take many more hours and teammates to execute properly than can be taught in a course that lasts just a few days. There are five fundamentals of home defense that are the fundamentals of a solid foundation for the new firearm owner.
The five fundamentals of home defense are Evade, Arm, Barricade, Contact and Cover. I will try and go into more detail about each, but I caution you to know that there are no standard answers for home invasion because every scenario is different.
Avoid the potential impending threat
Though this is a common-sense approach to anything that can cause us harm, we define it early. If we can avoid the threat, avoid it. This includes ensuring your alarm systems are working, windows and doors are always secure, and the dog makes noise when strange people come around. Also, fortify your home with better doors and locks than the standard.
If you can escape, escape and get out. Everyone knows the common sounds of their house and all the ways to get out if you need to. Should you believe there is the potential of a home invasion and you have the opportunity to leave the house, do it and deal with the potential threat from an external location by whatever means necessary. I realize there may be other variables that prevent you from leaving the house during an incident like kids or elderly parents. This is where the second fundamental comes in.
Arm yourself with a defensive firearm.
In the event you are unable to escape, it may be time to arm yourself with a firearm. This brings up many questions for the new gun owner. Two of the most-asked questions are: How do I store my firearm? Where do I store it?
I caution giving standard answers, because it all depends on the individual’s living arrangements. The answers for a family with children may be different than for a single person living alone. But I do recommend a quick-access safe. It should be placed in an area accessible from where most of the time in the house is spent. The contents of the safe should be a quality defensive firearm with an extra magazine or speed loader, and a quality light source. I recommend a stand-alone light, not a weapon-mounted light. You may want to illuminate things you prefer not to point a firearm at. The light should be equipped with a lanyard so it is not dropped should we need to use your support hand for other tasks. The key item often missed by many is a phone. This can be our cell phone grabbed from the nightstand or even an old cell phone. We’ll talk more about that later. Once we arm ourselves, we move to the next concept.
Barricade 90 degrees from the direction of movement or attack.
When you consider your barricade location, you may choose to keep your firearm there. I do not advocate moving with a firearm exposed. When you position yourself, it is very important to remain 90 degrees from the direction of attack. That gives you the greatest opportunity to act before being observed by the threat. The barricade location should be the farthest point that allows you to engage the threat with your firearm beyond two arms’ reach and at full extension. The only caveat to the above would be if there were a strong piece of cover located in the room.
Once in your barricade position, you move to the next phase.
Contact the authorities.
Contact armed professionals as quickly as possible. They are far better equipped to deal with a home invader than you are alone. By offering them the appropriate information, you can make their response that much more efficient. Remember that if you call from a cell phone, the location may not be immediately available to the 911 operator. I advocate conveying these five pieces of information when possible:
• Where – Where are you? The physical address and your location within the house are essential. You can convey the intruder’s location if you know it. If able, it’s also helpful to provide first responders with a way into the house or route information to your location inside.
• What – What is happening? E.g., you have a home invader and they are in or trying to get into the house.
• Armed – The fact that you are armed is important information to tell the operator. Also the invaders weapon status if you know it.
• Your Description – What you look like and are wearing, as well as descriptions of anyone else who may be in the home and did not make it to the barricade location.
• Intruder Description – If you have any identifying information about the intruder, it can be very valuable to responding professionals. You may have gotten a good look at the intruder and can provide a full description. You may only be able to say the intruder was male and short. Any information will be helpful, but under no circumstances should you wait around to get a description before trying to evade.
Counter the threat when presented.
This step has an unlimited number of possibilities. You might need to engage the threat with your firearm. Or the threat may see you with your firearm and flee. Every situation is going to be different. I do not advocate announcing yourself blindly and telling the intruder you are armed. To a motivated intruder, this only gives away your location. The exception here is if they are entering the room where you are located, it may be an option. The best-case scenario is that armed professionals arrive on the scene prior to the Counter phase, but you cannot count on that outcome and must be prepared to act accordingly.
These five fundamentals of home defense are the foundation for creating your home defense plan in the event an intruder attempts or actually makes entry into your home. Of course we could spend much more time on this information, but these are the fundamentals. If you are a new firearm owner, check out one of the Introduction to Handguns courses being offered by a competent instructor in your area.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Short Veteran Thanks

I was thinking about history today. Days like this make me think about the past. I can remember being at the top of a 150 ft tower getting ready to make my first "jump" at that height. My room mate and buddy, Mike, said to me, "Iv'e got your back." He knew I was afraid of heights and that I needed some encouragement. The black hats weren't going to give me any.
I've thought about that statement "I've got your back". It means more than just good luck. It means I'm here to support you.
I loved serving in the military, but more than that, I love the people I've served with. Most of them are out of the military now or have retired from there. It was a privilege to serve my country with some of the best people you can imagine. Most of them are like family. I can count on them like I would my family.
Serving your country is something I would recommend. I think that serving in the military gives you a different perspective on the world. There is also a patriotism and love of country that can be found in no other place.
I am grateful to have served but also I am grateful for those who served, those who gave their all, so that I may enjoy the freedom of the United States.
Thanks to all those who are serving now, and especially all who gave a piece of themselves to ensure my freedom. Like the saying says "All gave some, some gave all".
Thank you fellow vets.

Semper Paratus

Friday, November 7, 2014

Hard or Soft Target: Don't Be A Victim

I have a friend, he’s also my home teacher, who is a martial artist. Now, the next question might be what level and which martial art is he into? He does not compete and has never been formally trained. But I would not want to go up against him in the ring or in a dark alley! He and I have a different perspective on self defense, but we agree about so much. We also speak the same language until it comes to the actual act of self defense. We talk a lot about technique, even though we practice a different self defense. My family has been trained by my friend who noticed my family knew a lot of things about self defense already from their weapons training.
When I was in Jr High in Arizona I noticed a bully that bothered people all the time. Usually I could “turn the other cheek” because for the most part he used intimidation. One day I saw him intimidate and then actually push down a girl. I didn’t know the girl but I lost my mind and challenged him. He had me meet him after school behind a building. I met him and we fought. To be honest, the fight was not really dominated by either of us. We both left bloody. But the difference was he was wearing some rings just for that purpose. The next day I was the hero not because I was tougher but because I defended someone and he used rings. After this altercation I became friends with this guy, and I never saw him bully anyone again. Even in Jr High we should not be an easy victim. We should stand up for what is right, and not be bullied, even if it means a little blood is spilled. Captain Moroni did not stand idly by as the Kingmen were going to take away his freedoms. Did you ever wonder why the Title of Liberty was put on every tower in the city? It was to be a reminder to never get themselves in that situation again. To never be victim’s again.
We can’t always choose whether we’ll be a victim, but we can choose to be an easy victim or not.
Danger lurks everywhere. I’m talking about human predators. Most people are good human beings, but there are some who are not. They are dangerous and hunt for victims. The good news is that you can keep yourself safe by following seven simple safety rules. The safety rules are simple, because as human beings, we have a built-in warning system that alerts us to predator danger. This warning system can be called fear. But as member of the Church we believe in the gift of the Holy Ghost or the Spirit. The Spirit can warn us of imminent danger.
Here are some safety ideas that can save your life.
1. Situational Awareness
I’ve talked about this at great length on this website. I know I will continue to bring it up. You don’t have to be hyper-vigilant here. Just put away your phone and look up. Then take note to what is going on around you. You can avoid a lot of problems by just keeping your head up. Also keep your head on a swivel.
2. Use your senses.
One of the ways an “A Team” survived in Viet Nam was to become a VC (Viet Cong). The Green Beret would often dress like VC, eat like VC, and by all intents and purposes be a VC. They also practiced what is called noise and smell discipline. You can do something similar. Be aware of different smells and sounds coming near you. Especially “Watch you 6”. Who and what is behind you? Don’t be afraid to look and look often. Use reflection from car or store windows or just turn your head.
3. Look for things out of place
Predators often act strangely especially when confronted. I’m not saying confront someone you think is about to do you harm, but just looking at them and noticing them is enough of a confrontation. Look for a small group who have their attention on you. Most people walking with a group will be talking and looking at each other. Pay attention to someone who is trying to not be noticed or trying to hide. Also look for an unusual expression or walking gait.
4. Avoid Confrontation
Crowds are interesting things. They can turn ugly or dangerous real fast. If you see this happening in the crowd you are in, leave immediately. Don’t rationalize; don’t listen to others, as soon as you recognize something turning violent, leave. It’s that simple. If you want to be safe, leave.
5. Stay together
Have you ever seen lions hunting on Animal Planet? They never attack the leaders of a herd of prey. They attack the stragglers. Human predators act in the same way. Make sure to keep up when moving across town with another person or a group. Don’t fall behind, and don’t get separated.
6. Look more than you are
I know this sounds a little crazy. Animals do it all the time. Ever see a cat puff up it’s tail? That is not fear, it is the cat trying to look bigger than it is. You can do the same. Don’t cower but stand upright. Show an air of confidence and vigilance. Move quickly and with purpose. Always appear like you know where you are and what you are doing. If you need help with directions go into a business.
7. Act kind and friendly
The more aggressive you are, the more you will attract aggression. Be helpful to others while remaining alert and vigilant.
Safety is also heightened through knowledge. Make sure that you know which areas are dangerous and avoid them. Stick to larger streets with foot traffic, even if it takes longer to get to where you want to go.
These 7 ideas will make you more safe whether you are near your home of out of the country.
Be safe and be prepared,
Semper Paratus
Check 6