Monday, July 31, 2017

I'm Not A Knife Guy, I Swear!

I keep insisting that I'm not a knife guy. Yet I have many knives and like to see the newest versions. My favorite brands are Spyderco, Kershaw, Cold Steel and Gerber. I've always carried a pocket knife. I received my first knife as a 8 year old. It was a Case and I loved I. I also had an Official Cub Scout pocket knife. But that's part of my Scouting history. I actually learned to handle a knife from my Father but I also learned more as a Cub and Boy Scout.

Modern knife steel is very high quality material, but all metal will corrode through time. Occasionally oil the joints and springs of a pocket knife with a drop or two of oil. This will assure easier opening and closing and will prevent rust and lessen wear. Wipe the blades down and then with an oil-moistened cloth to prevent rust-especially if you live in a damp climate or close to the ocean. If your blade should get wet, dry it thoroughly. If your knife comes into contact with salt water or any substance you are not certain about, you should rinse it immediately with tap water, dry it and apply a light coat of oil.

Do not store knives in their sheaths. The leather collects moisture and creates pits on the blade.

Check the locking notch of lockbacks regularly to ensure that it will work properly. Keep all sand and grit out of the knife. Keep the mechanisms clean. Remember to never rely on a folding knife to be permanently locked in position.

Do not use the cutting blade as a can opener, chisel, pry bar, screwdriver or for any heavy work for which your knife was not designed. Also, don't use the back of your knife as a hammer. It may break the springs, handles or pin.

Handles made of wood can be occasionally rubbed with furniture polish or oil. Brass can be polished with household brass polish.

Remember to keep your knife sharpened --a dull blade can be more dangerous than a properly maintained one.

General Knife Sharpening Instructions

Sharpening a knife is sometimes perceived as the most difficult knife care task; and it probably is. Modern stainless steel is very hard and, when sharpened properly, will hold a good edge for a very long time. When sharpening a knife you must have a high quality sharpener that features a rough stock removal surface (preferably diamond abrasive) and a finishing surface of hard stone or ceramic abrasive. The diamond and ceramic materials will cut away the steel on the blade's cutting surface easily as these materials are harder than steel. A hard stone will also perform this task, but the stone is only slightly harder than the steel and so this requires more effort on your part.

Sharpening with a stone

When grinding your knife on a stone, it may be useful to use a three-way oil stone, Fine-Medium-Coarse. Use the stone only when your edge does not re-align with a steel. That means your edge has dulled from constant use or steeling. Make sure you use the exact angle at 30 to 40 strokes before your new edge is formed. Use more strokes if needed. The angle used determined by how sharp you want the knife. The smaller the angle the sharper the edge. However be aware that the sharper the edge the sooner it will fade, and need to be re-sharpened. If it is too difficult for you to maintain the correct angle, throughout your re-grinding procedure, take your knife to a reputable knife grinding service in your area.

When a knife is used, the edge eventually becomes dull. The edge will turn either to the left or right side depending on how you hold your knife when cutting. Quality knives with high carbon/molybdenum/vanadium alloy have elasticity and can easily be re-aligned by a sharpening steel. Do not use a diamond-coated steel or a pull-through manual or electric sharpening device for maintaining the edge. These devices will destroy your turned edge. They can be used to sharpen, but not for maintenance.

Place the knife blade against the tip of the sharpening steel at an angle of approximately 20 degrees. Pull the knife down and across the steel, describing a slight arc. Repeat this action on the back of the steel to sharpen the other side of the blade. Repeat steps 2 and 3 five to ten times, alternating the left and right side of the blade. It is very important to maintain the angle of 20 degrees and to run the full length of the cutting edge along the steel from the hilt to the tip of the knife. Speed of movement plays no part in this process.

Sharpening Serrated Blades

First, obtain the correct sharpening tools to perform the task. Many of the sharpening kits on the market offer serration hones as options. Second, have the proper technique to use.

Most factory ground serrations will have the same angle as the plain edge portion (assuming the blade is partially serrated), which means in the neighborhood of 20 to 25 degrees.

Once everything is set up, you can begin the process. Using firm pressure, work the hone in a back-and-forth motion, perpendicular to the cutting edge. Every so often, stop and feel for a raised burr on the backside of the blade. Only move on to the next tooth when you see or feel a raised burr. Once you have completed sharpening the ground side of the blade, flip the knife over.

Types of Sharpeners

There are many good sharpeners on the market today. The main factor in sharpening is the device you use to remove the material from the blade must maintain a uniform angle for you and not allow your efforts from stroke to stroke to change the angle of pressure you are putting on the cutting surface of the blade. If this angle relationship is changing from stroke to stroke, you will end up with a rounded edge that will feel sharp for a short period of time and dull rapidly.

Caring for your knife is as important as caring for any of your tools. My Leatherman tool has never failed me. I carry it always and love it's versatility. Find the knife that works best for your needs and then take the time to care for and sharpen it. It really pays off in the long run and will help you out of many everyday problems.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Types Of Surveillance: Who's watching Who?

When I was about 11 my Sister would take me to the Sky Harbor International airport in Phoenix. I liked it because they had a video game arcade there and I liked the planes. We’d go and watch the planes take off and land. We would also watch people. Little did I know that my Sister was teaching me surveillance techniques.
There are three basic forms of surveillance.
Obviously, surveillance is almost always carried out without the person’s knowledge. To alert the target that he or she is being monitored would cause the target to change their behavior, thus derailing surveillance attempts to manage, influence, direct, or “protect” them. The ability of the operator to maintain a certain level of anonymity is a must. The operator must not only remain invisible to the target, but also to the target’s neighbors and visitors. There are also times when surveillance is done with the purpose of letting the target know they are being observed—overt surveillance—so as to induce or discourage behavior. Overt surveillance might be used on a suspect that is a high flight-risk or likely to reoffend.
Stationary surveillance is one of the most common forms of surveillance due to its relative ease. This type of surveillance can be conducted with a single operator remaining in a stationary position while observing a target or area. When an investigation calls for collecting information about a particular area or property, stationary surveillance is adequate. It also limits the likelihood of the surveillance being discovered or “made”. Stationary surveillance, when done from inside a permanent structure, offers the operator the most cover should their activities become known. All available precautions should be taken in order to preserve the anonymity of the investigation.
Mobile surveillance is one of the most difficult and dangerous forms of surveillance in which one can be involved. It is almost identical to stationary surveillance except the operator must follow the target if necessary. The target may become mobile in a vehicle, on foot, in a taxi, city bus, or be picked up by a third party. It is easy to see how this can present obstacles for the operator whose tasked with following the target while not being discovered or losing the target. As a general rule, the operator should allow the target a considerable amount of space while conducting surveillance. There are times when it is necessary for the operator to allow for very little space such as when operating on foot, in a crowd, or when a target enters an elevator. The target should be allowed to carry on his or her normal activities without becoming aware he or she is being monitored.
That’s easier said than done because we as human beings have an innate ability to feel and interpret certain energies. Have you ever stood in line at the store and had a weird feeling someone was staring at you? That’s the connection I’m trying to describe.
Electronic surveillance uses devices to obtain information. This is done via monitoring a target’s telephone communications, Internet activity, GPS coordinates, and financial transactions among other techniques. On May 15, 2012 Wired magazine released an article highlighting the sentiment of then CIA Chief David Petraeus. Wired reported that at the IN-Q-TEL summit Petraeus suggested Internet connected appliances, such as washing machines and televisions, are a wealth of information that will be exploited to gather intelligence. Wait, it gets worse! Thanks to the Wikileaks Vault 7 dump we have been made aware of a program code named “Weeping Angel,” where surveillance can be conducted through smart TVs.
In this breakdown we have taken a quick peek at what surveillance is and more importantly what it isn’t. The next time you hear someone trivializing surveillance because they “have nothing to hide” ask them this question: if you have nothing to keep private, then why do you use locks? Locks only slow down the professional criminal.
Watch what you say and what you write/post/text. If these are on digital, wireless, or a device connected to the internet, they are usually not very secure.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Importance Of An Exit

Security at a large event
How important is an exit?
May 22, 2017
MANCHESTER, England — Children were among the 22 people killed in a suicide attack after an Ariana Grande concert at Britain's Manchester Arena, police confirmed Tuesday.
Meanwhile, authorities identified the suicide bomber responsible for the carnage as 22-year-old Salman Abedi and warned angry residents against any reprisals.
Nicola Murray, who was at the concert with her 12-year-old daughter Olivia, told NBC News that she witnessed "a red-orange-looking flash" and heard an "incredibly loud bang."
"Within seconds, as you can imagine, it was chaos and people were panicking and running to try and get out the door," she said. "We were getting swept with the people crushing to get out and I was terrified my daughter would get crushed. At one point, she was getting dragged away from me but I managed to pull her into me and force her in front of me while trying to direct her to the door and down the steps.”
This is a short excerpt from and NBC report of a terrorist bombing at a pop-star concert in England.
Do you know how to exit a large event like this one in case of a fire, natural disaster, or a terrorist threat? Here are some tips.
First and foremost is situational awareness. I know it’s exciting to attend a large event like the one above, but the first thing to do once you’re inside a large event is to identify two exits. Why two? If you were at the above concert you would be faced with a bomb detonation at the main entrance (and exit) of the event. Don’t go toward the blast. Plus, if there are more bombs, the terrorists would probably pick the most likely heavily used exit to detonate another bomb. So with two identified exits, you will have a choice.
It’s also a good idea to identify security. What color are their shirts? Are they easy to spot in a crowd? Do they carry radios? All of this info might be handy.
If permitted be armed. Most large events will have specific rules on guns being present. Usually it is prohibited. Often a metal detector is implemented at the entrance of the event. If you cannot have a gun, a knife, a tac pen, any other less offensive weapon may be permitted.
If something does go down quickly scan the room. While the inevitable panic ensues, you need to keep your wits about you and take a second to make sure the exit you’re heading to is safe. You don’t want to be rushing to a place where a guy with an AK-47 is waiting to mow people down. I realize keeping your cool is difficult to do when you’re scared and confused, but it’s crucial that you can immediately assess whether you’re heading in a safe direction.
Most of the time, it’s not a good idea to follow the crowd. So if you see everyone running in a certain direction, you probably want to head the other way. Think about crowd mentality that people will blindly follow the herd without thinking. This is another reason why following the crowd is often a bad idea. Most people have no idea why they are going where they’re going, except for the fact that everybody else is headed that way. When faced with panic or great stress, most people will return from where they came in. This is why it’s important to picks two exits when you enter a big event. Also, in a large open room, it’s sometimes easier to move around on the perimeter of the building. Especially if you are going against the flow of the crowd.
If you are seriously injured and bleeding, the first aid of pressure is important until you are safe and can get medical help. Safety is the prime directive here.
These are simple tips. But these are things that have proven to work. Remember to be in “Yellow” when in places with a lot of people.
As a reminder here are Jeff Coopers color codes again.
Unaware and unprepared. "Daydreaming" or "preoccupied”, oblivious to possible threat. If attacked in Condition White, the only thing that may save you is the inadequacy of your attacker.
Relaxed alert. There is no specific threat situation. You don’t expect to be attacked, but are simply aware that the world is a potentially unfriendly place and that "today could be the day I may have to defend myself". You are alert and aware of your surroundings. You are difficult to surprise, so you do not make an easy victim.
Specific alert. Something is not quite right and has your attention. You shift your primary focus to determine if there is a threat. The difference between Yellow and Orange is this specific target for your attention. Your mindset shifts to "I might have to defend myself against that person today", focusing on the specific target which has caused the escalation in alert status. When you shift upward to Orange, you begin to focus your attention on this individual that caught your eye, but you do not drop your guard. You don't want to be blind-sided by his friends. You begin to watch him and assess his intentions. Once you figure out he's not a threat, dismiss him and de-escalate right back down to Yellow.
Condition Red is the fight or flight. It means stop him or escape. Your mental trigger (established back in Condition Orange) has been tripped. You must act now with a decisive and aggressive action.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Security Dealing With A Stalker

My daughter’s husband’s father, her father-in-law, is a personal injury lawyer in California. We’ll call him Bob. Bob does quite well there. His practice is thriving. He told me about a time when he was stalked by an angry business owner who he successfully sued for being at fault in injuring an employee. This guy was making obscene phone calls to his office and somehow found out where he lived. He started to become concerned and so he got a concealed license and started to carry a gun. He also instructed his family in how to avoid risk when at home and out in public. He started to receive phone calls at his home. He quickly changed his phone number (this was before cell phones). The police had been called and a restraining order issued. The calls become violent and threatening so to top off his home alarm he had cameras installed. Finally the creep was caught breaking the restraining order being dangerously close to their home. Bob called the police when he saw him on one of his cameras.
You never know when some whack-o will get the wrong idea about why you pulled in front of him, or why you did some other innocent thing that they took wrong. Here are some tips to keep you safe if you’re being stalked.
Carry a weapon.
If you’re trained to do so, carry a gun. Bob rushed out to get a concealed carry permit because he was truly afraid this person might come to his home and attack his family. If you don’t want to carry a gun, at the very least have a tactical pen on you. The truth is a concealed carry permit is basically an inexpensive form of insurance. If you live in a state that issues them, I urge you to get one as soon as you can. Don’t wait. Until that permit is physically on your person, you are not legally allowed to carry concealed. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation like Bob’s without the means to protect yourself.
Immediately stop all contact with the person.
Of course, this only works if you know who is stalking you. If you’re being hassled by an ex-lover, jilted co-worker, angry neighbor or someone else who is familiar to you, be sure to ignore any messages they leave you on the phone or on social media. Make sure that your friends and family stop all contact, too.
Document everything.
Save every voicemail and every note. A paper trail will come in handy if you need to take legal action. In Bob’s case, he kept detailed records. The first police report was useful to establish the pattern of harassment. Document activity, dates, times. Even establish witnesses. Be cautious to never let the stalker have the advantage.
Tell everyone you know that you’re being stalked. Don’t be embarrassed and keep this information from friends and family. Tell people so they’ll know to keep you safe. Bob had talked to other lawyers so they could have keep an eye out. Personal injury law is a small “community” in the city he works in.
Check to see if you’re being tracked.
If the stalker had access to your cellphone, check it for a tracking app or get a new phone entirely. Check your vehicle for a tracking device by looking underneath it to see if a small GPS has been attached to your car. It doesn’t appear that Bob was being tracked electronically, but he did see his vehicle occasionally. He made sure his phone was recording when he spotted him.
I experienced a little of this once. We knew a woman who was leaving her husband. I don’t think it was particularly because of physical abuse, but they were separating. She brought her 2 small kids with her and they stayed at our home a day or so. She wanted to leave town and didn’t want to be followed. He was not a particular threat to me. He had friends in the sheriff’s office and they made a few passes by our house. We have several acres fenced by a 6ft deer fence. To actually get close to our house you would have to enter our drive on our property. There are signs. These deputies knew better. They did not come on our property. I would have ran them off. I often am armed (the only place I open carry) on our property, not that I really wanted to get into it with law enforcement (LE) carrying a gun. In fact, I probably would have removed the weapon to communicate with LE. But it never came to that. I was afraid they, and the husband, would try to intimidate me. But when vehicles I did not recognize went by our property I went out of my way to let the driver know I was watching. I didn’t want anyone “testing the wire” so to speak. Nothing happened and our friend got off alright. But if I ever had to deal with a stalker, I would probably go for “in your face” rather than running away. I would not look for a fight but, depending on the circumstance, I would let the stalker know I was prepared and ready to stalk them!
Be careful taking that advice. This is something for me in particular. Make sure you stay safe. Don’t take any unnecessary chances. Make sure you get authorities involved if there is any type of threat. You are not me and often being “in your face” can get your face smacked! Always be safe and secure.
I like the following quote though:
“I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you're looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money... but what I do have are a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that will be the end of it - I will not look for you, I will not pursue you... but if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you... and I will kill you.”
So is that a little over the top? I guess threatening someone’s life is a little too much. But I have had a long career (seems longer every day!). And do have a very particular set of skills.
You should acquire skills too. Don’t be a victim. Don’t let the aggressor take control. Like me old friend the Green Beret used to say to me time and time again, “Be aware, be deadly, and be in charge.”
FDR said:
“So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”
I’m not an FDR fan. But I like this full quote. When worrying about a stalker “…convert retreat into advance.”

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Concealed carry Advice From A Pro

Did you ever hear of a police officer named Lt. Bob Stasch? Neither had I until my friend Choirboy told me about him. He is a commanding officer for the Chicago Police Department. He has been a police officer in Chicago for over 25 years. He may even be retired by now. I saw an interview with him (thanks Mas Ayoob!). He has been in 14 gunfights in the incredibly unsafe parts of Chicago. He has some very good insights that apply to anyone who carries a gun professionally, or as a citizen.
Some of these things I’ve taught for years and others maybe not so much.

Carry what is comfortable, not what someone recommends. He said the gun should “…feel like a 6th finger.”
He recommends, and I concur, choosing a gun that feels good in your hand and that goes “bang” every time.
Sometimes certain guns get a stigma because of their price. Like Kel Tec’s are garbage and Kimber’s are the best. Those stereo types of guns are usually not true. Most guns will shoot well if the shooter can shoot well. Find a gun that fits you well and that you can shoot well.

He said out of his 14 gunfights that he only used a two-handed grip 3 times.
Usually his support hand was doing something else, operating a radio, pushing someone or something out of the way, but occupied. Drill with a single hand. I’ve always maintained this. If you shoot and move you will find a two-handed grip and stance almost impossible to maintain. Even in competition you have to stop to shoot. If you don’t train with one hand you won’t all of a sudden know how to shoot with one hand. Try it with each hand. Incorporate one handed shooting into your training.

Most of his gunfights were at a distance of under 10 yards, with the majority being about 3 yards.
I’ve also trained this for years. Be able to hit your target in close quarters (CQ). You have to draw, aim, and shoot within about 2 seconds. That will mean being able to get your first shot off before you aim with sights. You should be able to get off one to two shot before bringing the weapon to your line of sight. I use the 21 foot rule (it’s actually not a rule) for my maximum shooting distance with a pistol. That’s just me. You should incorporate some sort of CQ into your training. Most of my training is CQ.

In his first gunfight, he said that he and his partner shot the suspect 15 times before the suspect went down. The suspect had no drugs in his system and ended up staying alive for 10 days after the encounter.
After Lt. Stasch’s first shooting, he ended up practicing headshots at close distance. He says he practices on a 6-inch paper plate target.

I know that head shots aren’t very appealing. But I know some operators that train almost exclusively with head shots. The El Presidente can help you here. My El Prez is a variation of Jeff Coopers and the competition drill. At various CQ distances I turn, draw, and put two to center of mass and one to the head, change mags, and repeat. I also mix it up. I like the idea of a 6 inch target. I think I use a 10 inch plate but I do hit the center “ring” which is about 6 to 7 inches.

He said he carries a spare gun (a revolver) and two spare magazines for his .45.
These days carry guns are small and many are single stack. Knowing this, I carry as much as I can. At least carry a spare magazine. But more is always better. Most of us may not need a spare gun, but a spare magazine or two is a very prudent practice. If you can handle a spare gun and two or three magazines, then by all means, carry that. Most concealed carriers carry one gun and one spare mag. Find a system that is good for you. If you find yourself in a more dangerous part of town often, maybe more is the minimum. If I know I’m going into a more dangerous situation, I arm myself for it. If I’m going into a green zone I want a battle rifle, 3 30 rounders, a sidearm with two extra mags. Out of the green zone would be even more. But I don’t see very “hot” areas so I arm accordingly. I know some ex-operators who carry a battle rifle in their trunk. I don’t know if it’s habit or they know something I don’t. But where I live, under rule of law, I leave the battle rifle at home with the ammo battle packs. If you find yourself in a questionable neighborhood, carrying a large bank deposit, you would act responsibly.

Two things I really liked about his interview:
He said the best way to survive gunfights is to never be in one in the first place. And two, he doesn’t care about being an expert, he just wants to go home at night.
These two bits of advice are better than anything else he could say.
Situational awareness, being able to see a problem and avoid it before it happens is the best defense we can have.
Lt. Bob Stasch is a true hero. He’d be the last to say it though. His courage under fire is something we should all learn from. I’d recommend his interview in learning how to be better at self-defense.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Unexpected Bang: Negligent Discharge

If you ever had one, you know. If you haven’t had one, you’re due. There’s just about nothing that scares the you-know-what out of you like a negligent discharge.

Simply put, this is any “bang” you didn’t expect.

Such unexpected shots are rightly alarming, and for a host of reasons. The most obvious is their spectacularly, intrinsically unsafe nature: They generally signal errors and oversights, and perhaps technique flaws as well. They also tell you a lot about the shooter who has one in terms of character, or at least that’s our opinion. I’d be concerned by anyone not shocked and shaken when it happens to them. Serious assessment on several levels is the only appropriate response, to say nothing of apology and recompense if possible. At the very least, it ought to be the place where firearms snobbery and arrogance go to die. Think about this, and when you think, act. If you ever have one, make sure you put things in place so you’ll never experience it again!

I’d also suggest prayer, frankly, especially if yours was only embarrassing and expensive. They can be tragically worse, of course, though this is thankfully very rare despite mainstream media hysteria to the contrary (medical mistakes, automobile accidents, poisoning, falls, suffocation, drowning and incineration are all many times more common). All the same, most are preventable, and responsible gun ownership certainly means reducing them to as close to zero as possible, before the well-meaning-but-ignorant reduce them for you, by the taking away your Second Amendment rights.

First, know the rules, and understand how they “interlock” to make true gun safety a reality. I’ve made it a point in teaching that just one rule can do the heavy lifting for all safety concerns if it is applied with sufficient vigor: Never let the muzzle cover anything you aren’t willing to destroy.

Think about this and perhaps you’ll understand. If you never broke this rule, but had multiple NDs, it would only be expensive and embarrassing: It’s all but impossible to seriously injure yourself or anyone else as long as you don’t let that muzzle cover what you really value (I don’t have to actually say “people,” right?). But break this rule in combination with any of the others and things go rapidly, horribly wrong.

An especially dangerous way of thinking where I’ve see this happen, is when people limit the “muzzle cover” notion only to things they can see. Bullets will pierce many objects or travel surprising distances, and it’ll still be your fault if on the other side of whatever (wall, hill, car door, etc.) is something you didn’t want to destroy. Therefore, a loaded firearm gets pointed at a target only, to say nothing of putting your finger on the trigger, and-or firing.

Second is clearing a firearm. Most NDs occur with firearms people thought were empty. Notice how this one becomes trivial, expensive and embarrassing only, if you don’t violate number one above.

I’ve observed that clearing errors can have several sources. The most likely is not knowing how to properly clear a given firearm. This is compounded by the multiplicity of action types because different methods, in mechanical terms, apply. The fallback in all such cases is simple: Ask, or leave it the heck alone.

A myth-lie the anti-gun media loves to perpetuate is “It just went off!” But in all my years, I’ve never seen this happen, nor even been able to verify an incident I’ve heard about. There has always been an explanation, and a mistake has always been made. Got that? Always, and I figure I’ve been within earshot of something well north of 3 million rounds, and several dozen NDs.

This is one of the reasons we urge everyone to compete at some point in their shooting life: Nothing improves the quality and safety of overall gun handling like the repetition of competitive precautions and enforcements. Yet, even the most active of these maintain safety records that are simply unrivaled.
So “It just went off!” never happens!

Third, haste is the enemy. Let me clarify that: Certain things in shooting, both in sport and defensive situations, require speed, but they always have a connection to the target-only state we discussed above. Nothing else can or should be done in a hurry. Simply, give yourself time to think about safety in everything. Be deliberate in your head, not automatic with your hands. I shudder at my own recollected close calls and note that all were the fruit of utterly unnecessary haste.

Like what? Well, how about holstering? A surprising number of self-inflicted injuries stem from this, though modern holsters and competitive rules are driving this tally down. What in the world can be the rush to re-holster, yet you’ll see it frequently. Where this gets dangerous is if trigger discipline and muzzle control haven’t yet matured, and the finger doesn’t leave the trigger as the sights leave a legitimate target. It’s easy to envision how a gun-gear collision of undue force during this act can result in a bullet horrifyingly near your own femoral artery. Life-changing in any event.

A rotten “sister” exists in the draw. The desire to get going quickly is understandable, especially in defense situations and training for them. But remember that touching that trigger can only happen after the muzzle is clear of the holster, parallel to the ground, and on its way to a target. Whether your draw is from the waistband, purse, ankle or wherever, don’t be hunting for the interior of the trigger guard and face of the trigger until this happens. Breaking this one will not end well either, guaranteed.

I watched a ND recently when two students were practicing “punching out” with their guns. Luckily the gun was pointed in the right direction, toward the target, downrange. But the yelp of the student told me it was a ND. The range was hot so it wasn’t dangerous in that it was pointed correct and no one was downrange. The ND was unintentional even though it could have very well been an intentional shot. Like I said, the sound and the red face was a give-away. We stopped, cleared all weapons, re-briefed the rules, and let the violator teach the rest of us why rule 3 was important.

Safety is something that should be serious but can be taught with a little fun. Be serious when you have to (I tell “war stories” of tragedy) but it can be uniquely taught. “Bill why do we keep Rule number 3?” Because of Rule number 1. “Jennifer what is Rule number 4 and why do we keep it?” Because of rule number 1. Being exact is what I strive for. Keeping these rules with exactness (not only the finger out of the guard, but the finger on the frame instead of next to the guard) will keep ND’s from ruining your day. Muscle memory is important in shooting but “rule memory” is imperative. Rule memory is the ultimate goal of shooting. It’s something that will make everything else fall into place.

A reminder:
1. All guns are always loaded.
2. Never point the gun at anything you are not willing to destroy.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on target.
4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

Negligent discharges are the shooters responsibility. Just as every bullet that leaves your gun. Bear that responsibility well. Like situational awareness, you must always be cognizant of your gun and its location, position, and status. ND’s make us all look bad. Gun owners, shooters, and hunters must all be better. We must meet the standard and the standard is high. Every time I see people playing around with guns on You Tube I want to slap these idiots. I love guns and love shooting and having fun with them. But there are limits and a way to do it safely.
Be careful out there. Be safe and enjoy your right.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Monthly Read: Book Review For July

Monthly Read
Once a month I will review and recommend a book. I know in this digital world that paper books are a little out dated. Most hard copy books are now in digital form, often in PDF. I would recommend a good well rounded hard copy library in your home. Some of the best books are old and out of print. There are certain publishers and authors I really like. This will be books I like and really only my opinion. If you’d like to recommend a book for me to review e-mail me and we can make it happen. The subjects will be varied but will have to do with the theme of this website, LDS Gunsite. Guns, preparedness, LDS History, security, self-defense, and patriotism are just a few examples. I have a big library of mostly reference books so I will draw heavily from that. Some books may be old and out of print. But most will be books you can find on Amazon.
July’s Monthly Read is: “Square Foot Gardening: A New Way to Garden in Less Space with Less Work” By Mel Bartholomew
Publisher’s summary:
One of the bestselling garden books ever is fresher than ever! Ready to inspire a whole new generation of gardeners.
When he created the "square foot gardening" method, Mel Bartholomew, a retired engineer and efficiency expert, found the solution to the frustrations of most gardeners. His revolutionary system is simple: it's an ingenious planting method based on using square foot blocks of garden space instead of rows. Gardeners build up, not down, so there's no digging and no tilling after the first year. And the method requires less thinning, less weeding, and less watering.
"I found a better way to garden, one that's more efficient, more manageable, and requires less work," Bartholomew explains. Not surprisingly, his method quickly received worldwide recognition and has been written up in every major newspaper and gardening magazine. His book, which served as the companion to the nationally acclaimed television series, has sold over 800,000 copies. Now freshened with new illustrations, the book Ingram calls "the largest selling garden book in America" is reissued for the delight of a whole new generation of gardeners.

My wife and I love this book and method. The reason we moved to country was the influence of two great people, Polly and Rallo Henry. When we met these great people we were looking for a place to live. They influenced us to find property and to build our own home. Because of their counsel and encouragement, we have had a wonderful and enriching experience living beside a dirt road. We love our home that we put our blood, sweat, and tears into! Way back when we first bought our “shell” of a home and property, we started a garden. We had done some gardening living on bases in the military also. But having our own place and space was great. Polly gave us a copy of “Square Foot Gardening”. We have used it ever since. We love the book. Even as I write this we have a garden that is laid out with the square foot method. We’ve come a long way since then but square foot gardening has always been part of our food production. Mel Bartholomew’s writing is easy to follow and to translate into your own garden.
I’m a fan of Mel Bartholomew. He’s influenced people to garden and helped feed people around the world. He’s encouraging, uplifting, thoughtful and a fun writer. He’s an organic gardener and a philanthropist, and just seems to be an all-around sharp guy with a good heart. If you’ve got a limited amount of space, like well-planned systems, and you’ve got some resources, square foot gardening is a great method.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Eating Healthy and Crap: From FLAG

One of the things you might notice with the change of your eating is your bowel movements will be different and possibly more frequent. Don’t stress over this. The more bowel movements you have a day, the better it is. Feces is waste and toxic. The sooner it can pass out of your body, the healthier you will be. This happens because of the extra fiber in your diet which comes from eating whole grains and breads, fruits, vegetables and beans. The fiber is an important role in slowing down the digestion of food, which makes you not hungry as fast as eating something with no fiber. No fiber foods are cookies, donuts, candy bars, white bread, hot dogs etc. This digests faster and you find yourself hungrier sooner.
The high fiber in the diet also helps to maintain a fairly even blood sugar. This is important with helping the body to function properly. Fiber in your diet helps clean off the walls of your digestive track. Its job is to clean and eliminate waste. It helps keep the villi cleaned and clear so that proper nutrition can be absorbed into the body. Fiber is like toothpaste we use on our teeth. Toothpaste gets rid of plaque and helps prevent cavities. Fiber is the toothpaste for the digestive system. If the digestive system is not properly cleaned, fecal matter (poop) gets stuck between the villi. Over time the waste sits in there, gets hard, ferments and can cause cancer.
When you start eating healthy you may find your stools softening and going more often. As you’re cleaning out your intestinal track the stools should get lighter as time goes on. The darker and stickier the poop, the more your digestive system is in need of cleaning. Don’t stress when over time your stool softens to a lighter brown or green. That is good. Also you will notice that when eating healthier your stools will become smaller. This happens because you are consuming food that your body can burn and get nutrition from. The poop is what is left over. There is not much when eating good and nutritious food.
Your body also uses your skin to help eliminate toxins. Your skin is like having an extra kidney. So from time to time with eating healthy your body will go through detoxing. This is good and important. So from time to time you may need to take an extra shower and drink more water. This will help eliminate waste. Your body gets rid of waste 5 ways by throwing up, sweating, urinating, bowel movements and pimples. The body uses these options for survival.
A healthy urine look should be light yellow or almost clear. If it is really yellow, you are not drinking enough water during the day. Proper amounts of water are needed for the body to function to its peak efficiency. You should have at least 8 glasses of water a day. Don’t count drinking fruit juice or milk and one of your eight glasses.
My Grandmother used to tell me that every time you go to the bathroom, after washing your hands, take a drink of water. You got rid of liquid you need to replace it. This is why I keep a cup in my bathroom.
During the day I drink 2-4 glasses of limeade a day. To make 2 quarts, squeeze 8 key limes. Use a small hand strainer so seeds don’t go into pitcher. Fill pitcher with water. When I drink it, I put ice in the cup and 3 droppers full of liquid stevia and pour in the limeade. Lime is good to help alkaline your body. It is also a nice refreshing drink. You can do it with lemons but would have to use less of them to squeeze because they are bigger than key limes. I use key limes because they are sold where I live in bulk.

Soda should be avoided because of the carbonation. It is not good. If you have to drink a soda from time to time, (that means once is a blue moon) it is better to drink regular soda rather than diet because of the Aspertame in diet soda. This is another substance I don’t believe is good for your health. Diet sugars are awful for your health. That is why I use stevia or cane sugar.

Eat healthy my friends!


Semper Paratus
Check 6

Overwatch: Drill of the Month For July

Hood Drill
Situation: You are surprised by the sudden bad turn of events as the people right next to you launch an attack. Remember-attacks occur suddenly! This drill protocol is nothing more than the use by firearms students of the common hooded drills that martial artists and reality fight trainers have used for centuries.
Drill 1: With the shooter not able to see the range, set up several target stands in realistic positions. Staple a human picture shoot/no-shoot target to each. Place a hood over the shooter and lead him/her into the middle of the targets so arranged. Standing in a direction away from any target, pull the hood off and let the shooter deal with the problem presented, making the necessary shoot/no-shoot decisions.
Drill 1A: Any number of variations of this drill can be done, using different human representational targets and props. Variation: Also place objects of cover or simulated cover in the training area, and let the shooter use them. Airsoft variation: same drills as above, but using airsoft weapons and real people instead of targets.
I like this drill because it is more realistic training for self-defense. Don’t get into a rut with your training. Find new ways to challenge your skills and improve your awareness and perception.
See “Overwatch: Drill of the Month” page for more drills
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Aim Small

Aim small… hit small — anyone who has participated in the world of target practice, competition, sniper school, self-defense courses, or the military, whether with a firearm or archery, is aware of this expression. Anyone who saw the epic movie The Patriot starring Mel Gibson” in 2000 will remember him telling his two young sons this during their involvement in an attack on the British column.
The idea is to aim at a specific small section or part of a target rather than the target itself. When target practicing on paper, there is always a bullseye on the target, but nothing really differentiates it from the rest of the target other than rings. You can easily put a red sticker or draw a small red circle as your aim point, giving you the smaller target.
The psychological aspect of aim small, hit small is that, if you aim at just the target, you can miss the target. But if you aim at a very small place on that target, you will hit the target. During the filming of The Patriot, Mel Gibson was given the advice by his technical advisor to “aim small, hit small” while practicing with a musket. He was told that during those early years, men were taught that, if they aimed at the man and missed, you missed the man; but, if you aimed at a button on his jacket and missed, you still hit the man.
Ask any shooter who has been shooting any length of time, participated in competition, or attended formal training (either civilian or military) and they know the advantage of aiming small. There is just a psychological thing going on which you can yourself discover at the range. Put a target out there at 50 to 100 yards and fire the whole magazine or clip as fast as you can at that target. Now replace that target with a new one and take your time aiming and breathing, and fire all your rounds again. Big difference. Now, put up a new target, only this time put a small one-inch red sticker in the bull’s-eye and concentrate your aim at that dot. Carefully squeeze off three rounds and see how close you are. You will be surprised the accuracy when you aim at a very small target.
Now this practice is great for stationary targets while you sit at a shooting bench, but how many actually shoot while moving or at a moving target? Here is another area less practiced, but equally important, especially if you are practicing for personal defense. Depending on where you are practicing, you can probably at least stand up and shoot, or lean against a wall. If at an outdoor range, you can maybe walk and shoot or fall to the ground and fire. Use the “aim small, hit small” advice here to practice, setting up your targets with a small aim point and see how often you can hit at least the target.
If you are lucky enough to have a range or shooting club in your area that has a moving target range, and or a combat pistol or defensive pistol range or club, then you are lucky. Most of these have life-like scenarios, with buildings and moving targets for you to shoot at. You will be amazed at the difference it will make if you use the same practice methods on a moving target as you do on stationary one, just by adding a focal point.
Training your mind and your eye to pick a small part of that target, whether on paper, on fur, or on an aggressor, can and will mean the difference between a lot of shell casings on the ground and none on the target, some on the ground with holes in your target, or the end of an aggressive act against you and or your family.
I remember learning to shoot with my dad, my cousins, and my Uncle. We were shooting .22’s but I felt like Carlos Hathcock sniping in the jungles of Viet Nam. I was 8 and my cousins were older.
They took us out to the desert with a pile of cardboard boxes, string, and red markers. They set up some boxes maybe 50 yards away, showed me how to load the rifle, and proceeded to teach me how to squeeze the trigger. Now these boxes were maybe 2 ft square with a circle drawn about a foot in diameter. My cousins were already pretty good. I was pretty good at hitting in the circle while lying down. Next he had me repeat this, standing up off hand, and I missed the box more than I hit it. Then he drew a little red circle in the center and had me shoot and every round hit inside the larger circle.
Now, I thought I was done, and quite the expert by then, smiling from ear to ear. But they weren’t quite done with me. You remember I said we brought string? Next they tied a small box about one foot square and weighted with dirt in it to a tree limb and had me repeat the same process after they started swinging it. Only this time I had learned a very important lesson. Without coloring a little circle in the middle of the box, I concentrated on a black mark on that box and hit that box with all six shots.
That day I learned a valuable lesson which I practice every time I pick up any firearm, and I pass on to every student or person I can who wants to improve their shot placement. Like my Dad told me on that first hunt, successful I might add, he said “Don’t just pick a spot on that buck, pick a hair!” Aim small!

Semper Paratus
Check 6