Monday, September 28, 2015

Review: Leatherman Wingman Multi-tool for EDC

I’ve been carrying some kind of knife since I was about 9. At first it was my official Cub Scout pocket knife. This had the Cub emblem on the side, was black with silver tips on both ends, and had 3 blades. One thing I like about that knife is the large swivel D lanyard ring it had in one end. By the time I was a teen-ager I was carrying Swiss Army knives by Victorinox. I loved, and still love, these knives. They did so much! I carried these knives everywhere, including school, church, and government buildings! The times sure have changed. One of my rules that I’ve taught my kids is never leave home without a knife, or a gun. I know my children have always followed this rule most of the time. I usually give the kids I still have at home a knife every Christmas. I’ve had Young Women leaders raise their eye brows because one of daughters pull out a folder when someone asks for something to cut with. They ask my daughter if my parents know they have that knife. They just smile when they say “My Dad gave it to me for Christmas!” I know I’m known as the abusive parent. In Cub Scouting there is a training program called the Whittling Chip. My boys earned that as a Wolf in the Cub Scout program at about 9 years old. I take that program and teach it also to my daughters at that age. We review it yearly until my kids turn 12. By the time they are adults, they have a lot experience with knives. This is what we’ve done in our home, you and your spouse must decide what you will do with your children.
Let me say right here that I am not a knife guy. I’m a gun guy. I like weapons of all kinds, but am not really into knives. Having said that, I’d like to review the multi-tool Leatherman Wingman.
My first Leatherman was the basic survival multi-tool. It was about $30.00 in the 1980’s. Since then I’ve owned several Leatherman tools and even Gerber multi-tools.
I currently carry the Wingman and chose it specifically about 8 years ago. I was looking for several features that I did not have in my Gerber I was carrying at the time.
I had to have a tool that had scissors and a can opener on it. I had a Gerber that did not have scissors. Before that I carried a Leatherman that did not have a can opener but had scissors. I used both of those features so much I wanted them both when I went looking for a multi-tool again.
I also needed locking blades. Can’t tell you how many times I was using a screwdriver and had the screwdriver blade fold back in. Usually it hurt my hand! The Wingman has locking blades.
Pliers were always a plus with Leatherman products over Swiss Army knives. That was one of the draws that drew me away from the Swiss Army. Well the Wingman has not only pliers, but pliers that are spring loaded to stay open. I love that feature.
Something that stood out also is the knife and scissors are on the outside of the tool. That’s what bugged me about my first Leatherman, I had to open up the tool completely just to get to the knife.
Leatherman is made very well. You can feel the quality as you use the tool. Everything is solid and there is no wiggle or movement in any of the blades. The locks are built into the frame and are solid. The outside blade and scissors has a liner lock. Even the pliers have frame locks for positive opening of each side.
Leatherman uses 440A steel I assume because it can be stamped. That makes it easy to build compared to other hardened steels. Some balk at 440A but it’s a good steel. But the whole tool is steel. There is no plastic of any kind anywhere on the tool. Victorinox uses 440A and I’ve always liked their product. Knife purists don’t like this steel they want 154CM. I am happy with Leatherman’s products overall. I don’t need a knife that I can chop down a tree with! But that is just me.
Weighing in at 7 ounces I would consider this a mid-size tool.
The features are:
Knife blade ½ drop point, ½ serrated.
Small slot-head screwdriver
Medium slot-head screwdriver
Phillips head screwdriver
1½ inch ruler in/cm
Metal/Wood file
Package opener
Bottle/Can opener
Needlenose and regular pliers
Wire cutter
Wire stripper
I like the heavy duty deep pocket clip. It can be removed but I leave it even though I carry it in a pouch. I like the option.
There is very little I don’t like about the Wingman. Let me explore the cons.
It’s a little heavy. 7 ounces is not too bad, I’ve seen some weighing 9 or 10 ounces. For me and my EDC weight is everything. I would prefer 5 ounces but I like the all steel tool.
The wire stripper sucks. I have used everything on this tool and I would not have known there was a wire stripper if I didn’t read the manual. It doesn’t work very well so I ended up stripping the wire with the knife blade. Maybe it’s the operator. I tried…
There is a tiny triangle hole that I use for a lanyard. I haven’t seen this feature referred to anywhere so maybe it’s not meant to be a lanyard hole. If it is meant to be, it’s too small. If not, I’ve managed to get some gutted 550 paracord in mine. It assists getting the tool out of a pouch. It’s not meant for that, they should consider putting something a little bigger in future models.
All in all I like more than I can find wrong. I think my cons are minor and they don’t even come close to over shadowing the positive features.
I would recommend a Leatherman Wingman for EDC or for a bugout bag. They are versatile, well priced, and rugged.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Target Recognition: Flashlights

The FBI said that 60-80% of law enforcement shootings happen in low light environments. Would this translate into concealed carry? Even if it was only 40% or 50%, is 40% of your training in low light situations? Is 20%?
I think we need to train as realistic as possible. Low light training should be in your program. Aiming and target recognition would be very different in low light environments. We should train accordingly.
Using a light is a way to fight low light situations but we need to train with a light to be effective with it. I was training in night conditions once and was inadvertently flashed in the eyes with a 230 lumen light. It took some time before I could see effectively. Light can work for you or against you. Here are some flashlight techniques that are popular. There are others.

Taken from “The Strategies of Low Light Engagements” By Ken J. Good All rights reserved

“FBI Technique
Flashlight is held in sword or ice pick grip, with arm extended well away from the body (and
extended upward if desired), with lens of flashlight held slightly in front of body to avoid
illuminating the user. Weapon is held in any position desired, out of contact with flashlight
hand or arm.
"This is probably the oldest formally taught flashlight/gun technique. This technique was originally emphasized as a way to prevent the user’s flashlight from "marking" his exact position when activated. By moving the light away from the user’s body, an assailant who simply shot at the light source would be less likely to automatically hit the user."
Some disparage this technique as outmoded. Advocates of specific hands-together techniques generally express this view. All techniques listed in this curriculum have their own positive attributes as well as obvious deficiencies. The fact is, a relaxed, movement oriented, unstructured version of the FBI technique, employed with proper cover, is extremely useful in room-clearing tactics and in dynamic firefight situations.
Positive attributes
· Works with small or large flashlights.
· No beam/grip displacement upon discharge of weapon.
· Separation of hands reduces chance of sympathetic contraction and hand confusion.
· Enables searching with flashlight without aiming weapon wherever one looks.
· Peripheral light can illuminate front and rear sights of weapon if desired.
· Alignment of flashlight beam with target has no effect on alignment of weapon with target,
and vice versa.
· Allows minimal exposure of user's body during room clearing or firing around obstacles.
· Original purpose of masking precise location of shooter still valid, though limited by
ambient conditions such as reflective walls.
· Transitions well to the "Neck Index Technique" .
· If a smaller flashlight is being used, this technique can be used with light weight
shoulder-fired weapons.
· Supports the principle of "Light and Move" and can be extremely deceptive if utilized
· Easy to use bilaterally

Negatives attributes
· User must shoot one-handed. Can be difficult to maintain alignment
· Fatiguing if performed steadily for more than a few moments, especially with large flashlights.
· Difficult to use with injured hand or arm.
· Precise, instant alignment of flashlight beam with target requires practice.
Neck-Index Technique
The flashlight is held in ice-pick grip. Thumb or any finger placed on the on-off (or momentary) switch. For large flashlights, the flashlight body is rested on the shoulder, indexed against the base of the neck. For small flashlights, the body of the flashlight (or the fist holding it) is held indexed against the jaw/neck juncture just below the ear, so that it moves in conjunction with user's head yet blocks little peripheral vision. Weapon is held in any position desired, out of contact with flashlight hand or arm.

History of technique
First published description of this technique appeared in a June 1994 Handguns Magazine article by Brian Puckett, and therefore it is sometimes called the Puckett technique. However, the small flashlight version of this technique was taught by Ken Good and Dave Maynard of Combative Concepts, Inc. about two years prior to the '94 article. Puckett and Good now use the term "neck-index technique".
While it was common for police officers to hold large flashlights in a similar manner during casual use or during extended searches, this technique (1) utilized the ergonomic, tactical, and even psychological benefits provided by this common, comfortable grip, and (2) broke from the long trend of hands-together flashlight/gun techniques. The goal of hands-together techniques is to steady the shooting hand and/or keep the flashlight beam constantly aligned with the gun barrel.
Positive attributes
· Clearly illumination of sights and the target simultaneously.
· Natural transition from FBI technique.
· Works with small or large flashlights.
· For large flashlights, weight is borne almost entirely by the user's body, enabling extended use
· No beam/grip displacement upon discharge of weapon.
· Separation of hands reduces chance of sympathetic contraction and hand confusion.
· Enables searching with flashlight independently of weapon point of aim if required.
· Alignment of flashlight beam with target has no effect on alignment of weapon with target
· Flashlight is held in "cocked" position for defensive purposes if required.
· Usable with injured hand or arm, as it virtually duplicates natural "flipper" position of wounded limb.
· Supports an aligned body position for movement in any direction.
· For ambidextrous operators - excellent for lateral movement (moving left, flashlight left side,
handgun right hand -- moving right flashlight right, handgun left hand).
· Can be easily transitioned to light forward, weapon back for weapon retention In close quarters.
· Supports "Power with Light" Principle
· Easy to use bilaterally

Negative attributes
· User must shoot one-handed.
· Can create excess "splash" of light off rear of weapon if not familiar with technique.
· Light is located near the head - All threats need to be accounted for.
· Use of this technique with larger flashlights can easily lead to a strike to an incoming threat’s head/face
if deployed in a less-lethal situation. The flashlight is naturally poised to strike.
Harries Technique
Flashlight is held in ice-pick grip (lens on side opposite the thumb). Thumb or any finger operates on/off (or momentary) switch. Wrists nest together and backs of hands are firmly pressed together to create stabilizing isometric tension. For large flashlights, body of flashlight may be rested on weapon hand's forearm.

This technique is named after Michael Harries, a pioneer of modern practical combat shooting.
Developed in the early 1970's for use with large flashlights, this technique is widely used and is
well-suited to small flashlights.

Positive attributes
· Works with small or large flashlights.
· Keeps flashlight beam automatically aligned with weapon barrel.
· Enables steadier, two-hand support of weapon prior to shooting.
· For large flashlights, flashlight body can sometimes be rested on weapon hand's forearm,
enabling extended use.

Negative attributes
· User may suffer beam/grip displacement during discharge of weapon.
· Keeping flashlight beam aligned with weapon barrel leads to fatigue due to the tension created by keeping the back of hands together. Note the lower hand has a tendency to rotate downward when the handgun is in a “guard” or “low ready” position.
· Proximity of hands increases chance of sympathetic contraction and hand confusion.
· During hasty execution, weapon muzzle can cross flashlight hand or arm
· Can lead to "Self-Blinding" - I.E. right handed shooter attempting to navigate a corner, wall on right side. Hot spot of the beam will "drag" behind the weapon. If the light is activated, the reflected light will be directed back to the shooter.
This not only substantially reduces the shooters vision but also silhouettes the shooter
and other team members to all threats in the area.
· Light is located center of mass, if unseen threats engage the light your body
is directly in the line of fire.
This is a drill for low light situations:
Light Move – Shoot Move
This drill is designed to teach the student to start thinking displacement whenever an illumination tool is used
against a threat.
The shooter starts squared up on the target. The command in given, “Right”.
The shooter illuminates (identifies) his targets, moves to the right decides to engage the target or not (with our
without another burst of light). If the target is engaged, move again to the right in order to minimize the threats
ability to track your location based on muzzle flash from you weapon.
Once the shooter has moved to the right for the second time, that shooter should transition his weapon to the
opposite side and standby to move back to the left on the command “Left”.
The drill is repeated over and over with a variety of weapons and flashlight techniques.
Skills & Considerations
• Sliding
• Bilateral Shooting
• Proper use of the Lighting Principles, Techniques, and Tools
Hardware Considerations
In many self-defense, crime interdiction, or combat conditions occurring in low-light conditions, any flashlight may prove better than no flashlight. Furthermore, a less-than-ideal flashlight may be used in many of the techniques described above.
However, because of the potential deadly situations in which flashlight/gun techniques are employed, it is imperative to use quality flashlights with the proper features and qualities.
They are as follows:
Rugged - This applies to all flashlight components: body, reflector, bulb, and switch. If dropping or banging the light puts it out of order, it is not suitable for self-defense use.
Water Resistant - The light may be carried and/or used in the rain. It must not be susceptible to either water infiltration or corrosion from dampness.
Bright - The light will be used to clearly identify targets and/or to temporarily incapacitate an assailant. Traditional 2-D cell flashlights using traditional bulbs, are inadequate sources of light. The beam pattern should be free of dark spots or “holes”. It is suggested a tool that emits at least 60-65 lumens of light.
Momentary On/Off Switch - Frequently, proper use of flashlights in LEO or combat situations requires activating them for brief moments - sometimes literally a fraction of a second. Ideally this activation should be possible with just the thumb or a single finger.
(1) A flashlight with only a "twist" on/off mechanism is unacceptably slow to operate.
(2) A flashlight with a slide-on/off switch (most of which are not water-resistant) is undesirable, since a positive and rapid on/off cycle is possible only with a thumb.
(3) A flashlight whose momentary switch is integral with its regular on/off switch is undesirable, since accidental activation of the regular switch at the wrong moment could prove disastrous.
Note: It is possible to mitigate this factor by placing the activating fingertip or thumb tip at the perimeter of the on/off button, making it difficult (even virtually impossible) to fully depress the button and lock it on.
(4) A separate momentary switch, operable with one finger or one thumb while holding the flashlight in its normal grip, is by far the best.”

Flashlight technology has come a long way since the 3 D-cell, incandescent Mag light. For years it was the standard. Now many companies, including Mag, have brighter, sturdier, smaller alternatives. It also used to be very expensive to buy a tactical light. Now with many companies producing quality flashlights it’s cheaper and easier to find one for your needs.

I don’t buy a light for EDC or self-defense unless it has at least 200 lumens and a one handed on/off switch. With companies like Surefire, Streamlight, Pelican, and Fenix, there are many to choose from with a variety of price ranges and features.

Semper Parartus
Check 6

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Self-defense Rules

There are some basic rules that will keep you safe if you implement them into your life. These are rules of self-defense.

Rules of Self-Defense

Rule #1—Always fight dirty. There’s nothing “sporting” about self-defense. If you have to attack, attack vital areas such as the eyes, throat or groin. Use a weapon if possible. Let your attacker know you’ll stop at nothing to survive. Criminals respect no rules and fight to win. You must do the same.

Rule #2—Attack the attacker. Nothing surprises a bully or mugger more than finding himself on the receiving end of a vicious attack. If you have to fight, fight aggressively.

Rule #3—Keep it simple. Don’t try to use fancy or complicated maneuvers. Under stress, your coordination suffers, so keep your counter attacks simple and effective.

Rule #4—It’s not over, until it’s over. In a gunfight, we’re taught to shoot twice (double
tap) then assess and shoot again if needed. With less lethal weapons such as fists, batons or makeshift items, remember a single blow will probably not stop your attacker. Keep fighting until you’re sure it’s over. The same goes for a gun. Keep shooting until the threat has stopped.

Rule #5—Expect to get hurt. No matter how good you are, you must be prepared to take some punishment. A bruise, lump or scrape is better than ending up dead or brutally beaten.

Rule #6—Don’t worry about your ego. Don’t be embarrassed to run if you have to flee. Don’t be concerned about what others think about the way in which you defend yourself. The only rule is this: You must survive—no matter what.

Rule #7—Mental awareness. (Situational awareness) Stay alert. Everyone is a possible threat, until you determine otherwise. Use “what if” scenarios: Where can I run to; what would I do if; is this area safe; is this guy getting too close; if he turns toward me with a weapon, what will I do?
These rules are simple. These rules have helped keep many alive. These rules will work for you. Put them into action today.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Philosophy Of Use For EDC and BOB

My wife thinks I over analyze everything. She may be right. So here goes another one. To steal a phrase from my favorite You tuber, Nutnfancy, this is POU (philosophy of use) of EDC (every day carry). You can find may articles and You tube videos about what and how to carry your EDC, but what used to get me in trouble in the military was I always asked why?
My EDC is no different. Why do I carry what I carry every day? I like to put it in levels. Look at your EDC and see how you do.
Level 1
This is just me, myself, and I. If I had nothing but the clothes on my back, could I survive? What are my skills? Could I cover the basics of survival? ASWiFFS. (air, shelter, water, food, fire, security) Do I have skills to create shelter, find water, find or procure food, create fire, and provide security? If you can answer yes to that question, ask if you can provide a “plan B” to each of those basics you can take care of. If you can find water at least 2 ways, make at least 2 types of shelter, obtain food at least 2 different ways, start a fire 2 different ways, and can think of various ways to use different things for weapons and ways to secure yourself then you probably have the redundancy needed to survive. Also at this level you should be able to think creatively. How could you make tools or other items? If you found some items how would you be able to use them in your survival? Learning skills that require you to think is part of being prepared. Being resourceful is also a big part.
Level 2
This is what you carry with you every day. What is on your person or possibly a bag that is with you 24/7. Once you start dealing with items, you must be thoroughly proficient with what you carry. You should know what the limitations are with your EDC items. You should practice doing different tasks with your items so that you know if they will actually do what you think they will. I would also suggest SWB (size, weight, bulk) be considered in all that you do. Does your knife really need to be that size and weight, or can you get by with something smaller? Can you find one item that will do multiple things that may eliminate one item? Have you carried an item around for years and never used it? Is it an item that will only be used in a survival situation so you feel you need to continue to carry it? Be critical of every item.
Level 3
I consider my GHB (get home bag) part of my EDC. Each car has one and I am usually with a vehicle. Also, anything else that is in those vehicles is fair game. I’ve made it a habit to always have a cheap folder knife and a lighter in every glove compartment. Along with each GHB we carry 3 gallons of water. Each vehicle has a FA (first aid) kit also. I build FA kits with a level system too but that’s a different article. No vehicle should be without basics tools, gloves, and jumper cables.
Level 4
This is our BOB (bug out bag). I go through those bags at least once a year to replace meds in the FA kits, and inspect or replace the food.

Remember the KISS system, keep it simple stupid. So maximize function while minimizing everything else.
I’ve seen the “dollar store EDC kits” or “dollar store BOB”. I think that you should have something, rather than nothing. If you can only afford dollar store items that’s fine. But your plan should be to replace those dollar store items with quality items as soon as you can. If you’re on a strict budget, you can research your items and slowly replace them with quality, which is always more expensive, gear one item at a time. A good bugout bag could end being 200 to 300 dollars total. I’m not saying you should spend that, but it’s certainly possible. Save and shop sales.
The thing about this equipment is that you really should not use it unless you are in an emergency situation. Going camping or just needing one thing, does not qualify. It’s hard to leave that quality gear alone. No if you are actually testing your gear to learn how it works and what it will do, then that’s fine. But to really be prepared ALL your gear should be together at once. You should be able to grab and go and not have to think about where something is or use it for the first time in an emergency. You should know your gear completely. You should also know where everything is and have a detailed inventory of what you have and don’t have. You should know when items expire and keep them current.
Your EDC and BOB systems are there to give you peace of mind and carry you through difficult times. If you think someone else can do this for you then spend the cash buy a pre-packaged bags and kits. Some of them are good, but usually not worth what they charge. They also lack the POU that you would need to be effective.
Look at your EDC and bugout items and gear. Review it on occasion to be sure it’s all there, current, and what you need. Be critical and don’t include “fluff” that really does not fit your needs or POU.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Best Medicine For Preparedness

A few of my kids have taken to prepping. Actually, all of my kids are preppers at one level or the other. I was talking to me son the other day and he said his focus is medical kits right now. I thought that a review of what medicines I think you should put up and keep on hand. Remember that skill trumps gear. Get some medical training.
This is only my opinion and I do not have extensive medical training. I know basic first aid and have learned a few other skills but my wife is the “doc” in our house so many things I keep are for her use.
My first item is not actually a medicine but a skill. Learn about herbs and aroma therapy. Once you have some knowledge stock up on these supplements.
First on my list are plain old vitamins. Learn how to use these also and keep enough for your target time. My target time is usually a year. Remember to rotate meds as you use them.
Over the counter meds abound. The three most common are acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and Aspirin. The last two are anti-inflammatory drugs. Know how to properly use these also.
I recommend a prescription pain reliever. Don’t try to get someone else’s, keep one of your old prescriptions. Something with codeine in it would be good. Beware of these, they can be addictive and are very strong. They are also a narcotic so beware that these could be illegal if you don’t have a prescription.
Diarrhea can dehydrate you quickly. Dehydration leads to weakness, irritability, and confusion.
There are two types of medicines that help stop diarrhea. Thickening mixtures (psyllium) absorb water and gives number 2 a little more volume. Antispasmodic slows the spasms of your lower intestine. Loperamide is the active ingredient. These come in liquid products (Pepto) or pill form (Imodium).
These are very important.
Sooner or later someone you know will need something a little stronger than a clean bandage. Antibiotics are used in the treatment of bacterial infections. A cut from a rusty piece of metal when the grid is up isn’t life threatening. Without something to fight the infection in a grid down world, a bacterial infection could spell death. Antibiotics do not work on viruses though, so they won’t help you out with every illness.
How do you know when to use antibiotics?
The answer depends on what is causing your infection. The following are some basic guidelines from
• Colds and flu. Viruses cause these illnesses. They can’t be cured with antibiotics.
• Cough or bronchitis. Viruses almost always cause these. However, if you have a problem with your lungs or an illness that lasts a long time, bacteria may actually be the cause. Your doctor may decide to try using an antibiotic.
• Sore throat. Most sore throats are caused by viruses and don’t need antibiotics. However, strep throat is caused by bacteria. Your doctor can determine if you have strep throat and can prescribe an antibiotic.
• Ear infections. There are several types of ear infections. Antibiotics are used for some (but not all) ear infections.
• Sinus infections. Antibiotics are often used to treat sinus infections. However, a runny nose and yellow or green mucus do not necessarily mean you need an antibiotic. Read more about treating sinusitis.
Obtaining extra antibiotics could be difficult without a willing doctor or an active prescription. A common alternative to pharmacy antibiotics is fish antibiotics. Largely made with the same compounds, fish antibiotics are available without a prescription.
In addition to the more serious antibiotics, you could avoid a lot of problems with simple topical antibiotic creams. If you only have small injuries (not serious burns, puncture wounds or deep cuts), quick and repeated application of this ointment per instructions could keep any bacterial infections at bay.
Colloidal Silver
Colloidal silver isn’t loved by the medical or scientific establishment, but that doesn’t mean it does not work. Colloidal Silver or CS as it is referred to by some is said to be an excellent antibiotic with the side benefit of being able to be made with simple materials by anyone. You should research for yourself whether or not this is a prepper supply you want to store. There are well documented cases of people who have abused this.
Benadryl (topical and oral)
Benadryl is an Antihistamine. Good for allergic reactions. It will probably make you sleepy. You can use it for pain management because it is hard to be in pain while you are asleep. It also comes in topical form to help with allergic rashes.

Additional medical supplies
• Oral re-hydration solution – To offset the effects of dehydration caused by illness or diarrhea, make your own by adding 6-8 teaspoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt to 1 liter of water. Best to boil the water, add the sugar and salt while it is still warm to dissolve completely and let cool.
• Multi-vitamins – I know the experts say that vitamins don’t do anything for you, but I believe if your body is deprived of vitamins supplementing with a good multi vitamin is a good idea.
• Bandages – Probably more than you would ever expect to need. Bandages on wounds need to be routinely changed and the wound cleaned (based upon injury of course, consult a medical resource book for frequency) and you can easily go through dozens with one injury. I call these also, blood stoppers.
• Rubbing Alcohol and Hydrogen Peroxide – Both alcohol and hydrogen peroxide are useful for cleaning wounds but each have many other benefits in the prepper’s first aid kit.
• Cough Drops – Sure there are natural alternatives to cough drops, but you can buy a few hundred for less than $10
• Anti-itch cream or Calamine lotion – Itching sucks.
• Honey – Natural honey can be used to treat wounds and never goes bad if you have it stored properly. Plus it tastes great on that oatmeal you have stored in your pantry too.
• Knee Braces and Ace Bandages – A lot of injuries will simply take time to heal. A good knee brace can make getting around possible for someone with mild injuries. Ace bandages can help with sprains.
• Any prescriptions you take regularly – An entire post could be written about obtaining supplies of life-saving medical prescriptions. The sad fact is that in a grid down world, many people who can no longer access prescription medicine may die. There are alternative treatments, homeopathic remedies and natural substitutes for some specific medicines, but these should all be researched thoroughly. At a minimum you should have at least a one month supply of any medicine you must take. If the disaster allows you to make it to another medical provider you have some time.
• Thermometer – Get the old-fashioned kind if you are worried about EMP, although the newer digital thermometers are really nice too.
• Blood Pressure Cuff – Helpful in situations although requires some training on how to use one properly. Don’t forget the Stethoscope to hear the heartbeat.
When does medicine go bad?
Yes, medicine does go bad, but it may not be bad in the way you think or as quickly as you might believe. For one thing the expiration date on medicine does not mean that the medicine is bad after that date. By bad I mean less effective, not toxic. Medicine does start to lose its effectiveness over time though so keeping your medicine up to date is the best approach.
How quickly a particular medicine loses its potency will vary by the medicine and the conditions where it is stored. Moisture and heat are not friends to medicine so a cool dry place out of sunlight is the best location. Medicine that has changed color, texture or smell, even if it has not expired, shouldn’t be taken. If pills stick together or are harder or softer, show cracks or chips they likely need to be replaced.
This is really just a start at some of the most obvious medicine to stock up on but each person has their own needs. What is your plan if you can’t get to the doctor? And as usual, I am not a doctor. This is all for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. (yadda, yadda, yadda)
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Fire Building: Not As Easy As It Looks

When I was in the military I attended an aircrew survival course. I love to camp and the outdoors so this was a fun class for me. At one point we learned about building fires. I kept bugging the instructor about when we were going to learn about fires. There is something about fire that I truly love. Fire is such a versatile thing. It can give you light, warmth, cook for you, purify water, and just give general comfort. Starting fires is a skill that I would recommend. I’ve seen some people who think that starting and building a camp fire is easy. It can be easy, but without the skill you can waste a lot of matches, and go through a lot of butane. I believe in fire starting the easiest way possible but I also feel it’s important to know how to fashion a bow and drill and work it properly too.
Fire requires 3 things to actually be fire. Oxygen, spark or heat, and fuel. Oxygen is all around us (good thing too!). But in building a fire you must have the right amount of air. Too much (wind) and the fire can go out, too little and you smother the fire. Spark or heat can be made in a variety of ways.
Friction (Plough, bow and drill, or piston)
Flint and steel
A battery
Lenses (Water bottle, glasses, ice, camera lens, magnifying glass, reflection)
Reflection (Coke can bottom, mirror, CD, other shiny objects)
Fire building requires 3 types of wood or materials: Tinder, kindling, fuel.
Tinder can be many things. A small pile of scraped magnesium, cotton, twigs, paper, “firestarters”, steel wool, hand sanitizer, char cloth, anything that will hold a spark and give you flame.
Kindling can also be many things. But usually it is something that is thicker than kindling but will burn in a small flame.
Fuel is large logs or pallets or whatever you decide to feed the fire.
Anciently, if you were on the move you may take your fire with you. An ember bundle was a slow burning hot ember that could be transported and used to start a fire at your new camp.*
Fire building is not difficult to learn but it’s not always as easy as it looks.
Learn how to build a fire and then practice. Use different ways to start your practice fires when you don’t really need a fire and when it can be a somewhat controlled environment.
One of the ways I try to stay current is heating our home with a wood stove. We start fires a lot during the winter. I try to experiment with different kinds of tinder and different methods. A good way to practice is in your grill. Most people have some kind of grill so this is the perfect place to practice your fire building skills.
When using primitive fire making techniques a tinder bundle takes the steps from hot embers to flames. I use a tinder bundle even when I’m not using primitive techniques. A tinder bundle can help you start a fire in wet weather. If making a fire from primitive ways a tinder bundle is essential. Using fluffy and fibrous materials is one of the most important elements. Fuzz up the material so it will start easily. Work the tinder between your hands rolling it and shredding it. When I do this I like to do it over something to catch what falls. That way I can add all the residual material to the final “nest”. Make a bundle by tying your material into an overhand knot and tucking in the ends. The bundle should be about the size of a fist. Put in additional tinder making it a true nest to keep the ember or other material you will put in to start your fire.
After you build the fire lay, you can start your tinder bundle. Once it is going well you put the bundle in the lay. This is a pretty sure way to start a fire. There are many other techniques but I like this one.
Find your own way of starting fires. Practice often so you don’t lose the skill. Try it in rain or snow. Try it in wind. Practice until you feel very confident you can start a fire in a monsoon with two sticks.
Semper Paratus
Check 6
*Fire Tube – Find a nearby hardwood tree that has bark. The bark needs to be fresh and pliable enough to roll into a tube shape. Take a long sheet of the bark and place tinder down the middle of it. This would be any dry material, such as dry grass and twigs, which you would normally use as tinder while building a fire. Roll the bark length-wise and secure the fire tube by tying cord pieces (or anything similar) the length of the tube. When the tube is complete, take a few hot embers from your existing campfire and drop them into the end of the tube. As you are breaking camp and heading out, keep the open- end of the cone facing into the wind to allow the embers to have air. If for some reason the contents within the cone catch fire, simply stomp on the flame until extinguished.
Fire Bundle – This method is easily done if you have an empty metal can available to you. Punch several holes into the metal can along the sides. This allows the hot ember to get the oxygen required to keep it burning. Gather up tinder and a handful of wet grass and leaves. Place a few hot embers into the can and surround the embers first with the tinder and then surround the tinder with the damp foliage. The embers should smolder for quite some time allowing you to use it as you fire starter the next time you make camp.
Tree Fungus – If you are lucky enough to find some tree fungus, that’s the white discus looking stuff growing out of the bottom of a tree, they make outstanding fire carrying devices. Break one of the disks off the side of the tree. If you look inside the disk you will notice a spongy inner material. Hold a hot ember to this spongy material until a hot ember is created within the spongy insides. Once this is accomplished, loosely wrap the disk in moss. Make sure to check on the ember every now and then to make certain it is still hot. Give it a gentle blow to help nurse it along.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Moving And Shooting: From Choirboy

Move and Shoot. Everytime I go o the range I shoot while moving. I do it because I feel that is closer to the reality of what I may have to do some day. I know for sure I will not stand still, have a perfect grip and stance and shoot! I hope I am never in a gunfight but if I am I would hope to be shooting from true cover. I’m not very good at shooting while I move so I asked my friend Choirboy for some tips on moving and shooting.
From Choirboys E-mail
I’ve been asked to give a write-up on moving and shooting. Moving and shooting is a task that all of us should master. Unless you’re on an ambush “It’s harder to hit a moving target!”, this is 100% true. Movement on a two-way range or in a defensive scenario is all too common. Think about boxers or MMA fighters. Can you imagine a fight where the two opponents stand still and slug away? Not only would this look awkward, but it would also increase the fighters chance of getting hit, the same rule applies to gun fighting. Take a look at police shootout videos. Take note how not only the police officer moves while shooting, but the threat as well. I can guarantee, that when being shot at, or shooting at a deadly threat, you will move, one way or another. Sometimes you won’t even notice it, it’s just your body’s natural way of avoiding pain, in this case the pain being a projectile moving 900-2600 fps.
We often neglect to shoot while moving because we are less accurate or because we suck at it. We find ourselves only training on what we are good at, typically this is shooting standing still at a stationary target. We have to think about what we are training for when we go to the range. Are we training to fight, or, are we just shooting? If your answer is training to fight, then we must get out of our comfort zone, and practice and train as if our lives depend on it.
Not taking away from the law enforcement side of the field, because I’ve done it as well, but how often do we hear of an officer firing an entire magazine at a threat only to hit the threat twice? This can be attributed to a host of factors, but the main one being movement. Whether the officer was shooting while approaching the threat, backing away, moving to cover, etc., there is movement. The task of walking and shooting can be a challenge when first starting, luckily for us, we have a few drills we can perform in the comfort of our homes to increase accuracy and stability.
Mechanics of moving and shooting
As we all know, it’s hard to point your arm straight out, point at something and walk, all the while keeping your finger on exactly what you’re pointing at. When walking, your legs/knees absorb the impact as your foot strikes the ground. We have to get around this!
Try this. Walk naturally and observe the way your feet strike the ground. Is it the ball, side, heel, flat, etc? Now, lower your center of gravity by slightly bending your knees. Where do you feel most of the weight as your foot strikes the ground? It should be predominantly felt in the knees at this point, now we have to distribute the weight on the knees throughout the feet and into the ground.
We want our upper body to stay as still and undisturbed as possible and let our lower body do all the work. This all is accomplished with the knees and feet.
• Slightly bend the knees, they should not be bent to the point that you cannot stand like this for an extended period of time. Think of it as if you are surfing, or on a shaking platform.
• Now walk naturally. As you walk, you’re going to have to change the way your foot strikes the ground. There are two ways you can do this to best absorb the shock. The first way is to imagine your foot as the rocking portion of a rocking chair. The foot should mimic this. As you walk, the heel should softly impact and continue to “roll” towards the tip of your toes. This is a continuous fluid motion. Another way to perform this is by having the heel softly strike the ground and rolling onto the side/outside of the foot and then the toes in a fluid motion. Find out which works for you and apply.
This may sound like a silly drill, but I’ve done it with a few of my new guys while serving, especially if the trainee had problems in mastering walking and shooting. We came up with this drill after a hostage rescue exercise and one of our guys engaged the hostage instead of a precise head shot on a threat target. He didn’t miss because he wasn’t a great shot, he missed because he was moving. After a few weeks of working on this drill, he was able to engage multiple targets with precision, not only at distance, but moving at a quick rate of speed as well. I still practice this drill to this day.
The Drill
• Start off by extending your dominant arm and point with your pointer finger at something, such as a light switch within your home and walk to it while slightly bending your knees and rolling your foot as you step. Keep your non functioning arm either tucked into your chest or “cupping” your dominant hand. Vary your speed and see what works for you. You want to be able to keep your finger pointed directly at it without bouncing off. If your finger “bounces” off, restart and change speeds accordingly.
• Once you feel that you have it down, take a cup and fill it to the top with water. Don’t cheat yourself, fill it to the top.
• Now using the walking technique, hold the cup in front of you and point it at the light switch or a small target. As you are pointing it, you want to be able to look directly over the lip of the cup, it should remain flat and level. As you walk, NO water should spill out and your cup should remain on your target. If anything spills out, adjust your speed and redo the exercise. As your walking, your walk should be natural, not jumpy or stuttered, walk natural. You shouldn’t resemble a cave man.
• Now once you’ve mastered that, take your pistol and ensure that it is 100% clear. Your weapon should be “Dead”.
• Use a small cap, such as the ones found to cap a bottle of NyQuil and fill it with water.
• Place that cap on the tip of your pistol where your front sights are.
• Aim your weapon at the target/light-switch as if you would naturally when shooting stationary and walk toward it. Your sights should not come off target and absolutely NO water should spill out. If it does, adjust your speed.
This drill will increase your stability and accuracy while shooting on the move, I can guarantee it. I like to perform this drill on a very small target such as a 1 inch or 1/2 inch sticker placed on my wall at varying distances 20-50 feet).

Thanks to Choirboy for that insight and drill. I know I move and shoot but I suck at it. I continue to do it because I know that’s the real possibility in real world situations. I think this drill will help me become better at this type of movement.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Friday, September 11, 2015

Concealed Carry: Deadly Shooting Errors

These are deadly shooting errors taken from a list intended for law enforcement. They were adapted for the average concealed carrier.
Deadly Shooting Errors
Lack of Concentration: If you fail to keep your mind on your situational awareness you start to make errors. It can cost you your life.
Tombstone Courage: Just what it says, don’t charge into something when you don’t need to. There are very few instances where you should try to be a cop.
Not Enough Rest: to defend yourself you must be alert. Lack of sleep or being sleepy can endanger yourself, and your family.
Taking a Bad Position: Try to be where you have a tactical advantage. I realize you usually don’t get this opportunity, but do your best. Take a seat near an exit and where you can see the front door. Check that convenience store before you enter, etc.
Not Heeding the Danger Signs: If you have a “gut feeling” go with it. People or things out of place, other danger signs.
Failure to Watch the Hands of a target: Is he or she reaching for a weapon or getting something to smack you? Where else can a killer strike from, but from their hands?
Relaxing Too Soon: YES, the rut of false alarms are accidental or whatever. Still, observe the activity.
Dirty or Inoperative Weapon: Is your gun? How about the bullets/magazine? Did you clean your weapon since the last range? Have you shot or practiced drawing your weapon recently? Can you hit your target in a combat situation? You must practice faithfully and religiously.
Professional golfers, NFL head coaches, criminal defense attorneys, and seasoned Operators all unite in this advice:
“It’s never the ‘great shots’ that save you. It’s always the ‘little mistakes’ that kill you!”
“Hail-Mary” passes, the smashingly clever comeback during cross-examination, and the occasional hole-in-one during the golf tournament unfailingly garner the attention of the media, as they talk endlessly about the “play of the day, “ et al.
Yet, those glamorous high-profile events, spectacular as they may be, rarely make any difference in the final outcome!
The reason is that they cannot be produced on demand! Professional golfers probably have more holes-in-one than the rest of us, but even they cannot produce them on demand. Not even close! The vast majority of hail-Mary passes are incomplete. And, ingeniously cunning dialogue during cross-examination is largely confined to movies!
The world, made up mostly of the shallow and self-centered, will always be attracted to replays of the “play-of-the-day,” but, in practical terms, as noted, they are largely irrelevant!
What does drastically affect final outcomes is “little mistakes.’ When they aren’t made, you’ll have an insurmountable advantage over your opponent. When they are, all the episodic “great shots” in the world won’t save you!
What loses football games are turnovers, poor communication, and penalties. What loses golf tournaments is misjudging distances and wind, selecting the wrong club, lack of concentration. What loses cases in court is lack of preparation, misjudging your opponent, and asking one question too many!
And, in gun-fighting, it is not the spectacular feat of accuracy that wins the day, not the amazingly difficult shot you’re able to make.
Rather, it is the easy shot that you miss. That is what gets you killed!
This is a general idea of a quote:
When, for the first and only time, Napoleon met Czar Alexander in the City of Tilsit in Russia in 1807, Napoleon pointed to a badly-scared member of his Imperial Guard and said to the Czar, “What do you think of a man who can endure such wounds?” The Czar cleverly responded, “And, what do you think of men who can inflict them?”
The Guardsman himself, interrupting both heads of state, volunteered, “They’re all dead!”

Always be alert, always be ready, always train, always win.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Water Storage: Chlorination

I live in the desert southwest of this country. I’ve spent most of my life in very arid weather growing up in Arizona. I know the importance of water.
My Parents-in-law just moved in with my family. They are doing pretty good health-wise but are getting up there in age (aren’t we all!). I was so grateful when I saw that they had water storage barrels that we could bring with them to take care of their emergency water needs. I just got our water situation put together. It’s difficult to find a place for several 55 gallon drums. We also have a 400 gallon tank we’ve used in our water storage for many years.
I came across this information about chlorination that I thought would be useful. Thanks to G.H. Brown for this info!
By G. H. Brown
Advice to those using Clorox for water sterilization: Clorox (5 to 6 % sodium hypochlorite) has a shelf life of approximately 1 year from date of manufacture. To be on the safe side, it should not be kept past 6 months to be effective for purification purposes, counting some months on the grocery store shelf before purchased by us.

A better method of water purification would be using a chlorinating concentrate manufactured for spas and hot tubs. The best one contains Sodium dichloro-s-triazinetrione dihydrate . . . . 99%, and 1% inert ingredients, and is available from some pool and spa supply stores. I have recently also found this formulation at a local Home Depot center.

Its advantages:

-only 1/4 teaspoon is used to treat a 55 gallon drum of water.
-the shelf life of a container of this concentrate is 15 to 25 years + (if kept dry and not stored hot)
-you can buy it and forget about it. My experience with Clorox is that it is usually getting old and may be ineffective for treating water adequately when we need it.

Instructions for use:

Add 1/4 teaspoon of the chlorinating concentrate to your 50 or 55 gal. drum. Place the cap on the container and close it, and allow it to sit for 24 hours. After 24 hours, remove the lid and test for the presence of free chlorine in the water. This can be done by smelling (careful), or by using test strips for free chlorine, available at many stores (Wal-mart or pool and spa stores or other stores). These test strips cost about $10.00 for 50 strips. If the chlorine can be detected after 24 hours, then the water has been purified. At that point, remove the lid from the water container and allow it to sit open for another 24 hours. The free chlorine will come out of the water, and the water is then fit for drinking. If no chlorine is present after the first 24 hours with the container closed, repeat the process, as organic matter (bacteria, cysts, etc.) are still present. Until free chlorine can be detected after 24 hours, there are probably organisms still present.

The cost for the chlorinating concentrate is about $16.00 to $17.00 for 2 lbs. This is enough to treat enough water for you, your relatives and your neighbors for some time. Home Depot had a smaller container, less than 1 lb. for under $7.00, with the same formulation. Don't remove the lid on the concentrate and sniff it. It is powerful stuff!

Store your water containers on wooden pallets or boards above your cement floors, and away from gasoline or other volatile substances, to avoid those interesting flavors in your drinking water. It is best to change out your water at least once a year, but twice a year may be best.

Remember, we can only live for about 3 days without water. A 55 gal. drum or water for each member of your family would be advised. That would get you through the first part of an emergency, then you can forage for water and purify it as needed.”
Storing water is such an important part of preparedness. Most people have little to none. Take stock in your preparedness plan and see ways to improve your water storage. Storing water is one of the easiest and economical items to store. It’s also one of the most important.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Beginning to Hate Mainstream Media: Finding Real News

What is wrong with the mainstream media (MSM)? CBS, NBC, ABC, and yes, FOX are completely losing their collective minds! Yesterday I actually watched FOX news. I’m not sure what came over me, but I watched until I couldn’t anymore. This took about 15 minutes. I watched as a news reporter talked to an author about how the mainstream media was reporting the police killings. I guess the FOX news reported doesn’t think he is part of the media! Could they be so stupid as to think FOX news is not part of the problem? I know I’ve ranted about this before. Mainstream media sucks! They are simply spinners of whatever cause their producers want spun. I look at 80% of the news stories and wonder how anyone could believe that they are actually a newsworthy story? How many hours of the same rhetoric and the same news footage do they think we need? What definition are they using of news? The dictionary says news is “information not previously known to someone.” So I guess hour upon hour of the same baloney could technically be news. It’s not that I just don’t agree with the story, it’s that I think that the story is leaning toward an agenda or is just horribly deceiving. I can’t even watch CNN because I’ll be yelling at the TV more than I watch! Do you remember in 1986 when Geraldo Rivera did a two hour special called “The Mystery of Al Capone’s Vaults”? That was typical media hype that is prevalent in most MSM. It’s quite nauseating.
Lately the hype over police shooting blacks has been totally bogus. I’m not saying there have not been any instances that should be questioned. What I am saying is that the group Black Lives Matter would have you believe that all the black people being shot by police are little innocent angels. This is not true. I think there are some issues in law enforcement that should be looked at and changed. But if I am a police officer and someone holds something up in the dark that looks like a gun I am going to fire my weapon first. I don’t care what it turns out to be! Why would anyone, black or otherwise, point something at a cop who is chasing them? What would you expect? The cop can’t afford to wait and see what that was. He wants to come home to his family at night. The Washington Post has a website with the actual numbers. As all MSM The Washington Post has their own agenda. As of today 328 white people have been killed by police. 169 black people have been killed. Do those black lives matter? Of course. But no one, activists or media, is very interested in the 328 white lives. Or the 106 Hispanic lives for that matter. From the media it sounds like it’s open season on black people from the police. Of those 169 that were killed, 25 were unarmed. 6 of those showed signs of mental illness. After reading some of these incidents I am convinced that most of these problems start with crime. I’m not saying they deserved to die, but if you’re involved in criminal activity you should know that you are in danger. Whether it is from police or other criminals, you take a chance. I don’t care what color you are, because there are 19 white people who were killed by police and unarmed, if you engage in criminal activity or illegal activity there is a high chance you could die. If you’re making those choices then you take your chances. I’ve never had a police officer pull his weapon on me. I am white, but I’ve tried to not do stupid things and have stayed away from criminal activity. My chances have gone down considerably just by not being a criminal! There are some cases where the officer made some bad choices themselves. They should be accountable for that.
I have known many in law enforcement. Some of them have developed a very bad attitude and a crazy mistrust of everyone! This is dangerous in the field they are in. I’ve known a few that brought it home and treated their family with mistrust and like criminals. When you are lied to and treated as many officers are, I can understand how they can become this way. When you deal with the dregs of society you can sometimes see all as you see the criminals.
If someone is stealing your car or breaking into your house, or worse, attacking your family, the first person we want is a cop. They pay a price to be a cop. They sometimes give all to try and serve us. George Orwell said:
"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
Well law enforcement can be considered “rough” as they serve us.
MSM would have you believe their progressive crap about “the establishment”, law enforcement, and “the man”, those who make rules and laws and try to keep this country true and just. There are those, even in the LDS Church, that are liberal in their progressive thinking and feel if you’re living right, you’ll be taken care of. They live in denial about reality. MSM is a big problem in this country. Sometimes the internet contributes to this problem. Do NOT believe mainstream media. They will, and do, lie and deceive. Everything they say and print is not very true. It’s hard to find this truth that we seek. Be very selective about your news and try to sift through what you’ve decided to read and listen to.
This is where I get my news:

Drudge Report
Blacklisted news
Ooda News
Al Jezeera
The Blaze
The Diplomat
The Irish Times
Meridian Magazine news
Washington Post, depending on the reporter (be careful about this rag)
Wall Street Journal, depending on the reporter

If you know another language other than English, there are some good sources out there. Some European and some Mexican or South American.
Be careful with even these sources. You must be involved and well read. You may find some sources that you can trust. Please share them with me and I’ll give them a try. Sometimes it may take a little very critical reading and listening to find what will work for you.
Semper Paratus
Lock and Load

9-11 Remembered and OPR Philosophy

Another September 11th has come and gone without an incident of terrorism in this country. I am very grateful. I thank the tireless law enforcement and first responders that keep us safe and our military for keeping the terrorists running. I also thank those who have served.
Why can we not be as were on September 12, 2001? We believed this country would endure and that we as a country could be united. There were not these divisions because of economic status or race. I pray we can return to the “United we stand” mindset.
I had a conversation with a friend I haven’t talked to in some time. We talked for a while and when I hung up my wife made a comment. She said: “To listen to you two you would think that you were in the mafia.” I guess we get a little carried away talking about guns and war stories. We’re really not as heartless and mean as we sound. George Orwell said:
"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
I guess we sounded kind of like rough men. I’m not really a mean guy, you can ask my kids. I try to follow the example of Christ as a member of the Mormon faith. I don’t think I’m too violent. I don’t really like violent movies or video games. I do subscribe to what I call the OPR philosophy (Orrin Porter Rockwell).
I’ve heard many balk at this idea or philosophy and I respect that opinion. But it’s been my experience that this philosophy is true.
The philosophy basically is that there are 3 types of people. They are described as Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs. The sheep are most people that you know and see. They are good, productive members of society who would not hurt anyone or anything. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a sheep. Then there are wolves. Wolves are evil, selfish near-humans intent on taking what they want. They are not interested in who they hurt in this process. They are a large minority and many are locked up. Then there are sheepdogs. Sheepdogs care about the sheep even though sometimes the sheep don’t appreciate them. The sheepdogs want the sheep to be safe and to be rid of the wolves. I’ve read so many writers who don’t believe that sheepdogs exist. They think that those who believe themselves to be sheepdogs are camo wearing wanna-bes. I’m sure some camo wearers do exist. But I know enough people who when confronted with violence go toward it. Watch video of 9-11. Most people were running from the towers but a few were running toward them. This was not just because it was their job. There are many stories of people who helped others and went back into the towers and perished. Many people were going up the stairs while the masses came down. I’ve learned for myself that when shots are fired I go towards the sound. Much to the consternation of my wife.
Porter Rockwell was a sheepdog. He cared for the church and the leaders of the church. He never cut his hair because of a blessing Joseph Smith gave him that said if he didn’t cut his hair he would be safe. He only cut it once since then. To help a woman who needed a wig because of an illness. So he had a big heart but was vigilant about defending the church.
I feel most members are sheep. Good productive citizens. But they are not really sure how to deal with the wolves when they come into the fold. It is denial that turns people into sheep. Sheep are psychologically destroyed by combat because their only defense is denial, which is counterproductive and destructive, resulting in fear, helplessness and horror when the wolf shows up. Denial kills you twice. It kills you once, at your moment of truth when you are not physically prepared: you didn’t bring your gun, you didn’t train. Your only defense was wishful thinking. Hope is not a strategy. Denial kills you a second time because even if you do physically survive, you are psychologically shattered by your fear, helplessness and horror at your moment of truth.
Some individuals would be horrified if they knew someone was carrying a weapon in church. They might call him paranoid and would probably scorn him. Yet these same individuals would be enraged and would call for “heads to roll” if they found out that the airbags in their cars were defective, or that the fire extinguisher and fire sprinklers in their kids’ school did not work. They can accept the fact that fires and traffic accidents can happen and that there must be safeguards against them. Their only response to the wolf, though, is denial, and all too often their response to the sheepdog is scorn and disdain. But the sheepdog quietly asks himself, “Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself if your loved ones were attacked and killed, and you had to stand there helplessly because you were unprepared for that day?”
The opposite of fear is faith. Faith comes with preparedness. The scripture says “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear.” I propose that scripture be re worded to “If ye have more faith then ye shall be prepared.”
Living with LDS members who are sheep can be frustrating. But as a believer in Christ, and striving to be like Him, it's hard to explain to sheep why I am concerned about security and self-defense. I believe that Christ would want us to care for each other and to take care of each other. His Apostles were armed. Luke 22:36-38 says:
“36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.
37 For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end.
38 And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.”
In the garden of Gethsemane when guards came to take the Savior one of His Apostles drew his sword. I'm sure the Savior knew he was armed. The key is to be able to defend yourself, but to not " live by the sword" . This is what I call the OP Rockwell philosophy. Living among the sheep but doing my best to protect them. This is how I see Porter Rockwell's life.
Learn all you can. Seek training in your self-defense art of choice. Be versatile. As much as I love guns, I know it’s important to be trained in other means of self-defense. When you are trained, practice. Be prepared. I know the whole point of this site is to talk about guns and self-defense, but I believe in a well-rounded preparedness. Food/water storage, bug out bags, comprehensive first aid and medical kits and training. I also have air bags, seat-belts, smoke detectors, and deadbolts. This only scratches the surface and we should be actively pursuing this knowledge. Self-defense is only part of being able to care for your family and others. If you are not prepared for disaster or without-rule-of-law in the area of water or food, how can you be a sheepdog? If you are only worried about your family because you chose to ignore inspired counsel, I say you should say “Baaa”. Being prepared in most things is what I call the OPR (Orrin Porter Rockwell) philosophy. Be OPR ready. At this time of year we reflect on a dark time in our history. There were some in that dark time that found themselves to be sheepdogs. Some of them perished and we honor their memory. Those that survived live quiet lives until the next time chaos strikes. They find themselves going toward the chaos.
Semper Paratus
Check 6
P.S. I know this information is mentioned by me about every 6 months. Please forgive me and give this indulgence.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Being Home on the Range: Range Etiquette

Going to a shooting range can be fun and a necessary part of a training program. I go often because I love the feel and the smell of a well used range. My range is outdoors so I love to go and enjoy some fresh air and the sharp report of the weapons as they shoot. I go to the range to relax even if I have an intense workout. I know, I am weird.
Being polite never goes out of style. When you visit a range first and foremost is safety. A close second is courtesy.
Newer Shooters
Learn and know, and live the 4 safety rules (1.All guns are loaded, 2.Don’t point gun at anything you don’t want to destroy, 3.Keep finger off the trigger, 4.Know your target and beyond)
There is a little taught rule 5. Never, ever point a gun at me or any part of me!
Never forget this rule!
For newer shooters, here are a few other things to consider when shooting in a shared space, like a public range. Many of these things center around common courtesies that ought to be extended to other range goers, and respecting the range facilities. It’s far from a complete list, but it highlights a few points. Included are:
• Follow your range’s rules. Every range has its regulations, such as making sure to have chamber flags for cleared firearms, limiting rate of fire, or restricting the types of ammunition allowed to be fired. If a range is going to let you use their facilities, it’s important to respect their rules.
• Don’t show up with a loaded weapon (exclusions would be conceal carry pieces). Many ranges have a lobby or display area before accessing the firing lanes. It’s best to keep your firearms cased and pointed in a safe direction until you’re in your own lane and preparing to fire.
• Be respectful of others at the range. It’s important not to disturb others’ concentration or make them feel uncomfortable. That’s not to say you can’t be social. In fact, I love striking up conversation with other shooters. I already know we have a shared enthusiasm for firearms, and I love hearing others’ opinions. But, there’s a time and a place to approach people for that kind of interaction. Respecting other people at the range also means cleaning up after yourself and being considerate that you are sharing the space with other customers.
• Watch what you say. You don’t want to make yourself appear like some kind of scary sociopath while holding/operating a loaded weapon. So, talking about how much you hate your ex, the government, etc., is not a good idea.
• Think about what you wear to the range. The people who go to the range tend to be a more conservative crowd (of course, there are exceptions). It’s not a great place to try to stand out, especially if you’re displaying some kind of adverse political statement, or something that might be offensive to other range goers. As for the ladies, you may want to avoid those low cut tops… You might feel sexy operating a firearm wearing them, until some hot brass flies down your shirt and you start jumping and flailing with a loaded gun in your hand. That’s not safe for you, or anyone around you.
• Wear practical footwear. When I hit the range, I generally don’t spend less than two to three hours shooting, so I want to be sure that my shoes are comfortable. It’s also wise to wear a shoe that covers, just in case someone’s spent brass lands on your toes. Just like in high school chemistry, it’s just safer.
Experienced Shooters
For the more seasoned shooters, range etiquette still includes the cardinal rules of safe firearms handling. It’s sometimes easy for those who have firearms experience without incident to become complacent instead of vigilant about safe gun handling. There are also considerations for other range goers that are more unique to regular shooters. For example:
• Don’t be a know-it-all. Not everyone is ready for or open to advice, even if they lack experience. It can make learning to shoot more intimidating to be corrected without requesting help. If another shooter is doing something unsafe, however, that’s another matter, and the range safety officer (RSO) needs to know.
• When bringing others to the range, don’t go cold. Make sure you cover basic firearms handling safety before you get there. Sharing the shooting sports with others is wonderful, but the excitement and pressure of being at the range is a poor time to be introducing someone to firearms and giving instruction. And when you do bring them to the range, consider not shooting yourself so that you can make sure they’re being safe and to help them learn.
• Relax, and have fun. Sometimes, it’s good to just enjoy putting rounds downrange without focusing on preparing for a self-defense encounter or improving competition scores.
• Be patient. Shooting at a range (instead of on private property, etc.) means that you’ll have to share the space with other shooters of varying levels of skill, interest, and focuses. Sometimes that means waiting for an open lane before you can shoot. Sometimes, that means trying not to get irritated by the conversations of others.
• Keep an open mind for instruction or advice from others. Taking firearms classes can help to keep your skills sharp, and even expand your skill set. You are never too experienced to learn something new.
These points are only some guidelines for range behavior that help everyone to have a positive and enjoyable range experience. Above all, safety is most important, no matter what your level of shooting experience is. It is also important to be respectful of others at the range so that all can make the most of the shared facilities. I mention some things to think about when you next head out to shoot, but it isn’t a complete list of do’s and don’ts for range etiquette. Being safe and enjoying your visit is the important part. Not all ranges are indoor, you may need to alter these suggestions because of your location.
Semper Paratus
Shoot On!

Privacy: It's More Than Closing Your Blinds

I was looking at Facebook today. I look at it a couple times a week. I saw a picture from the adult daughter of one of our dear, old friends. She took a picture of her little boy on his first day of pre-K.
He stood on the porch steps of their home holding a sign that had his first name, his grade, etc. I looked at the pic thinking as I do about security. I know our friend’s daughter and we are “friends” on Facebook. I mentioned to my wife that the picture gave away too much. Beside this cute little boy was a big address number. I now knew the boy’s first name, his address number, and from his Mom’s page, the boy’s last name. And of course, what he looks like. I said this just in passing to my wife. She texted our friend and mentioned this fact to the boy’s Grandmother. Our friend texted this to her daughter (who lives in another state). The daughter blew it off as just something you don’t need to worry about.
She said it’s because we’re friends on Facebook that we can see so much. We then asked our daughter who is not friends with the boy’s Mom on Facebook, to see what info she could find. Our daughter found out what state they lived in, and through other pictures on the Mom’s page, found out what town they lived in, and more important, a phone number. With that phone number she was able to get a complete address. With a little more searching she found out that there are only 3 pre-K schools in that town. She looked through the Facebook page of the Mom and found several “Likes” on a particular school. She looked through the Facebook page of that school and found teachers pictures. Comparing pictures of the boy going into school with his teacher, and the schools Facebook page pictures, my daughter determined what school the boy went to, and the hours of that school. So between Google and Facebook my daughter, who is not friends with any of this family, found the boy’s full address, the number of kids living in that address, where the boy goes to school, his teachers name, and when the school gets out. She even found out the Mom’s husbands name, and where he works. All in a matter of 30 to 40 minutes. All this information came cold from what could have been a random Facebook page.
My friends, being na├»ve about security doesn’t make your family safe. Is anything bad going to happen to this family? Probably not. The odds are with them. The problem comes when we become the small percentage that crime happens to. Random crime and terrorist activity can come to any of us but what are the chances? In 2010 your percentage of being involved in violent crime was 1%. So your chances were 3.09 in 309 million that it would be you. Those are good odds. This is why we don’t think about security because we’ll take those odds. I would rather not take any odds or at least change them by being security minded and doing some simple things. Privacy online is one of those things. What my daughter did to find out some personal information was called data mining. It’s really quite interesting that the things that we should safeguard are just little things, until they are put together with other little things. PII is personal identifying information consists of many bits of info. Here are some examples:
• Full name (if not common)
• Home address
• Email address (if private from an association/club membership, etc.)
• National identification number (used by the governments of many countries as a means of tracking their citizens, permanent residents, and temporary residents for the purposes of work, taxation, government benefits, health care, and other governmentally-related functions)
• IP address (in some cases)
• Vehicle registration plate number (license plate)
• Driver's license number
• Face, fingerprints, or handwriting
• Credit card numbers
• Digital identity
• Date of birth
• Birthplace
• Genetic information
• Telephone number
• Login name, screen name, nickname, or handle
The following are less often used to distinguish individual identity, because they are traits shared by many people. However, they are potentially PII, because they may be combined with other personal information to identify an individual.
• First or last name, if common
• Country, state, or city of residence
• Age, especially if non-specific
• Gender or race
• Name of the school they attend or workplace
• Grades, salary, or job position
• Criminal record
All of this in information that on the outset seem innocent enough. By themselves they may be innocent, but put together with 3 or 4 additional items there is much that can be known about you and your family. I am not a criminal and neither is my daughter. But if we were, we would have some info that we may be able to exploit for criminal activity. This could hurt this family financially or even physically. Privacy is a thing of the past. It used to be that what I bought, where I went, and what I did was not such a public record. Besides everyone carrying a camera and video recorder, the internet, cashless transactions, and security cameras everywhere have taken from us a privacy that will probably never be returned. You can take steps to minimize this in your life. Safeguarding the above information and being careful who you share your life activities with, is a start in the right direction.
I think getting in a car accident is a higher percentage than violent crime happening to each of us yet we wear seatbelts and want airbags. You have more chance having a fire in your home than a home invasion yet we have smoke alarms and fire extinguishers. If we thought about our security like safety we would close down out Twitter, Google, and Facebook accounts. Be smart and protect your privacy.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Skills We Should Improve

Skill trumps gear. This is something I’ve tried to live by. It’s not always easy. There’s so much cool stuff out there. And working on skills is…well… work! I’ve often said to my wife “Couldn’t we just buy this thing instead of learn how to do it without this thing? This thing makes it so much easier to do this skill.” She knows me and just smiles. Sometimes she indulges me and lets me get the latest “thing” but she never lets me compromise my skills and is always pushing me to learn more. I appreciate that in a wife. I would hope that I would do the same for her.
Self-defense is no different. It takes certain skills to maintain your own defense. With that in mind I’ve come up with areas of focus you can use to improve your self-defense/shooting skills.
Immediate action drills
In the military we trained for these a lot. They are a malfunction of some kind. The gun did not go bang. The mantra is tap, rack, and roll. This means to tap the magazine (some teach slap instead of tap), rack the slide, and roll back into the action. This should take care of 80-90% of your problems but know about the other 20%.
For self-defense I also include dealing with the target not stopping. What if you shoot and hit but the target keeps coming. Of course you should keep shooting. But movement should be also part of that solution.
First aid should be part of these skills too.
Cover and Concealment
These skills involve making yourself invisible. How much of you do you expose when you shoot around things? Practice this along with your basic marksmanship. Knowing what is cover and what is not is important to your health. Not many things stop a rifle bullet and even handgun ammunition will go through the average home wall. Learn what is cover and how concealment can often save you.
Most instructors teach by propping up a student and having them shoot paper. There is nothing wrong with this, most of us have done this, are doing this, and will do this again in the near future. But learning how to shoot and move is very important. The Army has a saying for the infantry troops: Shoot, Move, Communicate. These are wise words. Moving is always important and you should learn the skill of moving while you shoot. If you’ve been taught this do it often to keep current. Moving around in a home or building while maintaining concealment is something you should practice. Shooting around corners, in stairwells, and hallways are also based important skills.
Shooting in Low Light and Inclement Weather
I’m pretty confident most people have never shot a gun in anything but good weather and sunshine. That would be typical and it’s understandable. When it’s raining it’s hard to get to my range because of dirt roads yet I’ve trained in the rain more than once. Low light is another activity that most don’t even think about. This includes using a flashlight, red dot, night sights and target identification. Knowing when to turn on devices that will give away your position are good things to know.
After Action Report
In combat this is a detailed report of what happened and how the mission was performed. As you train, do a self-critique to see if you are covering everything.
After an incident there are several things you can do to help yourself legally. Learn these things and practice them if they are a skill. If they are knowledge write them down from time to time to keep them fresh. Knowing what to say to police and how to act after a shooting is also important.
Situational Awareness
This is last on this list of things to improve on, but it is not least. In fact, with sit aware you can often stop something from happening or avoid people or areas of risk. This is a skill that should be practiced and talked about always.

Some skills are perishable. Shooting a gun at a certain level is a perishable skill. Other skills are there when called upon. Don’t ever let an opportunity to learn a new skill pass you by. I have a goal to learn a new skill every 3 months. It doesn’t matter if the skill is small and simple, with shooting and preparedness, skill is everything.
Practice whatever you can, whenever you can. Practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.
Semper Paratus
Check 6