Monday, August 28, 2017

Who Decides?

Who decides?

I’m beginning to think of mainstream media as the enemy. I’m beginning to think of them as President Trump thinks of them. I love that our Constitution ensures a free press. But that does not make the press omnipotent and beyond reproach. The press needs to be held accountable for what they do. They need to find some integrity and honesty in their reporting. They need to keep politics out of their reporting and leave their opinions at home. If you have opinion start a blog. It amazes me that whenever a reporter talks about the press being out of hand they think that they themselves are not included in the press! They are talking about themselves like the press is an abstract thing! Why is their reporting about crime and guns so out of touch with reality?
Who decides what an “assault” weapon is? Who decides what capacity is “high” capacity for a magazine? Is it people who don’t know the difference between a magazine and a clip? Is it someone who knows little to nothing about guns? Is it people who think if you drop a gun it will go off? Who decides who can be armed in a store? Church? School? Is it someone who has never shot or held a gun? Who decides what constitutes a “safe” gun? Manufacturers? Politicians? Gun enthusiasts? “Experts?” Who decides who can be an expert? Gun instructors? Law enforcement? Law makers?
If I can pass a law enforcement agency’s course of fire that law enforcement officers (LEO) or agents must pass to be qualified does that make me as qualified as law enforcement? If a LEO fails a course of fire that I train with daily, weekly, or monthly does that make me more qualified than the LEO?
Who decides who is more qualified to carry a gun? The masses? Politicians? LE? Or someone who has carried for decades, has actually been in a firefight, and has instructed with guns for decades?
Who decides that the National Rifle Association (NRA) speaks for the Gun Industry? The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has this on their website: “NSSF is the trade association for America's firearms industry. Our mission: To promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports.” Even though the NRA has ties to the Gun industry, they do not speak for it. It’s in the NRA’s best interest to have close ties to the industry. Do they influence each other? Probably. That’s like the Cattleman’s associations having close ties to the Beef industry, duh!
Who decides all these silly things pertaining to guns in the media? The movie industry hasn’t helped with the reality of what guns do and how they work. Many people actually think that they have a knowledge of guns from T.V. shows, movies, and video games! Why don’t more news organizations and reporters actually get real information before they do stories? There’s really no excuse. I guess there might be reasons. Laziness. Being biased. Maybe if they found out the real truth about guns and violence they may not have a story. Then what would they do? For instance. In 2014 during the problems going on in Furgurson, Missori a reporter Tweeted this:
I believe these are rubber bullets, can anyone confirm? #Fergurson

— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) August 17, 2014

He then had a picture of two foam ear plugs! Now I’m sure this was an honest mistake by this reporter from the Huffington Post. It shows the ignorance of reporters covering a story involving shooting and police. It is very telling of a left leaning publication.
Mother Jones says the following 7 organizations are worse than the NRA. I can tell you right now that if Mother Jones doesn’t like something, I will look at those organizations closer and want to support them. Mother Jones is about as liberal as you can be. They are as bad at reporting truth about guns as the Huffington Post. Probably worse.
Revolution PAC
Second Amendment Foundation
Women Warriors PAC
Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA)
Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership
Gun Owners of America (GOA)
National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR)
The above organizations are supposed to be “worse” than the NRA.
How in the world can you be a trusted news source when your politics show all over the place? That is not reporting, that is propaganda. To be fair, FOX news is just as bad. But at least I feel like FOX exists because the other networks are so liberal leaning that there should be at least ONE conservative! What happened to just reporting news and not putting a slant on it? Conservatives watch FOX and Liberals watch CNN. What does a good independent do? I’ll tell you what I do. I ignore most of what mainstream media says and get my news from sources I have come to trust.
Other news sources have a better understanding of guns without supporting or condemning owning a gun.
Rachael Larimore wrote in the “Slate” on June 16, 2016:
“If the media wants to work toward actual solutions for gun violence, to do right by the people who are senselessly murdered, they need more than righteous indignation. They need to be better informed and more willing to engage honestly with their opponents.”
Rachael gets it. I don’t know if she is for or against gun ownership, but she is sure that if the media started to be journalists instead of having an agenda, then maybe those wanting more gun control and gun people could actually work together to stop gun violence. Both sides don’t want anyone to die and if the media would pull their head out and start reporting a little more unbiased, I would not only listen to them, but perhaps join with them to stop a plague that is upon our country.
Until then, I am content tell them how silly they sound and to ignore their little rants. I know I shouldn’t be petty like that, but if mainstream media would start acting professional then maybe I would stop acting childish.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Concealed Carry "Don'ts"

I have carried a gun for many years. I have learned from sad experience that there are some things you should never do as a concealed carry participant. I have not done all of these, in fact I’ve done only one. But all have been done before. These are the most important but there are others. You don’t have to feel bad if you’ve ever done one of these, just make sure you don’t ever do it again!
Firing Warning Shots
There are a lot of tense, ambiguous situations out there. Like, maybe you’re debating whether or not you should take a defensive posture and remove your concealed carry firearm or not. Let’s cut to the chase, if you feel threatened, act accordingly. That’s all it comes down to. But DO NOT, repeat, DO NOT fire warning shots. If someone doesn’t believe your concealed carry firearm is loaded, they’re welcome to find out the hard way. Heck, if you have it out already, you can even tell them to chill out on the ground while you wait for police to arrive. There’s a whole lot of options (A LOT). Firing a warning shot isn’t one of them.
So, if it’s come to rounds being exchanged make sure the first one counts.
Concealed Carry A Pistol In Your Waistband
Can’t afford gender reassignment surgery? Having a hard time hitting those high soprano notes? Sticking a loaded pistol down the front of your pants isn’t really a good alternative.
Holsterless concealed carry isn’t effective. There’s nothing protecting your trigger guard and even with a tight belt, you’re not really providing good, even retention across the firearm. It’s asking for a disaster to happen.
Holsters are just like ammunition, a required investment in order to protect yourself. And there are plenty that are affordable and effective.
Instinctive Shooting Without Practice
If you don’t practice instinctive shooting, don’t expect it to suddenly appear when you pull out your concealed carry pistol. Actually that is true of any shooting. More importantly, if you don’t practice dry firing, holstering and re-holstering, and do some actual range time once in a while, those skills are virtually non-existent. The skills are perishable.
Not Paying Attention To What’s Around Your Target
In an actual active shooter environment, you have to stay on top of what is in front and behind the shooter. Reflexively spraying rounds in the general direction of an attacker is a great way to injure or kill others with absolutely no guarantee of taking out your target. So before you fire, look around the target area. It only takes a few milliseconds and you could save someone’s life. It’s also a fundamental of firearm safety. Which brings us to…
Ignoring The Fundamentals Of Firearm Safety
There’s a serious misconception with some concealed carriers that the fundamentals of firearm safety suddenly evaporate if they’re stuck in an active shooting environment. Nothing could be further from the truth. Every single round that exits your gun will be investigated when the police arrive. And if they find you’ve negligently responded to a threat, you’re not going to be the “hero that saved the day”, you’re going to be up on criminal or civil charges.
One Magazine And Done
If you have a concealed carry pistol, where’s your number two magazine? If it’s not on you or nearby, you’re putting yourself unnecessarily at risk. Once the shooting starts, it doesn’t stop until the police arrive, the threat is gone or someone is dead. If it’s not a direct hit that does it, it certainly will be the first person who runs out of ammunition. That doesn’t mean you need to walk around with an ammo can. Just having a spare magazine that’s accessible is (probably) good enough.
Inserting Yourself Into Conflicts
There is nothing wrong with self-defense. There’s nothing wrong with helping out someone who is being brutally attacked, robbed, or victimized. But do understand the legal quandary you’ll be placing yourself in. Make sure, whatever you do, you’re willing to accept the consequences. And there will always be consequences.
Not Locking Up Your Firearms
If you have children in the house (or even other occupants), you should always secure firearms that are not physically on your person. This is important! A firearm is a tool. It can be used by anyone who picks it up. And if it is not secured, you are giving them an invitation to do so.
Choosing Convenience Over Safety
There are a lot of fads out there in regards to “new” ways to holster a firearm. Everything from using a holster system that doesn’t protect the trigger guard to storing it at an angle where it may be easily taken from you. Your concealed carry firearm is your life line. Do not take chances with it. Do not put it on your body in such a way that it may harm you or others. If that means wearing clothes that break your status as a fashion icon so be it.
Complacency kills.
Overestimating Your Abilities And Underestimating Your Opponent’s
The most dangerous habit a concealed carrier can get himself into is assuming he knows more than his opponent. Most people in the United States will be able to live their lives without being the undue victim of gun violence or gun crimes. For the very few who will deal with it siding on the side of caution is always the right move.
Never assume anything about your opponent or the situation you find yourself in. Judge it critically, quickly, and always move towards the option that promises safety first. Prepare and train for uncertainty and never assume an enemy will act like a paper target. These are good steps towards avoiding overconfidence as a concealed carrier.
These are only a few things that need to be remembered when carrying a concealed weapon, and using deadly force. Know the laws in your state or the state that you’re in.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Choirboy and Burn's List of Security At Church

I refer to my good friend all the time because of our history together (we were the only LDS members in our jump school class back in the day, and we were in combat together) and his perspective (ex Law Enforcement, currently Church Security). His call sign is Choirboy. He and I talk about scenarios and “what ifs”. We were just discussing how LDS members are so lax in their family security at church. It’s true that this happens in places we are very familiar with. Parents that would never let their small children just run through a park or a mall, let those same kids take off in Church buildings and leave their sight. We discussed this at length and came up with our own list of how to be more secure at Church.

1. Lock your car, take your keys
Can’t believe there are people that still don’t do this. I’ve lived in small towns and big cities. Lock your vehicle and don’t leave your i-pad sitting on the seat!

2. Lock the building behind you
If you will be alone or even just having a Presidency meeting, after everyone has arrived, if there are no other meetings going on, lock the door behind you. I know the sign says “visitors welcome” but there are times when you don’t really want someone off the street to just be able to walk in.

3. Always ensure your children are being watched
Your children should be watched by a leader, a teacher, a family member, or yourself! That’s all there is to it. Don’t let your children just run (I know it’s easier said than done!). Use family “Code” words so your kids will know who they can go with. I don’t care if it’s the Bishop’s wife, if they don’t know the word, no go!

4. Always ensure there is a priesthood member (man) at all activities.
I know, this is a sexist thing to put on this list. But fact is, men can do things differently than women. Some men may not be the right match for this job. I mean, it IS security! You do not just need a warm male body. Someone that fills this assignment should have an idea what they are there for. He should be aware of someone who may be out of place or acting different. Some activities men should not attend. So a man at a Relief Society meeting is out of place (Unless he is a priesthood leader or possibly a husband). These “security” men should have some sort of idea what they should be looking for and what they should do if they see something odd. At the least, a cell phone should be in this security guys pocket. Any other skills or gear is up to the priesthood leader in charge. I’ll be honest with you, the average leader will not think that anything more than a priesthood holder needs to be there. I don’t agree. It’s only a matter of time before something serious will happen. That seems “doom and gloom” maybe but even our Prophet says we live in difficult times.
5. Be aware of strangers
Again, the sign outside says “visitors welcome”, so visitors will come. Usually visitors come with members or missionaries. Be very aware of someone who is not with someone, or has not been asked to attend. Usually there will not be a problem, but a Bishop in Vasalia, California was murdered by someone that no one really knew. The killer was a mentally unstable ex-member. This was a random act but particular to the Church. The assailant believed he had been wronged by the Church in the 1980’s. This kind of thing is why being aware is very important. (Don’t even get me started on being armed at Church!)
6. Train your family
This is controversial. Some people do not feel the need for something like this. I feel different. All my children (many are grown and adults now) have been trained in the use of firearms. My wife has been included in this. Also, other weapons have been introduced to them. One of my rules is “Never leave home without a knife, or a gun.” Guns, knives, batons, stun guns, and pepper spray have been taught.
Choirboy agrees with me. He has trained his whole family too. If we are truly a self-sufficient people, we will take our security into our own hands. When someone asks why I carry a weapon my answer is “Because I don’t carry a policeman”.

7. Ensure that doors are locked when the last person leaves.
This seems like a no-brainer but my wife has taught early morning Seminary for years. Nothing bothers her more than to find the building door left unlocked. Now she has to discern whether someone is in that building! I’d like to teach her how to clear a building but that would take a lot of time in a building of that size. We have at times assigned a person living near the building to drive by and check it for lights on and doors locked. That may have to be the answer if your building is constantly left open.

8. Emergency Planning
Make sure a plan is in place in case of fire or other disaster. This is something that the Church has given leaders direction on yet I’ve found it ignored more often than not. You can be a catalyst for this to happen. Your Stake/District and Ward/Branch should already have this in place. If they do not, you could suggest that you would work with counsels to make this happen. Maybe you have a Stake or Ward preparedness specialist that you could work with. Perhaps a High Councilman is assigned emergency preparedness and is not sure what to do. There is some direction from the Church on this that could help. Once a plan is in place ensure that leaders and families know what their part in this plan is and maybe even practice it. Make sure your safety features are in place. First Aid kits, fire extinguishers, fire alarms, marked exits, all these and more should be in place. In the U.S. and other countries these things are checked by fire inspectors. Some areas have more than one unit attend that building and assign the unit not meeting with parking lot patrol.

9. Law Enforcement
Make sure to touch base with any law enforcement that are in your units. They can help with these plans and other security concerns. They can also ensure that someone is armed in your building. That depends on the number of members who are in law enforcement in your unit. We happen to have several.

10. Carry If You Can
If you are a law enforcement officer and can legally carry anywhere, you should carry in church. The Church officially recognizes that you can carry in Church buildings. Now this is also something controversial. I will not tell you to carry at Church. If you are in Utah you cannot legally carry in any Church building. Other states have their own laws that you need to know. The Church’s position is that it is not appropriate to carry in Church. You must decide for yourself what that means. I can tell you that the wording means to me. If the Church wants you to do something, they will say “should” or “shall”. The Handbook of Instruction was not just written flippantly. I know prayer, inspiration, and legal advice was used. So I’m not trying to justify ignoring instruction. One thing I do know, most members don’t know that instruction exists. Is this any reason to “do what I want”? No. I will tell you I am not a law enforcement officer. All my training is military. But I carry everywhere I can legally carry. This is something I’ve thought about and prayed about for some time. Until I’m asked by someone to not carry, I will carry. Here’s my reason and you can take it for what’s its worth.
I knew a law enforcement officer who was a large metropolitan city cop. He has a friend who is a sheriff’s deputy in his county. This deputy was in church when a deranged man came in and shot several people during a service. He told us he couldn’t live with himself if that had ever happened to him. This is exactly how I feel and so I carry. I do so with the blessing of my state, but not with the blessing of the Church. You must decide for yourself. I do rely on my Heavenly Father after all I can do. Does it make any sense that our Heavenly Father, who loves us, would want us to leave it to Him alone? We need to do all we can so God can take care of us when we need Him.

Well there you have it. I hope this has been helpful in keeping you and your family safe.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

We Are Not Australia: Gun Control

I’ve heard lots of arguments for controlling guns and for doing away with them altogether. It’s the same old stuff and they seem to quote each other. They also find a study they like, that fits in with whichever side of the argument you are on, and they quote that study. One such argument is all about Australia. Let’s look a little at Australia. They became a nation sometime in 1901. But actually, laws still went through Britain. Most Australian’s did not know this at the time but it was this way. Links between Australia and Britain were finally broken, not by a referendum but by legislation passed by the state, commonwealth and British parliaments on March 3, 1986. How is that important you ask? It’s extremely important! What struggle did the Aussies have to become a free and sovereign country? They had to fight with politicians. Australia’s Constitution was approved by The Queen in 1900 because Australia was a Commonwealth of the crown. Can you imagine the Continental Congress sending our Constitution to British Parliament to be approved? The Declaration Of Independence states that the British way of doing things was not acceptable. This declaration was telling them there was a new Sherriff in town. And his name is “Republic”. They had about 23 grievances that they tried to resolve in many ways. Finally they broke it all off and told them they were leaving the crown. The end of the last line is what makes this declaration and the Constitution so important: “…we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.” These 56 Declaration signers were serious about being independent. Australia was still being ruled by Britain and really didn’t even know it! Now this is nothing against the Australian people. They have been our friend and ally for many years. I’m not up on my Australian history but it doesn’t look like much of a struggle to become free. In fact, they maintained ties with England until 1986! For 6 long years the United States took up arms to fight for their freedom. They did not want ties to England, they wanted their freedom and they gave their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. Even after the British ended hostilities with the U.S. it took 4 years to debate, draft, and ratify our Constitution. I mean no disrespect to Australia, but there is a difference between how our countries came to be. The U.S. fought with guns. Guns made the difference and the founders knew this. I don’t care what anyone says about the intent of the 2nd amendment. The only reason we are a country today is because of the possession of guns. The British would still be running our lives if it were not for guns. People scoff at the idea of the founders feeling the importance of private gun ownership. I don’t know any other way of saying this but, are you stupid? The only reason we have freedom from tyranny is because ordinary citizens took up arms. There was no army, but ordinary citizens with their own private guns. Eventually there was an organized army, but without those privately owned guns, none of this would have happened. I know, there will be someone who disputes that statement. They would be dead wrong. And it’s OK. They can believe that way, but I know it to be true. Australian turned in about 640,000 guns in the buy-back by the government at full market value. How do you do that with 300 million guns in the U.S.? Even Australians are dubious about how their law has helped the country. Law makers there want more gun control. That will ever be the problem. Lawmakers will always want more, and more, and more. There has been no mass shootings since 1996. That is good. I’m afraid of what will happen when there is another. I hope there is not, but I think there will be. It is foolish to believe that Americans who have been taught that independence of their ancestors was by force of gun would willingly give up their privately owned guns. The last time somebody tried mass gun confiscation here was on April 19, 1775, at Lexington and Concord. That didn’t end well for the government. Until we understand our history and how that history shaped and shapes our society we will argue over this point. There are those that will try to change that history and give it their own “agenda spin”. It really doesn’t change the truth. Although, as Joseph Goebbels was fond of saying, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” We are not Australia. We gave dearly for the rights we have and no amount of spin will change that. We believe guns have made us different because we can’t be controlled. There are others that don’t believe that and think we SHOULD be controlled. They are those who think they know best for one reason or another. Guns change everything. I do not advocate violence. Nor do I advocate being controlled, dictated to, or general liberties that can be lost without the threat of violence. I wish we could have and keep our liberties without violence. But men, being what they are, will not allow that. Here are a few quotes that our founders gave about guns. Some will dispute these too! "A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined..." - George Washington, First Annual Address, to both House of Congress, January 8, 1790 "No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." - Thomas Jefferson, Virginia Constitution, Draft 1, 1776 "I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery." - Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, January 30, 1787 "What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms." - Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, December 20, 1787 "The Constitution of most of our states (and of the United States) assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed." - Thomas Jefferson, letter to to John Cartwright, 5 June 1824 "On every occasion [of Constitutional interpretation] let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying [to force] what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, [instead let us] conform to the probable one in which it was passed." - Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, 12 June 1823 "I enclose you a list of the killed, wounded, and captives of the enemy from the commencement of hostilities at Lexington in April, 1775, until November, 1777, since which there has been no event of any consequence ... I think that upon the whole it has been about one half the number lost by them, in some instances more, but in others less. This difference is ascribed to our superiority in taking aim when we fire; every soldier in our army having been intimate with his gun from his infancy." - Thomas Jefferson, letter to Giovanni Fabbroni, June 8, 1778 “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759 "To disarm the people...[i]s the most effectual way to enslave them." - George Mason, referencing advice given to the British Parliament by Pennsylvania governor Sir William Keith, The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adooption of the Federal Constitution, June 14, 1788 "I ask who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officers." - George Mason, Address to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 4, 1788 "Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every country in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops." - Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, October 10, 1787 "Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of." - James Madison, Federalist No. 46, January 29, 1788 "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country." - James Madison, I Annals of Congress 434, June 8, 1789 "...the ultimate authority, wherever the derivative may be found, resides in the people alone..." - James Madison, Federalist No. 46, January 29, 1788 "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves." - William Pitt (the Younger), Speech in the House of Commons, November 18, 1783 Semper Paratus Check 6 Burn

Friday, August 18, 2017

You Carry A Gun?

“You carry a gun?...” What follows this question is what makes me cringe… or laugh. Sometimes what follows is just “Wow!” Sometimes its “Why?” I can tell a lot about someone by their reaction to finding out I carry a gun. First of all, I don’t usually broadcast the fact that I carry. Sometimes it gets out. Sometimes the carry question follows “Oh so you’re a gun instructor…” Sometimes I can’t change the subject or laugh to change the subject or whatever else I’ve tried to use. I just shoot them. I’m kidding of course. Maybe that’s bad taste humor. But often when someone learns I carry a gun all of a sudden they look at me like I’m going to shoot them! Often the next words out of their mouths is silly or downright stupid. Here are some of their responses:

“Only police should have guns.”

I sometimes joke “How do you know I’m not a cop?” But seriously, most law enforcement officers (LEO’s) I know have told me they are glad I carry. Many of them ask questions about shooting when they find out I’m an instructor. Some of them ask if I would give them some help with this or that part of their shooting. I’ve actually never met a LEO that didn’t respect what I do and recognize that they need MY instruction, not the other way around. To be honest, most of their course of fire that they must qualify with is easier than the way I train. I’m not trying to brag, I just spend a lot of time on the range because that’s what I love.

“You don’t need a gun.”

This is true. I don’t. Just as you don’t need to wear seat belts (actually it is the law). You don’t need a fire extinguisher or smoke alarms. I don’t need a first aid kit in my car. I don’t need life insurance. None of these things are really “needed” but if the need does arrive and you don’t have these things, your day can be a bad one. I have needed my gun twice. What would have happened if I hadn’t had it? Do you ever know when you’ll have a fire? But you have alarms and extinguishers in case you need them. “In case” means you have prepared for something bad to happen. I don’t have life insurance because I’m going to die today, but if I did, I’m prepared. So those who say I don’t need a gun are right. Yet I carry one anyway.

“Machine guns should not be in citizens hands.”

This one is kinda crazy to me. I carry a hand gun, not a rifle or a machine anything. Machine guns have been regulated since 1934. To buy a machine gun you must:

1. You need to be eligible to possess firearms in general.
2. You must live in a state where NFA items are permitted and machine guns, specifically, are legal to possess.
3. The machine gun you wish to acquire must have been manufactured on or before May 19, 1986. That is the cutoff date for entries to be made in the NFRTR (National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record), the registry of all NFA items in the United States including machine guns.
4. You must locate a Class III dealer (FFL01+SOT) that sells or can transfer in the machine gun you wish to acquire in your state of residence.
5. You must purchase the machine gun upfront prior to transfer and have it shipped to your Class III dealer. For a full-auto M16, this will be anywhere from $12,000 and up. Typical prices for an M16 hover around $14,000 to $16,000.
6. Once purchased and with your dealer, the dealer will fill out the Form 4 application on your behalf to submission to the BATFE and collect your $200 NFA transfer stamp tax.
7. The application will be submitted. Now you wait 8+ months for the full FBI background check and BATFE processing to complete.
8. Once the Form 4 is processed, it will be returned to the dealer along with the tax stamp which is part of your paperwork. You can then take possession of your military grade fully automatic firearm and take it home.
9. The tax stamp must be kept with the firearm it belongs to at all times! The tax stamp is your only affirmative defense to prove you are not in possession of an illegal machine gun. The tax stamp is proof you paid the transfer tax and legally transferred the machine gun. Ranges that allow Class III will want to see the stamp. If you get pulled over and the gun is discovered/inspected, law enforcement will definitely want to see it too. You may be required to present the firearm for inspection on demand by the BATFE.
10. You may not transport the fully automatic firearm across state lines for any purpose without prior consent of the Federal government. You must request this in advance and provide details on where the firearm is going, when you are leaving and when it will return to its registered location of residence.
11. You cannot leave the presence of your fully automatic firearm. If someone else is shooting it, you must be with it, legally speaking. The one exception to this is if you have formed a legal trust for the purpose of possessing the firearm, in which case all beneficiaries of the trust (usually family or employees) may have access to the firearm.

So I agree, as does the government, machine guns should not be in the average American home. But they are legal. To own one would be great, but they are too expensive and not really worth it to the average person. I know a ranch owner who has several. For a price, you can shoot them. (It’s the Ox Ranch outside of Uvalde Texas. Awesome!

“You just want to kill someone.”

This person obviously has no idea about the costs of threatening to use lethal force, let alone pulling the trigger. Ignorance must be bliss. When I hear this statement I want to answer “Not someone, but now you…” but I don’t. I also consider this statement as the statement of a coward. I’m not saying I want to shoot anyone, but I’m smart enough to know cowering in my “safe place” will only get me killed.

“I live on the safe side of town so I don’t need a gun for protection.”

I usually hear this from a well-to-do woman and it makes me smile. Does she think criminals don’t have maps that show them where the rich people live? Maybe she thinks criminals can’t drive. The woman is obviously intelligent, but has a profound blind-spot when it comes to personal safety. We didn’t meet inside her gated community, so why does she think she is safe everywhere?

"A gun will just be taken away from you."
This is such a common myth that, if it were true, newspapers and TV shows would be featuring every such incident. In actuality, it is extremely hard to find cases where this has actually happened. I've been looking for years, and I've NEVER found a SINGLE verifiable case where a private citizen (not a cop) and had some defensive firearm training, had a gun taken away from them in an actual defensive situation.
In 75% of the cases where a gun is used in self-defense, it is never fired. That's because the bad guy doesn't want to get shot. And the most likely way for him to get shot is to continue to attack someone with a gun. Reaching for the gun is exactly the kind of attack that will bring a bullet his way, and he knows it!
Don't let this myth, or any of the other dumb things that people say about guns, keep you from learning what you need to defend yourself!
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Monday, August 14, 2017

Human Trafficking: How To Prevent Kidnapping


My daughter just got home from an LDS mission in Houston, Texas. It was so good to see her again and to have her around. She and I are a lot alike. I worried about her in Houston and had to trust in the mission and Heavenly Father that she would be protected. Houston is known for kidnapping similar to Phoenix, Arizona. I have taught all my kids safety, situational awareness, always having access to some sort of weapon, and just keeping their head. All my kids have learned to shoot. I’ve taught them the proper way to use a tactical pen, pepper spray, basics of knife fighting, and some hand-to-hand moves. I’ve always thought my kids were well prepared.

The FBI estimates that well over 100,000 children and young women are trafficked in America today. They range in age from 9 to 19, with the average age being 11. Human Trafficking is now recognized as the second largest criminal industry in the world. Often females are targeted but really males are becoming just as frequent.
As an adult or teenager here are some tips to stay safe.
Going to and from your car can be a vulnerable time. Have your keys out, your head up, and get to your vehicle quickly. Scan the inside before you get in and then lock the doors when in.
Avoid leaving your home at a specific time or during certain hours every day. Change your schedule a bit. Regular car routes to the office or to school should also be changed once in a while. If possible, change the vehicles that you use.

Be careful not to reveal too much about yourself or your family members via social media. Never reveal addresses and be sure to turn off the GPS function on your smartphones. Don’t post on social media the places you frequent. Some people are unaware that Facebook and other sites reveal the specific residential area from where you are posting on social media. The internet is not secure.

Obviously be vigilant at night but in the day too. Situational awareness is always important. Don’t be distracted by cell phones, what you just bought, or even conversation. Being with someone helps. But stay aware. If you’re alone and feel weird about a situation go back into the store, mall, or restaurant and ask an employee to walk you to your vehicle. Park as close as possible to buildings but park under lights.

If approached by someone don’t be distracted by what they are doing or saying to let down your situational awareness. Usually they lie in wait so approach in a way where you can see around other vehicles, poles, bushes, or other obstructions.
Don’t get caught up in looks. A criminal can look like anyone. Usually there are two or more involved. Watch your 6. Usually their vehicle is near. They may be in it just waiting. They will try to flank you or approach from the rear while a distraction is in front of you.
Be vocal. Yell or scream. Use a whistle or even a horn. You want to draw attention to what is going on and to them. I knew a girl who was approached by two guys and she went into a defensive stance and yelled “Come and get some of this!” They took off.
Women don’t dress skimpy. I know you think it’s sexy but it really isn’t. You don’t really want the kind of guy who is attracted to that. It may help to dress modestly. Also, consider what footwear you wear. If you spend the summer in flip flops you may want to rethink that. Sandals and flip flops are hard to run in. So are tight pants/skirts. This is not just for the women, guys can get caught in the wrong clothes too.
Be aware of your surroundings. Try to stay in heavily populated places.

Know how to defend yourself. Whether it is weapons or fighting, get trained and practice.

Tips for parents:

Know your child's whereabouts at all times.
At a very early age, teach your child their name, address and telephone number and your first and last name.
Teach them how to call 9-1-1 for help. When using the telephone for these lessons, make sure the call to 9-1-1 doesn't actually connect. When our kids were small we used an unplugged hardline phone.
Make sure children know how to make local and long distance telephone calls.
Never leave children alone in a car, not even for a few seconds.
Establish strict procedures for picking up children at school, after movies, at friends' homes, etc.
Establish a family code word that only you, your child and a trusted relative or friend knows. Teach your child to ask for the code word when approached by someone offering them a ride.
Remind your children to never accept a ride from someone you don't know, even if the child knows them.
Talk to your children about child abduction in a simple, non-threatening way. Don’t scare them.
Listen to your child when he or she discusses anyone they have met or spoken with when you weren't around.
Have photographs taken of your children at least four times a year (especially for preschoolers). Make note of birthmarks or other distinguishing features.
Have your child fingerprinted and store the prints in a safe, easily accessible place in your home.
Teach your children to:
Never leave home without your permission. Very small children should play only in areas away from the street, such as a backyard, or in a play area supervised by a responsible adult.
Never wander off, to avoid isolated places, and to avoid shortcuts through alleys or deserted areas. They are safer walking or playing with friends.
Come straight home from school unless you have made other arrangements.
Never enter anyone's home without your approval.
Scream, run away and tell you or a trusted adult if anyone attempts to touch or grab them, of if a stranger offers them a ride.
Never give any information over the telephone including their name and address, or indicate they are alone.
Keep doors locked and admit only authorized people into the house.
Rules for baby-sitters:
Leave a number where you, a neighbor or relative can be reached in the event of an emergency. In addition, if you have a cell phone, give the sitter that number and carry your phone with you while you're out. Make sure the battery is fully charged before you leave.
Never allow the sitter to admit strangers into your home. The best rule: no company allowed.
Instruct the sitter that phone use is for emergencies only, not for chatting with friends.
Leave the number for your local law enforcement agency and tell the sitter to call immediately if there are any signs of suspicious activity or unusual noises.

Being safe is not difficult but you must be vigilant and not let your guard down. Do this and you and your family can be happy, safe, and secure.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Friday, August 11, 2017

Overwatch: Drill Of The Month For August


5×5 Drill

Skill Focus: combining speed and accuracy
Distance: 5 yards

Target: 5-inch circles with center aiming dot.
Instructions: Five shots, five inches, five yards, five seconds. Starting from a low ready position, at the beep fire five rounds at the circle. The goal is to land all five shots in the circle within five seconds.
Variations: For an added challenge, draw from the holster instead of low ready. To test consistency, repeat the drill five times. A “pass” is 25 shots with no misses.
This drill was originally developed by Gila Hayes and outlined in her book Effective Defense. Claude Werner suggested the idea to run the drill five times in a row, which he calls the 5^5 Drill. The drill seems simple, but is deceptively difficult to clear 100% every time. As Hayes suggests, this drill can be used as a litmus test for whether a shooter can perform well enough with a specific gun to responsibly carry it. If you can clear the drill easily with a full size pistol, but struggle to pass with your small carry gun, it may be time to re-think your choice (or practice more with the gun you actually carry).

See “Overwatch: Drill of the Month” page for more drills

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Not Being A Man Of Blood

There is a story in the Book of Mormon that bears repeating, again and again. It is the story of Moroni, the Nephite Captain, and Zerahemnah, a Lamanite Captain. The Lamanites had a large Army. It was bigger in number than the Nephites. But Moroni was smart and outfitted his army in armor. The Lamanites only had a loincloth. Moroni and his army were also righteous. As the battle went on the Nephites were defeating the Lamanites. At one point they had them surrounded in a valley. They were winning and in the middle of it all, Moroni gave the command to stop, and had his men take a step back. Then he gave this speech:
1 And it came to pass that they did stop and withdrew a pace from them. And Moroni said unto Zerahemnah: Behold, Zerahemnah, that we do not desire to be men of blood. Ye know that ye are in our hands, yet we do not desire to slay you.
2 Behold, we have not come out to battle against you that we might shed your blood for power; neither do we desire to bring any one to the yoke of bondage. But this is the very cause for which ye have come against us; yea, and ye are angry with us because of our religion.
3 But now, ye behold that the Lord is with us; and ye behold that he has delivered you into our hands. And now I would that ye should understand that this is done unto us because of our religion and our faith in Christ. And now ye see that ye cannot destroy this our faith.
4 Now ye see that this is the true faith of God; yea, ye see that God will support, and keep, and preserve us, so long as we are faithful unto him, and unto our faith, and our religion; and never will the Lord suffer that we shall be destroyed except we should fall into transgression and deny our faith.
5 And now, Zerahemnah, I command you, in the name of that all-powerful God, who has strengthened our arms that we have gained power over you, by our faith, by our religion, and by our rites of worship, and by our church, and by the sacred support which we owe to our wives and our children, by that liberty which binds us to our lands and our country; yea, and also by the maintenance of the sacred word of God, to which we owe all our happiness; and by all that is most dear unto us—
6 Yea, and this is not all; I command you by all the desires which ye have for life, that ye deliver up your weapons of war unto us, and we will seek not your blood, but we will spare your lives, if ye will go your way and come not again to war against us.
7 And now, if ye do not this, behold, ye are in our hands, and I will command my men that they shall fall upon you, and inflict the wounds of death in your bodies, that ye may become extinct; and then we will see who shall have power over this people; yea, we will see who shall be brought into bondage.
Zerahemnah’s response was terse and adamant: “Behold, here are our weapons of war; we will deliver them up unto you, but we will not suffer ourselves to take an oath unto you, which we know that we shall break, and also our children; but take our weapons of war, and suffer that we may depart into the wilderness; otherwise we will retain our swords, and we will perish or conquer”
They finally were put in a position to take an oath and depart.
Zerahemna was not considered a good guy. He hated Nephites. He even appointed ex-Nephite leaders because he knew they were more ruthless. Yet he knew the importance of an oath. He wouldn’t take an oath he would probably break.
Moroni felt the same way.
11 Now I cannot recall the words which I have spoken, therefore as the Lord liveth, ye shall not depart except ye depart with an oath that ye will not return again against us to war. Now as ye are in our hands we will spill your blood upon the ground, or ye shall submit to the conditions which I have proposed.
He was willing to continue a battle to death rather than let the Lamanites leave without taking an oath to not come back to battle against them.
How are we with oaths? Would we be willing to risk our lives rather than break an oath?
As LDS members we get baptized and make a covenant with God. When we make this covenant it is similar to an oath. A covenant is two sided where an oath is more one sided.
June 1, 2017 marked the 288th anniversary of the first military oath taken. I know that was over a month ago, but it’s been on my mind. I know that I usually talk about this every year but I do that because I find it most important in my own life and my family’s lives.
I would rewrite Moroni’s words for myself.
I do not aspire to be a man of bloodshed. But if bloodshed must be to protect me or my family, “then we will see who shall have power over me and my family; yea, we will see who shall be brought into bondage.”
There comes a time when we must stand up. There comes a time when we must defend. Will we ever be called upon again to fight off tyranny? I do not know. I hope not. Will we have to fight off evil? We already do fight off evil, but it may come to a physical fight. Will you be ready? Will you have training? Will you have the means to defend your family? You cannot depend on anyone or anything else. If you do, you’re lying to yourself. Can the police really save your family from murder and rape? They are good, but not that good. They will clean up after all the evil is gone. They will bring the criminals to justice, but how can they defend your family in their moment of need? You must be there for them. You can’t expect God to do something you have been charged to do. If you have the means to defend, have had the training and have practiced, then Heavenly Father can step in if Devine help is needed. We must depend on God after all we can do.
I know this article is the proverbial “beating the dead horse” but I feel strongly about it and want spread this sentiment. You do not have to be a violent person to desire to defend yourself and your family. When the time to do violence comes, if you have prepared, you will do what needs to be done. But only if prepared. Be prepared.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Monday, August 7, 2017

Monthly Read: Book Review For August

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.
August’s Monthly Read is: “Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse”
By James Wesley Rawles
Publisher’s summary:
America faces a full-scale socioeconomic collapse—the stock market plummets, hyperinflation cripples commerce and the mounting crisis passes the tipping point. Practically overnight, the fragile chains of supply and high-technology infrastructure fall, and wholesale rioting and looting grip every major city.

As hordes of refugees and looters pour out of the cities, a small group of friends living in the Midwest desperately tries to make their way to a safe-haven ranch in northern Idaho. The journey requires all their skill and training since communication, commerce, transportation and law enforcement have all disappeared. Once at the ranch, the group fends off vicious attacks from outsiders and then looks to join other groups that are trying to restore true Constitutional law to the country.

Patriots is a thrilling narrative depicting fictional characters using authentic survivalist techniques to endure the collapse of the American civilization. Reading this compelling, fast-paced novel could one day mean the difference between life and death.

I have been a “prepper”, whatever that really is, my entire life. Coming across this book was a natural part of being in the self-sufficiency/preparedness world. It’s an unusual approach to a “manual”. James Rawles wrote a novel around a manual. In this book many different subjects are covered. If you’re looking for a good novel, this is not it. It was introduced to me as a manual so my expectations as a novel were nominal. It’s not particularly written well as a novel, but pretty good as a manual. I wish some subjects would have been more explored. But I like the idea and was happy with the book. I liked that the book has a heavy leaning toward Christian values. I would recommend it to anyone but especially if you’re into preparation.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Extreme Weapons And The Atomic Bomb

72 years ago day before yesterday, the 6th of August, marks the day the United States used the unthinkable weapon on Japan in 1945 ending the war with Japan. On that day at 8:16 a.m. Japanese time, an American B-29 bomber, the Enola Gay, drops the world’s first atom bomb, over the city of Hiroshima. Approximately 80,000 people are killed as a direct result of the blast, and another 35,000 are injured. At least another 60,000 would be dead by the end of the year from the effects of the fallout.
U.S. President Harry S. Truman, discouraged by the Japanese response to the Potsdam Conference’s demand for unconditional surrender, made the decision to use the atom bomb to end the war in order to prevent what he predicted would be a much greater loss of life were the United States to invade the Japanese mainland. And so on August 5, while a “conventional” bombing of Japan was underway, “Little Boy,” (the nickname for one of two atom bombs available for use against Japan), was loaded onto Lt. Col. Paul W. Tibbets’ plane on Tinian Island in the Marianas. Tibbets’ B-29, named the Enola Gay after his mother, left the island at 2:45 a.m. on August 6. Five and a half hours later, “Little Boy” was dropped, exploding 1,900 feet over a hospital and unleashing the equivalent of 12,500 tons of TNT. The bomb had several inscriptions scribbled on its shell, one of which read “Greetings to the Emperor from the men of the Indianapolis” (the ship that transported the bomb to the Marianas).
There were 90,000 buildings in Hiroshima before the bomb was dropped; only 28,000 remained after the bombing. Of the city’s 200 doctors before the explosion; only 20 were left alive or capable of working. There were 1,780 nurses before-only 150 remained who were able to tend to the sick and dying.
This was awesome destruction from a weapon no one could imagine. Ever since several countries have nuclear weapon capabilities.
The United States, Russia, China, India, Israel, France, North Korea, Pakistan, and The United Kingdom are the only countries that have these capabilities.
The debate about whether the bomb should have used in 1945 has been debated for decades and probably will be for centuries.
I have never ordered men into battle. Often commanders order men to their death even though it meets a certain objective. The estimate of dead, had the war continued, are in the millions. Some say 4 million on the Allied side. Iwo Jima alone had a casualty rate of almost 50,000 from both sides. What would an invasion force face on Japanese soil? They believed their Emperor to be God. How hard would you fight for your God on your home soil? Until the last person? This is only my belief, with my limited knowledge, but I believe in those “million” numbers that have been batted around.
In the Mormon faith we believe the Bible to be the word of God. We also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God, as a second witness of Christ. In the Book of Mormon, 1st Nephi chapter 4 verses 5 through 18. The prophet Nephi is a young man. He is sent to get records that his people, and future generations, would need to learn what God had for them. An evil King would not give him the records and sought his life, and the lives of his brothers. He also stole property they had offered to buy the records. The evil King Noah was delivered into Nephi’s hands and he was told by the Spirit to kill him. Nephi had never killed anyone and he was afraid. He was told 2 more times to kill the evil king. The last time the Spirit said this to him,
Verse 13 “Behold the Lord slayeth the wicked to bring forth his righteous purposes. It is better that one man should perish than that a nation should dwindle and perish in unbelief.”
Now I’m not saying that President Roosevelt was moved upon by the Spirit to bomb Japan, but I think the same applies. It is better than a few 100 thousand die, rather than millions of those who are only defending themselves from countries that want to destroy or enslave them.
Why do I bring up this controversial event? Because using lethal force has been talked about as being extreme. Killing another human being is extreme. But I’m not sure letting criminals live, kill or hurt me or my family, go to prison, and possibly get out and do it again is the answer. I am not a man of war or violence. I advocate violence in the face of violence. I do not wish to be a man of blood. In Alma 44 we read:
“1 And it came to pass that they did stop and withdrew a pace from them. And Moroni said unto Zerahemnah: Behold, Zerahemnah, that we do not desire to be men of blood. Ye know that ye are in our hands, yet we do not desire to slay you.
2 Behold, we have not come out to battle against you that we might shed your blood for power; neither do we desire to bring any one to the yoke of bondage. But this is the very cause for which ye have come against us; yea, and ye are angry with us because of our religion.”
I want to be able to defend myself and my family (as Moroni mentioned in the Title of Liberty
Alma 46: 12 “And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it—In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children—and he fastened it upon the end of a pole.”) and I may have to use lethal force. I’ve been trained to do this, yet I really hope I’ll never get any use out of that training.
I also believe in the traditional family of Mom, Dad, and kids. I know this is not reality all of the time because of death, divorce, and other circumstances. So this next part is not meant to be exclusive to a man or a father but a head of the household. I’m not trying to be politically correct, just reality based.
The LDS Church’s “The Family: A Proclamation To The World” says”:
“By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.”
It also states:
“Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.”
If that isn’t a charge to protect your family then I don’t know what is. I believe that protection entails spiritual, emotional, mental, moral, and physical protection. I focus on the physical. That takes in a roof over their heads. Food for their lives, and actual physical protection. If someone, or something, should threaten your family, you should use everything within your means to protect them. If it is a “bug” or sickness, will you try to provide medical attention, medication, clean water, and food and warmth to “kill” that bug. What if that threat were a wild animal? Would you defend them against that? What if that “animal” is a human? Would you protect your family with lethal force? Do you have the means? Do you have the training?
I hope you will do all that you can. Even if that means using “extreme” weapons to protect you and yours. That’s what this blog is all about. Protection.
Just as an atomic bomb was used because we could not see many innocents dying because of a stubborn ideology, I cannot see my family suffering because someone insists on breaking laws or has lost their minds. I’d love to control them as Moroni tried with the Army of Zarahemna. But short of that control is stopping that threat. If pulling my weapon and a verbal “Stop!” makes the threat withdraw, then I got off without having to use lethal force. The day is good. But if, like Moroni, evil cannot be reasoned with, I will “…spill (evil’s) blood upon the ground, or ye shall submit to the conditions which I have proposed.” Which conditions are to leave in peace and never bother my family again.
Will you be prepared? Will you use extreme weapons in the face of evil to save innocents? I have entered into an oath to protect this country (and my family) from all enemies, foreign and domestic.
A gun is an extreme weapon. It must be used with care and skill. These things cannot just come to you. You must legally purchase a gun and anything else you may need with that. You must seek the training and then practice what you have been taught. Shooting is a perishing skill. If not practiced, you can lose the skill. You must commit to protect your family in any and every way. To do this you must be prepared.
Be safe and train on!
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

When To Check Your BOB and FAK

Organization in preparation

I’ve heard a story of a person who was really into preparedness. They weren’t obsessed (like me), but were prepared in most things.
They were at a park with their kids and one of the kids cut themselves. It wasn’t a real serious cut but first aid needed to be applied. This person went to their first aid kit, that they carried in their vehicle every day, and got their kit. They were able to help the child but had to improvise some things. They found that the antiseptic wipes that were still in their original sealed bag were all dried out. The hand sanitizer had exploded, though they kept it in its own zip-lock bag so it didn’t make a mess on anything else. Someone had taken all but a few of the over-the-counter pain meds. Also, for some reason the med tape was missing. This person learned a lesson to avoid a “real” emergency. So how often should you review your everyday carry (EDC) first aid kit? What about your bugout bag (BOB)? Here are some hints to get your own maintenance program going for your emergency stuff. First let’s tart with a BOB.
I recommend at least annually checking your BOB. Others will find a need to check it more frequently. In my experience, annual works for me.
We recommend checking the following:
Expirations on food items
Some survival rations have useful lives up to 5 years or more but many are perishable well before then. Make sure you are checking the shelf life of any food items that you are planning on relying on and replace them before they go bad. Rotation is better. Actually eat the food and replace. You may learn that you don’t care for certain foods after all.
Expirations on medications
Medications have a wide range of lifetimes. If you have any medication in your BOB antibiotics, insulin, EpiPens, heart medication, or any others make sure you know how long each will be good for and replace as needed.
Expiration for first aid items
Many single use first aid items such as creams, antiseptic wipes, bandages, and eyewash/irrigation solutions have a limited shelf life. This is generally around the sterility of the item and out of date first aid items should not be used to treat wounds. Of course in an emergency and faced with nothing or something expired, use the expired. Conduct regular first aid kit inspections and replace out of date items as needed. I date things clearly so I don’t have to search for the date.
Battery charge for electronics
One of the biggest advantages of having solar or hand cranked electronic items like radios and flashlights is that you don’t have to worry about the batteries dying at a critical moment. However, if you do have any items in your BOB that do require batteries, these should be checked often to ensure that they have enough charge to power your equipment. An excellent preventative measure against battery drain is to store them in the electronic item (such as a flashlight) with the two positive (+) ends of two batteries facing each other. This prevents any current passing through the dormant circuit and greatly reduces energy seeping from the stored batteries.
If you have a firearm and ammunition in your BOB you should plan on test firing a sampling of once per year. If you have any misfires, plan on replacing rounds from that batch with newer ones. I just switch out the ammo every year. I’ve never had any bad ammo. But I know it’s possible.

Keep in mind that your BOB and plan should be constantly evolving as new factors and information emerge. There are a great many things that can impact your survival situation and keeping your BOB up to date will maximize your chances of survival when disaster strikes. A great practice is to set a reminder in a calendar either on your phone, computer, or in a planning diary to review your BOB contents list annually at minimum. These reminders will keep you on track and spur you into action!
Lastly, there is no time like the present to take action. Why not review your Bug Out Bag today?
Also I’d like to talk a little about how and when to inspect your First Aid Kit (FAK).
For this article, I used a standard industrial FAK.
1. Check for Unsafe/Damaged Products
Check for damaged, soiled, dirty or even partially used products. As a practice, all items should be single use to prevent cross contamination. That means that a tube of ointment that has a re-sealable cap should be considered opened if not contaminated. If this is for home use you can be a little more lenient. Open bottles of eyewash should be thrown out.

2. Check for expiration dates
Many of the items in a first aid kit have a shelf life. The expiration date will be marked on the container or individual package. Items including sprays, ointments, wipes, medicines, eyewash and eyedrops will all have dates. If an outer box does have dates, be sure to check the product inside. Many times like products you are replacing will have different dates. When you mix them it is important to use the old dates first. Product placement and rotation are important. Always put the newer product behind the older. Be especially careful when inspecting the door pouches.

3. Review & Observe the usage and available inventory.
As you check your supplies, pay attention to how much has been used. This will help you plan for the future, avoiding the possibility of running out of a particular item. Good observation can also help you pinpoint the types of injuries that are occurring, possibly helping you to change work or safety processes and creating a healthier and safer workplace.

4. Arrange & organize the product to its appropriate location in the cabinet.
Why are we talking about this now before restock? Every item has its place. Consistency is key to managing and maintaining your supplies. When someone uses the supplies, they will always look in the same spot for that item. It will also help you speed up the inventory process. Know where your supplies are supposed to be and move the items back to their dedicated spot.

For a BOB or vehicle kit you can do the same as above. Make sure anything that has liquid in it is checked. Especially if the kit stays in a hot closet or vehicle trunk. Wipes, petroleum gauze pads, sanitizers, betadine, all these and others should be checked to make sure they are not dried up. Packaging seldom keeps things from drying up for prolonged exposure to heat.
Meds should be replaced often too. Anything is better than nothing but be sure you have a list of priority items to slowly replace and that it actually happens.
Make sure you keep close inventory of items you need to check and figure out a schedule to check. I would suggest at least annually.
Making sure your gear is ready to use at any time is a matter of being organized.
Semper Paratus
Check 6