Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Being Prepared "Legally"

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

Monday, November 23, 2015

Concealed Carry: Dealing With Terrorism

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

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Family Security Planning

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

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

The Importance of Planning Ahead

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fortify your home and train.

Semper Paratus

Check 6


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Who Protects You? Self-Defense and The Family

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

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

France, Freedom, and Security

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

Friday, November 13, 2015

How To Recognize A Bomber

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

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

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

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

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Guns and Preparation

Ok, going over our preparations.
Water, check
Food, check
Bug out bag, check
The question I get all the time when teaching about bugging out is you really need a weapon? My answer is always an unequivocal YES!
Many do not agree with me. Like many of the things on my bug out bag my gun is versatile. I can do many things with it. I can defend myself against human and animal predators. I can hunt with it. I could signal with it. If I absolutely needed to, I could open a cartridge and use the powder as a fire starter. There are many reasons to have a gun as a preparedness item.
The public and the mainstream media have a misconception about guns. They think they have a mind of their own and that they are unsafe. No gun kills anyone without an operator. Guns don’t go off by themselves. What there is out there is an unwarranted fear of guns.
Years ago when my Mom was alive I was visiting her. I told her my carry weapon was on top of her refrigerator while I did some work for her. She was deathly afraid of that gun. I tried to help her to see that the weapon was perfectly safe, especially sitting there on its own. I reminded her that she grew up on a farm and was around a gun her whole life. I asked her why she felt as she did. She told me that in the corner of her living room growing up was a loaded shotgun her Father kept there. Her Dad told his kids to never play with it and they didn’t. She was never curious and she obeyed her Father. I asked if she ever shot the gun as she got older. She said yes, a few times. I asked if it scared her. She said “No, I trusted my Father.” I told her she could trust me too. My gun may not have been a long gun, but it was just as safe as Grandpa’s shotgun.
Where would she get this unhealthy and false fear of guns? We all get it. The news media teaches that black guns are bad. I wonder what they would say about a pink AR-15?
The other day I heard a news story about a guy that had been suspected of doing something wrong. It was unrelated to gun violence. As they described his apartment they talked about the things that made a room-mate think there was a problem with his friend. He had rope and duct tape and a gun. The guy was never arrested and the police found no foul play. The reporter had to mention that the guy had a gun. I saw a picture of the gun. It was a blank gun. A .22 starter pistol. The guy was a track coach! “But he has a GUN!!! AHHHHH! Runnn!” This is what I mean by bad reporting. Why did they even have to mention a gun when that was not even involved with what he was accused of? There seems to be a few kind of people. Those who are afraid of any and every gun, those with a little knowledge that usually makes them unsafe with guns, and us of the “gun culture”. If you believe the hype. I’m not sure what “gun culture” is. If you like cars and work on cars and own several are you part of the “car culture”? Anyway, to me there are only two types of people when it comes to guns. Those who are ignorant of them, how they work, and what they can actually do, and those educated. You don’t have to be a “gun nut”, which I think I’ve self-proclaimed that I am many times here, but you should be educated in firearms. You should know how to treat a gun safely and how to render if safe. You should have a rudimentary idea of how to shoot a gun even if you don’t wear camo and hunt. I think that everyone who drives a car should have a basic knowledge of cars. You should know how to change a tire, check the oil, and how to gas it up. Would that make you a car nut? No! The other problem with hype and false realities of guns is Hollywood. Entertainment is not reality no matter how much they try to make it look real. Even “reality” shows are not really real. Hollywood has always given false ideas about guns. Even back in the beginning of movies the cowboy shot his “six” shooter about 40 times. Nowadays movies and TV depict more realistic looking guns. Just because the guns look realistic does not mean that what they do with them and how the guns work is real. Actors are notoriously unsafe with guns. The hero doesn’t have to follow the 4 safety rules. He doesn’t have to worry about trigger discipline. His gun will never go off accidently because if it’s not in the script, it won’t be in the show. Reality does not have that luxury.
Because of the mystique of guns, some people who prep don’t want then as part of their preparation. That is too bad. Defense is very important when it comes to preparation.
Like anything else in preparation it takes a little money, time, and getting educated to be successfully prepared. It’s no different with a firearm. Even if you know you will never be a “gun guy” (or girl) you should have a firearm, know how to be safe with it, and know the basics of caring for it and shooting it. Just as you need to learn how to use your water filter effectively, so you should know how to use your gun.
Some people think they can get away with non- lethal means for their defense. Non-lethal weapons have their place and should be learned and used. But there are times when lethal force is the only thing that will stop a threat. Do not be deceived into thinking that the 2 ounces of pepperspray on your key chain will stop a determined attacker. It will slow them down for a moment. It may give enough time to do something else or to get a head start, nothing more. I guess there is one more thing it does, it makes the attacker mad. Lethal force is necessary and that is the reality of life.
So is a gun important to preparedness? Absolutely. There are many ideas that many have concerning which is the beat defense gun or the best prep gun. You will have to research that and determine for yourself. So get a gun, learn safety, get trained, and practice on occasion at least.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Veteran's Day: Remember With Reverence

In 1985 I became a military small arms instructor. I was put in charge of keeping my mobility team and aircrew small arms qualified. I was instructed by the good folks of the Security Police CATM (Combat Arms Training and Maintenance) and often helped them in their work. I got to know these guys well and we shot a lot together and competed against each other. Most of them are retired or separated from the military.
While I was an instructor we had a refresher course that we took annually. This was taught by master instructors and a contractor. The contractor was out of Arizona called Gunsite. We were taught several drills but the one I remember the best was one that was developed by the late Jeff Cooper. He is considered the dean of modern hand gunning, and popularized the idea that, “Hey, maybe we should hold onto the gun with two hands.” He started Gunsite (the American Pistol Institute), which for many years was the preeminent private firearms training facility in the country, if not the world. Maybe it still is, but I don’t want to open that can of worms.
Prior to starting Gunsite, Cooper was a Marine who served in the Pacific in World War II. He saw a little action, and after the war did a little work for the OSS/CIA in the same area. About fifty years or so ago Cooper was hired to train the bodyguards of the president of a Latin American country. He developed a shooting drill he named “El Presidente” to not just help train those bodyguards but measure their skill level.
The El Presidente is probably the classic test of pistol skill. While the speed loading requirement can be faulted, anyone who does well on it is probably a pretty good handgunner.
Three IPSC “option” targets are placed 3 feet apart, 7 to 10 yards from the shooter. The shooter starts with his back to the targets and on signal, pivots and engages each target twice, reloads, and engages each target two more times. Score is hit value minus 10 points per miss, divided by the time in seconds. Par time is 10 seconds with all center hits. This course is designed to be shot from a condition of concealed carry.
For a very useful modification, try replacing the second set of pairs (after the reload) with single head shots to emphasize precision using the same time frame for par.
I bring all this up because it is Veteran’s Day. Jeff Cooper was a vet and he also changed and was the father modern hand gunning. He is no longer with us but his teaching and words and attitude live on.
I don’t talk about personal details in this blog for my own and security reasons. It would not take much to find out about I would think but I try to practice a little OPSEC if I can.
My father was in the Navy during WWII. He joined the Navy in 1942 because he thought he would be drafted which of course he was after he had enlisted in the Navy. There are some things about serving that changed him. But all in all it was a positive experience for him He was honorably discharged in 1946 where he used his GI Bill and went to college.
His experiences and the things he taught me and my siblings will never be forgotten and will live on through our children. I honor him on this important day. My experiences in the military were directly influenced by his honorable service.
On Veteran’s Day I think about the great people I had the privilege of serving with. But especially those who I’ve lost who served so well.
I hope Veteran’s Day was more than just a holiday. I hope it was a time of reflection for you and your loved ones. I hope you appreciate and understand that our freedom exists because many were willing to fight for it. I wonder if most American’s remember that. I hope they do. Do your part as a citizen of the United States. Vote for the people you feel will be good for our country. Ignore the hype and party line. Let’s take back our country. Commit to that on this Veteran’s Day
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Come Clean: Maintaining Your Carry Gun

I talked to a friend of mine from the range the other day. He said he has a friend (yes, the friend of a friend) who is a narcotics officer. He was shooting at his quarterly qualification when he tried to fire his last two shots. The Glock he was using froze up. A Glock? They’re “indestructible!” After field stripping the gun the only problem was dirt. The trigger bar that has a connector that releases the firing pin was so cruded up it would not release the pin. The gun was completely dry. The officer said that he was told by an instructor that oil just attracts dirt and to not use it. This blew my, and my friend’s, minds. I could not believe that a competent instructor in a government agency would give such bad advice to a field officer! This narcotics cop should be glad that failure did not happen in the middle of a raid of a meth lab!
Ever wonder how your pocket has so much dirt and crud in it? Just living every day exposes you to many types of dirt and grime. These things will work their way into your carry gun as well. You should be shooting your carry gun often but whether you are or not, your gun is getting dirty. All guns should have regular maintenance done to them regardless of shooting them. This should be done routinely. I would suggest monthly. This is a tool that your carry to possibly save your life. Don’t you think cleaning and confirming the weapons reliability would be a high priority?
Start with your magazines. Magazines you say? I’m confident that not too many shooters think about their magazines and their cleanliness. Magazines are the cause of 90% of misfires. If that is true then why would anyone NOT clean and maintain this important component. Do each magazine separately so as to not mix up parts.
Ever look at how much dirt and debris ends up in your pockets each day? From bits of taco shells, donut frosting to fibers, mud and blood, these artifacts from your working environment will also find their way into your equipment. Properly maintained, modern service pistols are as reliable as any tool made by man. Just as anyone who carries a defensive handgun requires regular range practice to maintain life-saving shooting skills, carry guns require regular cleaning, lubrication and maintenance to deliver as-designed reliability and service life.
Whether fired or not, your carry pistol must be cleaned at least every month. This includes your magazines, which are natural collectors for all sorts of crud. “Dirty, bent or improperly assembled magazines are the leading cause of malfunctions in modern service pistols, after operator error. It’s estimated that fewer than 5% of officers practice shooting of their own accord, so we can assume even fewer properly maintain their weapons,” according to a veteran law enforcement trainer.
Modern service pistols are designed to be easily maintained, so there’s really no excuse not to take thirty minutes a month for a thorough job. A six-step maintenance regimen is simple: Make safe, disassemble, clean, inspect, reassemble and test. Think of lubricant as a critical component of your pistol which wears out periodically, whether fired or not. Everything you need to remove that “broken lube” and replace it with new protection is readily available at any sporting goods outlet.
Before proceeding, make sure your weapon and magazines are completely clear of ammunition, and that no ammo is anywhere in the vicinity of your cleaning area. I say again: Make sure your pistol and magazines are completely unloaded and remove all ammunition from your cleaning area! Next, prepare a brightly lit, well ventilated area with supplies, and wear eye protection and solvent-resistant gloves. It’s a good idea to work over a plastic tub to control the mess and catch loose or broken parts.
Start with your magazines; disassemble, clean and reassemble each one separately per manufacturer’s instructions, taking care to note how the springs fit. Springs and followers can vary between mags of the same brand, so avoid the temptation to simply disassemble and clean them all at once.
Brush out the mag body, and use some powder solvent on a patch to remove fouling and gunk from the follower and base plate. Straighten out twisted mag springs one coil at a time by hand until the follower sits squarely, but never stretch a shortened, “dead” spring as this only fatigues it further; replace it instead. Magazines do not require lubrication, though you may run a silicone gun cloth inside the magazine tube if you work in a high-humidity environment where rust is an issue. Reassemble each cleaned, dry magazine carefully; damage usually results from careless cleaning, disassembly or reassembly, not from normal shooting or handling.
Now, verify clear once more and carefully field strip your pistol, laying each part out in order as you go. In particular, note which way the recoil spring assembly fits in the slide. Some pistols use one tight end coil to retain the recoil spring on the guide rod, and the action will bind if it’s installed backwards. Using an old toothbrush and a powder solvent such as Hoppe’s No. 9 or CLP, scrub the breech face, feed ramp and other heavily fouled surfaces. While the frame and slide assemblies soak a moment, work the bore with a soft brass brush and solvent to fully clean fouling from chamber and rifling. Don’t scrub back and forth, as this will damage the rifling; just make complete passes each way.
When the powder solvent and brushing have done their work, remove the major crud with a paper towel or shop rag, scrubbing with more solvent as required. Then, spray each assembly with Gun Scrubber to remove all traces of solvent, fouling and old lubricant. Once dry, look for obvious parts breakage. One quick check: the extractor should hold an empty case in the slide against moderate shaking.
Your pistol should be lubricated with a light film of oil to insure reliable function on demand. Break Free spray foams on contact, efficiently coating interior parts stripped by the Gun Scrubber. Don’t overdo it! Just a quick shot to the area is enough. Accessible surfaces can be “painted” using a cotton swab dipped in oil. The bore should be dry, but place an extra drop on locking lug surfaces. Reassemble and hand-cycle the action several times, wiping off any excess lubricant that emerges.
Pistols don’t wear out as much as they hammer themselves to death, so judicious use of a high-viscosity lubricant for practice only will definitely extend service life.
After cleaning your holster and magazine carriers and checking them for positive retention, function test your pistol for safe and reliable function. First, manually cycle the slide with each empty magazine in turn, setting aside any magazines that won’t positively lock back the slide every time. Next, make sure the decocking lever or other safety systems operate as designed. Finally, dry fire with snap caps.
Get in the habit of reloading your pistol and magazines in a specific place, not where you clean, dry-fire or securely store your unloaded weapons. Be safe, be smart, stay alive.
Cleanliness is one of the best things you can do for your guns. Taking care of the tools that will take care of you is an imperative part of your defense plan.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Monday, November 9, 2015

Lessons From Fort Hood

As we get closer to Veteran’s Day I’ve been thinking about Fort Hood and the two tragedies that happened there. I think it is so sad that these events keep happening on military bases. That is something that should be addressed and the powers that be must stop being so politically correct and let trained, competent military members and others are allowed to defend themselves.
I work on a federal installation and we have active shooter exercises all the time. The defense that is taught is run, hide, fight. I’m surprised they even use the word fight. Fight with what? Chairs and books. Great, I look forward to that event. I can throw a chair and then get shot.
There are some things we can learn from Fort Hood though. This is a review of those lessons. There are some very detailed accounts of what happened there and we can learn from them. Whether you are a cop (LE), soldier, or citizen, think about how you would respond in an event like this.
“Inside a nearby medical processing building, investigators found six empty magazines and 146 spent shell casings amid the blood and bodies. An additional 68 casings and three empty magazines were recovered in a grassy area where Hasan stalked fleeing soldiers.”
That was a lot of bullets! The average is not that many rounds fired before the cowards kill themselves or run. What does this tell you about your own load out?
(See blog How comfortable is your ammo load-out? (How much ammo do you carry? 3/2/2014)
“Todd said he ran up, kicked the man’s weapon away and flipped him on his belly to handcuff him. Reaching into Hasan’s pants pockets, Todd said, he found a formidable arsenal: six loaded magazines for Hasan’s semiautomatic, as well as a loaded, unused revolver and a cellphone.”
Don’t assume that a bad guy only has one gun. Approaching a downed person who isn’t clearly out of the fight is a dangerous act. Be careful and always think about his backup guns. Depending on your job (ie. LE) having your own back up weapon might not be a bad idea.
“Munley said she couldn’t get a clear shot at the gunman at first, because so many soldiers were running behind him. “I did not want any friendly fire,” she said.”
Think about this from the perspective of both a responder (how do I take an angle to get the shooter, but no one else) and from the perspective of a witness or victim…get OUT of the way!
“Shots slammed into a rain gutter above Munley, sending shrapnel into one of her hands. She could see the gunman closing in, she recalled, so she rose to take a standing shooting stance”
Have you ever trained with one hand or with your non-dominant hand? Have you ever practiced one-handed immediate action drills for malfunctions? These are considerations because anything can happen in a gun fight.
“Munley said her Beretta 9 mm handgun jammed. She frantically tried to unjam her gun, she said, and “the shooter comes and kicks my weapon out of my hands.”
Guns jam all the time in gunfights. This is a bad position to be in. Know how to reflexively clear pistol malfunctions. Better yet, carry a backup gun and transition to it!
“Her Beretta skittered about three feet. She crawled toward it. “I notice he’s struggling or having some sort of problem with his weapon,” Munley testified. “He begins to walk in the other direction.”
Fortunately, the bad guy’s gun can jam too. He had a backup gun, but didn’t transition to it. That fact alone saved Officer Munley’s life.
In an event like this it would also be smart to think about any explosives he might be carrying…either command-detonated or set on a timer. Again, be cautious on your approach!
“Richter said he sprinted out as Todd handcuffed the wounded major. He grabbed the major’s pistol, thinking he might need it if there was a second gunman. The major, a medical administrator, said the gun was jammed and its barrel was so hot from repeated firing that he burned his fingers.”
This is called battlefield pickup. If you can get a better gun (pistol to rifle) or any gun if you’re not armed do so. For every gun you control, that’s one less gun being used on you or anyone else. Know a variety of weapons. Could you clear a malfunction or load a FN 5.7mm pistol? This is an unusual gun that is not very common. Get a little experience with several guns. There are certain guns that are very common. You should know how to operate these weapons. AR and AK variants are common. Glocks and some revolvers would be common.
Know that if you choose to pick up a shooters weapon that you are at risk of being mistaken for a shooter. As soon as the threat is over drop the weapon and make sure law enforcement can see your hands.
There are only a handful of people who can say they have been in an actual active shooter incident. Each incident is unique even though there are some similarities.
I am quoting a study here. I know I’ve ranted against studies, polls, and surveys, and I stand by that rant. If a “study” only looks at facts, what happened, and the facts are not subject to interpretation, then I consider them. Statistics are pretty cold and calculated but they don’t have emotion and agendas attached.
For instance. From 2000 to 2010 there were only 84 active shooter incidents. That is based on the FBI’s criteria of at least 4 people being killed. That’s what they call a mass shooting. Out of those 84, before the police arrived 21 shooters committed suicide. 13 committed suicide after the police arrived. 16 Shooters were stopped by victims and 24 by police.
I think it’s interesting that out of these 84 incidents the shooter was stopped by a gun 20 times and committed suicide 34 times. So in 54 incidents out of 84, the killer gets shot by himself, police, or someone else. More than half.
Anyway, it seems that stopping an active shooter doesn’t take much. You point a gun at him and he either kills himself or lets you shoot. There’s very little running away or giving up. Fort Hood can teach us some valuable lessons. I wish that the DOD would learn from it, but sadly, they are more interested in politics than their people.
You can learn though. The lessons are there.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Saturday, November 7, 2015

LDS and Liberal? I Say Unto You, Nay

Can a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints be a liberal? Without answering that, let me say that many are. I have a hard time getting along with them. It is only because I am conservative in my thinking. I don’t care very much for either of the main political parties. I am independent because that’s how I feel it should all be, independent. I’d like to vote for someone because I think they will do the best job, or on their merits, or their stance on certain issues. Not because they are part of a party or lean in one way or another, it makes no sense to me.
Liberals are squeamish. Liberals are generally pansies in the making and I have a hard time dealing with that. I don’t think I’m that tough. I like cats and rain. I like to work in my garden and think babies are fun. But when I come upon a car accident I can jump in and act without thought. If I saw someone getting beat up by two other people I would probably draw my weapon and get them to stand down. I’m not sure you would find a liberal who could do that. They would call the police. Their inadequacy is what bothers me. There may be some that aren't but for the most part, liberals are wimps. Liberal Mormons cite Christ as their role model. I hope that is true. I do not feel Christ was a wimp. I think when he cleared the temple of money changers the changers were a little scared. Joseph Smith was not a big guy and he too was tough when he needed to be. Liberals are not known for being tough. Actually I think tough is the wrong word I’m looking for. Resolute may be a better word. I have worked with, and continue to work with, liberal Mormons. One is also one of my priesthood leaders. He is also a wimp. Don’t take that as a real insult. When he has to stand up for something he does, but if he was ever confronted with real evil he would shrink. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of conservatives that would shrink too. I’ve just found that liberals in general are uncomfortable with fighting, both with words and actions. They expect someone else to fight for them. Especially when it comes to defense of themselves or this country. The scriptures are clear on defense.
Alma 60:21-23
21 Or do ye suppose that the Lord will still deliver us, while we sit upon our thrones and do not make use of the means which the Lord has provided for us?
22 Yea, will ye sit in idleness while ye are surrounded with thousands of those, yea, and tens of thousands, who do also sit in idleness, while there are thousands round about in the borders of the land who are falling by the sword, yea, wounded and bleeding?
23 Do ye suppose that God will look upon you as guiltless while ye sit still and behold these things? Behold I say unto you, Nay. Now I would that ye should remember that God has said that the inward vessel shall be cleansed first, and then shall the outer vessel be cleansed also.
Moroni was not a liberal. By his actions I can see that he was a man of action. Sometimes physical action.
Here is a statement from an LDS liberal.
"I'm a Democrat because I'm a Mormon," she said. "So much of what Jesus taught about in the New Testament was about caring for the poor, the fatherless, the oppressed, and not judging people who have less than us. I think those are things that are taught from the pulpit at church, and I see those beliefs reflected in the Democratic Party."
The problem that I have with this sentiment is that it’s misguided. If you talk with someone who has been involved in the Church’s welfare system you would learn that the liberal view of caring for the poor is off from the Lord’s view. Liberals like to give to the poor because they think that is the Lord’s way. Christ taught about teaching self reliance. (Teach a man to fish ring a bell?) Self-reliance is not the welfare system in the United States and many other countries. But democrats, liberals, and others think that you can fight poverty by giving. That is not the policy of the Church. As a Bishop I finally had to stop “giving” because some people will not follow counsel and will not try to help their situation. They want to be cared for and think that this was Christ's way. I have no problem with being generous and taking care of people's immediate needs. The misguided part is that liberal thinking people feel there should be no strings attached to their giving. Our Heavenly Father gives to us His children. But there are strings attached. We must follow certain principles and commandments to receive specific blessings. Do we receive “tender mercies” with nothing attached because of our Heavenly Father's love? Of course we do. But He too is bound by certain eternal laws and principles. So liberal “social justice” is really just mans idea of taking care of people. Also, the US compels by law the paying of taxes. I do not feel that citizens should be compelled to care for the poor. In essence that is what is happening. I am compelled to pay taxes and my taxes are used to give to others. But there is no end to my “giving”. Where is the self-sufficiency? Where is the keeping of a persons dignity?

The Church's welfare program is set up in the Lord's way. Here is what it says: (From the Church's manual “Basic Principles of Welfare and Self-Reliance (2009) 7-10)
“4. Provide commodities before cash.
Another basic principle that we generally use is to provide commodities before we provide cash. When possible, the bishop provides members with commodities instead of giving them money or paying their bills. Where bishops’ storehouses are not available, fast offerings may be used to buy needed commodities.”
This is the opposite of the governments handouts. This is where liberalism runs off the rails.
“5. Provide work and service opportunities.
One of the most important basic principles includes providing work and service opportunities. For individuals to retain their dignity during a time of personal distress, opportunities for service and work commensurate with the recipients’ circumstances should be found. The value of the work or service need not be equal to the assistance received but rather sufficient to avoid the evils of the dole and the fostering of an entitlement mentality. The ward council can assist by compiling and maintaining a list of meaningful work opportunities.”
Liberals seem to forget this important principle.
Here is another statement by an LDS liberal that they think justifies manmade “social welfare”.
Mosiah 4:13-24 is quoted
13 And ye will not have a mind to injure one another, but to live peaceably, and to render to every man according to that which is his due.
14 And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness.
15 But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.
16 And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.
17 Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just—
18 But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.
19 For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?
20 And behold, even at this time, ye have been calling on his name, and begging for a remission of your sins. And has he suffered that ye have begged in vain? Nay; he has poured out his Spirit upon you, and has caused that your hearts should be filled with joy, and has caused that your mouths should be stopped that ye could not find utterance, so exceedingly great was your joy.
21 And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have one to another.
22 And if ye judge the man who putteth up his petition to you for your substance that he perish not, and condemn him, how much more just will be your condemnation for withholding your substance, which doth not belong to you but to God, to whom also your life belongeth; and yet ye put up no petition, nor repent of the thing which thou hast done.
23 I say unto you, wo be unto that man, for his substance shall perish with him; and now, I say these things unto those who are rich as pertaining to the things of this world.
24 And again, I say unto the poor, ye who have not and yet have sufficient, that ye remain from day to day; I mean all you who deny the beggar, because ye have not; I would that ye say in your hearts that: I give not because I have not, but if I had I would give.
“I think that this is one of the clearest religious admonitions against economic greed I have ever seen. It speaks out against the anti-poor viewpoint, it endorses social welfare, and I would say it endorses single-payer healthcare, or at least rails against fully private healthcare, on the grounds that denying someone their health is a sin. This is one of the passages that solidifies my faith, as I truly believe at least this part is divinely inspired.”

This is also what my friend Bill would call the “Burger King” gospel. Have it your way. Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce. If it fits into your way of thinking then I find it “solidifies my faith”. Besides that, I don't see where this scripture matches what we have as “social welfare”.

Sometimes people are touched by evil. Should we fight a war over that evil? Yes we should. Is our government the best judge of what is evil enough to go to war over? Probably not. Only the Lord can direct that. So if I see someone getting beat to death by evil is it my responsibility to step in? I believe it is. I think there can be a moral responsibility. Could a liberal do this? They could and should, but because of their misguided ideas about Christ's attitude toward evil and violence they would not. You fail that person getting killed on a couple of levels. The first fail is failure to prepare. Having the means to help and training to help. The second failure is thinking someone else will help, such as the police. If you stand by and let it happen you are a witness, not your brothers keeper. This is just an example. I do not consider myself a first responder or someone out to save others. I am trained and armed to protect myself and loved ones. I do not go looking for another's fight. But if presented with the right situation, I would intervene. I am very careful about that. There are even some legal implications that accompany it. A liberal would not even consider it.
The President of the US and our Prophet have people who protect them with guns. I should have the same opportunity to protect myself. The Church's policy on concealed carry at church is “The carrying of lethal weapons, concealed or otherwise, within their walls is inappropriate.” I do not agree with this policy. But, I understand why it exists. In Utah the church has the force of the law behind that policy, in other states they do not. I encourage concealed carry everywhere it is legal. I do not break the law and neither should you.
To support liberal parties or ideologies is to condone the welfare system that is in place. That system has little to do with the Lord’s plan. Just because a system is close or has a name that matches the Lord’s system doesn’t mean it’s the same.
We know that man's ways are not God's ways yet many members continue to support man's ways.
Now let me answer the question that was asked at the beginning of this article.
Can a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints be a liberal?
I don't see how they can. Just as socialism is toying with communism, social welfare toys with Christ's teachings. I wonder if LDS liberals ever ask themselves why so many members are conservative? Now, I repeat, I'm not really talking about parties here but ideologies. Also, to change your name and call yourselves “progressives” doesn't change what you support. As a rule the liberal leaning parties support gay marriage and abortion. These two things are clearly against God's laws and against church doctrine.
In this article I do not think I'm going to change anyone's mind and I know that I'll be preaching to the choir mostly anyway on a blog titled “LDS Gunsite”. But I only post this to give my own opinion which is what this whole blog is, opinion.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Skills: Ammunition Reloading

When I was 12 years old two things changed my life. My cousin showed me how to reload ammunition for the first time, and my brother showed me how to print pictures in a darkroom for the first time. Both of these activities gave me interests for the rest of my life.
I don’t know if I consider myself a prepper. The reason is, preppers mean something to me that is a little extreme. But if you examine my life you would probably say I fit that criteria. The difference to me is that the things that I do, shoot, food storage, self-sufficiency, water storage, etc., are things I’ve grown up with and have participated my entire life. When I married my wife she brought with her buckets of wheat she had before we met. So “prepping” as it is called is normal being smart and being ready. So when I refer to preppers, it is just a way of describing those who prepare. I think in a way the “Doomsday Preppers” show made all of us look bad yet it brought preparation out and made it popular.

In my opinion the prepper should know how to collect, store, replenish, and reload ammunition. These simple techniques will help you survive and maintain the vital ammunition supplies that you own.

During the ammunition crunch of 2008 a shortage of ammo left many grabbing whatever they could find until there was hoarding going on. I guess that makes me a hoarder. I have had a supply of ammunition for decades. So when the crunch came I just wanted to replace what I was using. That was getting difficult and my training suffered because I shot less. Before a time of shortage, preppers should start collecting ammunition for every firearm that they own or want to own someday. Given the nature of social collapse, it is best to avoid drawing attention to yourself while building your ammunition supply. You will also need to exercise caution in practicing skills, and buying other defense items that may be needed later on.

Make a point to buy your ammunition a little at a time each payday; and also buy your ammunition at many different stores instead of just one if possible. If you purchase the ammunition at a gun show, shop around for the best price. A lot of times people buy name brands out of habit instead of looking at all of the brands. Pay cash only for your ammo.

Research the ammunition manufacturers, and keep a running list of price comparisons. In many cases other brands are cheaper, but their standards of manufacture are at the same level as the brand names. Buy some to test in your weapons to see which works the best. You can also buy ammo by phone, catalog, or on the internet, and then have it shipped to you by freight. Remember, though, there will always be an address trail through the shipper or the seller that reveals your purchase.

Even if the transaction goes through smoothly, a raid on the seller’s shipping books or detailed financial/banking transactions can reveal your information and trigger an investigation, especially if it is defined as illegal in your area. So don’t break laws.

A good resource that I have used for years is:
This site is great for finding what you need in the area of ammunition, reloading components, and magazines. I like the no nonsense way this site is set up and that they tell you when something is out of stock or not. It also will show you the total price of ammunition but also the price per round. You can set your “good deal” threshold which means you can pick a price per round that you’re looking for and the site will let you know in red letters or a “beep alert” that you can set. I found this site easy to use and simple (like my brain). Now, I know that there are other similar sites out there but this was the first one I came across and it helped in my time of “need”. There is even a list of retailers that they follow on this site that is ever growing. If you order these items on the internet, this website could help

No matter where you buy ammo from, here are some important things not to do:

* Do not buy ammunition that has a box date over 10 years old,
* Do not buy if the box or carton is ripped, broken, or the seal is not intact,
* Do not buy loose ammunition that you personally have not checked over,
* Do not buy any ammunition at a super low discount price because you may be buying ammunition “seconds”, production rejects, or stolen inventory.

The best way to store ammunition is in an air-tight and water-tight ammo can in a cool dry area. Regardless of the ammo can size, always include stay dry packets to manage any condensation that may form.

A 50 caliber ammo can usually hold between 500 to 1000 rounds of center-fire ammunition depending on the caliber. The same size ammo can may also be used to hold approximately 2000 rounds of .22 LR ammo, or 150 12 Ga shotgun shells. I also like the handles on the 50 caliber ammo cans because you can carry 2 to 4 cans at one time as long as you can handle the weight.

Another good ammo can is the 20mm. It can hold the contents of about four 50 caliber ammo cans, but may be too big and heavy for one person to manage. These ammunition containers are better used for storage at the actual base camp.

Some bulk ammunition cans or tins are already sealed, preserved, and ready for storage. These ammunition cans or tins can be opened with a large can opener that is usually supplied, by using a bayonet, or other heavy knife.

Things Not to Do When Storing Your Ammunition

* Do not store ammunition in a hot, cold, or wet conditions without proper containers,
* Do not bury ammunition in the ground without proper containers,
* Do not hide ammunition in easy to find places,
* Do not over pack ammunition into very heavy containers.

What is the Shelf Life of Ammunition?

The shelve life of ammunition is how long it can be stored before it starts to break down. Some things to check for:

* On full metal jacket bullets, is there rust or other corrosion?
* Rust or discoloration on the shell casings
* Corrosion in and around the primer pocket or on the primer itself.

For each of your firearms you should have a set number rounds for it.

As a rule the oldest ammunition should be used first if there are no signs of ammunition break down. Use this ammunition for practice and training.

Replace the used ammunition with new. Inspect the ammunition can seals, hinges, and lock down system. If all is good, then use this ammunition can.

Write on the ammunition can ammo type, caliber, and date bought so you know the age and quantity of your inventory.

Reloading is essentially an ammo recycling and alteration method that can be used only with certain types. When you reload ammunition you have better quality control over the selection of the components: the bullets, cases, powders, and primers. With reloading, you can also custom tailor the ammunition to a particular firearm for the best accuracy and performance.

When you buy your components in bulk, it is also possible to lower the cost per round of ammunition. When you are first learning to reload, it is important to have a face-to-face mentor. This individual should teach you the safe way to reload ammunition. Consult an appropriate reloading manual and work with a someone who knows so that you remain safe and learn how to reload properly. Often, what looks simple on paper can turn into a disaster if even one step is overlooked.

Reloading Your Ammunition Safely

*Always follow the manufacturers printed step by step instructions in the presence of your mentor.
*Practice with dry runs until you become familiar with the reloading equipment, and you feel satisfied that you are ready to begin to reloading live ammunition.
*For center-fire ammunition reloading, choose the best smokeless powder and bullet design to use from the reloading handbook. This book reveals minimal to maximum bullet and smokeless powder weights.
*For shot shell ammunition reloading, select smokeless powder and shot size to use from a shot shell reloading handbook. This handbook will list minimal to maximum shot charges and smokeless powder weights.

Tips and Equipment for Reloading

For Center-fire Pistol and Rifle

*Reloading manual: This book gives the reloader all of the important data to safely reload all of the popular center-fire pistol and rifle ammunition. It covers bullet weight, powder charge, type of primer, average velocity, and type of shell case.
*Reloading press: This is the most important tool in the reloading process. The press gives the reloader the mechanical advantage and a platform to deprime the case, full case resizing, seating of primers in the case primer pocket, aiding with dispensing the powder charge when using a powder measuring device, and seating the bullet.
*A good manual balance powder scale to measure the smokeless powder charge. This scale when balanced will give you a very accurate measurement of smokeless powder to be used safely in the bullet casing.
*Bullet case lubricant kit: If the bullet cases do not have a thin coating of lubricant there is a chance that it will get stuck in one of the reloading dies.
*Bullet case trimmer: When a bullet fires, the case expands just a little. After a couple shots the bullet case becomes too long to be safely reloaded and must be shortened back to a safe length.
*Case measuring ruler: The ruler tells the reloader the exact length of the case. Next check the measurement against the go, no go table in the reloading manual. If the case is too long to use, cut the case back to specs with the case trimmer.
*Reloading bullet trays : These trays are designed to hold the bullet case in the up right position so they do not fall over in the reloading procedure. They come in sizes for either center-fire pistol or rifle cases.
*A good set of reloading dies and a shell holder: For each caliber of ammunition that you reload there must be a set of reloading dies with the corresponding shell holder.

My personal pick for a reloading system is the RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit. Priced at $349.99 is an excellent value for a complete starter system. The only thing required with this kit is a set of dies and shell holder for each caliber that you are going to reload.

To Reload Shot shells:

*A good shot shell reloading manual: This manual gives the reloader all the necessary information to safely reload all of the popular shot shells. This manual covers powder charge, shot charge, type of primer, and type of shot shell casing.
*A good reloading press: This is the most important tool in the shot shell reloading process. This press gives the reloader the mechanical advantage and a platform to deprime the shot shell, prime the shot shell, dispensing a powder charge when using a powder measuring device, lines up and inserts the wad, measures and inserts the shot, and crimps down the the top of the shot shell.
*A powder and shot bar: This bar holds the bushings that measure fixed powder and shot weights to be loaded in to the shot shell.
*A good manual balance powder scale: This measuring device gives a very accurate measurement of the smokeless powder charge to be used safely in the shot shell.
*Reloading shot shell trays: Used to hold and organize the shot shells when finished reloading.

Things Not to do When Reloading Ammunition:

*Do not drink alcoholic beverages,
*Do not smoke or have open flames burning,
*Do not eat while reloading,
*Do not use cell phones or text while reloading,
*Do not watch TV,
*Do not use a digital scale, no power no work,
*Do not try to reload 22 rimfire ammunition – it is beyond the scope of this article, and also beyond most people that do reloading.

Reloading gives you lot of control in your ammunition choice. I believe that every prepper should have the equipment on hand, and at least basic skill in this most important task.
Lee makes a “hand reloader” which is a small press that will do single tasks. There are also hand shotgun shell reloaders. I like these because they are small and portable. Very handy to have.

If you don’t shoot a lot but still own firearms it’s a good idea to slowly acquire the equipment and components to reload ammunition. It gives you options. You can also learn to cast your own bullets which is another good skill to have. This requires a metal source and of course, more equipment.

For me reloading is relaxing. Like going to the range.

Semper Paratus
Check 6