Friday, July 29, 2016

Serious First Aid Kit For The Range

Oh give me a home, where the boat tails roam, and the RTO’s and shooter’s play… Home on the range!
I spend probably way too much time on the range. I’ve talked about it before, my obsession with a shooting range. I love the smell, the sights and sounds. Well, there may be a time when you’ll need a first aid kit at the range. Usually it’s just a sliver from the rough shooting tables, but it’s always best to be prepared. I would recommend a range trauma kit.
Training trumps gear, but usually both are best. Shooters should have a basic knowledge of first aid. I talked to a combat medic and asked what he felt should be taught concerning trauma and gunshot wounds.
He said that the traditional A-B-C (airway, breathing, circulation) training had to be changed in combat to X-A-B-C-D-E (eXsanguination, Airway, Breathing, Circulation, Disability (neuro), Evacuate).

He explained it this way. The amount of time, on average, you can die on the battled field is how we determined our priorities.

Exsanguinating Hemorrhage (severe arterial bleeding as the result of penetrating trauma, ie. stab wound, bullet wound, etc): 1-3 minutes
Airway obstruction (blood/debris in the upper or lower airway occluding the passing of oxygen into the lungs): 4-5 minutes
Tension Pneumothorax (air leaking into the pleural space inside the chest causing cardiac arrest due to penetrating trauma, ie. stabbing): 10+ minutes
Shock (poor perfusion leading to organ failure and death, usually due to severe blood loss in victims that did not immediately die of exsanguination within the first 1-3 minutes) : "The Golden Hour”

Based on this information we recommend you make your own kit. Here are suggested items to include:
2 combat tourniquets (research this, there are many good ones on the market, ie. CAT)
4 pairs of gloves (in a zip loc bag)
1 to 2 Quickclot (this can be expensive so be aware)
15 Surgical pads (I like the traditional Johns & Johnson “Band-Aid” brand Surgipad. They are 5x9 and thick. Good blood-stoppers)
2 Rolls 3” guaze
Assorted band-aids
1 Tube Anti-biotic cream
1 Roll Surgical tape
1 Roll of duct tape (you can put in several “rolls” of duct tape wrapped on old credit cards for portability)
OTC pain meds
1 pair EMT scissors
1 pair forceps/hemostats
1 pair tweezers
1 instant heat pac
1 instant cold pac
Assorted small guaze pads

This is my kit. I am big on blood stoppers from my limited training and experience. Get as much medical training as you can. My son is an EMT and he sees a lot of crazy things and is grateful for the training he received. During that training he wondered why some training was needed, he found out later how important it was.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Pandemic Basics

Preparation is something we should all do. Everyone has a level that they are willing to prepare to. Can you ever be too prepared? It’s like being too rich or too pretty… But with a little knowledge and a little preparedness, we can have peace of mind.

What is a Pandemic?
A pandemic is the worldwide spread of a new disease.
An influenza pandemic occurs when a new influenza virus emerges and spreads around the world, and most people do not have immunity. Viruses that have caused past pandemics typically originated from animal influenza viruses.
Do we still have pandemics?
Yes. Most recently in 2009 where estimated between 151,700 and 575,400 people perished worldwide from H1N1 virus infection during the first year the virus circulated, according to a study released in 2012 from the CDC. This includes nearly 3,900 people, including about 540 children, in the U.S.
H7N9 in 2013 killed 31 of 131 infected.
Can pandemics be treated?
The only thing used that actually works was in 2003 for H5N1. That was Tamiflu which is an anti-viral. As long as the drug was used it worked. As soon as it wasn’t used it was as if it were never used. A vaccine will take 5 to 6 months to develop. Humans don’t respond well to vaccine.
How do we prepare for a pandemic?
Reduce the likelihood of infection by using good personal hygiene and self-care practices.
• Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer.
• Cough or sneeze into a tissue, and place used tissues directly into the trash.
• If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or upper sleeve.
• After coughing or sneezing, clean your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Stay at home if you are ill.
• Make a plan among your family and friends for taking care of one another should one of you become ill.
• Talk with your family and friends about how they will be cared for if they become ill.
• Keep at least a two-week supply of non-perishable easy-to-prepare foods, water and other critical household and hygiene goods.
• Keep a supply of medical supplies, prescription and non-prescription drugs.
• Investigate how your health insurance carrier plans to handle costs of treatment during a pandemic.
• Check with your employer regarding policies for dealing with a pandemic.
• Ask about plans at your child’s school or daycare for dealing with a pandemic, and develop plans now for how you would keep homebound children occupied.

The Kit

Water –at least 1 gallon per person, per day

Food - Ready-to-eat canned meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, beans, and soups Examples include:
Protein, granola or fruit bars
Dry cereal or granola
Peanut butter or nuts
Dried fruit
Protein powder
Canned juices
Canned milk
Canned or jarred baby food/formula

Pet Food/Supplies – Don’t forget about at least a 2 week supply for your animals as well

Baby Supplies:
Diaper Cream
Extra toys

Paper towels, toilet paper, and facial tissue

Feminine hygiene supplies

Dental supplies:

Masks (N95)

Medicine cabinet:
Medicines for fever, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen
Anti-diarrheal medicine
Prescription medicine – ensure a continuous supply
Cough suppressants
Throat lozenges

First-Aid Kit

Disposable, sealable plastic (Ziploc)

Manual can opener

Cleaning agents:
Soap (bleach, chlorine)
Disinfectant spray
Hand sanitizer – alcohol based

Flashlights and extra batteries

Important family documents

Contact information for neighbors, family members, doctors, and friends

As with all kits, tailor this kit to your needs and your family.

These are some quotes from notable authorities, take them for what they are, an informed opinion.

“You’re going to be staying home for one year. There will be no school. There will be no work. All we’ll be doing is trying to keep ourselves alive.” Richard Canas, NJ State Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.

“Everything you say in advance of a pandemic seems alarmist. Anything you’ve done after it starts is inadequate.” Michael Leavitt, Dept. of Health and Human Services Secretary.

"What are the chances that some kind of pandemic flu will devastate world populations again? It's almost certain."
-Arthur Reingold, MD, Director of Epidemiology, Berkeley School of Public Health

Pandemics are always possible. In the U.S. we have an infrastructure in place that keep us safe. Clean water, good sanitation, knowledge and practices of cleaning and keeping healthy. These all aid us in staying away from disease and sickness. The problem is, we also live in the land of plenty. We have modern continence’s and enough junk food to give several small countries diabetes. We also have some of the best Doctors and hospitals in the world. Sometimes it’s not real good to be an industrialized country. But by and large we have general health in the U.S. compared to other countries.
So be aware of what is going on in the world and in our country. Do not just blow off news reports about the Zica virus or other problems that are occurring here. Protect yourself and your family.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Lessons From Tragedy

We’ve all experienced our own anxiety lately. For the last 2 months shootings and terrorist attacks have been all too common. They are evil and heinous crimes and I pray they stop and that future events are stopped. We should learn from them and be better prepared for any others that may come.
One thing that they all have taught us is proof that what law enforcement has been telling us for years is true. In a real crisis, we’re on our own. This is the reality of these attacks. Even officers under attack are on their own. There are many who will come to their, and your, aid, but initially, you’re alone. Most law enforcement would put their life on the line for you, for me, and for their brothers and sisters in blue. The problem is, they have to be there when something happens to defend you and generally they are not. SWAT teams will go into harm’s way to save people if they are sure they have sufficient numbers and advantage to be able to take care of the threat and still go home that night. They are brave but not stupid. They can’t afford to be stupid because if there are victims in a club you don’t really want to add to those victims. So they must be prepared and be able to win.
You must learn to improvise with a combat mindset.
General James N. Mattis, USMC, Former Commander US CENTCOMM said:
“Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”
This may seem extreme, but what he said was “Have a plan…” Be prepared. Be ready.

My first advice is what I’ve recommended for years, carry a gun. Conceal carry wherever and whenever you can. Don’t be a whiner and tell me it’s heavy, it hurts, it’s uncomfortable. I’ve carried long enough to know that every person can find the right combination of, gun, holster, and clothes that will work for them. It’s out there. You may have to spend some money and time and effort to find it, but it’s out there. And with carrying that gun comes the responsibility to practice. Dry fire can be done effectively and cheaply. If done right, you can actually practice every day. This a LDS leaning blog. It says so right in the title. So for me, I read my scriptures and then dry fire every day. There are many different drills and programs for dry fire out there. Some are quite effective. Find out what will work for you and do it! You can’t afford to not do this.

In addition to your gun find out about how you can fight with your hands. Learn about improvised weapons and less-than-lethal weapons. Get trained in these things and find out how much can be done without a traditional weapon. In the Jason Bourne movies he is shown improvising a lot. Some are far- fetched ideas and some not so crazy. It takes a little training and a certain mindset.
Another thing I learned from these tragic events is that we need to have some medical training and some decent first aid kits. I’ve talked about this before too. The average first aid kit is woefully inadequate. Gunshot wounds or even just a bad car accident requires more than Wal-mart will sell you. I’m not saying become an EMT, although that would not be bad, but we need basic first aid training with an emphasis on stopping bleeding. Our kits need to reflect a lot of “blood stoppers” also. Learning how to use a tourniquet and having a few available is important. Knowing how to improvise a tourniquet is also very valuable knowledge. (a belt, a wire, paracord is not ideal)
Some of the people in Orlando had to wait some time before they could get help. Even after the shooter stopped shooting there were many wounded people that could have used some help by someone with a little basic first aid knowledge. This could have saved lives.

In the truck attack in Nice, France the terrorist was very close to being stopped when a man drove up beside the truck on his moped, jumped on the truck and struggled with the terrorist. He jumped off when he was hit with the butt of a gun. Had he known just the basics of where to strike, eyes, throat, that incident may have ended differently. You don’t have to be a ninja or Jason Bourne to do these things.

In Dallas center of mass hits did little. You must have the option of head shots to stop a threat like that. We must do a little long range training. I realize that most attacks are within about 15 feet, but there is a need to be able to hit with a rifle at 50 yards.
There was an incident at a big department where several officers armed with M4s confronted a suspect at distances from 10-20 feet. The incident was resolved professionally without shots being fired. That’s great! That’s how it’s supposed to end!

The next week, their instructor had them report to the range, re-create the situation and positioning with paper targets, and had the officers engage the paper with their red-dot equipped rifles.

None of the officers were able to deliver the required shots, even after several attempts…with a rifle…with optics, from braced positions, on paper, at close range. None. They assumed they could make the shot without any legitimate reason to have the confidence they did…don’t make the same mistake. Their department will never make that mistake again I’m sure. Shoot some distance shooting. If you hunt or skeet shoot you probably have the skills to shoot at 50 to 100 yards. But make sure you actually do it occasionally. If you need some practice you’ll find out quickly.

The Baton Rouge shooter was killed by an officer with a rifle at more than 100 yards. You bet it’s important to be able to make a shot like that. It could be vital.

Practicing at close range, head shots, long distances, and from different and crazy angles and heights, are all part of a well-rounded shooter. If I was in law enforcement, I would have all of these down really well. I don’t emphasize distance so much, but like to have a little competition once in a while at 50 or 100 yards. It’s fun and it also lets me know where I stand with distance shooting. But shooting from cover is something that may come in handy one day. Even though more than half of self-defense shootings happen at fairly close range, 10-15 feet, we should be able to hit from twice that distance.

I have some favorite guns that I like to shoot. I’ll be the first to admit that my carry gun is not always in the top 5. Well, make sure you can hit with your carry gun. Make sure you can shoot a rifle. Make sure your practice is effective. I have a friend who is a Border Patrolman. He has to qualify every 6 months with his service weapon. Sometimes he can shoot a range gun. It makes no sense to use a range gun and not your own weapon that you carry every day. The same goes for rifles. Especially for rifles. In the military we maintained several range weapons. They were in very good shape and were zeroed perfectly. That made sense because as a military member you’re issued a rifle when needed. You may leave that hot zone and not take your weapon with you and get issued a different weapon when you go back to a hot zone. A war is different, you are issued a weapon and will more than likely keep it the whole time deployed. But when issued a rifle I would first go to the range and zero it. But practicing with something other than what you carry is not very wise. You need to be extremely familiar with your guns. You may even want to mark your rifles to know what they are zeroed at, and bullet info. I’ve done this with pistols when I had too many to remember. I would put what brand and weight of bullet the pistol would shoot well.

As a law enforcement officer if you are confronted with an active shooter or a terrorist in a public place do you engage the attacker you can see, or go to your vehicle for a rifle? I guess every situation is different. If you don’t engage immediately other may be killed. It’s a dilemma every officer may have to face.

There are other lessons learned from these attacks. The Army used to teach “Shoot, Move, Communicate.” This is good advice in a gunfight situation. Remember that your cover has an expiration date. Usually your attacker is moving too. Your cover may become obsolete as your attacker changes angles. You can’t hug your cover like it’s a life preserver. Cover can be utilized better with a little space between you and your cover. You can use the cover better and have room to maneuver.

The more you safely handle guns the better you will be with them. You’ll be comfortable and familiar with them and that will make you a better, safer shooter. It will be easier to carry and you may save yourself or someone else one day. Practice is the key. Live fire is good and important, but it can be expensive. Dry fire is effective and costs very little. You should do both. But my dry fire exceeds my live fire every month. I’ll probably get to the range 5 or 6 times in a month, but I will dry fire 20 to 25 days a month. Learn to dry fire safely and effectively and get out to the range as much as you can.

I hope that we will not have any more of these horrible shootings. But I’m afraid we will. I want to be ready if I am every involved in one, although I know the chances are slim. But being prepared is always better than wishing you were prepared.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Friday, July 22, 2016

Make A Plan, Be Prepared

With the dishonesty of Presidential hopefuls, and the general acceptance of lack of integrity I’ve thought about this quote:
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
– John Adams
I honestly feel this country is in trouble. Some people would call me paranoid and maybe they are right. But President Benson said the Book of Mormon parallels our day. So when do we see the parallel of Amalickiah? I’m sure you know the story.
Amalickiah wanted power. He actually sought to be King of the Lamanites. He also wanted to fight his former people, the Nephites. He had an Army but needed more. Lohonti commanded the Army he wanted to join his and fight the Nephites. Amalickiah convinced a part of the Army to go against the Nephites and this was his Army. Lohonti was a smart tactician and had his Army barricaded in the mountains. He was asked to come down and talk. The first two times he said no. Then he was asked to bring his guards and come just a little ways down. That was his first mistake. He came down and was convinced he could lead the whole Army if he made Amalickiah 2nd in command. He then was poisoned “by degrees” until Amalickiah became in charge. Amalickiah killed the King so he could be king.
“And behold, now I say unto you, ye cannot dethrone an iniquitous king save it be through much contention, and the shedding of much blood. For behold, he has his friends in iniquity, and he keepeth his guards about him; and he teareth up the laws of those who have reigned in righteousness before him; and he trampleth under his feet the commandments of God;
And he enacteth laws, and sendeth them forth among his people, yea, laws after the manner of his own wickedness; and whosoever doth not obey his laws he causeth to be destroyed; and whosoever doth rebel against him he will send his armies against them to war, and if he can he will destroy them; and thus an unrighteous king doth pervert the ways of all righteousness.” (Mosiah 29:21- 23)
S. Michael Wilcox commented on Amalickiah's (and Satan's) tactic of bringing his prey to lower ground while deceiving him into thinking that he was still in charge:
"You're in control! I only want to talk! You have your guards! You only have to come down a little bit!" Amalickiah assures his victim. Lehonti, feeling secure although undoubtedly mistrustful, made his first mistake: He descended from the heights of the mountain. In his own mind, however, he was still safe, because he was in control (Don't Leap with the Sheep [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2001], 35-36).
There is a feeling in this country of “I got this!” when in reality we do not.
Amalickiah was a disgruntled Nephite. Basically he left the Church but could not leave the Church alone, sound familiar? There are many out there.
We also have politicians who hold up evil and make evil laws. There are also secret combinations, ie. corruption and conspiracy.
Ezra Taft Benson, 13th President of the Church was an Apostle when he was hand-picked by U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower to be the Secretary of Agriculture in 1953. He worked in government first hand in a cabinet position for 8 years. It’s interesting that all cabinet positions were held by more than one person during Eisenhower’s administration except for Postmaster General and Ezra T Benson’s Secretary of Agriculture position.
In 1975 in Conference he said this:
“Now undoubtedly Moroni could have pointed out many factors that led to the destruction of the people, but notice how he singled out the secret combinations, just as the Church today could point out many threats to peace, prosperity, and the spread of God’s work, but it has singled out the greatest threat as the godless conspiracy. There is no conspiracy theory in the Book of Mormon —it is a conspiracy fact.”
In Conference 1986 as prophet he said this:
“The second great reason why we must make the Book of Mormon a center focus of study is that it was written for our day. The Nephites never had the book; neither did the Lamanites of ancient times. It was meant for us.”
So if the Book of Mormon parallels our day, and there were definitely conspiracies then, would there be now?
I do not want to be “gloom and doom” but I fear for what is on the horizon. Without getting too political, when I see the events of the day, corruption, terrorism, conspiracy, crime, racial tension, law enforcement abuse, law enforcement being targeted, the general down turn of the economy, I wonder what is next? We live in the last days. These should be tumultuous times. I also wonder about the general population and for the LDS members. If something really serious went down would people be prepared? Would they rely on a government that clearly can’t really handle a major disaster such as hurricanes Sandy and Katrina? Please get prepared. Please take your families and your own security seriously. Please have a plan. You don’t have to go crazy and spend a lot of money (don’t go into debt!) to slowly, steadily prepare.
Fathers sit down with your good wives. Talk about this. Come up with a plan. Counsel with your children. Talk about being safe but not fearful. Have a family security and preparedness plan. Do these things. Do them now.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Nutrition In A Junk Food World

We have a different life style than people of a hundred years ago. All we have to do is get in the car and run to a grocery store. If we are busy in town and are hungry, there are a hundred fast food restaurants to choose from. We can choose from hamburgers to Chinese and have the meal within minutes. We also have the option, after a busy hectic day, to just pick up the phone and order your dinner to be delivered within a half hour. This is a blessing on those tiring, busy days. But is it really? Yes, you can have a meal with no effort, but at what cost to the pocket book and your health. The problem with fast food meals is, they have little nutritional value and the fat contents are extremely high. In a lot of these meals you get all the fat allowance for the whole week in one meal!
Our children were always asking us to go out to eat because they have Frozen toys, or Bat Man toys. Just about every movie, cartoon, and game is advertised through the fast food industry. Children then beg, plead, scream, whine, cry or hound parents to buy the food, and a lot of times parents give in to these demands. Parents are tired from working long days and figure what the heck. It won’t hurt this once. But once soon turns into many unplanned trips.
A trip to the grocery store can be a nightmare when taking children along. If you plan to go to the store after a busy day of activities or work, children can be hungry and fussy. The advertisers promote movies, games and cartoons on cereals, cookies, crackers, ice cream packages, frozen dinners and other unhealthy food items.
We as parents want to do all we can to ensure our children’s health. We want them to keep their teeth brushed and eat good snacks and meals. But even the strongest Mom or Dad will crumble and give in to a whining child. Our lives have become bombarded with activities that we as parents are tired and stressed out, so we say yes, not wanting to deal with another pressure.
We found it easier not to take smaller children shopping when our kids were small. At times it is unavoidable and smaller children need to come with us grocery shopping. When taking smaller children shopping we always make sure they have been fed. Sometimes we have taken peeled, cut apples, raisins, homemade banana chips or bread. Then when the child complains about being hungry and asks for a candy bar, cookies, or another unhealthy snack, I can pull out the snack from my purse or diaper bag. Most of the time when my children were full and they asked for me to buy a snack to have at home, they usually don’t get upset when I say no.
At the grocery store, frozen entrees and canned meals may be found on many isles. Now days with so many working mothers, a lot of families eat large quantities of prepackaged expensive meals. It saves time, not money. They are usually foods that are filled with fillers, high fat, salt and other unhealthy items. Because of bad eating habits, our children today are overweight. In addition, with computers, video games, and television, kids are not getting enough fresh air and exercise.
Because society finds both parents in the work force, parents are too tired and too busy to prepare healthy meals from scratch. Children are growing up on cold and sugared cereals, hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, hamburgers and potato chips. This situation is causing poor health.
But this doesn’t need to continue as an unhealthy life style. Your family can eat more healthily with a little planning and family recipes that can be made healthy. Find 6-10 recipes that are healthy and quick. I know when I am busy I make a large salad that can go for 2-3 meals. I use three types of lettuce, purple cabbage, jicama, 2-3 kinds of peppers, grated carrots, mushrooms, and celery. Keep salad in an air tight container. When salad is made, place a couple paper towels on top of the salad. Place the lid on container and turn upside down. Change paper towels in about an hour. Then change paper towels after each use of salad. This takes all the extra water out of the salad. The salad will stay fresh for days and not get soggy. I put cut cucumber and tomatoes in a smaller separate containers to put on individual salads later. Do not put these items in the main salad bowl because this will cause the salad to spoil and wilt. We also keep on hand sprouts, croutons, imitation bacon bits and unsalted roasted sunflower seeds for the salad. We also keep homemade whole wheat bread, muffins, and rolls in the freezer. On hectic days we will have this for dinner. Sometimes we will put baked potatoes in the microwave. Purchase low fat or fat free salad dressing. There are a lot of good ones nowadays. Within 15 minutes you have a quick meal. The meal can become too fatty if you put lots of fat on your potato. Find healthy toppings if you need something on the potato, but you would be surprised how sweet they are plain. Try it sometime.

One of our favorite meals is called Easy Stir Fry. We purchase a large bag of frozen oriental mixed vegetables. It is cheaper and goes for about 4-5 meals. While steaming the vegetables, I already have brown rice cooking. Brown rice can take 45 minutes to cook. Sometimes when I look ahead and realize the week is going to be busy, I will cook the brown rice ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. The extra brown rice always gets eaten up. My children love brown rice. As the frozen vegetables are cooking, I add some garlic powder. In the meantime, in the microwave I am boiling a bowl of water to cook Raman noodles. When the water is hot, break 1-2 packages and let the noodles get soft. After the veggies have cooked for a while and are thawed, I add shredded cabbage. Once the cabbage is partially cooked (still crunchy), I take it off the stove. Drain the water from the noodles and put the seasoning packet mix on the noodles and mix well. Pour into veggie pan, mix and pour over a hot bowl rice. A good meal within 30 minutes.
Tostadas are another quick meal to prepare. As I bake the corn tortillas in the oven to get hard, I am heating up refried bean with spices. Bake the tortillas at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes. I have found the pizza pans with the holes work great but cookie sheets will do fine. You will have to flip them if you use a cookie sheet. I quickly grate cheese, cut up lettuce, tomatoes and onions. Within 20-25 minutes we are eating.
Cheese can be grated and placed in zip lock bags and frozen. When reviewing menu for the week, it can be taken out of the freezer and put in the refrigerator to thaw and be ready for the meal. Sometimes we replace cheese with avocado. It tastes great.
Healthy breakfasts can be quick and fast too. Make granola and keep it for rushed mornings. Have homemade wheat waffles and pancakes in the freezer to be used at any time. Eat a whole wheat bagel or muffins. Yogurt and a piece of whole wheat toast. Breakfast on the run can still be filling and easy.
Make sure you have healthy snacks for your children. I know a lot of children who do not eat vegetables. People are always amazed at how our children eat vegetables, salads and fruits. Our children still get treats from time to time but our home always is filled with healthy snacks. If the other items are not in the home, children will choose healthier items.
We started our children when they were young to eat these items however, dietary habits can be changed anytime. It will take a while for taste buds to change but children can learn to love these foods too. Make it fun for the child. I know when I was growing up my Mom used to peel, cut up and sprinkle a little sugar on apples. She would put it in a fun container and over a period of time, I just ate apples whole. Put raisins in a paper cup. I also keep clean, fresh cut veggies in the refrigerator. I will make a plate with a variety of them and put it on the kitchen table. Within a few hours the plate is usually empty. Children will follow the example of their parents. If you want healthy eating children, you must eat healthy yourself.
If a child constantly badgers you for an unhealthy food, offer a healthy alternative. For instance, make your own Popsicle out of fruit juices, keep plenty of whole-grain muffins or popcorn on hand. Give them two choices, take what you offer, or go without. Don’t keep unhealthy snacks in the house. Just seeing a certain food can trigger the children to want it. If it’s not there, they will not want it.
With our hectic lifestyles eating healthy can be obtained with some education, menu planning, cleaning out the kitchen cabinets, and making a change in eating habits. When making healthy meals, double or triple the recipe. Freeze the rest for future days when there is not time to cook. It will save you money because you will not be going to a drive through restaurant. It is important to make the changes now so our families will have healthier bodies as we get older. When we get older we will not suffer as much from sickness and degenerate disease. I know that as we strive to eat healthier and exercise our golden years will be much more enjoyable. So make the change today.
Resources: “The Mormon Diet A Word of Wisdom, 14 Days to New Vigor & Health” by Earl F. Updike
“The Mormon Diet A Word of Wisdom Cookbook” by Ethel C. Updike, Dorothy E. Smith
“Lean and Free 2000 Plus” by Dana Thornock, Danmar Health Corporation.
“Cooking to be Lean” by Dana Thornock
“Make the Connection-Ten Steps to a Better Body-and a Better Life” by Bob Greene and Oprah Winfrey.
“The Natural Nine-Cooking with Whole Grains. by Lorraine Dilworth Tyler, Magic Mill.P

Eating right is important to our preparedness. Taking care of your health is always important but going into a survival/disaster situation makes it all that much more important. Not only that, but as you form good eating habits it will be easy to eat your food storage. Store what you eat, and eat what you store.


Introducing FLAG: A New Occasional Writer

I’d like to introduce a new writer to LDS Gunsite. She is known as FLAG. That is an acronym for “Fights Like A Girl”. Let me explain. When I first married her she was a shy girl who never would hurt a fly. When we were in the military she would complain about our housing on base. She could not get any satisfaction and felt she was getting the runaround all the time. I finally told her I couldn’t deal with this and do my job too. I was gone on temp duty enough to where I could not deal with any house problems while I was gone. I told her “This is the military, everyone has a boss! Go up the chain until you get what you want!” This she did. It made her a scrappy fighter who stands up for herself and others. Sometimes when she and I disagree I regret encouraging her to take a stand and never give up, but it has brought out an independent streak that she has always had in her. It’s one of the things that attracted me to her. When I was working under a car or cutting wood, she was always right there beside me. You will never catch my wife saying “Eeeew, that’s yucky!” When something needs to be done she jumps in. So her fighting like a girl is not a derogatory thing. She taught our daughters the same thing. They are girls, but not push-overs. It also helps that they heard their Dad always say “Close and engage!”
FLAG has extensive experience in many areas of preparation. She has run our family storage plan for years. To those of you with a years supply of food, you understand that storing and rotating food is a big job. Over the years we’ve wasted very little. She uses our food storage every day. She also knows and understands nutrition and herbal healing. Her knowledge of gardening and so many other preparedness subjects could keep us all busy for a long time. She was taught to cook and bake by her Father, a trained and experienced Head Chef. He worked for many years for oil companies on oil finding ships. He was in charge of the chefs that cooked on these ships. So not only could he cook, he was quite adventurous.
FLAG is also the Mother of several kids and so she is everything in our home. She has homeschooled all of our children for many years, and still does. She carries a 9mm and has always been an advocate of self-defense. She is also trained in the medical field as a Laboratory Technician working in a hospital. Her talents are many, her experience is vast. We can learn from her.
She's also been a Relief Society President, a Young Woman President, A Primary President, and has taught Seminary for years. She has put up with me for over 30 years and is my High School sweetheart.


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Security While Shopping

Being in public is always a risk. It you watch the news it’s getting riskier by the day. The United States is generally safe, but between crime and some terrorism it pays to follow some security ideas to keep ourselves safe and secure.
First, shop online. I realize that’s not always the answer, but it can actually save you money even with shipping.
Remain aware of your surroundings at all times and move to and from your vehicle with confidence and purpose. Stay alert. Do not look like an easy victim. Walk "tall," head and eyes moving, watching for potential danger. Have keys ready before getting to your car so you do not have to search for them while standing near it. If accosted, fight for your life, scream, and utilize whatever you may have as a weapon (keys, umbrellas, kicks to the shins). Never give up. Never stop screaming.
Make a conscious effort to keep your head out of your smart-phone.
Don’t stare straight ahead while you walk.
Don’t look downward at the path in front of you while you walk.
Casually look around while you walk.
Look further ahead than just your immediate surroundings of the next several steps.
During daytime, park away from the crunch of cars – which provides more visibility to assess (for coming and going).
During the night, park up close to the entrance, under a light.
Don’t slouch while you walk. Keep your shoulders back and chin up. Look confident.
Change your course if it doesn’t ‘feel right’ ahead.
Make sure purses and wallets are secure on your person and you are aware of their location at all times.
Keep the amount of available cash you have at a minimum or separate it into different pockets or locations on or about your person. This way all of it is not lost if your purse or wallet is misplaced or stolen.
Credit cards offer convenience and security, however, keep track of all cards and keep receipts to compare to your monthly statement.
Shop with a companion (another adult)
If a stranger approaches you with a question, it may be someone up to no good – keep walking and avoid engagement – you may be being ‘sized up’. Distance is your friend.
Choose time of day wisely. Some places are pretty safe during the day, but are entirely different at night.
Shop during the day when possible.
You are particularly vulnerable when you are leaving the store and going to your car.
While going to your car, look around and trust your senses. Go back if it feels un safe.
Keep keys in hand while going to your car. Get your keys out before you leave the store.
Do not remotely unlock your car until you’re right there.
Be quick while placing your bags into the car.
Don’t get on the phone after you get in the car.
Get in the car, lock the doors, and go.
When leaning over and strapping your child into a car seat, look around – be aware.
Where legal to do so, carry a firearm. When seconds count, Police are just minutes away.
When exiting store, predators are ‘interviewing you’ for vulnerability clues, so demonstrate your awareness.
Look into the backseat before opening a car door.
Do not leave purchased items visible in the car. Leave them in the trunk or cover them if in an SUV.
Report suspicious people or activity to law enforcement immediately! You may save someone else from harm or a property crime.
Most importantly, use common sense to reduce your own vulnerability.
Do not ever believe it won’t or can’t happen to you.
If you can’t carry a concealed, consider other less conspicuous weapons, tactical pen, pepper spray, defensive wand. Make sure you are trained in whatever weapon you choose.
Being safe and secure are often a mindset that can be half the battle. Prevention is always better than an actual fight. But without any other option, fight to win (or to stop the threat).

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Your Own Chicken Outfit

Starting a flock of chickens sounds easy right? Well, yes and no. There are many things to consider. Where will you put 20 to 50 chicks, and ultimately chickens? We’ve been in the egg business on a small scale for several years. We’ve done, or seen, it all. Consider first where you’ll put your chicks. Depending on the time of year and your locale, you may want them inside. We live in the Southwest so other than about 3 months out of the year we can keep chicks outside. When you first receive your chicks, or hatch them, they must be kept warm, dry, fed and watered. The reason hatcheries can send chicks in the mail is that when chicks are hatched, they have in them the yolk that sustains them for about 2 days. They ship soon after hatching in a controlled environment. If you get your chicks via mail you can use the shipping box to house the birds 2-3 weeks until they get their feathers. A 40w light bulb above their box or cage will supply enough warmth to keep them alive and happy in cool to moderate temperature. If your outside temperature is below 40 degrees, keep your chicks indoors. Another box, turned upside down in their cage with a small door will shield them from wind and keep their body heat from escaping thus generating heat. Make sure your light bulb is a safe distance away from chicks and combustibles. We have a friend who housed his chickens in a rabbit cage with a light. The problem was, the light shorted on the cage and electrified it. The amperage was not enough to kill the birds, but did administer electrolysis on the birds tail feathers! The birds did live and prosper, but our friend had some pretty bald birds! Our friend was just glad he didn’t have fried chicken.
While you’re waiting for them to grow feathers, plan out your coop. The coop should be water tight, have good ventilation and should also be predator proof. The latter point is accomplished by chicken wire on windows and vents and any other area that a small animal could wiggle through. Windows and doors that close securely will also keep out pests (raccoons are very resourceful). There are many designs out there and you can look at what others have done. There are also books that can help. Find a design that will work for your setup and is easiest for you. If you’re raising chickens for eggs you’ll want electricity nearby for a light during those winter months. Hens require about 13 hours of light to lay consistently, so a light on a timer can make up for those lost hours that Winter brings. It would also be nice to have access to the laying boxes from the outside of the coop. It’s much easier to collect the eggs.
After the coop you must decide to either fence your chickens in a yard or free range them. Ours are a happy medium. We have 2 large yards that we can rotate our chickens through. When one gets eaten down, the other can be used. We like the security and cleanliness of fencing our flock, but you can save on feed costs by letting them free range. The chickens will come back to the coop to roost for the night and to lay eggs.
Where you get your chicks makes quite a difference. There are many good hatcheries. Find one close to your home if possible. You can also hatch your chicks yourself. You must have access to fertile eggs to do this. The equipment is relatively low cost and can be obtained through the internet or local feed and ranch supply stores.
You do not need a rooster but we’ve found that the hens lay better with one, plus you’ll get fertile eggs. You’re bound to get a rooster or two. If you buy from a hatchery ask for pullets, these are sexed hens with a 90-95% accuracy. Chances are, you’ll get just what you need. You can fatten up the roosters you don’t want and harvest them for meat.
There are several books we recommend on raising chickens. We recommend: Chickens In Your Backyard@ by Rick and Gail Luttman, Rodale Press. ABC of Poultry Raising@ by J. H. Florea, Dover Publications. Also, there are a few Web-sites that can give you a lot of information too. We recommend two. The Chicken Coop@ and The Chicken Page@
With a little knowledge and some determination your flock of chickens can serve you for a long time. Remember also, this is not even close to everything you’ll need to know, but only an article to motivate and whet your appetite. Fresh eggs and home-grown chicken taste many times better than processed items from the store, and we believe you can produce healthier food yourselves.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Remembering Samuel Colt On His Birthday

Samuel Colt (July 19, 1814 - January 10, 1862) was an American inventor and industrialist, who is today best remembered as the creator of one of the most popular gun designs in the history of the world - six-barreled Colt pistol called "revolver". As a founder of" Colt's Patent Fire-Arms Manufacturing Company" (today known as "Colt's Manufacturing Company") he greatly popularized the use of interchangeable parts, assembly lines and simple gun designs which made him one of the most influential and wealthiest industrialists of his time. According to many historians, his successes and contributions in the field of military arms paved the way for the expansion of America influence across the world.
At the age of 15, Colt started working in his father textile plant in Massachusetts, where he used accessible tools, materials and experienced factory workers to work on his ideas. In those years he managed to create homemade galvanic cell which he used to test the gunpowder charges near the Ware Lake. In 1832, his father sent him to learn a sea trade on a merchant ship, and it was there that Samuel conceived the initial designs of his rotating gun barrel. While serving on first voyage on the ship, he noticed the movement of the ship's wheel, and was inspired to create a similar rotating concept for loading bullets in front of the main firing barrel. According to the words of Colt himself, "regardless of which way the wheel was spun, each spoke always came in direct line with a clutch that could be set to hold it... the revolver was conceived!" He immediately began designing the basic shape of a gun, and before returning home he managed to make a wooden model of a revolver.
Before the start of the US Civil War, Colt married Elizabeth Jarvis, the daughter of the Reverend William Jarvis who lived near Hartford. He was drafted into the army in the rank of Colonel on May 16, 1861, but he never entered into combat. He died soon after the war on January 10, 1862, at the age of 47. At the time of his death he was the wealthiest US inventor (with estimated wealth of around 15 million dollars), and most certainly inventor who influenced the rise of the entire war industry. His designs continue to live on in the following centuries, and his "Colt's Manufacturing Company" continues to thrive and innovate even today. Some of the most important gun designs that were made in the Colt's Manufacturing Company during the centuries are Colt-Browning Model 1895 (first operational gas--actuated machine gun), Thompson Submachine gun Mod 1921 (which was very popular in the age of US Prohibition, where many policeman and gangsters used it), and Colt CMG-1 and CMG-2 machine guns which became the main weapon of the US army during 1960s.
Samuel Colt never held a Colt .45 in his hand. The Colt Single Action Army handgun, better known as the Colt .45, was not released until a decade after Colt’s death in 1862. Dubbed the “Peacemaker” and “the gun that won the West,” the Colt .45 served as the standard service revolver of the U.S. military between 1873 and 1892.
One of the most popular automatic rifle designs to date, the M16 began life as the AR15 (Armalite Rifle) at the Armalite Division of the Fairchild Aircraft Corporation, designed by Eugene Stoner, Robert Fremont and James Sullivan.
The AR15 / M16 is actually the product of a scaled-down redesign of another Armalite rifle, the AR-10, a rifle designed during the mid-1950s to fire the full-power 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge. At the time, the AR-10 was unique in that was partially constructed of lightweight materials such as aluminum forgings and synthetic materials, which reduced weight substantially.
ArmaLite licenses both the AR-10 and AR 15 designs to Colt Firearms. Robert Fremont, a key player in the design team of the AR-10 and AR 15 Rifle models, leaves ArmaLite for Colt Firearms to help with continued AR rifle development.
The M4 carbine is a compact variant of the M16A2 assault rifle. Manufactured by Colt Defense, the M4 is a preferred weapon for the US Armed Forces and 21st century war-fighters.
We recognize the accomplishments and the impact Samuel Colt had on the gun industry. Happy 202nd Birthday Sam!
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Being Secure At A Public Event

I have a friend that has worked in security his whole life. He was in Special Forces when he was in the Army. After he got out of the Army he worked as a Policeman. He then moved into Diplomatic Security service for Department of State. After retiring from that he worked for a private protection company. He knows how to protect a principle.
I think we can learn from some of the things he watches for and does while protecting a client.

Use the same skills as in any social setting with an additional focus. Does someone or something seem out of place? Have some faith in your intuition.

Practice surveillance detection, especially when leaving. Remember that ordinary crime occurs around events, as well. Identify safe areas along your route in advance. Ask for security assistance if you’re uncomfortable with the situation.

Watch for targeting indicators; paralleling, hard focus, forces surrounding, etc.

Stay aware of exit locations. If you will be in a fixed position for a while, e.g., seated at dinner, identify the nearest exit to you, just as on an airliner. Note exits near restrooms immediately upon entering the venue. We tend to be distracted when we need to visit the restroom so it’s best to identify these in advance. Consider non-traditional exits, such as through kitchens or maintenance areas, if necessary.

Beware of the possibility of secondary devices; clear the area completely if there’s an incident. Go back to your hotel or residence immediately, don’t hang around the venue.

Discard unattended drinks. Once it’s been out of your control, get a new one.

If someone makes you feel uncomfortable, don’t ignore it, explore it. Alert others, preferably security, about issues. Have faith in your intuition.

Increase and decrease awareness as the situation requires. E.g., increase awareness when going to or leaving the venue since there will be less security presence outside. Don’t try to be on ‘red alert’ all the time. It’s neither possible nor mentally healthy.

Ditch high heels if you have to move quickly.

Fleeing is preferable to hiding under a table if an incident involving small arms occurs. Gunshot wounds from a distance tend to be survivable. Close range executions are usually fatal. Determine a nearby point that offers cover or concealment and move quickly to it. Assess the situation and then repeat the process to escape.

Note locations of fire extinguishers. They are useful in case someone is on fire following a bomb and also as an improvised weapon. If you are on fire, drop and roll to put it out before running.

Side note on using improvised weapons:
There is no need to challenge or warn an active killer! That is only for TV and the movies.
Get behind him [her], focus your attention on the back of the head and, without warning, smash it as hard as you can with the fire extinguisher or whatever you have. Continue to nail them until they stop moving.
Then run away to safety.

If there is an incident, accept being separated from your party. Leaving the area and finding shelter should be your primary emphasis, not looking for others, unless they are small children.

Look for things or people that you may enjoy, as well. The object of terrorism is to change our society for the worse. Don’t let it do that to us.

High-profile events bring another security challenge: the threat of protestors. You never know who is going to be offended by or object to your function.

Watch or read up on local news and weather for where your going- plan ahead and be prepared. Check the events website for important information before you go.

Be mindful of where your carrying your valuables (wallet,money, credit/debit cards, purse, cell phone) and make sure you’re not making yourself an easy target for a pick pocket. This goes for the car too, make sure you’re not leaving valuables in plain sight or the car unlocked.

If you’re going with a group, plan a meeting point in-case you become separated. Plan times to check in on each other and follow up when someone doesn’t.

If you’re taking the kids, make sure you remember to have the “don’t talk to strangers” talk one more time.

Being at an event can make you vulnerable. As we can see in France, if it is a gathering of a lot of people it can be a draw for terror activities. Don’t be a victim. Be aware of what is going on and what you can do to stay safe and secure.

Semper Paratus
Check 6


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Rifle of the Mormon Battalion

Every year I usually honor those members of the Mormon Battalion. They served long and well.
The Mormon Battalion, the only religious unit in the American military, was active in 1846-1847, serving in the Mexican-American War. They were volunteers assigned by Brigham Young.
They were to receive their gear at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas including a musket that they could keep after their enlistment of one year. They were a little excited to receive their weapon and when Lt. Colonel James Allen, Battalion Commander, saw this he said to them: “Stand back boys! Don’t get in a hurry to get your muskets. You will want to throw the d---d things away before you get to California!”
The musket was a standard military issue in the 1840’s to the infantry was the Model 1816 (M1816) Harpers Ferry, 0.69 caliber, smooth-bore, flintlock musket with a leather sling. Muskets issued to the Battalion were stamped 1827 on the lock plate, indicating the year of manufacture at the armory. The Type II 1827 muskets had the barrel chemically browned to resist rusting. The Type III (1831-1844) M1816 muskets had unbrowned shiny barrels and locks. The M1816 musket was equipped with a lug atop the muzzle for fixing the triangular socket bayonet. The muskets weighed nearly 10 lbs (9 lb. 2 oz-14 oz). The stock was made out of a dense wood like walnut.
Muskets differ from rifles in that muskets do not have rifling inside the barrel that provides greater accuracy to the discharged balls. The M1816 musket fired a 0.64-0.65 caliber spherical lead ball (about 1 oz.) packaged in the bottom of a paper cartridge with a measured 90 grains of course grain black powder (charcoal/potassium nitrate/sulfur). This smaller ball was easier and quicker to load than a larger 0.68 ball. The end of the cartridge was tied off with a string which wrapped above the ball to help segregate it from the powder. A very common version of the cartridge was the Buck and Ball cartridge that contained an additional 3 pieces of buckshot BB’s atop the single 0.65 caliber ball. This cartridge increased the probability of hitting and inflicting some damage to the target. Cartridges were commercially made in ammunition factories in the East and sent to army supply depots and forts in wood crates. Because of the smooth-bore barrel, the musket ball came out more like a knuckleball rather than a spinning fast ball. Musket accuracy was reported to be around 50-100 yards, but the closer the better.
The Mormon battalion was created on July 16, 1846. After the long, harrowing march many of the members of that battalion became close to Brigham Young and leaders in the church. I had relatives in this battalion and am proud of the service these brave souls rendered to a country that at times seemed bent on exterminating Mormons from its borders. I recognize the accomplishment of these pioneers and their commitment to the Church. They also carried what was state of the art weapons of the time. It was their “assault weapon”.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Teaching A Woman To Shoot

I was at the range the other day. (How many of my articles start this way?) I noticed a young couple pull up and sat in the guy’s truck for about 10 minutes talking. I continued my “workout” which is sometimes unusual. Today was no different. I was shooting from behind, and over, benches that I set up on the range. The couple was a ways off in the next bay. I shoot at an outdoor range that has several bays with about 5 shooting lanes each. They were one bay over. Finally I stopped and took a break, it was pretty hot. Finally the guy and girl got out. I waved and said hello, they waved back. Now it was my turn to watch. The guy took out his handgun and left the two rifles sheathed. He took out hearing and eye protection for both of them. They walked downrange to set up their target and I hit the range with another round. I was just about to end and shoot my last round when I heard a loud bang. I had taken off my muffs so I put them back on. It was the blast of a .45. I glanced over and saw the girl give the gun back to the guy quickly. I didn’t see her shoot it but I can guess how it went. The gun kicked like a mule and she almost hit her head and dropped the weapon. To the guys credit he was not laughing but trying to calm his wife. I found out later it was his new wife of less than a year. She was not hysterical but clearly a little scared or surprised, embarrassed, and did not want to shoot again ever in her life. Later in their marriage he would have to beg her to get her concealed carry license and if she actually got it, she would never carry or practice.
He saw me cleaning up and preparing to leave and came over to me. He introduced himself and asked about my crazy “workout”. We talked a second and his wife walked over. He introduced her to me and we all chit chatted a little. He just started as a game warden and they had just moved to the area. Finally I brought up that I noticed this was not a good trip for her to the range. They both laughed and I asked some questions. I asked if it scared her. I asked what her experience with guns was. I asked why he had brought her here that day. We talked a little about guns and shooting and he asked about my gun experience. I told him a little and mentioned I was an instructor. His eyes lit up. I knew he would not ask so I volunteered to give a little mini lesson for them. They accepted so I started in with safety. I went through the 4 safety rules. We talked briefly about how they are different degrees of basically the first rule. I had them repeat them back to me and told them I would quiz them a few times before we were done. I then praised him for his PPE (personal protection equipment) and their use of it. I happened to have my Ruger Mark II .22 with me. I showed her the gun, handed it to her and asked her what the 3rd rule was. She quoted it to me and then commented how much lighter the .22 was from the .45. We went through basic shooting techniques and shot for about 15 minutes. She was pretty good. I asked her if she wanted to try a 9mm. She already had confidence with the .22 so she was not so hesitant about the 9mm. I gave her the same instruction and told her there was a little more kick to it but it was not like the .45 she shot. She handled it quite well.
When we were done we sat talking again. I asked her now how she felt about shooting guns. She said “That was fun!” I then quizzed them both for the last time on the safety rules.
Hopefully, we diverted a bad shooting experience into a more positive one.
Here are some things you should be aware of before you take a woman/girl/wife/female friend to the range, especially for the first time.
Let me put my disclaimer in here so as not to offend. I realize that many women shoot. I’ve competed with, taught, and been beat in competition by women. But for the most part shooting is a guy’s thing. My daughters all shoot. But my sons are the ones who have shot the most. Most of this could apply to anyone shooting for the first time.
Safety First
Safety is so incredibly important but I teach it like a game. I’m not saying to not be serious about safety, but it’s easier to remember if you make it more enjoyable. Don’t teach safety so seriously that the student is scared. Being serious does not involve fear. This is what I do:
The safety rules are the “Ch’I” of shooting. They are the foundation. Everything we do in shooting revolves around what I call “The Final 4”.
1.Every gun is always loaded. Every means all, total, each one, the sum of all guns! And they are not just dangerous, but LOADED. You must respect them.
2.Never point a gun at something you are not willing to destroy. Destroy means: shoot, blow up, kill, hurt, ventilate. (…because every gun is loaded.)
3.Never put your finger in the trigger guard until you are ready to shoot. Do not rest your finger in the guard or on the trigger. Keep your finger straight. (…because every gun is loaded.)
4.Always be sure of your target and beyond. This means never shoot in the dark. I don’t care how scared you are, identify your target and what is behind it. This is what separates us from the criminals and terrorists. (…because every gun is loaded.)
Sometimes I add a 5th rule being “Never point a gun at me!” which of course is rule 1, 2, and 4.
I then ask my students to repeat back to me each rule. I tell them they will be quizzed on them throughout the session. Then I make sure I quiz them at random times. I want them to have them memorized. I want them to know them backwards and forward. I’ve even given students candy when they are correct when asked. I stroke the positive. If they are wrong I correct them right there in a nice respectful way, then ask them to repeat the correct answer. I make it a point to quiz on the one they missed later.
I ask questions calling them by name, “Mark, what is Final 4 number 3?” “Lynn, what is the foundation rule number 4?” I then reward with praise, candy, or whatever little thing will help them remember.
Let the student understand the parts of a gun and then let them clear and handle a gun before going to the range, reminding them of the Final 4. Let them see the bullets and handle them. Teach them to load the magazine or chamber. Teach them to manipulate the gun(s) they will shoot. Teach about different actions. Start them with a .22. Some instructors would balk at that but this is my logic. With a .22 you can learn the basics of shooting, grip, trigger press, sighting, without a large bang or a large kick. But it does go bang. It’s just not a deafening IED going off in their hand. Start small and work your way up. Starting small gives great confidence and will naturally move to a higher caliber. .22 will be easy to tame and may leave them wanting a bigger challenge. Sometimes starting with a big caliber is dangerous because the gun is not in control.
Most instructors will tell men to not teach their spouses or family how to shoot. One of the problems with men is we think we are Tarzan and she is Jane. Well, sometimes she can be Tarzan. Woman are tough and resilient. They can do anything we can do and sometimes better. Teaching my daughters to shoot was a joy compared to the boys. The boys weren’t as interested in doing things the instructor’s way. The girls wanted to learn and they were interested in more than blowing things up!
If you insist that you can teach your family you’ll have to check your ego at the door. You will have to have patience and humility. To be honest, I think that is the way you should be when you instruct anyone. I am pretty good with a gun. But I can say that I’m no Jerry Miculek or Rob Leatham. I know how to teach and I have some experience shooting so I think I can teach it. Teaching should not be a competition or a time to show off your skill. It is a time to show off your knowledge so that the student can learn too. It is sharing what you’ve learned and practicing what you’ve learned. I am still learning and I always will be. At one time I taught the Weaver stance. I haven’t taught that since the 80’s because I have learned something better. At one time I taught shooting with your dominant eye. Now I teach both one eye and both eyes open shooting.
More Safety
Make sure you as the instructor follow your own training. Keep the safety rules meticulously. Lead and teach by example.
Also teach some range etiquette. Things like taking care to not interrupt a neighbor when they are shooting. Policing brass at a convenient time. When people are on a cold range you’re not touching your gun. Being clean. Just being courteous in general.
Make sure you practice and teach good technique. Don’t get sloppy just because you have 20 years of experience.
Remember that not everyone loves the sulfur smell of gunpowder or knows the difference between the pop of an AR and the boom of an AK. You are home on the range, she may not be. She may be OK with it, but it’s not going to the top of her date list. You may want to compromise and do something she really has a passion for before or after you do what you are passionate about. Maybe go to dinner after a shooting session. Know that shooting is really for everybody, but not everybody will love it.
Follow these suggestions and taking your girl to the range will be a good experience all around. You may even have her suggest it to you one day!
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Monday, July 11, 2016

Trying To Get Through The Holster Jungle

I have carried a gun for the better part of 2 decades and learned a few things about that. One, gaining weight around my middle (common in men) is not conducive to inside the waistband holsters, and two, a good belt is essential.
The best holster is simple, comfortable, and retains your weapon. Some sacrifice comfort for retention. I don’t think you need to do that. The problem being, everyone is different from personal taste to body size and shape. It’s impossible to recommend a holster because of these differences. You can send someone in a certain direction but they may end up in a completely different place than you. Something like concealed carry is extremely individual.
The best way to a carry a weapon is on your strong side. The best way to carry is in a secure holster. This should be in a place that has very easy access.
There are “tactical” or “concealed carry” shirts out there that have break-away Velcro seams. The poor man’s answer (my answer) is to wear a shirt one size bigger than I wear. This will leave enough room for a medium or even a large frame weapon.
I like pocket holsters but this takes away a pocket. I won’t put anything else inside the gun pocket. I don’t want anything in the way if I need to get to that weapon and I don’t want something getting into the holster and causing a discharge or malfunction of the weapon. I like the method of carry and there are many pocket holsters out there. Every pant manufacturer makes pockets different depths. Some will hold a compact auto and others will only accommodate a sub-compact. With a little practice you can draw from your pocket with a smooth stroke. Pocket holsters keep the gun upright, keeps the gun clean, and also keeps the gun from “printing” in your pocket.
There are several garment-type built in holsters. T-shirt under garments, underwear, coat and vest type holsters are out there. These can work but you may need to adjust them or add to them. I have an undershirt type from SOG. I added a piece of cloth help with the “printing” my compact was doing. I finally just used a pocket holster in it which holds it very well. You must practice your draw with these like any other holster. Clearing the garment is the challenge but it’s possible.
Off body carry is something I don’t recommend. But I guess having a gun in a bag, purse, or backpack is better than none at all. I would be too paranoid keeping track of the bag! But if you never leave your desk or office without your purse or bag then maybe that would work.
I also think that a gun in an off body holster is susceptible to theft.
There are some crazy ideas out there for concealed carry. Some of them sound nuts until you actually use them. So are just crazy! I wouldn’t rule anything out because the next gimmick may just work for you. Be careful of some of those ideas that look good at first. Make sure there safety, retention, and concealment features that will work for you. Some think a bra-type holster is a little out there. Maybe on the outset it seems like a crazy idea. My wife has one and loves it! So don’t be so closed minded and old school that a new idea couldn’t possibly be any good. But gimmicks can be an expensive way to find out that they are just gimmicks.
Last but not least be careful about looking too tactical. Cargo pants may be very functional but may put off the wrong image. Some people swear by them and won’t wear anything else. Tactical shirts and other clothing can be a give-away. If you let it, you can look tactical or military or both. A tac shirt with jeans is much better than a tac shirt and BDU’s or even cargo pants. Blending in is just as important in concealed carry as not printing. Being inconspicuous can mean the difference between stopping a threat, or being the first target.
I have several holsters that I use for different guns and situations. You will find the same. It is a process that I’m not sure any article or advice from anyone will keep you from buying holsters you’ll never use. Hopefully, from the above you will have a better idea of what will work for you and you can save some time and money.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Friday, July 8, 2016

Don't Be The Hunted: E & E

I’d like to tell you a story. This sounded to me like an episode of “The Unit” when I first heard it. But it came from a good friend of mine. Mac (his call sign) and I went through jump school together. He was an operator for almost his entire career in the military. He turned down at least two promotions, that I know of, to stay in the field with his team. He has had missions in almost every South American country, and several Middle Eastern countries from Syria to Pakistan to Yeman.
He told me this story of a mission he lead in the middle of the Afgahn war. He and his team were inserted into a remote part of Afghanistan for a “snatch” mission. This was to be a high profile target capture. They knew where the target would be and that there would be a minimum security for them to deal with. His team of 6 made their way through war torn Falluja to the location of the target. They were just about to execute their mission when they were told to stand down. They waited for 10 minutes and asked for a sit rep on their standing down and informed higher that their window was being missed. After another 10 minutes they were told to abort their mission and to meet at a safe location for further instruction. They then found a semi-secure building where they asked for an extraction. They were told to call their TOC (tactical operations center) on their SSAT Phone (secure satellite phone). They were then told from some G2 officer (Army intelligence) that they were to exfil (exfiltrate) on their own to secure locations. They were alone and left to their own expertise to get out. They had predetermined routes and each picked one and they separated. To make things worse, somehow the team was compromised and were now being searched for by insurgents. They were not to have any contact with American forces because they were never there. Without going into detail that would give too much information about this mission away, they all made their way to safety having different experiences along the way. In the process of telling me this story, Mac told me about many different ways to be hunted, but to never be prey.
I’m not sure you or I will ever be in a situation like this, but it’s always good to learn these things and never need them instead of the other way around. Here are some of the things I learned.
Have A Plan
Think on your feet. Always improvise and be thinking in that way. Sometimes you have to choose between survival and escape. You must be able to weigh the outcome of your choices. The elements may be your choice over being caught. Don’t allow circumstances to control you if you can make a difference. Don’t let emotions cloud your judgement or get you off plan. Things will not be easy and you have to keep your wits about you.
In 1973 there was a sequel to the first “Dirty Harry” movie called “Magnum Force”. These were the Clint Eastwood movies where he played San Francisco Inspector Harry Callahan. A quote from that movie applies here: “A man's GOT to know his limitations.” You have to know yourself. You have to know what your body will handle and what your mind can handle. You have to know your realistic limitations.
Take every opportunity that arises to eat, drink, or even rest. You do not know when you’ll have an opportunity for these things so take advantage when they come.

Environmental Melt
You should melt into your environment whatever it may be. Wilderness, urban, whichever you are in or all. Camouflage takes a big role in wilderness survival. Breaking up your outline, using cover and concealment, using foliage and terrain. Reflective surfaces and movement can be seen for miles. Sometimes you must be hidden in plain sight. If you look like you should be where you are, you’ll find it will be easier to move. Do not draw attention to yourself. Changing your appearance from time to time is also a good practice. Something as simple as removing or adding a hat, coat, or glasses can make a big difference.
Trusting locals is a risky game to play. But if you trust your instincts and find someone to trust, that can get you far. Knowing where you are, the culture, the language always helps.

Perhaps a E and E kit? (escape and evade)

Baseball cap of local sports team-worn in - not brand new
A metro or local map
50 dollars in ones, 500 bucks in twenties
A metro card or bus pass
A pistol with at least 2 spare mags
A good knife
Pepper spray or something non-lethal
A good, small medical kit
A small notebook with needed contact info - coded (this can be simple - such as add 1 to the first digit, 3 to the second digit, 5 to the 3rd digit, 3 to the 4th digit and 1 to the 5th digit - whatever - be creative)
A few different pair of sunglasses
A reversible jacket of some type
A change of clothes - for me this would be old blue jeans, a hoodie, old sneakers - nothing new and nothing worth mugging me for.
A small bottle of water
A couple of cliff bars

Some "pocket litter" – ie. - a brochure from a public place near where I am. This is to explain what I was doing there if I needed a reason.
Headphones - even if I didn't have anything to plug them into - just having them on, especially with sunglasses - explains to most folks why they shouldn't try to talk to you - because you are "zoned out" listening to your tunes - plus they can't make eye contact with you to get your attention if you have shades on.

Also - if I wanted to blend in I would be careful NOT to walk like a warrior - I would not walk with my posture upright and my head on a swivel in a way that exuded confidence and purpose - I would walk in a loser shuffle to blend in with all the other losers of the world.

Navigation with maps and tools and without them is an important skill to learn. If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never get there. If you escape or don’t want to get caught, you need to know where you’re going. Running blindly may get you caught.
These are just ideas. Maybe you have something to add.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Actually Becoming Prepared

I know that Stephen Stills wrote this song to mirror some protests that were occurring at the time in 1966. I’d like to use it in a little different way if you’ll permit me.
I was alive during the 60’s. It was a turbulent time. It was a time of change. Some changes were good and some not so good.
In the last few days police and civilians were killed. Some in a calculated ambush. Others under questionable circumstances. My prayers go to the families and friends who lost loved ones. I still trust law enforcement (LE) because I know too many of them that are such outstanding people. I hope people will not decide what is wrong or right without correct information. I’m not defending anyone but few of us know the danger in a simple traffic stop. We do not deal with evil on a daily basis and most of us are not fearful that we won’t come home at night to our families. But I also know that some officers have a chip on their shoulder. I’ve dealt with some of them myself. I try to make my experience with them a positive one. It’s hard sometimes. Some of the LE I have known well bring their work home with them. I had a counselor when I was a Branch President who was in Customs. I finally had to talk to him about his rotten attitude he had toward people in general. He was not really aware and later his wife thanked me and said things were much better at home because of his change. It’s difficult to wade around in filth and not get any on you. He was letting it affect him.

These incidents will be used to try and disarm the people. It will be politicized sadly.

“For What It’s Worth

There's something happening here
What it is ain't exactly clear
There's a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware”

Crime, terrorism, unrest, and war. These things are plaguing the world. Violence is becoming a daily diet.

“There's battle lines being drawn
Nobody's right if everybody's wrong
Young people speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind”

This is a typical 60’s line. Too bad Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump didn’t use it, it might help their campaigns. I especially like the line “Nobody's right if everybody's wrong”. I feel the Gadiantons are everywhere.

It’s hardly amazing that someone who was so negligent in their e-mail communication as Secretary of State can just get a promotion.
“I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email,” Secretary Clinton said in March 2016
“110 emails in 52 email chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information," Said the FBI Director Comey in his statement.
Also in March Secretary Clinton said she 'thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal emails instead of two.” Director Comey said that she 'used numerous mobile devices to view and send e-mail on [her] personal domain.'

Look, I know when you are under public scrutiny you’re going to say some things that will be questionable. You might even unknowingly tell a lie. Secretary Clinton has been caught in way too many of these for it to be a mistake. She is quite dishonest. I know the public doesn’t really care but I do. I too am not perfect but I try very hard to be honest. I also am not saying that Donald Trump is a perfectly honest guy. But Secretary Clinton was not just some businessman. She should be held to a higher standard as a public servant. You don’t become Secretary of State because you are bumbling idiot. This is not a low level Snowden here. Which we held to this higher standard than the Sec of State it seems. I’m not saying there are grounds for criminal charges. I do wonder if we should just say “Bad Secretary of State!” and let her go her way. If this happened to me I would be out of a job and couldn’t just change government jobs! I would probably never get another government job again. I don’t know what should happen to her, but I do know that she should be held to the highest standards of the land. She had a cabinet level job! I don’t care that she resigned that position, it’s a matter of trust. She cannot be trusted. These are just a few examples of her dishonesty. There are too many to list. That’s my rant on that!

See Washington Post article:

“I think it's time we stop, children, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down

What a field-day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side”

This is the times we live in. Protesting what we believe to be injustice. That is why we have a 1st Amendment. But many protests are turning dangerous.

“Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you're always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away”

Paranoia. Here’s where I come in. I know, it’s not paranoia if everyone is out to get you!
There’s a quote in one of my favorite movies “The Hunt For Red October” from 1990. It is by a character played by Fred Thompson. He was Navy Admiral Josh Painter.
“This business will get out of control. It will get out of control and we'll be lucky to live through it.”
I tend to agree with Fred. We’ll be lucky to live through it.
Get prepared my friends. I’m not predicting anything crazy. How much crazier can it be?
Put your houses in order so that you and your family will be ready for most things that may go down.
Have bugout bags, get home kits, first aid kits, etc. Work on your food and water storage. Work on your defense. I would never advise anyone to break the law. I say that now because guns are not outlawed. I’m not sure what I would advocate if our rights were trampled on worse than they have been.
Get your weapon and get trained. Ammunition is not “under fire” right now, but it could be soon. Certain guns are flying off the shelves because of the left and their “wonderful marketing plan.” Certain magazines might be a good idea right now too. Don’t go nuts, just know that they are on a list to be done away with.
Get prepared because I think the left is going to always be there. Their liberal attitude is that they know what is best for me and you and they will compel us to conform. I believe in a little more freedom than that. I’ve stated in past articles about how I feel about liberals and their thinking. They have little guts and no trust. They do not want you to be independent.

FEMA says make a plan:
Red Cross says make a kit:
CDC says to get a kit:
Weather Channel says to get a kit:
State Department says get prepared:
DHS says to be ready:
The White House says to be prepared:
President Obama was pretty clear about citizen’s responsibilities about being prepared for disasters. Yet some of you out there won’t listen.
The LDS Church says this about preparedness:
President Monson said in October of 2004:
“We do live in turbulent times. Often the future is unknown; therefore, it behooves us to prepare for uncertainties.”
Be prepared, it’s likely going to be a bumpy road ahead.

“Stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down”

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Trigger Press Drill: Drill Of The Month

Trigger Press Drill
99% of all misses when shooting are related to trigger press and recoil anticipation, not a sight problem or mysterious mechanical problem with the gun itself (trust me – I’ve tried to blame a few “bad guns” in my day). Because proper trigger press is the foundation on which all accurate shooting is based upon, this first installment will deal with this all-important issue. Trigger press and recoil anticipation (or lack thereof) is just as important with the rifle as it is with the pistol, but harder to properly apply to the handgun. Therefore, this drill should be conducted more frequently with the pistol. If you can successfully apply these principles with the handgun, the rifle will be easy. The converse is not always true.

In order to condition ourselves to not anticipate recoil, usually manifested by pressing down on the gun when the shot breaks, and to press the trigger straight to the rear, we must practice the ideal scenario with dry fire. Paul Howe conducts a drill known as the 5x1 drill, and Larry Vickers and Ken Hackathorn add a variable of placing a spent casing on the front sight post during the trigger press to aid in keeping the gun absolutely still through the entire trigger press. For guns with a smaller or oddly shaped front sight post, and penny or dime can be balanced on the front sight post. Here is the drill:

1. Check, double check, and triple check that the gun is unloaded and no magazine is in the magazine well.

2. Present the gun toward the target and have a partner balance a spent casing (penny or dime if sight will not allow a casing to be balanced), taking care to not pass his or her hand or fingers in front of the muzzle of your gun.

3. Perform a trigger press as if firing the gun, taking care that the object balanced on the gun does not fall off. Concentrate on pressing the trigger straight to the rear, with the only movement in your finger taking place perpendicular to the face of the trigger. Look for movement up and down as well as left and right. If the gun moves left or right, adjust the amount of finger on the trigger (more if gun moves left, less if gun moves right for a right-handed shooter).

4. Reset the trigger by manipulating the slide (double checking the gun is empty), and repeat for a total of five repetitions.

5. Load the firearm with ONE round, and fire for accuracy.

6. Unload the weapon. Check, double check, and triple check the weapon is unloaded and no magazine is in the magazine well, and repeat the process as many times as needed.

Check your target for the grouping of your fired shots. Are the groups tightening? Are they on target? Low and left? Vertically strung? Your target will tell you a lot about what you still need to work on. We recommend firing your shots at a minimum of 10 yards. The further you are from the target, the more precise your fundamentals must be to get your hits.

One criticism we hear of this drill by the uninformed is that it is easy to keep the gun steady when you know it is not going to fire. Our response is yes, exactly! That is why we use this drill to help hone that skill set into subconscious muscle memory by performing many repetitions. The more trigger presses you perform properly, the more likely you are to perform the task the same way when the gun is going to go BANG. This portion of the drill can be performed at home sans the live fire, in a room with no magazines or live ammunition, and facing an outside wall.

See “Overwatch: Drill of the Month” page

Monday, July 4, 2016

Pledge Honorably On Independence Day

Two hundred and forty years ago today brave men signed a document. The Declaration of Independence. They were from many different places and backgrounds. 56 of them from the original 13 colonies, the reason we have 13 stripes on our flag. Delaware, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New York, Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Maryland. These men committed treason to the Crown by signed this document. Their names were kept secret for 6 months because of this treason.

The oldest signer, Benjamin Franklin, I think said, "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."

The Declaration ends with:
“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

I wish people that don’t like religion and religious belief would stop trying to convince the world that these men, and others like them, were not believers in a higher power or God. Judeo-Christian foundation was there when the wrote, signed, and pledged their sacred honor to this country.

We call it “The 4th of July” too much. I’ve caught myself doing it. It is the day we celebrate Independence Day. The day we took what was our rights given to us by God. Not by men or governments, but by God.

I took an oath once. It said this:
I, (Burn’s name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God." (Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962).

This too mentions God. And I say to you right here and now, I mutually pledge my life, my fortune, and my sacred honor in keeping this oath. I raised my right hand and took this oath more than once. I may not be a military member, but I am still bound by my sacred honor to uphold this oath.

This is not a year to sit on the sidelines, not a year to watch from the bench. "The most important election of our lifetimes" may start to sound like a cliche but it increasingly seems to be true. We must take back this country and do it with our vote. We must pledge our lives, fortunes, and sacred honor. If we do not, we will not be free.
Please vote your conscience. Not along political or party lines. Ignore the rhetoric, because there is so much of it. Most people running and voting do not pledge this pledge. They want something that’s “in it for me.” Vote for freedom and send a message to Washington D.C. and to stupid, unelected lobbyists, that this country is ours.

President Abraham Lincoln told us in talking about those that died in the Civil War that our government is by the people and for the people. He also talked about giving “the last full measure of devotion” that “this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of Freedom...” and that this government by us, for us “shall not perish from the earth.”

Do you vote? Do you write your electedofficials? Do you give any measure of devotion to this country? Are you willing to protect this country from all enemies, foreign and domestic?

Take the oath with me. Give something to this country. Pledge a portion of your life and do in front of God.

Have sacred honor and true devotion to the idea of this country that lit the world on fire.
God said the Constitution is from Him to all the world:

Doctrine and Covenants 98:5
5 And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me.

Happy Independence Day!

Semper Paratus
Check 6