Friday, December 25, 2015

A Good Time To Reflect

Merry Christmas to all!  I hope that this time of year you can enjoy family and friends regardless of your beliefs.  As the new year draws nigh I hope you will take this time to reflect, recommit, repent, and resolve that the coming year will be better for you, your family, friends, and the world.
As for me and my house, we hope that the light of Christ can be with you and yours.  May all that is good and right be amid your lives always.  Commit to being better prepared, spiritually, mentally, physically, and temporally.  Commit to taking your safety and security into your own hands.  I believe being prepared gives great safety and security so that you can serve others.
This season we should focus on what matters most God, Family, Country, Honor.

Semper Paratus
Check 6


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Danites

Danites. The common name for the “Daughter of Zion,” an oath-bound military society organized among the Mormons in Missouri in summer 1838 to defend the LDS church from internal and external opposition. The official name was apparently derived from a passage in the book of Micah: “Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion: for I will make thine horn iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass: and thou shalt beat in pieces many people: and I will consecrate their gain unto the Lord, and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth.” The more common nickname “Danites” was derived from the Israelite tribe of Dan. The society was modeled after the Israelite armies of the Old Testament, with companies of tens and fifties, but it also had officers like those found in state militia organizations. The society’s constitution vested executive authority in Joseph Smith and his counselors in the First Presidency. Joseph Smith attended at least one of the society’s meetings and reportedly expressed approval of its aims, but the precise nature of his involvement with the organization is unclear. The Danites began in connection with the effort to intimidate dissenters into leaving Far West, Missouri. According to its constitution, the society sought to protect the God-given rights of the Latter-day Saints and to resist oppression. It also promoted political candidates favored by the First Presidency and attempted to enforce consecration efforts. Later, in the “Mormon War” of autumn 1838, the term Danites was used interchangeably with armies of Israel to describe Mormon forces generally. The popular notion of the Danites as an enduring secret society of Mormon avengers far outlived the society’s brief existence in summer and autumn 1838.
The above description is from The Joseph Smith Papers ( the LDS Church’s website.
I’ve only done a casual research on the Danites. I know that lots of anti-Mormon people use the Danites as a source to discredit Joseph Smith. They’ll try anything.
I like the thought of the Danites as the “CIA” of the Church. I tend to agree with many who said it was originally a group to defend the Saints during Missouri madness. It was only organized for about 6 months until it was used by a guy named Sampson Avard to do his evil deeds. He sold out the Church and Joseph Smith to save himself so naturally he’s quoted and used as a source.
Contrast Avard with Orrin Porter Rockwell. Rockwell was loyal to the Church and especially to Joseph, until his death. I’m surprised Porter didn’t take out Avard as revenge. I’m not sure of the timing, maybe Porter was in prison at that time.
Porter Rockwell was a Danite but remained loyal. I’m not sure about some of the others. Like I said, I have not really researched it.

The St Louis Era newspaper in 1843 reported that OP Rockwell, arrested under an assumed name, for the attempted murder of Governor Boggs.
Even Porter understood being as stealth as possible and traveled using alias’s.
This is the Society’s Constitution
Whereas, in all bodies laws are necessary for the permanency, safety and well-being of society, we, the members of the society of the Daughter of Zion, do agree to regulate ourselves under such laws as, in righteousness shall be deemed necessary for the preservation of our holy religion, and of our most sacred rights, and the rights of our wives and children. But, to be explicit on the subject, it is especially our object to support and defend the rights conferred on us by our venerable sires, who purchased them with the pledges of their lives and fortunes, and their sacred honors. And now, to prove ourselves worthy of the liberty conferred on us by them, in the providence of God, we do agree to be governed by such laws as shall perpetuate these high privileges, of which we know ourselves to be the rightful possessors, and of which privileges wicked and designing men have tried to deprive us, by all manner of evil, and that purely in consequence of the tenacity we have manifested in the discharge of our duty towards our God, who had given us [those] rights and privileges, and a right in common with others, to dwell on this land. But we, not having the privileges of others allowed unto us, have determined like unto our fathers, to resist tyranny, whether it be in kings or in the people. It is all alike unto us. Our rights we must have, and our rights we shall have, in the name of Israel’s God.
“ART. 1st. All power belongs originally and legitimately to the people, and they have a right to dispose of it as they shall deem fit. But as it is inconvenient and impossible to convince the people in all cases, the legislative powers have been given by them from time to time, into the hands of a representation composed of delegates from the people themselves. This is and has been the law in both civil and religious bodies, and is the true principle.
“ART. 2d. The executive power shall be vested in the president of the whole church and his counsellors.
“ART. 3d. The legislative powers shall reside in the president and his counsellors, together with the generals and colonels of the society. By them all laws shall be made regulating the society.
“ART. 4th. All offices shall be during the life and good behaviour, or to be regulated by the law of God.
“ART. 5th. The society reserves the power of electing all its officers with the exception of the aides and clerks which the officers may need in the various stations. The nomination to go from the presidency to his second, and from the second to the third in rank, and so down through all the various grades, branch or department retains the power of electing its own particular officers.
“ART.6th. Punishment shall be administered to the guilty in accordance to the offense, and no member shall be punished without law, or by any others than those appointed by law for that purpose. The Legislature shall have power to make laws regulating punishments as in their judgment shall be wisdom and righteousness.
“ART. 7th. There shall be a secretary whose business it shall be to keep all the legislative records of the society, and also to keep a register of the names of the members of the society, also the rank of the officers. He shall also communicate the laws to the generals, as directed by laws made for the regulation of such business by the Legislature.
“ART. 8th. All officers shall be subject to the commands of the Captain General given through the Secretary of War. And so all officers shall be subject to their superiors in rank, according to laws made for that purpose.
There are parts of this Constitution that sound like Alma 46:12
“…In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children…”
I am certain the Church does not have a group of Danites anymore. I don’t think they existed for very long in the first place.
Moroni did not like the way he saw some leading away church members. So he decided to remind the people. I think we as church members need to be reminded once in a while. Perhaps this saying applies
“We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.”
Richard Grenier
Perhaps it’s time we, as the more “rough men” in the church, should reorganize the Danites.
Joseph Smith Jr., in his letter to Emma Smith, his wife, dated June 27, 1844, the day of his death, wrote, “There is one principle which is eternal; it is the duty of all men to protect their lives and the lives of the household, whenever necessity requires, and no power has a right to forbid it, should the last extreme arrive, but I anticipate no such extreme, but caution is the parent of safety”.
Caution IS the parent of safety.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Building First Aid Kits

A few years ago we were putting together our kids go bags. These 3 kids were in college and living away from home. As we came to their first aid kits we weren’t real sure what we needed to include. I have a YouTube channel that I follow. Nutnfancy is the guy that does videos about outdoor adventure. He reviews guns, knives, and other gear. I highly recommend his channel and videos. His POU (philosophy of use) and mine match up nicely. He did a few videos specifically on first aid kits. First he did a video describing an experience he had with a bad car wreck. From that experience he vowed to never be unprepared in the first area again. He does two other video series on "level 1" and "level 2" kits. The level 1 kit is a one to two person kit. It is small and compact but covers the items that are needed. He focuses on blood stoppers but goes beyond what a store bought kit would be. Store bought kits usually have a lot of band-aids and maybe some aspirin. In his videos he explains why he included each item. I am not going to go through a list but will touch on a few things I feel are important. Like a go bag or 72 hour kit, first aid is up to the individual. Usually the items you would include will match your capabilities and training. If you have had training putting in an IV you would probably want that in your kit. If you know how to suture, you would probably have a suture kit. Make sure you have training and experience with the procedures you are planning for. If you have no training I would strongly suggest you start with a Red Cross course in first aid and CPR. Get trained and stay current. If you have a friend who is a Doctor or Nurse ask them for training. Don’t get too technical but it is good to know when and why you should do a procedure. Learn what can go wrong and how to correct or treat the problem. As was mentioned the Red Cross is a good source of training. Also mentioned were friends who are Doctors or Nurses, EMTs. A Boy Scout Troop might be another source. There are many good books, websites, and videos. Be careful about self-education. Ensure you have good information by checking with a credible source to verify what you’ve learned is actually how it is. Another good YouTube channel that I like is PatriotNurse. She is very informative and does not get too technical. She teaches in layman’s terms and realizes everyone hasn’t had several years of college courses concerning medicine. Also, if you know someone in the military they receive a lot of training in first aid procedures. A combat medic can teach some things that a Doctor would not know. Most Doctors have an office or hospital with equipment and other professionals at their disposal. A combat medic is usually alone and is taught on a level that you and I may experience. If you come upon a car wreck you won’t have a full staff and facility to use in treating the injured. I would highly recommend courses that focus on field first aid. EMT’s and combat medics, first responders if you will; in my opinion have the most practical experience for survival or emergency medicine. As I said above, most doctors and nurses have experience in a controlled environment. Now I’m not saying those professionals are not trained in this type of medicine, many are But many have little or no experience in this type of medicine.

As you put together your kit think about experiences you’ve had with first aid and what you needed. Then look at your skills and training and add those items. Then, think of what you think you may need in the future and add those items. Then get the proper training to support those possible future events. Remember that it’s always better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it. Ask those who know about their gear. Find out what professionals use and try to obtain the same items that they use. Buying in bulk is always cheaper. If you need 3X3 surgical pads, find a good price on the internet and buy a bulk amount. You will need them for other kits. We have a kit in every go bag, then one in each vehicle or "get home" bag. You may want one at your place of work or school. There will always be a use for certain bulk items.

Pick a container that can meet your needs. For me it would always be contingent on SWB (size, weight, bulk). Also, how functional is the case, or container? Can you get to everything quickly? Can you find most things in it by sight or do you have to dump out the whole container first? Is it easy to carry? Are things clearly labeled so someone unfamiliar with the kit can use it quickly and efficiently? Is it easily accessed or hard to find? All these and more should be considered when choosing a kit container.

First aid skills will generally not change although some procedures do change, such as CPR. Become trained and practice on occasion. This could be a family activity. To make it real and more fun, employ makeup for real looking wounds. Stick to the basics and don’t try to practice medicine. This is first aid after all. Think of first responders and their job. That is what you become, the first one on the scene.

First Aid skills are probably more important than first aid materials, because you can improvise if you have the knowledge. So get trained. But with that training make sure you know how to use your equipment and materials in your first aid kit. Be familiar with how to use these items so you won’t fumble with them when you have to use them. After your training is getting your kit together so you have the items that will make your knowledge applicable to the emergency you are responding to.

Put together a list that fit with your skills. Remember that others may have some skills you may not have. Once you get a list, start putting together the items in your container of choice. When I did this I considered SWB (size, weight, bulk). If your budget doesn’t allow buying products all at once, put it together a little at a time. Maybe a few items a month. Make sure you write this all down and set your goal. Then keep track of your progress. In no time at all you will see kits being built. You may want to put temporary items in your kit until you can purchase what you really want. Such as scissors. Put in what you have until you get what you want.

This is truly a labor of love because these first aid kits may save the life of you or your loved ones one day.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Kids Skills

Teaching your kids is an important responsibility. As you are, they will be. Make no mistake, they will do similar, if not the exact, things that you do. Even if you tell them not to do something, and they see your example as the opposite, they will follow your example.
It doesn’t have to be stressful, “Teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves.” Even with preparedness. Teach them preparedness and self-sufficiency. That means you must practice the same.
Here are 5 skills you should teach them.
Gun Safety (Wouldn’t you know I’d start with a gun?)
Start with the Basics: Start by talking to your kids about the basic rules. If they ever find a gun, they should not touch it but should get away and tell an adult immediately.
Test and Retest: If possible, test your kid. Place a real-looking replica of a firearm somewhere in the home where your kid will see it when you're not in the room. They should come tell you about the gun. If they don't, use that opportunity for more instruction. Do NOT use a real gun!
Ask About Unsecured Guns: Before your kids go to a friend's house do two things. 1) Review the safety skills with your kids and 2) Ask the parents if they have guns in their home and, if they do, ask how they store their guns. If you're not comfortable with the answer, have your kids' friends come to your house instead.
Simulate Peer Pressure: If you have teens, add peer pressure to the scenarios. Role play another teen trying to convince your teen to pick up the gun. Make the peer pressure seem real and encourage your teen to practice, even if your teen thinks it is "silly."
You must decide at what age you start teaching in more detail. I think your kids should know how to shoot. I started at age 8. A BB gun is a good starter. I shot many .22’s until I was about 12. By then I knew the adult safety rules and had practiced them. I had also shot real guns so when I shot higher caliber guns I was ready. These guns were both pistols and rifles.
This actually happened to one of my kids when they were a teen. They did pick up the gun. They cleared it and made it safe. I told them that may not be the best thing if the gun was used in a crime, but at least it was safe and they knew what to do to make it that way.
A lost child is a scared child, and usually their first instinct is to begin searching for their family. Train your children to stop and sit as soon as they realize they are lost. Assure them that, no matter how scared they might be, you are searching for them at that very moment; but also that, if they keep moving around, it will take longer to find them. Consider equipping your children with an inexpensive cell phone when venturing outdoors. A few survival items tucked in a backpack or their pockets. Items such as a whistle, a bright bandana and a bottle of water are the beginning of a survival kit that will go a long way to helping them be found more quickly. Teach them what each item does and why they help. Practice. I used to give my kids a whistle and then tell them to hide so I can’t find them. I wanted them to be able to do that too. Then when I give up looking, they blow their whistle to be found. Tell them if they know how to be found then they don’t need to be afraid. Depending on their age teach them how to make simple shelters or a fire. Knowledge brings confidence.
Home alone
Usually the best strategy is to not answer the door! Yes, the person knocking could be a burglar scoping out the neighborhood. But once the door is opened, it’s that much easier for an intruder to enter. Train your child to enforce home security: Keep doors and windows locked and blinds and curtains closed. Noise from a TV or radio is a good idea. Someone with questionable motives will think twice about entering a home if they hear noises inside, even if the house is closed up and no one answers the door. Also, teach your kids that a trusted close neighbor could help. Talk with the neighbor ahead of time to let them keep an eye out.
Medical emergency
From a young age, kids can learn how to dial 911 and report an emergency, but this takes practice. Spend some time rehearsing phone calls, teaching your children to relay detailed information to an operator, follow his or her instructions, and then stay on the line until help arrives. If possible, children should also get the home ready for the arrival of EMTs by putting pets in closed areas and, if it’s nighttime, turning on both indoor and outdoor lights. Summer is an ideal time for children to take first aid and CPR classes that are suitable for kids age 9 and up.
This one skill can help your child avoid many dangerous situations. The concept is simply for children to be aware of the people and events around them. Parents can help their children become more observant and aware—not by scaring them, but by playing games to teach and practice this skill.
When driving in the car, for instance, ask your kids to describe a building or vehicle you just passed. Teach them to pay attention to the route home by asking them to give you driving directions! Tell them to close their eyes and describe what someone in the room is wearing. Encourage them to check out the license plates of passing cars: Which states are they from? What is the sum of the numbers on the license plate?
Kim’s game is a game that teaches observation. Put 10 items on a tray or table. Cover with a towel. Uncover the items and give them 1 minute to look at them. Then cover them up again and have them write down as many of the items as possible. You can stretch these observation and memory skills by re-arranging the items. Taking some away or adding some. Giving them less time to observe or waiting some time before they write the items down would increase the difficulty. You could ask specific questions about each item like color, size or other details. My kids love this game!
Being aware of their surroundings will help them avoid predatory people and other dangerous scenarios. Simple to teach. Fun to practice. And, quite possibly, a life saver.
There are certain skills I think every child should leave their home with. Domestic skills such as mending clothes, washing and cleaning skills, cooking skills. Automotive skills such as changing a tire, changing a wiper blade, jumping a battery. Handyman skills such as fixing leaky plumbing, hanging a picture, turning off gas, electricity, and water. Survival skills such as building and starting a fire, making shelter, finding water, basic first aid.
Most of these things won’t be learned anywhere else. That’s why I like Boy Scouting so much. The skills learned there are very valuable. Public school doesn’t teach much of this anymore. If your child leaves home with these skills they will be ahead of almost every one of their peers and most everyone else.
We want our children to be self-sufficient and able to handle life. Teaching basic skills and safety/security will help them to tackle life and everything that comes before them.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Friday, December 11, 2015

A Voice of Warning

In 2Nephi 28:21 we can see a little of what is happening today.
21 And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.
This scripture can teach us in many ways. Often this scripture refers to a spiritual preparedness and being lax in trying to do what is right.
I think it also applies to our security and awareness.
No longer is it safe everywhere we go. Be especially aware if the area you go is a “gun free” zone.
I was reading another blog where a member was describing his life and how he is vigilant. This a quote from that:
“You see, sometimes I’m out and about with friends and family and they’ll see me being cautious and they’ll make a comment such as “we’re at Disneyland, nothing bad happens here” or “we’re at an upscale mall, this place is safe.
Of course that’s not true. It doesn’t matter if you’re riding the teacups or singing a song in church. Attacks can happen anytime, anywhere. So don’t get lulled into a false sense of security and don’t worry about your friends or family members who may laugh at you or tease you for being vigilant.”
My friends this was in 2012. How much has changed in this world and country since 2012? No longer is Disneyland safe. I mean I’m sure they have their security and policies in place to keep those who visit safe as can be. Malls are not safe. Sports arenas, clubs and concerts, all these places are ripe for terrorist acts. Every 6 months the LDS church has a General Conference. This is attended by many people in the conference center in Salt Lake. This is not safe. Now please don’t misunderstand me. These places and events are fairly safe, but in this country there is a need for more vigilance. What I mean is an attack can happen anywhere. That doesn’t mean we change our lives and never go to the Boston Marathon or to another Sports event. What it means is we have to remain careful and vigilant. We must maintain a situational awareness that we have never had to maintain before. Your safety and security are your own. No one else is responsible for it. Most public places in America work at making us safe and secure but ultimately it is our responsibility. I’ve been in some pretty dangerous places in my life. Some from crime and others from unrest, but I could always come back to my dear United States and feel quite safe and secure. I’ve never experienced this before. I don’t write any of this to scare anyone or to make someone paranoid, but only as a voice of warning.
Our law enforcement is the best in the world and they, along with the intelligence community, do all they can to make us safe. They catch 98% of the bad out there. It’s the 2% that concerns me. I’ve written a lot about this, especially being secure in church.
These old articles speak somewhat to my concern. You will see some repetition throughout them and that’s on purpose.
8/4/2014 and 8/11/2014 Mormons: Low Standards of Security (1 through 3)
5/13/2014 Mormon Self Defense
5/28/2015 How To Achieve Security At Church
5/19/2014 Security In An LDS Church
If every member of the church, if every person, was just a little more vigilant. We could do much to make our country secure again. The current political climate during these political differences should not make us as Americans argue and fight with each other concerning our security. I know current Syrian refugees and fighting ISIS has us at odds. We need to come together and find ways to keep this country safe and secure. It is something all of us want. The problem can be that some in this country are too comfortable. Crime or terrorism has not touched their lives enough for them to sound the alarm. We cannot wait for that time. We must be alarmed now and take care of ourselves. Don’t be lulled away by a false sense of security. Don’t be pacified.
Moroni said it best in the title of liberty, Alma 46:12
12 And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it—In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children—and he fastened it upon the end of a pole.
This is why we should be vigilant and take security seriously. For our religion, freedom, peace, our wives and children. The scripture goes on to say that everyone was good with that. They liked his concern so much that they wrote the title of liberty on banner and put them on every building in their city. They wanted it always before their eyes so they would not forget.
As a member of the LDS Church I believe we are in the last days. Why would it surprise me that these are unsettling and dangerous times? Things may get worse, but with proper preparedness I am confident God will protect me and my family, after all we can do.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Dry Fire: Cheap, Effective Training

It’s no secret that I like dry fire. I think it’s the most innovative thing in shooting since the combat load.
Simply put, anything you can do to practice with your firearm that doesn’t require live ammo can be performed in dry fire. Dry fire is NOT aiming at the TV and pulling the trigger. It is not lying in your bed and aiming at the ceiling. You can use dry fire to improve your trigger with the proper regime. Check out the White Wall Drill for more information.

* Want to get your draws smoother – practice in dry fire.
* Want to speed up your reloads – practice in dry fire.
* Want to improve transitions – practice in dry fire.
* Want to improve recoil control – LIVE FIRE, NOT DRY FIRE!

Dry fire allows us to work on a great many skills without expending any ammo or driving to the range. However, dry fire is not a replacement for live fire.

I dry fire roughly 3 times a week for 15 to 20 minutes. Some will see that as a lot and some will see that as too little. In all honesty, I should be dry firing more to achieve my personal goals. Although with those dry fire sessions, I try to get in one live fire session a week. This isn’t always possible but it is important. It keeps your dry fire honest. It is really easy to fall into the trap of dry firing exclusively and becoming a dry fire hero. In all likelihood, you go to the range and realize the skills are not as polished as you thought.

You might have a sub 1.0 second draw time in dry fire but if you have never got up on the 3 yard line and actually practiced it with live ammo and a timer, you don’t really know. Likely, you won’t be as fast; your mind will take too long getting the perfect sight picture vs an acceptable sight picture.

It is easy to dry fire your way to speed, but you must still look for every weakness in live fire and find a way to execute it better. If not, you will be quick in your dry fire but in live fire, you will be stuck at your current level.

Don’t mistake this to mean dry fire isn’t important; because it is. Dry fire without live fire confirmation, in the form of mini-drills against a timer, will not take you to the level you desire.

Are you a competitive student that looks for ways to improve using both dry fire and live fire or are you a dry fire hero; burning down drill after drill in your basement but never verifying a thing at the range?

Are you overlooking some easy improvement in the name of a quick dry fire par time?

Where are you and where do you want to be?

I have dry fired in various ways. Depending on your carry gun, actual dry firing of your gun may not be good for it. See your owner’s manual to see if you can dry fire with your particular gun. I used a pile of books for my safety pad. I took several paperback books and duct taped them together. They equal about 10 inches. That should take care of any accidental discharge. My carry guns are all 9mm so it more than takes care of that. Here is a website that shows their results of shooting through books. With their test a 9mm was stopped at 7 inches. I figure 10 inches should be enough but I also put the books in front of a wall for extra stopping power. This is the website:
My articles on dry fire are:

Training: Dry Fire 9/4/2014
Benefits of Dry Fire 5/19/2015

Put together a training plan and then set realistic goals. Re-evaluate often. Train hard.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Violence and Doing What Is Right

I keep getting these questions from other LDS members about carrying a gun, owning a gun, and violence. I will address this one more time.
Chris Kyle said: "Despite what your momma told you, violence does solve problems."
I was teaching a class at church on bug out bags and I spoke a little on security and self-defense. I was asked some interesting questions. Many of the questions have centered on whether or not it is appropriate for Christians to use deadly force in the defense of their lives and the lives of their families, friends, and others.

The answer is, unequivocally, yes it is appropriate for a Christian to defend innocent life. Not only is it appropriate, it is an obligation.

In Psalm 82:4 it says that we are to “Rescue the weak and needy; Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.” In Nehemiah 4:14 we are told to “…fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.” These passages show us that we are required by biblical principles to defend innocent life, be it our families or merely the “weak and needy”.

I Timothy 5:8 states that “…if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” What greater provision is there than the provision for the defense and safety of our loved ones?

Not only is an armed response to life threatening evil condoned in scripture, but skill at arms is presented in a positive light. We are expected to have the tools and to acquire the skills needed to fulfill our obligation in protecting innocents from the evil that is loose in the world. This is clearly demonstrated in Psalm 144:1 “Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war and my fingers to fight” and again in Psalm 18:34 “He teaches my hands to make war, So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze”.

Luke 11:21-22 tells us that “When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armor wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.” This passage of scripture not only allows specifically for armed defense, but serves as a model for the Castle Doctrine or perhaps the “Palace doctrine?”

I want to be clear at this point that I only advocate the use of deadly force for the preservation of innocent life. I stress this strongly when I teach classes. I have never had a car that was worth a human life, and I have never had enough money to kill over. I know for a fact that the finest of worldly possessions does not have the value of the basest of human lives. I would not use deadly force in defense of property, but I would not hesitate to use it to save the lives of my children or anybody else’s children from a person of evil intent. Make no mistake, those people are out there these days, in droves.

This philosophy is supported by scripture, where we see clearly that murder is not permissible, but we also see that not all killing is murder. For example, Exodus 22:2-3 tells us that “If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed. “ It is important to note that this passage is qualified in the next verse, “If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him; for he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft”. We see that if the break-in occurs in light of day, deadly force is not automatically mandated. The point is that violence is not mandated simply to defend property, in the light of day it is possible to discern whether or not the intent runs deeper than mere theft. We can see in the order of today that thieves who would enter your home under cover of night most often have intentions that include violence, home invasions stand out in my mind. In the dark it must be assumed that there is a deeper level of threat and deadly force is an acceptable response.

The New Testament affords fewer references to arms and an armed defense. But Jesus does give us some insights into his thoughts on the matter:

35 And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing.
36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.
37 For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end.
38 And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.
39 And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. Luke 22:35-39

We see that Jesus wished for at least some of the Apostles to be armed, presumably for the purposes of defense. It is Important to note that the sword was the assault rifle of the day, so Jesus not only wanted his men armed but well armed.

Even when Jesus allowed himself to be taken by the Pharisees, and stopped his disciples from using their weapons to defend Him, he did not condemn arms.

”Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?” John 18:10-11.

Simon Peter was told to sheath his blade, not to abandon or relinquish it. Armed defense, although appropriate at times, was not the order of the day. Jesus had other things to do on our behalf.

So, is it appropriate for Christians to keep arms for the purpose of defending innocent life from evil people? It most certainly is. God in his infinite wisdom has seen to it that we are cleared to use this option should it be necessary. There is no inconsistency in followers of Christ, while striving for peace, using arms when called upon to do so. The use of deadly force is, however, a huge responsibility which should not be entered into in any but the most dire of need.

Old Testament violence is an interesting case in point. It is different from New Testament violence because of the coming of Christ. God clearly ordered the Hebrews to annihilate the Canaanites and surrounding peoples. Such violence is therefore an expression of God's will, for good or ill. Regardless, all the historic violence committed by the Hebrews and recorded in the Old Testament is just that—history. It happened; God commanded it. But it revolved around a specific time and place and was directed against a specific people. At no time did such violence go on to become standardized or codified into Jewish law. In short, biblical accounts of violence are descriptive, not prescriptive.

This is where Islamic violence is unique. Though similar to the violence of the Old Testament—commanded by God and manifested in history—certain aspects of Islamic violence and intolerance have become standardized in Islamic law and apply at all times. Thus, while the violence found in the Qur'an has a historical context, its ultimate significance is theological.

I do not, and will not, condone violating any American’s rights. But it is bound to happen if we want to secure our country.

There are some political leaders who will tell you that “Death to America” refers only to American arrogance and American government. But ask anyone who has looked into Islamic schools in America and you will see the real meaning of Muslim hate speech.

Muslim children attending mosques and Islamic schools are being taught to hate America, our government, our military personnel and its non-Muslim population. This is not a big secret but it seems to pass by the politicians. President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry either don’t know this fact, or choose to ignore it. Muslims are taught to hate Americans and Jews.

Read this article about research on American Muslim schools and Mosques.

This is what I think. I think there are some good Muslim’s in this world who have rejected the violence side of their religion. They are good, productive citizens. But Islam is not a religion of peace. You can compare it in the Christian world with maybe the KKK. The difference is the KKK is not taking over countries and launching a war against anyone who is not Christian.

Violence is to be shunned like disease. But there are times when violence is necessary. If you are not willing to use violence to defend yourself or your family, then violence will be used against you or them. You notice I said “use” violence and not “become” violent.

For members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints there are many examples in the Book of Mormon and words of prophets that tell us we can use violence in defense. We should be as Nephi when prompted to kill the evil King Noah, we should be reluctant.

Violence is no fun. But to live in this world and endure to the end we may be called upon to use violence for protection. Knowing how to use violence effectively takes training and practice. It’s not really a desirable thing. But if we want to continue in the work, build the kingdom of God here on earth, and endure to the end, we must learn. Keep it in perspective. Violence can be addicting and can turn from defense to the evil it can be. Be vigilant. In these troubled times it may be essential.

See past Blogs about violence:
LDS and Liberal? I Say Unto You, Nay 11/7/2015
No More, No More Mr. Nice Guy 10/16/2015

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Monday, December 7, 2015

Day Of Infamy

Please take a moment today or as you read this and pause to remember those who died in the attack of this country at Pearl Harbor in 1941. And remember the 1,076,245 brave souls who fought and died for this country during WW II. They gave us much!

"December 7, 1941. A date which will live in infamy." President Franklin D. Roosevelt said this to Congress on December 8, and so it has...

This generation has it's own day of infamy, September 11, 2001. We are still at war.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Privacy: Back To Cash

I like cash. I like lots of cash. Unfortunately I only have a little. But I have enough for my needs. What I meant was, I like to use cash instead of electronic transactions. Being part of the financial system is really not anyone’s choice in this country. To do things like make mortgage payments, pay your taxes, or collect your salary or payments for business services, you need to use the banking system. The days when the average person could get by on a pure cash basis are long gone. Sooner or later, the average person will have to use the financial system whether he or she likes it or not. But can you use the system without being tracked by big government or big business?
The answer to this is no, but you can make it a lot harder to be tracked. Limiting your use of the financial system can create a much smaller footprint and profile to track.
A good basic method of limiting tracking is to make as many purchases as possible with cash. Use cash for such purposes as buying groceries, gas and survival supplies. Cash is still the only method you can use that does not leave an electronic trail or a paper trail directly connecting you to purchases.
Try returning to the old-fashioned method where you get a specific amount of cash out of the bank each week to pay for what you need. There still will be a record of the bank transaction, but not of the actual purchases.
The advent of the ATM makes it easier than ever to get cash, so there’s no excuse not to use cash for most retail transactions. If you can get into the habit of using cash, you can make it easier to budget and make it far harder for banks to track your transactions.
Using a credit card, a debit card or a check to pay for a purchase, you can be tracked. All a check is in today’s world is an authorization for somebody else to withdraw a sum of money from your account. If you don’t want to be tracked, you’ll have to limit your use of electronic payment methods.
Use electronic payments or checks only to make those payments for which cash cannot be used. This might include utility bills, phone bills, mortgage payments, rent, insurance payments and car payments. The cheapest and easiest means of paying these is directly off of a checking account. Unfortunately, that can be tracked.
Even alternative methods of payment, such as money order and wire transfer, keep electronic records.
If you don’t want to be tracked, you might have to give up some of these services and the benefits they provide. There are some ways of getting around this; you can buy a prepaid cell phone for cash instead of regular phone service, and you can generate your own electricity.
The biggest problem you’ll face may not be making payments, but accepting them. Most payments in today’s world, such as salaries, government benefits, investment proceeds, payment for services, etc., are made electronically. Even if they send you a check, it’ll create an electronic payment when it is cashed.
There will be a record of such payments even if you go to a check cashing store or cash the check directly at the bank. They will ask for your ID, so there will be a record of it and the amount of cash you get.
If you have to accept electronic payments or checks, your best bet is to maintain a bank account. There will be a record of the money that goes in and a record of your withdrawals, but you will at least have a means of converting the money into cash that cannot be tracked easily.
If you use a bank account, you at least can avoid having to pay the extra charges associated with money orders and cashing a check at a store. Of course, there’s no law that says you have to keep all your money in the bank. Nor is there any law that says you have to put any cash payments you receive in the bank.
I like to use my account and debit card. They are easy but they definitely can be tracked. If you looked at our finances you would think we are just like every other average American. That’s what I want my financial profile to look like. Average. No red flags, no usual behavior. That’s the way it appears. When we get paid it goes into our account. We make payments online whenever we can. But when I buy ammunition, food storage, preparedness supplies, it is with cash. Most of our savings is in cash. This is secured in our home and out of our home. I don’t want to keep it all in our home because of fire or theft, so some cash is kept away from our house. The biggest problem with this is keeping track or how much, and where you’ve put it. As an example if I had $10,000 in cash I may keep only $3,000 in our home. Some hidden, and some in a safe. The rest would be secured off station in a few locations. There are many ways to do this. Cash is vulnerable to weather and rodent so it must be kept in something that will protect it. Do you have a locker at work? Some money may be secured there. A safety deposit box is really not as safe as you think. I would not use one. You can hide money in a secure container in a storage shed, chicken coop, or garden shed. You can bury it. You could keep it in a lock box at someone you trust’s home. You could hide it in a vehicle.
We have determined a container that we think will stand up to anything and keep all our off station cash in these. I guess with my background in the military it was inevitable. Ammunition boxes are the best thing I’ve found to keep things away from weather and varmint. They come in a variety of sizes but I like the 20 and 50 cal cans. They are sturdy, rust resistant, and have a lid seal. You can even buy a lock set to lock them if you are so inclined.
My son thinks I’m a little old fashioned because I like cash. In reality, most of my business is done electronically. I use cash for things I want to keep private.
Cash is king!
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Being Prepared "Legally"

Here comes a disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. My articles here on this blog are not legal advice. What the heck are you doing looking for legal advice on a blog for anyway!?
I want to say also that I really am impressed with the law enforcement professionals of this country. I know that everyone has had bad experiences with a police officer. Usually because we have broken a traffic or other law. Once in a while I will run across a jerk officer who is not very professional. Everyone has a story. I got pulled over early one morning because the officer wanted to know what I had been up to. It was early and I came from an area where not a lot of people frequent. I was in the left lane of the highway and he was behind me. After a few minutes he turned on his lights and pulled me over. I knew I had not been speeding. He said he pulled me over because I didn’t use my signal when he pulled me over. I said “I wasn’t going to pull over until you turned on your lights! You’re pulling me over for something I hadn’t done yet?” He smiled and I smiled. We both understood the other and nothing more was said. He checked me for warrants and I went on my way. He was not a jerk but was on a fishing expedition and got caught.
Having told my story I still maintain that we have the best trained, most experienced, and best law enforcement in this country than the whole world. I appreciate what they do and mostly how they do it. I’m glad they are there putting their lives on the line for me and you.
But, here comes the caveat, no good can come from talking to the police. They have a thankless job and I would like to help, but I don’t. We have certain rights in this country and we should exercise those rights when talking to the police. Even if you are not being arrested you have the right to remain silent. Some officers don’t like that and will try many things to get you to give away that right. Do not let them.
On June 13, 1966, the outcome of Miranda v. Arizona provided that suspects must be informed of their specific legal rights when they are placed under arrest. This decision was based on a case in which a defendant, Ernesto Miranda, was accused of robbery, kidnapping, and rape. During police interrogation, he confessed to the crimes.
The conviction was overturned due to allegedly intimidating police interrogation methods. After a retrial that included witnesses and other evidence, Miranda was again convicted. His trial was, however, then assured of being fair, and the original conviction was reasonably upheld without question.
So as a result, as you are arrested, the officer must inform you of your 5th amendment rights. It is commonly called Miranda rights, officially it is called Miranda warning.
The 5th amendment to the Constitution says:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
The Miranda Warning reads:
1. You have the right to remain silent.
2. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
3. You have the right to an attorney.
4. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.
Ever watch the reality show “Cops”? The idiots on this show often give up their rights and things are worse for them. I’m not saying you should try to get away with something, but we were given these rights so we wouldn’t incriminate ourselves and law enforcement and the judicial system would have to do their jobs well. This is as it should be. Our judicial system is not perfect, but it’s the best in the world.
Reasonable suspicion is the legal standard by which a police officer has the right to briefly detain a suspect for investigatory purposes and frisk the outside of their clothing for weapons, but not drugs. While many factors contribute to a police officer’s level of authority in a given situation, the reasonable suspicion standard requires facts or circumstances that would lead a reasonable person to believe that a suspect has, is, or will commit a crime.
While reasonable suspicion does not require hard evidence, it does require more than a hunch. A combination of particular facts, even if each is individually insignificant, can form the basis of reasonable suspicion. For example, police may have reasonable suspicion to detain someone who fits a description of a criminal suspect, a suspect who drops a suspicious object after seeing police, or a suspect in a high crime area who runs after seeing police.
Because reasonable suspicion gives officers legal authority to detain you, the absence of reasonable suspicion does not require officers to tell you that you’re free to leave. They will often use your uncertainty as an opportunity to ask probing questions even if the conversation is legally “voluntary”.
In such situations, it’s up to you to determine if you’re being detained or are free to go. Before answering an officer’s questions, you may courteously ask “Officer, am I free to go?” If you’re free to go, then go. If the officer’s answer is unclear or he asks additional questions, you may persist by repeating “Officer, am I free to go?”
Keep in mind that refusing to answer an officer’s questions does not create reasonable suspicion. But acting nervous and answering questions inconsistently can create reasonable suspicion. Also, you have the 4th Amendment right to refuse search requests, and your refusal does not create reasonable suspicion.
If you are not free to go, you are being detained. The officer might have some reason to suspect you of a crime, and you may be arrested. In such a situation, your magic words are “I’m going to remain silent. I would like to see a lawyer.” These magic words are like a legal condom. Because anything you say can and will be used against you in court, they’re your best protection if you’re under arrest.
If the police are talking to you, it’s because they suspect you have committed a crime. If they have detained you, it’s because they already have enough evidence to arrest you and they want to see if you will admit it and thus, give them an even stronger case against you. If they have evidence to arrest you for a crime, they will. If they don’t, they won’t. It’s as simple as that. Talking to them or not talking to them won’t make a difference!
Even if you are innocent, it’s easy to tell some little white lie in the course of a statement.
This kind of thing happens all the time. A person who is completely innocent and who is trying to vehemently assert their innocence will go overboard and take it a little bit too far and deny some insignificant fact, tell some little white lie, because they want to sound as innocent as possible. But if the police have evidence of that lie, it makes your entire statement look like a lie.
Even if you are innocent, and you only tell the truth, and you don’t tell any little white lies, it is possible to give the police some detail of information that can be used to convict you.
For example, a suspect is being questioned about a murder. He is truly innocent of the murder. But in the course of explaining his innocence, he makes the statement that he never liked the victim, because the victim was not a nice guy. A statement like that could be used to prove motive.
Or in the course of the statement, the suspect might admit that he was in the area of town where the murder was committed at the time it was committed. Although he’s innocent and although this statement is true, the prosecutor could use that statement to suggest that the suspect had the opportunity to commit the crime, which looks very bad in front of a jury.
Even if you were innocent, and you only tell the truth, and you don’t tell any little white lies, and you don’t give the police any information that can be used against you to prove motive or opportunity, you still should not talk to the police because the possibility that the police might not recall your statement with 100% accuracy.
What if the police officer remembers something wrong? What if he remembers you said “X” when actually you said “Y”? If the police officer takes the witness stand and contradicts your statements at trial, it will kill your credibility. You can take the witness stand and say “I never said that!” But it’s your word versus a police officer. Who’s the jury going to believe? Who will the jury assume is lying to save his own skin? Who will the jury believe is lying because he’s really guilty? You guessed it. YOU!
Even if you’re innocent, and you only tell the truth, and your entire statement is videotaped so that the police don’t have to rely on their memory, an innocent person can still make some innocent assumption about a fact or state some detail about the case they overheard on the way to the police station, and the police will assume that they only way the suspect could have known that fact or that detail was if he was, in fact, guilty.
Example: Suppose a police officer is questioning A suspect about a homicide. And the suspect makes the statement “I don’t know who killed the victim. I’ve never owned a gun in my life. I don’t even like guns.” On it’s face, there’s nothing incriminating about that statement. But suppose at trial, the prosecutor asks the police officer if anything about that statement surprised him. The police officer answers “Yes, it surprised me when the suspect mentioned a gun, because I had never mentioned a gun before that. I merely told him that I was investigating a homicide.”
When the officer said there has been a homicide, the suspect may have simply assumed that the killing was done with a gun. Or the suspect may have overheard in the police station some other officer talk about the fact that it was a shooting. But if the officer taking the statement had never mentioned a gun or a shooting, and the suspect makes the statement that he had never owned a gun, you give the prosecution the opportunity to create some high drama, suggesting that suspect has had a Freudian slip, and has made a statement about a gun because he is, in fact, the murderer. And as the murderer, he knew that a gun was used.
Even for a completely honest and innocent person, it is difficult to tell the same story twice in exactly the same way.
If you tell your story one time at trial and you tell the truth and you’re innocent, there’s very little the prosecutor can do by way of cross examination. But if you’ve told your story twice, once at trial, and once previously in a statement to the police, many months apart, the chances are very high that, even if you are telling the truth, some little details in your statement are going to change.
A good cross examiner will pick up on these changes and will relentlessly question you about them in an effort to make it look like you are lying.
So for all these reasons, whether you are guilty or innocent, whether you want to confess or want to exonerate yourself, whether you’re poorly educated or the most eloquent speaker in the world, you should NEVER, EVER, under any circumstances, give a statement to the police when you have been detained as a suspect. Or in an investigation. You may be a witness at first, then with something you said, you become a suspect.
I’m not saying that every detective and every prosecutor is this way, but their job is to find the person that did the crime. They must do it the best way they know how and that could include the wrong person, saying the wrong thing. Do not talk to the police.
I repeat, no good can come from talking to the police.
The words to remember are:
Am I being detained? Am I free to go?
If you are detained:
I am going to remain silent. I would like a lawyer.
Answer to the question of any type of search:
I do not consent to searches.
I know this sounds like I’m paranoid and I don’t trust the police or the justice system. I do. I know that many people have been jailed wrongly through honest mistakes. Plus there are some dishonest law enforcement and lawyers and judges out there. I think they are the exception, not the rule.
Self-defense consists of many things. Legal defense starts with you not doing stupid things or anything that could be misconstrued as crime. Cooperate but only so far. Don’t put yourself in danger.
My apologies to my brothers in law enforcement. Love you man!
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Monday, November 23, 2015

Concealed Carry: Dealing With Terrorism

Assuming that you are not a target, how can you stay out of the line of fire and what should you do if you happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time? Here are some suggestions:
The best and easiest way to protect yourself from trouble is to avoid places where trouble lurks. For example, if you avoid bars, chances are excellent that you will avoid being in a bar fight. In this case, we can be a little more specific and suggest that you stay away from governmental buildings, places where the police congregate, and other “targets of opportunity.” This does not include heavily populated events. If we stop going to concerts and football games the terrorists win. This does not mean frequent these places time after time. It also does not mean you are not on high alert when you attend these places.
If you can avoid trouble, you may never need the following advice. Unfortunately, most of us have to work outside the home, need to go to town, have to stop in the bank, need to go shopping etc. Even at home, we may face dangers, from home intruders to dangerous animals. That’s why the next steps will be necessary:
The second most important thing to do to protect yourself is to adopt the proper mindset. You need to own the fact that no one will protect you and your loved ones but you because no one cares about you and your loved ones but you. Yes, it’s true: You are on your own. Courage, honor and valor are worthy pursuits, but do not expect it in your fellow man; be prepared to defend yourself or to make a strategic retreat.
If you somehow still naively believe life is fair, that someone will take care of you, and that you have nothing to fear, then I respectfully suggest you wake up or grow up! Take the big step towards self-realization and to becoming an adult by acknowledging that no one is responsible for your personal safety and your behavior except YOU. Face the fact that neither life nor fights are fair, and that you could die any minute of any day for any reason from making a dumb mistake to the whim of a stranger to plain ol’ bad luck. Once you acknowledge this, then you can go forth and proactively prepare to avoid death by planning, by building up your skills, and by equipping yourself in a manner that gives you all the advantages possible.
Have a plan and have a Plan B. Know alternate routes. Know the exits and sit near one. Have a fallback location where you will go to regroup. Be aware of those around you and keep an eye on their hands. Look for suspicious behavior. Listen to your instincts and what your gut is telling you (Mormons know this as the Spirit). Don’t allow yourself to be distracted, but focus on the task at hand. Be discreet and don’t attract attention to yourself, but do not look like a victim. (Got all that?)
Keep in mind that in a lone-wolf terrorist attack scenario, your primary responsibility is to protect yourself and those you are with. This may your family, friends or colleagues. It is not the random dude who just happened to be there. “Protecting yourself” may mean killing the terrorist. It may mean hiding. It may mean turning the other way and running. (Hint: Incorporate one or more of those options into Plan A and B.)
Unless you are law enforcement, you are not obligated to stop an attack. If, however, you feel morally obligated to do so, that’s your call, but think about what the untended consequences may be. I am not saying avoid the hero route; I am simply saying that you should only go down that route with your eyes open and your estate planning documents up to date.
It has been said that your mind is your greatest weapon, but until I master the Force, I’m going to keep carrying a gun! But your equipment goes beyond weaponry to include other safety equipment. To be properly equipped, you should start with the following:
On your person carry:
• At least one hand gun of 9mm or greater
• One or two reloads for your weapon
• A knife that can be used for utility and as a defensive weapon, such as a folder with at least a 3” blade
• A flashlight
• A few tac-med items, such as a Israeli battle dressing and/or a tourniquet
• A cell phone with earphone or blue tooth so you can communicate hands-free
The above can be carried in the pockets of a pair of cargo pants and/or in a jacket or vest. If you carry a backpack, consider carrying some power bars or candy bars, a bottle of water, spare batteries, and a more complete medical kit. Feel free to add a Multi-tool or other items.
Some would advise carrying pepper spray, and it is hard to argue with that as it is a nice non-lethal option when you need to disengage from someone who does not meet the threat level to justify shooting them. I’m not convinced that facing a hatchet-wielding assailant or his AK-47 terrorist brethren with pepper spray is the smart choice, but if you are unable or unwilling to effectively use a handgun, pepper spray is probably the best alternative. At the very least, you may be able to use it to incapacitate a threat long enough for you to clear the area.
In your vehicle, carry:
Spare ammunition for your handgun
A larger emergency medicine kit
Food and water
A blanket or two
A spare pair of shoes and possibly a change of clothes
A three-day supply of any prescription drugs you are depended upon
Anything else you can see yourself needing to get to safety, to fight back and defend yourself, or to hunker down and wait it out.
For most of us, our car or truck is simply transportation, but it can also provide shelter or even be a weapon. Equip it so that you could easily survive if it took you three days to get home again.
As I mentioned above, using your weapon should be just one aspect of your plan. You carry a concealed weapon to defend yourself from a lethal force when you have no reasonable alternative. In a Mumbai-style attack involving multiple terrorists in a busy area, you would use your pistol to stop an immediate threat and get to a rifle a terrorist no longer “needs.” You can then use the rifle to either 1) kill the terrorists who are trying to kill you, 2) kill the terrorists who are killing others and help these others to escape, or 3) provide cover as you escape or shoot your way out of their target zone. Keep in mind that historically, the people who fared best in these attacks were those who got out while it was in the early stages and were never pinned down were never captured and become hostages. If you are not a Marine or a police officer, you don’t have to run towards gunfire. If you choose to do so, be careful that responding law enforcement personnel do not mistake you for a terrorist.
It is also important to remember that in a suicide bombing, guns won’t do you any good. That’s where the medical kit will be useful. Sure, people made tourniquets from belts at the Boston marathon bombing, but wouldn’t it be convenience to have a couple tourniquets available and know how to use them? And that brings us to our next topic… training.
Having a plan is only sufficient if you have the skills to carry it out. Having equipment is only beneficial if you know how to use it. You need to drill with your weapons so you can consistently and repeatedly put accurate aimed fire on a moving target or targets under adverse conditions. You need to know basics about treating wounds and how to apply a tourniquet. Carrying that Israeli battle dressing isn’t much good if you have to stop and read the directions in the aftermath of a terrorist attack. Training will help you swing into motion and do some good instead of standing there in shock.
So we come full circle, back to mindset. If you don’t believe it could happen to you, then you will be in denial and unable to respond. If you have played out the scenario in your mind, you will be ready to take decisive action.
Reviewing: Avoid terrorist attacks by avoiding places where they might happen. Adopt the proper mindset and plan for the worst. Have the equipment and training you need to help turn the odds in your favor.
And finally, it’s important to remember that the odds of you being caught in a terrorist attack are extremely low. Plan and prepare, but don’t let it keep you up at night.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Family Security Planning

It’s family night, a Monday night tradition that you and your family have carried out for as long as you can remember. It’s a night for spending quality time together and having fun, playing board games and hide-and-seek in the dark. But this Monday evening, just as you’re making your way around the Monopoly board, you hear a loud crash from the other room, footsteps, and then mumbled voices. Realizing criminals have just broken into your home, adrenaline rushes through your body. As you look around at your spouse and kids, their eyes wide with fear, your mind fills with questions on what to do and how to get them to safety.

We all know our families are the most precious asset in our lives. When faced with danger, there’s nothing we wouldn’t do to protect them. However, sometimes life can throw you an unexpected curve ball that you have no idea how to deal with until all is said and done. But it doesn’t always have to be this way. When it comes to dangerous situations such as a home invasion, carjacking, robbery, or attempted abduction, having a family security plan in place can help save the lives of your precious family members, as well as your own.

The Importance of Planning Ahead

Your home is the one place you have some control over when it comes to security and protection. However, when a family member leaves the home, they leave that security and protection behind. This is why having a family security plan for a variety of dangerous situations is crucial—it can be the one and only thing they have to save their lives.

When devising a family security plan, it’s always important to spend time thinking about the public situations each of your family members encounters on a routine basis. Doing so will help you to devise a plan around each situation that will help keep them safe should they ever find themselves in the midst of a potentially deadly crime.

One of the best ways to create your family security plan is to hold a meeting with your family so you can discuss and explore a variety of "what if" scenarios based on the real-life danger that criminals bring upon innocent people each and every day. For example:

  • What if someone invades your home when you and your family are inside? What should each member of the family do?
  • What if your spouse arrived home after picking the kids up from daycare and found the house ransacked? What action should they take?
  • What if your teenager goes shopping at the mall with some friends? What security precautions can he or she practice to ensure their safety?
  • If your child walks home from school, what if someone were to pull up in a vehicle and demand your child to get in? What should your child do?

Most people do not have a family security plan in place. Even worse, some families have never even taken the time to discuss potential "what if" scenarios with their loved ones. This is because most people don’t like to think about such scary situations. Instead, they convince themselves that horrible crimes such as home invasion, rape and murder happen to other people—not them. But nothing could be further from the truth. As an expert in the security industry and Founder of Global Security Experts, I can tell you firsthand that criminals don’t discriminate. It doesn’t matter if you’re white, black, poor, wealthy, male, or female— the risk of becoming a victim of a horrible crime is the same to you and your loved ones as it is to everyone else.

This is why having a thorough family security plan in place is so vitally important. Without one, you and your family will be left completely unprepared in the event such a horrid crime should occur. As a result, everyone will be left to their natural "fight or flight" instincts—a reaction that could very well be the wrong response.

The news headlines inform us of these life-taking reactions every day. A man tries to overpower a robber with a knife, only to be stabbed and killed. A child is seen on videotape walking calmly out of a store with a stranger. A woman held at gunpoint in a shopping center parking lot gets into a car with a man only to have her dead body found days later in a desolate location a few miles from where she was abducted.

Naturally, no one wants to entertain the idea of being in such a horrible situation themselves, let alone their spouse or child. But taking time out of your busy life to think about these tragic scenarios and devising a family security plan around them can literally safe your life and the lives of your family.

Implementing a family security plan can drastically improve your chances of surviving the ordeal. To increase the likelihood of survival, be sure to take the following into consideration when devising your plan:

  • Include emergency phone numbers in your plan.
  • Ensure the plan accounts for each crime scenario that every member of your family could potentially face.
  • Put your plan in writing and thoroughly review and discuss it with your entire family to ensure they understand the plan.
  • Rehearse the various plans put in place by enacting mock crimes with each family member. Continue to rehearse over and over again.
  • When it comes to home crimes, include an escape plan and/or route for each member of your family. Also be sure to provide a copy of your plan to trusted neighbors, making sure to review the plan with them so that they know the vital role they play if such a crime were to occur.

As a final note, although you may have little control over the safety and security of public environments, this is not the case when it comes to your home. Just as having a family security plan in place is important, so is ensuring that your home is equipped with multiple layers of security. By having these layers of security measures in place, you can deter and even prevent criminals from entering your home in the first place.

Fortify your home and train.

Semper Paratus

Check 6


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Who Protects You? Self-Defense and The Family

Who protects you?
The police,the military, politicians, your parents, laws?
I believe that only one protection out there can truly protect you, and that is God. But He will only take care of us so far. Faith is not really the best strategy. Don’t get me wrong, I trust and know I’ve been spared more than once in my life.
James 2:17
“So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
So we must do something by acting. Be doers of the word and not hearers only. We show our faith by doing all we can, then relying on God.
So who is actually looking after you? When you are born your parents take care of you. They are the ones who teach you and make sure your safety. But ultimately, there is no one there to make sure you are secure. The police will stop crime when they see it and they try to be everywhere as a deterrent, but of course, they cannot be everywhere. The military tries to ensure the freedom and security of our country but really, they too are limited. Politicians and laws are ok but when it comes to murder, terrorism, and general mayhem, it’s been against the law for many years and it does not really stop it from happening.
You must care for yourself. The police are not even obligated to protect you short of witnessing a crime. Try as the government might, terrorism still happens here. If you don’t become your own “bodyguard” then no one will.
I propose that you can care for yourself and your family. You can learn to protect your family and teach them to protect themselves. But it takes your commitment and your involvement.
Someone in a class once asked me if I had to start from scratch, what would I do to begin to secure my family and property?
That question involves a lot. It is very individualized. A family living in Manhatten has different challenges than a family living on the plains of Kansas. So to describe what I think you should do to start can be daunting. But I have thought about this a lot. These are my thoughts.
Have a security plan. This encompasses many things, but I believe a plan should be in place. You plan should include the threats you are preparing for. This can be from natural disasters to crime. Living in Florida you should prepare for hurricanes but maybe not so much for rock/mud slides. In Colorado you may prepare for extreme cold/blizzards but not hurricanes. You can assess your own threats. In Manhatten you may have more crime than in rural Kansas.
Crime can happen almost anywhere. Terrorism is usually in largely populated areas although schools and sporting events even in small towns are vulnerable. Research crime in your area and even some terror acts in similar places like yours.
Learn how to avoid certain areas that may be more prone to crime. Look critically at your home and how you can fortify it. Look at travel routes and how you can change them to not be predictable. Teach your family to be aware of their surroundings (situational awareness) and what to look for in a would-be attacker. Familiarize yourself and your family with weapons of all kids for self-defense. Prepare items for natural disasters and power outages. Learn skills that will assist in your preparedness. Take classes that may be offered in preparedness and self-defense. Even medical classes, such as CPR, would make your family better prepared.
As you know this is a gun blog. I like guns. I think they are one of the best means we have of protecting ourselves. Learn the proper safety, shooting, storing, and carrying of guns. Teach your family the same. All people should learn and know gun safety. It doesn’t even matter if you plan to own a gun or not. You should have a general knowledge of guns and experience with safety and guns.
Act upon your own self-defense. There are many out there who actually believe we are safer without guns. The problem is, criminals and terrorists don’t agree. Give yourself and your family a fighting chance. In the last 2 years there has been 76 articles posted with the label Family Security. A few of them are here:
Family Security Plan Parts 1 through 6 on 9/10, 11, 12, 15, 18, an 24/2014
Mormons: Low Standards of Security 1 through 3 on 8/4, 11, and 11/2014
Security In An LDS Church 5/19/2014
Concealed Carry:Trust God to Defend Your Family... After All You Can Do 12/5/2014
Family Security: Preparedness In Home Security 7/27/2015
Guns and Preparation 11/13/2015
There are many more on many different subjects that have to do with security. There are some articles on gun safety too.
If you don’t get your information from LDS Gunsite, please seek it out elsewhere. Be sure of the info’s validity. Gun people have differing opinions. Seek out someone you know and trust to ask what they think of a particular subject. Make sure they agree with your thinking about self-defense. Even some in law enforcement have unhealthy ideas about how we should care for ourselves. Be careful with your research.
Defending yourself in any way requires good training and lots of practice. However you decide to defend yourself, have continuous training and practice. Don’t just dabble in your family’s defense.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

France, Freedom, and Security

I, like many of you, have been watching the horrible scenes unfold from Paris under attack. As I make my comments please know that I feel this was a cowardly terrorist act carried out by Muslim extremists. I am sensitive to those lives that were taken and those that are affected by these senseless deaths. I am not writing this as a disclaimer, but I want my readers to know I realize what a horrible act this was, and that I do not hold all Muslims responsible.
As I served in the military, and even since, I’ve noticed a difference between those who serve and those who have not. I know that plenty of good and wonderful people have never served in the military but I have seen a difference in perspective. I also feel there is a different feeling of duty to country that doesn’t always exist with those who haven’t served. I’m not talking down to those who have not served, there is just a difference I have observed. My wife, who really has not served herself, but served in a different way, can see these same differences. We are all different, there are those who are not made for the military, and those who have other paths to take. These people are valued and important.
I’m not trying to be politically correct here, I’m just trying to explain where I’m coming from. This is also a generalization of people, which I know is not reality.
I had a conversation with someone I work with. He is retired military yet is a democrat and liberal leaning. He is from President Obama’s home state of Illinois. He and I never see eye to eye on politics but today we had a conversation where he said “I think I may be coming over to your way of thinking.” It kinda blew me away. We talked for a while and he said this because of what he heard from President Obama in his press conference from Turkey. We discussed what a difficult and complicated situation our country is in. We have commanders and Generals who are used to a conventional war with a battle line objective. Viet Nam changed all of that. We have today a similar war as Viet Nam but it seems to be global, not confined to a small country in SE Asia. Mr Obama said that what was being done about ISIS is not going to change. The reporters were basically saying that what was happening is not working, Mr. Obama was saying it was. I commented that if we were actually doing something different, the last thing that would be said on international TV would be what we were actually doing. So I don’t know if the administration thought the American people needed to hear something, or if they just are really doing the same old thing, however so, I would have skipped the press conference.
Either way I am glad to not be the President. When something happens the masses demand something to be done. They are not quite sure what needs to happen but they expect a leader to figure it out and do it. Sometimes it’s not what they think should happen. I am just grateful I don’t have to make the decision.
Do we get rid of all Muslims because we can’t tell which is which? If you were a peaceful Muslim and you saw fellow Muslims being abused might that turn you militant? During WWII when we basically imprisoned American citizens because they were of Japanese descent was that appropriate? Do we just make the middle east a parking lot regardless of innocent lives? There is always collateral damage in war, would that warrant the wholesale bombing of Syria? Or Iran? Or Saudi Arabia? The answers are very complicated to fighting a war like this. We should find a solution, but not at the expense of a race or a country. I think it’s possible. I think it would be expensive and would cost American lives. That is the reality of it. One thing I did not like that the President said was he didn’t want more troops on the ground because he has seen too many without arms or legs. I don’t want anyone, especially our brave military to lose any appendage or their lives. But, dang it, that is their job! They were not drafted. They were not forced to join the military. They volunteered. And knowing them as I think I do, they would agree with me! When you take that oath and put on that uniform I would hope there is more than the GI bill on your mind. We have the best trained and best military on this earth. They are second to none! I know this personally. But when I said I would protect this nation against all enemies foreign and domestic I know I meant it! I think they do too. Make the best decisions but don’t keep them home because you don’t want them to get hurt in a war! That is what they signed up to do. Their loyalty and their commitment is to make sure we sleep soundly in our beds.
My sentiment can be summed up in a fictional speech.
“You can’t handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You?... I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know -- that Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives; and my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives.
You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall -- you need me on that wall.
We use words like "honor," "code," "loyalty." We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line.
I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps
under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it.
I would rather that you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post!”
A Few Good Men, 1992
This is from a movie. The speech was written for dramatic effect at a climax of the movie. It is not real. But my guess it was written by, or with input from, a military member. Because many of us feel this way and often that is foreign to those who have never served.
Get the job done. If you have to do some not so nice things, still get the job done. War is not pretty and being shot at is no fun, but how does this country with everything it stands for survive? It’s been said that:
“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Thomas Jefferson
I don’t like this idea and I did not invent it, but it is the way it is. Diplomacy Will. Not. Work.
You cannot reason with the unreasonable. Some innocent people may be victims. Do we sit and do nothing, or worse, do the wrong thing because we are afraid of hurting the feelings of someone, or injuring or killing our brave military members? Then we have lost already.
President Obama you must do what must be done. It will involve getting your hands dirty. It will involve blood and losing patriots and innocents. It will not be good by any standard. But if we are to survive, it must be done. This evil ideology will not go away. If we don’t rip it out by the roots it will come back to haunt us again and again. Will that take telling good Muslims they are not welcome in this country? Will it take refusing refugees looking for help? Will it take sealing, and I mean really sealing, our borders? It might. I don’t really have the answers but I know it won’t be pleasant.
I am a Christian. I believe Christ will come again and He will be the supreme government. Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He is the Christ. I believe this as much as any Muslim believes their doctrine. But until that time, we must take care of this country that was brought forth with blood for the building of God’s kingdom here on earth. This nation will survive, but it will take sacrifice and work.
Every American must sacrifice for this country to endure. Sometimes we must sacrifice doing the right thing. Letting in refugees is the right thing to do. It’s the Christ-like thing to do. But we probably need to sacrifice the right thing for the security of our citizen’s. I am a Christian. I still carry a gun. Violence is not Christ-like but if I want to protect my family and myself, I need to sacrifice the right thing for security. Benjamin Franklin said:
“Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”
We may not have the security we want. We may have to sacrifice other things other than freedom for that security. I’ve spent my life dealing with, and trying to obtain, better security. It’s not convenient to be secure. You have to stop, unlock the door, do what you need to do, then lock it back up again. Do that several times and you may say, “I can leave it unlocked this short period of time.” It’s like wearing a seatbelt. You may survive one trip without it, but it’s that next one that may kill you. Do you want to take a chance?
My opinion is that’s it’s just a matter of time until we have our own Paris. With concealed carry it may turn out a little different. I think I would return fire under the right circumstances. I think that may have saved some lives. At the risk of being cold and insensitive, France’s tough gun laws didn’t seem to help on Friday the 13th did they? You can get a permit but the rounds cannot be any more than 3. I’m not sure 3 rounds would do it unless you go to range often. Real often! It’s more difficult to get a concealed carry license in France than in California! Even in a dark theater I can see muzzle flash. Is it reckless to shoot at a muzzle flash? Yes! It is! Doing nothing does not end well. But I can’t tell you I would not have fired. I’d like to think I could have had some target identification, but I can’t say. I may have just got out of there! I can tell you this, if I was faced with someone pointing a Kalashnikov 7.62X39 rifle at me, I would at least try to return fire! Would that have stopped them? I’m not sure. But I do know the outcome of no one being armed. Many dead.
There comes a time when we need to consider our own safety and security in this country. This freedom we enjoy comes with a cost. It costs to keep it. Are we willing to pay the price?
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Friday, November 13, 2015

How To Recognize A Bomber

In 1989 I went to a course on terrorism. At the time it was not a mandatory class but 3 years later it was mandatory for being deployed. When I asked a friend I know who is in the Air Force serving in very close to the same jobs and involvement that I did in the military, he sent me this handout he received in the same course that I took in 1989. I’m sure the course content has changed a great deal since ‘89.

Perhaps because of this country’s lack of direct experience with suicide bombings, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has released a statement claiming there is “no specific profile for those who have engaged in suicide/homicide bombings.”
In contrast, Israel, which has experienced over 300 such bombings since 1993, with 242 of them occurring since 2000, has developed some guidelines and profiles that highlight the general characteristics of a suicide bomber.2,3 These include:
32% have at least a high school education and more than 25% have some college background.
Suicide bombers participate in months of indoctrination training. When ready for the mission, they are in a “hypnotic state” believing that the mission will open heaven’s gates.
A majority of suicide/homicide bombers are unmarried. Some have spouses and children.
Most are male between 17–23 years of age; however, women, children and older men have been recruited for suicide bombing missions.
The first known suicide bombing by a woman (January 2002) was carried out by Wafa Idris, a 27-year-old divorcee who volunteered as a paramedic. More recently, Reem Raiyshi, a 22-year-old mother of two, perpetrated an attack at a border crossing between Israel and the Gaza strip. The media have reported recent attacks by Chechen rebels, whose suicide bombings have mostly been carried out by women. It is generally believed that the Chechen women were not acting on religious fanaticism, but rather avenging the deaths of friends or relatives in the conflict with Russia.
Approximately a quarter of suicide bombers are between 24–48 years old. There are also reports of attacks carried out by children and by older individuals, although exact numbers are uncertain.

General Demeanor
Certain behavioral characteristics of a suicide bomber have been identified. These include:
The appearance of being nervous. They may seem preoccupied or have a blank stare.
Focused intent and vigilance. Such an acute focus may result in no response to verbal or other contact.
An awkward attempt to blend in. Behavior will seem odd or overtly out of place.
Avoidance behaviors toward authority. If security is present, suicide bomber tries to be inconspicuous.
May be praying fervently to him/herself. This gives the appearance of talking or whispering to someone. Keep in mind that many people talk to themselves, thus this behavior in and of itself has little meaning. Further, either of these behaviors could be confused with speaking on a cell phone headset.
Behavior may be consistent with that of a person without any future. For example, giving away things of value, buying a one-way ticket, or being unconcerned about receiving change for a purchase. In addition:
Profuse sweating that is out of synch with weather conditions.
Walking deliberately toward a specific object or target, often pushing their way through a crowd or around barriers. May show a high degree of focus or intent, especially if the target is in sight.
Lack of mobility of the lower torso may cause upper body stiffness. This is due to the bomb device that is strapped to the body. The increased use of backpacks may reduce or eliminate this element.
In order to disguise the appearance, a beard may have been recently shaved or the hair cut short. There is a noticeable difference in the skin color of the recently shaved area.
To smell better when going to paradise, the suicide bomber may use herbal- or floral-scented water.
General Appearance
As the event draws near, the suicide bomber needs to prepare to deliver the device. There are certain clues in appearance, such as clothing, that could foretell of an impending attack. The suspect might be purchasing, wearing or carrying such items as:
Clothing that does not match the weather. For example, wearing a heavy coat on a warm day.
Clothing that is excessively loose, giving the appearance that the head is out of proportion with the body. The loose clothing is used to conceal explosives worn close to the body.
The suicide bomber may carry a backpack, bag, briefcase or luggage.
The detonating switch is often held in a clenched fist. Backup devices might also be used, including a timer, pager, cellular phone or booby-trap switch. An accomplice or supervisor can remotely detonate the bomb if the attacker is detained or killed, or if the attack is otherwise aborted.
The appearance of excessive weight. Many bombs will be packed with shrapnel such as ball bearings, nuts, bolts, screws, nails or other small metal objects that are dispersed into the crowd upon detonation. These comprise the bomber’s primary “kill” mechanism.

I share this for your education. I seem to constantly talk about situational awareness, but it is so important in the world we live in. Be aware. Check6!

Semper Paratus
Check 6