Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Indentifying The Rare Mail Bomb

I worked with EOD (explosive ordinance disposal) for a year in the military. I learned how to recognize and dispose of bombs and other explosives. I had a defective mine go off in my hand but because it was defective, the explosion was minor, and I was in a bomb suit. But it scared the stuffing out of me!
Mail or package bombs are very rare. There is about a one in 10 billion (with a “b”) chance you would ever come into contact with one. Generally these things are used on specific targets or targeted organizations. But here are some tips to recognizing a parcel that just doesn’t seem right.
• Mail bombs may have excessive postage. Normally a bomber does not want to mail a parcel over the counter and have to deal face-to-face with a window clerk.
• The return address may be fictitious or non-existent.
• The postmark may show a different location than the return address.
• Improper spelling of common words, common names, places or titles.
• Mail bombs may bear restricted endorsements, such as "Personal" or "Private." This is particularly important when the addressee does not usually receive personal mail at the office.
• Unexpected mail from foreign countries – e.g. air mail and special delivery.
• Mail bombs may display distorted handwriting, or the name and address may be prepared with homemade labels or cut-and-paste lettering.
• Parcel bombs may be unprofessionally wrapped with several combinations of tape used to secure the package, and may be endorsed "Fragile--Handle With Care" or "Rush--Do Not Delay."
• Letter bombs may feel rigid, or appear uneven or lopsided.
• Package bombs may have an irregular shape, soft spots or bulges.
• Mail bombs may have protruding wires, aluminum foil, or oil stains, and may emit a peculiar odor.
If you see one or more of these indicators and you’re not sure about the package or piece of mail do the following:

Unopened Package

• Stop handling the item – place on the nearest flat surface
• Do not try to clean up any spillage
• Wash hands thoroughly
• Call 9-1-1
• Evacuate the room and building
• Close and secure room door
• Await further advice or instructions from law enforcement
• Don't put it in water or a confined space, such as a desk drawer or cabinet.
• If possible, open windows in the immediate area to assist in venting potentially explosive gases.
. Opened Package

• Do not spill or further disperse contents, do not leave the room with the package
• Do not touch eyes, nose or any other part of the body
• Follow instructions in “Unopened Package” above

Don't worry about possible embarrassment if the item turns out to be innocent. Instead, contact the Postal Inspection Service and your local police department.
As I said above, the chances are pretty slim you’ll ever encounter this situation. But it’s always good to be prepared.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Friday, October 26, 2018

First Aid Basics: Using A Chest Seal

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. I have limited experience and limited training in this area. I’d like to have more training. The information I give here is just that, for informational purposes only. For real training, seek competent medical professionals.
I once asked an ER doctor to give some training for a group of people who were interested in some additional first aid training. When he showed up he was very knowledgeable and very helpful, but his limitations in field medicine were obvious. He knew how to care for patients in a hospital setting with almost unlimited personnel and equipment at his disposal. In the field by himself only his knowledge of medicine was his advantage over the average person. We usually have the same supplies and gear. I’m not saying I didn’t learn anything from this obviously talented doctor, but what we needed was a field medic. Doctors and nurses are usually tied to a hospital or office with resources. I don’t fault them, I appreciate their life saving skills, and some of them have some good field experience. But often they can lack the “seat-of-your-pants” medicine that is needed for the field.
While fighting in a battle that never seemed to end in South America we lost some brothers. There were some injuries also and one guy was shot in the chest. We administered first aid and the wound was a “through-and-through”. Our medic put on a chest seal and the bleeding was minimal. He actually did a little fighting until the next day when we could all get out. I was able to help the medic so I got my real world experience in using a chest seal (my one and only experience!) I can remember being trained in doing this and using whatever plastic we had available, even a cigarette pack plastic wrap. I never thought I’d ever have to use any of that training.
A sucking chest wound (SCW) happens when an injury causes a hole to open in your chest. SCWs are often caused by stabbing, gunshots, or other injuries that penetrate the chest.
Signs of an SCW include:
an opening in the chest, about the size of a coin
hissing or sucking sounds when the person inhales and exhales
heavy bleeding from the wound
bright red or pinkish, foaming blood around the wound
coughing up blood
SCWs sometimes make no noise. Treat any wound caused by chest penetration as an SCW.
What should I do to provide immediate first aid?
If an object is still protruding from the wound, don’t remove it. This can make the injury worse.
Call your local emergency services immediately. If no emergency services are available, get the injured person to a hospital as soon as possible. Follow any steps that the emergency services operator gives you. You may be directed to do the following:
1. Sterilize your hands with soap and water.
2. Put on gloves or other hand protection.
3. Remove any loose clothing or objects covering the wound. Don’t remove clothing that’s stuck to the wound.
4. Keep a hand over the wound while preparing a dressing. Protect your hand with a glove or other hand protection. If possible, have someone else put their hand over the wound. If no one else is available, have the injured person cover the wound with their hand if they’re still able to do so.
5. Find a chest seal or sterile, medical-grade plastic, or tape to seal the wound. If you don’t have medical plastic, use a clean Ziploc bag or a credit card for the wound. Use your hands if you have no other option.
6. If possible, ask the person to breathe out to release any excess air.
7. Place tape, plastic, or a chest seal over any hole that’s sucking in air, including entry and exit wounds. Make sure no air enters any wound.
8. Secure the tape or seal with occlusive dressing or similar wrapping material that can create a water and airtight seal. Make sure the seal has at least one open side to let out air without letting air in.
9. Remove the seal if you notice symptoms of tension pneumothorax, or a buildup of air in the chest. This happens when a lung leaks air into the chest and builds pressure. This can cause extremely low blood pressure (shock) and be fatal. Symptoms include crackling sounds when the person breathes in or out (subcutaneous emphysema), lip or finger blueness (cyanosis), enlarged neck veins (jugular vein distention), short, shallow breaths, and one side of the chest appearing larger than the other.
Keep the person on their side unless this makes it harder for them to breathe. Let out as much excess air as possible from the chest while making sure that the person can still breathe.
If the person loses consciousness or stops breathing, do the following:
Perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
use a blanket to keep them from getting too cold
don’t let the person eat or drink
put pressure on wounds to slow bleeding
These are the basics of a SCW. Direction from a qualified doctor, nurse, paramedic, or EMT may be different. Follow the professional’s directions if communication with them is available. Again, seek out training in this area by competent medical professionals. I hope you are never in a situation where you need to use this info, but if you are, you could save someone’s life.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Remember Beirut

Remember the Beirut bombing! On 23rd of October 1983 305 servicemen of the U.S. and France, and civilians, were killed when a vehicle with a 21,000 pound TNT bomb ran into their barracks in Beirut, Lebanon.
We need to remember these cowardly acts and the brave men and women who defend us!

This incident has been used to train and secure U.S. military and civilian members for years. At least their senseless sacrifice was not in vain.

Pray for the families of those who lost loved ones and for our current military members and first responders in harms way! They need our support and prayers.

Godspeed brothers and sisters!

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Protecting The Prophet and The Brethren

Often those who protect another are referred to as bodyguards. Even in an official publication such as History of the Church, there are a few brethren listed as Joseph Smith’s bodyguards.
After the death of Joseph Smith the Church began its move to the Salt Lake valley. The need for a body guard started to diminish as Brigham Young passed away in 1877. The civil war had been over for about 10 years and the “wild west” was calming down as the push west was progressing. Within about 20 years the wild west would be history and persecution was so much less in Utah.
In 1973 Larry Mullins was asked to serve as the bodyguard to the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. One of the conditions was that he was not allowed to tell anyone but his wife. At that time it was thought that the fact that security would be needed was too upsetting for the average member of the church. Up until 1974, the leaders of the Church evidently did not feel a strong impression that any kind of security was needed; but sometime during that year, the Spirit spoke loud and clear that there was now a pressing need that was real and serious.
I would like to recognize these unsung heroes who work so hard to keep our Prophets and Apostles safe and secure. I have a good friend who serves with Church Security and this department has expanded over the years. The Church Security department originally trained with Secret Service agents and their training reflects similar operations. As per any security agency or department, specifics of operations are never discussed. I’ve learned how they operate through my friend and I can say, they are well versed in current security and executive protection ideas and trends.
This list is not official and is compiled by very loose standards. So I’m sure there are numerous errors. I just wanted to recognize these who have served.
The Book of the Law of the Lord is a special book that functioned as a combination journal for Joseph, copy book for revelations and a tithing record. Members whose names appeared in this book were considered worthy to enter the temple.
One of my heroes, Orrin Porter Rockwell
In the blessing, Joseph named several men, including
Erastus Derby
John D. Parker
Amasa Lyman
Wilson Law
Henry G. Sherwood
Joseph B. Nobles
Among others, who one could say acted as bodyguards or supported the prophet while he was in hiding.
History of the Church, Vol. 7
Alpheus Cutler (capt.)
Amos C. Hodge
James Allred
Thomas Grover
Reynolds Cahoon
Shadrack Roundy
John Snyder
Christian Kreymer
Lewis D. Wilson
William Marks
James Emmet
John L. Butler
Samuel H. Smith
Edward Hunter, herald and armor bearer
Mosiah Hancock
One of the these above brethren are my Great (4) Grandfather
After 1973:
Larry Mullins
David Sayer
Richard Bretzing (One of my son’s former mission President)
J. Martell Bird
Gregory Dunn
Jeff Berrett
Greg Rampton
Todd Richens
Kenneth Porter
Ronald D. Francis
Hal A. Ludlow
Kevin Richardson
Claron E. Swenson

We honor those who protect and stay in the background. Normally, you wouldn’t even know they are there constantly watching and preparing. LDS Gunsite salutes you and thanks you for your selfless service.

The Prophet once asked the members of the Legion if they were not all his boys, and they shouted "Yes!" Mosiah Hancock, one of his bodyguards stood on the rail of the fence in front of the Mansion. The Prophet said, "Brethren, the Lord Almighty has this day revealed to me something I never comprehended before! That is—I have friends who have at a respectful distance been ready to ward off the blows of the adversary.” He brought his hand down on Mosiah’s head, “while others have pretended to be my friends, have crept into my bosom, and have become vipers—my most deadly enemies. I wish you to be obedient to these true men as you have promised. ARE YOU WILLING TO DIE FOR ME?" "Yes!" was the shout. "You have said you are willing to die for me—." Then he drew his sword and cried, "I WILL DIE FOR YOU! If this people cannot have their rights, my blood shall run upon the ground like water."

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Friday, October 12, 2018

Words To Live By: Code Of Conduct

When I served in the military I had to memorize the code of conduct. This supposed to be a code that helps military members conduct their lives. It states:

Code of Conduct for Members of the United States Armed Forces
1. I am an American, fighting in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.
2. I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command, I will never surrender the members of my command while they still have the means to resist.
3. If I am captured I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.
4. If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information or take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take command. If not, I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them up in every way.
5. When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give name, rank, service number and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and its allies or harmful to their cause.
6. I will never forget that I am an American, fighting for freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.
I’ve thought about those “rules” of that code and how each of us need our own code of conduct. Actually we have one, whether we recognize it or have written them down or not. I was a fan of the TV show NCIS and I enjoyed the part of Gibbs played by Mark Harmon. Gibbs had his own rules he tried to live by. They are:
Gibbs’ Rules
Rule No. 1 – Never let suspects stay together.
Rule No. 1 – Never screw (over) your partner.
Rule No. 2 – Always wear gloves at a crime scene.
Rule No. 3 – Don’t believe what you’re told. Double check.
Rule No. 3 – Never be unreachable.
Rule No. 4 – If you have a secret, the best thing is to keep it to yourself. The second-best is to tell one other person is you must. There is no this best.
Rule No. 5 – You don’t waste good.
Rule No. 6 – Never say you’re sorry. It’s a sign of weakness.
Rule No. 7 – Always be specific when you lie.
Rule No. 8 – Never take anything for granted.
Rule No. 9 – Never go anywhere without a knife.
Rule No. 10 – Never get personally involved in a case.
Rule No. 11 – When the job is done, walk away.
Rule No. 12 – Never date a co-worker.
Rule No. 13 – Never, ever involve a lawyer.
Rule No. 14 – Bend the line, don’t break it.
Rule No. 15 – Always work as a team.
Rule No. 16 – If someone things that have the upper hand, break it.
Rule No. 18 – It’s better to seek forgiveness than ask permission.
Rule No. 20 – Always look under.
Rule No. 22 – Never, ever bother Gibbs in interrogation.
Rule No. 23 – Never mess with a Marine’s coffee… If you want to live.
Rule No. 27 – There are two ways to follow someone. First way, they never notice you. Second way, they only notice you.
Rule No. 28 – If you need help, ask!
Rule No. 35 – Always watch the watchers.
Rule No. 36 – If you feel like you are being played, you probably are.
Rule No. 38 – Your case, your lead.
Rule No. 39 – There is no such thing as coincidence.
Rule No. 40 – If it seems someone is out to get you, they are.
Rule No. 42 – Never accept an apology from someone who just sucker-punched you.
Rule No. 44 – First things first, hide the women and children.
Rule No. 45 – Clean up the mess you leave behind; never leave behind loose ends.

I liked the idea of coming up with your own code of conduct years ago and so I developed my own. They are:

1. God, Family, Country (In that order)
2. Family should never fight alone
3. Service and charity never fails
4. Avoid debt like you would a disease
5. Ain’t no one happy, unless Momma’s happy
6. Never give up if the task is just
7. Work smarter, not harder
8. Trust but verify
9. A soldier’s way saves the day
10. Distraction kills
11. Don’t leave home without a knife or a gun
12. Be hard to offend and anger.
These rules may be amended as I learn!
I call these my “Rules of engagement”. As we engage in life we need some type of rules to keep us steady and on track. I encourage all you sheep dogs, law enforcement, and military members out there to think about your own lives and come up with your own rules of engagement.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

EDC and Your Wallet

Chances are your wallet is bursting with cards. Credit cards, reward cards, and cards from businesses you rarely use. They take up space, and can be difficult to quickly find in a cluttered wallet. “Seinfeld” character George Costanza memorably had a wallet he could barely close. While sitting he began tucking napkins under his other back pocket, so that he wasn’t sitting at an angle.
Your back hurts because of your wallet. It's huge.
George Costanza:
This isn't just my wallet. It's an organizer, a memory and an old friend.
Well, your friend is morbidly obese.
George Costanza:
Well, at least I don't carry a purse.
It's not a purse, it's European.
I know that it is not Spring, but is it time to “spring clean” your wallet? Now is a great time to make a fresh start and do some long overdue spring cleaning, even in your EDC. A great place to start is with the wallet in your pocket: it's one of those things in your carry that can really get out of hand. To keep your wallet trim and tidy, just follow a few of these simple steps.
Get rid of those business cards, Walmart receipts, and ticket stubs. Snap photos of things you want to remember on your phone for reference, then physically clear them out from your wallet. It's a quick and easy way to start trimming your wallet down. It might also be a good time to use up those gift cards or give them a new home in your sock drawer.
Do you really need those loyalty club cards or key fobs? If you actually use them leave them in. If you only use them once in a while keep them at home until you plan to actually use them. This will take some planning on your part. If you have a wallet app then you can record them this way or put your membership cards on your phone. If you really need something there may be a key chain version you can carry.
I carry 2 bank cards. One is my debit card and the other a credit card. I very rarely use the credit card but I like to have it for those times when I may need it and it has happened a few times. But otherwise I only carry two. Take a hard look at your bank cards and try to keep them down to just the few you use the most.
Cash and coins are probably the most difficult essentials to carry, but they're essential nonetheless. With so many cash-only establishments out there, carrying cash can be a necessary evil. Instead of walking around with a wad of small bills, keep it to a minimum with a bigger bill you'd carry most of the time and just break it when necessary. I know in the prepping world cash is king. For privacy cash does not leave a paper trail.
One way to make all of this easier is to carry a wallet that leans towards minimalism by design. Not only does a minimalist wallet take up less pocket space overall, it also discourages hoarding cards and receipts and such. Without a bunch of dedicated card slots, there's no temptation to keep them filled with cards you won't use.
There are many preparedness items you can carry in a wallet. There are “credit card” multi-tools, knives, and even sewing kits. I carry a couple of Band-aids in my wallet that I have used many, many times. I also carry important phone numbers that I may need if my phone goes out.
Everyone has different skills and needs. Your wallet will be different from anyone else. There are many tactical wallets out there to choose from. Most are reasonable in price but some are quite expensive so buyer beware. But consider your wallet carefully because you take it with you everywhere!
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

We Have To Be Better Than Them

When it comes to defense the lyric to a song by the band Dire Straits may apply.
These mist covered mountains
Are a home now for me
But my home is the lowlands
And always will be
Someday you'll return to
Your valleys and your farms
And you'll no longer burn to be
Brothers in arms

Through these fields of destruction
Baptisms of fire
I've witnessed your suffering
As the battle raged higher
And though they did hurt me so bad
In the fear and alarm
You did not desert me
My brothers in arms

There's so many different worlds
So many different suns
And we have just one world
But we live in different ones

Now the sun's gone to hell and
The moon's riding high
Let me bid you farewell
Every man has to die
But it's written in the starlight
And every line in your palm
We are fools to make war
On our brothers in arms
Mark Knopfler really hit the nail on the head. This song says to me that battle creates bonds that are not broken. I served with guys I haven’t seen in some time, yet I know if I needed their help they would move heaven and earth to be there for me. And the same goes for me, for them. There is a bond that is struck with sharing a life and death situation that is hard to break. In combat you must depend on the guy next to you to save you or defend you.
In sharing this bond with these guys, I have come to become a little cold to death and killing. I think as a human thrust into a situation where you must kill or be killed, you have to be calloused to survive the unthinkable of killing another human being. I know those who are still in therapy for something that happened over 30 years ago. It affects you and so it is something to be avoided.
So, how do you defend yourself and your family, and remain a good, and decent human being? I’ve learned to do this through scripture. Alma 44:2, 5
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.
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—
Alma 46:12, 13, 20
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.
13 And he fastened on his head-plate, and his breastplate, and his shields, and girded on his armor about his loins; and he took the pole, which had on the end thereof his rent coat, (and he called it the title of liberty) and he bowed himself to the earth, and he prayed mightily unto his God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren, so long as there should a band of Christians remain to possess the land—
20 Behold, whosoever will maintain this title upon the land, let them come forth in the strength of the Lord, and enter into a covenant that they will maintain their rights, and their religion, that the Lord God may bless them.
This is how we justify carrying a weapon. This is how I have answered those who say I am not Christian if I am willing to do violence. This is the kind of man I strive to be. As was Moroni.
Some would say “But you are not fighting for liberty. You are not at war.” I would beg to differ. Crime and terrorism deprives us of our liberty and our God given rights. When we defend ourselves against crime and terrorism we are defending our liberty.
In Psalm 82:4 it says that we are to “Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.” In Nehemiah 4:14 we are told to “…fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.” These passages show us that we are required by biblical principles to defend innocent life, be it our families or merely the “weak and needy”.

1 Timothy 5:8 states that “…if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” What greater provision is there than the provision for the defense and safety of our loved ones?

Not only is an armed response to life threatening evil condoned in scripture, but skill at arms is presented in a positive light. We are expected to have the tools and to acquire the skills needed to fulfill our obligation in protecting innocents from the evil that is loose in the world. This is clearly demonstrated in Psalm 144:1 “Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war and my fingers to fight” and again in Psalm 18:34 “He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.”.

Luke 11:21-22 tells us that “When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armor wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.” This passage of scripture not only allows specifically for armed defense, but serves as a model for the Castle Doctrine or perhaps the “Palace doctrine?”

I want to be clear at this point that I only advocate the use of deadly force for the preservation of innocent life. I stress this strongly when I have taught classes. I have never had a car that was worth a human life, and I don’t think there is enough money to kill over. I know for a fact that the finest of worldly possessions does not have the value of the basest of human lives. I would not use deadly force in defense of property, but I would not hesitate to use it to save the lives of my children or anybody else’s children, from a person of evil intent. Make no mistake, those people are out there these days, in droves.
I write this article to help those of you who have served in a combat role, served in law enforcement, or have had defend yourself and others in a civilian role and their families. But also for all of the above who train. When you get right down to it, we are training to kill or at least to do violence. Hopefully, we train to be able to make wise decisions when to not shoot, and how to avoid. Our lives should be dedicated to avoidance, deterrence, and de-escalation. This is what I call the concealed carry ADD. Being aware of where you are and what’s going on can give you a good heads up to avoid. If you are successful at avoidance then your need to judge when to draw, or when to shoot will be eliminated. In your training make sure you get some good ADD training.
If we are to truly protect our families and ourselves, we will learn controlled violence. Without it I’m not sure what will stop a determined terrorist or criminal. Control is the key. We have to be better than they are to protect. We have to be better than them.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Overwatch: Drill Of The Month For October

Oct 2018

Transition Drill 3 – 3 – 1 (carbine and pistol, 6 / 1 rounds) Pat McNamara IPSC target at 10 yards. Two rifle mags with three rounds, loaded pistol holstered. On signal: -3 rounds from carbine -Reload -3 rounds from carbine -Transition to pistol and fire 1 round Keep all rounds in A zone for “GO” and use rifle safety during reloads.

From Pat McNamara
Founder of TMACS, Inc

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

Winning A Fight For Your Life!

How do I win a fight for my life?

Be Ready to Inflict ‘Unspeakable Violence’
Some die because they didn’t use the appropriate amount of force early on. Know what your state laws say about when you can use deadly force so you can act with confidence without hesitation. You shouldn’t have to think about what’s permissible or whether you’ll get sued. That just puts you farther behind the curve. Remember the importance of retreat if possible. Be prepared to go in an instant from being calm to inflicting unspeakable violence on those who would take your life...and then back to calm again. Commit mentally and physically to doing whatever is necessary — with hyper intensity — to prevail. You won’t have time to think or warm up. You have to have that subconscious willingness to hurt dangerous people right there, and turn it on like a switch. As you would if someone was trying to snatch your child or someone else you love from you.
You can condition yourself for that through stress-inoculation scenario training. The more you train under stress, the less stress you’ll feel when it’s real. Don’t depend on adrenalin to energize you and get you through a crisis. It may drain your strength instead. When gunfire starts, there are those who just shut down. They couldn’t even call 911. They thought they were ready for a gunfight, but they weren’t.

Mentally Rehearse
Integrate hours of mental imagery into your training regimen. I’ve had people ask me, ‘Did it bother you to shoot the enemy?’ And I say, ‘No, because I’d already done it in my mind thousands of times.’

Your mindset to win has to be constantly honed or you’ll lose it. Mental rehearsal is one way to hone it. Imagine yourself confronting and defeating every kind of challenge you can conjure up. Imagine yourself getting shot and how you’ll react. Don’t just imagine the stereotypical bad guys. The assailant you have to kill may look a lot like you. They’re not always gangbangers or hardened felons. Anybody at any time may try to hurt you.

Just be certain that in real life you can employ the skills you imagine yourself using to win in your mental scenarios. If candidly you have doubts, then that should identify your training challenges. In a crisis you will go as far as your level of training.

Stack the deck. In most cases, moments arise when you can gain the upper hand. But these windows of opportunity open and close quickly, you have to be ready to go. Be watchful and be ready. Act decisively. You may not get another chance.

Don’t be gear-dependent
Be prepared for any weapon to fail or not get the results you want. A failure may surprise you, but it shouldn’t shut you down. Know the immediate action that may fix the problem. Drill that over and over and over, so your hands can go through the manipulations subconsciously while your eyes and mind are concentrating on the threat. In the military, immediate action drills were constant. “Slap, rack, and bang.”

My wife always says to me and our kids, “Always have a Plan B. Or C, D, E, F!” Don’t get stuck in a Plan A that isn’t working. Be your own weapon. If you train in multiple skills, what won’t fail you is you. But you have to have some training. You can’t draw from an empty well.

Be Prepared
Being trained is a big part of winning a fight. It doesn’t have to be “Professional grade Ninja Special Forces military law enforcement tier 3 number one Recondo” training. Learning simple tactics like shooting from cover, shooting and moving, reloading on the move, and others, will help you to start your attackers OODA loop over and over again. A famed football coach said:
“It’s not the will to win but the willingness to prepare to win that makes the difference.”
Being honest about your skills and knowing where your weaknesses are will help to you to prepare in areas where you are weak.
I was teaching a group of Sheriffs’ deputies for their annual qualifying requirement when a young, cocky, deputy told me he couldn’t see the point of qualifying every year. I told him that one way to ensure a trained force was to test their qualifications annually. With this requirement I could tell who has been practicing and who has not. He challenged my expertise in this so I had him shoot the first round. Then I had him lay down and do it. Then I had him shoot from beside a trash can. He did pretty bad. He balked at my methods saying that they were never tested like that before. I asked him if he thought a criminal was going to be standing 15 feet away while he stood in a Weaver stance and shot the scumbag? He said obviously no. I asked him if he thought he could take out an attacker if he could not qualify with his course of fire? I told him this kind of shooting only tells me if you can do the bare minimum. If you can pass this qualification then you would have the basic skill to shoot. After that, tactical shooting was his responsibility to practice. My job was to test his basic skill and the rest was up to him.
Preparing with mastering the basics is important before you can shoot from all kinds of crazy positions that you may be required to shoot from in a real life scenario.
Work on things you know you’re not good at.

Staying in shape
This is a sensitive subject. Americans are not very fit as a rule. I speak from my own roundness. Staying in the best shape you can always means exercising and eating right. Being able to move and out maneuver your attacker is another way you can stack the deck in your favor.

Never give up
No matter what your situation keep fighting. If you’re shot keep going. As long as you’re conscious keep going. If you can only fight with one hand keep fighting. Some people quit when they are not even out of the fight. I saw a guy get hit twice in his chest plate. The plate completely stopped the bullets but the guy was on the ground and out of the fight. It took someone screaming at him “You’re all right! Get up and shoot!” before he realized he was fine and could keep going. Go through this in your head. Never give up! Don’t stop! Stay in the fight!

Learn medical aid

I carry a first aid kit in every vehicle I own. In addition, I have a homemade “trauma kit” for treating gunshot wounds specifically. I was trained in the military how to treat gunshot wounds. Seek out this training and learn self-aid. Do you know how to use a tourniquet? Do you have experience with a clotting agent? Do you know how they work? Chest seals can save lives. Shooting someone because they are threat is fine but if you also get help for them or do first aid it will go a long way in court and in your own life. Killing another human is not very fun. It’s something you will have to deal with the rest of your life no matter that it was self-defense or combat. If I could avoid that by simple first aid treatment I would do what it takes to make that happen.

Don’t let an attacker win from the grave
If you end up in the hospital from injuries or being shot, work with all your might to recover. Don’t let your attacker keep you down. The same goes for terrorism. If you successfully fought of an attack and the attacker ran off, don’t let that terrifying experience change you. The criminal wins if you are paranoid or afraid. Being vigilant is not being afraid. Being prepared is not being paranoid. Don’t let the scumbag win!

Winning a fight is always a challenge. Since we are not on the offensive we can’t use surprise or ambush. But we can make sure no attacker can use those things either. Mindset and envisioning situations is a big part of that win. Training and preparedness is the other part. Between these things you too can end up the winner of a gunfight!

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Bury Your Guns?

I have a friend from my military days. He is retired Special Forces, and retired Diplomatic Security (yes, he’s double dipping his retirement!). He has worked for the government in security and combat roles for over 35 years! Needless to say, he doesn’t trust the government. I’ve teased him about being paranoid and he’s said “I’ve carried out so much covert stuff for the government I know what they are capable of!” So maybe his paranoia is justified. According to fed data nearly 2000,000 firearms are reported lost or stolen every year. This is problem for the gun owner. Keeping your firearms secure from theft and unauthorized use is a challenge. You want your guns close at hand if needed, but you want them to be secure and safe. There are many happy mediums in small, quick access safes. These will work but what if you need security from confiscation? I, like our founding Fathers, feel there are inalienable rights given us by God, not government. Defending myself and my family and country has been something I’ve done most of my adult life. So what would happen if things went crazy and my government turned on us as citizens? One thing about preparing is that you don’t really know what the future holds. I’ve been a firm believer in first aid kits and learning medical skills. I’ve guessed at what skills I would need and what I would need from a first aid kit. In real world situations I’ve come to know better what to learn and what to have. Sometimes that has been far from what I prepared for. Most times it’s been close. I’ve observed, sometimes first hand, what would happen in a total societal and governmental break down. Crazy things happen! So how do we prepare? The old saying is “Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.” And so we must assume that gun confiscation may come. We must prepare for it.
The first part of this is operations and communication security. Is it clear to everyone around you that you are pro-gun and possibly the owner of more than 3 guns? If you are a typical gun enthusiast, either for defense, sport, or hunting, then you probably have at least 5 to 8 guns. My estimate is more. By the standard of government and non-gun enthusiasts you have an arsenal. If someone owns 8 guns of 4 different calibers then you would most likely have a lot of ammunition too. I also have a storage of ammo because I shoot a lot. So I rotate my ammo. If people saw how much ammo I store they would think I’m starting a war! It’s not at all what it looks like. To shoot as much as I do and to always have a set amount I have to keep a lot of ammo. I’m not preparing for Armageddon, I’m just keeping up my skills. So let’s say you shoot 300 to 400 rounds of 9mm per month. I would need 4800 rounds to shoot for a year. And what if my goal was to keep 2000 rounds for that gun (or 2 guns) then at any given time I may have 6000 or 7000 rounds stored at a time. Most non-shooters would consider that excessive. Also, if I shoot 4800 rounds a year it would be economical to buy 5000 rounds in bulk at one time. So keep this information from others. It’s not secret, but don’t post your gun collection on Facebook. Keep these things private.

According to federal data, nearly 200,000 firearms are reported lost or stolen each year. Even if you take measures to secure your home against intruders, home invasion is still a possibility. You must make sure your guns are well hidden or secured.

Hiding guns during martial law is NOT the same as during real world times!
There is a lot of debate about what would happen during martial law. Some believe that the authorities would come with X-ray equipment and gun-sniffing dogs to find your guns. Others believe that confiscating guns wouldn’t be a possibility because there would be too much chaos to organize the authorities into a thorough cordon and search operation.
Anyone who tells you they know exactly what will happen during a grid down situation is full of baloney!
We don’t know what will happen, which is why we always prepare ourselves for the WORST CASE SCENARIO. While simultaneously praying that it won’t actually happen. Prepping for the worst means hiding your guns as best as you can.

The first thing about hiding guns during martial law is knowing where not to hide them. Remember, we are prepping for the worst. Which means armed soldiers with gun-sniffing dogs and ground-penetrating radar coming into your home.
Hiding your guns in the normal places, like a hidden compartment under your kitchen cabinets, isn’t going to work in these worst-case scenarios. Ideally you don’t hide your guns inside your home. If you must hide your guns inside, count on the fact that authorities during martial law probably won’t have a lot of time to do a thorough search (again, we don’t know what will happen. We can just weigh the likely possibilities).
Places like inside a hollow hot water tank or a watertight bag under the gravel in a fish tank could work. Ammo could go in a hollow curtain rod. Crazy places like that.
An off-site hiding place might also work. I’m not talking about your Uncle Jim’s house, because the authorities will go there to confiscate firearms too. By off-site, I mean a storage shed somewhere. Of course, the authorities could also search all storage sheds. It just might take longer for them to get to those so you may have time to grab your stored guns and GO before they are confiscated.

Most experts agree that the best place to hide your guns during martial law is underground. Yes, authorities do have ground-penetrating radar that would allow them to find buried guns. However, it is unlikely that there will be time to search every square inch of your property so underground is likely the best way to go.
Backwoods Home magazine has a great article on how to hide your guns underground. (http://www.backwoodshome.com/bury-a-gun-and-ammo-for-15-years/)

There are some advanced strategies there for hiding guns underground. Like digging a trench from your home to a shed or barn. The trench has a heavy metal cable or conduit in it. The firearm is at the end of the trench. If authorities detect metal and start digging, they find the cable first and don’t bother to dig anymore.
Burying a gun is very problematic:
You need to find an unobservable place that no one will bother
The place also needs to be accessible so you can get your guns when it goes grid down
You need to protect your gun against the elements
Rather than rehashing all of this info, I really recommend reading the Backwoods Home article. The author does a great job of explaining options for storage containers, locations, and other logistics of hiding guns underground.

In addition to hiding your guns underground or indoors, here are some other strategies which can help keep your guns safe when the grid goes down:
1. Have a Decoy Gun
Have a gun badly-hidden somewhere in your home. When the authorities come and find it, make a big deal about turning it over.
“How am I going to protect myself without a gun?”
“You are going to take my ONLY gun!!!!”
If the authorities come with a list of all of your registered guns, this probably isn’t going to work. But if the grid is down and they don’t have access to the registers (such as after a major EMP event), then this could work.
2. Build a Gun
It is actually easier to build a gun than you might think. You can find instructions online. There are also a lot of people who have made guns with 3D printers.
3. Report Your Gun as Stolen
If the authorities have a list of the guns you own, you could get thrown in jail for not turning them all over including those ones you’ve got hidden underground.
One way to get your guns off the register is to report them as stolen. This is illegal and I’m not condoning it in normal situations. However, if you see the situation getting really bad, you could report your gun as stolen and your name could get taken off the list.
*Disclaimer: I am not encouraging or promoting illegal activity. These strategies are only mentioned in context of Grid down situations where your survival is on the line.
4. Know When to Resist
I’ve heard a lot of preppers say that, “If it is time to bury your guns, then it is time to use them.” They argue that, if the authorities come to take your gun, it is your patriotic duty to start shooting That it is worth risking your life to stop even one of the soldiers.
I personally don’t agree with this logic. Getting yourself killed isn’t going to do society any good. It is just going to leave society with one less person to stand up against martial law.
And you most certainly will get killed if you start shooting at soldiers with superior technology who are lined up outside of your door or cordoned neighborhood.
Throughout history, the groups who have succeeding in resisting and overthrowing martial law have done so by organizing and planning and NOT randomly shooting at the first authority figure to show up.
Resistance involved organized cache and distribution systems, and planned attacks.
Remember, prepping means taking steps to prepare for the WORST POSSIBLE SITUATION. We don’t know what will happen in a grid down situation, so can only do our best (and what is within our means) to prepare.
Prepping for the worst means that you should assume they will find your guns and you will be left without a firearm for protection.
To prep for this situation, be ready to bug out, to build your own DIY weapons, or to group with others for survival. You always need a Plan B (and C, D, E)!
This is the extreme event. I’m not sure it will ever happen but it may happen in part. Being prepared is what we strive to be. Even in these “zombie-like” scenarios.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Monday, October 1, 2018

Monthly Read: Book Review For October

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.
Monthly Read: Book Review For October

“Five Acres and Independence: A Handbook for Small Farm Management” M.G Kains

Publishers Review
Everyone who has ever dreamed of getting back to the soil will derive from Maurice Grenville Kains' practical and easy-to-understand discussions a more complete view of what small-scale farming means. Countless readers of Five Acres and Independence have come away with specific projects to begin and moved closer to the fulfillment of their dreams of independence on a small farm.
Some things, of course, have changed since 1940 when M. G. Kains revised Five Acres and Independence. But the basic down-to-earth advice of one of the most prominent men in American agriculture and the methods of farming the small-scale, pre-DDT farm are still essentially the same. Much of the information in this book was built on USDA and state farm bureau reports; almost all of it was personally tested by M. G. Kains, either on his own farms or on farms of the people who trusted him as an experienced consultant. His book went through more than 30 editions in the first 10 years after its original publication. It has helped countless small farmers attain their dreams, and it continues today as an exceptional resource for those who want to make their first farming attempt.

My review
I have used this book countless times with success. I like the older ideas that can be modernized with current practices and materials. I love the organization and diversification that his ideas give. I believe a small farm can survive even commercially if the right things are raised in the right amount. This book supports my philosophy with tried and true ideas and techniques that have worked. I recommend this book to anyone even those who may not have acreage. These ideas can be scaled down to use in a more suburban setting.

Concealed Carry ADD

Honesty. It seems that honesty is a lost trait. Billy Joel said:
“Honesty is such a lonely word
Everyone is so untrue
Honesty is hardly ever heard
And mostly what I need from you.”

Can you be honest with yourself and about yourself? Speaking honestly, answer these questions.
Do you have a quick temper?
Can you back down from a fight?
Do you have a big mouth?
Can you keep your emotions under control?
These are only a few questions you should ask yourself and honestly answer if you want to carry a gun. If you can answer these questions and you find you can control yourself and have the maturity to walk away, or maybe even run away, then maybe you could be a concealed carrier.

“How do you win a gunfight? Don’t be there.” John Farnam of Defense Training international

“Personal security is a life-long commitment to avoidance, deterrence, and de-escalation.” Andy Stanford, author, combat arms instructor

When faced with a fight that has not started get outta there! Why would you stay if you can see an eminent fight forming? You know that you are armed. Whether you think your opponent is or is not, matters not. You know you have a gun and you should stop before it starts. Walk away. We talk in gun defense about getting off the “X” all the time. Isn’t avoidance of a fight getting off the X?
It’s not a gun or none scenario. You have lots of options. These include:
Lethal Force
Less Lethal Force
Verbalize and/or communicate
Withdraw or Take Cover
Surrender (at least temporarily)
Wait or Gather Information

Backing down is not the act of a coward, it is the act of a responsible, smart concealed carrier. If standing down is not in your nature listen carefully: Don’t. Carry. A Gun! You’re not ready. You don’t have the maturity or temperament. Take Karate. Of course that requires a LOT of discipline! So you’re probably not ready for that either.

Standing your ground is pretty misunderstood. That does not mean you can stand there and escalate, or exacerbate a situation. Stand your ground really is not a technique. It is a situation and a courtroom strategy. Don’t change it into an event you name or call out. If you are put into a situation where lethal force is the only way out, then us that force. If there is any, and I emphasize ANY, other way or a sliver of chance for you to escape, then you’d better take that opportunity. Stand your ground is nice but it’s not a strategy. If you think it is you may find yourself in jail. You also may take a life when you could have just escaped. Even if you kill someone legally, don’t think your troubles are over. Killing is not at all what entertainment shows it to be. If you have to do it then you will still have to suffer the consequences. Legal problems are the least of your worries. Mental problems will exist. I’m telling you it will be an issue. How big of an issue is yet to be seen. No matter how tough you are, or how together you think you are, taking a human life, no matter how justified, will affect you. Take it from someone who has dealt with PTSD and the guilt associated with it, you would rather not go down that road. It will change your life and not for the better. As famed gun instructor Claude Werner said:

“Defense and offense are two sides of the same coin. Whenever possible, we need to put that coin in our pocket and walk away with it.”

In combat, there is a moment, or several moments, when you know you have a choice to kill or not. Often it is kill or be killed. That is the heat of battle. But just as often is the opposite.
Here are some acronyms to remember:
DBAI – Don’t be an idiot
MYAB – Mind your own business
SYP – Swallow your pride
FSYG – Forget stand your ground.

You can be an idiot in many ways as a concealed carrier. You can be an aggressor because you think that gun you carry makes you something that you’re not. Because of that gun you carry you may say and do things you’d never do if you didn’t have a weapon. Being a jerk or an idiot is not something you can afford to be when you carry a gun.
Minding your own business is something that should be practiced by most of us. I’m not saying to let some guy beat up on his girlfriend, but often we need to let authority do their job. A store manager can call the police on a loud, obnoxious customer. It is not your job to take care of every problem and injustice. Use the utmost of judgement before you get involved with someone else’s business. Managers and law enforcement get paid to deal with these type problems.
Being meek does not mean you are weak. Backing down is not always comfortable. If other perceive you as a wimp or a coward it doesn’t really matter. Even if it is your wife or children. At least with your family you can explain why you avoided or walked away. I would rather lose face than go to jail or worse.
As I said above, stand your ground is a legal ploy. Forget about it and it will serve you if you ever need it in the court room. Otherwise, use discretion in what you get involved with and how you get involved.

All of those who carry a gun should remember to have ADD. Avoidance, deterrence, and de-escalation.
Avoid those places: Bad neighborhoods, bars. Bad people: Biker types, “tough” guys, criminals.
Deterrence: Don’t look like a soft target. Use situational awareness and be alert.
De-escalation: If you get involved don’t let the situation get worse. Calm yourself and others. Control your temper and attempt to be a peacemaker.

Just walk away. Whatever it takes, walk away. If it means you look foolish be prepared for that. Fighting, especially with a gun, is not ever preferable. In a gunfight you must be responsible for every bullet. Even if you shoot the threat and kill them, you have to live with that. No, walking away is something you want to be able to do. In walking you have no legal problems and you get to go home. That is what living in the U.S. is all about.

Semper Paratus
Check 6