Friday, June 26, 2015

Concealed Carry: Making Carry Easier

I was talking to a law enforcement friend of mine the other day. He was commenting on my concealed carry. He’s one of the few people I share that intell with. He said that he looks and doesn’t see me as carrying a weapon. He’s never seen my gun print and he’s never seen the gun itself. I am happy with that. If someone who knows I’m carrying can’t tell, then I’m doing something wrong. He says he looks at most people that way. He looks for a weapon and, of course, he knows what to look for. Many people that concealed carry don’t do it very well. Even though open carry is legal in this state, if you’re going to conceal you need to conceal.
These are some mistakes that newcomers to concealed carry may make and should watch for.
Get trained. I mean really trained. Don’t let the requirements for a concealed carry license be your training. Some states don’t require much training for the license. But you should care enough to get training. If you’ve never had training through another source (ie. military, private, etc.) then go out and get it. There’s nothing worse than a untrained person carrying a gun. Do some research before taking a class. Find one that has instruction that will give you opportunities to ask questions and will help you to be competent and safe. Besides training you should practice. I’ve heard every excuse for not practicing but not practicing is not an option. Being responsible to yourself and your loved ones, and the general public, means practicing. There’s an old football saying that says: “Ever day you’re getting better or worse… you never stay the same.”

Most people who carry are responsible. That’s why they bothered to become legal. They wanted to take their security into their own hands. They also want to avoid conflict and would love to never draw their weapon. Carrying a gun does not make you invincible. You must do all you can to never be in a situation where you could possibly take another’s life. If that means backing down from a jerk then do it. If it means leaving somewhere because you can see things escalating then do it. You have to have your situational awareness in high and be vigilant about staying away from trouble. Be respectful and responsible.
Always Carry
There’s nothing more sad than not being able to defend your loved ones when you have the legal right, the knowledge, and the experience. We would never let fire alarms not work or throw our seat belt aside, then why would you leave the legal means of self-defense at home in a safe? Carry legal and carry always.
Knowing Laws
It’s your responsibility to know the gun laws where ever you are. Whether you’re in your home state or not, you should know the laws when you carry. States and cities vary on their gun laws. There are federal laws. Be aware. These laws a readily available and you have no excuse. Even if you are sure about laws don’t argue with law enforcement. You can hash out who is wrong and who is right later.
Practicing With What You Carry
Some concealed carriers practice with a different gun or different ammo. I may get flack for this but I think you could practice with a cheap ammo. You should find a self-defense round that you like and that your gun will shoot but I don’t think you need to practice with that same ammo. You should be very familiar with your carry weapon and with what ammunition you use in it, but I feel you can practice with a cheaper ammo. I practice 2 to 3 times a week and don’t feel I need to use the ammo I carry every single shot. I know my carry ammo and I know what it does and doesn’t do. If you are not absolutely sure how your carry gun and ammo works, then you had better practice until you do. Your life may depend on it.
Not Concealing
Printing is exposing your gun through fabric. In other words, it’s clear what you have under that shirt. Exposure is showing your gun accidently. Both are clearly not concealing and in some places illegal. Know your laws. Even it is legal do you really want someone calling the police because they see a man with a gun? Be careful and take a minute to look and see if you are printing or may expose your gun. Most people are not paying that much attention but make sure you stay concealed.
Checking You Gun
This is common with first time carriers. It’s a temptation to make sure the gun is there. Fight that temptation because all that does is bring attention to your weapons location. If you have taken some time to choose a good quality holster then your gun is safe and sound. You need to be aware of it but not have to touch it to ensure you still have it.
Making Adjustments
If you must adjust your load in public be discreet. In fact I would wait until I could make an adjustment in private. I know it’s not always possible so just make sure if you must adjust in public that you are careful. I try out new things in the way of carry positions, holsters, or carry systems. Some have not worked for me. Some work but not as good or better than others. I like options so I test almost everything that comes along. But with each system I ensure that my weapon is safe, secure, and comfortable.
Carry System
Do not just buy that $6.00 nylon holster and expect it to be functional and comfortable. It will more than likely not be. I am generally a frugal guy. My wife says I’m cheap but that’s another article. I don’t usually go cheap on a carry system or holster. I hate that they are as expensive as they are, but I know that you get what you pay for. And if you don’t pay, you get barely adequate. Number one on my list for carry system is retention. Then number two is comfort. It’s not comfortable you won’t wear it. Third is protection of the weapon. Forth is weight. I like leather but it’s heavy so there is give and take there. If you know you will be out a short time test your new holster or system. I do it all the time and that gives me lots of options. It’s worth it to me to buy different systems and find several that work for me even at the cost of several that won’t. Don’t go cheap!
There are a couple of problems with clothing. One is that the clothing really doesn’t conceal or prints. The other is that you look like a SEAL just getting off an Osprey after a hairy mission. In other words, don’t look tactical. On occasion you can wear a pair of 5.11 pants but be careful about screaming GUN! In your dress and appearance. I know how comfortable Blackhawk! clothing is but I resist looking like an operator. Be creative and you can wear almost whatever you like and still carry a gun. It is known that dark clothing conceals better than light colored clothes.
There are several mistakes you can make in concealed carry but if you think about what you’re doing you can carry safely and securely for a lifetime.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Range Bags

I’ve shot on many ranges in my time. As a boy in Arizona we would often shoot in the desert. This was convenient because we spent a lot of time riding mini-bikes, motor cycles, and four wheeling. So shooting out there was natural. But we had no tables, shelters, backstops, facilities, or much of anything. We were safe though and would find a hill or mountain to shoot toward. It wasn’t until I competed in the military when I felt the need for a range bag. This bag had everything and the kitchen sink in it. It was almost a go bag in that I was prepared for the end of the world with it. I’ve since learned different. More is often less.
When you go to build your bag think minimal. Not what you want, but what you need.
This is what I would suggest:

• Small bottle of CLP Breakfree or equivilant
• Cleaning Swabs
• Ear Protection
• Eye Protection
• Knife or Multitool
• Specialty tools
• Laser Boresighter
• Sharpie/roll of masking tape for Marking targets
• Small First Aid Kit
• Tourniquet
• Flashlight
• Bug spray (If you shoot mostly outdoors)

The bottle of CLP Breakfree can be replaced with your cleaner of choice, but who doesn’t like Breakfree when you need to break down your gun in the field and give it a once over. Some people may even clean their gun prior to returning home from the range. The cleaning swabs are a no brainer, but if you use an old oily rag for your gun cleaning then obviously that would replace this item on the list.
Ear and eye protection are key to have while shooting, thus they are a must have for this list. I keep a couple of sets of headsets and a bag of earplugs if I take someone with me to the range. I keep a few pairs of shooting glasses too.
A good knife or even a multi-tool made specifically for firearms is a great addition to add to your range bag. They will allow you to tinker with your firearm if any issues arise while on the range.
If your gun has any specialty tools, I would suggest adding them to the bag as well.
A laser boresight and a sharpie, along with targets, are the key to sighting in any firearm. Be sure to throw those items in your range bag so that you can make sure your gun is precise and accurate.
I keep a smaller bag in my range bag that I designate as my ammo bag. I keep in it ammunition of course, but also a small staple gun, extra staples, magazines, etc.
Safety and survival are of the utmost importance to me and I stress them in all situations. I have a tourniquet and a small first aid kit in my range bag. Maybe some quick clot would be a good addition to your first aid kit. Also, get trained on how to treat a gunshot wound and other first aid skills.
Last but not least, having a flashlight is essential to any range bag. Haven’t we all been in the situation where we are shooting and having fun, and night sneaks up on us? If you do not have a flashlight available, it becomes increasingly difficult to be able to collect your gear, targets, and brass.
This is a very limited list and yours may vary. Use this list as a starting point and come up with one that works for you.
When my wife asks where I am I usually text back, “Home, home on the range!”
She doesn’t think it’s that funny either.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

In Honor Porter Rockwell's Birthday

June 28 is Orrin Porter Rockwell’s 202nd birthday. Porter was known for many things in his lifetime. He was reputed to have killed many men as a gunfighter, as a religious enforcer, and Deputy United States Marshal. It is said that Rockwell once told a crowd listening to United States Vice President Schuyler Colfax in 1869, "I never killed anyone who didn't need killing".
After retiring as Territorial Marshall, Porter spent most of his days out on his Ranch in Government Creek. His closest neighbors were several miles away, the Bennion family. The youngest son Glenn wrote several articles in the Deseret News concerning his famous boyhood neighbor, one in particular said, “Rockwell, has come to figure in anti-Mormon literature as a murderer for loot at the behest for Brigham Young. So persistently has this killer aspect been held up that even some Later-day Saints have thoughtlessly accepted it as the true picture . . . Now there was nothing mild about Orrin Porter Rockwell. If the adverse characterization of Rockwell referred to is a thoughtless and an untrue one, then what shabby gratitude it is for a lifetime of service and sacrifice to the Church and to the prophets he loved! For Rockwell was the trusted messenger, the faithful bodyguard, the loved friend of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. Time after time he breasted the mountain snows and icy winds of the plains . . . in such winters that no other man in the Church, except possibly Howard Egan or Ephraim Hanks could have made it through. His whalebone toughness as an endurance rider became proverbial throughout the nation. Perhaps no one, to the extent of his peculiar talents, ever offered his life more times or endured more exposure and physical suffering than did Rockwell for his Church, and all of this without thought or any material reward.
“ . . . I have listened to stories about him told by my father and uncles who did ride with him, both on the range and on the trail of outlaws. I have talked with most of his old-time ranch neighbors, and all these, whether Mormon or Gentile, regarded him as an honorable, and trustworthy friend and neighbor to the law-abiding, but the implacable foe of lawlessness and a terror to outlaws.
“No doubt Rockwell had his aberrations. He was uneducated, in the sense that he could not read or write. The light of the Gospel did not entirely rid his mind of the popular superstitions of his native New England. He had a weakness for alcohol that grew upon him . . . If in the performance of his duty as an officer of the law he sometimes administered short shrift to the lawless, it must be remembered that he lived in a day when officers courageous enough to make a stand for law and order were mighty few and badmen were numerous and bold. Why glorify the vigilantes of Montana for rising up and ridding their towns of outlaws and condemn Rockwell for what was not only just as justifiable, but was also legal.”
In my study of the man, Porter Rockwell was an honorable man but would defend himself, the Church, the prophet, and any other person who was unjustly treated with a tenacity that would have scared most people away. I think he liked a “bad” reputation because it put him at a tactical advantage right away.
When asked about travelling security this was his advice.
“Porter advised Burton to carry a loaded double-barreled shotgun, sleep in a "dark camp" (unlit, miles from where supper was cooked), to never trust appearances, and to avoid the main trail, where "White Indians" (so-called because they were white robbers who disguised themselves as Indians to pass off blame) preyed on travelers.”
He was a believer in firepower (double-barreled shotgun) and situational awareness (to never trust appearances).
I honor Orrin Porter Rockwell and remember him fondly as a sheepdog and General Authority in good standing.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Monday, June 22, 2015

President Obama Politicizes A Shooting

I am constantly amazed at the stupidity of politicians. Our President made this statement after a horrible tragedy in a South Carolina church.
"I've had to make statements like this too many times. Communities have had to endure tragedies like this too many times," he continued. "Once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun. ... We as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries."
I’m sorry Mr. President, you should have just had your speech writer Google mass shootings. This information is not hard to find so I don’t know how your advisors let you say such a silly statement. It makes you look like an idiot Mr. President and further, it’s just not true.
On the morning of 7 January 2015 at about 11:30 local time, two brothers, Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, forced their way into the offices of the French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris. Armed with assault rifles and other weapons, they killed 11 people and injured 11 others in the building. After leaving, they killed a French National Police officer outside the building.
On the morning of April 7, 2011, 12 children aged between 12 and 14 were killed and 12 others seriously wounded after an armed man entered Tasso da Silveira Municipal School (Escola Municipal Tasso da Silveira), an elementary school in Realengo on the western fringe of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
July 22, 2011: Confessed mass killer Anders Behring Breivik kills 77 in Norway in twin attacks: a bombing in downtown Oslo and a shooting massacre at a youth camp outside the capital. The self-styled anti-Muslim militant admitted both attacks.
In France, Amedy Coulibaly is said to be responsible for three shootings, and he said he synchronized his attacks with the Kouachi brothers. In the shootings, five people were killed and eleven others were wounded.
The first shooting was in Fontenay-aux-Roses on the evening of 7 January 2015. Prosecutors linked shell cases found where a jogger was shot and severely wounded with a Tokarev gun carried by Coulibaly at his later kosher supermarket attack.
The second shooting occurred in Montrouge on 8 January. He killed an unarmed French policewoman, Clarissa Jean-Philippe, whom he shot at Montrouge along with a street sweeper whom he injured critically. DNA samples collected at the crime scene led police to identify Coulibaly as the shooter.
The third shooting took place at Porte de Vincennes, east Paris, on 9 January. Coulibaly killed four more people, all Jewish patrons at a Jewish Hypercacher supermarket at Porte de Vincennes, at the outset of an hours-long siege in which he demanded that the Kouachi brothers be freed. At the outset of that attack, he introduced himself to his hostages, saying: "I am Amedy Coulibaly, Malian and Muslim. I belong to the Islamic State." French commandos stormed the store, and killed Coulibaly. He left in his car maps indicating the locations of Jewish schools in Paris.
On 2 June 2010 when a lone gunman, Derrick Bird, killed 12 people and injured 11 others before killing himself in Cumbria, England. Along with the 1987 Hungford massacre, the 1989 Monkseaton shootings, and the 1996 Dunblane school massacre, it is one of the worst criminal acts involving firearms in British history.

These horrible shootings happened in “advanced countries” such as France, Britain, Norway, and Brazil. I know that we need to do better in this country about protecting our people. The people of this country need to be serious about security and taking that security into our hands. I’m not sure that a ban on guns would have made any difference in this case. And neither do the “experts” and study makers. If you look at the numbers you will see that laws don’t make that much difference in crime. The nature of criminals is to break laws.
A Nobel Peace prize winner and graduate of Harvard Law would indicate an intelligent mind. It’s not that hard to see that these shootings happen everywhere and in places that have strict gun laws. In President Obama’s home state of Illinois, in Chicago, gun laws are the toughest in the U.S. Yet Chicago’s gun ban was lifted after laws prohibiting concealed carry were forced to be changed because they were deemed unconstitutional. The Washington times said this about Chicago’s change in laws:
“Since Illinois started granting concealed carry permits this year, the number of robberies that have led to arrests in Chicago has declined 20 percent from last year, according to police department statistics. Reports of burglary and motor vehicle theft are down 20 percent and 26 percent, respectively. In the first quarter, the city’s homicide rate was at a 56-year low.”
So I would ask you Mr. President, do gun laws really make a difference in crime?

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Shotguns and Real Advice

Have you ever watched a movie and thought to yourself “That could never happen, but I like it!” Most of what we see in movies is unbelievable but it’s fun to see the unbelievable happen. Even though shark activity was not particularly high or unusual, in 1975 when the movie “Jaws” came out, people stayed away from the beach. Even though if you talk to a shark specialist, no great white shark ever acted like the one in the movie. It’s pure fiction. Even with that knowledge, people stayed away from the beach. Sadly, movies have power.
Movies teach a lot of false things. Especially when it comes to weapons. A gun in a movie keeps shooting even though the rate of fire on a M16 is 700 rounds per minute. That would mean that a 30 round magazine would last about 12 seconds. That’s not very dramatic.
Shotguns are no different. I’ve heard many people say that racking the slide on a pump 12 gauge would scare them into not messing with someone. I would like to dispel some of those myths.
A shotgun can be an excellent home defense weapon. But for reasons other than the average person would think.
Some think that you do not have to aim a shotgun. Try to skeet shoot without aiming. Yes you do have to aim a shotgun. Most shotguns used for home defense will be shot from between 10 to 20 feet. Those that believe you do not have to aim a shotgun have been told that when a shotgun is fired the spread of the shot will turn the pattern into a foot wide “claymore mine” effect. Buck shot fired from a standard 12 gauge spreads at a rate of between one half inch and one full inch per yard so if you are shooting at somebody fifteen feet across your living room, the spread is only going to be one and a half to three inches. That’s better than a 9mm round, but as you can see, you still would need to aim.
Another crazy idea that may, or may not, have come from movies. A shotgun round is safer as far as penetration through walls. In truth a 00 buck shot pellet will go right through drywall, and can even go through wood paneling at the ranges that we are talking about in most confrontations in the home.
If you are using a slug, rather than shot, it will go through your wall, the neighbor’s apartment, and their far wall as well. But what about bird shot? At close range even bird shot can go through drywall, although the chances of it happening are slimmer. The real problem with using bird shot for home defense is lack of stopping power. With bird shot you are as nearly likely to anger the intruder as you are to drop him. Even former vice president Cheney shot a seventy-eight year old man in the face with a load of bird shot while hunting, and he pulled through just fine.
The last thing I think is such rotten advice is that the mere sound of a shotgun rack will turn you into something to be feared. This advice could get you killed. If you decide on a shotgun for home defense, learn to use it effectively and the limitations of the weapon and load. Don’t rely on some lame brains idea that sound will defend you. You might as well just yell down the hall “My husband has a gun!” Let me give you my take on a scenario.
3 in the morning you hear a crash in your living room. It sounds like glass breaking. No one else lives in your house and no one has a key to your house. You grab your combat shotgun that you have taken numerous classes with. You practice at the range often with this weapon and feel confident in shooting with it. It is equipped with a quality tactical flashlight. You tell your wife to call 911 and stay on the line after requesting help. You stage yourself out of sight from the door way yet you have a clear view of the door yourself. You are ready for someone to step into your “fatal funnel”.
You notice I did not say anything about making an announcement that you are armed. I also did not say anything about that “scary” racking of the slide that so many advise. If you announce yourself or rack the slide you give away your position and let the adversary know your armament. The invader is at a great disadvantage. He doesn’t know your house. He doesn’t know you’re armed. He’s not even sure how many people are in the house. You are at least behind concealment. And then you have the advantage of having a doorway he must come through. This is what we call the fatal funnel. A 36 inch doorway is not much room to move around in. With your flashlight you can have target identification and with the funnel you can have a clear field of fire. I don’t think it’s a good idea to give any intel to someone who may kill you and yours for little or nothing. If you felt so inclined to give away your position you should say something that may help your case in the future like “Don’t make me shoot you!” But that is only if you feel the situation is right.
If you do feel the rack will be a deterrent then you will probably have one of two reactions. Flight or fight. You’re looking for flight, but if the intruder decides on fight, I would hope you would not give away any intel.

Now that a shotgun has been put in a truthful light, is it still right for you? You must decide but with the proper information. I like a shotgun as a defensive tool, but I also have a baseball bat and billy club handy. I also have handguns available in different locations. I believe in options. Consider a less than lethal weapon to give you a choice in how you deal with different threats that may present themselves.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Monday, June 15, 2015

Remember Our National Symbol

June 14, 2015 is Flag Day. Old Glory is 238 years old. I don’t know what you think about a day set aside for a flag but as for me and my house, we will remember.
On June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress passed the Flag Resolution which stated: "Resolved, That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation." Flag Day is now observed on June 14 of each year. While scholars still argue about this, tradition holds that the new flag was first hoisted in June 1777 by the Continental Army at the Middlebrook encampment.
The first official U.S. flag flown during battle was on August 3, 1777 at Fort Schuyler (Fort Stanwix) during the Siege of Fort Stanwix. Massachusetts reinforcements brought news of the adoption by Congress of the official flag to Fort Schuyler. Soldiers cut up their shirts to make the white stripes; scarlet material to form the red was secured from red flannel petticoats of officers' wives, while material for the blue union was secured from Capt. Abraham Swartwout's blue cloth coat. A voucher is extant that Capt. Swartwout of Dutchess County was paid by Congress for his coat for the flag.
I find it amazing that the first official United States flag was flown during a revolutionary battle.
In 1795, the number of stars and stripes was increased from 13 to 15 (to reflect the entry of Vermont and Kentucky as states of the Union). For a time the flag was not changed when subsequent states were admitted, probably because it was thought that this would cause too much clutter. It was the 15-star, 15-stripe flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write "Defence of Fort M'Henry", later known as “The Star Spangled Banner”.
I know that our flag is “just a flag”, but the history and the many who fought for our freedoms under it’s banner makes it more than “just a flag”.
I just read where some protesters were protesting some perceived injustice had decided to deface Old Glory. A Marine veteran took offense to this and did something to stop it. He was arrested. But he said it was worth defending that flag once again.

United States law states:

18 U.S. Code § 700 - Desecration of the flag of the United States; penalties
(1) Whoever knowingly mutilates, defaces, physically defiles, burns, maintains on the floor or ground, or tramples upon any flag of the United States shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.
(2) This subsection does not prohibit any conduct consisting of the disposal of a flag when it has become worn or soiled.
(b) As used in this section, the term “flag of the United States” means any flag of the United States, or any part thereof, made of any substance, of any size, in a form that is commonly displayed.
(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed as indicating an intent on the part of Congress to deprive any State, territory, possession, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico of jurisdiction over any offense over which it would have jurisdiction in the absence of this section.
(1) An appeal may be taken directly to the Supreme Court of the United States from any interlocutory or final judgment, decree, or order issued by a United States district court ruling upon the constitutionality of subsection (a).
(2) The Supreme Court shall, if it has not previously ruled on the question, accept jurisdiction over the appeal and advance on the docket and expedite to the greatest extent possible.

At the risk of this becoming a rant, why the heck is this law constantly being broken and no one being arrested for breaking it? Because of our “Supreme Court” deciding that:
1974: Spence v. Washington (418 U.S. 405) — The Supreme Court held that the State of Washington could not convict a person for attaching removable tape in the form of a peace sign to a flag. The defendant had attached the tape to his flag and draped it outside of his window in protest of the U.S. invasion of Cambodia and the Kent State killings. The Court again found under the First Amendment there was not a sufficient governmental interest to justify regulating this form of symbolic speech. Although not a flag burning case, this represented the first time the Court had clearly stated that protest involving the physical use of the flag should be seen as a form of protected expression under the First Amendment.
This is a change from 1968 ruling:
1968: Adoption of Federal Flag Desecration Law (18 U.S.C. 700 et seq.) — Congress approved the first federal flag desecration law in the wake of a highly publicized Central Park flag burning incident in protest of the Vietnam War. The federal law made it illegal to "knowingly" cast "contempt" upon "any flag of the United States by publicly mutilating, defacing, defiling, burning or trampling upon it." The law defined flag in an expansive manner similar to most States.

The Supreme Court seems to change its mind with whatever political wind that blows.

Things should change when someone pledges to defend this country. A Supreme Court justice takes this oath:

"I, _________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."

I think sometimes political correctness bears sway in the Supreme Court. Sometimes I wish decisions on the Constitutionality of things would be ruled on with what our founding Fathers actually thought. Not what the current political climate is. I guess they do the best they can in what is brought before them. I’m not sure that this “Freedom of speech and expression” should include desecrating our national symbol. I wish the Supreme Court would step up and fight for this country and Constitution as they have taken an oath to do.

Please remember Old Glory with fondness and respect.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Thursday, June 11, 2015

9mm Ammunition

One of my favorite rounds is the 9mm. In writing this article I don’t mean to stand up for the round or tear it down, but to give it’s history. I probably will sing it’s praises a little if you’ll forgive me.
George Luger developed the 9 X 19mm Parabellum cartridge from previous cartridges he had developed. This round was made specifically for the Luger pistol. This was first patented in 1898. This was near the turn of the century when firearms was completing a change from black powder and flintlock technology to the modern cartridge. The military was demanding larger calibers for side-arms and that’s what led to the 9 X 19mm. He removed the bottle neck from his 7.65 X 21mm Parabellum case which gave the cartridge a tapered rimless cartridge encasing a 9mm bullet.
The cartridge name, Parabellum, is from the Latin phrase, Si vis pacem para bellum, which means “If you seek peace, prepare for war.” There are 2 other popular 9mm cartridges, the 9 X 18mm Makarov, and the Browning 9 X 17mm Short or .380. In 1902 Leger presented the round to the British Small Arms Committee and a prototype to the U.S. Army for testing in mid-1903. The Imperial German Navy adopted the round in 1904 and the German Army in 1906.
Since the U.S. military has adopted this cartridge and is the largest contributor the round is known also as 9mm NATO. This is a relatively new round for the U.S. military. It came to our shores more from weapons brought home from World Wars I and II rather than the prototype from Luger himself. It the first company manufactured weapons in mass for this caliber was in 1954. Smith and Wesson put out the Model 39 in 9mm. In 1951 Colt had re-chambered some of their Commanders to take this round. Other designs followed.
In 1986 the FBI had a shootout in Miami that changed how law enforcement (LE) looked at it’s weapons. In North Hollywood in 1997 a bank robbery made it obvious to Los Angeles PD that they were horribly out gunned. Those two events started the cartridge and weapon revolution in law enforcement. LE were horribly out gunned with the .38 special revolver and even the .357. Going from carrying 18 shots with 2 reloads to 46 shots with 2 reloads was a vast change. And so went the revolver.
I know there is now, has been, and ever shall be, a debate on “stopping power” I think the 9mm was a definite upgrade. In my opinion shot placement trumps so called “stopping power.” Learn to shoot even under stressful conditions and you won’t need a big heavy bullet. Contrary to Hollywood lifting someone off the ground with a .45 or Clint Eastwood blowing “your head clean off” with a .44 magnum, you must hit something that will stop the attacker. A .45 in the shoulder is not better than a 9mm to the brain. There I go, starting the debate again…
The FBI kind of went off half-cocked, so to speak. They switched to 10mm, which is a respectable round. Their problem came in their agents and their being able to handle the gun and the round. It did not go so well. They went to 9mm along with other LE and eventually to .40 S&W. I have no problem with .40 cal but when comparing ballistics I think .40 is not a whole lot different than 9mm. For me it’s all about size and weight. I will carry more 9mm and my gun will hold more. After shot placement, quantity is what I desire. The .40 S&W is only 12% bigger than the 9mm. The difference in weight per 100 rounds is:
9mm – 100 rounds 2.63 lbs
.40 – 100 rounds 3.56 lbs
This is a difference of 1 pound per 100 rounds. For me that is significant.
The difference in price is also significant. Add to that 9mm being more common, at least for now, and more available because it is more common gives the 9mm a plus over the .40. I know, I’m back to talking about personal preference again.
9mm has a long proven history where other calibers are less proven. Was that vague enough for you?
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Internet Security: Don't Be A Moron

Remember OPSEC and COMSEC. Operations security is what you do and how you do it. Communications security is not exposing any OPSEC in your communications and keeping privacy in tact.


“Much has been made about the ability of ISIS to master social media to recruit and broadcast their victories. But the U.S. Air Force is turning the militant group’s eagerness to share on social media into that intelligence that produces targets.
Air Force Gen. Hawk Carlisle, head of Air Combat Command, described Monday how airmen at Hurlburt Field, Florida, with the 361st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group, recognized a comment on social media and turned that into an airstrike that resulted in three Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) bombs destroying am Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) headquarters building.
“It was a post on social media to bombs on target in less than 24 hours,” Carlisle said. “Incredible work when you think about.”
Carlisle was careful not to share all of the Air Force’s secrets to include the location of the building but this is how he told the story at the recent breakfast meeting in Washington D.C. hosted by the Air Force Association.
“The guys that were working down out of Hurlburt, they’re combing through social media and they see some moron standing at this command. And in some social media, open forum, bragging about the command and control capabilities for Daesh, ISIL. And these guys go: ‘We got an in.’ So they do some work, long story short, about 22 hours later through that very building, three [Joint Direct Attack Munitions] take that entire building out.”

Being a moron is easy. Just don’t care what and when you post on social media. Don’t worry about personal information and the impact of pictures. I know what you’re thinking, “I don’t work for ISIS!” No you don’t. But you do have an identity to steal. You can be stalked or singled out by a crazie. Make no mistake, they are out there and looking for anything that can benefit themselves.

Be careful on the internet. Safeguard your profiles. Use security on every site you use. Watch your pictures and their content. Practice good safety and security. Don’t be a moron!

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Friday, June 5, 2015

Security At An ATM

Automatic Teller Machines (ATM’s) have been around for many years now. The first patent for an ATM was applied for in the U.S. in 1960 so they have been around for over 50 years. In the last 30 years they have been found in stores and restaurants in North America, Europe, and Asia. Using an ATM securely requires some forethought and preparation. Just because the ATM is there doesn’t mean it’s safe to use 24/7. Most ATM robberies happen at night between 7PM and midnight. This is the lightest workload of most machines. Most of the criminals that do these robberies are under 25 years old and work alone. They usually stay out of sight around 50 feet away. Half of ATM robberies happen after cash is withdrawn. Most victims are women and/or alone and never saw the robbers approach. Most robberies were armed, or claimed to be armed.
The first thing to remember is situational awareness. If I am in an unfamiliar area I would have to be in real dire straits to stop and use an isolated ATM. Use ATM’s only in a high traffic, well lit place. If the machine is hidden away from public view. Avoid walls, pillars, foliage, and other obstacles around or near an ATM. If that seems to be the only one, drive a few miles for a safer one. Criminals don’t like witnesses and like quick, secluded escape routes near on-ramps or high speed roads.
Next is to pick a safe location. Inside a restaurant or convenience store is best but not perfect. A machine where you don’t have to leave your car is good, but the same rules apply. Keep your doors locked. Keep your head on a swivel and the car in gear. Keep a list of your favorite machines that you know are safer than others in your car. Whenever you use a machine, have the card out and ready, know the screens that will come up, and have your PIN memorized. Limit your ATM use to daylight hours if possible. Also, try to not be alone and brief the person with you what to look for and to stay alert. As soon as you can take your eyes away from the ATM, do so and be alert. If someone approaches and is suspicious leave, even if it means leaving your card. If they are not particularly suspicious and you feel OK about them because it’s daylight and there are people around, make sure you turn and face this person looking straight at them. If they are a threat “fight or flight”. You can leave or defend. If they seem like they are just waiting for the machine, make sure they know you are watching them. Most people will give you a polite distance. Remember the 21 foot rule. A person can move 21 feet in about 2 seconds normally. You can ask someone to “move back please” without offending usually. If there is any indication of a problem, leave. In a car to rob you an assailant must approach from the rear or front, drivers side. These are your target areas to watch. If you think there is going to be a confrontation say in a firm, load voice, “back off”! This is supposed to startle or surprise a person to give you a second to leave. When you do get cash, make sure you put it away immediately. Leave as fast as possible, don’t linger.
Here are some tips in summary:
• Only use ATM machines in a well-lighted, open, high-traffic area
• Use ATMs at inside busy stores when possible
• If lights around the ATM are not working, don't use that machine
• Avoid bank ATM machines adjacent to obvious hiding places
• When you approach an ATM, scan the area first for loiterers
• Have your card ready and leave quickly, not counting your cash in public
• Walk, run, or drive away immediately if your instincts tell you so
• Beware of offers for help from strangers during an ATM transaction
• Tell any suspicious person in a loud, firm voice to back-off
• Don't argue with a robber, if confronted, and give up the cash
• Don't fight with the robber unless you feel a positive threat. Don’t attempt to follow the robber
• Drive or walk to a safe place and immediately call the police

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Less Than Lethal Ideas and Monkey Fists

I have a thing for knots. I love that knots are so versatile. I guess all those years of teaching knot tying to Boy Scouts helped me to appreciate rope and knots.
One of my favorite knots has always been the monkey fist. I’ve had one hanging from my hiking staff for many years.
The Monkey Fist is named because it looks like a small bunched up fist or paw. The knot originally was used by merchant mariners. Sailors of the 1800’s used the monkey fist (a knot tied around a small weight) as a method of throwing rope lines from ship to ship and ship to shore. The weight on the line made it easier to throw.
The first knots, also known as sailor knots, began as a bolt, a rock, or something that had weight. It is placed inside the knot when the knot is tied.
The Monkey fist began to be used as a hand-to-hand weapon, when the sailors were on shore. Also called slungshot they were commonly used as melee weapons by sailors embroiled in street and tavern fights. The use of the monkey's fist as slungshot became common in the street gang subcultures of the 19th century.
I’ve always liked using one on a key chain because you can make some that are easy to use as a weapon but doesn’t look like one. What I want is one that is at least 6 inches long to extend my reach about 8 inches with the keys. Make sure it is built well like a monkey fist with paracord. A strap with a snap may not hold up to being used as a weapon. If you end up using your key chain as a weapon and it breaks, even if you were successful in defending yourself you left all your keys on the ground if you had to leave quickly. If you need keys to a vehicle or building to take yourself out of the fight, you may not have them.
It is entirely possible that an impact weapon is all you need based on your unique values, risk profile and life-situation to dramatically improve your personal safety. You may decide to carry such a device as a training tool, as part of your concealed carry decision-making process. A good-quality, high-lumen, metal flashlight about five inches long can be carried in a belt holster, clipped to your pocket or in your purse with complete security and few legal hassles. If you're thinking about getting a legally concealed handgun as a defense tool but are not sure about it, get a defensive flashlight first and start practicing daily carry. See what it, and threat awareness, does for your confidence level.
The Monkey fist has made a comeback in the last few years. It has worked it's way into everyday life. We have easy access to paracord and this has given new life to the monkey fist. Type "Monkey Fist" into a search engine and you get a whole lot of how to’s of making a monkey fist. Monkey fist fans are making them everywhere. Monkey fists are one of the top items to make out of para cord.
It remains my opinion that avoiding risky areas, having enough ego-strength to ignore insults and forgetting about teaching good manners to strangers will create a threat exposure so small that no weapon will ever be required. The really bizarre thing about less-than-lethal weapons is that they may be illegal to carry in your state or city, even if you have a permit to carry a concealed firearm, so check your laws carefully. If questioned, do not describe these tools as weapons to law enforcement.
You can also use the paracord for emergency or survival purposes and another bonus is that you’ll never lose your keys since the Monkey Fist makes them easier to keep track of.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Concealed Carry: Use of Force Continuum

An example of a use-of-force continuum follows:
• Officer Presence — No force is used. Considered the best way to resolve a situation.
o The mere presence of a law enforcement officer works to deter crime or diffuse a situation.
o Officers' attitudes are professional and nonthreatening.
• Verbalization — Force is not-physical.
o Officers issue calm, nonthreatening commands, such as "Let me see your identification and registration."
o Officers may increase their volume and shorten commands in an attempt to gain compliance. Short commands might include "Stop," or "Don't move."
• Empty-Hand Control — Officers use bodily force to gain control of a situation.
o Soft technique. Officers use grabs, holds and joint locks to restrain an individual.
o Hard technique. Officers use punches and kicks to restrain an individual.
• Less-Lethal Methods — Officers use less-lethal technologies to gain control of a situation.

o Blunt impact. Officers may use a baton or projectile to immobilize a combative person.
o Chemical. Officers may use chemical sprays or projectiles embedded with chemicals to restrain an individual (e.g., pepper spray).
o Conducted Energy Devices (CEDs). Officers may use CEDs to immobilize an individual. CEDs discharge a high-voltage, low-amperage jolt of electricity at a distance.
• Lethal Force — Officers use lethal weapons to gain control of a situation. Should only be used if a suspect poses a serious threat to the officer or another individual.
o Officers use deadly weapons such as firearms to stop an individual's actions.
Concealed Carry Use of Force Continuum

Unlike a police officer, the presence of a concealed carry civilian is not a deterrent. I think we should add a first step in place of “Officer presence” with “Get out of dodge”. If you can see something developing, violence, riot, a fight, have an exit strategy. You should be practicing good situational awareness and should be able to see something developing. Get yourself out of harms way.
Verbalization-Force is not physical.
You can calmly try to defuse the situation as a police officer might. If things escalate make sure your words are clear and concise.
Empty-hand control
As a civilian you really cannot grab someone. But if you think you can throw someone to deflect them and to escape, then do so.

Less-lethal methods
Cops are equipped with an array of weapons on their duty belts and are taught the "use of force continuum," which clarifies how to match the right tool to the threat level. For example, if a bad boy wants to grapple at close distance, the police can break him down with an impact weapon. If he squares off against an officer from 10-feet away, he could get a blast of pepper spray. And if he looks crazy or amped on dope, he will get a jolt with the Taser. The cops I know don't want to shoot anybody any more than you do. You might want to think about having a second, less-than-lethal weapon on your person whether you carry a firearm or not. Dual-force will give you additional response options and/or provide you with something in your hand that should be recognized by a street-wise criminal as a potential defensive weapon. Remembering a key point in risk avoidance, if you look like a hard target, predators are more likely to pass you by in favor of an easier mark.

Lethal force
You had better make sure there is a reason to use lethal force. Also make sure you issue commands that can be heard by witnesses or a 911 call. Remember also, you should not hesitate if faced with a risk to your life, but just pulling your gun doesn’t mean you have to shoot. Often the presence of a gun is similar to the presence of law enforcement. It can stop the situation and give you a chance to leave. But remember, this is your last resort, and there should be a clear and present threat.

Using a similar adapted Use of Force Continuum is of benefit to any concealed carry participant. If you can learn these steps and review them, if the time comes you are better prepared to meet the challenge and come out on top. Being prepared for most contingencies is a mind set.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Monday, June 1, 2015

Oaths and Our Word

Today is the anniversary of the first military oath taken in 1789. This was the first oath established under our Constitution.
Traditionally an oath is a promise with wording relating to something considered sacred. To swear is a verb used to describe the taking of an oath, to making a solemn vow.
A covenant is a sacred agreement between God and a person or group of people. God sets specific conditions, and He promises to bless us as we obey those conditions.
Military oaths date back to ancient Rome, where soldiers pledged loyalty to a specific general for a specific campaign. After the campaign ended, the oath no longer applied. By 100 b.c., Rome had established a professional military, and the oath became effective for the soldier’s full 20-year service. Since then, this custom has continued and expanded. For example, the kings of England in the 1500s (Henry VIII), 1600s (James I), and 1700s (George III) established oaths requiring subjects to swear loyalty to their specific king.
In the United States, oaths were a part of life from the early colonial days. In 1620, when the Mayflower landed, the Pilgrims established the Mayflower Compact- which served as an oath, a covenant, and a constitution- and then pledged allegiance to King James, agreeing to work together as a “civil body politic” for their betterment and preservation. As settlers established colonies, they developed their own version of an oath of allegiance to English royalty.
While developing the oath of office for US officers, the founding fathers had serious concerns about pledging allegiance to any specific person. For example, during the Revolutionary War, Gen George Washington issued a general order on 7 May 1778 that required all officers to take and subscribe to an oath renouncing King George III and supporting the United States. Even prior to the 1789 constitutional requirement to take an oath, this general order had significant weight. On 1 October 1779, Washington court-martialed Benjamin Ballard for “selling rum, flour, pork, hides, tallow and other stores the property of the public without any orders or authority for doing so and contrary to the tenor of his bond and oath of office”. This example shows that the oath represented more than a simple, ceremonial formality; rather, it provided overarching guidance and a standard of moral conduct, as opposed to dictating specific, limited criteria.
The first official oath of office for US military officers under the Constitution was established on 1 June 1789. The law implemented the requirement in Article 6 of the Constitution that “Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution.” This first oath was short and to the point: “I, A.B., do solemnly swear or affirm (as the case may be) that I will support the Constitution of the United States.”
As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we take covenants with God seriously. Our covenants are most important and we feel it’s very serious to violate or break these covenants. The oath that I took in the military went like this:
“I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”
I take that oath seriously. I see nowhere in that oath where it expires. It also says nothing about the military other than mentioning officers and the UCMJ. I realize I no longer have a legal obligation to the United States military but I don’t think my obligation to defend the Constitution ends when I hung up my BDU’s. I still live up to that oath and keep it near my heart and hold it near my covenants that I made with God.
There is an evil creeping into my country. President Ezra T. Benson said:
I say to you with all the fervor of my soul that God intended men to be free. Rebellion against tyranny is a righteous cause. It is an enormous evil for any man to be enslaved to any system contrary to his own will. For that reason men, 200 years ago, pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor.
No nation which has kept the commandments of God has ever perished, but I say to you that once freedom is lost, only blood – human blood – will win it back.
( Source: Delivered to the International Freedoms Conference, Philadelphia, PA October 26 1979)
This is what I fear. I am not calling for rebellion, war, or violence, but one day it may come to that. We are losing our freedoms and as President Benson said, it is a high price to pay to get it back.
I am conservative. You couldn’t tell by the name of the blog? Anyway, I’m not very pleased with the party system so I don’t really belong to one. One is pretty much as bad as the other as I see it. I vote and I consider myself active in the political process. I write letters and follow candidates. I don’t like what I see.
I advocate self-sufficiency because you can’t depend on our government. If you look at just a few natural disasters in this country you’ll fast see that our government is more interested in control than help.
These oaths and covenants should mean something to us. In the Book of Mormon we see the importance of oaths to that ancient people.
Moroni’s army had out maneuvered the larger Lamanite army commanded by Zarahemna. They had the Lamanites surrounded and told them they would let them go if they gave the Nephites their weapons and made an oath to not return to fight. This is the answer from ferocious and unrighteous warriors.
(Moroni gives one of the best speeches I’ve ever heard, and one of my favorites!) Zarahemna said:
“And now it came to pass that when Zerahemnah had heard these sayings he came forth and delivered up his sword and his cimeter, and his bow into the hands of Moroni, and said unto him: Behold, here are our weapons of war; we will deliver them up unto you, but we will not suffer ourselves to take an oath unto you, which we know that we shall break, and also our children; but take our weapons of war, and suffer that we may depart into the wilderness; otherwise we will retain our swords, and we will perish or conquer.”
So Zarahemna, a man who delights in the shedding of blood, is honorable. He would rather fight and die than make an oath he knows he’ll break.
Oaths have not changed, it’s men who are not what they used to be.

Semper Paratus
Check 6