Open Carry and Swatting

Open Carry and Swatting

The gun control lobby and certain citizens at large who do not believe that anyone should own, or carry a firearm are putting legal gun owners, police and citizens in danger (Chiaramonte, 2015).

It is called “swatting” when people see you carrying a firearm or even suspect you are concealing one, and then call the police (911). People with an agenda in most cases, falsely report you are doing something illegal just to get the police to show up, and hope they drag you off to jail. In some instances a person is reported as a “suspicious person” and is acting in a threatening manner and of course has a gun on them.

Most of the time the reports have been exaggerated to inflame the situation. For example, stating a person is brandishing a firearm or a person has threatened another with a gun when this is simply not the case. Some do this in hopes there is a confrontation (a violent one possibly?) between the police and the gun owner.

This of course puts the police on high alert and can get the gun owner, the police or citizens in the area injured or killed. Any confrontation would be tense to say the least, because the police are responding to, in many cases, a 911 call about someone with a firearm, a so-called emergency, so the only information they have is what the caller wants them to have. The anti-gun lobby is doing this to incite the police to essentially harass gun owners who are doing nothing wrong.

Should You Open Carry If It Is Allowed In Your State

First, just because your state does allow open carry per the constitution does not mean that those that cannot legally own a firearm can carry one openly or otherwise.

Police unless they ask for and check your identification do not know if you can legally own a firearm or not just by looking at you. Like it or not there are laws that prohibit certain individuals from owning a firearm. Everyone has an opinion on who should be able to own one, and we will leave it at that for now, that is an argument for another day.

Of course there are those people that openly carry just to incite a response from others. They want to provoke others, to make a point, a statement, or whatever the case may be, and this is their right to do so if your state allows open carry, but also expect the police may want to check whether you can legally carry a firearm, if you draw enough attention to yourself.

Unfortunately, there are citizens that simply do not know the laws in their state concerning the carrying and possession of firearms. As often is the case, if they see a person who cannot be identified as a police officer carrying a firearm then the overly concerned citizen may call the police.

Openly carrying a firearm could in some instances deter crime. If someone, who plans on robbing a convenience store, sees an armed citizen, that person may think twice about robbing the store. However, those on drugs may not notice, nor care, they are not in control of their actions, and so may forge ahead with their robbery plans. In some rare cases a person may be targeted simply because someone wants his or her firearm.

It is a personal choice. However, if you know that the police in your area routinely stop those that open carry to check identification, then you have a decision to make. You can stand on principle, or blend in so you do not become a target every time you step out.

The reality is that those not trained in the use of a firearm are scared of them. They do not want to see them and they immediately judge those that carry or own a firearm, usually in a negative way. There are groups so radical that they believe that even sworn law enforcement should not be allowed to carry firearms.

Chiaramonte, P. (2015, September 1). Retrieved 2015, from http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/09/01/gun-control-groups-accused-swatting-open-carry-permit-holders-putting-lives-at/

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Preppers Seasonal Inspection

Preppers: Seasonal Inventory Inspection and Cleaning

Closer and closer to fall and then winter, so this means the seasons will change from oppressive heat to cooler and eventually to bitter cold in some parts of the country. In other parts of the country, the change will not be as dramatic, but change it will.

Changes in the weather means you have to change some of your gear out, or add some things to your emergency packs, things that may have been packed away all summer, and then you may have to pack certain other items away for the winter.

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Cotten Swabs Q-Tips

5 Survival Uses for Cotton Swabs (Q-tips)

For cleaning your ear canals right, well doctors do not recommend you put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear. Q-tips and ear canals do not mix well, because you can rupture your eardrum, and besides, ear wax plays an important role in protecting your ears. Why do they have two ends then, for two ears right.

There are various types of cotton swabs, one with wooden rods, and those with short plastic rods. Medical ones typically have the cotton swabs attached to a wooden dowel, and these do come packaged sterile, and they are considerably longer than swabs that are normally found in home medicine cabinets. Then you have cotton swabs designed to be used in model making and those specifically for cosmetic applications.

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Preppers: How Well Suited Are We for Different Environments

Preppers

Somewhere along the evolutionary trail the human brain became bigger. Bigger brains meant less physical work. We were able to fashion tools, weapons and build things like shelters. This meant we needed less physical attributes, because we could think and reason and to some extent figure out what the future held, by events occurring today.

If a hurricane struck relatively at the same time each year, early humans that lived in coastal areas, figured out that maybe they should prepare for next time, or pack up and move further inland until the crisis abated.

Humans are the only species on earth that can to some extent change their environment. If a mountain is in the way we do not build around it, we move it, and yet if exposed to the cold unprotected we could lose fingers or limbs or even die because of it just after a few hours in some cases.

A disease carried by tiny lice that hitched a ride on rats killed millions of humans during the dark ages. Too much sunlight can burn our skin and cause it to peel, and we can die just after a few hours exposed to blazing sunlight.

We cannot see in the dark and compared to other species our hearing and eyesight is poor. Our sense of smell is weak compared to other predators. We cannot drink the water unless it has been treated, or otherwise we may get sick or even die, meats have to be cooked to destroy bacteria or we could get sick and die, and while we can eat plants, many that we would find in the wild would kill us if consumed. We have big brains however.

Our brains were so big in fact; that we could not figure out that raw sewage dumped in the streets would find its way to the rivers, where we drew water for drinking and cooking, but not so much for bathing in Europe just a few centuries ago. We have killed ourselves off in record numbers, because we failed to see what was right in front of us.

What we do not always see is that nature has a system, and as big as our brains are we still think we can trick it, change it, and survive in it regardless of the situation. The will to live, to survive is strong, so strong that we can sometimes overcome the odds, but it is a hard slog and in some cases unnecessarily hard, because we failed to prepare.

We fail because of our bigger brains. Once you start thinking you are the smartest thing on earth then everything and everyone else is, well less smart, which only stands to reason right. Google makes everyone smart, but what happens when Google is gone, can you survive.

What Does All of This Have To Do With Being a Prepper?

Technology, and the fact we all think we are smarter than nature, has lulled us into thinking we have all the bases covered. It gives us all a false sense of security and for some this is needed so they can sleep at night. You can fool yourself for awhile, but when the crops fail to come on, when the rains stop and the snow begins and Google is just a faded memory what will you do. The tornado headed your way does not care about technology. It barrels on sucking up everything in its path mindlessly doing what it has done for millenniums.

Many of us have to stop thinking that someone or something mainly the government is going to come along and fix things for us, or have the answers we seek. It is not going to happen for most of us. Once in the midst of a crisis you are on your own, and you had better have your game face on to survive.

We need “stuff “to put it bluntly, because most of us cannot raise enough food to feed our own families even during the best of times. We do not have cattle, goats, chickens and dairy cows out in the barn, or acres of corn, beans, and peas always ready to pick. Crops need a growing season, so what will you do for food in the middle of winter.

We need supplies stockpiled and we need a lot, and if you do not know how much, you may have already lost the battle for survival. Remember, you cannot just go out and start gulping whatever water source is close to home, you need to know how to purify it first, you cannot just start eating plant life you find in the wild. You cannot just sit down and start gnawing on raw meat; it has to be cooked to kill the parasites and bacteria.

We need heavy clothing for the cold weather, we need protection from the hot sun and we need artificial light at night, we glasses and binoculars to spot threats around our camps or home, and we need to be alert because remember, we cannot hear well. We need a defense plan, and weapons to defend ourselves against stronger predators out there, and we need tools to survive.

We can hear well enough to talk on a phone, have a conversation if people are close or to listen to the radio or television, but can we hear a skilled predator stalking us in the wilds, most of us cannot until it’s too late. We cannot smell the threat unless the gnashing teeth are inches from our face, unless the meat tearing incisors are sunk in our necks.

All and all we humans are frail in comparison to other species. Our stomachs revolt when we change our diets. Our feet blister and sometimes give out after just a few miles of walking, and our backs are really only designed so we can walk or run upright. They are not designed for heavy loads. We are not load bearing mammals. We have back problems, we wear braces and we take pills and we have to be careful how we lift, how and where we walk and we have to control how much sugar and salt we can have.

We cannot bring down game with our claws and teeth, and then drag the kill to a safe spot to dine on it. We have to have weapons and tools in which to butcher and we need a means to cook that kill and we need refrigeration because we cannot eat rotting meat. We have to be smarter than the animals, and even when we are, we often times come home empty handed.

We have to hoard essentially, and have things at the ready for when disaster strikes, and if we do not, we may not survive. We have to think ahead as our brains are designed to do, because essentially that is the only advantage we have in this world, the ability to look ahead and say “you know what, if disaster struck tomorrow, we would need this, that and a few other things”.

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Water Security When Living Off Grid

Water Security Off Grid

Going off grid is the desire of many Preppers, and some have successfully done just that. It requires planning and hard work however, and furthermore, it requires you keep an eye on the future.

Some Internet bloggers and self-proclaimed survival experts predict a so-called golden hoard. Some believe, and possibly there is some credence to the theory, that a mass exodus of people from urban areas will flow across the land once the SHTF. People, according to the theory, will migrate mainly into rural areas seeking solace and a safe haven from the apocalypse.

The untrained and unprepared will swarm like locust trampling wheat fields, fouling fishing spots and shooting Bambi. The woods will ring with pleas for help, for food, and medicine and did we mention pleas for water. Yes your water will be at risk. Will it be safe?

Whether you believe in the golden hoard or not, is not really the point. The point is that water is a precious commodity even during times of peace and prosperity, and it needs to be protected at all times.

Wells

The early settlers in this country banded together behind the walls of forts for protection, and in the middle of the enclosed settlement there was usually a public well protected by the fort walls.

The well was cased with stone, and generally had a small well house built over it to keep animals out, to prevent contamination from ground runoff, and to keep humans from falling in as they stumbled about in the dark after too many pints of ale at the tavern. The well house was usually set up so a bucket could be raised and lowered.

Today, however, your well needs to be properly cased to prevent contamination, and to prevent tampering. If your cabin comes under siege, do you have access to water from inside the structure? Can your well be purposely or accidentally contaminated, can the flow be disrupted by anyone trying to force you out.

Typically, the deeper the well the cleaner the water, and the less chance of the well going dry, but this requires drilling. Drilling is expensive, but once the expense of it is out of the way, you would have a sustainable and renewable source of water likely for the rest of your life.

Of course you would need a pump and the means to supply that pump with power, by either solar, wind or hydro energy. A well 20 or 30 feet deep in the front yard is simply not secure. It can run dry in a minor drought, and essentially can be commandeered by anyone if you come under siege.

Cistern

Along with the well, you can collect rainwater and the most efficient way is by utilizing a cistern, so water runoff from your roof can be collected in sufficient amounts. A cistern is nothing more than a water container.

Native Americans and others took advantage of natural formations that could easily be converted into a cistern. It is much easier to collect water from a natural spring, for example, if the water is allowed to collect in a cistern. Once collected it can be dipped out or pumped to another location.

Cisterns today are typically manmade and they can be under ground or above ground. Typically runoff is collected off a roof. If you plan on this method consider clay tiles or a metal roof, because there would be less contaminates than if you used typical architectural shingles.

For security the cistern should be buried well under ground. It can be concrete or fiberglass or even other materials, and it has to be buried below the freeze/frost line for your area. The piping to the home would have to be buried to the proper depths as well, to prevent freezing, and to prevent tampering that would disrupt your water flow. A filtering system would have to be put in place and you may even need a system for water purification.

A cistern underground will require a pumping system, and this means a power source. A cistern aboveground would have to be higher than your faucets so gravity could feed water to the user points in the house, so a pumping system in most cases would not be needed.

For a cistern to make sense you need to be in an area that gets enough rain and the cistern would have to be big enough to supply your needs. Smaller cisterns could be used in conjunction with other water sources, and if for nothing else the water collected could be used for irrigation of crops, toilet flushing and for livestock, saving the well for drinking water, bathing, laundry and for cooking.

An Eye on the Future

That bubbling brook that flows close by the house is ideal right now as a backup source, but what happen if others move into the area. Do you own the water up stream? What if some other homesteader buys or occupies land 10 miles upstream and decides to dam the stream for his or her livestock or diverts the stream, or otherwise disrupts the flow.

Surface water will become a public source, a public commodity, in which everyone believes he or she is entitled to in a crisis. People will pollute, disrupt, try to take over, and may even purposely contaminate the water during a calamity. It will not take a mass exodus of people from the cities, all it will take is a family living upstream that has goats, sheep or a herd cattle or other livestock to pollute, disrupt, or even stop the water flow.

Redundancy

Backup, backup, and another backup system, you always have to be thinking about what ifs. Solar powered pumps are wonderful inventions, but what happens if it malfunctions. What happens if someone tampers with your solar panels, what happens when the creek runs dry, and your hydro power stops? Stockpiles of water are always recommended regardless of the situation, and the stockpiles must be secure.

A thousand gallons of water in the basement is a backup plan that would get you through an extended crisis. You cannot move it but you can draw water from it if you feel you had to abandon your homestead. Large water tanks outside the home, not buried can be damaged by nature and by humans. Backup water sources and backup power sources are critical and they must be protected.

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Plastic Bottle Survival Uses

Top 10 Survival Uses for Plastic Bottles

1.) Fish Trap

Plastic Bottle Fish TrapThis works best with a two liter bottle because of the size. First, cut the top off to create a funnel. Then you cut the threaded neck off to create a bigger opening in the funnel, or leave it in its original state depending on what size fish you want, or expect to trap.

Then push the cut top into the bottom portion. You can punch holes through both pieces and secure together with fishing line or any cordage. Punch holes in the sides of the bottle and the bottom to allow for water flow.

The fish swim in the enlarged end and are funneled into the bottom portion. You can cut a flap in the bottom of the trap to release any fish you do not want. Bait and then secure the trap with line or weigh down by placing stones inside.

Use the same method, but do not cut the opening bigger to trap live bait.

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Where Should You Store Your Emergency Water If You Live in an Apartment

Emergency Water Storage Apartment

It’s not as easy as it may sound either. Water weighs approximately 8.5 pounds per gallon, which means that you have to choose where you store your water carefully. It would not be hard to imagine a shelf collapsing under the weight. Five one gallon jugs of water would weigh slightly over 40 pounds, and a shelf already loaded down with canned goods would be under considerable strain.

Avoid Using the Following Containers to Store Safe Water

  • Containers that cannot be sealed tightly
  • Containers that can break, such as glass bottles
  • Containers that have ever been used for any toxic solid or liquid chemicals (includes old bleach containers)
  • Plastic or cardboard bottles, jugs, and containers used for milk or fruit juices

It is all about the packaging material when it comes to storing water. You can of course repurpose containers that previously had stored water or certain other foods. According to the CDC, however, water not commercially bottled should be discarded after six months. A previous article had discussed the safe bottling of water at home, and it detailed how to properly sanitize water storage containers (CDC, 2015).

A major obstacle if you want to call it that would be where to store water because of its weight. A 50 gallon container of water would weigh over 400 pounds, and 50 gallons of water would not last a family of four very long if you consider each person would need between 3 and 5 gallons per day for hydration, cooking, area sanitation/cleanup, and personal hygiene.

If you live in an apartment building on the upper floors, weight may become a concern, not to mention space. Older buildings may have weight restrictions. Some of you may remember when waterbeds were popular. Because of the popularity many apartments had to state in their lease contracts that they were not allowed because of the weight, and because of water damage that would be caused due to a leak. There is not a lot of water in a waterbed, so you can imagine what kind of a problem 4 or 5 five 50 gallon barrels could create.

There is an option however, and that is your spare bathtub. If you have two bathrooms one can be used to store water. If you have the standard 35 gallon bathtub that was installed in the apartment then you have to assume the builders had reinforced the subfloor under the tub to accommodate what 35 gallons of water would weigh. Leaks in any container would of course go down the drain. The engineers would also have to accommodate for the weight of a person in a full tub of water as well.

Other parts of the apartment may not have the same reinforced flooring. Bedrooms often times do however, have reinforced subfloors to accommodate heavier beds, but you would have to check with the building supervisor or manager.

The tub may hold even more than 35 gallons but 35 is the lower end of the standard, so it could be up to 50 or even more depending on the style and the apartment itself. Now you have a place to store up to 35 gallons of water safely, and even more if you wanted to use the other tub increasing your stockpile to 70 gallons. This of course does not mean that you cannot store water by the gallon in your pantry or kitchen, but you would again have to be aware of the weight.

Some apartments offer storage rooms or small lockers that may or may not be community storage. If you have a storage room in the basement then you do have another option as long as you can fill a 50 gallon barrel in position. You cannot fill a 50 gallon barrel next to the outdoor spigot and then expect to carry it to the basement storage room.

Access during an emergency is another consideration. Can you get to your water supply during a crisis? Do others have access to your water supply is another question. You cannot trust the quality of your water if others have access to it.

In newer apartment buildings weight may not be a factor, but usually there is some type of weight restriction, because any subfloor would be rated for a certain amount of weight.

You might say well I have heavy friends that come over and it is no problem. Well there is a difference between a heavy object sitting in one place and weight disbursement. People do not park it in one place for weeks or months at a time, they move around. They are not there for an extended period in the same place.

The Following Is an Excerpt from A Rental Agreement, What Does Yours Say

“LIQUID FILLED FURNISHINGS: No liquid filled furniture, receptacle containing more than ten gallons of liquid is permitted without prior written consent and meeting the requirements of the OWNER. RESIDENT also agrees to carry insurance deemed appropriate by OWNER to cover possible losses that may be caused by such items”.

Obviously the lease terms are restrictive, overly so, but failure to comply with a particular clause in your lease/rental agreement may create an insurance nightmare, and other problems, if one of your water containers sprung a leak for example. Know your rights and your obligations before storing large quantities of water.

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Survival Uses Tobacco

5 Survival Uses for Tobacco

First, smoking and using tobacco products is detrimental to your health.

Nicotine is a potent parasympathomimetic alkaloid found in the nightshade family of plants (Solanaceae) and is considered a stimulant drug. Nicotine can be toxic to humans and to insects/parasites. Nicotine is found in the leaves of Nicotiana tabacum, the tobacco plant.

At one time the United States Military provided cigarettes in rations that were issued to members of the military. Typically three non-filtered cigarettes were provided, but they were not just for smoking. Some of you may remember “Smoke Em If You Got Em, Bum Em If Ya Don’t”.

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Home Emergency Kits: The Basics

Home Emergency Kit

If you do any kind of research online you will find you need, or it is suggested you need, a bug-out-bag, an Everyday Carry kit (EDC), a wilderness survival kit, possibly a action bag at the office, and of course a survival kit for your vehicle. To top the list off, you would need an emergency kit for the home as well.

This article is not so much about what you need, because really you are the only one that knows that, but more about how to get started. Getting started is the hardest part, and how to get started can be overwhelming for those new to prepping.

Previous articles have talked extensively about the fact that most supplies are not disaster specific, in other words, you will need the same supplies regardless of the crisis. There are exceptions of course, but before running out and buying specialized equipment, materials, or gear, get started on the basics for survival first.

What Exactly Will You Be Dealing With

Power disruptions, which will mean no electricity and water disruptions if you receive water from a municipality and possible disruptions in natural gas flow and your local propane company, may not be able to get to your home to top off, or fill your tank (s).

There may be damage to the roads and highways, so travel may be limited or you may not be able to get out of your own driveway. Resupplying at the local markets will be impossible. With all this in mind now you can begin building your homes’ basic emergency kit.

Electricity Is So Ingrained In Our Lives

Your new Keurig 2.0 or the latest auto drip coffee maker, which is so high-tech it even fries your bacon for you will not work, so the ole standby camp percolator will have to suffice that is if you even have any ground coffee available.

You really have to look closely. People are so accustomed to using certain things that they forget some, if not most things in the kitchen require electricity. You will have the same basic tasks to complete during the day whether you have electricity or not. Meals will have to be prepared, children tended to, cans of food opened and food cooked or heated.

You have to list the things that will replace the gadgets that require electricity. If you wanted to make bread, for example, how you would do it without electricity is a question for which you need the answer. This is how you begin to figure out what is needed in your emergency kit.

Water and food are the staples and you simply cannot survive without them. You need a comprehensive plan for the storage of both, and in particular water. A few jugs stuck on a shelf here and there is not good enough.

Survival experts usually recommend one gallon per day per person, but that is only enough to prevent dehydration, it does not include cooking needs, bathing/personal hygiene, and so forth. Three to five gallons per person, per day is closer to what your needs will be, but essentially you are the only one that can determine this. Weight is a factor along with space. Water weighs slightly over eight pounds per gallon, so the weight will add up quickly.

It is not that you cannot live without electricity, but the fact is that the majority of people in this country have never had to live without electricity for more than a few days at a time. Many do not know for sure whether they can or not for an extended period. The reality is that many people simply do not know how to live without electricity.

A few hours without it, is an irritation, a few days is a serious inconvenience, but a few weeks without it, is a catastrophe, and can be life threatening in some cases.

It takes extensive planning, far more planning than putting together a bug-out-bag, an EDC kit, or even a wilderness survival kit. “Three hots and a cot” seems simple enough until you start buying extra food, water, emergency blankets, flashlights, lanterns, propane heaters, propane camp stoves and the list goes on.

It takes planning, commitment and financial resources, and this is why most of the people in this country are unprepared for any crisis that last more than 72-hours, and some cannot even make the claim they are prepared for 72-hours.

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Preppers Backyard

Preppers You May Not Be Able to Do That in Your Backyard

The following are just a few of the things that may require permission, or permits to do in your own backyard if you live within a municipality, city, or county that has certain residential codes, policies or laws enacted.

Composting

Did you realize that many states have regulations concerning backyard composting or composting in general? Typically, the regulations state no permit is required unless composting amounts reach a certain weight or cubic feet. If you plan to sell or give away composted material then the regulations do change however, so check first.

Certain waste such as solids, or human waste cannot be composted regardless of location without a permit and special facilities, in most cases. Therefore, before you begin composting human waste in your own backyard check with your city.

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