Friday, December 19, 2014

Security and Christmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas is here! I love this time of year but it does add to our responsibility of security. This last week and week end before Christmas is one of the biggest shopping times of the year. Unfortunately criminals know this too. Be careful out there and here are some ways to be secure at this time of year.
Invest in a motion sensor floodlight or even some outdoor Christmas lights to highlight your home's exterior. This makes approaching your home too conspicuous for burglars.
A common mistake of many festive decorators is to feed extension cables through partially open windows, criminals know to look for this vulnerability. When it comes to outdoor lighting, opt for solar or battery operated lights or install outdoor electrical outlets.
Garbage collections over the Christmas and New Year period are normally at different times. If you can't take packaging to a recycling point, make sure you only put your trash out just before the collection and do your best to break apart boxes so that they do not advertise your new contents of your home to thieves!
According to one recent study, social media is a commonly used tool for scouting potential targets. Social media savvy families have a tendency to publish their whereabouts during the holiday season, including any vacation plans. This lets burglars know when your house is going to be empty. Uploaded photos of pricey Christmas gifts can also be a problem as it basically allows burglars to go shopping just by viewing your Facebook profile.
Government statistics show that 30% of burglaries happen through windows. Installing a few dead-bolts and new window locks could increase the security of your home exponentially.
Make sure valuable items are out of sight. When going out for the evening make use of inexpensive timers to give the illusion of occupancy.
If you're going away at Christmas be sure to cancel any newspaper subscriptions. Arrange for a neighbor to park in the driveway to help create the impression someone is home. Do not leave descriptive telephone answering machine messages and again make use of light timers.
Make sure that garden tools or ladders that could be used to force entry into your home are not left lying around or accessible from an unlocked garden shed. Garages are often targets for burglars looking for tools, bikes and gardening equipment - make sure the garage is secure and your possessions are secured too in the case of bikes and tools.
Burglars know to look for hidden door keys so don't hide spare keys under rocks, in flowerpots, or above door ledges. Instead give the spare key to family or trusted neighbor. Many houses these days have alarms, many though are rarely set, make sure yours is on and protecting your home.
These are only a few reminders. There is more that we have discussed here. Enjoy this time with family and friends but don’t ignore your security or disregard your situational awareness. If you are traveling ensure your vehicle is secure at motels. If you are flying be aware in airports.
Have a Merry Christmas and a wonderfully safe new year!
Semper Paratus

Everyday Carry (EDC) Cleaning

What do you carry every day? A gun? A knife? A cell phone? I actually carry all of these things and more. This is not an article about what to carry, but to clean what you carry.
I won’t talk about cleaning your gun for that has more involved than I can put in this article. That will be an article by itself.
After using your knife, it is a good practice to clean and dry your knife (the entire knife, not just the blade). Even for blades that are made with corrosion-resistant stainless steel, prolonged exposure to the elements can cause the steel's surface to oxidize. Folding knives should be kept clean of debris, particularly the locking device on lock-blade knives.
As an alternative, chemical solvents such as Acetone, nail polish remover, MEK, alcohol or paint thinner may be used to clean your blade. Use care with these solvents, as some, such as acetone, nail polish remover, white gas, or brake fluid may damage some knife handles. Avoid harsh detergents that contain Chlorine (mostly powders, including some for washing dishes and clothes), which can accelerate corrosion of the blade steel.
Avoid prolonged immersion in liquids (water, solvents, etc.). This can have a detrimental effect on not only the metal parts, but handles made of wood or other porous materials as well. Before using your knife on food items, wipe clean with alcohol, or wash with hot soapy water and rinse clean. Remember to re-clean and lubricate your knife after the food job is done.
Periodically, and always after cleaning, apply a small amount of lubricant to the working parts of the knife, particularly the pivot points of a folding knife. Then apply a thin film of lubricant to the entire surface of the blade. This will help prevent surface oxidation and corrosion from moisture.
Periodically clean the open end of the battery compartment, the battery compartment threads and O-ring with a clean lint-free cloth lightly moistened with isopropyl alcohol. Apply a coat of
non-conductive silicon or petroleum grease to these surfaces. Replace the battery compartment O-ring if it becomes worn or damaged.
The recessed electrical contacts and interior threads in the head
can be cleaned using a lint-free swab lightly moistened with isopropyl alcohol. Recessed contacts and threads should be cleaned in a counter-clockwise direction to prevent snagging the swab in the threads. Be sure to remove any particles or fibers that may be left behind. Apply a coat of non-conductive silicon or petroleum grease to the interior threads and contacts.
The exterior can be cleaned with a mild soap and water. Rinse well and dry with a soft cotton cloth.

Para cord (A hank or in bracelet form)
You can wash the paracord right in your washing machine -- cold water setting, regular laundry detergent, no fabric softener. Wash with like colors. Then set the bracelet out to air dry on a clean towel. Do not machine dry.
I have an old toothbrush I keep in the shower. When I shower I take the paracord with me, soap it up, scrub a little with the brush, then rinse. Just let it air dry.
Tactical pen
I clean my tactical pen similar to my flashlight. My pen has an “O” ring so I clean it all with alcohol and a q-tip.
My case is a Nite Ize case that I love. It is made of cordura.
Pretreat any stains by spraying a laundry-stain remover or dry-cleaning solvent on the stain. Allow it to soak into the fabric for at least an hour.
Combine 8 oz. of warm water with chlorine-free laundry detergent in a spray bottle. Swirl the bottle to mix.
Spray the cleaning solution onto the Cordura item. Use a soft- to medium-bristled cleaning brush to work the cleaning solution into the fabric.
Dampen a soft cloth with cool water. Squeeze to remove excess moisture. Wipe down the item to remove soap residue.
Air dry the Cordura item.
Home, car, and other keys get a build up of pocket lint and other gunk in the crevices. I can only imagine how much additional dirt makes it into my ignition or house lock.
Grab a cotton ball and some rubbing alcohol or vinegar and wipe down your car keys every couple months.
I would suggest a little graphite in all the locks on your car keys at least once a year too.

These are just examples of some EDC that you may have and how to clean it all. Rubbing alcohol is good on most metal or plastic surfaces. Soap and water on material. Be careful cleaning electronics with liquids.
I don’t think you need to do this type of cleaning more than maybe every 3 months. A 6 month cleaning would probably suffice. Sometimes I’m lucky to do it annually! (Except the gun!)

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Peace of Mind From A Room: Safe Room

While at a class on safety my course instructor said that we should designate a room in our home as a safe room. We were told to add a deadbolt to the door to the room and ensure that you have a flashlight in there, a knife, a gun and a safe place to put your family while the intruder(s) come to you. He said that bullet proof fabric could be used to make a safe place for your family while you defended them. I have no problem with this advice but I think that a deadbolt on a hollow-core door is useless. If you have solid doors then make sure the door hinge screws go into the wall framing rather than just the door frame. Also there are striker plates out there that are large and are used for the door knob and the deadbolt. Make sure this is installed with long screws too. Probably 3 inch screws should do the trick.
I would also put some 72 hour kits and water in there. Also add a 5 gallon bucket and some plastic bags in case nature calls. If you build one, make it a family secret---if your kids tell the neighbor kids, you lose the benefit of no one knowing about it, which is just as important as a deadbolt!
A couple years ago, safe rooms (a.k.a. panic rooms) were the “buzz” around the water cooler with the release of the movie “Panic Room,” starring Jodie Foster. Now again, with the recent mid-west tornadoes, safe rooms are making the news.
Safe Room Construction – How secure should it be?
These rooms are built to provide security for families in the case of terrorism, natural disasters, intruders, or any other type of personal danger. Building a new safe room is a wise DIY home improvement, providing the homeowner some added peace of mind. Panic rooms are often thought of as impenetrable rooms with indestructible walls and doors. Realistically, it only needs to be structurally sound, and secure enough that your family can hide in, make some emergency phone calls, and keep intruders at bay. If you think about it, unless someone is purposefully out to hurt you, their intent is to get what they want, and out of the house as fast as possible. So, as long as you build the room strong enough to be a deterrent, you’re generally safe.
What to consider with safe-room construction:
• You will want the door and walls to provide as much resistance as possible. Certainly drywall attached to wood studs does not keep someone from putting their foot through it, but concrete would. You could add metal mesh in the walls to make them much more difficult to get through.
• A logical place to build your panic room is in a basement. Basements are notoriously good protection during natural disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes. The one downfall to a basement panic room is that in a chemical or biological attack, chemicals are heavier than air and would move to lower ground.
• It’s also wise to build a panic room without windows. A safe room with a window only provides an additional point of access. Don’t forget that without a window your safe room will need some form of ventilation.
• The door should be a solid material (steel would be best), and it should open outwards to make it more difficult to kick in. Most importantly, be sure that the door jamb is made of steel too. A couple dead bolts should do the trick, and be certain that the keys are kept inside the room where no one outside the room could find them.
• Another issue to plan for is sound. Your panic room should act as a good hiding place and sound proofing to keep burglars from hearing you while you call the authorities is essential.
What should I keep in my new room?
Be sure to think about what you want to store in your panic room, especially if you are in an unfortunate circumstance that requires staying more than a day. The following list is a good place to start:
• Water and plenty of it (The rule of thumb is one gallon per person per day. 5 gallon water containers for camping work well.)
• Food, non-perishable (canned) meats, fruits, and vegetables and be sure to include a can opener. You may also want to include some comfort foods such as candy, especially if you have children.
• First Aid Kit, including prescription drugs
• Bedding, such as sleeping bags and at least one change of clothes
• Hygiene supplies – including a 5 gallon bucket and plastic garbage bags to act as a substitute toilet (A room air sanitizer comes to mind here too.)
• Other tools and supplies such as a phone, battery operated radio, and flashlights
• Toys, books, and games
• Defensive weapons
• Telephone – preferably a land-line that won’t need re-charging
All of your family members should be made familiar with the room including when, and how it is to be used. If you have children, stress the importance of the room, and that its only function is for safety during an emergency, not for fun and games.
If you prepare you could also make this room your isolation room in case of pandemic, chemical, or biological attack. If it’s made to nuclear protection standards then it can cover all emergencies. If you want an all in one room, do some research to ensure it covers everything.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

CIA Moscow Rules

During the Cold War, a list of rules was developed to keep operatives safe. While there’s debate that the list was ever physically recorded or is still classified, the protocols outlined kept agents from being compromised during their missions.

“Although no one had written them down, they were the precepts we all understood for conducting our operations in the most difficult of operating environments: the Soviet capital.”
– Antonio Mendez retired CIA Technical Operations Officer specializing in support of clandestine and covert CIA operations.

The Rules

1. Assume nothing.
2. Technology will always let you down.
3. Murphy is right.
4. Never go against your gut.
5. Always listen to your gut; it is your operational antennae.
6. Everyone is potentially under opposition control.
7. Don’t look back; you are never completely alone. Use your gut.
8. Go with the flow; use the terrain.
9. Take the natural break of traffic.
10. Maintain a natural pace.
11. Establish a distinctive and dynamic profile and pattern.
12. Stay consistent over time.
13. Vary your pattern and stay within your profile.
14. Be non-threatening: keep them relaxed; mesmerize!
15. Lull them into a sense of complacency.
16. Know the opposition and their terrain intimately.
17. Build in opportunity but use it sparingly.
18. Don’t harass the opposition.
19. Make sure they can anticipate your destination.
20. Pick the time and place for action.
21. Any operation can be aborted; if it feels wrong, then it is wrong.
22. Keep your options open.
23. If your gut says to act, overwhelm their senses.
24. Use misdirection, illusion and deception.
25. Hide small operative motions in larger non-threatening motions.
26. Float like a butterfly; sting like bee.
27. When free, In Obscura, immediately change direction and leave the area.
28. Break your trail and blend into the local scene.
29. Execute a surveillance detection run designed to draw them out over time.
30. Once is an accident; twice is a coincidence; three times is an enemy action.
31. Avoid static lookouts; stay away from chokepoints where they can reacquire you.
32. Select a meeting site so you can overlook the scene.
33. Keep any asset separated from you by time and distance until it is time.
34. If the asset has surveillance, then the operation has gone bad.
35. Only approach the site when you are sure it is clean.
36. After the meeting or act is done, “close the loop” at a logical cover destination.
37. Be aware of surveillance’s time tolerance so they aren’t forced to raise an alert.
38. If an alert is issued, they must pay a price and so must you.
39. Let them believe they lost you; act innocent.
40. There is no limit to a human being’s ability to rationalize the truth.

It’s obvious how these rules are important to the safety of a spy but they also can be applicable to your daily life. What ways do think you could implement these guidelines?

Thanks to for this info.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Law Enforcement and Armchair Quarterbacking

With the Police and their policies in question lately I’ve heard the ridicules statement “Why didn’t the cop just shoot him in the leg?” Hollywood and pop culture have done it again! The average person’s perception of perception of how guns work and what they do. Most people have no idea what a police use of force doctrine looks like. I want to focus on deadly force. First let’s talk about shooting. Most people’s experience with guns is limited. They have gone out with their Uncle and shot at cans on his farm with a .22 rifle. Maybe they went to a range, maybe not. They may have shot their Dad’s 1911 Colt .45. They didn’t like the kick. A smaller percentage were in the military during peacetime and qualified every year with an M16. Those who have more experience or who have hunted know it’s not that easy to hit a small target. Police train to hit center of mass. This means you aim for the largest part of your target. This is a lot easier to hit than an arm or a leg. Unlike criminals, who don’t really care, law enforcement has to worry about collateral damage, or bystanders.

The goal of law enforcement, and civilian self-defense, is to stop the threat as soon as possible. Because of how the body works, there are only two ways to shut it down, via either an electronic shutdown (hit to the brain or central nervous system) or a hydraulic shutdown (loss of blood pressure due to hits to major organs/arteries). There is a third kind of stop, which is psychological. This occurs when someone gets shot, realizes they've been shot, and decides that they've had enough of whatever caused the shooting to start and then proceed to cease and desist doing what they are doing. Psychological stops can occur with non-fatal wounds from small calibers, or from mortal wounds with serious calibers. They are also not reliable, which is why the police and armed citizens are not trained to rely or even prepare for these sorts of things. We have to understand what happens when you shoot someone in a part of their body that's not the chest or head. There is a very good chance that without immediate medical attention, they will die. Shooting a person in the leg runs a very serious risk of hitting the femoral artery or the femoral vein. Hitting either of those with a bullet will cause rapid and extremely dangerous blood loss, more with the artery than the vein. Even lower leg shots aren't a safe bet, because the anterior tibial artery and the great saphenous vein are in the lower leg. So what about shooting a person in the arm, or the shoulder? Well, up there you have the brachial artery, the axillary artery, and the subclavian artery. There are also large veins in that same area. Real bullets don’t act like their Hollywood counterparts. On TV or movies bullets either do very little, or give instant hot death. Reality bullets do neither of those things usually. Shooting someone in the leg can do some serious damage and still not stop them. This is another reason to not do it. Without immediate help a leg wound could kill someone just with blood loss. If one of the above arteries is severed it’s only a matter of minutes. An adult heart pumps blood at several liters per minute. An adult body has only about 4 to 5 liters in it. We’re talking possibly bleeding out in 3 to 4 minutes. How fast are first responders? There is no national average. But it looks like, depending on the city, anywhere from 5 to 8 minutes. I did find that first responders only save 6 to 10% of all calls. SO being shot in the leg is not a good idea. It also doesn’t really stop anyone. Being shot is not good no matter how you look at it.
Before you start “arm chair quarterbacking” a police shooting consider many things. If I am afraid for my life I will shoot 2 to the center of mass and 1 to the head. I want the threat to stop. But I am not in law enforcement. As a police officer just drawing your weapon will result in investigation. Though there may be some cowboys out there, most law enforcement know what they are doing and why. They want to protect others but most of all they want to go home to their families. Also, if you have never been under fire or have feared for your life it’s not a very fair to just dole out advice. Law enforcement in the U.S. are the best of the world but they are still human though highly trained. They are also aware of the great responsibility they have in not making a mistake. But if they are being threatened or someone points a gun at them, I’m not real sure what anyone would expect them to do? Threat and target identification should be taught and re-taught. It must be a priority. If you were armed and someone pointed and airsoft weapon at you I wonder what you would do? Knowing how realistic airsoft weapons look I would probably shoot. I don’t know why anyone would point even a stick at a policeman who has drawn their weapon and is pointing at them? There have been many instances of honest mistakes made. Under certain circumstances airsoft, BB guns, paintball markers, and even toys will look real. A police officer will have to live with killing a teenager or person who pointed a non-weapon at them and they killed them.

In summary, trying to shoot someone and not do harm is a fantasy. Shooting appendages does not incapacitate an assailant. It will more than likely kill them or maim them. It is difficult to hit a small target especially under stress. Next time you hear this lame excuse for a criminal pointing a weapon at police, or threatening them, or resisting them, know that shooting them in the leg or arm is not the answer.
I am not a police lover. I do not hate them, in fact, I have many friends among them. I also feel they are very good at what they do and have great respect for them. They have a thankless job. Some of them need an attitude adjustment but I think that is from working with the dregs of society every day. I think law enforcement needs to understand reality of citizens protecting themselves and do all they can to let us do that. Most do, some are a problem.

If you don’t want to get shot by a policeman I would suggest a few things. First, don’t break the law. And stay away from those who do. Second, when an officer gives you a command, comply. If they are wrong you can hash that out later. Law enforcement have lots of rules to live by. But if you give them cause to use force, they will. They have to use force to survive. Don’t give them a reason. Third, thank them for doing their job well when they do, which is often. If you do not follow one and two, you are an idiot and I won’t say you deserve to be shot, but you may deserve what you get.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Monday, December 15, 2014

Stopping The Threat And Self Care

I was talking to a friend of mine in law enforcement who had just come from a federal academy for some weapons training. He confirmed what I have always said about a handgun round, unless that round hits a vital organ (brain, heart) then it won’t stop a determined attacker.
We all have a misconception about guns and what they actually do to the human body. The human body can take a lot before it starts to lose to much blood to keep going. The movies and TV would have a us believe:
“I know what you’re thinking. “Did he fire six shots or only five?” Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk? ” Dirty Harry, 1971
Would a .44 Magnum be able to blow off someone’s head? Very doubtful. But a .44 is a pretty powerful round. By the way, a .454 is now the most powerful handgun.
As I’ve mentioned before, most people will react one of two ways when they are shot. The first way is to fall to the ground and be out of the fight. It’s something they have learned from watching millions of people get shot in entertainment. Will a gun shot, any small arms gun shot, really knock you back a few feet to the ground? When you get into the very large caliber I suppose it could. A .50 caliber round may explode the part of the body it hits, but certainly not a .223 or 9mm. Those who have hunted know what a round will do to a deer or an elk. A human being is smaller than an elk but the ballistics of the bullet will react about the same.
When President Kennedy was shot it was with a 6.5 x 52 mm round. It went right through him into Governor Connally.
The other reaction to being shot is nothing at all. During the “fight or flight” response the body will go into a tunnel vision mode and adrenaline will flow freely. Someone who isn’t shut down by a round to a vital organ will keep going even after being shot several times.
In 2006 there was a suspect who engaged the police in a gunfight and was shot 17 times, 11 of which exited his body. He had a broken arm from a .40 S&W round but was still able to resist arrest even after the shooting stopped.
Handguns in particular are not effective at killing, and you can be shot with a handgun caliber (several times) and survive. Shot does not equal dead and when you are training, make sure that you remember this, especially during force on force training encounters.
Also make sure that when you are training practice shooting more than 1 or 2 rounds each time you draw. It may take a lot of rounds to stop a threat.
Shot means keep fighting and in the real world pain = life = ability to fight on! Never give up!
After a shooting incident where your attacker had a gun you should check yourself over to ensure you are not shot. Run your palm over your entire body periodically looking to see if there is any blood. You may not feel being shot until your body starts to calm down. This may be too late and your body will go into shock so check as soon as possible.
Learn not only first aid, but how to deal with gunshot wounds. Have a first aid kit and know how to use every item in your kit. Most store bought first aid kits have band-aids and aspirin in them and that’s about it. You can build your own kit with some research and effort. I would recommend talking to a combat medic if you can and ask for their recommendation. Most nurses, doctors, and EMT’s are tied to their trucks or hospitals by equipment. I’m not knocking these great professionals, for they are the best medical care there is in the world. But modern medicine doesn’t always work well in the field. If you know someone who has this knowledge, glean all you can from them.
Once you have a good kit together get trained. If you’ve never had a first aid course or it has been a while, take one again. Hospitals and the Red Cross can help here.
There are other legal things that are advised to do after a defensive shooting, but this is not part of the discussion here. It’s all about you. Your safety and living to fight another day.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Friday, December 12, 2014

Another Call to Action: Revisted

I hope you as a reader won’t get too bored with me. I tend to prattle on sometimes. I get something stuck in my head and I must write. I try to not let my writing turn into a rant, but I know it sneaks in. I want you to know how much I appreciate you the reader. An LDS gun site is pretty unconventional even though the views I’ve shared are prevalent in the Mormon Church. I realize most of the Church is pretty conservative but not all. You would find most of the Apostles and prophets, and I daresay, most general authorities, not subscribing to liberal/progressive thinking. I, myself, do not like the main stream 2 parties. I don’t really like any party. I’d like to just vote for good people not party lines and ideologies. Having said all that, and before this turns into a rant, I’ll move to my point.
In an article back in June (See blog Fathers Call to Action! Secure your Family 6/15/2014) I talked about a father’s responsibility. Of course nothing has changed. But I’d like to call attention to an ever increasing change in the dynamic of the church. As you would well know if you were a member of the church, we’re all about family. Most programs are geared toward a family. The traditional family is changing in the world and even in the church. Many single parent families are out there and we need to adjust to this. When I talk about a “Father”, sometimes there is no Father. I would hope that we would compensate with leaders, home teachers, family and friends to ensure that single Mother’s are taken care of. I think the Brethren are aware of this and are trying to teach this. One of the reason’s I talk about women and shooting so much is that traditionally, shooting is a guy thing. More and more women and girls are catching an interest in guns. I think that’s great! So please don’t misunderstand, I’m not very politically correct (PC). When I write about Father’s, I’m meaning to include single Mother’s. When I write about women in general, I’m also writing about men who are not into or familiar with guns. I know there are cross overs both ways.
It’s the responsibility of the head of household to care for and protect their family. How’s that for a PC sentence? This is a challenge and one that may be daunting for men as well as women. But I beg of you, do not procrastinate. Have a plan, and implement and review it. If you need help, find someone who you can trust to help you. Read some of the articles on this site and others to give you ideas of areas of focus you need to work on. Let me remind you of some:
Physical security. This is security of life and limb. That are many ways to do this. Weapons and training abound out there. I like guns so I would suggest there. If you’re not comfortable with weapons maybe hand-to-hand programs would appeal to you and your kids. I would actually suggest a combination. I like redundancy and a combination would take care of a plan B, C, and D. Code words for your kids is also a consideration for younger ones. Situational awareness is something we can all work on.
Home security. Fortifying where you live. Even if you rent you can either ask the landlord to do more, or ask if they will let you do it and pay for it.
Communication/Operations security. COMSEC and OPSEC is for everyone. Keeping personal information private and secure and what you do, and how you do it, can be practiced all together.
General preparedness. This is also a family affair. Planning and becoming better prepared in all areas should be and is something every member of a family can participate in.
All these areas can be addressed and achieved in any kind of family that there is. We can all improve and should be looking for ways to increase our security.
My guess is that women, especially Mothers, have been doing some of this already. Preparing is a Motherly instinct. Where men like to think “I got this!” However you find yourself, even empty nesters, widows/widowers, and single people should do this. Your responsibility is still there.
Write down the areas you feel compelled to work on. Do this prayerfully. Once you get the “categories” then list specifics in each area. Don’t go too crazy and be realistic. Don’t be overwhelmed because preparing, including security, will never really end. As you change your mindset to be more security minded, most of these things will come naturally. But you must have a written plan. When I was serving a mission there was a quote in our missionary handbook, which we read parts of daily, it said, “A goal not written is only a wish.” This is a true saying so write down your plans and goals. Cross them out as you go and you will have a satisfaction that will spur you on.
Preparing, security specifically, appeals to me. I like the peace of mind I get with this type of activity. You will be blessed and inspired as you go. Don’t just amass “stuff”, but items that will help you be more self-sufficient and better prepared. Remember that skill trumps gear every time. Learn how your gear works and if it works for you. In doing this, you will become more confident and assured that you can handle anything. Keep your Heavenly father in your planning and in your life for the Spirit is really good preparedness. You will also teach your children how to be able to get through these trying times we call “The last days” and preserve them for the callings and missions that they have in this life and beyond.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Everyday Carry: A Notebook

Someone spent many hours combing through google looking for references on the use of pocket notebooks by ordinary men during this past century. The following excerpts were collected to show the notebook’s history and demonstrate that far from being the domain of the modern hipster, the pocket notebook has always been used by men from many different walks of life. I thank the soul who did this research so that I wouldn’t have to…
The Farmer
“One farmer I know keeps his notebook in his pocket to jot down the tasks which can be performed on a rainy day. This enables him to plan quickly the work for a rainy day. In planning rainy day work, do first the jobs which are in danger of getting in the way of the next dry weather work. The rule is to leave no rainy-day work to be done when it is not raining for in this climate our profits are limited by the amount of outdoor work we get done.” -Circular, Issues 46-105, By Agricultural Experiment Station, College of Agriculture , 1914
The Salesman
“There should be a book in your pocket all the while ready for the name of anyone who might be induced to handle your product. A name overheard, a name suggested by a fellow traveling man, a name secured by visiting with someone from a town you do not make, a name seen in a local newspaper—any such name may be that of your prospect.
One salesman I know buys the local newspaper in every town he enters and reads the personal columns as well as the advertisements in search of men who may be or may become possible customers. He studies openings in towns where there is a possible opportunity, and he puts the right men in touch with them. He visits with representatives of the local commercial organizations and advertising clubs and gathers much information that he tabulates in a pocket notebook. He always has at hand information of value to men in his line of trade, and in time they come to realize it and look forward to his coming, saving him some kind of an order even if they are not much in need, because they want a chance to talk with him.” -The Successful Salesman, By Frank Farrington, 1918
The Minister
“Have upon your study table, always accessible, a good-sized substantially bound blank book. Whenever a germinant thought comes seize your pen and write it down. Such thoughts will come out of your special course of literary reading, out of your cursory scanning of current fiction, even out of the five-minute glance given to the morning paper, out of nowhere and from anywhere. Thought-compelling suggestions entirely foreign to the sermon on which you are just now engaged will frequently send you to your treasure book, and without any damage to present preparation you will scribble down a page of matter that will set you on fire at some future day just when you are in need of inspiration and help. Have also a special vest-pocket notebook and let nothing escape you.” -The Methodist Review, 1907
The Boy Scout
“In one of the pockets there should be a lot of bachelor buttons, the sort that you do not have to sew on to your clothes, but which fasten with a snap, something like glove buttons. There should be a pocket made in your shirt or vest to fit your notebook, and a part of it stitched up to hold a pencil and a toothbrush….
No camper, be he hunter, fisherman, scout, naturalist, explorer, prospector, soldier or lumberman, should go into the woods without a notebook and hard lead pencil. Remember that notes made with a hard pencil will last longer than those made with ink, and be readable as long as the paper lasts.
Every scientist and every surveyor knows this and it is only tenderfeet, who use a soft pencil and fountain pen for making field notes, because an upset canoe will blur all ink marks and the constant rubbing of the pages of the book will smudge all soft pencil marks.
Therefore, have a pocket especially made, so that your notebook, pencil and fountain pen, if you insist upon including it—will fit snugly with no chance of dropping out.” -The American Boys’ Handybook of Camp-lore and Woodcraft, By Daniel Carter Beard, 1920
The Doctor
“When I started in practice, I got in the habit of putting many of my spare moments (had plenty of them!) into studying up some of the rarer diseases that we had to deal with. I would read up all I could find on one subject, then I would take some time in thinking it over, then I would formulate a plan of treatment and write it out in a pocket-notebook. In after years, that old notebook helped me out of a good many difficult situations; and some of the best work I have ever done has come from those notes.” -The American Journal of Clinical Medicine, Volume 25, 1918
The Architect
“The little pocket notebook, I soon discovered, was not a record book in the accounting sense of the term. Nevertheless, it was a very necessary part of the architect’s business paraphernalia. The rules of the American Institute of Architects do not permit members of the profession to advertise, or go after new business in most of the ways that are current among commercial organizations. Therefore, the successful architect is a man with a wide ‘acquaintance among the classes of persons who are likely to become builders. He quickly learns to take note of projected buildings, in order to follow up the prospective owners, and secure for his own office the work of designing the building.
This is the purpose of the architect’s pocket notebook. Whenever he gets wind from any source of a projected building, he makes a note of it. Sometimes he secures his information from news notes in the daily papers; more frequently he gets advance information from the people he associates with, and from regular commercial agency reports. If the prospect has in mind constructing a building of the class the architect is used to handling, he makes a personal call on the owner.
‘Sometimes,’ says the architect, ‘I don’t need to use my little book so strenuously as at other times. A growing reputation and a ‘come-back’ clientele are gradually making it possible for me to devote less time to getting business and more time to handling the work that is under way. I keep the book up from habit; and occasionally it brings me a job of the kind I particularly want, and might miss if I didn’t have my notebook as a daily reminder.’” -The Magazine of Business, Volume 27, By Arch Wilkinson Shaw, 1915
The Naturalist
“I am often asked to recommend the best kind of notebook and diary to use for nature observations; but I have never seen any that is satisfying. The value of notes depends upon their being taken on the spot. If you think that you can carry the records of a country ramble home in your head and write them down at your leisure in the evenings, you are very much mistaken. You must carry them home, already written, in your pocket; and for that purpose you must have a handy pocket notebook. But the notes hurriedly written on the spot are not, of course, intended to be your permanent record. Indeed, your penciled scrawls on a cold day would often become unintelligible within a week. If, however, you use a good system of abbreviations, you will find that you can get a surprising amount of detailed observation into each small page of the pocket notebook; and if the book is “self-opening,” i.e., if the pencil is always fixed to the page on which the next entry will be made, very little time is spent in taking the notes.” Country-Side: A Wildlife Magazine, Volume 4, By British Empire Naturalist’s Association, 1928
The Student
“But you may say, “I have already begun wrong with a long list of words; my problem now is how to get them right, and how to avoid similar mistakes with new words in the future. It is too late to take spelling over again. What is the short cut to improvement?”
Improvement may be made to begin at once by following a very simple plan. Buy an indexed pocket notebook and enter in it from day to day words that you find yourself habitually misspelling. Study Appendix IV, section by section, and copy from it into your notebook words that seem to resist mastery. Copy only a few at a time.
From this notebook choose a word at a time, and by a deliberate act of attention, look at it as if you had never seen it before; if practicable, spell it aloud—slowly, so that you have time to realize the presence of each letter. Then write it correctly again and again; cover a page with it, writing without a pause; if you can, spell it aloud as you write. Underline, as you write, the part of the word in which your error occurs. Repeat this process for five minutes at a time, if necessary every day for a week, or until you know that you can never misspell this word again…
If you feel that this is hard to do, remember that the alternative is lifelong exposure to the unjust suspicion of illiteracy.” The Writing of English, By John Matthews Manly, Edith Rickert,
I’ve been accused of being old fashioned. At times, I agree. I love technology. I love my computer, the internet, my phone and I-pad, but sometimes, I like to get back to basics. I’ve carried a notebook for years. Sometimes I use my phone because a picture tells a thousand words. But a notebook (it can be electronic or old school) helps me to remember item details, size, model, etc. It helps me when I have inspiration whether it is a design or a scriptural insight. A notebook also helps me plan and stay on task. I have a learning problem that can distract me from what I’m doing. So I believe in lists. It keeps me focused.
When I use something electronic for notes or pictures I transpose the notes to my notebook and then reference the picture in my phone. This helps stay organized. I usually reference a notebook entry to a picture so in 2 weeks I wonder what the picture is for in my phone. I’ve learned to write down more than just a phone number. Whose phone number and what relevance they have to me also goes in that entry. And if I get bored in Church, I can play hangman with my daughter… (wink, wink)
A notebook is a part of my EDC and should be part of yours.
Semper Paratus

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

What Is Your Major Malfunction? or Clearing Your Gun

Years ago I was cleaning up after teaching a group of pilots how to shoot the Beretta M9 and qualify.
A pilot was 2 bays over on this outdoor range still practicing. I could hear him struggling with his weapon and swearing as it was malfunctioning. He would go through a magazine and instead of doing a combat reload he would release the slide, let the magazine fall, and rack another magazine. After 2 or 3 times I walked over. He shot a magazine and then did exactly what he’d done before, expecting it to work, it didn’t. He finally looked at me and said the gun was broken. I told him to stop emptying the magazine and hitting the slide release. Do a combat reload. He did this and because we had just done about 100 combat reloads his gun functioned flawless. It was operator error, or as we were fond of calling it on the line, OE.
Does it really matter why a gun malfunctions? During a firefight it doesn’t, but during training if the malfunction source can be identified it can be corrected. Often it is operator error and sometimes it’s equipment error.
Following is a list of common malfunctions of a handgun
Filling Magazines Incorrectly
Filling magazines refers to putting the rounds into the mag. The rounds are designed to sit all the way to the rear of the magazine. If you don’t put them all the way back the nose of the round can rub the front of the magazine as it goes in and create drag which will eventually make the magazine spring or follower bind creating problems when the rounds come out of the mag.
The magazine has to work really hard to do its job as it is. Think of how fast the slide cycles under recoil. During the small time period when the slide is all the way back, that poor magazine spring has to push all the rounds up in the magazine enough to get that top round to pop up so it will get pushed into the chamber by the slide as it goes back into battery. That mag has to work fast. If you put the rounds forward in the magazine and make any more work for that mag spring, it may not work fast enough and create a nasty malfunction.
The secret to this one is really simple. Make sure you load the rounds all the way in when you fill your magazine. You can also cheat (I do) by slapping the back of the filled magazine (not hard) against the palm of your hand to get all the rounds to fall to the back of the magazine like they are supposed to be. Then put the magazine in your pouch or in your gun.
You only have to do it once when the magazine is going into a pouch. Once the rounds are back, the spring will hold them there. You don’t have to pull the magazine out of the pouch and then slap it to make sure it works. Just slap it once or twice right after you fill it and you’ll be fine.
Magazine Not Seated All the Way or Correctly
Many shooters are timid when it comes to working with their gun. The only thing you should do nicely to your gun is press the trigger. Everything else should be done with force and vigor. Putting a magazine in your handgun is no different. It should be one fluid motion and be done with authority.
I’ve seen most students want to start the magazine in the well and then hit it a couple times to make sure it gets in there all the way. No problems at the square range but when you are actually running the gun hard (i.e. training for self defense), you should get the magazine started and with one motion slam it into the butt of the gun with an open palm.
Make sure your fingers and shooting hand are far enough up to not interfere with the loading. On most guns, this isn’t a problem, but as we use smaller carry guns, sometimes you can get your hand in the way. You’ll only do it once. When I forget to get my hand out of the way, it normally gives me a huge blood blister and hurts like crazy!
Not Running the Slide Correctly
This goes with shooters working the gun timidly. Run the slide correctly. Pull back hard and fast on the slide to chamber a round. Pull it all the way back until the slide stops by hitting the frame of the gun. Then simply let go.
The gun is designed to run fast all the way back and then come forward on its own spring tension. When you don’t let the slide go forward like it’s designed, you play with how the gun goes back into battery and how everything inside sets. The gun may fire the first round and then have problems with the second. Or the gun may not go into battery (which means some of the brass is showing and creates an unsafe firing condition). Today’s modern guns are designed to not let the gun fire when it’s out of battery for safety reasons.
The other problem is not pulling the slide back all the way. When you short stroke the slide, you mess with the spring design of the gun and magazine. The round doesn’t really come out of the magazine like it’s supposed to and the second round in the mag doesn’t move up to the pole position like it should. Then on the second shot, the round isn’t sitting correctly in the magazine and it takes a nose dive causing all sorts of nasty looking malfunctions. Or the round goes nose up coming out of the magazine and doesn’t go into the chamber like it’s supposed to.
Limp Wrist
This is a very common problem with new shooters and small guns (especially 9mm seem to have this problem). Also, shooters with older 1911’s with different shooting grips seem to have this problem.
The problem is that when the gun recoils it needs something solid to push against to hold the frame in place while the slide moves back, compressing the recoil spring, and then letting it go forward again. If the frame isn’t held still, the slide has no way to push against the spring to compress it. If the spring doesn’t compress, then it can’t expand to push the slide back into battery and load the next round.
The secret to stop limp wristing with new shooters using a two-handed grip is the left hand in the grip. It’s called limp wristing because the shooter is allowing the wrists to bend under recoil. The easiest fix is a parallel thumbs forward grip. By simply pushing the off hand thumb forward, it rotates the left wrist, locking it in place and not letting the gun bend the wrist during recoil.
If you are shooting a little gun one-handed, you have to get a really firm grip on the gun and lock out the wrist. You may want to go as far as Massad Ayoob’s Crush Grip technique. He holds the gun so firm that the front sight is almost shaking. To get this, simply hold the gun in a shooting grip. Look at the front sight. Now keep tightening your grip until the front sight starts to shake. Back off your grip pressure slightly until the front sight isn’t shaking from muscle rigidity. There’s your one-handed shooting grip on a small auto.
Impeding the Slide
Letting something get in the way of the slide and slowing down its speed will cause a malfunction. Normally, this is hard to do, but some grips on some guns can create a problem. If you normally shoot a 1911 with high thumbs (or the shooting thumb resting on the safety and the other thumb on top) and you switch to a Berretta M9 that has a slide mounted safety, now your thumbs may be resting on the safety. With the safety there hitting your thumbs as the slide recoils, it could be just enough to mess with the gun but not even enough for you to feel.
This is hard to actually create. I rest my thumbs on the slide of my 9mm and have no problems. I don’t feel the slide rubbing against my thumbs and the slide doesn’t care. It takes some force and thought to create a malfunction this way. Just be careful if you are shooting a gun with a slide-mounted safety as that could be enough drag to create a problem.
Where this really becomes a problem is when you get other body parts or clothing in the way. When we shoot from different positions and bring the gun close to ourselves. Like if you go to a compress ready position by bending your elbows and bringing the firearm to your chest. It would be awkward but possible to bring the gun far enough back, so when the gun cycles the slide it hits you in the chest. You’ll feel it and it will hurt a little. If you feel it against your chest or gut, you will most likely create a malfunction.
This may also happen when the gun is close to you and your slide can get caught up in your clothing. That’s why a lot of instructors teach to cant the gun out when shooting from a compressed, hip, or retention position.
The last way I’ve seen this happen is when using a wall or barricade as support. Shooters push the gun up against the barricade and the slide rubs enough to slow it down. It is because the shooter is pushing the gun towards the barricade to create support.
The easy fix for the barricade is to only let your hand touch the barricade.
Improper Maintenance
This is the one that gets us all. Is your gun properly cleaned, put back together, and oiled? The debate about what is “proper” could start a bar fight between even the best shooters and instructors .
I like a “dry” gun and many would argue with that. That’s OK.
If everything above isn’t the problem and the gun isn’t broken, then it’s a maintenance issue. What ever you did, it wasn’t right. Try something different. If you want a quick tip for a shooting session to keep it going for just a little while longer: just lock the action open and add a couple drops of your favorite oil to the slide rails, one to the front of the barrel, then let the slide go home. Now put a drop on the barrel hood. This will 99% of the time get your gun running again if it’s dirty or has a maintenance issue. It won’t last long because, as you add oil, the oil collects dirt. The more fine dust or dirt in the air, the less oil you want. The oil will attract dust. It will also collect the burnt powder and any other crap inside or outside of the cartridge when you fire it (I know your miracle new lube says it repels that stuff, it’s all marketing). Anything wet attracts dirt; it’s that simple. I live in primarily desert areas, that’s why I prefer a more dry weapon.
My experience is that students either come to class with a gun that is sopping wet and then malfunctions and they can’t figure out why. Or they come with a gun that is bone dry and the weapon malfunctions. My thoughts are just a little bit of oil. If you can just barely see the shine from the oil on the gun, that’s probably correct. I also only put oil on the gun where metal parts move against each other. If you have an old gun, it’s where the parts are starting to get shiny because the finish is wearing off. Note: This is a balancing act, the more water in the air or around your gun the more oil you want, and the more fine dirt around, the less oil you want. Amounts of oil are environmentally connected.
Malfunctions happen. Be aware and maintain your weapon and your magazines. If you do this, you have many rounds of fun and more confidence in your training. Practice clearing malfunctions so when they finally happen, you will be ready.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Concealed Carry: Carry Ammo

I live in the country on a farmette. We live by the adage “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” We repurpose bunches of things. I try to not be a pack-rat, but it’s hard to throw away something that is useful.
The same thing goes for ammunition. I try to “recycle” it as much as possible. My adult daughter is sometimes a hippie. She’s not a tree hugger and she shoots better than my boys, but she can get a little “vegan and commune” on me. I usually call recycling a “hippie conspiracy”.
When carry every day you should practice with your carry gun. Most of us can’t afford to practice with expensive defensive ammo. This means that we load and unload rounds from magazines all the time. The more we do that the higher the chance of damaging rounds. I try to move the rounds around so I don’t have the same round in the chamber every time. Sometimes having a round in the chamber can push the bullet into the case. Weekly inspect your carry rounds. Make sure there are no dents or pushed-in bullets. Replace these rounds and dispose of them. I usually get a bullet puller and pull out the bullet. I recycle the case. I know that JHP is expensive but when you press the trigger you need it to go bang. Don’t take chances.
How old is your carry ammo? Hopefully you’re not carrying the same ammo you had when you got your license back in 1990. Ammunition will last almost indefinitely if stored in the right conditions. (See blog Ammo Storage: Keep You Powder Dry!, 9/19/2014) Your everyday carry magazines have probably seen it all. When ammunition is stored perfectly, cool, dry, and steady conditions, it serves well. I replace my carry ammo every 6 months. So, I switch it with freshly manufactured ammo and then I mark the old stuff. Now I have something comparable to practice with. I practice with this old ammo until it is gone, which is not that much. 14 rounds every six months is chicken feed. I usually shoot about 50 rounds a week, at least. So I can use this “old” ammo up quickly. It only supplements my practice ammo.
Ammunition degrades with heat and humidity. My carry ammo gets body heat and sweat on top of that. I don’t know how that shortens its life but I convinced it affects it some. This ammo is probably ok but it helps my peace of mind to switch it every 6 months. Could it last a year? Probably, but if it gives me comfort I will do it. After all, peace of mind is why I carry a gun!

Semper Paratus
Check 6


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Rifle of The Mormon Battalion

The men of the Mormon Battalion are honored for their willingness to fight for the United States as loyal American citizens. Their march of some 2,000 miles from Council Bluffs to California is one of the longest military marches in history. Their participation in the early development of California by building Fort Moore in Los Angeles, building a courthouse in San Diego, and making bricks and building houses in southern California contributed to the growth of the West.
Each soldier was issued the following: 1 Harpers Ferry smoothbore musket, Harpers Ferry 1 infantry cartridge box, 1 cartridge box plate, 1 cartridge box belt, 1 bayonet scabbard, 1 bayonet scabbard belt, 1 bayonet scabbard belt plate, 1 waist belt, 1 waist belt plate, 1 musket gun sling, 1 brush and pike set, 1 musket screwdriver, 1 musket wiper, 1 extra flint cap. Each company was also allotted 5 sabers for the officers, 10 musket ball screws, 10 musket spring vices, and 4 Harpers Ferry rifles.
Battalion members carried the US Model 1816 Flintlock Smoothbore Musket manufactured by Harpers Ferry Arsenal in 1827.
The 1816 musket model was produced from 1816 until 1844 by Harpers Ferry, Springfield Armory and various other contractors. The 9-1/2 pound musket had the highest production of any US Flintlock musket and was the last flintlock martial arm to be produced. In total, all US government productions of the M1816 were 325,000 muskets produced at Springfield, Massachusetts and 350,000 muskets produced at Harper's Ferry in addition to 146,000 produced by other contractors. It served the US Army over 50 years and in two major armed conflicts. It saw service in the Mexican war in its flintlock version and in the US Civil War in both flintlock and percussion versions.
The flintlock ignition system employed a piece of flint clamped into the top of the musket hammer. When fired, the hammer fell forward, causing the flint to strike a spring-held vertical piece of steel called a frizzen. As the steel snapped back, the resulting sparks were forced downward to a priming charge of gunpowder. The ignition of this powder passed fire through a pin-sized hole and ignited the powder charge. The advent of the small brass percussion cap in the 1830s, with its self-contained explosive charge, eliminated the need for flint, steel, and priming powder and would eventually make flintlock arms obsolete.
It had a one piece full stock of walnut. The furniture and barrel were left in the white or browned depending on manufacturer and lot. The barrel was 42" long with a .69 caliber smoothbore (no rifling). The casehardened lock plate was marked with an eagle over "US" and dated 1816 on the tail. The 1816 had no front or rear sight. The bayonet lug was on top of the barrel at the muzzle. The three steel barrel bands were retained with barrel band retaining springs. A steel ramrod with button shaped head was stored under the barrel. The musket was converted from flintlock to percussion between about 1840-1860.
The earliest models of the 1816, including those dubbed the "Type I" musket, usually dated around 1817, featured a flat beveled lockplate and steel pan. There seems to be some variations between the placement of the bayonet lugs on the barrel, with some being produced for the 1812 bayonet and others for the 1816.

The next change of the 1816, the "Type II" muskets, produced 1822-31, are often referred to as the "National Armory Brown". It was called thus because of the browned finish on all metal parts except the lock and the sling swivel on trigger guard. These are often mistaken for "M1822" or "M1822" muskets.

The "Type III" muskets, produced 1831-44, are referred to as the "National Army Bright" models. Differences included a strengthened sling swivel and a bright finish on all metal parts.
A good deal is known about the Model 1816 flintlock muskets that were issued to the Mormon Battalion in August 1846 at Fort Leavenworth thanks to surviving weapons maintained by the LDS Museum of Church History and Art. These weapons have been authenticated by Battalion experts and are periodically displayed for the public by museum curators. All of the surviving Mormon Battalion Model 1816's in the LDS Museum collection are Type II weapons, stamped “Harpers Ferry” on their casehardened lock plates and dated “1827.”
Some US Model 1804 Rifles manufactured by Harpers Ferry Arsenal were also issued to the Battalion.
I had the opportunity to shoot an actual Moromn Battalion musket as a teen ager from a Brother in my ward who had it as part of his collection. It doesn’t have a big kick but the smoke from the blast makes it hard to see after you’ve shot it. It’s hard to believe that it had a .69 caliber ball. That’s a lot of lead coming down range. This rifle also weighed 10 pounds! Many of these facts bring much respect to these brave men and women. I had relatives serve in the Mormon Battalion and their stories make this service personal to me. Remember that on July 16 in 1846 the Mormon Battalion was mustered into service.
Semper Paratus

Gun Safety In The Church, 1868

Here’s an article for the “you’ll never see this in The Friend” file. Published in the 15 July 1868 issue of the Juvenile Instructor, and probably written by George Q. Cannon himself, the article gives reasonable advice, a graphic illustration, and a lurid tale of what could happen when firearms were mishandled. The picture illustration shows a boy examining a flintlock pistol with his sister near.
“The first thought that strikes one in looking at the engraving we give below, is that the pretty little girl, who stands on tiptoe watching her brother, is in great peril. You perceive that the muzzle of the pistol is pointed at her head. It makes us shudder to think of the danger she is in; yet she does not seem to be aware of it. If her brother had his hand on the lock, we would be still more afraid, but he has hold of the stock, and appears to be examining the lock.
After he has looked at it a while he may take hold of it. If he should, and the pistol should be loaded, then he or his sister might get shot; for he is too small a boy to know much about fire-arms. You see he is but a little boy, he has to stand upon a stool to reach the drawer in which his father keeps his pistols.
It seems they have got tired of playing with the toys their parents have given them. There is a “Noah’s ark,” and a number of the animals with which it was filled, lying on the floor. On the corner of the table is a figure of “Punch.” Poor “Punch” is thrown aside for something more attractive.
Their parents could not have left the pistols for them to play with. They are not proper playthings for children. This little boy and girls must have thought about the pistols being in the drawer and gone to it themselves. Do you think they are doing right in playing with these pistols?
Children should never touch fire-arms of any kind. Many serious and dreadful accidents have happened through the careless handling of pistols and guns. We read, not long ago, of a boy who shot his little sister, also of a man who shot his wife. They are in fun, and did not think of killing them. They probably thought the guns which they pointed at them were not loaded.
We recollect reading, when we were a boy, of a young man accidentally shooting a young lady who was to have been married to him. He had been out hunt in, and before entering the house he had fired off both barrels of his shot-gun, and placed it in his room. His servant came into the room shortly afterwards, and took the gun and loaded it to shoot some rats in the stable. He did not see any, so he brought it back loaded, and placed it where he found it. His master returned to the room, and was soon joined by the young lady. In a playful mood he picked up his gun, cocked it, pointed it at her and pulled the trigger. To his great horror the gun went off, and his intended wife, whom he loved so dearly, and for whom he would readily have died, fell at his feet covered with blood. He had killed her! This dreadful occurrence saddened and embittered his whole after life.
No person should ever point a weapon at another, even if they know that it is unloaded. It is not a safe practice. We narrowly escaped being shot by our own rifle when coming to the valley in1847, though there was no cap on the gun at the time. Some pistols are what are called self-cockers; that is, they can be fired off by merely pulling the trigger. Such weapons must be handled carefully even by men who are in the habit of using pistols; but they would be most dangerous in the hands of a child even for a second.
We trust the little folks in the engraving met with no accident, and we are sure that when their parents returned they told them what risks they ran, and warned them against doing so again.”

I trust that in 1868 guns were much more prevalent than they are now. There are also laws in many states on the how’s and whys of gun storage. If you own guns then you should be responsible in their care. If kids are involved then it’s all the more important. Kids should be taught gun safety. They should know that a gun can be dangerous. Teach them how to clear a weapon and how to safely handle one. If they are too young, teach them to not be afraid of guns, but to not touch them and to tell someone. I taught every one of my children, boys and girls, how to handle guns safely, and how to shoot. They were taught safety at a young age, and how to shoot at 8. Parents should decide at what age this all happens. If you take away the mystery then kids won’t want to seek out a gun to “look” at it. If they understand the destructive power of a gun then they will naturally want to be careful with it. Respect should replace fear of firearms. You as parents should discuss this and find the right timing of when to teach your children. You know them best. I believe you can and should start young. Apparently George Q. Cannon of the First Presidency agrees. Gun safety should be taught young. Remember the 4 rules:
Teach these rules but also keep them. Don’t be caught breaking any of them ever. Especially don’t let those who you have taught catch you breaking any of these rules. Don’t undo what you’ve taught. It’s like trust, easy to break hard to give.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Day of Infamy and Your Security

Isoroku Yamamoto was a Fleet Admiral and Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) during World War II. He was a graduate of the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy and an alumnus of the U.S. Naval War College and Harvard University. He died during an inspection tour of forward positions in the Solomon Islands when his transport aircraft was ambushed by American P-38 Lightning fighter planes. His death was a major blow to Japanese military morale during World War II.
He is often misquoted because of a line his character said in the movie, “Tora! Tora! Tora!”. The line is:
“I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”
There is no evidence that he ever said this line. But he did say this:
“A military man can scarcely pride himself on having ‘smitten a sleeping enemy’; it is more a matter of shame, simply, for the one smitten. I would rather you made your appraisal after seeing what the enemy does, since it is certain that, angered and outraged, he will soon launch a determined counterattack.”
And he said this:
“In the first six to twelve months of a war with the United States and Great Britain I will run wild and win victory upon victory. But then, if the war continues after that, I have no expectation of success.”

The President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt said this in addressing congress to ask for a declaration of war:
“Yesterday, December 7, 1941——a date which will live in infamy——the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”

World war II changed this country. Some of those changes were that we came together. The entire country sacrificed to make the war a success. There was a change in women’s roles in this country. In talking with my Mother, who was in high school when the war started, she feels that we as a country have lost the unity that we had at that time.
I hope that we can remember this day with reverence. For it was a day that we were caught unaware. This country’s “situational awareness”was in condition White. As we remember those we lost in that treacherous attack, we can also remember those who were lost by a horrible bomb called “Little Boy”, an atomic bomb. Many will debate that an atomic bomb was a fitting end to a war started for the U.S. by a treacherous act. As someone who only knows of that war by watching movies and reading books, I choose to remember those who fought so hard to keep us free. As Communism began to flood the earth after that war, so extremist thinking and acts are now covering our version of the world in 2014.
Freedom is never free my friends. But we must be vigilant in fighting against this extremism. For it is as treacherous as that fateful Sunday morning of the day of infamy.
Crime and terrorism is linked through evil. We need to watch our own “6" and that of our family. If we do not, no one else will.
World war II is far enough away from my generation that we do not completely understand it. In 2001 we gained a little more understanding. What concerns me is that the generations to come will not understand either of these events and something in the future will happen again.
As this year comes to a close this is a good time to review your security and preparedness plans. Change them if you need to. Be a force for good in this world and be prepared for what is to come.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Friday, December 5, 2014

Porter Rockwell's Hair

It’s been 171 years this Christmas that Porter Rockwell received a special blessing from the Prophet Joseph Smith.
The Prophet’s own journal records the end of Porter’s long journey home many days later, “A large party supped at my house, and spent the evening in music, dancing, &c., in a most cheerful and friendly manner. During the festivities, a man with his hair long and falling over his shoulders, and apparently drunk, came in and acted like a Missourian. I requested the captain of the police to put him out of doors. A scuffle ensued, and I had an opportunity to look him full in the face, when, to my great surprise and joy untold, I discovered it was my long-tried, warm, but cruelly persecuted friend, Orrin Porter Rockwell, just arrived from nearly a year's imprisonment, without conviction, in Missouri.” After cleaning up, the Prophet requested him to relate his nine month ordeal. With great compassion for his sufferings, the Prophet pronounced upon Porter the famous blessing, “Orrin Porter Rockwell, cut not thine hair and no bullet nor blade shall hurt thee, no harm shall come upon thee nor enemies have power over thee.”
The Prophet then allowed Rockwell to stay in his home and establish a temporary bar / barber shop in the Gentlemen's Parlor of the Mansion House until Porter could get back on his feet. This was cut short when the Prophet's wife Emma returned from a furniture buying expedition in Boston. The Prophet then helped Porter build a similar establishment across the street.
Porter Rockwell died with a full head of hair. This prophecy came to pass and Port was never hurt as long as he hadn’t cut his hair. He did cut his hair once, and that was to make a wig for a Sister who was losing her hair.
Porter was a true great friend of the Prophet and defended him and the church to his death.
Semper Paratus

Concealed Carry and Social Life

I’ve carried a gun in one capacity or another for over 25 years and I’ve come to learn a few things about how people may react. I’ve only been “made” a few times but their reactions I think typify how this country is split on the issue, but the majority don’t have a problem with it. One lady just about screamed “rape!” or at least what I thought was the equivalent. She acted like those pod people in “Invasion of the Body-snatchers” when they find out you’re human and not a pod. In a word, conniption, comes to mind. She called over a police officer who was near. He was very cool and didn’t panic. He took me aside from most people and asked about a permit. I carefully took out credentials that would ease his mind. He smiled and said, “Sorry, Sir.” Then he tried to calm her without yelling out my credentials. I thought for a moment he was going to restrain her! Anyway, society sometimes has a problem with a hidden weapon. That complicates our social experience.
It begs the question, “Who do you tell about your defensive handgun?” I can’t answer that for you unless you are in law enforcement. Then it’s pretty easy. Most of the time I am pretty vague about how, where, and when I am armed. Frankly, it’s no one’s business unless law enforcement is asking or I am carrying illegally in someone’s business or residence. Then, of course, that depends on the current laws and just plain old courtesy. I don’t really care if it is legal, if a business, residence, or any other place does not want someone armed there, I usually just leave. I may inform them to put up proper signage, but that’s about it.
The whole idea of concealed carry is that it is concealed. If you go around telling everyone you have a gun it will defeat the purpose of having it concealed. While many people may be understanding and supportive, many others may not share your enthusiasm for carrying a firearm for personal defense, and may be uncomfortable, or even offended, by your carrying in their presence. Others may be unable to keep from talking about it and drawing often unwanted attention to the fact that you are carrying. Your spouse or significant other will certainly know, and close friends may know, but I keep the number in the know as small as possible. This is called OPSEC (operations security). Keeping confidential what you do and how you do it. Most people don’t need to know that you are carrying, and if a situation arises where its use is needed in their presence, they will find out soon enough! Personally I focus on the word concealed in the phrase “concealed carry,” and choose to tell very few people that I routinely carry a pistol on or about my person almost every time I walk out my door.
Unless you and they are properly trained in advance of the event, it can needlessly complicate things at best, and lead to possibly tragic results at worst. The short answer to this problem for me is: The one with the gun is in command. I intend to only draw my weapon in a extreme situation, when there is no other choice except to use the gun or see myself or other innocents die or be seriously harmed. My wife and close friends know they are to do what I tell them in such situations, and to get out of the way and under cover and stay there until I tell them otherwise. So for those who do know, who are with you a lot, a little training.
Being armed and a Mormon or a Christen is always a little difficult at times. Some members understand, some do not. It can sometimes be a social snare. My attitude toward this is not very good. If I am carrying a weapon legally then it’s really none of anyone else’s business. I’m not that concerned if that fact hurts me socially. But that is me. Others may have a different feeling about their social life and that is fine. In that case, do your best at damage control but please for the sake of all concealed carriers everywhere, don’t back down. Give your reasons and feelings on carrying a gun and then stick by that. Don’t let social pressure change your mind on defending yourself and those you love. Following society, even within the church, is very fluid. Do no compromise.
If you should decide to carry a gun know that there may be some social repercussions that you will have to deal with. Often you may get flak from your priesthood leaders. Do not go against their counsel on carrying in church, but every other legal carrying situation is frankly not his business. He may have his opinion, and you may want to consider it, but in the end you started carrying for a reason. Follow the Spirit. Hopefully it was the Spirit that made you start to carry. As always, if you are thinking about carrying, get trained, get licensed, and practice. Be competent with your weapon. Also get to know the “politics” of gun control and the facts on how guns affect society so that you can give informed opinion when confronted. Don’t argue because that usually does little. Most people who do not carry do not know much about guns and are not informed. They may believe mainstream media and the garbage that comes from there. If you are informed and can talk intelligently about why you carry and its affects, you will be in a better position to ease minds and inform the uninformed.
When it comes to social life and guns I say close and engage. Metaphorically speaking of course.

Semper Paratus
Check 6


Concealed Carry:Trust God to Defend Your Family... After All You Can Do

I was asked again by an LDS member why I believe that violence is necessary as a member of the church. He cited the people of Ammon. This is a common thing that I hear from members who think that defending yourself is not necessary. The people of Ammon were not pacifists. Do you think they would agree to have their sons fight with Helaman if they were staunch pacifists? I think their situation was personal to them. I believe the Ammonites were aggressors at one time and felt a need to repent of that action. I am positive Moroni did not need to repent of his defense ”...of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children.” (Title of Liberty, Alma 46:12) It’s also clear how Moroni felt about defense from Alma 44:1,2:
“1 And it came to pass that they did stop and withdrew a pace from them. And Moroni said unto Zerahemnah: Behold, Zerahemnah, that we do not desire to be men of blood. Ye know that ye are in our hands, yet we do not desire to slay you.
2 Behold, we have not come out to battle against you that we might shed your blood for power; neither do we desire to bring any one to the yoke of bondage. But this is the very cause for which ye have come against us; yea, and ye are angry with us because of our religion.”
This is our example. The people of Ammon are our example of repentance, not pacifism. Moroni is our example of defense.
“17 Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever shall be, like unto Moroni, behold the very powers of hell have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.
18 Behold, he was a man like unto Ammon, the son of Mosiah, yea, and even the other sons of Mosiah, yea, and also Alma and his sons, for they were all men of God.”
Alma 48:17-18
Moroni was like unto Ammon. Was Moroni a pacifist? I’m sure he was not. We see a description of Moroni and know he was a man of God yet he believed that violence was the way to deal with violence until you had an option. He tried diplomacy with Zarahemnah after he was in a position to beat him. I notice Moroni didn’t use diplomacy at the beginning of the war that we know of. He fought and when he had the upper hand decided to not finish the Lamanites off if he didn’t have to.
I carry a gun because criminals usually don’t respond to diplomacy until they are at a disadvantage. I would stop a threat but if that threat begs for mercy I’m not going to shoot him. The problem with LDS pacifism is it is misguided. Some people go right to the people of Ammon who disarmed themselves without first being a defender “…like unto Moroni.” Some members think if you carry a gun you are looking for a fight like an aggressor. I say my gun is concealed so that I won’t be an aggressor, I don’t have to draw. It’s concealed so that criminals won’t know who to take out first. In a bank robbery the armed, uniformed guard is always the first to get shot. It only makes sense to take out the only threat to your success as a bank robber. Recently in a Baptist church in Florida 3 people, including the pastor, were killed. Is there really a reason to be armed in church? I think there is. I aggressively defend myself and my family. Would I defend someone else? I’m not sure. If someone walked into my chapel and started shooting, I think I would try to defend others rather than just get my family and leave. But it really does depend on the situation. To defend yourself and your family you must be aggressive. It’s hard to carry a gun for this defense and be passive at the same time. A certain amount of aggressiveness has to be there for defense. But I can tell you from many years of carrying a gun, you don’t look for a fight because every fight you get in is an armed conflict because you have a gun.
God can and will defend us if we are doing what we should and following the Spirit. If we are following the Spirit we will do all we can and then rely on the Lord. Why didn’t Moroni just rely on God to take care of the Lamanites? Because he was following the Spirit. The Spirit told him to do all he could have God with him if he fought. He made preparations by fitting his Army with armor. We see numerous times when Moroni fortified cities. He did this so Heavenly father would have something to work with. Does God need our help? No! But as we go through this life we need Good with us because with God, nothing is impossible. Not being armed is saying to God “You take care of everything!” Can He do that? Of course He can, but will He? Sometimes we receive tender mercies from God. I believe tender mercies are blessings we receive because Heavenly Father loves us, not from anything we have done. I think Heavenly father wants us to do all we can first. It boggles my mind that members of the church believe “faith without works is dead” in everything but defense! That thinking is inconsistent with God’s teaching. Why the heck do members have insurance? To be prepared. Why do members (not many I know…) have a year supply of food storage? To be prepared. So why won’t members defend themselves and their families? Sometimes their answer is because that is the police’s job.
According to American Police Beat a law enforcement industry magazine, the average response time for an emergency call is 11 minutes. Atlanta has the worst response time with 11 to 12 minutes and Nashville comes in at a lightning speed of 9 minutes.
The Department of Justice, with their statistical prowess, reports that the best response time is 4 minutes and the worst over 1 hour. The conclusion is when seconds count the police are minutes away. When a threat is coming your way you don’t have 11 minutes. You usually don’t have 4 minutes. You have a few seconds to respond. The average time of a practiced draw of a weapon is 1.5 seconds. That’s about all you have.
Don’t believe me or this article. Do your own research and then be honest about what the scriptures teach us. Does the scriptures and the church teach us the importance of being self-sufficient? Yes. But depend on God in the end. 2 Nephi 25:23 says:
“ 23 For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”
Depend on your Heavenly Father to defend you and your family after all you can do.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Concealed Carry: Carry Gun Care

I have carried a gun off and on since the 1980’s in one form or another. As a military member I can remember being “married” to my weapon. You did not get caught being at least an arms-length away from your rifle.
Once you have your concealed carry license there are some usual steps that are taken. You find a pistol that is right for you, practice, and get the right ammo. Is that all there is? Well, regular maintenance of your weapon is something that should become a habit.
Even if you shoot a different weapon weekly, other than your carry weapon, your carry gun will need cleaning. General grime and lint from your clothing will get into the gun. More so than a gun you just take to the range and then put back into a case or sock. Everything from dirt to animal fur. The deeper in your clothing you carry, the more lint you’ll have to deal with.
What you carry will make a difference. Some guns just have more places to develop grime. A revolver or an auto with an exterior hammer will develop more lint as there are more edges to scrape clothing. Even a form fitting holster will develop this lint and grime over time. Is it enough to effect the works of the weapon? I don’t think so. But my life may depend on this weapon’s ability to go boom. I want to give the device every opportunity to function correctly. But remember a dry, clean weapon will collect less grime than an oily, dirty one.
Daily inspect and wipe down the weapon. Weekly field strip it and wipe down the insides. If you see actual dirt clean the gun as you normally would. If you see just lint and something that will just wipe off, then just wipe it down. If it’s not dirty, that’s all it needs.
All guns function better with lubrication. The problem with this is that lube is a dirt trap. Modern weapons will function without lube. In fact, as you read the owner’s manuals for maintenance of new guns you will see most call for little oil. One reason is that oil seldom stays only where you want it. It “migrates” and so does the dirt with it. A dry gun will stay cleaner, longer. To fight this migration of oil you could use a heavier, “grease” like paste lube. There are several on the market but I like a good lithium grease. Like oil you don’t need a lot of this to lubricate. I would recommend this only in a carry gun. I still use a good CLP in everything else. If you use a heavier grease, use it with greater care that it doesn’t gum up the works.
If you have a beautiful commemorative 1911 you would like to keep nice then don’t carry it! Holsters wear out the exterior of guns. There is no way around it. I don’t know of any holster that won’t wear the finish of a gun.
Leather holsters fit a gun like a glove. They also get dirty and get small particles in them that will eventually scrape or scratch the weapon. Kydex wears out the front of the trigger guard and the top of the barrel or slide.
There’s not much you can do to stainless steel. Often the finish will just get dull. Bluing seems to take it worse than any other finish. The new polymers are pretty resilient. They will scratch but they keep their “finish”, whatever that is. The powder coatings don’t wear out very much but it’s always possible.
When you carry a blued gun for very long, you are more than likely to get some rust, especially in hot weather. Oil it down every day with a light coat.
There is a product that I have never used, but I’ve seen many weapons finished with. It’s called Dura-coat. There may be other brands I have not researched that.
Today’s new finishes and polymers wear better than the older ones, like bluing. Taking care of your guns finishes as best as possible will keep away the dreaded rust forever if you work at it.
Remember that moisture and politicians are your gun’s enemy. Keep both away from your guns.
Just as we need to have situational awareness we should be aware of the status of our carry weapon. Your home defense weapon is similar. We need to make sure it’s in top running order and is not degrading. When things get bad enough we may need to replace the gun. I don’t think that will ever be the case but I suppose it’s possible.
Take care of your gun and your gun will take care of you!
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Concealed Carry: Does Self-Defense Really Happen?

I had a discussion with a left leaning friend the other day. He said that he had never read about someone defending the self without shooting a shot. I said that I actually defended myself in broad daylight, at a busy mall parking lot, in our small town, with my knife case! The problem is, it's not really news so you won't read about it. My friends problem, amount other things, is that he believes if you don't hear about it in mainstream media, it doesn't happen. This of course is not true.
Surveys have said that defense with a gun happens between a few thousand to a million times per year in the U.S. With the Internet we are becoming more aware of these events. They are often in local media. In the majority of cases there is no police report. I've heard these stories in classes, on ranges, from law enforcement and tucked into articles like this one. I'm convinced that these kind of things happen often.


I live out in the county. , Around 1/2 mile from me a bad guy tried a home invasion on Daniels Road. This happened just 30 minutes ago. Bad guy tried to bang the door down while the good guys wife called the sheriff. Bad guy picked the wrong door. Good guy held the bad guy at gun point, ( God Bless Texas ) until the Deputies could transport him to the jail.. Turns out, the Bad guy was on a major parol violation from the State of Texas Prison System, and was to considered armed and extremely dangerous. A very good ending of what might have been very bad. Look up the Otero family murders in Wichita Kansas. I was a Deputy Sheriff there. At dark, as Susan, my daughter can attest, I never answer my door unarmed. Sorry Susan about you former boy friend. H
The location was listed as near Wichita Falls, Texas.

Because stories of self defense are few and far between in mainstream media, there has been fostered a belief that they happen. This is pure fantasy. Back to my self defense with my knife case.

I was collecting coins from a business we have in the mall. Some undesirables noticed me and followed me outside. I was not armed but I carry a large knife and flashlight case. When confronted by an idiot who was not very determined and his friend, I patted the bulge from my large case under my shirt and told the guy he should be worried about about what I had in "here" eluding to what he thought was a gun.

The website has an area of self defense stories. You can browse by state logo find stories in your state or any other state. There are over 1500 stories.

It only stands to reason that we should defend ourselves. If you do not, you're just playing the odds. You are hoping nothing bad ever happens to you or your family. This is foolish and dangerous. Having faith in God is good, but faith without works is dead. Trust in God after all you can do.
Joseph a Smith received this revelation:

…we believe that all men are justified in defending themselves, their friends, and property, and the government, from the unlawful assaults and encroachments of all persons in times of exigency, where immediate appeal cannot be made to the laws, and relief afforded. (Doctrine and Covenants 134:11)

Note the conditional: we are justified in defending ourselves, our family and friends, our property, and our nation when another recourse is not available given the time constraints. This caveat perfectly illustrates why every family should be armed and knowledgeable in defense. Most rely on the police to defend them should something happen, but the average response time of a police officer nationwide is seven minutes. Remember, when seconds count, the police are minutes away. This amount of time, of course, is an eternity when faced with an immediate threat. The reality is that the police do not prevent crime at all-their job is primarily to write crime reports after the crime took place. Sometimes they even get lucky and solve a crime. But by no means are they a proper and adequate substitution for personal defense.

I hope you will consider the defense of your family. In my own opinion, and that's all this is, I feel it is the responsibility and duty of every head of household to ensure the safety and defense of their family. If you are confident in doing this without a gun, then mire power to you. Other weapons re available and hand to hand combat us an option. I like redundancy so other opinions are good. But my Prichard defense in a gun. What happens when the priesthood holder is not at home? I endure my family has the tools and training to defend each other. I feel that is part of the duty too.

Don't be found short in this area.

Get trained and get training for your family.

Semper Paratus

Check 6


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Phone Numbers You Should Consider In Your Phone

Most people don't have phone numbers memorized anymore. I never can remember my own cell number. Consider writing down (or printing if you have the option) all your contacts in your phone. It's handy if you lose your phone or change phones.

Not every situation is one that requires dialing 9-1-1; that line should be kept clear for true emergencies only. defines a true emergency as “any situation that requires immediate assistance from the police, fire department or ambulance.” They also recommend that if you’re unsure whether the situation is a true emergency or not, call and let the call-taker determine the best course of action.
What if a non-emergency situation arises that could still use the assistance of a police officer or fire department? Do you have their numbers saved into your phone? What are some other numbers you should have ready at a moments notice?
Here are 5 to get you started:
1. Local Police Department
Having quick access to your local police department’s non-emergency number is useful in the case you need to report someone disturbing the peace or acting suspicious. You may also be able to request increased patrol due to prowlers, speeding vehicles or similar concerns. Again though, if you feel the situation is life threatening, you should call 9-1-1 but for everything else, your local police department should be able to answer a lot of questions.
2. Poison Control Center
You may think that most calls to poison control are about young children accidentally getting into medicine or cleaning supplies but the call-takers are also available to help in a number of other ways. They deal with everything from identifying recalled food products to snake bites. The poison control hotline is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and the call is always free. If you have any questions at all, call: 1-800-222-1222.
3. Local Fire Department
One instance for calling the local fire department would be to inform them of a small fire that’s now extinguished, but one you could still use their help with to check things out or assess for more damage. Another common reason is getting spilled gas or vehicle fluids cleaned up after a car accident. As just one example, AAA Road Service won’t tow your vehicle after an accident until the fire department has cleaned up fluids on the roadway caused by the accident. Don’t call them if your cat is stuck in a tree though. Maybe just ask to borrow a ladder from your neighbor.
4. Animal Control
If you see a sick or injured animal, it’s best to call for help. Whether this is a domesticated or wild animal, you can’t be completely certain of the situation and it could have rabies or another harmful disease. You can also call animal control if you’ve lost your pet or need to report animal cruelty as they often have records for those things.
5. 3-1-1
It may be so short that you don’t need it in your speed dial, but it’s still a great one to have on hand. Dialing 3-1-1 in most U.S. cities is available to answer loads of non-emergency questions. Some possible calls that would be covered by calling 3-1-1 are reports of animals either confined or dead on the road, noise and air pollution, reporting of litter, graffiti or even potholes among other things. It’s a type of local directory specifically for your city’s services.
Adding titles to the names of family members in your phone’s address book may prove useful. Titles such as “wife” or “brother” before the names could even help get a lost phone back to you more quickly. Many people also utilize the “ICE” method in their phone contacts list for use during an emergency.
If you aren’t familiar, some advocate typing “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) before certain names in their phone so that first responders or good samaritans will see it and call that number. In most true emergencies however, first responders will often be too busy trying to help you than to go through your phone.
I asked a Law Enforcement officer and a few of his colleagues for input on the “ICE” method. They came to the conclusion that while this method would rarely be used during an emergency, it’s still not a bad idea to implement. It was also noted that most people have their phone locked with a passcode, which would make searching the phone impossible. A downside to both the family member title and ICE methods are that if your phone is stolen, the thief may be able to use that against you by contacting family members and asking to meet up or give personal information through a text message or email. Just something to think about.
Another phone number that could be beneficial to have on speed dial is the number for the American Red Cross Safe and Well program: 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). During a disaster, you can call that number and provide your contact information, so family and friends will know you’re safe. Alternatively, you can search for people you know that have marked themselves as safe if the situation is reversed.
While almost everyone these days has smart phones, those that don’t may need some help looking up the numbers or addresses of local businesses. Dialing 4-1-1 isn’t free anymore and the best alternative from Google has been discontinued. If you don’t mind sitting through a short advertisement, you can call 1-800-FREE-411 (1-800-373-3411) for free directory assistance.
On a lighter note, if you’re bored and not in any kind of emergency, give 719-26-OATES a ring. It’s “Callin’ Oates,” your “emergency Hall and Oates hotline.” Perfect for when you need just a little Hall and Oates.

Semper Paratus
Check 6