Friday, February 27, 2015

Prepare With Training: Visualization

Visualization, or imagery, is one of the most effective tools available to you for mental conditioning. This is vital to success in a fight. Under stress, your subconscious mind will immediately take over and direct your body to do whatever the subconscious has been programmed to do. If you have been programmed through training to respond correctly, you will. Panic is simply the lack of a pre-programmed response. Since your subconscious doesn’t know what to do, it does nothing. (When in danger, or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout!) Obviously, your odds of surviving improve drastically if you have pre-programmed the correct tactical responses before a crisis.
How do we program these correct responses until they become automated? There are three ways. First, you could engage in about a dozen gunfights. You would then be adept at making rapid, sound tactical decisions, if you are still alive! We don’t recommend this method because the test comes first, the lesson afterward. This is a painful and expensive way to learn.
We believe in the saying, “A smart man learns from his own mistakes, a wise man learns from the mistakes of others.” This is especially true in this business, where mistakes can be fatal. The easiest way to learn from the mistakes of others is to read a big city newspaper each day as you eat your breakfast. Look in the local news and select two instances reporting the criminal victimization of some unfortunate person. Take five or ten minutes to read these two accounts and actually analyze them. Ask yourself two questions, and make yourself come up with an answer.
The first question is, “What did the victim do to put himself in this situation?” Once you learn a bit about criminal behavior, you realize that above all, criminals are opportunists. They capitalize on circumstances created by inattentive, complacent, lazy, and unobservant victims. Very soon you will learn to recognize the behavior or activity on the part of the victim that facilitated or even precipitated the crime. This will hold true in probably 95% of the cases you study. Once you have identified the specific victim behavior that caused the attack, you are reinforcing in your subconscious that this is negative, or harmful behavior. Day after day, by doing this, you are programming your subconscious to avoid that type of behavior. If you don’t present the opportunity, the criminal cannot take advantage of it.
The next question is, “Alright, I was stupid and got into this mess, how do I get myself out of it?” Make yourself think up a solution to the tactical situation. In this manner, you are getting practice every single day in making tactical decisions. If you make tactical decisions every day of your life, they will come easily to you if you find yourself in dangerous circumstances. If you have never practiced this decision making process, how do you expect to do it well under extreme stress?
The last technique in imagery we will discuss has to do with mentally rehearsing confrontations, to prepare beforehand for a confrontation. In your mind, as a normal, healthy person, there is a very fine line between reality and fantasy. A psychopath no longer has this distinction in his mind, and his fantasies become his reality. A normal mind blurs this distinction under several circumstances. If you are an avid reader, for instance, you “see” the action of a good novel or historical account unfolding in your mind as you read. You form mental images of the characters and events, as if you had seen them yourself. How many times have you wakened from a vivid dream and took a few seconds to orient yourself? These are examples of that blurred distinction between reality and fantasy.
Airline pilots periodically receive training in a flight simulator, which is an enclosed box mounted on hydraulic jacks. Upon entering the simulator, the pilot is seated in a cockpit seat, a control panel is arrayed before him, and the “windshield” has a back projected image on it, just like the view from a plane. As the pilot applies control movements to the stick and so forth, the “plane” responds with motion. Within a few moments, the pilot’s brain is fully convinced that he is flying a plane, although intellectually he knows he is bolted to the floor of the training building. At some point, the control panel will advise him of an emergency, and the “plane” will simulate the movement involved, as in a sudden dive. The pilot must immediately take corrective action to keep from “crashing”. Although they are in no real danger, these guys come out of the simulator white knuckled and sweating, because the mind blurred the distinction between reality and fantasy. If, at some future date, the pilot is confronted with that actual emergency in a real aircraft, he will automatically respond, quickly and correctly, because his brain has learned that the correct action will save its life.
You can do the same thing with your mind in a self-defense context by using visualization exercises. Go to a quiet room and sit in an easy chair. Relax, and clear your mind of all thought (easy for some of us!). Now, in your mind vividly imagine a tactical scenario. Think of it as a daydream, if you like, but get into it and project yourself into the action. For every imagined action by the bad guy, direct yourself through a proper reaction. “If he does this, I’ll do that.” Always direct the action to a successful outcome.
Let me give you a couple of examples. If you work in a retail environment, ask yourself, “What am I going to do when they stick this place up?” Visualize your workstation, and the surroundings. Where is cover? What direction could you fire in without endangering coworkers? Is there an escape route available? Don’t wait until a hold-up man is standing across the counter from you to think about this. If you are a boss, ask yourself, “What am I going to do if a disgruntled employee comes plodding down the hall with a shotgun?” Is there any other way out of your office? Is there any real cover available? Where is the secretary? You might find you want to rearrange your office. Find out now, not while under fire!
There are really only a dozen or so ways for a thug to criminally victimize you. White-collar crime has endless opportunities for innovation, but street crime is pretty straightforward. Over a period of time, you can visualize your way through just about all of the likely forms of street crime, and have pre-programmed responses filed away in the back of your mind (the subconscious) ready for deployment if faced with a similar circumstance.
If you are faced with a life-threatening crisis in a form you have never seriously considered or given any thought to, you will likely hesitate just long enough to lose. If, on the other hand, you take a little time to practice these “simulations”, you can program ready responses and be able to retain control of yourself and your actions. Your mind needs to know that there is a way out, and that you know what it is. This avoids panic, and allows you to act decisively, which is your salvation.

If you do this periodically you will build up a collection of responses that may not fit your situation that happens to you exactly, but you will have something to draw from. If you don’t ever think about being attacked, when you are you probably just freeze. This equals death or injury. Prepare. Train.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Improvised Weapons: Fire Extinguisher

A fire extinguisher can make a great defensive tool. In almost all public spaces you can find a fire extinguisher and they can be kept inconspicuously in virtually any environment. Few people question the logic of having a fire extinguisher close at hand, but most people don’t think of it as a defensive tool. A fire extinguisher can be used to distract and disable an attacker, regardless of how determined they are. You can also cover a section of slick flooring with the dry chemical agent in most extinguishers to create a very slippery surface that can impede a threat’s advance and/or give you an opportunity to strike after they have fallen.
My thinking is that there may be:
• Temporary blindness from all the vapor
• Temporary asphyxiation from all the CO2
• Temporary skin damage from chemical burns
All these would be minor but may buy you a few seconds time.
If they can't see it's hard for them to fight, if they can't breathe it's hard for them to fight, and if they can't walk it's hard for them to fight.
The 5 Lb. unit by Kidde can shoot out white powder over 15 feet on a 10" Target pattern. You can carry one in your car, on a front seat or stuck next to it, it is 50 State Legal. Sometimes you have to adapt and use what you have available to you at that moment.
Once you slow down an attacker you may feel you can use the extinguisher as a blunt force object to further incapacitate them.
I’m going to keep the hose attached to the body of the fire extinguisher. Most people separate it to spray a fire, but it doesn’t have to be pulled away from the body of the extinguisher to function. Hold the grip of the extinguisher with your strong hand. Support the body of the extinguisher with your non-dominant hand, ideally placing your thumb over the hose to keep it in place. Aim the “muzzle” of the hose at the attacker and keep spraying until the extinguisher is empty. Once empty, keep the same grip and thrust the bottom of the canister into the threats face repeatedly. Hopefully this will provide enough distraction/injury.
Sometimes we are limited in the weapons we can carry. Almost every public buildings have multiple fire extinguishers. It’s probably best that we consider how to best utilize them as an option for defensive weaponry.
Besides you never know when you may need it to put out a Fire!

Semper Paratus
Check 6


Who's Watching You?: Paying Attention and Sureillance

When I was a young Boy Scout I liked playing certain games. Basketball, capture the flag, and Kim’s game. I love Boy Scouting. I loved it as a boy and love it as an adult leader. I’ve been involved with Scouting in one capacity or another since 1972. I’ve learned so much from it. I love the tradition and history behind this great movement. You may recognize the first 2 games I mentioned, but maybe not the 3rd. Kim’s game.
This game was taken by Baden Powell (the founder of the Boy Scout movement) from Rudyard Kipling's book for boy's "Kim". This is the story of the orphan son of an Irish soldier in India who grew up among the native boys and was later trained for government intelligence work. The training began by showing Kim a tray of precious stones and gems for a minute's observation, then covering it, and asking Kim how many stones and what kind they were.
At first Kim could remember only a few, but soon, by practice, he was able not only to say exactly how many, but to describe the stones. Then he practiced with other articles, and ultimately was able to glance to see all sorts of details of items that were of value in tracing and dealing with criminals.
In its commonly used form, 24 articles of different kinds -- a key, a pocket knife, a CD, a coin, a marble, a comb etc. -- are placed on a table and covered with a cloth. The player steps up to the table, the cloth is removed for exactly one minute; the player looks, endeavoring to remember as many as possible, and the player writes down as many as they can remember.
As with Kim, the purpose of this is to develop the faculty for observation and memory.
If you’re like me you are probably the one that sits in the “gunfighter” seat at a restaurant. (Back to the wall, near an exit, good view of the front door.) Your family probably doesn’t do this as often as you would like. I try to emphasize safety and security and I am often met with lots of eye-rolling. I don’t really have a problem with that, but if you experience certain things, you tend to be more cautious. I’ve had training and experiences that drive me to be careful.
This why I play Kim’s game with them once in a while. This helps them to develop and keep a sense of awareness and observation. In other words, situational awareness.

All abductions and home invasions occur after criminals conduct some sort of surveillance. You need to be aware that someone is watching you or your family and home.

Types of Surveillance
Static observer
Static in vehicle
Mobile in vehicle
Covert – as located in a building

Knowing What To Look For
Vehicle(s): Is it strategically placed, is it out of character for the neighborhood?
Mobile: Are you being followed from set points by regular vehicles or regular occupants?
Frequency: How often have you seen the same vehicle / occupants / individual?

Surveillance Indicators
Regularity – Are they (or the vehicle) there regularly and in recent past?
Recurrence – Are the same person(s) being seen repeatedly? Either on foot, static or in differing /same vehicles?
Body Language – Does the body language raise your awareness?
Role – Is the role they are acting out (workmen / painters etc) match the scene?
Location / Area – Have they selected a choke point / narrow route point to ensure good observation?

Designing a surveillance detection route is nothing more than taking a direction home or to work or school that will help to determine if you are being watched or followed. Normally you won’t be dealing with a trained “team”, but maybe 2 criminals who are not trained in surveillance. You can use this little bit of training to your advantage to detect even the best trained surveillance team. This training is explained in military language so interpret into civilian language.

Surveillance Detection
Time - Surveillance is detected over time. Driving 50 mph for 10 miles on a straight road does not allow the participant to detect surveillance.
Environment - In order to “draw” out a surveillance team. The “Target” must change environments; shopping, industrial, recreational, residential, etc. A change in environment must be logical, create a reason for changing areas.
Distance - The key of using distance in conjunction with time is multiple sightings over time and
distance. The distance can vary and may be driven by time available for planning and the area of operation.
Direction - Changes in direction will force the surveillance to commit and does not allow them to anticipate your route. Remember, the surveillance team will usually know the area better than you.
Route Planning - When designing the route, remember it must be believable, it should flow. The surveillance team will believe that you are doing errands or doing area familiarization. When designing travel routes, motorcade routes - the team must consider using multiple routes and plans to avoid setting a predictable routine.
Choke points – These may be used to draw out surveillance when confirming status. Caution - the use of a choke point is risky. Bridges, tunnels, one way streets are avenues that allow you to channel.
Surveillance and confirm your status.- Choke points should be avoided when you have
confirmed your status as free of surveillance.
Reverses - Natural areas or actions along the route that allows a face to face with the surveillance.
U-turns - are an excellent choice of a reverse. The U-turn could be in location where the local traffic
permits turns and in areas where the route logically dictates a reverse
Probes - Routes used to find surveillance. If intelligence or past sightings indicate possible surveillance in an area, probe (Surveillance Detection Routes (SDR’s) can be used to ‘flush” out the surveillance.
The Route - An effective SDR will have a start point, timed segments, stops and an end point. The route should not follow a general direction, i.e. north or south. A route will change directions at logical turns.
Stops - Stops should be logical, credible and vary in duration. Well thought out stops will force the surveillance to react and provides an opportunity to gather information about the team. Descriptions of team members, vehicles, license plates, etc
Turns - Non-alerting turns must be incorporated into the route in order to force the surveillance to react. The turns must be logical - continue to tell the story. When incorporating turns, think about right hand turns. Right hand turns will allow you to get a look at vehicles behind you and not be alerting.

Using these ideas will keep you more safe and secure. There is always something to be said for situational awareness and taking note of what is going on around you.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Family Security: Data Mining and COMSEC/OPSEC (Communication and Operation Security)

A good reason for OPSEC and COMSEC
I’m watching as the mainstream media (MSM) says that they know the name and identity of Jihadi John the man with the British accent who has been in the ISIS beheading videos. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad they know who he is. It’s easier to pursue someone when you know who they are. But with this story has come the fact that U.S. and British intelligence have known who he is for some time. That means that, barring any information they have that we don’t, he was identified by his voice and possibly his eyes, which were all that were showing in the videos.
Most of us in the U.S. are not worried about the government knowing who we are and where we are. I know that with my affiliation with the government I’ve been photographed, fingerprinted, and had many, many background checks done on me. I’ve held a security clearance with the Department of Defense since 1983 and still do. They know who I am! But in spite of this, I maintain as much anonymity on the internet and in my personal life as I can.
I know that some of you may be rolling your eyes and thinking to yourself “Paranoid guy.” I maintain that it’s not paranoia but preparedness.
The abbreviation PII is widely accepted in the US context, but the phrase it abbreviates has four common variants based on personal / personally, and identifiable / identifying. Not all are equivalent, and for legal purposes the effective definitions vary depending on the jurisdiction and the purposes for which the term is being used. An example of this would be the following:
• Full name (if not common)
• Home address
• Email address (if private from an association/club membership, etc.)
• National identification number (used by the governments of many countries as a means of tracking their citizens, permanent residents, and temporary residents for the purposes of work, taxation, government benefits, health care, and other governmentally-related functions
• IP address (in some cases)
• Vehicle registration plate number
• Driver's license number
• Face, fingerprints, or handwriting
• Credit card numbers
• Digital identity
• Date of birth
• Birthplace
• Genetic information
• Telephone number
• Login name, screen name, nickname, or handle
The following are less often used to distinguish individual identity, because they are traits shared by many people. However, they are potentially PII, because they may be combined with other personal information to identify an individual.
• First or last name, if common
• Country, state, or city of residence
• Age, especially if non-specific
• Gender or race
• Name of the school they attend or workplace
• Grades, salary, or job position
• Criminal record
Safeguard all of the above information and you can protect yourself. If you let some of this information out, your full name for instance, it would probably not be enough for someone to find you or steal your identity. When you start to put several (3 or 4) of these together is where you are at risk.
Most of us have a picture on Facebook or Twitter. I would suggest changing that picture to a graphic or something that will not let your identity out. Pictures of the family or other seemingly harmless pictures should be left to very few. Remember the importance of picture background. A picture of your dog may have you street address, or license plate in the background. Be especially careful with your children. I know this will be difficult for some, especially those of a younger generation, but believe me, finding this information that can hurt you is real. I have 3 different friends who were in intelligence in the military. One is still in the intel business but for a law enforcement agency now. Finding this info is called “mining”.
Data mining is something that has been done by business almost since the beginning of internet commerce.
For example, one Midwest grocery chain used the data mining capacity of Oracle software to analyze local buying patterns. They discovered that when men bought diapers on Thursdays and Saturdays, they also tended to buy beer. Further analysis showed that these shoppers typically did their weekly grocery shopping on Saturdays. On Thursdays, however, they only bought a few items. The retailer concluded that they purchased the beer to have it available for the upcoming weekend. The grocery chain could use this newly discovered information in various ways to increase revenue. For example, they could move the beer display closer to the diaper display. And, they could make sure beer and diapers were sold at full price on Thursdays.
That doesn’t sound too insidious does it? But what if criminals did the same thing for different reasons? Governments and law enforcement has been doing this for decades. Be careful about your digital footprint. Criminals have been caught because of Facebook. Don’t underestimate the power of information and the internet. Be careful. Be safe. Rethink what you do and how you do it.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Monday, February 23, 2015

Review: You Tube Channel-Nutnfancy

I am a TNPr. What is a TNPr? I subscribe to, and watch on a regular basis, The Nutnfancy Project channel on You Tube. I would like to review this channel for you.
The Nutnfancy Project You Tube channel started when the owner, Nutn, decided to review a knife back in July of 2006. He did a review of the knife, SOG Flash 1, for After seeing how many views that video had received he decided to start his own You Tube channel. At first he reviewed knives but soon branched out to his own philosophy videos, gun videos, and preparedness/camping gear videos. He has since done car, motorcycle, adventure videos too. I started watching his videos in 2007. I have watched most all of his videos though I’m not as interested in the car, motorcycle, and lately, knife videos. He does videos of things he likes and also of requested reviews and ideas.
Nutnfancy is a retired Air Force pilot who still flies commercially. He is happily married with two sons and lives in Utah. As you know from my blog title, this is a site focused on guns, preparedness, security with a focus leaning toward an LDS or Mormon perspective. I used to wonder if Nutnfancy was an LDS member. I don’t really know, and I don’t really care. His views, ideas, and values are very much like that of the LDS belief regardless. I became interested in his channel because of his gun videos. I soon learned he and I have a connection with an Air Force base we were both stationed at many years ago. So we have a military connection. Nutn and I are also about the same age. He and I see eye to eye on most things. In other words, I feel he is a kindred spirit. So obviously my review will be positive.
Nutnfancy has a logical and moral way of looking at things which I enjoy. His philosophy videos I can usually completely agree with. I like his thorough review of guns and gear. I have bought gear on his recommendation and have never been displeased with that gear. I don’t agree with everything he says (I just can’t bring myself to wear a fanny pack! Sorry Nutn) and as he has said “Your mileage may vary”. In my experience with preparedness I don’t agree with every idea he has regarding prep. But I would say we agree 98% of the time. I like his sense of humor too. His wife and mine are alike in that they are camera shy. I also like the fact that he takes his OPSEC seriously, and guards his privacy. I’ve seen the hater drivel that is on the internet and I can honestly say it’s hogwash. Everyone who gains a following in the public arena is criticized and attacked. I don’t think he takes any of it seriously. I know he takes his and his families security seriously.
If you are interested in guns, knives, etc. I would highly recommend The Nutnfancy Project. One last word. Some have said Nutn is too “know-it-all-ish” for them. Every time he does a video it is simply his own opinion. He mentions many times how he doesn’t mind constructive criticism and real differing of opinion. He acknowledges that there are other ideas and opinions out there, but this is his. He does not profess to be a professional or expert. I feel that with his back ground and experience he is somewhat of an expert. Others may not agree and that is fine. I respect his experience and opinion, and especially his viewpoint. Check it out on You Tube. On You Tube search for nutnfancy. You won’t be disappointed!

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Friday, February 20, 2015

Muscle Memory and Training

I took some of my kids to the range the other day. We shot for a while and as we were shooting they were loading magazines. They were having a difficult time and I was trying to show them how to do it so it wouldn’t be so hard. I picked up a magazine and loaded 16 rounds in about 10 seconds. I had to do it again slowly to see what I was doing. After I did that and watched myself carefully, I could then show and teach them. They also asked about my shooting accuracy. How did I keep the gun on target even with recoil. My answer to both questions is muscle memory. All of us have used, and use every day, muscle memory. If you ride a bike or type on a keyboard or do anything without really thinking about it, you are using muscle memory. Muscle memory, or motor learning, is a form of procedural memory that involves consolidating a specific motor task into memory through repetition. When a movement is repeated over time, a long-term muscle memory is created that for that task, eventually allowing it to be performed without conscience effort. This process decreases the need for attention and creates maximum efficiency within the motor and memory systems.
Long story short; this is how we learn to walk and chew gum at the same time. Or, better yet, how we learn to run, acquire the target, shoot, reload plus chew gum at the same time. And the number one way to getting there is through repetition.
An important part of training is to develop more advanced divided attention motor skills. For example, when a real life shooting situation starts; you want to reflexively draw you weapon, seek solid (protective) cover, decide upon a defensive and/or offensive firing solution, and then execute that solution.
As the situation progresses, you will have to constantly assess the need to move for better, safer cover, especially to maintain distance between you and the threat. You will need to maintain a mental inventory of weapon reloading necessities, at-hand ammunition resupplies, or the need for transitioning from a pistol to a rifle or shotgun, as necessity dictates; and maintaining a mental inventory of those ammunition levels and at-hand resupply.
From a hand / eye coordination point of view, we need to constantly access the threat and threat level. If you are drawn into a shooting event where you are one against multiple aggressors, you will need to determine which one(s) is / are presenting the highest level of threat and responding in a descending order. The individuals actively shooting and advancing on you must be dealt with first, as opposed to ones who hug cover, shoot less, or appear to be looking for a way out. We also have to be aware of who are innocent bystanders or human shields, known as no-shoot noncombatants.
As an example of very poor divided attention motor skills training; years ago many police firearms instructors were taught, and passed on to their students, the practice of reloading their revolvers by first dumping the spent brass into their free hand and then into a can or bucket, before loading fresh rounds; some “brilliant” idea to save picking spent brass off the floor or ground. The muscle memory became ingrained and on several occasions, police officers who were killed in shootouts were found with their revolvers (cylinders open) in one hand and six spent casings in the other hand. Quite simply, they couldn’t find a bucket to toss the spent brass into, which would have made their free hand open to perform the reloading function. In that few seconds of confusion for the officers, the bad guys seized the opportunity and came out the victor of the encounters.
Reaction is defined as a response to something that has already occurred. Studies have concluded that humans require about three seconds to see, analyse, recognize then react to even the most urgent of situations. Within that three second time frame, you can most assuredly come out the loser. So, how do we improve the odds in our favor? We train to overcome the static through enhanced muscle memory.
Train like you fight. Then you’ll be around to fight again. Make sure your training will give you good muscle memory and not memory that will waste time and action.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Building A Medic Kit

How to set up a Medic Bag
This article was not really written by me. I have a friend who is a EMT/Paramedic and was a combat medic. This information is for “Rule-of-law” situations. For the “Where there is no Doctor or hospital” times, a different approach will be needed.
This article is not about which medic bag to use - the choice of medic bags is astounding and the merits of each is beyond the scope of this article, besides, choice is a luxury and the bag you are issued with may not be your decision. This is about how to best set up your bag ready for use.
If you are looking for a Medic Bag here are some simple guidelines:
• Just because it is sold as a Medic Bag does not mean it is ideal, and if it is not sold as a Medic Bag does not mean it cannot be used as such. We use the 5.11 All Hazards Prime for both training and operational use simply because we like it. 5.11 have a vast range of medic bags and this is not sold as one of them
• Blue or red is the standard color for Medic Bags. It really does not matter. Black is the typical color for tactical teams but can look a little Rambo in a civilian environment, however, they won't look as tired and dirty as quickly as brightly colored bags.
• 1700 square inches is more than large enough for a dedicated Medic Bag for a Responder. A Paramedic with additional equipment and drugs may need more. No matter how big your bag is you will always fill it and you have to carry it.
• Pouches and pockets can be great for organizing kit but more does not equal better. A 1700 ci Carry-On suitcase sub-divided with Tupperware would look out of place but would be easier to organize and access equipment than an all-singing-all-dancing rucksack with a myriad of zips and straps.
The Layout
Lay your bag out in the order of your Accident Procedure: Whether you follow DRABC, (Danger, response, airway, breathing, circulation) or anything else, the accident procedure focuses your attention on the most important issues first, as such when you need to treat something access to that particular equipment should mirror its position in the Accident Procedure in its position in the bag

The equipment listed below is merely guidance and does not in any way advocate the use by anyone without appropriate training. The necessary items are within the scope of anyone who has advanced First Aid training such as First Person on Scene and should be seen as a minimum for that level of training. Sometimes extra equipment is nice but not essential. These items should be considered by those with additional training.
You are the most important person, then other people, and finally the casualty. As such your PPE should be the first things you lay your hands on. It is very easy to associate the use of gloves in First Aid as a barrier against blood and the risk of HIV but universal precautions are intended to protect us against all body fluids and all communicable infections. Even if there is no blood, we still glove up.
• Gloves
• Hand sanitizer
• Goggles / safety glasses
• Clinical waste bags
• Sharps shuttle
Once danger has been managed we are into the Vital Signs. If the casualty is unconscious we have to purposefully detect and monitor their vital signs. If the casualty is conscious we can begin to record our observations covertly as we talk to them. The next available equipment should be to help you detect and record these signs.
A benefit to having these easily accessible on the outside of the bag is that not everything will be IEDs and chainsaws. Trauma is only one aspect of casualty care, the other being illness and a guaranteed way to affect someone’s breathing, pulse and blood pressure is to immediately rip open a massive medic bag revealing a bewildering range or seemingly archaic torture devices.
The casualty will respond best to calm reassurance; being able to surreptitiously dip into your bag to access your pen and pulse oximeter without breaking your conversation looks slick to anyone watching and will be barely noticed by the casualty.
If the incidence of serious trauma is high in your working environment, shears and tourniquets should be on the outside of your bag and a trauma dressing always in your pocket.
• Notebook
• Pen
• Pen light
• Pulse Oximeter
• Pre-formated observation chart or Casualty Cards
• Thermometer
• Blood Pressure Cuff
• Stethoscope
• Blood Glucose test kit
• Ophthalmoscope / Otoscope
'Clothes-pin' style fingertip pulse oximeters are now so cheap there is little excuse for not having one. Even if pulse oximetry is not within your training they will all show pulse rate. Checking for a carotid pulse is time consuming and not particularly accurate - a cheap pulse oximeter gives you a live feed.
If you have airway issues, you have issues now. Suction and airway adjuncts should be at the top of the main compartment or just one zip away.
• Suction
• Oral airways
• Nasal Airways and Lube
• Laryngeal airways
• Tape or Laryngeal airway holder
• Colourmetric capnography
A tube of aqueous lube is more economical than individual packets but they are not as aseptic and they leak (especially in the luggage hold of a plane!) and if you lose your only tube it’s not that economical after all. Use individual packets.
Face-shields are a bit of a token gesture; they usually are a simple gauze filter rather than a one way valve and make mouth-to-mouth harder. Pocket Masks are a far superior option but if you have anything larger than a butt-pack, you should have a Bag Valve Mask
• Bag Valve Mask
• Oxygen
• Pulse Oximeter
• Non-rebreather Mask
• Nasal Cannula
If you are using oxygen you need to use pulse oximetry. Some medic bags will accommodate an O2 cylinder, if not, carry the O2 cylinder separately but together with a Non-Rebreather and Nasal cannula. A cheap fingertip model may not be as durable or take a reading as quickly as a clinical model but at these prices there is no excuse for not having two - one in the main bag and one in the oxygen bag.

Keep the BVM in the medic bag because it can be used with or without O2. A non-rebreather mask and nasal cannula are useless without the O2.

Signs of circulation will have been checked and recorded with the diagnostic sections - here it is all about stopping blood loss.
Again, if you operate in a high-risk area using ABC or MARCH as a standard, keep shears and tourniquets on the outside of the bag for ease or access, or preferably on you person.
For non-catastrophic bleeding, your equipment should take the same hierarchical approach as your treatment. Direct pressure will stop the majority of bleeds so have more pressure dressings than tourniquets.
• Pressure bandages
• Gauze
• Tourniquet
• Tape
• Spare tourniquet
• Haemostatic Agents
• Chest seal
Israeli or Trauma bandages are ideas for applying pressure to serious bleeding wounds but sometimes we just need a bandage. Traditional First Aid bandages and gauze are not only very often insufficient in size they are also packaged poorly in fragile wrappers. H&H Compressed Gauze is vacuum wrapped, taking up less space and in more durable packaging.
Or Deformity or Disability or Dysfunction or whatever. That's the life threatening stuff dealt with so we can afford to pack the stuff for all other injuries a little deeper in the bag.

• SAM Splint
• Stretch Wrap
• Elasticated bandages
• Inflatable splints
• Cervical Collar
• Hot and Cold Packs
• Stretch Wrap
• Water soluble burns dressings e.g. Water-jel / Burn Shield
• Eye wash
The best treatment for any burn is cold running water but invariably running water is not always immediately available and this is where burns dressings have value. If your budget or pack size is limited to one dressing, get the Face Dressing - it has holes cut out for eyes, nose and mouth but can be used anywhere. A facial burn dressing is the most valuable because running water for 10 minutes over someone’s face is just like waterboarding.
Environmental conditions can themselves be the cause of problems. If not the cause, they can make them worse. The treatment for heat illness is simply fluid and rest; very little equipment is needed. For cold illness we can provide shelter or protection.

• Foil blanket (emergency blanket)
• Hat
• Blizzard Bag
• Group Shelter
• Chemical heat packs
It’s very easy to go over the top with gadgets and accessories but a few well chosen supplementary extras will prove themselves invaluable:
• Head lamp
• Ski-Pass holder - keep your trauma shears on your belt connected with a retractable ski-pass holder. They will then always be where you left them.
• Scissors - blunt/sharp are best for bursting open difficult packaging and not accidentally bursting open the casualty's skin
• Chemical light sticks
• Duct Tape
• Magill forceps
• Tweezers
• Tape - you can never have enough tape
A Modular Approach
There is no such thing as an Ideal set up as it depends on so many factors including, but not limited to, your budget, your skillset, kit availability, the number of casualties you are expected to treat, the distance from definitive care and the activities potential casualties are involved in.
Organizing the main compartment using bags or mesh boxes not only simplifies the layout of the bag but gives you some flexibility without having to completely repack when the situation changes.
• In a high-risk environment you might choose to double up your Circulation module.
• In an industrial environment you may choose to combine the Circulation module with Splinting equipment in order to make space for a dedicated burns module.
• At a community event it will be either cuts and grazes or cardiac arrest so you may remove the burns module in favor of a defib.
• In a remote environment a defib on its own might not be warranted so you may make space for high energy food and a group shelter.
Team Bags
If you are working in a team, ensure that every bag is packed identically, this means that whichever bag you grab you know where everything is.
If you are lucky enough to benefit from regular training, dedicate one bag specifically for scenario training. A Training Bag builds muscle memory in terms of locating and assembling equipment as well as gaining familiarity with the use of the equipment. A Training Bag can be used and re-used and ripped apart and restocked with expired consumables without having to worry about Live Bags being damaged, contents not being replaced or sterile packaging compromised.
The Training Bag should be identical to the Live bags but...
If you are using identical equipment for training, make sure it is clearly labelled and stored separately.
Above all, get trained and practice. Know how to use everything you have, but you can include some things you’re not sure of. You may be with someone who has the knowledge to use that item. But don’t fool yourself into thinking in your time of need you will magically know what to do. You may not panic, but you’ll be useless without training.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Mormon Outlaw: Butch Cassidy's Gun

A Mormon outlaw? It seems like it should be an oxymoron. Latter-day Saints take pride in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, and virtuous, and in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law. Cassidy may have struggled with that last bit, but small things in his mild manner like a commitment not to drink alcohol or gamble ring familiar to practicing Mormons. He may have left the Church, but the influence of his Mormon upbringing never completely left him.

Born in 1866 in Beaver, Utah, as Robert LeRoy Parker to pioneers Maximillian Parker and Ann Campbell Gillies, Cassidy came from faithful Mormon stock. It is likely he was baptized into the Church at the age of 8, but by the time the time he was 13, he had stopped attending almost entirely. The reasons for his decline in faith range from blaming the example of his father who also only attended meetings sporadically to a brush he had with the law where he was unjustly accused and treated poorly by officials. Certainly, though, it was the influence of his friend and mentor Mike Cassidy that played the largest role. Whatever all the contributing factors were, Robert changed his name to protect his family and left home at 18 to become one of the most well-known bandits in the Old West.
He committed his first robbery in his early 20’s. He acquired a gun at that time, a .45 caliber Colt Single Action Army revolver. Relentlessly pursued by lawmen and the Union Pacific Railroad, in late 1899 or early 1900 he allegedly sought amnesty from Governor Heber Wells of Utah. But first, as an act of good faith, he surrendered his Colt, his holster and a Winchester rifle to a sheriff named Parley P. Christison.
This same gun brought $175,000 at an auction in 2012. It was described as “the most fully documented Butch Cassidy gun in existence.”
In 1873, Colt submitted a new pistol to the U.S. Army. It utilized an improved single-action mechanism coupled with a greatly-improved frame design. It was chambered for the newly-designed .45 Long Colt cartridge. The Army promptly adopted the new revolver as the new standard-issue sidearm. Colt also offered the pistol on the civilian market.
This was a very popular gun of the time.
In 1895–96, the Government returned 2000 SAA (Single action Army) revolvers to Colt to be refurbished; 800 were issued to the New York Militia with the 7 ½” barrel and 1200 were altered to a barrel length of 5½". In 1898, 900 of the SAA revolvers were altered the same way by Springfield Armory. The original records of the War Department do refer to these revolvers with the shortened barrel as the “Altered Revolver”. The name “Artillery” is actually a misnomer, which, it’s speculated, may have originated because the Light Artillery happened to have the first units armed with the altered revolver.
Though Butch Cassidy was an outlaw, he and his gun have ties to the LDS Church. I wonder what would have been different had Governor Wells given Cassidy amnesty?
Semper Paratus

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Family Security: What I'd Teach My Kids About Security

This is what I’d like my kids to know about security and self-defense.
I have a large family by many standards. Most of my kids are grown and married although I have some still at home. They are all bright, smart, and good people.
I would want them to know that I believe things have changed in this world since I was in the military. Not only has this country changed since 9-11, but this world has changed. Some of them don’t remember a pre-9-11 world. When those towers fell a new enemy became “ripe with iniquity”. This was not an instant change in the world. The 60’s were the beginning with the forming of Israel. In 1967 the 6-day Israel-Arab war left the Arab world pretty much devastated. Israel had casualties of less than a 1,000 where Arab forces were well above 20,000. Basically, Israel kicked some serious butt. But because of the rift between Arab allies and Israel, along with the Palestinian relations, Israel is literally surrounded. I believe that the only thing stopping the disgruntled neighborhood from attacking Israel with an all-out war, is the United States. Lately the U.S. relations with Israel a frigid but we are still allies. Anyway, the Arab world, which is predominantly Islamic, realized they could not defeat Israel with conventional war, they moved to terrorism and “gorilla” warfare. In 1979 the USSR invaded Afghanistan with their own “Vietnam” war. In those ten years, Islamist militants learned a lot. And from this came a stepped up, better armed, and better organized terrorism. That’s the terrorism that has been perpetuated against the world. That’s what makes it a different world.
I believe that we should take care of ourselves. Self-sufficiency is high on my list of priorities. I believe our Heavenly Father wants us to be dependent on Him, but independent of the world. To do this we should follow inspired counsel from leaders.
In 1937 the Lord inspired a “prophet, seer, and revelator” to give the following counsel.
“What may we as a people and as individuals do for ourselves to prepare to meet this oncoming disaster, which God in his wisdom may not turn aside from us?
First, and above and beyond everything else, let us live righteously, fearing God and keeping his commandments, that we may in part claim his blessing as of right, and not as of mercy only.
Let us avoid debt as we would avoid a plague; where we are now in debt let us get out of debt; if not today, then tomorrow.
Let us straitly and strictly live within our incomes, and save a little. Let every head of every household see to it that he has on hand enough food and clothing, and, where possible, fuel also, for at least a year ahead. You of small means put your money in foodstuffs and wearing apparel, not in stocks and bonds; you of large means will think you know how to care for yourselves, but I may venture to suggest that you do not speculate. Let every head of every household aim to own his own home, free from mortgage. Let every man who has a garden spot, garden it; every man who owns a farm, farm it.”
J. Reuben Clark, April 1937 Conference
I think that the Church has responded to this challenge. Every Prophet and Apostle since 1937 has echoed this challenge. We must do our best to follow this counsel. If we do not, we will not be protected in our time of need. We will have to endure “this oncoming disaster” without being prepared and possibly on our own. Would God take care of someone who ignored inspired counsel from leaders they sustain as Prophets? He might because He loves us. Or He might not because He loves us!
All of the above being said, I believe we need to care for ourselves. I believe our law enforcement professionals are the best in the world. The problem is, when seconds count, the police are minutes away. Joseph Smith said:
“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 the right to forbid it, should the last extreme arrive, but I anticipate no such extreme, but caution is the parent of safety.” Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section 6, 1843-44, p. 391
“We will not act on the offensive, but always on the defensive; our rights and our liberties shall not be taken from us, and we peaceably submit to it, as we have done heretofore, but we will avenge ourselves of our enemies, inasmuch as they will not let us alone.” Joseph’s Journal September 1838
“11 We believe that men should appeal to the civil law for redress of all wrongs and grievances, where personal abuse is inflicted or the right of property or character infringed, where such laws exist as will protect the same; but we believe that all men are justified in defending themselves, their friends, and property, and the government, from the unlawful assaults and encroachments of all persons in times of exigency, where immediate appeal cannot be made to the laws, and relief afforded.” D&C 134:11
After Joseph’s words, and the words of scripture, I am convinced we should provide our own self-defense. We are justified to protect ourselves and our families and property. But that doesn’t mean when the time comes we can actually press a trigger. Or that we want to deal with the aftermath. These are things you should really consider before carrying a gun. When you decide to carry a gun you are saying “Today I may have to kill another human being.” If you can’t come to terms with that, then don’t carry a gun.
The things I’ve learned in the military and from my law enforcement friends tell me that criminals are getting more bold. Many have little care for what pain or suffering they inflict on anyone else. The fact that day time home invasions are happening says a lot. It reminds me of war. Old wars were fought in the day time mostly. Modern war seems to be fought anytime, all the time. It used to be that crime like home invasions happened only in bad neighborhoods. But the times they are a-changin’. Most people live good, productive lives. Most don’t have crime come to their door. The problem is that we think it won’t happen to me. I sincerely hope it does not happen to you. But why do we carry a spare tire? Why do we have insurance? Are you planning a fire? No, but you have smoke detectors don’t you? You do these things to be prepared. Then why would you not prepare for crime or unrest?
I’m not advocating all of you joining a sniper team in the military, or even that you buy a gun. But find alternatives. Then put together a plan. All of you will have a family. What will you do to keep your kids safe at home, at church, at school, and at the mall? Come up with a plan. There are simple things you can do.
In the next post I’ll go into detail about what you can consider for your security plan.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Monday, February 9, 2015

Concealed Carry: Become a Crimefighter With Knowledge

Almost all attacks come after a attacker does predictable things. This knowledge could keep you out of trouble or at the very least, keep you from having to use your weapon.

SELECTION- The criminal views you as a prospective victim. He looks at your “victim potential”, on two separate basis. First, do you have the type of car he wants, are you wearing expensive watches and jewelry, have you flashed a roll of cash, do you fit his rape victim profile? We think of this as, “Do you have what I want?”. If the answer is, “Yes.”, he moves to the next question.
Then he evaluates you as a threat to him. First and foremost, are you paying attention to your surroundings? Are you aware of his presence? Do you look like you might be a physical problem? Do you look like you might be armed? I assure you he goes through these questions. We think of this as, “Can I get what I want from you, safely?”.
If the answer to either question, “Do you have what I want, and can I get it from you, safely?”, is “NO”, then off he goes, in search of easier prey. Thugs are not looking for a fight. What they’re looking for is the easy mark. Someone they can get to, get what they want from, and get away from, without being hurt and without being caught.
Several years ago, some psychology students conducted a fascinating study. They took photos of ordinary people as they came and went from a downtown business area. They then planned to show these to criminals and ask them to identify the people they would choose as victims, and identify the people they would choose to bypass. In the preliminary write-up, they said that they expected to see a 10-15% correlation among the “victim” and “non-victim” groups.
They then went to a state prison and got a very large number of career violent offenders (rapists, muggers, etc.) to enter a room one at a time and view these photos. Time after time, the thugs said, “I want that one”, and pointed to others and said, “But I don’t want that one!” When it was over, the psychologists were shocked. There was a 95% correlation rate! Ninety-five times out of a hundred, individual thugs, with no communication among them, picked the same people to be victims, or to bypass. How did they do that? Body language. The only thing available from these photos was body language, but that was enough for the thugs to instantly identify the true victims as well as the people they would not risk a confrontation with.
Whom did they choose as victims? Gender, size, and age were surprisingly not the keys. Instead, they looked for people who shuffled along, head down, avoiding eye contact, unaware of their surroundings (Condition White). In contrast, they avoided choosing people, even small females, if they were alert, confident, head up, and looked like they knew what was going on around them (Condition Yellow). Remember what he really wants. He wants to get to you, get what he wants from you, and get away from you, without being hurt or caught.
There are signs that a potential attacker is evaluating you. They include:
1. Anyone who appears to be watching you should be viewed with mild alarm. If every time you look up, the same guy is looking at you, ask yourself, “Why?”.
2. Anyone who is inactive until you approach, then tries to look busy;
3. Anyone whose activity is geared to yours. You speed up, he speeds up, etc.
Once a criminal selects a victim, he must move into a position from which an attack is possible. Always remember that to assault, rob, or rape you, he must be close enough to talk to you. He will attempt to maneuver into this position by stealth (which is defeated by being alert), or by ruse. He may ask you for the time, for change, for directions, anything to distract you and preferably cause you to look away from him. When you look away, here comes the blow! The best course of action is to politely refuse any request, no matter what it is. Keep your eye on him and say, “No”. Anything you agree to is the springboard for the next request, which then escalates to demands. Just say “No”.
Positioning prior to the assault is vital to him, as he relies almost totally on surprise for success. If you avoid his attempts to properly position himself, you forestall the attack. Be alert and watchful for these cues:
1. Anyone who falls in behind you after you walk by;
2. Two or more people who are together, but split up as you approach;
3. Anyone staying in one place, observing, but begins to move toward you;
4. Two or more people lined up along a wall or fence; or
5. Anyone who moves to block an exit after you enter a confined space.

If you see one of these cues, cross the street, change directions, turn a corner. If he alters his course to match yours, he has tipped his hand. Go to Orange and start planning an escape or response.
The attack phase can only come after the evaluation phase and the positioning phase. It is simply not possible to attack you until these first two stages have been completed. The very best defense, therefore, is to circumvent the attack by not allowing the Evaluation Phase and the Positioning Phase to be fruitfully completed. Every single attack you avoid is a battle won! In every attack you fail to prevent, you are at enormous risk! Be alert and use your head and you won’t have to use your pistol nearly as often.
With the exception of the true sociopath, there will normally be cues, principally body language, which will assist you in forecasting aggressive activity by an individual you are observing. Being aware of these cues is vital to your accurate threat assessment.

Of course, verbalization by the offender is a critical cue. Someone cursing, shouting epithets, and generally being aggressive verbally is a likely candidate for physical aggression. Bear in mind, however, that 80% of human communication is non-verbal, and you must be aware of and watchful for these sometimes-subtle indicators.
One of the most reliable indicators of an impending assault occurs when you are in a position of authority and the offender fails to comply with or contemptuously ignores your commands. If, for instance, you encounter an intruder in your home, and he does not immediately comply with your commands, you are in for a fight!
Other definitive indicators can include these, alone or in combination:
1. hands on hips;
2. cocked head
3. arms folded across the chest
4. fists clenched, or clenched and flexed alternately
5. jaw clenched
6. spitting
7. deliberate avoidance of eye contact
8. continuously looking around
9. sustained verbal rationalizations
10. continuous yawning and stretching
11. target glancing.
“Target glancing” refers to brief, repeated shifting of the offender’s eyes to your chin, your nose, or your hands. Repeated target glances to your chin or nose means he is gauging the distance for a punch.
Always, when the pre-attack indicators are present, shift to the highest level of mental readiness (Condition Red) and be geared up. If at all possible, extend the distance between the two of you. Unless you are a Marine, you don’t have to die for the piece of ground you’re standing on! Distance is your friend. (See blog, Concealed Carry: Distance is Your Friend, 6/4/2014)
Remember that most of these things are not recognized by the attacker. They don’t even know indicators are there. You always have the advantage because of your knowledge. Always be in Yellow and be prepared for what may come your way.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Monday, February 2, 2015

An Appeal: Please Join LDS Gunsite!

An appeal to our readers.
If you are interested in all things guns and would like to contribute, please e-mail me. I am looking for those with gun experience, law enforcement, military, competition, hunting, and preferably members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormons. (Remember the name of the site LDS Gunsite) Anyone is welcome even if you don’t have the above back rounds or are not a member of the Church. We discuss Guns, defense, and preparation here.
Please feel free to email with your ideas to participate, or things you’d like to see addressed here.

Thank you for your interest!
Semper Paratus

Review: Preppers Matrix

Many years ago I ran across something that has helped my preparation planning by leaps and bounds. It’s called the “Preppers Matrix”. This a chart that has everything pertaining to preparedness planning that you could think of. It is greatly detailed and I have not been able to find an area that I would add to it. It breaks preparedness down into 9 areas. Medical, Water, Food, Protection, Survival Plan, Communication, Energy, Financial, Sanitation and Hygiene. It goes into detail in each of these areas connecting steps giving you an overall look at preparation. It even looks at these areas in the sense of bugging in and bugging out. It includes long term and short term on other areas. It helps you to visualize all that needs to be done. When preparing sometimes we can gravitate toward what we are interested in. I love guns and defense, but sanitation is probably my least interesting area yet it needs to be addressed. Neglecting an area can make things very difficult if things go south. On the site that has developed this matrix it says: “When I first started prepping, I looked for a prepping road map, but was unable to find one. So after we launched Prepper Link, we started working on what we call the Prepping Matrix. In addition to your personal preps, this matrix can be used to explain what is involved in the prepping lifestyle to those just getting started. Additionally, a group can use it to identify priorities and responsibilities.”
I’ve been teaching preparedness for years and this is a great teaching aid. This is a great tool for keeping you on track and focused. I highly recommend it!
Thank you to the authors of this matrix. Their site is and is pretty informative too!
The matrix is on the prepperlink website but here is the link to go directly to it.

Semper Paratus

Happy Chris Kyle Day!

I have a friend who I went through jump school with. He is a retired AF Pararescueman. He now works Diplomatic Security for the government. He spent his entire career in Special Operations. Spec Ops is a small family. My friend’s call sign is MAC 10, like the gun. Mac and I go way back. He also was good friends with Chris Kyle, who kept trying to recruit Mac to work at Craft International. Mac has told me of several experiences he’s had with Chris, some of them in Iraq. Mostly Mac talks about the shooting competitions they had whenever they got on a range together. Well Mac called me today. He lives in Florida these days but he called to wish me a happy Chris Kyle day. He and I talked about Chris and even about Chris’s idol Carlos Hathcock. I met Carlos in 1986 and he was a Prince among men. He passed away in 1999 due to MS. Anyway, Texas just declared February 2 Chris Kyle day and I wanted to remember Chris. I like this story about Chris.
It was in January 2009, just weeks after he retired from the Navy. It was cold that morning, and he was wearing a heavy winter coat. He was driving his truck — his now famous black F350 with the large rims and impressive grill — when he needed to stop for gas. He pulled into a station right off highway 67.
As he got out of the truck, two men approached. Both had guns in their hands. One pointed his weapon at Kyle. They told him to hand over his keys. Kyle was out of the truck, on the passenger’s side.
“I told them I would get them the keys,” he told me. “I told them they were in the truck and to just let me reach in.”
He noticed the man pointing the gun didn’t seem very confident. Kyle knew what confidence with a gun looked like.
As Kyle turned, leaning into the open passenger door of the truck, he reached into his own waistband. With his right hand, he grabbed his Colt 1911. He fired two shots under his left armpit, hitting the first guy twice in the chest. Then he turned slightly and fired twice more, hitting the second man twice in the chest. Both men fell dead.
After reviewing security camera tapes the police determined it was self-defense and told Chris he was free to go.
Chris Kyle was a veteran, a father, a husband, and a patriot. Let’s remember him as the great American he was.
Semper Paratus
Check 6