Thursday, September 29, 2022

Becoming A Danite

Many years ago I was a full time missionary. This was in the dinosaur days before the internet. In those two years I was exposed to a lot of anti-mormon literature. I had a collection, at the suggestion of one of the assistants to the President. I started to throw it all in a shoe box (of which none of it was worthy.) I didn’t spend much time looking at it or studying it, in fact some of it I had never read. I learned this about anti-mormon information. It is all the same. They find some obscure thing and harp away at it until it is their obsession. I could say the same thing about this modern day group of anti-mormons. Nothing has changed, they just moved to the internet. I tell you, I do not go looking for this stuff. It always finds me. My wife calls me an anti magnet. She’s always asking how I find this stuff. I do not seek it, but it does find me. Let me change gears here. I am a gun guy. Through childhood experience with guns and hunting, and then experience in the military, I’ve become a gun guy. I like guns. I don’t think I’m obsessed, even though I think I like to sound like I’m obsessed. I still have other things in my life. My family, the church, music, our homestead, all these things can occupy my life. In the early part of my military life I qualified for some courses that the military doesn’t just give out to people. I changed my job in the military because I wanted a little less danger, I had a family. But because the military went through the trouble of letting me qualify for this training they wanted to use their resource the best that they could. So, they followed through on sending me to training that was related, but not required for the job I had changed to. In the process, I met some outstanding guys and also had some opportunities I took advantage of. I figured if the military was going to use the heck out of me, I may as well use the heck out of them! In that process I became a weapons instructor even though my job did not normally become a weapons instructor. I enjoyed some of the training and schools because I didn’t care whether I did that great in this training. I mean I did my best, but if I actually did not do well it would not affect my job. Because of this training, I held SEI’s (Special Experience Identifier) that actually got me in trouble. I was sent to some places I really would not have wanted to be. I went through some combat experiences that taught me something about myself. So what do these 2 things have to do with each other? One is I have become a defender. I have defended my country and family. I also defend my church. I’m not talking about grabbing a weapon and standing a post. I’m talking about identifying threats, and fortifying against them. I see many threats to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mostly it is sin. Sin can threaten the members of this church. We need to fortify against sin by learning of Christ and living as close as we can to His life and keeping Heavenly Father’s commandments. But I also feel drawn to defend the church against those who try to pull the faithful away and those who try to sully the Church’s name. This means identifying those who fight against the Church. Most of them are “Zarahemnah’s”, those who were members but now fight against it. Zarahemnah was a ex-Nephite in the Book of Mormon who fought against the Nephites and those who were trying follow Christ in His church. There are also some “members” who stay in the Church to fight against it. Some of them are hidden, some are in the open. You can identify Zarahemnahs because often they have left the church but not necessasarily. The first thing they will tell you is they’ll give you their “church resume”. “I’ve grown up in the church.” I had this calling or that calling. They must establish that they were faithful and experienced in the church. Then some traumatic thing drove them away. This frustrates me because my “church resume” is long and wonderful too. I’ve had crazy things happen to me yet I am still here. The Danites were a group of members in church history who were vigilantes. There are those who say Joseph Smith endorsed their lawless and evil actions. It was a volatile time in the church. Members were being persecuted, killed, and driven out of places they tried to colonize. Missouri had an extermination order on “Mormons”. Missouri’s Governor Boggs directed that "the Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the State if necessary for the public peace—their outrages are beyond all description". You can understand how violence can come out of this from both sides. Governor Boggs executive order was only rescinded in 1975! It was issued in 1838. It took 137 years to rescind this ridiculous order. So when someone (usually an anti-mormon) gripes to you as a member about the secret Danites, remind them of a government willing to exterminate a people. I’m not saying anything evil or lawless is justified, but if something like this happened now we would have an uprising. I’ve been called a modern Danite. I don’t picture myself as this but I can see why some might name me that. I am not a member of a secret organization that assassinates those who oppose the church. But that would be cool wouldn’t it? I am just kidding people. I hope you can appreciate dark humor. I am not looking to kill anyone. I am not looking for violence of any kind. Let me tell you another story. There is a family in my ward who I have known for a long time. We come from a similar background and are both from Arizona. This family is a wonderful faithful family. One of their sons went through a divorce and met a sister in our ward that he actually knew for many years. She too had gone through a divorce. Her divorce was bitter. I knew the guy she had married and was her priesthood leader when they got married. He is no good. My wife thinks if I ever see this guys face again that I’ll beat him to a pulp. Maybe. Probably not. After this bitter divorce this ex-husband was a real jerk to his ex-wife and their children. He was a snake and even caused my old family friend and the snakes ex-wife (they married) some great legal problems. He even came looking for his children he thought he should have had for the weekend at church and caused a problem there. (I was out of town at the time. I’m so grateful because I probably would have beat the guy up and ended up in jail.) Anyway, I met this guy alone in the hall of our ward one day. He lives in another city a few hours away so I don’t see him often, thank goodness. But as we passed I stopped and I told him I was on to him. He played innocent, but I knew better. I told him that I knew exactly what he was doing to his ex wife and children. I told him he was trying to convince anyone who would listen that he just wanted the best for his kids. I told him that I was watching him and that he should be careful and watch for me. It was intimidating but I didn’t actually threaten him. I just wanted him to know that he wasn’t fooling me. This is the way I feel about some people who are staying in the church to cause havoc. Some of them are open about what they are doing and some are not. To those who are doing this openly I say, “I see you, and if you don’t cause problems you’re welcome. The moment you start trouble, it’s my job to show you the door.” I know some would say that’s not very Christlike of you, and I can see their point. But I’ve watched people bent on fighting the church cause a lot of problems in a ward. I say, and this is just me, there’s no place for you here. If you’re not genuinely trying to learn or have your questions answered, or you’re bent on trying to disparage leadership both local and in Salt Lake, then out with you! If your purpose is to tear down the church and its leaders I don’t want you here at church. There are those who would do this openly, but some do it covertly. In my experience you’re not that hard to spot. I will defend the church with words or with the tools I have learned through the years. Your choice. If that makes me a modern Danite then so be it. I’m not a murderer and I actually am not a fighter, but I am a warrior. I strive to be as Moroni. I’ve never been a man of blood. I do know there are others like me out there. You are ex military or law enforcement and you have a hard time abiding those who think they can do what they want in this church and not get any push back. Most members are not like me, thank goodness. They lead quiet lives serving and giving. They are not acquainted with violence and have never been hardened by it. It is OK. That is a very good life. Sometimes I wish my life was more that way. Because they are meek and humble people they can get abused easily. I will not allow that. The anti-mormons and predators that try to infiltrate and tear down the church will be eliminated. No, I’m not talking about murder, but I can help you to see that you would be more comfortable away from the church and its members. I understand that many of these ne’er-do-wells have friends and family who are active members. I get that, but what I’m talking about is the general population of wards and stakes. There are others out there like me. We should get together and compare notes and strategies. I’m not talking about organizing and certainly not in secret, but I wish there was a place we could go to communicate. I’m not sure that would go over well even with Salt Lake. I know the anti’s would accuse us of all kinds of things. Just look what happens to Dez Nat and those associated with something as innocuous as a hash tag. I didn’t mean for this to be a rant so I hope that it is not. I just desire to know if my PTSD is making me completely crazy or not. But if I am a modern day Danite, then I’ll be the best one I can be! Semper Paratus Check 6 Burn

Friday, September 9, 2022

Concealed Carry Myths (Reprint from May 21, 2014)

I seem to get a lot of questions about concealed carry. Many involve these 5 myths. “But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.” (D&C 9:8)
This is a scripture we have read and heard many times. There is a lot in this scripture and a great story behind it. But I think this scripture also says, “Don’t believe everything you read or hear. Weigh it to see if it is right or applies to you. If you feel a need, pray concerning it. Now when I was choosing a gun for concealed carry I didn’t pray about it (although I don’t see anything wrong with praying for direction). But I did take the things I read on the internet with a grain of salt. There are some people I trust on the internet. I’ve followed certain people on youtube channels or websites for some time. I trust them because they have proven their opinion to me for years. I only go to forums for a quick overall view. These are some myths I’ve read about but do not agree with. As in all things, even my opinion isn’t worth much. Do your own research and see for yourself.
1. Carry the smallest gun you can find
Almost every gun maker has made a sub-compact handgun. There are many out there but you need to find a gun that fits you. One size does not fit all! My son loves Rugers. So he naturally bought an LC9. He hates it! He’s a pretty big guy with big hands. The LC9 is just too small for him to be comfortable. He needs a compact not a sub-compact. Some people carry a full sized 1911 and have no problem with it. Me? I’m a sub-compact guy. Smaller and lighter is what I want. Everyone is different so a blanket statement like one size fits all is the best, is just absolutely wrong. Some like subs because they are easy to conceal. But subs hold less ammo. Full sized guns have a larger ammo capacity, but they are more difficult to conceal. Find out what will work for you! Make sure it’s comfortable because if it is not, you’ll be less apt to carry it. The gun also must be easy for you to shoot. Like the 3 bears, not too big and not too small, but just right.
2. Make sure you carry without a round in the chamber to be safe!
This is the most ridicules thing I have ever heard! If you feel this way just leave your gun in the safe!
Unless you carry a 50 year old weapon I don’t think you need to worry about your gun going off unless you press the trigger. Without a charged weapon (round in the chamber) you would have to rack the slide. Contrary to movies and TV, that is just too time consuming. If you are drawing your weapon you are ready to use it. How can you be ready to use it if you have to operate it to get it ready? If you accept the responsibility of carrying a deadly weapon then you have a responsibility to carry it safely. Let me be clear about this. Not having a round in the chamber could get you killed. That’s only my opinion.
3. Those who are new to concealed carry should carry a revolver.
I love revolvers! There are some great ones out there. They are quite reliable and easy to operate. But as for that style of weapon to be used by those new to carrying a gun, I don’t think so. I’m not sure it takes a whole lot more experience or intelligence to operate a semi-auto as opposed to a revolver. I wouldn’t discount any gun until I found out what worked for me. With any weapon training is needed. Revolvers carry less ammo but are simple to operate. But semi autos may be just as simple with the right training. Again, try a variety of weapons and calibers you think would work for you. Being comfortable with a particular gun will help you to be accurate and confident.
4. This caliber is better than that caliber
It would not be a bad thing to learn a little about ammunition. Are you better protected with one caliber over another? Of course not! I can tell you this, a well placed shot is better than a bazooka. We maybe not a bazooka but you get my drift. A .380 between the eyes is much better than one hit in the arm from a .45. The idea is to stop the threat. I don’t put a lot of stock into stopping power. A well placed shot is what I look for. So get out there and practice!

5. You shouldn’t carry a gun without a safety
As I’ve trained many and as I’ve been trained in the military, my trigger finger is my safety. I don’t like manual safeties. Especially on a concealed carry gun. I want to pull my weapon and shoot. I want to keep it as simple as I can. But as in all things, if you feel more secure with a safety, by all means use one. I can’t tell you how often I’ve thought the safety was off at the range and failed to shoot because the safety was on doing it’s job. Just imagine if you thought the opposite and needed that gun to work! Just remember when you practice with a weapon that has a safety to include putting the safety on and off so you won’t have that problem.

Remember, learn all you can. Ask instructors and those who have been around the gun world a while. Take as much training as you can. Don’t just believe everything you read or hear. Find out for yourself. If you will follow certain sites on the internet you will quickly find out which one you can trust. Especially be wary of mainstream media. I’ve taught my kids “No truth in the news, no news in the truth.” There are other myths out there. The challenge is to recognize them and discard them.

Semper Paratus
Burn

Bishops and Security: Comment Reply

Back in February I wrote an article titled “Condition Yellow”. There was a comment by archerytom. This was his comment: “I was recently called to be assistant emergency preparedness and comms specialist for our Ward. My partner and I had a brief interview with our Bishop a few weeks after I received the call. We sat to discuss, security measures for our Ward. Long and short, we were told, "No Way!" Long and short of it, the meeting did not go as we had hoped, not that we wanted roving armed patrols, far from it. But, what we did want was a team of trained observers that would know what signals to use, alarms to sound etc. IF, and potentially when, an emergency situation presented itself. In other words, we were told that the Brethren all but demand that when we are on Church properties, we are to stay in condition white to very "pale" yellow. His counsel, as well as the previous Bishop was, that we should be prepared but NOT to go on an offensive even IF there is an active shooter. We were told that we have chairs to throw, hymn books to throw and pews to hide beneath plus, we have strength in numbers. Meaning a bum's rush/dogpile on the rabbit. We asked about being in condition yellow, and he said, that on an individual level as heads of our families, "that's a decision we each need to make," but as far as being "sheepdogs" in our Ward, it's not permitted. I am curious and anxiously solicit your thoughts on this. I know you are getting only my perspective of this and yes I condensed it down as much as absolutely possible to get the gist of what I was hoping to convey out. Don't get me wrong here, in no way am I disparaging or "knocking" on our Bishop, he read much of what he conveyed to us right out of the handbook. He said that in his personal family, in his home, or when he is with his family, he plays by his own rules of conviction. But as far as the Ward/Stake meetings and functions and activities go, we must adhere to policy from the Brethren. I can't argue with that one point but still....” I want to answer this comment. First, I apologize archerytom for taking so long to give my take on your situation. There are many things to consider in your ward and with your leadership. May I say that I was a Bishop so I can identify with your, and other Bishops. I appreciate his view of wanting to follow the brethren. I have no problem with that, we all should. And as far as a Bishop, he does represent the Church. But, the problem I have with the answer your Bishop gave is I feel it is somewhat of a “cop out”. I see it all the time. As a Bishop I just about memorized that handbook. I wanted to follow direction. I felt the weight of the calling and I didn’t want to mess up. I now think differently. I was interviewing a brother who had just been called as a General Authority. I recognized that this interview would be one that I would probably never do again. I wanted to glean as much wisdom from this good brother as I could in this one-on-one situation. As we talked and I expressed my thoughts on my calling and my ward he said something that changed how I feel about policy and handbooks. He said, “I was a Bishop for 13 years. I knew what Church policy was and what the handbook said, but that was not my first “go to”. When I needed to make decisions, I counseled with those I needed to counsel with, auxiliary Presidents or my counselors, and then I went by the Spirit. I can tell you that the Spirit told me more than once to do something that was the opposite of what the handbook told me. Those decisions were the best ones I ever made. They impacted the most lives and helped the most people. Go by the Spirit!” I heard that counsel after being a Bishop for about 8 months. I can tell you from personal experience that his counsel was the best thing I could have followed to be the best leader the Lord needed me to be. Now, I’m not saying that your Bishop archerytom is not following the Spirit. What I am saying is that he should have told you, the preparedness specialists whom he called and set apart, who had a legitimate concern that was in their purview as preparedness specialists, that he would talk to his counselors, pray and then get back to you. To say “no” without thought, counsel, or prayer tells me he goes by the book, rather than by the Spirit. I’m not saying a leader should shoot for a course that bucks the system, but you guys were talking about the safety and security of the members of your ward! Why would you be so flippant about that? But I also recognize that your Bishop is probably a humble, good, dentist. Or manager. Or some vocation that is far away from violence or even security. Violence and events like unto violence are probably far from his experience. So without that, comes a less than expeditious attitude about security. Not that you have to be real experienced with violence to be security minded, but often there is what is called the normalcy bias. Or, “It won’t happen in our ward” type of attitude. It doesn’t happen to you until it does. I have been acquainted with violence since I got jumped in Junior High after an activity. It seems to find me, I never look for it. I embrace the suck, and try to be better prepared for it. But I can tell you prevention is so much better than reaction. I happen to be in a ward that has many law enforcement. Federal, state, and local. These good people make up our “security team”. This is a loose term. The one thing our Bishop did was get everyone in the same place at one time to talk about security. Also, he asked these brothers and sisters to take note of where other law enforcement are to “team up” if needed. They meet once a quarter to touch base and they are part of a Telegram group online. My opinion of security at Church is pretty clear. I have written many posts concerning it. These are a few: My Suggestions For Church Defense Oct 9, 2019 What, Me Worry? Security At Church Sep 20, 2019 Current State Of Our Lives: Church Security Nov 11, 2017 Choirboy and Burn's List of Security At Church Aug 23, 2017 Carrying At Church Jan 22, 2016 How To Achieve Security At Church May 28, 2015 Mormons: Low Standards of Security Aug 4, 2014 Protection in Church Jan 29, 2014 There are other posts but this will definitely tell you where I stand on it. I feel we are too familiar and comfortable at church. We should be to some extent, but being aware and doing some things to mitigate the soft target is what I would suggest. And leaders, follow the Spirit and quit leaning everything you do on a handbook. Sheepdogs are permitted at church, but they must be law enforcement. Why we think law enforcement has a corner on this training and experience is beyond me. I’ve trained many in law enforcement who were less than stellar about their own preparedness to stop a threat. But unarmed people being aware and being organized to help others to “Run, Hide, Fight” (RHF) would be the least anyone should do. Just remember that RHF is not a checklist from one step to the next. The first thing that members should do is have a security mindset. The second is situational awareness. This can be done without packing an M4 and being paranoid. Although I would be remiss if I did not mention my opinion on concealed carry in a church building. Like many misguided individuals the church thinks the police can protect the members. Unless they happen to be a member of a congregation and they are actually carrying, they will not be much use. Like our government leaders the brethren are protected by guns but will not let the members protect themselves with a gun. Please do not think I do not sustain our leadership, I do. But this policy is a disaster waiting to happen. I predict it will happen one day. It kind of already has. I track violence in church buildings, mostly in the U.S. but there is some in other countries. Violence “2 Shot Dead In Mormon Library” April 16, 1999 OAKLAND, CA— A Washington man with a history of attacking religious statues was arrested Thursday night after using a large ax to hack pieces off the hand of a Jesus statue at the Oakland Mormon Temple, police said. December 9, 2004 Lehi, UT “Woman shot to death outside church” January 6th, 2008 Vasalia, CA “Mormon bishop fatally shot in California chapel; gunman killed” Aug. 30 2010 South Jordan, UT (Oquirrh Mountain Temple) “Police shoot armed man outside LDS temple” December 26, 2010 Columbus, OH (Columbus Temple) “Police: 2 Shot In Parking Lot Of West Side Mormon Temple” February 26, 2013 Las Vegas, NV (Las Vegas Temple) “Son of judge killed himself in Las Vegas LDS temple courtyard” Nov. 20 2013 SLC, UT “Woman shot outside of church in South Salt Lake” October 17, 2014 EAGAR, Arizona — An Arizona man is dead and two others injured — including a pregnant woman — after he began shooting at a LDS stake center in Eagar, Arizona, and later at his residence, officials say. “Suspect killed by police after shooting at Mormon stake center” May 24 2015 OAKLEY, CA — Two people were shot, and another bludgeoned multiple times, during a large fight between two groups outside the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints while Sunday service was getting out, police said. June 28, 2015 GILBERT, Ariz. - Gilbert police are looking Wednesday morning for the three men involved in shooting a 19-year-old man at an LDS church Tuesday night. April 20, 2016 Smithfield, UT “Police have arrested a 30-year-old Smithfield man, Jason Summers, who is accused of shooting at someone while trying to break into an LDS Church, Thursday night.” July 8, 2016 Solon, OH An officer saw a man sitting in his car beside the LDS church. As the officer approached, the man jumped out of his car, ran into the trees and shot himself. He was pronounced dead at the scene. August 2016 SLC, UT A meth purchase gone bad led to a vehicle chase and shooting. The fleeing vehicle went into the parking lot of an LDS church as the aggressors caught up to them and continued shooting at them. The victims tried to break into the church to get away which prompted a burglar alarm & police came. Nobody was hit by the gunfire. June 2016 Amarillo, TX A 23-year-old man shot another man nearly a month before that Wednesday when he was injured in another gun battle. The man walked over a mile to get away from the scene where he knew police would be looking for him. He chose to hide behind an outside wall of the LDS church, where an observant officer noticed his leg sticking out. The man refused orders to show himself, and when the first thing officers saw was his gun they opened fire on him. He was hit but will survive. June 2016 Vancouver, WA As a group was in the LDS Church playing basketball, someone broke out a window in the other end of the church, entered the building, and set books and the podium on fire. The guys playing basketball smelled the smoke and discovered the fire, putting it out before anyone got hurt. April 2016 Herriman, UT A 12-year-old boy was playing in the parking lot of the LDS church when a man pulled up in his car and tried to convince the boy to get in with him. The boy ran off and police have been looking for the potential abductor. March 2016 Idaho Falls, ID A man’s estranged wife showed up at his funeral at an LDS Chapel and became angry. The bishop asked her to please not say those things, and she pulled out a gun and began to threaten the funeral attendees. Everyone got out safely, and police arrived to disarm and arrest her. January 2016 Rigby, ID Around 10:25 PM that Friday night police responded to the parking lot of an LDS church on reports of gunfire. Police found a shattered window at the church, then arrested a man a short time later based on descriptions given by witnesses. January 2016 Riverside, CA - Girl abducted from Mormon Church sexually assaulted in dumpster June 28, 2017 SLC, UT A woman rebuked another woman for parking in a handicap spot without a sticker. The driver drove up beside her in the parking lot of the LDS Church and threw a Slushy in her face, then ran over her breaking both her legs. Police continue to look for the Cadillac Escalade driver. April 2017 Kalamazoo, MI A woman was in the LDS church parking lot when she was confronted by a man demanding her car keys. She refused, so he punched her repeatedly in the face and took it anyway. She had no idea it was at the end of a violent crime spree including armed robbery, arson, and another woman shot in her home. January 2017 San Diego, CA On November 29 (2017) a jihadist media group published an image suggesting San Diego could be in the crosshairs of terrorists this holiday season. The San Diego California Temple in University City appears to be their target of choice. An image of a terrorist holding an assault rifle was superimposed on the Mormon temple, which appears to be on fire. The two towering spires rise up on either side of the jihadist. A statement at the bottom of the image reads, “Coming Soon.. San Diego.” The words “Coming Soon” are wrapped in Christmas decorations and splattered with red. November 2017 Newberry Township, Pennsylvania A shooting on Friday, March 30, at a church in Newberry Township was ruled a suicide by the York County coroner. “Police were on the scene at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 800 Pleasant Drive, in the township when a coroner was dispatched about 6 p.m. for a report of a possible self-inflicted fatality, according to a coroner's report.” March 2018 ST. GEORGE, Utah — A Mormon church spokesman says an intruder broke into a church temple in southern Utah and damaged furniture, artwork and other items before being stopped by church workers and arrested by police. Eric Hawkins of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says the St. George Temple resumed normal operations after the incident Saturday morning. Hawkins says the intruder damaged items as he made his way to the temple’s fifth floor and caused additional damage there. (This is not physical violence. But the guy had to have had something in his hand to do this damage. And he made it to the 5th Floor!) May 2018 Fallon, NV On Sunday, a middle-aged Mormon man went into the LDS chapel where his ward was having sacrament meeting, and sat quietly for part of the service. Then he opened fire, killing one ward member and wounding another. July 22, 2018. Goiania, Brazil Five people were injured in a mass knife attack at a meetinghouse in Goiânia, Brazil December 2, 2018 St George, UT A gunman fired his weapon at a group of individuals at a meetinghouse parking lot July 23, 2019 Sao Paolo, Brazil A missionary training center was infiltrated by an intruder armed with a knife; the intruder was shot and killed by police February 5, 2020 Provo, UT A gunman fired shots at the Church's missionary training center in Provo, Utah August 3, 2020 Torreon, Mexico– Two men carrying firearms entered a meetinghouse in Torreón, Coahuila, Mexico during a zone conference among the missionaries of the Church in that area. The two men demanded cell phones, tablets, and wallets, assaulting some of the missionaries in the process; the mission president and his wife were also assaulted and threatened with a knife. November 12, 2021 BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A missionary with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is in serious condition after being shot multiple times Friday at a church site in Alabama. December 3, 2021 This list is a cursory “Google” search on the internet. My guess is there is more that I have not seen. I don’t give this list to scare anyone. Indeed, I only do it to help support the idea that violence can and does happen at Church buildings everywhere. It should be noted and prepared for instead of reacted to. Thanks archerytom for your comment, and for being interested in my little blog. Stay safe! Sempre Paratus Check 6 Burn

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Power and Alternatives

Power This morning my alarm went off as usual. I lay in bed listening to our dog bark at something. About 1 minute later the power went off. I got up and called the power company to report the outage. As I drove in to work I thought about our dependence on electricity. What could you do in your home without electricity? Can you cook? Would you have heat or water? Would your toilets work? We have tried to answer these questions with alternatives. We can cook on our propane stove in the kitchen. Or we have a wood stove, for heat and cooking. We have a solar oven that my wife has cooked in regularly. This not only saves propane, it=s free and the experience is invaluable. We have a generator with gasoline storage. We have solar lights that also can recharge our rechargeable batteries for flashlights and other devices. We have a few crank generator flashlights that can also recharge our cell phones. We even have an old fashioned hard line cord phone so that we don=t need electricity if the phone lines are up. We have various camping stoves, a traditional white gas stove, a wood powered rocket stove, and small backpacking stoves. We have hurricane lamps that run off of kerosene, and camping lanterns that run off of white gas, and of course, candles. We also have various power tools that run off of gasoline. Even with all these things, I want more. We=re looking into wind power and solar power. There is water power if you have access to running water. On top of the alternatives we have, we still have conventional batteries, car batteries, and water storage. We try to keep spare parts for motors, plumbing and electrical parts, and building materials around. We also have a variety of manuals and books to help us in our fixing or building projects. All these things support living off the grid. Living without electricity requires forethought and preparedness. Items need to be purchased a little at a time. We=ve been doing this for most of our married life. Some things require more planning than others. I would suggest a few things you can do now. Find a container such as a 5 gallon bucket and lid. If you don=t have a spare home improvement stores such as Home Depot or Lowe=s carry them for a small price. Start to fill this container with boxes of matches. There are several kinds on the market, stick or book, safety or strike anywhere. Also lighters should be included in this container. As you purchase these items put them in your container and you=ll be surprised how fast it adds up. Look at your situation. How do you receive water? Is it through a municipal system or your own well? What alternate heat sources do you have? What about light? What about cooking? These answered should be answered with several answers. Redundancy is king and if one solution fails, you=ll need another. Find solutions that you can work on and put it on a schedule. If it=s the purchase of an expensive item, save for it slowly and stay in your budget. I strongly discourage going into debt for any of your preparedness items including food storage. If you need to use credit for short term purchases be very careful it does not turn into long term. On occasion, test your program. Live a weekend with your power turned off. If you do this your eyes will be opened to where your program has holes. Involve the whole family. It can actually be a good and fun experience if you look at it that way. Doing this will also give you experience with the items and equipment you have. Remember that safety is very important. Open flames are very dangerous and should not be left unattended. Camping stoves and hurricane lamps use up oxygen so always have ventilation. Never run a generator indoors. Keep fire and fire making materials away from children and pets. Do your smoke or CO2 alarms run off of batteries or hard wire power? You may need battery power for these items too. Speaking of pets, do you have a contingency plan for your pets? They will need food, water, medicines, and anti-insect sprays and powder. If you want your pets to survive with you have a plan for them too. As you test your Aoff the grid@ preparations you could also incorporate your 72 hour kit plans into that exercise. You don=t have to use your all your 72 hour kit items but finding our operational details would help you in your knowledge of your system, and to know what may not work. We=ve mentioned many things but here is a list of considerations: Remember my favorite acronym for emergency and survival priority: SWiFFS (Shelter, Water, Food, Fire, Security) Shelter: We assume you are in shelter because the electricity is out. Replace shelter with heat. Heat: How will you stay out of the elements? Either stay cool or stay warm, or stay dry. Water: Where will you get it and if it needs to be purified, how will you do that? Food: How will you and yours eat? How will you cook food if you have it? Fire: Heat, see above. Food, see above. Security: How will you keep you and yours safe either from animal or human preditors? Power blackout B general suggestionsSuggestions include: Have an emergency kit prepared. (Either a shelter in place kit or your 72 hour kit) Switch off all electrical appliances, especially those that have heating elements. Unplug >surge-sensitive= equipment, such as computers and video recorders. Keep one light switch turned on so you know when the power returns. Telephone your electricity provider for updates on the status of the blackout. Turn on a battery-operated radio and listen to a local radio station for information. Check on your neighbors to see if they need assistance, particularly if they are elderly or have a disability. Heat and lightSuggestions include: Multiple layers of clothing trap body heat more efficiently than one bulky layer. The body loses a great deal of heat through the scalp so wear a hat. Close doors, windows and blinds to maintain heat. Flashlights are much safer sources of light than candles. Make sure you have a good stock of batteries. If you must use candles, keep them away from drafts and away from children. Be aware of fire hazards B keep candles away from curtains and other flammable objects. Make sure to extinguish all candles before retiring for the night. This morning my alarm went off as usual. I lay in bed listening to our dog bark at something outside. About 1 minute later the power went off. I got up and called the power company to report the outage. As I drove in to work I thought about our dependence on electricity. What could you do in your home without electricity? Can you cook? Would you have heat or water? Would your toilets work? We have tried to answer these questions with alternatives. We can cook on our propane stove in the kitchen. Or we have a wood stove, for heat and cooking. We have a solar oven that my wife has cooked in regularly. This not only saves propane, it=s free and the experience is invaluable. We have a generator with gasoline storage. We have solar lights that also can recharge our rechargeable batteries for flashlights and other devices. We have a few crank generator flashlights that can also recharge our cell phones. We even have an old fashioned hard line cord phone so that we don=t need electricity if the phone lines are out. We have various camping stoves, a traditional white gas stove, a wood powered rocket stove, and small backpacking stoves. We have hurricane lamps that run off of kerosene, and camping lanterns that run off of white gas, and of course, candles. We also have various power tools that run off of gasoline. Even with all these things, I want more. We=re looking into wind power and solar power. There is water power if you have access to running water. On top of the alternatives we have, we still have conventional batteries, car batteries, and water storage. We try to keep spare parts for motors, plumbing and electrical parts, and building materials around. We also have a variety of manuals and books to help us in our fixing or building projects. All these things support living off the grid. Living without electricity requires forethought and preparedness. Items need to be purchased a little at a time. We=ve been doing this for most of our married life. Some things require more planning than others. I would suggest a few things you can do now. Find a container such as a 5 gallon bucket and lid. If you don=t have a spare home improvement stores such as Home Depot or Lowe=s carry them for a small price. Start to fill this container with boxes of matches. There are several kinds on the market, stick or book, safety or strike anywhere. Also lighters should be included in this container. As you purchase these items put them in your container and you=ll be surprised how fast it adds up. Look at your situation. How do you receive water? Is it through a municipal system or your own well? What alternate heat sources do you have? What about light? What about cooking? These questions should be answered with several answers. Redundancy is king and if one solution fails, you=ll need another. Find solutions that you can work on and put it on a schedule. If it=s the purchase of an expensive item, save for it slowly and stay in your budget. I strongly discourage going into debt for any of your preparedness items including food storage. If you need to use credit for short term purchases be very careful it does not turn into long term. On occasion, test your program. Live a weekend with your power turned off. If you do this your eyes will be opened to where your program has holes. Involve the whole family. It can actually be a good and fun experience if you look at it that way. Doing this will also give you experience with the items and equipment you have. Remember that safety is very important. Open flames are very dangerous and should not be left unattended. Camping stoves and hurricane lamps use up oxygen so always have ventilation. Never run a generator indoors. Keep fire and fire making materials away from children and pets. Do your smoke or CO2 alarms run off of batteries or hard wire power? You may need battery power for these items too. Speaking of pets, do you have a contingency plan for your pets? They will need food, water, medicines, and anti-insect sprays and powder. If you want your pets to survive with you have a plan for them too. As you test your "off the grid" preparations you could also incorporate your 72 hour kit plans into that exercise. You don=t have to use all your 72 hour kit items but finding operational details would help you in your knowledge of your system, and to know what may work and not work. We=ve mentioned many things but here is a list of considerations: Remember my favorite acronym for emergency and survival priority: SWiFFS (Shelter, Water, Food, Fire, Security) Shelter: We assume you are in shelter because the electricity is out. Replace shelter with heat. Heat: How will you stay out of the elements? Either stay cool or stay warm, or stay dry. Water: Where will you get it and if it needs to be purified, how will you do that? Food: How will you and yours eat? How will you cook food if you have it? Fire: Heat, see above. Food, see above. Security: How will you keep you and yours safe either from animal or human predators? Power blackout B general suggestions Suggestions include: Have an emergency kit prepared. (Either a shelter in place kit or your 72 hour kit) Switch off all electrical appliances, especially those that have heating elements. Unplug >surge-sensitive= equipment, such as computers and video recorders. Keep one light switch turned on so you know when the power returns. Telephone your electricity provider for updates on the status of the blackout. Turn on a battery-operated radio and listen to a local radio station for information. Check on your neighbors to see if they need assistance, particularly if they are elderly or have a disability. Semper Paratus Check 6 Burn

"Experts" (Reprint from Oct 14, 2016)

I was at the range one day and had just finished my work out. I was putting things in my range bag when a few cars drove up and parked next to my truck. Out jumped about 6 people with some gun cases and ammo boxes. They came up to me and asked if I was their instructor. I told them I was not “I don’t have a class today” were my words. They said “So you are an instructor?” I said “Yes.” They started to pepper me with questions. I finally said, “Your instructor should have told you that…” In the course of talking I found that this was indeed their 3rd class with this particular instructor.
This reminded me of a story I recently read about an experience another instructor had.

“Recently I was asked to ‘baby sit’ (my words) a fellow who was teaching a handgun class at a range where I serve as a Range Safety Officer. I was to give an impromptu safety talk and then observe the class for a while to determine if they could be left on their own or needed watching. They needed watching. Boy Oh Boy, Did they need watching.
Before they started I asked questions to get a feel for their experience and training. I was told that ‘most’ of the four students had trained under this instructor before. The instructor did have a large emblem on the back of his jacket showing his certification as an instructor, issued from a large well known organization, no less. This instructor informed me that these students were all at the ‘intermediate’ level, he then added that this was because they had all attended a concealed weapon class. The class, I believe, he had taught.
Among them one had a medium frame revolver, another a small Glock, another a small oddball copy of the Colt ‘1911’, I don’t recall what semi-auto the other fellow had. Two of the semi-auto shooters didn’t remember how to load their guns, even how to insert the magazine. I observed that the ‘1911’ shooter fired right handed but always used his left hand to put the safety on or off. Later I showed him how to operate the safety using the thumb of his right hand and the alternate method if he was shooting with his left hand. I cautioned one shooter to not put his thumb behind the slide of his semi-auto. I had to remind one or two to put on their eye protection. There was one or two other things I advised. The instructor had never said anything nor did he assist the students with any of these problems. Nor did he assist or correct any other problems.
They were firing at ledger size sheets of paper, that is 11 by 17 inches and doing so from seven yards. The warm-up was to take their time and fire six shots. One guy hit with only five shots, another with only four, the Glock shooter missed with all six. Throughout my observation I kept reminding myself ‘He calls these INTERMEDIATE level students’.
The first four or five drills the shooters were to start from a ‘low ready’ position and fire six shots, returning to the low ready after each shot. Glock shooter never did, every drill he would raise his gun and fire all six. The instructor never said anything. He never knew about it.
I held back from much I could have said or done. I did not want to undermine the instructor or seem like I was ‘taking over’ the class however it was almost difficult not to. I did jump in when the instructor stood in of his students (who were all on the firing line) and as he spoke of something, two of them drew their guns from the holsters and pointed them down range though somewhat to the side. The instructor had not thought of that as a problem until I interrupted and pointed it out. He didn’t even seem to notice.
While the instructor took a potty break I inquired how much they were paying him. One hundred dollars each for a partial day.
Part of the problem was very clear. He, the instructor, never watched his students. Yup, He would tell them to do something then never watch them as they attempted to do it.
His written material, some memorized, some read aloud from his notes, was ok, not bad, certainly not wrong but was often incomplete in areas. The drills he had them do were so-so at best but did not seem to be leading to any particular goal. His great error was that he never paid attention to what the students were doing. He could not assist his students, correct their problems, improve their technique, or anything because he never saw them in action. Whenever they shot he would stand in the middle of the line and shoot along with them at the same time. They could have been shooting at each other and as long as they missed he might never have never know it.
After about an hour and a half I was notified that I would be needed elsewhere.”
I fear sometimes there are many of those out there. For some of those instructors it was never a passion or they never had a great desire to teach. Some may be just in it for the money. I don’t care which it may be but I find it disheartening as an instructor that so many people out there are being “abused.”
Once in a while I’ve been accused of being an “expert.” I don’t really consider myself an expert. An instructor named Dan Shea pointed out long ago that there really are no experts in any subject, just Reasonably Knowledgeable Individuals, or RKI’s. I like that concept as it keeps all of us honest and locked into the permanent role of student. I also do not think my way is necessarily the best. I’ve learned things through my experience that work for me and have worked for others. Does that mean that’s it? No, there are other techniques and opinions out there. I’d be a fool if I thought I’d learned it all and that there was no more insight in the world. Times change. Technology changes. People’s ideas change. We must be smart enough to see through the hype and learn new things.
Be open to more training. Never stop learning. Never stop trying to find better ways to teach. Read. Observe. Stay informed.
Semper Paratus
Check 6
Burn
This article still holds!

What A Combat Vet Would Share With You

This article puts across the things that many combat veterans experience. Military.com | By Regina Bahten (Obviously "he" could be "she".) Top 10 Things Your Combat Vet Wants You to Know 1. He is addicted to war, although he loves you. War is horrible, but there is nothing like a life-and-death fight to make you feel truly alive. The adrenaline rush is tremendous, and can never be replaced. Succeeding in combat defines a warrior, places him in a brotherhood where he is always welcome and understood. The civilian world has its adrenaline junkies as well; just ask any retired firefighter, police officer, or emergency room staff if they miss it. 2. Living for you is harder. It would be easy for him to die for you because he loves you. Living for you, which is what you actually want, is harder for him. It is even harder for him if you are smart and do not need him to rescue you, since rescuing is something he does really well. If you are very competent at many things, he may at times question if you need him at all. He may not see that you stay with him as a conscious choice. 3. "The training kicks in" means something very different to him. It is direct battle doctrine that when ambushed by a superior force, the correct response is "apply maximum firepower and break contact." A warrior has to be able to respond to threat with minimal time pondering choices. While this is life-saving in combat, it is not helpful in the much slower-paced civilian world. A better rule in the civilian world would be to give a reaction proportionate to the provocation. Small provocation, small response (but this could get you killed on the battlefield). When the training becomes second nature, a warrior might take any adrenaline rush as a cue to "apply maximum firepower." This can become particularly unfortunate if someone starts to cry. Tears are unbearable to him; they create explosive emotions in him that can be difficult for him to control. Unfortunately, that can lead to a warrior responding to strong waves of guilt by applying more "maximum firepower" on friends, family, or unfortunate strangers. 4. He is afraid to get attached to anyone because he has learned that the people you love get killed, and he cannot face that pain again. He may make an exception for his children (because they cannot divorce him), but that will be instinctual and he will probably not be able to explain his actions. 5. He knows the military exists for a reason. The sad fact is that a military exists ultimately to kill people and break things. This was true of our beloved "Greatest Generation" warriors of WWII, and it remains true to this day. Technically, your warrior may well be a killer, as are his friends. He may have a hard time seeing that this does not make him a murderer. Although they may look similar at first glance, he is a sheepdog protecting the herd, not a wolf trying to destroy it. The emotional side of killing in combat is complex. He may not know how to feel about what he's seen or done, and he may not expect his feelings to change over time. Warriors can experience moments of profound guilt, shame, and self-hatred. He may have experienced a momentary elation at "scoring one for the good guys," then been horrified that he celebrated killing a human being. He may view himself as a monster for having those emotions, or for having gotten used to killing because it happened often. One of my Marines recommended "On Killing" by Dave Grossman, and I would pass that recommendation on. 6. He's had to cultivate explosive anger in order to survive in combat. He may have grown up with explosive anger (violent alcoholic father?) as well. 7. He may have been only nineteen when he first had to make a life and death decision for someone else. What kind of skills does a nineteen-year-old have to deal with that kind of responsibility? One of my veterans put it this way: "You want to know what frightening is? It's a nineteen-year-old boy who's had a sip of that power over life and death that war gives you. It's a boy who, despite all the things he's been taught, knows that he likes it. It's a nineteen-year-old who's just lost a friend, and is angry and scared, and determined that some *%#& is gonna pay. To this day, the thought of that boy can wake me from a sound sleep and leave me staring at the ceiling." 8. He may believe that he's the only one who feels this way; eventually he may realize that at least other combat vets understand. On some level, he doesn't want you to understand, because that would mean you had shared his most horrible experience, and he wants someone to remain innocent. 9. He doesn't understand that you have a mama bear inside of you, that probably any of us could kill in defense of someone if we needed to. Imagine your reaction if someone pointed a weapon at your child. Would it change your reaction if a child pointed a weapon at your child? 10. When you don't understand, he needs you to give him the benefit of the doubt. He needs you also to realize that his issues really aren't about you, although you may step in them sometimes. Truly, the last thing he wants is for you to become a casualty of his war. Copyright 2019 Military.com. All rights reserved If you're curious how those who have been in combat think, this article can help. Maybe not everyone of these points will apply to every person, but many of them will apply, and at least a few will apply to everyone. Understanding is a very real way you can help a combat vet. Semper Paratus Check 6 Burn