Thursday, March 31, 2016

Security Plans

Why don’t men recognize their role in protecting their families? Why would anyone sluff off this responsibility to an agency who admits it’s really not their responsibility? The government tells us they are not responsible.
June 28, 2005, New York Times - “The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the police did not have a constitutional duty to protect a person from harm…”
So, if the police are not duty bound to protect our family, who is?
The Family, A Proclamation to The World tells us:
“By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.”
Husbands and fathers have 3 primary roles in the family. The 3 P’s, if you will. Preside, Provide, and Protect. What does it mean to protect your family? I believe it means to teach correct principles so that family members can govern themselves. It also means making our homes a refuge from the world. Keeping unrighteous and unworthy things out of our homes.
This also means we have a lock on our front doors for physical protection. The problem is, just a cheap lock is not enough on a front door. We’re fooling ourselves if we think that a flimsy little chain will actually keep someone out of our house. Securing our homes is another way of protecting.
Last but not least, teach your family to protect themselves. How is this done? Several ways. First is situational awareness, and knowing what is going on around them wherever they are. Next comes the subject that freaks everyone out. Personal protection.
None of us can have a personal body guard. It’s not practical financially or really any other way. So now you have other options. Teaching your family about guns and how to be safe and shoot can be a good way of protection. Of course, doing so legally is also required. A license for your wife, and training for the whole family. There are other weapons that may be legal or not in your area. Teaching hand to hand combat in the way of martial arts can be good too. The point is, it is our responsibility. Why are we not taking this seriously?
Doctrine and Covenants 134:11 says:
…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)
There is a condition. 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. 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. How can they be? There is not a police officer assigned to every person in the U.S. That would be called a body guard.
This serious business fathers. How do we do it? First, we stop buying into the liberal, pansy rhetoric that is being shoved down our throats. Second we change our thinking. Even the Savior wanted his Apostles to have a sward or two with them when he went into Gethsemane. A weapon does not mean that you will murder someone. It also does not mean that you will have an accident. How many of us have many knives in our home? Ever stab someone to death? Probably not. A gun is exactly the same. We leave knives out all the time and teach our children to not touch them or to be safe with them. One of the things that I learned with my own children is that if you let your kids be familiar with guns that it takes away the mystery. Whenever my kids wanted to see a gun I would show them. When they were small I would make the gun safe, remind them of the safety rules, and then let them see the gun. I would take them to the range when they were little (our age was 8) and they would shoot. (We started with .22 rifles and worked up to larger calibers and pistols) By the time they were teenagers they knew the safety rules that we pounded into them, and knew a lot about different guns and how they work. It was no longer a big mystery that kids can’t touch. Those that liked guns continued on with that hobby and those that were not real interested would be reminded often about safety rules, and would go to the range enough to have some fun shooting and some experience. My wife has been the same. She has shot everything we own but is still not a “gun nut” like her husband. Yet she knows safety and has similar experience like the kids. She carries so she will have more experience with safety and she practices more than they shoot. Only a few of my kids have really become semi-gun nuts.
Expose your family to all kinds of lethal and non-lethal weapons. Let them participate in security planning and making your home a refuge.
It is not unreasonable to have a fire drill in your home. Using seatbelts, bicycle helmets, and having fire extinguishers and smoke alarms are not unusual. Why wouldn’t security drills and practices be important for your family too.
Planning is very important. Have your family involved in safety and security planning for your family’s home and lives. Reviewing important rules, procedures, and skills is not something that should be foreign to your family.
Security planning will give you peace of mind and let your family relax and feel secure at home. You as the father of your home will find blessing and insight as you help your family in these more secure times than when times fall apart.
I realize not every home has a father. But the head of each home should be leading the family to a safe and secure place. For those of you with fathers, Fathers step up!
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Monday, March 28, 2016

Hiding From Thermal Imaging

I have a friend who spent a lot of time in combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan. We were talking about the use of technology in combat and eventually mentioned thermal imaging. This technology is used in aircraft, drones, and on the ground. It works quite well. We then discussed how to “hide” from thermal imaging. I became intrigued and did a little research. There is not much in the way to thwart this technology. That’s probably a good thing.
I did find this article from I was impressed with the less technical way these guys explained how to hide from this technology. I’ve included only a portion of their article but would refer you to the complete article here:
“Thermal imaging is the primary method human detection on the battlefield. Whether it be a drone, an Apache helicopter, or an individual soldier, thermal imaging is the best tool available for the job. Thermal imagers work by “seeing” heat. Everything emits thermal energy, dirt, trees, rocks, humans. Thermal imaging is so successful at detecting human beings that it poses a threat to the average citizen. Don’t get me wrong, I feel every citizen should own a thermal imager as well.
In today’s world it is becoming apparent that the average individual citizen is going to under the prying eyes of the government, but what if Joe citizen has concerns about his privacy? I’ve been through countless forums where people are searching for an answer as to how one can hide from thermal imaging. We are even working on a method ourselves (sign up to our newsletter on the right side of the page, we will let you know when it becomes commercially available). While I would like to be the first to develop a product to defeat thermal imaging, I feel that I should share the challenges in doing so. If I am not successful, maybe someone else will be. All of the ideas I’ve run across so far will not work; Space blankets, glass panels, mud, wet suits, none of it works.
The key to evading thermal imaging is the same as any camouflage, just with different parameters. You will not ever “disappear” from a thermal imager, just the same as you won’t disappear just by wearing Multicam or ATACS. In visible camouflage you use colors and specific patterns to do so. You have to blend in and use cover and concealment. You wouldn’t go unnoticed wearing traditional camouflage laying down in the middle of a parking lot, you shouldn’t expect to do the same in thermal. In both examples knowing your surroundings and the characteristics of what is searching for you is the key.
In order to hide from drones and other entities using thermal imaging, you must first understand how it works. Even if you can develop a method to block your thermal signature you must also know how to use basic cover and concealment techniques, as they apply to thermal imaging. It is not that much different that putting on optical camouflage and knowing where to hide, in fact, there are many parallels. Here are some of the specific challenges and characteristics when trying to evade of thermal imaging:
The most obvious issue in evading thermal imaging is dealing with the heat that a human produces. It is impossible to stop the body from producing heat and it is also impossible to inexpensively contain all of the heat the body produces. Expensive thermal cameras, such as the ones in drones and helicopters, sense the actual photons emitted from an object. Less expensive handhelds use a material that measures the differences in temperature. Either one first needs the heat from your body to reach the sensor. If your heat cannot reach the sensor, you cannot be seen. A physical object between you in the camera, such as the roof of your house, a boulder, or a tree will stop the infrared energy from reaching the sensor. The problem is you can’t continually surround yourself with any of these objects. You must, however, put some barrier between your heat and the camera. The above example of the space blanket will reflect heat back to your body and the imager cannot see through it, but if it touches your body the heat will transfer through the material rather quickly (like one second). If an air gap was kept between your heat and the space blanket this would slow this process down.
The Afghans have used wool blankets to mask their signatures from thermal imaging. If they hear a chopper or suspect an eye in the sky is looking for them they will drop on the ground and cover themselves with a the blanket. If the blanket starts out at ambient temperature the amount of time they will reduce their signature varies, depending on the temperature relative to their body heat. This works because the blanket acts as an insulator. As soon as the wool begins to warm they will become visible again. I suspect this method works for mere seconds, but imagine if they had a wool blanket, a space blanket, and another wool blanket. The heat would first have to transfer through the wool. The space blanket would reflect most of the heat back, but some would leak through. The second wool blanket would then begin to heat up compared to the surroundings. This wouldn’t work forever, by any means, but it would give the insurgent one thing; more time.
Masking your thermal signature is the biggest challenge to evading thermal imaging. There are a number of ways to obscure your thermal signature to avoid being detected:
1. Insulating your heat from the imager, such as the wool blanket. The more effective the insulation, the more time you have bought yourself.
2. Spreading your heat over a larger surface area. Your body has a finite surface area, if you can transfer your body heat to a larger object, that object will be cooler. Think of a heat sink.
3. You can vent heat to the atmosphere. The thermal imager cannot see the heat traveling through the air, at least not at the temperatures we are talking about. It would have to be directly to the atmosphere because if the heat were to heat up your cover, that would be noticeable.
4. You can mechanically trap heat.
Note, heat is also relative. If your entire environment is 98.6 degrees, you won’t disappear by any means, but the advantage of the thermal aspect will be lessened.
Note 2, all thermal cameras have what is called a dynamic range. Imagine I had a palette of 10 shades of gray available to me. As the processor of a thermal I have to assign a “color” to each temperature. The standard view would be white is hot and black is cold. If temperatures are relatively uniform, say everything the camera is seeing is between 60-70 degrees, the processor can assign a color for each degree. If the temperatures of the objects in the cameras field of view are vastly different, say 32 degrees on the cold end and 98.6 on the warm end with lots of variations in between (say a sunny winter day) the processor can no longer assign one of the 10 colors to each degree. It must assign a color to a range of temperatures, say 32 to 37 are “black”, 38 to 44 are dark gray and so on. This is a vast oversimplification but it does have an effect on the cameras ability to resolve your temperature. A real world example might be hiding near the top of a ridge. If someone was looking for you from below they would have to include part of the sky in the field of view. The sky is extremely cold, whereas the earth might be a hundred or more degrees warmer.” © 2016 TinHatRanch.
Thanks go out to Tin Hat Ranch .com for their insight. Please subscribe to the Tin Hat Ranch newsletter.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Reloading Makes Sense

As laws are enacted it is never sure where gun rights will receive an attack. Sometimes it is not the guns themselves. Sometimes it is ammunition. More popular with the control crowd is taxing, or banning ammo. This is a good reason to reload your ammo.

I have the equipment, and have reloaded before. As of right now I do not reload, but I suspect the day will come when I return to reloading.

What are the reasons you should reload?

When you shop for a large appliance you often will by the energy saving model. It’s more expensive, but you know in the long run you will save electricity.
Reloading is similar to this. In the beginning you will have to spend money to reload ammunition. You may wonder if this is worth it. Once the outlay for the equipment you will be able to reload many thousands of rounds at a considerable savings.

When you re-load your own ammo, you’ll save money over time. It’s cheaper. Unless, of course, you’re always buying equipment to load a new cartridge size.

It’s Fun
Like any other hobby reloading can be fun. It actually relaxes me. There are those who reload for extreme precision accuracy. They can get obsessed with this like anyone might with their hobby. Some who are not quite so obsessed reload because they enjoy shooting something that they made themselves.
If you play with different loads you can actually improve accuracy. It can become a competition with yourself to produce better and better ammo.

Factory loads are fine for what most of us need—target practice and self-defense. However, if you’re into competition or precision shooting, re-loading your own ammo is almost essential. It goes a step beyond accuracy, though. You can actually engineer your cartridges to do anything. If you want a lesser recoil, you can make it so. If you want a lighter projectile, you can do it. Higher velocity? Go for it. The possibilities are endless.

Gun Laws
Chances are good that you are at least a little concerned about whatever is next. The point, is that we have no idea what’s coming, and now is as good of a time as any to begin re-loading ammunition.

I like the preparedness aspect of reloading. With all the components stored you will always have a way to produce ammo.
I have all the components stored, brass, primers, and powder. I even have some bullets put up. I have all the equipment and dies for every caliber that I own. I’m now in the process of getting the bullet molds and other equipment to produce my own lead bullets.

I like the self-sufficiency that can be there if you feel the need to prepare in this area.

Reloading makes sense and also gives you one more skill that can make a difference in a difficult situation.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Shooting With "Older Eyes"

It’s happening to all of us. We are getting older. I don’t usually go into any detail about myself but suffice it to say I’m over 40. After that age, the flexibility in our lenses in our eyes starts to deteriorate, that’s why bi-focals are so common for older people. The problem is, you really can’t lift your head to look through the bottom of your glasses to focus on the front sights.
In order to solve the problem of aging eyes for the defensive or combat handgun shooter, we have to be clear on what our goals are. For defensive purposes, combat accuracy is what is required. To paraphrase the definition of noted firearms instructor and author Rob Pincus, “combat accuracy” is any shot that significantly diminishes the target’s ability to continue to present a lethal threat.
Given the distance at which most gunfights or lethal force confrontations occur (less than ten feet), we are, in most instances, talking about dead on hits in the attacker’s high center of mass because this is the biggest target on the human body. Also, hits in this zone are likely to cause massive trauma and shock unless the attacker is wearing a ballistic vest.
High center of mass hits are better placed such that they are not all in the same hole. This is because multiple entry points are likely to cause greater damage to the attacker whom we are aiming to shut down so that he stops attacking us. What if a head shot is needed?
The head, a small, moving target when compared to a much bigger torso, is a very difficult target to hit under extreme stress with a handgun, good eyes or not. Moreover, the part of the head most likely to produce an instant central nervous system shut down when hit is an even more difficult target.
Given the above, a logical conclusion is that if we want to get “good” at defensive handgun shooting, we need to be practicing at the range to shoot with combat accuracy as defined above. This leaves us with the question of how clearly do we need to see our front sight, and how much precision do we need in our sight alignment and sight picture to get combat accurate hits under the conditions in which they are most likely to be required? The answers are: not very clearly, and not a great degree of precision.
The bad news is that those of us who have old eyes will not be able to see a crystal clear front sight unless we take the time to lift our head up and look through the bottoms of our bifocals. However, the good news is that, for combat accurate handgun shooting in most circumstances, we do not need to see a crystal clear front sight, nor do we need ultra precise sight alignment.
Therefore, we don’t need to tilt our heads backward and upward to shoot accurately. What follows are some tentative conclusions about practicing defensive handgun shooting for those of us with old eyes.
At close distances under seven yards, you can use the silhouette of your handgun to aim.
Shooting skills are perishable. They deteriorate if not practiced. Therefore, you must practice on a regular basis. Although dry practice drills are useful, there is no substitute for live fire. You can run dry practice drills to practice presenting your handgun, getting your gun on target, exercising your trigger press and reset, and performing emergency reloads, tactical reloads, and malfunction clearances.
However, dry practice does not give you the experience of controlling your trigger and your firearm under recoil. Therefore, if you want to improve and maintain your shooting skills, you do need to go to the range regularly for dedicated practice, just as you need to go to the gym regularly to stay in shape. If you cannot devote some time on a regular basis to shooting practice, your shooting skills and performance under the stress of a deadly force encounter will suffer. When you practice, you need to focus fully on what you are doing. This is both a safety issue as well as a skills maintenance and development issue. When you are shooting, you should be totally focused on achieving the balance of speed and precision that is appropriate for the type of shooting you are doing.
For example, for close in point shooting, you would aim for greater speed and less precision. For longer range, sighted shooting, you will need to slow down to achieve the precision required. A “flash sight picture” means you press the trigger as soon as you superimpose the front site on the target.
At distances of seven yards and in, your sight picture is surrounded by the outline of a man-sized target. Therefore, you can use the silhouette of your handgun to aim. You do not need a precise sight picture. At farther distances, your sight alignment and sight picture is bigger than the target and completely covers that target. Therefore, you need precise sight alignment to get a good hit. The good news is that at greater distances, you’re likely to have more time to take the shot. A precise sight picture is required for distance shooting.
Your handgun should fit your hands. This means that your trigger finger needs to have good contact with the trigger without distorting your grip. You need to be able to work the trigger smoothly, and the handgun needs to point for you.
A good test of how well the handgun points for you is the following: (1) Face a target with a triple-checked, cleared, and unloaded handgun. (2) Bring the handgun to a ready position. (3) Identify where you want to hit your target if you were to really fire. (4) Extend the gun to intersect your line of sight to your point of aim. (5) Look through your front sight at your target. (6) At full extension, the handgun should be pointing at your aim point and your sights should be roughly aligned, front sight on your point of aim.
You should repeat the test with your eyes closed and roughly attain the same result.
Shooting with and without your glasses. You’ll never know when that moment of truth will arrive. You may be in bed at home and not wearing your glasses, or you may be out and about wearing your progressive bifocals. Therefore, it makes sense to practice shooting with and without your glasses. When you shoot without your glasses on, make sure to wear protective eyewear.
Shooting without your corrective lenses is a good exercise for those of us who are near sighted. Look through your front sight at your target. You should see a crystal clear front sight. The rear sight and the target will be blurry. This is because the human eye can only focus at one distance at a time. Once you are certain of your target and you’ve made the decision to shoot it, press the trigger.
Peeking over your glasses. For distance shooting, a trick that I’ve found effective is to peek over your glasses. Again, if you are near sighted, you will see a crystal clear front sight and a blurry rear sight and target. However, one thing you should avoid doing, because it will throw your shots off, is to peek over your front sight after you press the trigger.
Laser Sights. Laser sights such as those manufactured by LaserMax and Crimson Trace are especially useful for those of us who cannot see our sights at all. They are especially useful when you are shooting from awkward shooting positions where you cannot body index, and also in low light conditions.
The bottom line is that those of us who must wear bifocal or progressive glasses to correct our old eyes will never see the serrations on our front sight when we are shooting defensively. For competitive shooting, this puts us at a disadvantage. However, for defensive shooting, this is not a practical problem.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Gun Control Baloney

I have bought and sold guns for over 30 years. I am not a dealer and can go for years without buying or selling a firearm. I have also gone to gun shows in 3 states for years. I am trying to understand the “gun show loophole” that is supposed to exist. I think politicians use this term “gun show loophole” in two different ways. The first is just a complete lie. The second is deceiving at best. So when you hear this term, know that it is associated with dishonesty. I claim there is no gun show loophole. What is referred to as a gun show loophole is in reality a private sale loophole. 98% of gun sales at a gun show are through FFL licensed dealers. They must do a background check. I would say that there may be a very low percentage of dealers that do not do checks. They take a chance in not doing these checks with a felony, losing their license, and going to prison. I don’t know too many dealers that would chance their livelihood on not doing a background check.
I’m not sure why politicians call this a “gun show loophole”. Maybe they think it sounds more insidious than private sale loophole.
Federally licensed gun sellers are required to run background checks. But not all sellers are required to be licensed. Some of those unlicensed sellers sell at gun shows.
Federal law requires that persons who are engaged in the business of dealing in firearms be licensed by the federal government.
Private sellers without a federal license don’t have to meet the background check requirement. Though this exception is often referred to as the "gun show loophole," it actually applies more broadly to unlicensed individuals, whether they are selling at a gun show or somewhere else. (Some states have implemented their own background check requirement beyond federal law.)
Experts warn that the phrase "gun show loophole" is imprecise at best. But people do buy guns without having to undergo background checks.
Several experts said the phrase "gun show loophole" isn’t the most accurate way to describe the gap in the law.
"There is a huge loophole in federal law, but it isn't for gun shows," UCLA law professor Adam Winkler said. "What is called the gun-show loophole is misnamed. It should be the ‘private sale loophole’ or the ‘background check loophole.’ ... The reason people talk about gun shows is that they are easily accessible marketplaces for people who don't want to be subject to a background check to find non-licensed gun sellers."
Gabriel Chin, a professor at UC Davis School of Law, told PolitiFact that there is a loophole in the sense that it has not been clear how many firearms one has to sell before one is required to obtain a license.
"Remember, gun shows are mainly on weekends, so there is room for someone to claim ‘this is a hobby or part of my collection’ when it is also a substantial business," Chin said.
Gary Kleck, a criminologist at Florida State University, said the term "gun show loophole" is misleading if it implies that the law didn’t intend to exempt some sellers.
"The term ‘loophole’ suggests that it was a minor, unintended flaw in the design of the law, something inadvertently overlooked by lawmakers, when it was actually the very intentional result of a carefully worked-out political compromise between those who wanted background checks on all gun acquisitions and those who did not want any at all," he said.
In fact, there are a number of sources that allow guns to fall into the wrong hands, with gun thefts at the bottom of the list. One of the most common ways criminals get guns is through straw purchase sales. A straw purchase occurs when someone who may not legally acquire a firearm, or who wants to do so anonymously, has a companion buy it on their behalf. According to a 1994 ATF study on "Sources of Crime Guns in Southern California," many straw purchases are conducted in an openly "suggestive" manner where two people walk into a gun store, one selects a firearm, and then the other uses identification for the purchase and pays for the gun.
According to a survey of 100 Cook County Jail inmates by the University of Chicago Crime Lab, criminals — or at least the ones at this particular jail — primarily obtain their weapons from “personal connections” on the streets.
Approximately 70 percent of the criminals surveyed revealed that “they got their guns from family, fellow gang members or through other social connections,” reported the Chicago Tribune.
The majority of criminals surveyed were likely felons, so they wouldn’t have been permitted to legally purchase a weapon from a dealer regardless.
It bothers me that not only do politicians talk about this “loophole” as if it is fact, but the media falls right into this same pattern. Politicians should be honest, but the media has a duty to be honest. If we can’t trust the media, what is left? I’m here to say you can’t trust the media. Often their gun “research” is shoddy or non-existent. Most journalists should know that these terms are incorrect or at least imprecise, yet they go right along with the dishonesty. That sounds like a conspiracy, but I fear it is just bad reporting. The media don’t usually bother to find out the difference between terms, leave alone what gun laws are mostly already in place. It doesn’t take much research to figure out the difference between a clip and a magazine. Yet many in the media don’t really care.
The gun show loophole just doesn’t exist. The same kind of transaction can and does happen with a classified ad, but we don’t have a “classified ad loophole.” Trying to control private sales of firearms is not going to work. Those dealers that sell firearms from a “private collection” should be checked out and held to some type of standard. I don’t really know, but I don’t think that many of these type of dealers really exist either.
Gun control is nothing more than people control. It’s not really about keeping guns out of the hands of criminals.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Algiers Security Protocol

Reuters writes:
“Algerian security forces shot dead an Islamist militant wearing a suicide bomb belt before he could detonate his explosives in a small town east of the capital Algiers, the state news agency APS said on Thursday.

The militant had been evading Algerian troops patrolling on Wednesday night around Maatkas near Tizi Ouzou in the mountainous region in what was once the stronghold of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

"Trapped by the army, he headed toward the police station in Maatkas, where he was probably planning to blow himself up," APS said citing a security source. It said he was shot by the police and had been wearing a bomb belt.

Bombings and other attacks have become rare in Algeria since the North African state emerged from a 1990s decade of war with Islamist militants that killed 200,000 people. But al Qaeda's North Africa branch and Islamic State affiliates operate in remote part of the vast, oil-exporting country.”

This is how it's done. Recognize the problem and neutralize it. Reminds me of the heady days of Mogadishu and Iraq checkpoints... No, I'm not a warmonger.
And why have the bombings gone down to almost nothing? Because the bombers know they will not even come close to their target. The US military knows how to control this type of problem but are often stopped by politicians. I’m not advocating shooting everyone, and of course there is no easy answer in the US, but our security protocols should be left to low level commanders and away from those Generals near the Joint Chiefs.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Friday, March 25, 2016

Are Your Targets On Target?

In the many years that I’ve been shooting I can pinpoint the type of shooter I was at different times in my life. When I was young I was introduced to rifle shooting and hunting by my cousins from working on their ranch and hunting in the mountains of Arizona. I got my first deer at age 10. After a few years of that I turned my attention to basketball and girls. Shooting was what we did in the desert on the weekend after riding motorcycles and mini-bikes.
In my young adult life in the military shooting became a tactical more precise thing. That is also when I became an instructor. Shooting in the military was surviving in combat and competition.
Now for the last several years it has been all defense, all the time.
In this time I’ve learned to practice in different ways according to what I was doing at the time. When I was young we’d sight in the hunting rifles and really never touch them again until we used them to hunt. What we shot often were the .22’s. We’d “plink” but really this was practice for what we did with guns at that time. We’d hone our hunting skills with .22 rifles on the ranch. Sometimes it was plinking, other times it was hunting rabbits or killing predators around the chicken coup. We spent a lot of time with .22’s shooting a brick (500 rounds) at a time. That’s a lot of trigger time and it helped us to be very good with a rifle.
When I was in the military I worked on getting the marksmanship ribbon every time I qualified. I also became good with the tools of our trade, that being an M-16 and M-60 and the 9mm pistol. I didn’t need to shoot expert for my job, but wanted to shoot expert for myself and of course for bragging rights. We competed a lot during those years and I think it made us better instructors.
Now I try to keep it real and shoot so that if I ever need to defend myself of my family, I’ll be successful.
I didn’t start shooting on a range until my military days. I don’t think I knew what a shooting range looked like before the military.
When you go to the range you should determine what your purpose for shooting is. Is it recreational? Are you preparing to compete? Are you trying to stay sharp for defense? Each of these reasons require different ways to practice.
As you access your reasons for shooting, plan your shooting sessions. As you plan these sessions you will see the need for different equipment. Especially your targets. Targets can range from paper to soda cans.
Fun, Games and Zombies
Many unconventional targets provide a challenge, requiring precision shooting and concentration. Personally, I like Birchwood Casey’s Dirty Bird targets. These types of targets are good for new shooters, youth, date night, friendly competition between friends or when you just want to kick back and plink. If you like zombies, there are plenty of zombie targets choices.
There are many “games” targets to have fun with.
I like Dirty Bird targets because of their splatter feature which makes each bullet hole easy to see from a distance.
You may have never thought there were such a wide variety of different targets. Not only are there traditional bullseye, but also sight-in targets and even bleeding zombies. It might be overwhelming for the brand new shooter to decide which target to buy. You might start by price; however, picking the cheapest target on the page might not be the best target for your application. Not all targets are created equal.
Targets can be divided between paper and reactive. Paper targets are targets printed on paper and come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Some paper targets will splatter a different color upon the bullet’s impact, while others will not. Reactive targets are targets that spin, pop back up, or otherwise move in some way. These targets are generally made of steel or self-healing material. Another reactive target is the relatively new Zombie Industries 3D “bleeding” targets.
Besides traditional bullseye, there is silhouette and oval, sight-in, competition-specific, hunting, fun and games, and NRA-standard targets. Though you can shoot up any target you want, each type meets a specific need.
Paper Targets
Paper bullseye targets come in sizes ranging from small 1-inch bullseyes to large 24-inch bullseyes for long-range shooting. Bullseye targets are good for precision shooting, learning how to sight properly, and practicing accuracy. There are also bullseye targets for competition. The standard competition bullseye size is 5.5 and 8 inches. Caldwell’s basic 5.5 inches Orange Peel targets are perfect for pistol shooting in an indoor range. The bullet impact explodes neon green inside the bullseye and neon orange outside the bullseye. Generally, larger bullseyes, like a 12-inch or 24-inch are for long-range rifle shooting.
Silhouette and Oval
Silhouettes and ovals are geared toward defensive target shooting and training. Some silhouette targets mimic the human form, while others are simply oval shaped. The most popular silhouette is the B27 target. B27 targets are the standard for concealed carry classes and law enforcement qualifications. The shape of a silhouette or oval is especially good for practicing self-defense shooting. The shape represents a person’s chest area.
Sight-In: Target made specifically for sighting in your riflescope
Sight-in targets are usually square or diamond-shaped as opposed to round like a bullseye; however, there are a few round sight-in targets. Made specifically for sighting in your riflescope, many of them have a crosshair pattern while others just have squares. You can determine a sight-in target by the grid pattern in the foreground. Some sight-in targets include one large central target with four smaller targets. The smaller targets you see in each corner is to fine-tune your groups once you have your scope sighted in.
There are so many different types of shooting sport competitions it would be exhausting to list them here. However, to be good in competition, you must practice and most shooting sport games have rules and regulations when it comes to their target specifications. For example, the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) has strict rules on what types of targets are competition-approved. 3-Gun, the International Shooting Sport Federation and NRA—to name a few all have different targets and scoring requirements.

Many unconventional targets provide a challenge, requiring precision shooting and concentration.
Animal targets such as deer, prairie dog, squirrel, and waterfowl help the hunter get ready for hunting season. You can practice hitting the sweet spot with life-sized replicas of game. Some targets have detailed outlines of critical vital zones. Waterfowl and turkey targets also show you how your hunting shotgun is patterning.

Reactive targets are targets that spin, pop back up, or otherwise move in some way.
Reactive targets come in all different types and configurations from multiple target spinning wheels to single target spinners. Some targets move side to side, while others pop back up once hit. These targets are caliber-specific. Some reactive targets can only handle .22 Long Rifle, while others can withstand larger calibers. Reactive targets are fun for youth, friendly competition, and steel competition practice to hone your speed and accuracy. Before purchasing a reactive target, make sure your local range allows you to use one.

Correction target
Supposedly, the target can diagnose why you aren’t hitting the center of your target
To an extent, it’s true. But it’s important to understand what the target is and isn’t intended to do.
To get value from the target, you must:
1. Shoot one handed
2. Use the appropriate target (right or left handed)
3. Shoot slowly
4. Have a perfect sight picture for every shot
Why? Because the target does not take into account anything you might do to upset your sight alignment with your support hand, nor does it account for any misalignment in your sights.
So is it useless?
Absolutely not. But you need to remember that it is just a sheet of paper. It isn’t watching you shoot. It’s not able to tell if you are blinking, or looking at the target instead of your sights, or anticipating recoil. It can’t see how you’re holding the gun, how you’re standing, or whether you’re paying attention.
There was a shooter at the range next to me today who was using one of these targets for all of his shooting, paying close attention to where his shots landed and trying to make corrections based on it. But his problem wasn’t one that was being identified by the target. Instead, he kept trying to correct subtle things when he clearly had a serious flinching issue. He also had what appeared from casual observation to be a habit of tightening the fingers of his support hand as he fired the gun. None of that is identified in the target. Be sure to pay attention to everything you’re doing. If you hit a plateau and can’t get past it, find a qualified instructor who can watch you shoot and perform some real shooting diagnosis.
Diagnosing a shooting problem can sometimes be a tricky thing. Don’t depend on a target for this type of training.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Details To Fighting Terrorism

The Brussels attacks were clearly just a cowardly act aimed at terrorizing, or scaring the world into meeting demands of a terrorist organization. This organization believe that if they can cause some sort of panic they can force people to fear them, and have power over them. The only thing the Brussels attacks did was remind us that we are in a war. This is an ugly, drawn out war.
As I’ve said before there are two kinds of good people, sheep and sheepdogs.

( See the following posts: 9-11 Remembered and OPR Philosophy 9/11/2015, OP Rockwell Philosophy 4/16/2015)

Sheep live in denial. They will never acknowledge evil until it bites them in the butt.
Sheep dogs have a “go toward the sound of gunfire” kind of attitude. Helping the sheep is their work that they believe they have a duty to fulfill. Some sheep dogs even take an oath to protect. They are always watching for a threat.

Always being “on” can be a problem. When I was in the military I noticed that it didn’t really matter what force protection we were in, if we were in it too long, complacency could set in.

Until everyone’s mind is so numb to complacency that you have 3 Islamic terrorists with the intent of murdering people able to waltz into an airport with duffel bags so full of explosives that they’re too heavy to carry.

Every intelligence and law enforcement professional I know says the clock is ticking on when the next attack will happen here.

Does any of this motivate you to try to learn to identify threat? Caught in time, threat identity can save you or your loved ones.

Combating terrorism is no easy task and it is something that cannot be done overnight. It will be a long struggle that could be quite dangerous.
As I’ve talked about with combating crime, situational awareness is a good place to start. Watch people. Be aware of someone who may be out of place, or dressed wrong for the weather. Don’t be afraid to report something out of place in an airport for instance. By the same token, don’t be that person who is out of place or dressed wrong for the weather. Do your best to blend in to your environment.
Be aware of where you are. Know the layout of the building that you are in. Know where exits are and where you would go if shooting broke out, or anything looked out of place.
Practice these skills and do it intelligently and not out of paranoia. Being able to assess quickly your location, those individuals around you, and what feelings you have about all these things can be the edge that you have over terrorism.
Remember that if something does go down, especially an active shooter, you must find cover or concealment. Keep moving and remember distance between the attacker an yourself or your loved ones.
Know your gear and be comfortable with it. Especially your weapons systems. If you are good with your gear you won’t have to divert your attention or take time to use your gear.
One of the greatest tools that can be used to combat terrorism is to simply get citizens involved and make sure they understand how important it is to report anything that is out of place. This is especially true at airports because they have been successful before and many other terrorist attempts have been stopped. Having the citizens get involved is one of the most powerful ways to combat terrorism. It can give the authorities thousands of eyes and ears to watch for suspicious behavior.
Terrorism is something that can be stopped. It is important to stop them quickly. It can be done as long as everyone comes together and does their part to ensure the country’s safety.
Remember what Benjamin Franklin said however:
"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Non-Lethal Option: Pepper Spray

Pepper spray is another option for self-defense. It is considered non-lethal even though in 2014 a 24 year old man died after being pepper sprayed and then restrained on his stomach. Security guards had a knee in his back and he complained he couldn’t breathe. This is definitely the exception, not the rule.
There are generally three different products used as self-defense spray, CS, CN, and OC.
CS gas is tear gas (Orthochlorobenzalmalonitrile). The name "CS" comes from its both discoverer Corson and Stoughton.
CN gas is also a tear gas (Chloroacetophenone). CS and CN gas is a chemical agent.
CN was created in 1870 in Germany and used in WWI. CS was developed in the 1950’s.
OC (OleoresinCapsicum) pepper spray was originally introduced in the U.S. in the 1980s by the Postal Service.
CS And CN: These chemical components irritate the membrane tissues and cause stinging and tearing. They can take from five to 30 seconds before they are effective and may not work if someone is drunk, on drugs, psychotic, or can't feel pain.
OC: This component is also well known as pepper spray and is an inflammatory agent; not an irritant. When someone is sprayed with OC pepper spray, the person's eyes slam shut. OC dilates the capillaries and causes temporary blindness.
The four types of pepper sprayers are broken stream, forced cone, fogger and foam.
Stream or Broken Stream: Think of a water pistol. Stream sprayers deliver more liquid pepper spray to the target, so someone getting hit in the face with a stream of pepper spray is taking a big hit. But they also get used up faster. Streams often have a longer range than a forced cone pepper spray. Another plus to streams are the low risk of blow back, which is what might happen if you shoot a mist of pepper spray into the breeze and it comes back and hits you too.
Forced Cone Spray: Most of the smaller 1/2 oz. personal size pepper sprays are forced cone sprays. The spray pattern is circular and covers a width of about two feet; approximately the size of a human head. The range of the forced cone spray is about six to 12 feet. The spray is a finer mist than the broken stream but is delivered in a forceful stream. The eyes will shut tight and fast. If the slightest amount of spray is inhaled, it will cause instant choking and uncontrollable coughing.
Foggers: A fogger type spray has finer droplets still than the forced cone and disperses wider. It is most effective in covering a larger area with pepper spray quickly; aim is less critical. Consider it for dealing with multiple attackers, crowd control, bears, or to defend the home. A pepper spray fogger can make a hallway uninhabitable in short order. The force with which the spray is dispersed is considerable. The attacker will always receive the majority of the spray even in windy conditions. Spray from a fogger style sprayer is the fastest acting of your choices.
Foams: This type of spray uses a thick, heavy foam with many effective ingredients. The wind has the least effect on this type of spray. Foam pepper spray piles up on the target as well. It accumulates, rather than running off, and is practically impossible to wipe off without assistance. The effects are instantaneously debilitating and get worse as the target tries to remove it, inadvertently rubbing it further into the skin.
Any self-defense spray takes some training and practice to use effectively. Wind is always an issue when using these sprays and blow back should always be avoided.
When learning to use the spray of your choice practice to be sure you understand operation of the canister. Every brand is just a little different. Know the safety features and how your spray works. Indexing (knowing which way the spray is pointing) is also important to know. Some sprays have features such as safeties or straps that make indexing easier.
I was trained in using an OC spray used by the military. But the chemical training I received was all in the CS or CN variety. My chemical warfare training involved a gas chamber with CS gas in it. We were to endure the gas as long as we could and then don and clear gas masks. My experience with OC spray was being directly sprayed in training with how to use this spray defensively. So I have a little experience with each of these types of sprays.
In my experience and with my research I have found OC to be what I feel is the best of the 3 types of sprays. There are some with all three agents together in their spray.
I’m limited in my use of different brands but after researching and watching many reviews of brands I’ve come to the conclusion that I favor the Sabre brand. Next would be the Mace brand. In think the Cold Steel Inferno and Fox brands seem pretty reliable too. But from what I can see, Sabre is my choice.
Defensive sprays can go bad so replace them often (I’d say every 6 months but at least annually). Use the replaced sprays for practice. If you have not taken a course in this find one online. There are practice sprays on the market with inert agent in them but like I said before, use the real deal that you replaced.
Check out this great review on Youtube
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Ways To Fight Terrorism

Something that should be reviewed in the wake of current problems. Here are some answers to how we stay safe in a dangerous world.

How To Recognize A Bomber 11/3/2016

Terrorism Can Happen Here: Prepare 1/27/2016

Evasion Driving 1/8/2016

On Being Violent: Your Violence Threshold 10/30/2015

Yellow to Orange 3/8/2014

Riot Security 9/30/2014

French Terrorism and Your Response To Threat 1/12/2015

Vigilance and "Some Sort of War" 8/6/2015

My heart and prayers go out to the devastated families of victims who were just trying to get to work, or school, or the market and lost their lives in a cowardice act of stupidity. Also, the missionaries and their Mission President that were injured in the blast. I pray for their speedy recovery.
I pray also for this country. And for our leaders. I don’t think they understand how to fight this type of war. We can learn from our allies Israel. They have been fighting this type of war for years.
If you are traveling, flying, or must go to a place with large crowds, be aware and vigilant.
Be safe America.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Terrorism Again

When one of these bad terrorist attacks happen, many people have an interesting response: they sign up for pistol courses to get licensed for concealed carry. The classes fill up quickly and gun shops do a land office business. This was especially true after 9-11, but I’m hearing similar reports following the London attack and Paris attack. I understand the impulse. I live in a small town. I don’t live in one of those huge front line cities that face a high probability of an attack, yet I find myself feeling glad to have the 9mm and some extra mags on me in these times when it seems like the war is everywhere. Places where I can’t take my gun, I just don’t go.
Gun grabbers and opponents of shall issue concealed carry are fond of pointing out that concealed handguns aren’t a lot of help in stopping suicide bombers. (OK, so what’s your point?) Show me something that has been successful with stopping the suicide bombers. However, experience has shown that armed civilians can help stop terrorist actions. Israel police spokesman Gil Kleiman said, “We’ve seen it time and time again. Armed civilians who are well-trained save people’s lives… If there isn’t a policeman on the scene, civilians can deal immediately with a terrorist situation.” In 2004, Abraham Rabinovich reported in The Washington Times, “Armed civilians have played a significant role in bringing down terrorists during the Palestinian uprising, most recently during an attack this week by a Palestinian gunman at a Tel Aviv restaurant where a wedding party was under way. A 46-year-old civilian packing a pistol fatally shot the terrorist at close range after three persons had been killed and he had been wounded. When a radio reporter asked the man whether he was a member of the security forces, he said he was a shoe salesman.” Imagine that, an ordinary citizen who can use a pistol lawfully and competently to save lives. (“That’s not supposed to happen. Only cops can have guns,” wails the Brady Campaign. “Someone might get hurt,” cries the Violence Policy Center.)
An armed civilian probably wouldn’t be able to stop a suicide bomber, unless an unusual combination of circumstances came together. But with gun attacks and kidnappings, an armed civilian on the scene could make a difference. The Twin Towers might be standing today if a few armed civilians had been on those planes. This begins to get at the true sense of what the founders meant when they talked about an unorganized citizen militia. They weren’t talking about small bands of extremists out in the woods plotting the overthrow of the government and they weren’t talking about the National Guard either. The founders were thinking about ordinary people who equipped themselves and weren’t on the government payroll who could respond to sudden threats when the army and law enforcement weren’t there or lacked the strength to respond effectively. Every time a civilian arms himself or herself, gets some training, and begins to think in terms of providing for the security of their home, their own family and themselves, they’re responding to the idea of the militia that the founders had in mind. It’s a good idea and a rational idea, despite the distortions of the concept we have seen in recent years. I think the need for civilians to take responsibility for their own security will only increase in the years to come. Our armed forces and law enforcement are stretched too thin to provide real security for American citizens (and I’m not sure I would want them to do be doing that even if they could).
Getting back to people signing up for pistol courses, I guess it’s better late than never, but the time to get prepared is now, not when things are falling apart. It’s a good thing that people are waking up to the reality that they have to take care of themselves. It’s good that they are abandoning the unrealistic expectation that the great nanny state will solve all of their problems. It can’t and it won’t.
More important than the tactical considerations of what kind of threat a CCW holder might be able to address, is the shift in psychology represented by people being willing to arm themselves in response to terrorist threats. It’s a shift from victim to fighter. It says, “I’m not going to be intimidated. I’m going to fight back.”
It's not just terrorists with radical Islamic beliefs that may be a threat. As America continues to decline morally and pass laws and make policies contrary to God, another group of "terrorists" may come forward, and that is the anarchists or others with deep hatred in their hearts and a desire to cause mayhem and even murder as a way to lash out at what they see as capitalism.
Who am I referring to by the term anarchist? I'm talking about the groups who form to protest at World Trade Organization conferences (a few, not all of course) and even the popular sit-ins around American cities in the last several years (quite a few that came to violence, such as Oakland, CA) are some of the same people I'm referring to now.
Of this group, a small number are capable of severe violence and may have murdered people in the past.
It's probable that "anarchists" isn't the best word to describe young Americans (and young adults from the UK) from counter-culture that band together to attack other people. But they're out there, such as the terrorist attack at Columbine in 1999, where two high school students walked into school and started shooting, or the numerous attacks over the years in different cities by other self-described anarchists.
You don't have to be paranoid. You just simply have to be aware.
As someone who is well versed in security, as well as last days prophecy -- I'd like to advise you to be on the alert (by simply being aware) not just for Islamic radicals -- but young, white Americans (anarchists) from counter culture. If terrorist attacks become more common in America in the months and years ahead, these guys could be responsible for more than one. The Brussels attack was probably due to open borders. I am just guessing. But the fact that it was at the airport and subway systems tells me it was planned and coordinated. Carrying a gun would not have helped anyone in Brussels, but perhaps being alert and aware might have made the difference for someone in the ambush zone.
Practice a heightened situational awareness. Avoid large crowds and keep your head on a swivel.
Stay safe
Semper Paratus
Check 6

A Conservative With A Gun

What is interesting about liberals and gun control advocates is that they don’t have a problem with a good guy with a gun stopping a bad guy with a gun. As long as the good guy is not a trained citizen. The following is from an experience of a police officer.
“Some months ago I had the misfortune of having to perform an administrative task that had only the most tangential of connections to actual police work. It was my further misfortune that the task required a trip to a large metropolitan headquarters building, a place I visit as seldom as possible.
There, in one of the offices where the large department’s vast bureaucracy churns out a steady stream of mostly meaningless paperwork, I chanced to see, adorning the wall of one of the many cubicles, something I had never seen in any police station I had worked in or visited: a Barack Obama campaign sticker. I had come with another officer, and I very discretely directed his attention to the sticker, bringing a roll of his eyes and the whispered question: “What’s going on here?”
The cubicle’s occupant was absent, preventing what might have been an uncomfortable conversation. My partner and I finished our business, and as we drove back to our assigned station I asked him if he knew of any cops who had voted for Barack Obama. He didn’t, nor did I. Which is not to say there aren’t any. This large metro police department prides itself on diversity, after all, so I expect Mr. Obama got a few votes from within its ranks. But not from anyone at my station, where posting an Obama sticker on one’s cubicle would be all but unthinkable.
I’m a bit ashamed to admit I was once a liberal, the product of a religious high school and what is often referred to as an elite university. A few years of police work cured me of this affliction, but even before I came around I knew enough to keep my political opinions to myself.
Cops tend to be conservatives, perhaps because they spend the bulk of their day dealing with the consequences of failed liberal policies. Whatever liberals you might find in the department can mostly be found, like the absent cubicle dweller discussed above, in bureaucratic assignments that keep them safely shielded from the hazards of actual police work, and from those pesky consequences.”
One of the great ironies of the gun control debate is that everyone who calls for gun control still wants a man with a gun protecting him. Every governor in America has armed security. You have to go through a metal detector guarded by men with guns to get into the Capitol building. Barack Obama has hundreds of Secret Service agents carrying fully automatic weapons who protect his safety. Even run-of-the-mill Democrats who want to take guns away from everyone else will unhesitatingly pick up the phone and call the police if they feel threatened -- so that a man with a gun can show up and make them safe.
Ron Kessler’s book, “In the President's Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect” quotes former Secret Service agent Lloyd Bulman alleging,  “Hillary was very rude to agents, and she didn’t appear to like law enforcement or the military. She wouldn’t go over and meet military people or police officers, as most protectees do. She was just really rude to almost everybody. She’d act like she didn’t want you around, like you were beneath her.”
Former FBI agent Coy Copeland said Hillary had a “standing rule that no one spoke to her when she was going from one location to another. In fact, anyone who would see her coming would just step into the first available office.”
Yet another former agent protecting Hillary: “Hillary never talked to us . . . Most all members of first families would talk to us and smile. She never did that.”
Finally, one agent concludes, “We spent years with her. She never said thank you.”
I don’t know if this book has true stories in it or not but Ron Kessler has written other books on the Secret Service. That doesn’t make these stories true. But it would fit in with how gun control advocates seem to be protected by a Conservative with a gun.
On her television show, April 19, 1999, Rosie O’Donnell had this to say about gun owners: “I don’t care if you want to hunt. I don’t care if you think it’s your right. I say, ‘Sorry.’ It is 1999. We have had enough as a nation. You are not allowed to own a gun, and if you do own a gun I think you should go to prison.” Several months later, a bodyguard in her employ applied for a concealed gun permit from the Greenwich (Connecticut) Police Department. When queried about whether her bodyguard should carry a gun on May 24, 2000, she said, ‘I don’t personally own a gun, but if you are qualified, licensed and registered, I have no problem.'
Gun control advocates live this double life all the time. I think it’s a double standard. Most of law enforcement is conservative. They are compelled by their oath to protect all, even those liberals who seem bent on taking guns away.
Then there was the comedian Jordan Klepper from the old Daily Show who set out to become a “good guy with a gun.” He failed miserably. Supposedly this proved that stopping a bad guy with a gun takes a good guy with one. I don’t agree. He went through the cursory steps of training to obtain a concealed carry license. Then he thought he could thwart an active shooter in a shoot house (an abandoned school used for active shooter training). The idiot got shot in every scenario he encountered. What a surprise. And from this lame exercise the conclusion was that a good guy with a gun is a false theory. This is just another joke where those who know nothing about firearms and tactical shooting try to prove a point. They forget that a concealed carry permit is really only designed for the carrier to protect themselves, not to become a SWAT team member. I guess they think that self-defense means something else.
Good guys with guns, military and law enforcement, are generally conservatives. Liberals and their skewed thinking are almost always counting on a conservative to protect them. I think that is a cowards way. But as I’ve said before, liberals are usually cowards.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Monday, March 21, 2016

A Sad Day For Music

I don’t comment on too many things that don’t pertain to guns or preparedness.
"I don't think you'll see us performing again."
This is a quote from Don Henley of the band The Eagles. I mention this only because I think it’s significant. It is at least for me. The Eagles has been my favorite band with the Beatles coming in a close second.
I’m saddened by Don’s and the bands decision, but I do understand. It would not be the same without Glen.
If you want a treat, listen to the Eagle’s album “One The Border”. It is amazing.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Preparation Mindset

I have grown up in the Mormon Church. As some of you may know, members of the LDS faith are counselled by their leaders to
“Let every head of every household see to it that he has on hand enough food and clothing, and, where possible, fuel also, for at least a year ahead.”
April 1937 J. Reuben Clark
Preparedness is a mindset. Each of us lives different lives. My Mother was a child when the depression hit. She lived on a farm and so already had somewhat of a self-sufficient attitude. I am a child of the 1960’s. This was not a time where provident living was generally taught. But as a Mormon and the son of those who lived through the depression, I was taught somewhat of provident living. A saying I heard throughout my life from my Grand ma reed and my Mother was, “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”
I am not suggesting in this time of prosperity to live like the depression, but having the “Use it up” mindset will get you far.
Repurpose things. We replaced our old box spring on our bed. I took the material off the frame and we used the frame as a trellis in our garden. I’ve also become a great dumpster diver. We built raised bed garden beds from pallets. They work really well.
When we have left-overs we usually eat them. But if there is food that will go bad or not get eaten it goes to: The chickens, the dog, compost pile, worm bin. Waste very little.
This kind of thinking will help you when times are difficult or in a disaster.
Do you know how to:
Start a campfire
Start a cookfire
Make a quilt from scrap material
Build various items from recycled wood (carpenter skills)
Can vegetables
Purify water
Build a shelter
Basic automotive skills
Shoot a gun
Dehydrating food
Basic gunsmithing
First aid
Basic electricity
The list goes on and on…
Skills and knowledge are the building blocks of preparedness. Is gear important? Yes it can be. But if you don’t have matches (gear) could you build a bow and drill to start a fire (skill)?
You can learn from each other. Ask someone who knows to teach you their skill. Books and magazines can teach you. The internet can teach you You tube is a good source. Be careful and make sure what you are learning is the correct and safe way of doing that skill. Sometimes the internet can be scary. The Boy Scouts can help with outdoor skills. They would be happy to teach or you can learn from their materials (merit badge books). Ask someone who may do a skill you want to learn for a living to teach basic things. Doctors and nurses, mechanics, carpenters, etc. If you have someone repairing your dryer ask if they would mind you watching to learn a little.
I can hand you a piece of gear and you may not know what to do with it. If I teach you a skill, you will always have that. You may need gear to do that skill but with that knowledge you may even be able to substitute other items for the regular gear you would need for that skill. The knowledge will always be there, the gear won’t.
Preparedness and security are two things that must become a mindset.
For instance. When I look at items for camping I think about how I can use them for preparedness. A bug out bag, a bug in kit, a get home bag, etc. This is also done with a preparedness mindset. How else can I use that item? Can I repurpose that item to become better prepared? In the garden? In the shed? Can that item be used or repurposed in the house? This is how I look things and have for many years. I look at things on the side of the road that someone is throwing out and ask the above questions. I also keep a collection of certain things on hand. Scrap lumber and metal. Pallets and sometimes old furniture. I know, it sounds like junk and there are times when I cull through it and get rid of things. But wire, fencing, wheels, carpeting and many other things are always around. I use them often to fix things or to build other items. This can get out of control and become a junk yard if you aren’t particular about what you keep. You risk becoming a hoarder or at least having too much. I designate some places on our property to store these items and keep them at a minimum. If it has been too long (a few years) and I have not used that item, I throw it out.
Being prepared in many areas is a process. We started with the basics and then learned more and more. Prioritizing your preparedness is important. You can start with the basics.
I use the acronym ASWiFFS. The basics of survival are: Air, Shelter, Water, Food, Fire, Security.
If you can cover these 6 areas with some built in redundancy, then you can move to other areas.
Air is pretty much everywhere. The only thing we may be able to control is how we breath. N95 masks or gas masks can cover this area. Otherwise, air is all around us.
Shelter can start with your home. Next would be maybe a vehicle. An alternate would be a tent. For my family we start with our home. Then we have a family camping tent. We also have individual tents and some back packing tents. I include in this are the wilderness skill of finding and making shelter in the wild. Ever made a debris shelter? This is something that can be researched and then practiced so you have some experience with it. In our bug out bags we have tube tents. That’s a good thing to have but more important is how to use it. Set it up on a weekend in your back yard. Maybe use one the next time you go camping. This way you will learn if it works and if you like how it works. You may not like it and can move to something else for short term portable shelter.
Water is very important in our lives. Our bodies are made of 50 to 65% of water. It is imperative to have water to live. We have a well but this requires electricity. We have a separate power source to run our well in an emergency. We also have an extensive water storage. We also have various water filters available and have used them so we know their limits and how they work. Do you know how to use water purifying tablets? Do you know how to safely boil water so that it is potable? Could you fashion a water filter from a 20 ounce soda bottle and other items? These things are not difficult to do or learn but as in all things, you must do them to get experience. Do you know of any water sources near your house? This should be found before a disaster or emergency situation. I like a lot of redundancy concerning water.
We have a food storage program in our home and have used our storage for years. We worked on this our entire 30+ years of marriage and my wife knows what works and what doesn’t. This has been years of experience in how to store, rotate, cook and use our stored food. We have a garden every year and have worked to learn how to be successful with growing our own food. I often think we’ve been asked by our Church leaders to become prepared because it takes a while to learn some of these skills. You can’t just say you will grow your own food during a disaster if you haven’t put in the time to learn how to garden or raise fruit or livestock. These take some time to learn. There are also many ways to cook food in an emergency situation. Can you cook on a campfire? A solar oven? On a camping stove? This is part of the process of storing, raising, and cooking food.
The second “F” in ASWiFFS is fire. If you know several ways to make fire then you are prepared. Fire is used to cook, for warmth, for light, for comfort, to purify water, and other uses. There are many and various ways of producing fire. Turning on the stove or oven is just one of those ways. Do you know the difference between a cooking fire and a signal fire? Do you know how to build a fire that will produce coals quickly to cook on? Can you make fire without a lighter, matches, or sparker? These are all skills that have to be learned and practiced. Next time you want to barbeque practice a different way of starting your fire. Do you know how to make char cloth and what it’s used for? Do you know how to use and build a bow and drill? Can you use flint and steel to make a fire? Can you identify and find flint?
Security is a large area of expertise. We can secure our homes in many different ways. We can fortify our homes. We can learn and practice several ways of defense. Can you shoot, maintain, and be safe with a gun? Do you know the proper way to use a defensive baton, pepper spray, or a stun gun? Do you know any kind of level of hand to hand combat? Can you secure a perimeter of a campsite? Security is also a mindset that must be learned and maintained.
These 6 areas are only the beginning of your preparedness.
On April 15, 1912 at 2:20 AM a significant moment in history happened.
The unsinkable Titanic hit an iceberg and sank taking with it over 1500 people. The ship was considered unsinkable because of the 16 compartments in the hull it could stay afloat with 4 of them flooded. The chances of that were slim but that was the very case on that April morning. Had the captain seen the iceberg and hit it strait on the ship would have likely survived. But he attempted to turn away from the iceberg compromising 5 compartments as the ship slid along the iceberg. What a horrible tragedy. To make matters worse, lifeboats would only carry 53.4% of the ships passengers and crew.
In our preparedness each of us have our own Titanic. Maybe more than one. There is that one thing you simply cannot do without. For me it is a hot shower. In an emergency my 5th chamber would be if I could not have a hot shower. So I’ve taken care of that Titanic event. I’ve built an outside shower that can be heated with regular hot water heater water, solar heated water, or even a solar camping shower.
What is your Titanic event? Would you just not do well without some chocolate? Canning chocolate candy in canning jars keeps it for some time. I think we’ve had it last a least a year that way. There is also vacuum packing. Find your Titanic 5th compartment and do something that will relieve you of that burden.
Preparedness takes time, commitment, and usually some money. I recommend taking care of these 6 basics and then worrying about alternative power or transportation. Those addition things will come up as you procure your gear and other items, and sometimes circumstances will dictate the direction you go and the topic to work on next. You will get to a point where you can work on several things at once. It is a building process that can be overwhelming at first, but in time, you can see your progress and be less overwhelmed until you are confident in most areas. Know also that 98% of Mormons are NOT prepared.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Politically Correct. Not That There's Anything Wrong With That...

Everyone does it. No one really wants to offend anyone. Sometimes we try to clarify what we mean and sometimes that comes across as being politically correct. In some ways it is.
Do you remember the Seinfeld episode called “The Outing”? In this episode George and Jerry are mistakenly viewed as being gay. As they discuss this they deny it by saying, “We’re not Gay! …not that there’s anything wrong with that…”
Well this is a typical person trying not to be offensive. They are being politically correct.
I think that it’s not a horrible thing to not want to be offensive. We all should be more kind. But sometimes that can be to the extreme …not that there’s anything wrong with that…
Here’s the deal. There’s a fine line between political correctness and not being offensive. I think I may have been seen as being racist or sexist at times. I don’t think that I am. I don’t want anyone to be discriminated against because of race or gender. We should give people the benefit of the doubt. But I also think that we should not be stupid with this and call everyone who may not get along with other cultures a racist. There are times when all of us have a personality clash with another person. Sometimes the foundation of that difference may have to do with a cultural difference. Often cultural differences mean a different race. If I don’t agree with “Black Lives Matters” does that make me racist if I am a different race? I don’t think it does but many people like to throw out their race card.
Today, we’re left to deal with the dangers of our politically correct society; one where society paints good guys as bad. If you choose to carry a firearm, defend yourself, or even consider taking another human’s life to protect a loved one, you’re demonized. It’s a sad state indeed, but we’re finally reaping what we’ve sowed.
Why is this such a hard concept to grasp and why is there so much push back? My gut tells me it’s simply about control. There are many groups within our country who don’t want life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness to be extolled. Instead, they want you to fall in line and live according to their ideas. If that notion doesn’t scare the crap out of you, then you’re probably on the wrong side of this discussion.
I loved growing up as a kid, sleeping with my windows open and sometimes even the doors open. It was a great time to be a kid for sure, but today we live in a drastically different world.
It shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out many crimes are targeted against defenseless or weak targets. I wonder why that is; I wonder if we could look at the animal kingdom and see a similar pattern? Could it be that the lioness is chasing after the weaker of the prey in order to guarantee a meal? If she fails to catch and kill her prey, she doesn’t eat. It really is that simple; in order to increase the chances of success, evil will choose the weaker or soft target.
A new study released by Stanford University entitled “Mass Shootings of America” or MSA has determined that most mass shootings were largely conducted in “gun free” zones. No kidding? I think I’ll fall over and die from that surprise (dripping with sarcasm). If anyone is still convinced gun free zones are safe, they’re ignorant.
“The definition of mass shooting used for the Stanford database is 3 or more shooting victims (not necessarily fatalities), not including the shooter. The shooting must not be identifiably gang or drug related. The motive typically appears to be indiscriminate killing.”
If we know they’ll more than likely target gun free zones, what can we do to help deter them from doing so? Many are quick to comment that the presence of armed, uniformed officers or security guards is enough and while I believe it’s a step in the right direction, it’s not the only solution.
Being politically correct gets people killed. I’m not advocating being racist, sexist, or just plain mean. But we should be able to speak plainly. We have been attacked by Islamic extremists. Is it too much to ask that we are careful with Muslims coming into this country? Is it too much to ask that an American Muslim do their best to show their patriotism and allegiance to the U.S.? I know this is not particularly fair, but it is reality. Black people have dealt with this unfairly for years. If you want change in this country you must be patient. Sometimes a generation must pass away. I would hope that is not the case with real change. My Grandfather fired hands on his farm in the 40’s because they were treating paid black farm hands horribly. He was from a generation where discrimination against blacks was very common, but he understood how wrong it was.
We can be this way too. We can recognize how wrong it is to profile people and to stereotype them into any type of pigeon hole. We can see people for who they are regardless of their culture or skin color. There are jerks and idiots of every color.
The First Amendment of the Constitution guarantees that I can say whatever I want in this country. There is a reason that this is the first amendment of the Bill of rights. Many of the other bills are connected to this free expression. But also, you will notice that the very first thing that the forefathers of this country wanted to establish was freedom of religion. Religion was before free speech in this amendment. I think that is significant.
Everyone has an opinion. Everyone should be able to express that opinion. I feel that illegal aliens in this country should not be able to enjoy the fruits of this country. My opinion is that what part of “illegal” do we not understand? If I do something illegal I must pay the price of that broken law. Does this make me anti-Mexican? I don’t think it does. Talk to a Border Patrol agent and he will tell you he gets just as many OTM’s (other than Mexican) trying to enter this country illegally. Immigration is not just about Mexicans. Liberal thinking sometimes makes me want to be that “ugly conservative”. Liberal views often paint anyone against typical liberal causes, like immigration, as racists. I think President Obama has perpetuated this ridicules attitude. I’m not a Donald Trump fan, but he often says things that he feels and is labeled for it. Politically correct people often paint the first amendment as something that is limited to agreeing with them. Sometimes freedom of speech is not nice. This is where I think people should be kind, not politically correct.
There is a comic strip where a black boy says to his white friend “I like being black.” The white boy says “I like being white”. The last panel is the black boy saying, “Racist!” This is how it has become. There are times when I agree with the T-shirt slogan I saw the other day:
“Politically Correct
A term used to describe whiney, overly sensitive pansies who need the big, bad, real world all sugar-coated.” There is another that I will end this article with.
“You find it offensive? I find it funny. That’s why I’m happier than you.”
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Home Defense Bag: A Bump In The Night

Last weekend I was reading late at night. My wife was asleep and 2 of my teenaged kids were gone spending the night in other places. My 3rd teenager I had just seen about an hour before going to bed. She had not come down the stairs so I knew she was still in her room, presumably asleep. I heard a crash downstairs. The cat was at the foot of the bed. Maybe one of the kids that were supposed to be out were back. No, if that was so they could not have gotten in because I had locked the front door and there is a lock on it that cannot be unlocked from outside. All these things went through my mind quickly. I grabbed a 9mm and a flashlight and carefully made my way downstairs turning on lights as I went. I was able to go through every room finding nothing out of place and no one. I even checked the front of the house, turning on the porch light and seeing the dog look up at me through the window. She had been asleep, not up barking. Short of a ghost, I don’t know what make the crash sound. I expected pans in the dish drain to have finally given up their precarious perch. But I found nothing.
I’ve thought about that experience. I was fairly prepared with a gun and bright light. If it wa indeed one of my kids come home early I would have been able to recognize the target and not shot one of my family members. I am grateful it was nothing and that I didn’t have to try and defend myself and those upstairs. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone out my front door in pajama bottoms and a t-shirt because the dog was going crazy or the chickens were making a racket. I finally put a baseball bat in the corner behind the front door and a shotgun up high near the front door too. I think I need to add a flashlight to that preparation too. I should never go out that door at night without a light and a weapon. We live in the country and are fairly isolated so neighbors are not an issue.
I have since reviewed my gear and procedures if something like that ever happened again. I think that maybe grabbing my cell phone, putting on some sort of foot covering, and waking my wife to tell her where I was going, might be some changes I would implement. I’ve also considered hiding a gun near the front door so as to not provide a gun to someone who just broke in. Also, I took the only gun readily available in our bed room. I left my wife having to go to the hall to retrieve a gun we have hidden there instead of providing her something faster and closer if I were to leave. This made me think that maybe a defense
What or how have you prepared for the Bump in the night?
As I’ve mentioned before, I like kits. Get home bags, bug out bags, first aid kits, all of these strike a chord with me.
So I offer a Home Defense Bag.
Use a sturdy bag preferably with a grab handle and a shoulder strap so it can be put on over sleeping clothes if need be.
Suggested inventory:
Defense weapon of choice. I like a hand gun because of it’s portability. A riot shotgun would be another choice. Whatever gun you choose, be proficient in it’s use.
Flash light
Cell phone
Knife. My favorite folder. Other choices for a backup weapon could be pepper spray. I’d recommend bear spray. Another would be a defensive wand. You should have some training with these weapons.
Keys. House, car, gate, etc.
2 spare magazines if using a autoloader.
Spare ammo for whichever gun you choose.
Spare knife. Preferably a rescue type with glass breaker and seatbelt cutter.
Spare flashlight and batteries.
Pad and pen
First aid kit (level 1)
Multi tool
Restraints. Handcuffs or zip ties.
You should have some sort of foot wear near. Something with a tread such as slippers with a sole.
Wear dark or subdued colored night clothes. If you find yourself sneaking around your house you don’t want to be obvious to an intruder.
This bag can also double as a vehicle defense bag.
Having something at your fingertips is an important aspect of preparedness especially late at night in the dark.
The reason I like kits is that they give me a peace of mind and security in knowing that it’s always there for my support. Remember, gear is only a support role. Training and experience are more important than gear.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Monday, March 14, 2016

Gas Station Security: Don't Be Vulnerable

One of the most vulnerable times that we have to attack is getting in or out of our vehicle. This is something many people just do without thought or vigilance. Add to that already risky time a specific task, like pumping gas, and it can turn into a disaster.
The problem is, you’re not distracted with your phone, but with getting the fuel for your vehicle, something we all do, and will do again.
One thing I want to point out first has nothing to do with a carjacker or an attacker. It has to do with safety more than security.
I’ve worked around active military flightlines my entire life. When it comes to refueling a plane I know that steps are taken to avoid static electricity or spills. At a gas station you should not use hand held electronic devices. Not only is there a risk of explosion, the device takes your attention away from what you are doing, and your security. Make sure the nozzle is in contact with the metal filler tube of your vehicle. This will ground the nozzle with the vehicle. Also, modern stations have an emergency switch somewhere. It will be a red box or button and should be clearly marked. If you can’t find it ask the attendant. Know where this is. It will stop the flow of fuel for the entire station. And of course lastly, don’t smoke while refueling.
Now on to security tips.
Before you exit the vehicle take your keys with you. Also, make sure your doors are locked except the driver’s door. I’ve done it before and caught myself leaving the keys in the vehicle. I’m standing right there, but all it takes is someone to jump in the vehicle and lock the doors. They can drive off whenever they choose and leave you with a nozzle in your hand. Locking the doors stops a thief from getting in the passenger door and grabbing a purse or anything else that is in your vehicle. If you must go into the store or to a kiosk to pay for your gas, lock your car completely. Remember to roll up windows too. By the same token, don’t leave things visible that will be tempting to steal such as laptops iPods, a purse, etc.
Choose a safe station. If you are familiar with the area make sure you get your gas in a safe neighborhood. I know, any neighborhood can have crime, but the wrong side of town can sometimes have more risk. If you are traveling and don’t know the area, look around. Are there boarded up buildings and lots of graffiti around? Maybe a different location would be better. If you stop at a restaurant ask about what area is safe and which is not so much. Keep your tank at a half or more and make more trips to the gas station rather than be on empty and “have” to get gas now regardless of location.
It’s not always possible, like location, but choose daylight hours to gas up. A busy time where there are lots of people are best.
Keeping your head up and not so intent of fueling is also important. Most criminals are not interested in someone who is aware and watching them even before they get close. They would rather catch someone on their phone or more interested in gassing up than what is going on around them.
I’ve been surprised before and I don’t want it to happen again. It was someone selling bread for charity luckily but my hand went to my weapon before I realized there was no threat. I vowed that would never happen again. Not only should you pay attention to someone coming into your area, but another car getting gas on the other side of your pump should be observed and assessed. You’re usually in a small area between your car and the pumps so you’re kind of isolated. If the nozzle is pumping automatically, step out of the zone to give yourself room to see and maneuver. You should be within a few steps of your nozzle in case of a problem with your fill, but you can step back slightly. If you’re not sure about the area you are in and there is someone with you, you both should be out with someone on “over-watch” watching what is going on around you while the other concentrates on the refueling task. My wife and I do this on trips where we’re not sure of the area.
Most of what we’ve talked about here is not convenient. Security and safety rarely are convenient. To be a hard target takes effort and some planning. That should not be unusual to you if you have a security mindset. If you want to be random in your operations and secure in your communications convenience is probably not at the top of your list.
Keep your head on a swivel and make secure choices and you will find safety and security in your life.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Weight Of Concealed Carry

Have you ever been humbled? Have you ever had to swallow your pride? Most people can remember a time when they knew they were wrong, admitted it, and maybe you were embarrassed.
Do you carry a gun? Are you considering carrying a gun? Then if you are thinking about or already are carrying a gun I hope you are a calm person. I hope you are not easily angered and can forgive. I hope you have some people skills in that you can de-escalate a situation where someone else is angry or upset because of something you did or said.
Road rage is a pretty common thing. It rates from calling other drivers names to honking to following someone and confronting them. You must be different. You must be more kind and understanding. Every person who drives eventually will make a minor mistake that will make another driver upset. Every driver. We all try to drive the best we can. But if you want to carry a weapon you must be more understanding and calm than the average person. My wife is pretty calm and mild mannered. When she gets behind the wheel I see a different person! She’s not horrible, but she is not herself. This is something you must control to be a concealed carry participant.
Consuming alcohol is every adult’s choice. The name of this blog is LDS Gunsite. Most members of the Mormon faith choose to not consume alcohol. Whether you are LDS or not, you must control your alcoholic consumption. First of all, alcohol and firearms DO NOT MIX! Second, I don’t care whether someone is below the legal limit, alcohol impairs your judgement. You may be able to legally drive but you should not be under alcohols influence, to any degree, and carry a gun. Conflict and anger are difficult enough to deal with without adding less control to the mix. If you carry, do not consume alcohol. I know that some people out there think they can handle their alcohol use but in my opinion, you cannot mix alcohol and a firearm, ever.
Stress is something we all must deal with to a certain degree. Being in a stressful situation is another unavoidable thing that we must mitigate well if we want to carry a gun. Stress can often influence us to do or say things we would not under normal conditions. Avoiding stress is not only healthy, it is imperative if you want to carry a gun.
I have two strikes against me concerning anger. I’m Irish and I have red hair. I’ve had to work long and hard to control my temper. I’ve carried a gun for years and know that anger is a little like alcohol; it takes away your control. If you have a hot head, be smart enough and adult enough to know this about yourself and don’t carry a gun. If you’re not sure, ask someone who knows you well and tell them to be honest. Ask them if they think you’re a hothead.
Maturity is such a subjective thing. I’ve known 40 year olds who were immature. Age has little to do with it. This is another self-evaluation you must honestly do on yourself. With this too, ask someone who knows you well if they think you’re mature. I don’t mean if you act a little silly or crazy at times. Maturity and humor don’t have much to do with each other. If someone is funny or likes to play around that is fine, as long as they can be serious too. Carrying a gun is serious business and should be regarded as serious. If you can be serious concerning your carrying a gun then I don’t care how many jokes you crack.
Part of maturity is swallowing your pride, admitting when you’re wrong, and being humble. This is another trait that should be exercised in a gun carrier. Depending on your wits and where your head is at, when you’re armed every fight is a potential gun fight. You can’t afford to pick a fight. You can’t afford to be in a fight. Pulling your gun should be only, and I repeat, only because you or another is in grave danger. Your gun is not punctuation for the point you want to make. Your gun is not the solution and contrary to the name, your gun is not a “peacemaker.” It is a tool for defense. Your definition of defense should be focused and narrow. You should not pull your gun unless you intend to actually use it. That does not mean that IF you draw it you MUST shoot it. Your gun should not be a brandishing tool.
As a responsible gun carrier you should develop and use all your powers of control and persuasiveness to control your emotions, and de-escalate your situation. You must be diplomatic and if it means giving a big mouthed idiot a feeling of grandeur and superiority, then so be it!
If you must draw your weapon because your, or others, are in grave danger, the situation must be worthy of that action. If it is not, you will be responsible for anything unfortunate that happens. If you do have a real reason to have your gun aimed at a target, you are still responsible for every bullet that leaves your gun. You will have moral and legal consequences. Even if you are cleared of any wrong doing legally, you will have to live with the fact that you shot or killed another human being.
If you can live with all of the above gun carrying “rules”, then by all means, carry a gun. If you have any misgivings about ANYTHING I’ve described here, do not carry a gun.
Only you know the answer to the question of whether you can do this. You must be brutally honest with yourself and search your soul for this answer. Then be responsible in in your action or inaction.
You should think on this decision. You should get all the information you can on this subject. You should ask those who have made this decision for advice. I also feel you should pray about this decision.
Never take the privilege and right to self-defense for granted. Never take it lightly.
If you decide to carry, great! Now get trained, be safe, and practice.
Decide and act.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Honest Shooting: Reality and Training

I just wrote about this. Yesterday I posted an article “Distance Is Your Friend: The 21 Foot “Rule””. I spoke about training and about being shot.
Before I go on let me be clear that I hope Pastor Tim Remington completely recovers from his horrible shooting and I am grateful his attacker was caught. I don’t know the reason for this attack, but hope it was just the work of a troubled vet that I hope gets the help he needs.
Having said that, there are some thing we can learn from this tragedy.

This incident did not happen in a dark alley somewhere at 3 AM. It happened in broad daylight (about 2PM) in the parking lot of Pastor Tim’s church.
We learn that it doesn’t matter where, or what time, this can happen anywhere, anytime. As far as security at Church, statistically these happen before, after meetings and usually in hallways, offices, and parking lots. Without referring to the above incident I would say that situational awareness often comes into play. All of us should be more aware of what is going on around us. Having heads up doesn’t stop any attack, but usually the victim may see it coming or see it developing and avoid it altogether.

We also learn that handgun rounds, and even rifle rounds under the right conditions, can be ineffective. We talk about “stopping power” of rounds all the time. This is a fallacy and shot placement is most important. Thankfully, Pastor Tim was shot 6 times but was not hit anywhere vital. He was even shot in the head and as of this writing is in the hospital in fair condition. This is miraculous considering he was shot at point blank range. This is more common than has been reported.
Because of this, our training should be better balanced in accuracy and tactical.

Those who train for self-defense can over estimate their gear (gun, ammo, sights) and their ability. The attacker above was a former Marine so he had weapons training. He was also educated with a degree in biochemistry. This is proof that we must train better and become better at recognizing problems so that we can avoid them, but be good enough if we can’t. Pastor Tim’s assailant was over confident and thought he couldn’t miss. Also, I think divine intervention came into play and he was blessed. Others are not as fortunate. (See blog 5/28/2015, How To Achieve Security At Church)

Shot placement matters. Pistol rounds all suck. Some suck less than others. And no matter what you're shooting, the effectiveness is going to be 95% placement and 5% caliber.

Skulls are harder than you think and vary greatly. One of the rounds struck Pastor Tim in the head. His skull stopped it. Thank goodness. There are many stories of those who have been shot in the helmet in combat. Sometimes the bullet penetrates the helmet and skin, hits the skull, follows the contour of their skull under the skin to the back of their head, and exits through the skin on the back of the skull and through the helmet. It’s happened before.

It has been said that “Owning a guitar doesn’t make you a musician” and that is true of a firearm. Do not be fooled into your vision of your untested abilities. There are times I go to the range and feel like I’m ready to tear up targets and that’s the day I can hardly hit the darn thing! Being honest about your abilities, going to the range and proving to yourself that you can hit the broad side of a B27 target, is most important. If you evaluate yourself honestly you may find that a change is in order. If you are not going to an actual range at least twice a month (and I KNOW this is way too little for me!) then you’re skills are severely diminished. I’m sorry. Unless you are a sponsored competitor, you will need to practice often. I know that competitors practice often. I also know that I can see a difference if I miss a week of shooting at the range. Don’t under estimate the importance of dry firing daily. I do and I think everyone should dry fire.

I hope that Pastor Tim is recovering well and his family is comforted at this difficult time. They are in our prayers. I also hope we can all learn from this horrible event.

Semper Paratus
Check 6