Current Events & Politics Category

Monday, April 14, 2014

Dear Editor,

I am writing to you today in support of Cliven Bundy. I attended Saturday's rally at the Bundy Ranch in support of this rancher and his family. It is true that his family history of ranching this land pre-dates the BLM. It is also true that the BLM has regulated approximately 52 ranchers out of this area of Nevada in the past several years. Mr. Bundy refused to give them anymore of his money, reasoning that why give them the funds to regulate against him to remove him from the land.

The BLM has frequently used the tactics of endangered species to garner public support. It should be known that the desert tortoise reserve near Las Vegas has recently been closed, according to the BLM, due to lack of funding to support the tortoises. Many have been euthanized as they are considered un-adoptable. However, that same agency without funding for the tortoises has spent millions, I would guess, building a militarized compound outside the Bundy ranch, scrambling BLM personnel from neighboring states, and hiring outside contractors to rustle Mr. Bundy's cattle and corral them. They also hauled heavy equipment onto his property and broke up water lines and cisterns that the Bundy's had paid for themselves to water the cattle. These water supplies are also used by the wild animals that enjoy the same range land. The personal accounts of the family, as they told their story, was heartbreaking. This is the instance of one rancher and his family. We are all as vulnerable as they. The heavy hand of the federal government was never so visible as it has been this past week in Clark County, NV. I am proud of my fellow countrymen and women that gathered to stand with the Bundy family.

Thankfully, the BLM pulled back and for now it appears peaceful at the Bundy ranch. I was proud to be present and take a stand for the Bundy family this past Saturday. - H.D.

HJL Replies: It's good to see people exercising their rights. The battle will continue on and rumors abound, so people need to keep a close eye on what is happening. What I find surprising is that the main stream media hardly covered the event at all, even when it escalated. The alternative media and Internet have proved invaluable here, as it has abroad, in keeping the power in the hands of the people. This will not be the end of this situation, and other situations may crop up both here and across the country. The people need to stay vigilant to reign in the abuses.

Sunday, April 13, 2014



Just wanted to share with you the experience I just had with the Banksters a few minutes ago. I am currently living in a military town (after retiring from the military) but had to go to Virginia to handle some business for my elderly mother. I took her to the bank to cash a personal check for an account that we are both on. I was flabbergasted when told by the teller that the computer systems had been down all week, on and off, and at this time we could not get anything more than $100, unless someone knew my mother personally (which makes no sense since that still would not be verification of what's in the account). The manager told me that even though they couldn't verify she had $100 in her account either, their protocol was to allow people to take out $100.

I fortunately live only 200 miles away and have my credit card, but I only have a small amount of cash on me. This is criminal and the epitome of incompetence on the part of the banks. Needless to say I am closing her accounts. However, interestingly enough the banker matter-of-factly said, "You can close the account, but it's like this in all banks since we all are on computer systems."

Saturday, April 12, 2014


I have been a long time reader of this site and find it informative and useful. I think it would be prudent of you to do a bit more research into the accusations that Mr. Bundy is making regarding his cattle. I am not an investigator or a lawyer and do not want you to take what I am saying at face value. Please do your own research. Mr. Bundy is probably a good guy fighting what he believes are injustices to him and fighting in the only way he knows. The bottom line is that according to media reports including "Theblaze" he admits that he has not been paying grazing fees to the Bureau of Land Management since 1993 for the grazing use of public land managed by that agency. When people do not pay their grazing fees, it means they are taking public resources without compensating the public for that "takings". We, you and I, are the public so he is taking from us by not paying his fees.

Apparently, in 1998 the BLM and USFWS set aside the land he grazes on for the threatened Desert Tortoise. So he no longer has any "right" or permit to graze that land. Because of his family's long history in the area and that fact that this designation may harm him and his families future that battle seems like the one he should be fighting not the grazing fees.

Having said that, I will also say there are no real good guys here because the BLM has fumbled this from the start. Setting up a so called "First Amendment Area" and/or arresting those that are protesting their actions outside of those areas is obscene and unconstitutional. I also can not see why they need to close such a large area of roads in order to accomplish their goal of rounding up his cattle.

I am only going off of news stories, and to be honest stories in the news are not always factual, so I wouldn't bet my reputation on them. I am just providing a bit of background information so you can do your own research and realize that this is a bit more complicated situation then Mr. Bundy being persecuted by the feds. And honestly, I think comparing this situation to Ruby Ridge incident where Mr. Weaver was persecuted for a relatively minor infraction and his family members injured and killed is inflammatory to say the least. - Anonymous

HJL Replies: We have received a number of responses similar to this one, and at first glance they seem to have a valid point. Mr. Bundy isn't paying his fees and shouldn't be allowed to graze. The point being missed is one called “prior usage rights”. Most people in states on either coast generally have a very limited knowledge, because the Federal government “owns” very little land within those state boundaries. In the Southwest, though, the issue is often forefront because resources can be so scarce. The issue generally comes up regarding water rights due to the scarcity of water, but land and mineral rights also occasionally occur. This case falls under that category. As stated in my notes today, the Bundys had prior usage of the land (and possibly prior usage to the formation of the state of Nevada). This means that the BLM's options according to long standing tradition and case law are pretty limited. By bringing the Desert Tortoise into the mix, it is unclear whether that is simply a ploy by the federal government to pre-empt those usage rights and declare eminent domain or if it is a real problem. It is even unclear if the federal government has any standing on owning land in these states, as there is a clear trail suggesting that the federal government was supposed to turn over that land to the states upon them becoming states. There is no cut-and-dried explanation for any of the BLM's actions, and there is clear precedence on Mr. Bundy's actions. In any case, the federal government's heavy-handed tactics should be reigned in.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


I found the following that describes traveling versus driving. Mr. Rawles has an excellent chapter in “Patriots” that also addresses the same. This article is bit more in depth.

I have trouble believing sovereign citizens would allow a government to tax them for public roads paid for with tax payer money. - BT in TX

Hugh Replies: I used to have trouble believing that also, but then I watched sovereign citizens allow themselves to be treated as criminals– front doors kicked in, hands placed on heads or handcuffed, and kicked out of their homes without search warrants. The citizenry has become so complacent and dependent on the government that it can take nearly any step it wants to. It has been a long slow slide to serfdom, but the crises is upon us now! The citizenry of the United States must stand for what is right, what is moral, and what is Godly, and they must do it now.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Dear SurvivalBlog,

Having sat on a number of juries in Alaska, I can attest to the fact that judges give instructions to juries that they are only to be the judges of fact and not judges of the law.

In United States v. Dougherty 1972 the decision read, in part, “The fact that there is widespread existence of the jury's prerogative, and approval of its existence as a “necessary counter to casehardened judges and arbitrary prosecutors,' does not establish as an imperative that the jury must be informed by the judge of that power.” So, while the U.S. Supreme Court recognizes the right of the jury to nullify the law in any case, it also allows the court to hide that fact from the jury. Jury nullification goes back to at least the Magna Carta. What Alaska legislators are trying to accomplish is to allow juries to know their rights and powers. Cops can lie to anyone legally and judges can lie to jurors at least sometimes. Courts will still hide information from the jury, but this is a step in the right direction. - R.

HJL Adds: The only thing more scary than a manipulative judge is an ignorant jury. While I'm not sure that the proper way to deal with this is to include the instructions via the court, every potential jurist should know that the power of nullification exists. Jury nullification is a powerful tool in the hands of the common man even if that man is the “Obama phone woman”. I can see a time where nullification of the law may be the only choice in states like New York or Connecticut regarding the absurd firearms laws.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Bank Run Full Frontal: Ukrainians Withdrew 7% Of All Deposits In Two Days - Cheryl N

o o o

B.B. sent in this 2 minute video: I Am a Ukrainian. It's a one sided piece that is obviously propaganda for the resistance. Very well done though.

o o o

The Ukrainian Gun Owners Association is wanting to modify the Ukrainian constitution to provide protections similar to the U.S. Constitution's 2nd amendment. - L.C.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Mr. Rawles,
I noticed your reference to the water situation in the Charleston, West Virginia (Kanawha Valley) area. As of Saturday when I'm writing this, the water is suitable for flushing toilets and fire fighting but that is all. The town I live in (St. Albans) has their own independent supply, but most of the surrounding area is fed from the centralized West Virginia American Water Plant in Charleston. One plant serves a very large geographic area. I know when I first finished mechanical engineering school I could only find a job working for a small civil engineering company. We had to survey a water line expansion in Boone county near the small towns of Van, Twilight, and Bandytown. Fairly deep in the southern coal fields but not nearly as deep (feels kind of like a different world being raised near the valley) as McDowell county and the low volume coal fields. I could not believe the West Virginia American plant in Charleston was going to serve that far away from the city.

St. Albans has lines out the door at the laundromat and restaurants,. Even the Krogers [grocery store] was stripped bare, even of the toilet paper. The parking lots of the stores remind me of Christmas time when I was a kid in the late 1970s, prior to many of the strip malls being built and taking business from the business districts.

If the water had been cut off completely, unfortunately it probably would have very quickly required deployment of the National Guard. I passed one water relief station where they were giving out bottled water and it had a sheriff eyeballing everyone that went by even if you did not stop for water.

Making large complex systems helps for economies of scale, but a single point failure makes them far from robust. - Paul in West Virginia

Monday, January 13, 2014

After many years of a "diplomacy and aid dollars only" approach in Africa, the U.S. government has begun active military intervention, north of the equator. Quite disturbingly, while outwardly appearing to be engaged a campaign against Al Qaeda and its allies, these interventions have effectively supported Muslims (particularly the radical Muslim Brotherhood) while abandoning Christians. Witness: Libya, Egypt, and Uganda (against Kony's LRA.) You've all seen the headlines: In 2011, U.S. air power was used in Libya, to back largely Muslim rebels. In late 2013, BHO slashed long-standing military aid to Egypt, indirectly aiding that nation's Muslim rebels. Hillary Clinton's State Department has also managed to ruin the formerly friendly relationships with Morocco, Tunisia, Mali, and Algeria. Notably, Morocco's de facto annexation of Western Sahara which had tacit acceptance from previous U.S. administrations since the mid-1970s is now a source of friction.

While the American No Fly Zone and aerial bombardment campaign in Libya was largely a success (despite some friendly fire mishaps) there were unintended consequences. One of these was that Dictator Gaddafi's demise caused both a power vacuum and the displacement of many Libyan arms and vehicles, mostly to the south. Since 2010, Al-Qaeda and its allies have been gaining ground in northern Africa, and the change of government accelerated this. The Tuaregs and other rebels now control vast stretches of the interior of Mali and Algeria. Inside the U.S. Special Forces community, the BHO regime's policies in Africa have been described as "confused, at best." Green Beret trainers who once assisted pro-western and predominately Christian nations in Africa have been "re-tasked." They have recently been training Muslims in Libya and Muslims in Mali. While the government of Mali is ostensibly anti-Al Qaeda, the recent history of the region has shown that allegiances can shift rapidly. It is feared that the Malian soldiers that are now being trained and armed by the U.S. might later end up in an alliance with rebel groups. Even the leftward-leaning editors of The Washington Post are troubled by the BHO/Clinton policy changes in the region.

Hillary Clinton's trans-Sahara gambit has had unintended consequences, and has led many to question the long-term effects. If the end results are better-trained and better-equipped Muslims, then we must ask: cui bono? In a little-publicized campaign, American trainers and technicians have been dispatched to at least nine countries including Ethiopia, Djibouti, the Central African Republic, and Niger. Tons of war materiel have quietly been shifted out of Iraq and into north Africa. Large American drone bases are humming in the Seychelles, Djibouti and Ethiopia. (And theirs eyes are not focused on just Yemen.) Special Forces trainers are operating throughout the region, ostensibly to teach counterinsurgency. But given the proclivities of their students, could that training later be turned toward insurgency?

In a recent e-mail, a SurvivalBlog reader and veteran with recent experience in North Africa noted: "One thing that comes to mind is the embarrassing fact that a few years ago, when all of the separate countries in Africa were asked if they would be willing to provide the US a base to headquarter AFRICOM from, they all basically said, 'h*ll, no.' AFRICOM is still headquartered out of Stuttgart, Germany." He also noted: "I know that when the Chinese go in to extract resources, they actually provide entire infrastructures, such as roads, complete hospitals, schools, etc., while the US's  influence seems more military oriented, along with "Strategic Communications" (the new term for PSYOPS) than anything else. If anything, I think the US is losing at this game." The same reader warned of China's growing influence in Africa. For some background, he recommended the book Winner Take All: China's Race for Resources and What It Means for the World.

Most recently there have been rumblings that the U.S. might side with the rebels in the fledgling nation of South Sudan. While the troubles in South Sudan are primarily inter-tribal rather than along religious lines, "the great unspoken" subtext is that South Sudan is nominally Christian, while Sudan is Muslim. Some of the old Africa hands see BHO's rumored stance in South Sudan as intentionally destabilizing, and has the effect of favoring Sudan rather than South Sudan.

I recommend that Americans keep a close eye on foreign policy and military aid shifts in Africa. BHO and Company have their own carefully-calculated agenda, and it is apparently not in the best interest of either the American people or freedom-loving Africans. - JWR

Dear JWR,
The mere fact that folks such as Carl X. and C. are discussing, researching, and indeed, well informed on the subject of 80% lower receiver completion gives me hope! I can't begin to express just how pleasing it is that good people are informing themselves on the subject. Anyway, I'd like to clarify a couple of things, if I may?

As C. notes, an inexperienced builder will likely spend at least two hours milling and shaping the fire control pocket. However, a slip of the Dremel does not necessarily mean the blank's doom. One must remember that the pocket is hidden by the upper receiver, and the only one that will know of the boo-boo is the one completing the lower receiver. Further, said boo-boos can easily be repaired by mixing the polymer shavings with JB-Weld -- which is machinable when fully cured -- to maintain surface consistency. I've been a gunsmith hobbyist for about 22 years now and have my own machine shop, and my own jigs that insure a reliable machining job. But after consulting with a couple of fellow enthusiasts, we're of the opinion that structural integrity and a uniform surface can be achieved in this fashion. In fact, I proved it with a lower I had lying around by deliberately marring a side and repairing it in that fashion. Again, I stress
patience and the operator WILL be pleased with the end product. EP Armory is that good with their quality control! Completion is a cinch: just remove the white and smooth the ridges flat. Any other fine lapping to make the trigger and hammer smooth is unique to the chosen lower parts kit. One only needs to take their time.

As for legality concerning the 80% lower receiver: the prospective owner should consult their state and local officials until they are completely satisfied that they operating within the constraints of the law! The language in the BATFE's self-manufactured firearms laws are very clear: the firearm must be self-manufactured, which means 'build parties' are technically illegal, although impossible to enforce. Personally, I make every effort to operate within the constraints of the law, and would recommend that everyone exercise solid and legal judgment. After all, some states are ambiguous and sometimes outright hostile on the subject, and protecting one's family is impossible to do from behind bars. So ... research, research and research again! And do make an effort to buy a letter and number stamping kit for serial number application. It also never hurts to have your receipt for the lower laminated and on your person when hunting or target shooting. I'd hate to see a new AR owner detained for hours by an officer that demands to inspect their rifle, and is ignorant of the law! Been there ... done that...

Again, it's good to see folks that are genuinely interested in the subject! Self empowerment is a heck of a morale boost! You'll save a few bucks and be proud of your handiwork! Not to mention the fact that you'll end up with a rifle that will serve you well, should the unfortunate need arise...

God Bless and thank you for your interest everyone, - Nomad

Monday, January 6, 2014

The current situation in Bangladesh bears mention. Here is a recent news headline: The Economist terms JS polls 'electoral farce'

The majority of "uncontested"seats were appointed by the current Prime Minister, per my correspondent.  The largest opposition party is being harassed and restricted, the party head is under house arrest though the government claims the barricades and trucks are "for her protection." The second largest is terrorist-connected Jemaat Islamiya, who may be less violent than the government.

For further reading:

- Michael Z. Williamson, SurvivalBlog Editor at Large

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The article forwarded by J.B.G. re: the Connecticut gun registration photo/article for ARs and high capacity magazines (‘Looks Like Weimar Germany’: The Viral Photo Out of Connecticut That’s Giving Some Gun Owners Chills) is really just the tip of the iceberg. This legislation was really designed to ultimately refine and maintain the firearm registry in the state that is already in existence for all firearms.
The State police have been collecting and storing all firearms transactions for many years here. The Federal Government by law must destroy all the data gained from background checks for firearm  purchasing. The Connecticut state police have no such restrictions. I can find no legislative authority that allows them to do this but it is being done and has been done for many years. If you are stopped for a traffic violation et cetera and the officer runs your Connecticut drivers license, all the firearms you have purchased in Connecticut in the last dozen years or so will show up on his computer..

My neighbor received a letter from the state reminding him that he must register his ARs. I know he purchased them several years ago so as you can see that they already knew he had them.
Pistol permits of course, have always been recorded and collected by the State police as well as any pistol purchase data. Now the new law requires a long gun certificate to purchase any legal rifle or shotgun and this data is also recorded and will include data from private sales or gifts as well. My son will need to pass a background check in order to accept a rifle as a gift from me.
As I said, the law has been designed to ultimately capture all the guns residing in the state.

None of my firearms are currently in the registry as the purchase of them predates this 'illegal' [and unconstitutional] registration. But as we old guys pass away, our heirs have no choice but to endure transfer and registration unless they move them out of state.

In effect, this will insure over time that all the firearms in the state will become part of the registry. This model is what our current administration would like to enact for our entire country. As you know, none of this will make us any safer but it's really about control not safety.
Of course, all felons will be exempt from participating .
Regards, - X. from Connecticut

JWR Replies: I encourage my readers to ignore unconstitutional laws. Lex mala, lex nulla. But if and when you ever come under government prosecution, then be prepared for a legal battle all the way through a lengthy appeals process. In the end, we shall prevail, but there will be plenty of angst, in the interim. Living through that is part of the price that we pay for our freedom. If you don't have the means to fight a protracted legal battle, then hide your banned guns very well. (You probably won't want to be "the test case.")

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Dear Mr. Rawles:
Like the author of the letter concerning peak oil and domestic fracking, I too regularly follow your blog but have not felt the need to add comment. However, the author makes several assertions about both the theory of peak oil and the state of oil production that require clarification.

The primary hypothesis behind peak oil, the Hubbert peak theory, does not state that after a certain point a nation, or mankind in general, will "never discover any more oil". Rather, it simply says that oil production at some point reaches a maximum rate, after which it enters a general decline. This decline can be demand-driven (through dwindling reliance on oil) or supply-driven (through decreasing discoveries of reserves and increasing costs of production). Needless to say, in America the latter is much more a factor than the former.

Oil production in the United States peaked in the early 1970s and has generally decreased since, with the exception of a brief increase in the mid-1980s and, or course, the recent resurgence brought about by fracking. This trend is not contrary to the theory itself; the downward trend does not necessarily have to be constant throughout, and Mr. Hubbert acknowledged the effects of technology in disrupting this decline. Oil production has increased over the past six years, but it has only been six years, and it still has some way to go to reach levels seen in the 1970s.

And while fracking is a welcome relief from importing foreign oil, including that from the OPEC cartel that includes our "allies" in Southwest Asia, it's important to remember that this oil is only produced at a much greater financial and environmental cost than conventional methods. (Indeed, technology advances were only as much a factor in the economic feasibility of these methods as the skyrocketing prices of oil and energy as a whole.) These costs do take their toll, even if gas prices slow and the pipelines flow full.

Rather than use fracking developments as an opportunity to deride Peak Oil, it may be more prudent to consider it an opportunity to make a more reasonable, smoother transition to renewable energy sources. Regardless of the amount of oil reserves remaining to be exploited, it certainly won't get any easier (and, by extension, less expensive or friendlier to the environment).

After all, taking peak oil seriously (and global warming, for that matter) is a bit like prepping: while it's quite possible we may be working hard to prepare for something that may never happen, it's much more palatable than the alternative of being caught unprepared once it's too late.

Thanks for your work and for the opportunity to contribute. - F.S.

Dear JWR;
Love your blog, I read it daily. I first learned of peak oil in mid 2009. Since 2009, I have studied peak oil (PO), and information surrounding PO almost daily. Reading books, peer reviewed scientific journals, news articles, attending lectures at University’s with the goal of taking in as much data (not opinion) as I can.

Peak Oil (PO) is a fact. No one that is credible debates this fact. The only argument that exists is, when it happened, or when will it happen.
To move forward with the recent post that the Bakken has ended the PO debate, is just silly.

To start, the author lumps traditional light sweet crude, shale and natural gas together as the same thing. These types of fuel are most certainly not even close to the same thing, and cannot be valued as such. “Geologists have determined that world-wide natural gas production, with fracking could produce enough for hundreds of years usage.” The peak oil debate is about oil that is used in transportation, agriculture, fertilizers and plastics, among many other things. Natural gas is about heating homes and powering our computers. Natural gas is argued in the context of coal. Not oil.  So, we may have enough natural gas to last hundreds of years, but this concept has nothing to do with oil.  

Another red flag from this authors opinion is, there is no mention of a single number (data) with in that post that details how much the Bakken produces, or percentages of increase in that production. If data had been provided by the author, the next key element is comparing and contrasting that data with how much oil America consumes. The reason data is important when making a claim as the author has is, it allows other people to come to their own conclusions and think for themselves. An American value that seems to be lost in popular culture. American oil consumption reflects GDP. This means that an increase in oil consumption reflects a growth in GDP. Likewise with a decline in oil consumption, decline in GDP. A graph to detail this can be seen here.

I could go on and argue other aspects of the peak oil debate, and in fact many books, geologists and government’s have information out there that go in to much greater detail than I could. The reason I felt it necessary to send a long a retort is because of how I value survival blog and prepping. For me, the data and fact surrounding peak oil is key for me and my view of prepping. This web site serves as a great resource of information and someone “sitting atop sea of Western North Dakota oil,” in which that sea is more in line with extracting water out of the desert, is providing a false sense of security to many other people that value the reputation of SurvivalBlog. If there is interest, I can provide many articles and news stories with in recent years, that range from militaries and geologists among others, that detail PO is real, the negative effects are expected soon, and they are planning accordingly. I hope everyone who reads this blog digs further in to the topic to draw their own conclusions.

All the best, - Nathan

JWR Replies: While there is a sharp division of opinion on this issue, almost everyone agrees that easily exploitable oil is a declining resource. Petroleum engineers often use Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROEI) calculations in describing the cost or obtaining each barrel of oil. Although they are vast, the Bakken oil deposits are fairly inefficient in terms of their EROEI.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Dear JWR:
I'm sitting in Western North Dakota atop a sea of oil.  We are producing barrels of oil in numbers that could not be imagined less than six years ago.  Natural gas production is soaring.  Why?  Fracking.  Geologists have determined that world-wide natural gas production, with fracking could produce enough for hundreds of years usage.

When I was growing up here in the 1960s, after the boom of the 1950s, experts said we were never going to discover any more oil.  The boom of the 1970s proved that wrong.  Then in the 1980s, it was all over but the shouting.  Guess what?  Technology improved and now we have more oil and gas than we know what to do with.  Even now, older horizontal wells (five years old) are having new technologies applied to them, boosting their output.  Just go to the North Dakota Industrial Commission/Oil and Gas Division and look at the production numbers. Do a Google search on it!

Maybe we can now finally put the Peak Oil nonsense to rest.  Some of us are old enough to at least think and research issues - not to mention learn from life experiences.  There are enough other "end of the world" things to worry about.  Energy is not one of them -- at least not in our lifetimes.

I'm a regular reader and have never felt the need to correspond about anything on your blog but this one just needs to be put to rest.  The Peak Oil concept is just as phony as man-made "global warming.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

You have recently run two posts (my article and D.C.’s reply letter) and have dug into the ugly underbelly of the building design world.

I think there needs to be some clarification of D.C.'s points.  I will dissect it to indicate that this is the type of person that I would describe as an “elitist” and they are why we are in the predicament that we are in right now in this country.  I mean simply stated: Why would using the term “architectural, Architect, or Architecture” be a misdemeanor?  Sounds like a little government overreach to me. 

First things first.  Notice the three states he indicated.  California, Oregon and Illinois.  Those are three state that epitomize the Nanny State mentality.

Now if you put that aside let me describe my credentials. 

I am a practicing Designer in the field or Architecture. (An Architectural Designer.)  I can use this term because I work under the guidance of a licensed Architect.  I have 15 years of Design experience under licensed architects, I have designed buildings from $5,000 house additions to $30 million school buildings. I have completed all my IDP requirements, and have only one exam of seven left.  So basically the only thing stopping me from calling myself an “architect”, which I did not do, is one last exam.  I also have a side business building home additions (as a contractor).  So I think my qualifications speak for themselves.

Now onto his mischaracterizations:  (With quotes from his article are indicated as best I could)

“1.  Formalized education at an  NAAB accredited college leading to a degree recognized by a state board as valid for licensure. (My Bachelor's degree at U. of Illinois was enough for some states but not enough for many states so I had to go back for a Master's)”  (quote from D.C.'s letter)

This is not true and a line used in every school run by elite professors who often try to teach architecture because they failed at practicing it.  They try to scare students into “school training” they do not need.  The states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin (14 total) all allow a person to acquire their “architect” license without an NAAB-rated degree.  They can get it based on experience alone. (It’s called working not schooling).  See this link for licensing requirements, per state. 

It should also be noted that NCARB has what they call the BEA program.  It is a way for a Non-NAAB degree holding “Architects” to get a license in another state after they work as a licensed “Architect” in a certain jurisdiction (state).

“2. Completion of  3 to 5 years of internship, depending on level of architectural degree, (Masters vs. Bachelors) validated by the national  NCARB Intern Development Program (NCARB IDP)  for verification of multi-thousand hours of experience, in over a dozen specific categories, signed off by licensed architects,”  (quote from D.C.'s letter)

True, yet not true.  Every state has its own requirement.  Again see the aforementioned link..  The range is from 2 years to 13 years of work under an “architect” and the IDP requirements can be met in as little at 2-½ years, as in my case. 

“3. Achieve passing scores on all  8 parts of the national NCARB Architectural Registration Exam (NCARB ARE). Until this exam was computerized in 1996, it was 4 long lays of testing with the final day being a 12 hour long Charette to design an entire building, which passes all codes, based on being provided just a written program requirement and site plan” (quote from D.C.'s letter)

What does it matter what the exam was in 1996? (17 years ago.) The exam was modified in the last few years to ARE 4.0 and will again transition to ARE 5.0 in 2016.  The ARE 4.0 version has only 7 parts.  It can be taken, as each part, at its own separate time and at different locations if needed.  The Charette is not 12 hours long but broken up into separate time frames based on which exam you are taking at the time.  The exam is not as hard as he makes it sound either.  If you have been working in the field then it is rather easy.  Again experience trumps education.

“4. Pass any local state exam, which for some states is none to easy, for others is notorious.” (quote from D.C.'s letter)

He got that right.  Some localities and states have additional exams.  California being one, based on seismic design.

“5. Applied to and been accepted by that state's Architects Review Board, passed a criminal background check, including domestic child support payment status, (sometimes with additional candidate interview process) paid the annual fees.” (quote from D.C.'s letter)

Close enough to not argue.  Hmmmm…  Annual fees to use the term “architect”.  You've got to love the government.

“6. Going forward, once licensed, continuing to provide annual or biannual proof of continuing education especially Health Safety and Welfare (HSW) ed[ucational] units.” (quote from D.C.'s letter)

True yet not true.  Each state is different.  You need 36 hours of continuing education credits in 3 years time frame.  I know “Architects” that will not do any for 2 years and then roll them all into 1 year.  Also these credits can be as easily attained by have a sales rep from Pella Windows come in and do a 1 hour lunch seminar and sales pitch. (That qualifies as 1 hour continuing education).  Not what I would call Continuing Education.  Let’s see the architect’s office schedules 36 free lunches that the sales reps pay for, and they get their continuing education.  That sounds hard doesn’t it?  It’s a joke.

So as you can see D.C. does have some “facts” wrong. 

It is true that the term “Architect” is considered a Professional term and in so has been regulated beyond what should be in modern society.  It has become a way to require people in most places to pay for drawings that are not really needed.  It is a racket equivalent in my opinion compared to any lobby group, mob organization and/or political activist group attempting to limit capitalism and free market economics that built this country.  It all based on the perception on making society safer for the general public. 

The AIA that he indicates (in his title) is a guild group that has manipulated the government and regulation system to try to make money for themselves and manipulate the system.  They hurt the general public with all the excessive regulations.  Let’s let the free market decide who they want to design their home or business.  If someone want to have a local handymen build him a pole barn then let him do it.  Why does an architect need to design it?  They have been being built for over a hundred years.  Why now do you need a stamped architect or engineer drawing?  It’s called over-regulation!  The best part of it is that I am going to be an “Architect” soon and I am fighting for essentially less work for myself!  I believe that if someone feels they need a building designed for their personal well-being then I will be there to help.  If someone wants to have a bathroom addition added to their home then by God let them build it themselves if they choose.

I am an individual trying to navigate a corrupt system to provide people with valuable advice based on my experience.  I will be a licensed “Architect” shortly and in my opinion the ones who fight against trivial things like using the term “architect” are the ones to be very afraid of.  They will charge you thousands of dollars for something that should cost you a few hundred because they feel privileged to have their knowledge. 

Now that attempts to clarify the ramifications of the elite trying to judge everyone.  Onto the more important items that should be brought up.  How does this rant affect me?  In truth it does not unless your local government dictates it. 

I get a lot of jobs from local jurisdictions that have passed regulations for people to need architectural stamped drawings for a Pole Barn, a bathroom addition or a garage.  Now it’s kind of like biting the hand that feeds you because I make money off these but I hate doing it.  So we do it as inexpensively as possible.  We will do a pole barn design for $200.  Basically we cover our insurance costs to stamp the drawings.  Why? Because it’s not fair to the people to have to pay it.  We can make our money on the big projects that need real design work.  The local [private homeowner]s should not need it. 

If you are looking to build a Home, and addition or any type of structure it should be up to you for who you trust.  I would recommend talking to a multitude of local contractors.  Give them a written idea of what you want.  Have them give you a quote.  Then call friends, Neighbors, and anyone else you know and ask how you feel they are as a contractor.  The final thing you do then is call your building inspector.  Ask them what the requirement are for your project.  Do you need plans or do they trust the contractor to do the work right.  Remember the building inspector has to certify buildings.  They know who does a good job and who does not. 

My previous post indicated that Knowledge as a very important item on the list.  This again comes into play here.  The knowledge to know when people are taking advantage of you.  Use the book I indicated in my previous post and anyone can build an addition to their house.  It’s not rocket science but poster D.C. wants you to think so.  Your knowledge will be beneficial in so many ways that this is what you should be most concerned with.  Not what a title someone uses is.  You study that book and think about your project and you will know if what is being built is right or wrong. 

Also, having the knowledge to navigate the current system and get around the “elites” will help you save money know that can be used for other more important preps.  Use your knowledge to avoid the pitfalls of regulations and government overbearing.  If you live in a rural area you will most likely not be affected by these issues.  If you live in the suburbs or urban area then question all government officials. - Paul W.

JWR Replies: Rather than have this degenerate into a protracted feud, I will leave this topic with just these posts. You've heard both sides of the argument, folks.

Where do I stand? I'm a libertarian with a conscience. Granted, I've seen countries where concrete buildings are erected with barely a scrap of re-bar, and sure enough, people die whenever there is an earthquake. But I must also mention that I live in a frontier county of an un-named western state where there is no formal building code enacted and where there are no permits required to build a house, a shop, or a barn. (Only septic system permits are required.) You can also cut down trees, erect a bridge, install a culvert, or construct a pond on your property without any permits. I like it that way!

There are indeed some entrenched guilds and elitist organizations in our nation. Statist attitudes have sadly become the norm. Under their we/they paradigm, stiff penalties have been created, by government decree. But even as an ardent libertarian, I must concede that there is a need for a modicum of public safety. I personally draw the line at distinguishing between private and public buildings. In my opinion, there should only be non-binding published guidelines for constructing private dwellings, but there should be more rigid standards for public buildings, overpasses, and bridges, especially in earthquake country.

Never forget: The definition of a license is a special grant of immunity from the state, for a fee, to do something that would otherwise be illegal. Who defines "legal"? It is our elected representatives. If they exceed their authority--as they often do--then they imperiously make that which should be inherently legal into something illegal or something that requires a license. (Witness, for instance: Educating our children, operating a private motor vehicle, owning a gun, dog licenses, buying and selling alcohol, et cetera.) Often, that comes down to the quest for government revenue rather than legitimate concern for public safety. I am writing this because I want you to carefully consider what is happening in our modern society. People regularly go along with new government edicts without ever stopping to question whether or not these laws are justified and the proper exercise of legitimate authority. So.... Be vigilant. Question authority. Demand your rights. Rebel against tyrants, but submit to good and legitimate government. (Per Romans Chapter 13.) Our Founding Fathers must be rolling in their graves, to see the bureaucratic monster that we've created for ourselves. If we don't speak up frequently and loudly, then we are destined to live under the tyranny of total government.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Dear Mr. Rawles, 
Thank you for the article by Paul W. about contractor's preps.  Free building supplies can often be found at, there are local groups in most cities.  Also, don't forget Habitat for Humanity re-sale stores, which have very inexpensive supplies.
Thank you, as always. - Carol D.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Letter Re: Use of the Title Architect

In nearly every state I am aware of it is unlawful and may be a misdemeanor for any person to use a title, business name, or description of business services using the word "architect", or "architectural" to refer to one's self or business, unless the principal of the firm is a state licensed architect. Some states take this so seriously that I as a licensed architect on several states, am prohibited to use of "Architect" and/or "Architectural" in a state where I am not licensed, or in a state where I am licensed, and my license has lapsed or I failed the renewal criteria. Illinois even goes one step further and requires any firm which wants to call itself "Design-Build" be under the direction of a Licensed Architect or  Registered Professional Engineer (PE). When I have an out of state project which does not require me to obtain an additional license, for example Idaho County, Idaho, I only refer to my self in title and contract as "building designer" to avoid the wrath of the state architects board.

For example, see this site, describing Oregon's laws.

Every quarter the CAB, California Architect's [Board] publishes violations, convictions and fines. A very large portion of these are for the violation of "Holding oneself out to be an architect" and the fines range from $500 to $5,000, and though I have yet to see it the state of CA reserve the right to unto 12 month jail as a Class A misdemeanor.

So you can imagine, that reading today's posting from the contractor made my skin crawl with the repeated and even capitalized reference to the posting party as an "Architectural Designer" (as we used to say in the Army, "That's a major NO-GO"; on that note it may be considered similar to the UCMJ section on "Impersonating an Office.")

The precursors to becoming an actual licensed architect compared to becoming a licensed contractor in many states is as vast as the difference between becoming a doctor and an ambulance driver, and this is not an exaggeration. For example I am also a general contractor in Chicago, but it was little more than an application form, local fee and providing a certificate of insurance to become a Chicago Licensed General Contractor"


At  the very least, such as in the case of California, where there is a sophisticated contractor licensing a program requiring evidence of past experience, and a rigid exam, with legal aspects of practice, the difference is comparable to Registered Nurse to Doctor.

So while, in the post collapse world and post mass human die off, any valid experience may be respected and valuable;  in the present world your recent poster has crossed a line which disrespects those who have achieved the title "architect" and may be illegal.

The use of Architect and Architectural in title, for those in the construction industry, is only achieved after the following:
1. Formalized education at an  NAAB accredited college leading to a degree recognized by a state board as valid for licensure. (My Bachelor's degree at U. of Illinois was enough for some states but not enough for many states so I had to go back for a Master's)
2. Completion of  3 to 5 years of internship, depending on level of architectural degree, (Masters vs. Bachelors) validated by the national  NCARB Intern Development Program (NCARB IDP)  for verification of multi-thousand hours of experience, in over a dozen specific categories, signed off by licensed architects,
3. Achieve passing scores on all  8 parts of the national NCARB Architectural Registration Exam (NCARB ARE). Until this exam was computerized in 1996, it was 4 long lays of testing with the final day being a 12 hour long Charette to design an entire building, which passes all codes, based on being provided just a written program requirement and site plan
4. Pass any local state exam, which for some states is none to easy, for others is notorious.
5. Applied to and been accepted by that state's Architects Review Board, passed a criminal background check, including domestic child support payment status, (sometimes with additional candidate interview process) paid the annual fees.
6. Going forward, once licensed,continuing to provide annual or biannual proof of continuing education especially Health Safety and Welfare (HSW) ed units.

Whew! Yes, all that and more! it is a lot. My Father and Grandfather were general contractors and carpenters, and I highly respect their intellect, work ethic, and experience, however, it is not the same level of responsibility as a Licensed Architect. Nearly every state has included in its charter for architects a phrase to encompass an architect's primary duty which includes the wording "To protect the Health Safety and Welfare of the Public in the Built Environment"

This responsibility sometimes is in conflict with paying clients wishes, but must remain in the for front of an architects mind in respect to all his decisions.
I hope this clarifies use of the term "Architect" and "Architectural"

D.C. (AIA, NCARB, M-Arch)

Friday, December 27, 2013

Dear Jim,
There's another tricky loophole regarding permitted concealed carrying in or near schools. Many states have reciprocity with other states, but best I recall, the Federal statute requires valid licensure issued by that same State to carry in these areas.  So even if your license is valid throughout the state [via a reciprocity provision], it could conceivably still violate Federal law to be armed on or near school grounds.
Thanks, - Michael Z. Williamson (SurvivalBlog's Editor at Large)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

I'm writing to warn fellow SurvivalBlog readers that there is a huge proviso for those wishing to open carry firearms in states where it is lawful to do so.

I recommend reading the Wikipedia page on Gun-Free School Zones Act (GFSZA) of 1990.

Some key excerpts form that web page follow:

Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(25) the term "school zone" means—
(A) in, or on the grounds of, a public, parochial or private school; or
(B) within a distance of 1,000 feet from the grounds of a public, parochial or private school.
Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(26) the term "school" means a school which provides elementary or secondary education, as determined under State law.
Prohibition of unlicensed carry
Most states allow some form of unlicensed carry by people without criminal convictions.[8] This may be open-carry,[8] vehicle-carry,[9] or concealed carry without the need for a permit.[10] The Federal GFSZA prohibits unlicensed carry by making it a federal crime for an unlicensed individual to travel into a "Gun Free School Zone unless they meet one of the other criteria defined in Section 'B'." [11][12][13][14] The large number of K-12 schools in developed areas makes it difficult for an individual to travel any distance without entering a Gun Free School Zone.[2][11][12][14]

18 U.S.C. § 924(a)(4) establishes the penalty for violating GFSZA:
Whoever violates the Act shall be fined not more than $5,000, imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the term of imprisonment imposed under this paragraph shall not run concurrently with any other term of imprisonment imposed under any other provision of law.

Note: A conviction under the GFSZA will cause an individual to become a "prohibited person" under the Gun Control Act of 1968. This will bar them from legally owning firearms for the rest of their life.

JWR Adds: The Constitutionality of that law is doubtful. (It was already overturned once by the Supreme Court once, only to be reenacted by Congress in slightly different form.) But unless or until it is overturned, I would recommend that before open carrying near any schools that readers either: A.) obtain a concealed carry permit or B.) that they only carry pre-1899 antique guns, which are not considered "firearms" per Title 18 U.S.C. (Even so, be prepared to be stopped and challenged by under-informed law enforcement officers, and hence prepared to to prove that you are either a permit holder or that the particular gun that you are carrying had a frame or receiver that was manufactured in or before 1898.)

Readers are also warned that state and local laws vary widely, so do your homework before you exercise your right to be armed.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Mr. Rawles,
Is there any way that I can avoid enrolling in Obamacare? (I believe that abortion is sinful and there's no way I want to support it.) Thanks, - Debra L.

JWR Replies: As currently enacted, the Affordable Care Act (commonly called "Obamacare)" contains a special exemption provision for members of healthcare sharing ministries. One of the best of these is called Medi-share. A similar plan--and even less expensive per month--is available from Samaritan Ministries.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The faceless “bureaucratocracy” strikes yet again, threatening to condemn an off-grid homeowner for allegedly violating an “international property maintenance code” due to lack of running water and electricity – even though neither utility is specified in said international property maintenance code.  How does an international code apply within the confines of an incorporated entity like the City of Cape Coral (which has its own building codes adopted pursuant to its own ordinance procedures)?  And now the city has graciously indicated that, if the homeowner can prove she can “sustain herself” without these utilities, they “might be able to reach a solution”.  So, in the mind of these bureaucrats under the auspices of some inapplicable international code, the burden is on a woman has been living without water and electricity to show that she can continue to live without water and electricity to the satisfaction of the bureaucrat - or she will lose her house. 
From a purely public policy perspective, this regulatory taking is disturbing to say the least. 

Sincerely, - Hunkajunk

Monday, December 9, 2013

I’d like to add a couple of thoughts to the recent Appleseed/Libertyseed post.  While I have been involved with Appleseed and really appreciate the history and message that is presented, we need to correct the misconception that: “The spirit of liberty was alive and well in the hearts and minds of Paul Revere and his fellow American colonists in the 1770s…”  The notion of “3 Percenters” lives today based on the rough statistics that only 3% of the colonists actually fought the Revolutionary War, another 10% actively supported the war effort, and another 20% supported the war in spirit but did nothing substantive. 

Only 13%(ish) actively supported liberty and the war effort, against 66% of the colonists that opposed it.  Within this two-thirds of opposition, there were spies, traitors, and some who even fought along with the British soldiers.  While these percentages are subject to debate, and the numbers surely changed as the war unfolded, it is at least obvious that the spirit of liberty was opposed by an overwhelming majority. 

I also don’t appreciate the author’s pessimistic perspective on America today. She wrote: “As you look around in your family, your neighborhood, your city, your state, and your country, do you see the spirit of liberty alive and well? Quite frankly, I don’t.” and, “Perhaps it’s too late to save America. Perhaps the ship has already sunk too far…”  I don’t know about the rest of you, but I see the spirit of liberty alive and growing!  Every week it seems that more and more people are waking-up to the tyranny and injustices perpetrated by our government, and are joining, both formally and informally, the liberty movement.  I see it nationally, in my state, and even in my neighborhood.  The birth of the Tea Party, our first real alternative to the corrupt two party system, is a prime example. 
What is the percent of Americans today who stand ready to defend liberty and our Constitution?  Your guess is as good as mine.  But I take solace in knowing that a 13% minority was able to stand up and fight against overwhelming odds and win.  I have no doubt that we have at least the same percentages today, if not greater.  If even 3-13% of our 308 million populace stands committed, then we are 9-to-40 million strong!  Let that number sink in, especially relative to the size of any army or government agency on the planet. 
I believe we are as strong today as ever, and to the RWVA’s credit, I have no doubt they are making a difference.  As long as there remains a core of Americans who will continue to educate themselves on the Constitution, and continue to raise succeeding generations appropriately, then America will survive. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

It appears that Federal Reserve Governor Janet Yellen will be taking over as Fed Chairman soon. (Although, I suppose that in the politically correct Newspeak, she will ignominiously be called a "Chair." ) As she assumes command of that soiled centenarian private banking cartel, all that I can say to her is: Welcome to the Crack House.

Back in April of 2012, I wrote: "Remember when I compared Quantitative Easing debt monetization to crack cocaine addiction? It appears that Tim Geithner and Ben Bernanke have moved up to the level of co-dependency and are only one step away from collapsing on an uncovered mattress on the floor of a squalid roach-infested apartment."

I still stand by my assertion that the Fed banking cartel and the Treasury Department are hopelessly addicted to debt monetization, commonly called Quantitative Easing (QE.) At this stage, the Fed cannot stop monetizing without triggering an economic tsunami. Presently, they are creating $85 billion per month out of thin air. The Fed is now consistently buying 70% of the bond supply each month, and now owns 32.47% of all 10 Year equivalents. The net effect of the continuing Free Money Fix has been a false economic recovery, artificially low interest rates, and a zombie housing market. (It looks like it is breathing, but in reality it is still putrefying.) Again, the Fed cannot stop or even slow down their monetization, or the entire system will collapse. Mutual fund manager Peter Schiff has called the Fed's predicament "QE To Infinity," and he's right. There is presently no exit strategy for the Fed, and in fact there can be no exit strategy. I now foresee monetization increasing in the months and years to come. Then there will come that inevitable Gideon Gono moment, when confidence in the Dollar is lost and it becomes effectively worthless.

You're now the Madam of the Crack House, Janet. You might as well accustom yourself to your new surroundings, and buy yourself a dress suitable to playing the part. This is your new life, so get used to it. There is no rehab available. Tell your Wall Street buddies that their "fix" will continue to be handed to them through that hole in the door. Keep that QE money pumping, Janet. Laissez les bon temps roulez.

There is nothing more addictive than a free money fix, is there? - J.W.R.

Friday, November 15, 2013

I have been thinking about writing an article on what is going on in the Philippines since I first saw the news last Friday.  There is so much that I saw I realized that I would need to write far too many pages to explain it all.  But I will write a few.
I saw the news of Typhoon Yolanda, as it is called in the Philippines, live from PI.  They called it Typhoon Haiyan elsewhere.  I am married to a Pinay (a Filipina lady) and we get several of the Philippine television networks right here at home via satellite.  I think we watched all of them.
I wish to make some observations here from what I saw, and I do not plan on giving detailed answers on everything.  I do not have them.  But perhaps we can learn from what has happened.
Yolanda Arrives
On Friday, November 8th, at dawn, Typhoon Yolanda went first to the Island of Samar (my wife’s home island), right over her Barangay Basyao, then onto Tacloban and through the rest of the Vasayn area, touching Cebu (the number two city of PI) and outward after crossing a few thousand of the seven thousand islands in that nation.  That will not mean a lot to everyone on this list, but I know for certain it will to some.  Tacloban (the number three city of PI) is where the most damage was done according to the news.  That is the main city of the area and it has about 220,000 people not counting the nearby towns and villages.

A good number of the Philippine people I have met through the years are not so big on disaster preparedness.  Those that come from a local village (barangay) in particular live very much day to day.  Some have some things stored up, but not so many.  The poorer ones even in the cities do not always have adequate refrigeration.  And even those that do often do not have the space for general prep if they are in the cities.  People do what they have always done.  Not that it is wrong in itself, but that sometimes costs people much, and sometimes everything.
Yolanda came in as nothing like ever did before.  It had steady winds of 195 MPH, and gusts up to 235.  From what I could see, and I do not have all the information, Yolanda flattened many villages and a very big chunk of Tacloban, including concrete structures and many of those with corrugated tin roofs.  The villages typically have a lot of bamboo framed structures with coverings of palm leaves and grasses.
There were stories of people being pulled out of houses by the winds or the water and their bodies later found in the water, in trees, or not at all.  I do not know how many drowned from the twenty foot waves that covered so many people.  They were big enough waves that full sized cargo ships are now on land, on top of what used to be homes.  I do not see how one could have done enough preparations where they were.  Leaving would have been the only solution for most.  Living on an island, even a large one, makes that very tough though.
After the Storm

The stories of people surviving way out in the country are out there.  I do not know how many made it yet.  From what I heard was that some in that group may have survived because they did the only thing they knew how to do.  They went to the same mountains and jungles to hide where their parents or grandparents hid 70 years ago from the Japanese.  It was the same thing some of the Vasayn people did to get away from the Spanish several centuries earlier.  In the past they would also hide in the low laying caves.  That might not have been a good choice this time.
There was a strange side note to this.  Former first lady Imelda Marcos had a secure and fortified shelter and survived well.  Very few others had such an option.  Imelda and her now deceased husband Ferdinand Marcos (the dictator) had in the 70’s done at least as much damage to the people of PI as Yolanda did.
The pictures and videos I saw showed that sometimes you are just in the wrong place at the wrong time, and there is hardly anything you can do about it.  Most of the Philippine people who Yolanda hit did not know it was coming.  They have no TV, radio, or even electric in a lot of places away from any city.  And even some of them do not even have a radio.  The only thing they do is personally watch the weather, buckle down as needed if they can, and they clean up later.  It is what they have always done.
The people of PI found there were too many to bury.  They took tractors and backhoes of all sorts and buried people with unknown identities dozens or even hundreds at a time.  It does not dawn on us, even those who prep somewhat that this can happen.  What a horrid situation.  But sometimes it happens that way in parts of the world.  We have not seen that here in well over a hundred years.  May it never happen here.  It could though.  One of our members on this list has already told me he thinking he may need do that one day, while he hopes not.  Me too.
TV and Media Coverage
The Filipinos have several TV networks.  ABC-TV5, GMA, and ABS-CBN are the bigger ones.  We mostly watched the first two.  TV coverage in the Philippines is not really the same as here.  They are very much to the point, open in what they say or do, and they tend to be fairly graphic in what they show.  What we see is more sanitized; for good or bad, maybe you know?
Some of the saddest things I saw were the dead bodies in the street.  They were in the trees.  They were floating in the water.  And more.  I apologize if that was a little rough the way I wrote that.  I say it this way so that if some horrific event happens you will at least know what to expect.  I have never seen that, but I have seen many dead bodies, including a large number in one place from a disaster.  It does something to you if you let it.  Prepare your mind for the worse if, God forbid, the stuff hits the fan like it did in PI.
I saw a man one day holding onto his young dead son, who was perhaps ten.  He had that thousand-yard stare and did not know what to do.  He just stood there.  Very similarly, another man carried his very young daughter’s body.  He was actively seeking a place he could lay her body down.  I do not speak the language, but the reporter said he did not want to put her just anywhere.  Later they showed a local church building that survived mostly intact.  People turned it into a morgue of sorts.  I do not know if that father found that place or another, but others thought it a good place to place their dead until they could be buried.  Would I do that as a pastor?  Would I allow others?  Yes, in a heartbeat under such conditions.  We are the Church.  The building is to serve the people that serve God.  May it never happen.  But I would allow it.
Some of the reporters did not just interview the people there, but they became the same people.  The network cut to one lady reporter who had just been in another church building.  While she was there the winds took the roof off.  She was trying to explain what happened, but when she looked around at everyone, she just began to cry.  Someone at the studio wanted to cut back when the lead reporter at the studio said, “No, leave her alone.  Let her cry.”  And cry she did, standing there in the rain.  Then she spoke.  She said, “WE have nothing.  Let’s pray to God for help.”  While I would never admit to it if I had, I almost lost it there.  Then the other lady in the studio agreed with her, and said “we must pray to Jesus for help”.  Often enough on air reporters there have said on other occasions they need to pray for their country, but this one really hit.  It took two reporters half way around the world to remind me that God’s people can pray anywhere and any time no matter what the circumstances.
One Philippine TV station began playing early Christmas music with one song in particular that was written to roughly say they were facing very hard times, but if we looked up, looked to the Child that was Jesus, all would be well, that we could make it.  When times were bad we must look up to God to save us .
Government Help
In general the thing that Filipinos know all along happened.  They were on their own.  Most of the gov people who were supposed to help did not help on time.  The people picked up their own dead.  The people moved whatever barriers out of the way that they could.  The airport tower went down.  No lights or radio communications.  All the cell towers went down.  No one in an official capacity seemed to know how to do anything, at least not at first.  Police and other local emergency workers did not show up for work.  Some could not, and those that could took care of their own families instead.  It dawned on me that it was a very real possibility that the same could happen here too.  We could well be completely on our own in some circumstances.
I saw one very good related thing though.  The PI president refused to declare martial law.  I did not fully understand what he said, but I understood clearly that he said no.  He said they would help their people the best that they could, but not like that.  I suspect that he remembered well that his own father was assassinated under martial law for speaking up against the tyranny of Marcos.  It was good that he remembered.
I also observed that the Philippine people know what their gov did or did not do right.  I saw that they did not appreciate what they thought of as meddling by CNN’s Anderson Cooper who reminded them of that “live from Tacloban” (which he could not pronounce).  The GMA network played clips of him talking too much.
I will not downplay the looting.  People were hungry and broke into food stores.  I saw one man standing in front of his store with a pistol in his hand telling everyone to stay away.  They did.  I later saw a different man open his store and tell others to take the food they needed, and they did.  Interestingly enough, there was one very large food warehouse that was never looted or broken into.  It became the distribution center for many when the food supplies did finally arrive.  Some of the food that was sent by boat or plane disappeared into I do not know where or how.  People just came and got what they needed.  But it was food.  They were not breaking into stores for new sneakers or designer “hoodies” that I saw.
I heard plenty of people, even in their desperation say they would not give up.  Some of those lost everything, families included.  A few put up Philippine flags to remember their nation.  One man who was interviewed said, “We are hurt, but we will rebuild.  We will turn to God.”
There was a lot of bravery.  Parents gave lives for children.  Husbands did for wives, and wives for husbands.  People swam out to where the waves took their families.  A few came back.  Many never came back at all.  In one case a sixteen year old gave hers for her mother.  Only one could get out, and the girl did not think she would make it.  She pushed her mother out telling her she needed to live.  That was a very hard thing to hear the crying mother tell.  I thought of the Bible verse that says, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”
Miscellaneous Observations
It the time of a disaster like this, small motorcycles ruled.  I heard time and again that the gas pumps were all shut down.  And that it would not matter, because the roads were all shut down.  But the riders of these little bikes found fuel and were going everywhere.  There were even a few small motorcycles with side-cars holding more people than one would imagine they could carry.  I think it was a business for some.  I also saw people with soda bottles of gas for sale.  For the bikes?  Regular bicycles had a lot of good use as well.  Even in the worse of times people find a way to do things.
I learned that some people walked for hours to the airport, not knowing for certain, but they heard “the Americans are coming”.  It took a few days, but come we did.  It is nice to know some still think we are the Calvary, and in this case we were.  Americans brought C-130s, V-22s (Osprey tilt rotors), and all sorts of choppers.  A lot of supplies.  As of the time I am writing this, we have ships on the way.  It is not exactly a secret in the Philippines, but just because Subic Bay Naval Station and Clark Field closed does not mean all of our stuff left.  We still have things there.  And our military still stops there.  I understand that some of our naval ships can generate enough power to light up a small city.  If they have not by the time you read this, I suspect they will.  Having no control tower for the airport is no problem.  They bring their own.  One might think I was still proud of our troops.  I am.
I watched Philippine President Aquino wade through a crowd and spent some time handing out water to a very big group.  I saw them before and afterwards, but his security team was not visible when he was doing that.  They were either very good at blending, or the guy was just very comfortable with the people there.
The US military ran the airport well enough that by Thursday the 14th (PI time), some commercial planes could land even.  US C-130’s lifted many from Tacloban to Manila.
A couple of the cargo ships that were on land became emergency housing.  Someone figured that the ships were stable enough (we all hope) and were certainly going no place, so people took up residence.  In an emergency it is good to consider all possibilities.
Franklin Graham had his Samaritan’s Purse charter a 747 full of supplies to PI.  Our church took an extra offering and sent money that way through his outfit.  They have a high integrity.  I heard that the Southern Baptists are sending help, and I read that the Conservative Baptists are doing the same.  I fully trust both of these to do right in this also.  I understand there are other Christian organizations also doing right.  I read of one Jewish organization sending food aid, and some medical team arrived from Israel.  There is a team of American doctors helping at no charge too.  There are probably more people doing what is good and right that I do not know so much about.
I read the following in a British newspaper,
“Filipinos have a saying: Weeds don’t die easily,” she said. “When it’s safe, when there is electricity, when it’s livable, I’ll come back.”
Final words
I have said many good things about some people from the Philippines.  As I think about it, I believe that despite our often selfish society, there are many individual people here who would do every good thing I wrote about above.  While I do not think the percentage is as high as it should be, I think a lot of us still have that “I can do it attitude” that would help us get through some very terrible events.  We should accept help when we need it, but it is so very important that we learn to fend for ourselves.
We must never take God for granted.  He has preserved us thus far.  He may not always.  He may choose to let us go as a nation one day.  Job had a good answer for this,
"Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.
Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him." - Job 13:15
Pray for the Philippines.  Pray for our nation.  Pray for your families and yourselves. I wish you Godspeed.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

I know that seeing this attitude is not news to you, but I read this article and thought it may be helpful for the SurvivalBlog readers as reinforces what you and others have long said: that all bets are off in regards to morality and standards by the average Joe who has gone without food for a few days. This tale of post-Typhoon Yolanda includes the gripping quote: "I am a decent person. But if you have not eaten in three days, you do shameful things to survive." 

In any event, I thought you might find the link useful. Thank you again for all your wisdom and the good company you keep us in.

In Christ, - Michael W.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

As a daily reader of your blog, I've read over and over again about how Pre-1899 guns are legal. The Internet is full of such advise dating back a long time. However, I still fail to see how that would add much protection against confiscation. The ATF has seized Airsoft guns and police confiscated muzzleloaders from one home in my area after one resident (who was not the owner of the weapons!) was arrested there. The list goes on from there and contains nothing that shows that law enforcement makes any distinction between antiques and modern guns.

I believe that if we ever face full-blown gun confiscation, the people on the streets sent out to collect guns will simply take everything they can find, no matter if it is pre-1899 or not. They will grab things because they look like a gun, just like the assault weapons ban went after scary looking guns. Considering the price of a pre-1899, quality of manufacturing, age and wear, and often now hard to come by calibers, I'd rather spend my money on two modern rifles. "Use one and stash the other" seems safer than hope that law enforcement will correctly identify an antique.

Am I missing something? - Peter A.

JWR Replies: What you may be missing is going to jail and a felony conviction that could cost you your right to vote and your right to own any modern gun for the rest of your life. When a gun is seized outside of jurisdictional authority, then the owners almost invariably get their guns back, and they are not charged. But if there is ever a confiscatory ban, it will be under color of law, and most likely with a felony penalty attached. At least for the owner of pre-1899s, unless the law changes you will be able to openly possess, use, carry, and hunt without fear of being arrested and convicted of a felony.

I don't guarantee that hedging into pre-1899 guns will be a panacea. But I'm fairly certain that the pre-1899 exemption will remain in place in the U.S. for many more years. The law hasn't changed since 1968. After all, the available pool of pre-1899 antique guns gets smaller with every passing year, so their regulation will probably continue to be a "non-issue" in the eyes of politicians. Granted, there is the small chance that a highly-publicized criminal event might draw attention to pre-1899 antiques and initiate new legislation that would restrict them. (Such as a political assassination using an antique gun.) But that risk shows us the nature of all hedges: They are a form of insurance based on actuarial odds. I still predict that they that pre-1899s will prove to be worth buying. Doing so will hedge our bets on new legislation or executive orders.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

SurvivalBlog reader B.B. suggested this piece by Mark Steyn: The Drift toward Despotism. And joining the chorus, even more stridently: The Creeping Police State. Soon after sending those links, B.B. sent this brilliant essay from Daren Jonescu: The Progressive Degradation of Freedom.

Reading Jonescu's cogent words crystallized a nascent theory that had been nagging me for a decade. It is this: America's systemic reaction to the unspeakable horror of the 9/11 attacks was to "protect" ourselves by planting the seeds for a police state that will eventually strangle the freedom that we grew up cherishing. Each incremental step seems toward tyranny so "logical" and so "justified" to the minds of the statist Powers That Be. The citizenry, mimicking the Germans of the 1930s passively goes along with each of these baby steps, never quite chafing to the point of outright rebellion. The end result is a society that has made itself voluntarily monitored 24/7, agreed to centralized background checks just to exercise a Constitutional right, that has agreed to being either fondled or x-rayed by blue glove-wearing half-wits at airports. With our own tax dollars (annually self-assessed, of course) we have equipped an army of steroid-pumped henchmen who are ready, willing, and able to not just Taser us at the slightest sign of noncompliance, but even willing to arrest and drag us to a hospital for multiple rectal examinations because of the mere suspicion that we "might be hiding something."

Unless we individually and collectively develop some backbone, right quick, then it will be too late. The chains will be too solidly forged. The web of surveillance will be too complete. And the cross-correlated list of malcontents will be small and easy to round up. Unless we get active politically and forcefully stand up to tyranny, then we'll become outnumbered.

Benjamin Franklin presciently wrote: "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

You were right, Ben.


Here is it folks, the challenge for our generation, most likely to be answered in this decade: The next time there is another Ruby Ridge or Waco-style "standoff" with "extremists" happens, We The People will have two choices: We can passively sit by, watch it all on high definition television, wringing our hands and just muttering "That's so awful." Or, will enough of us grab our gear and drive there and set up a perimeter around their perimeter. Once in place, we'll show some backbone and take photos, take video, take names, and if need be be prepared to take lives. The choice is yours, America. Are you going to show up to the event and do what is right, or are you going to let the ninja-jackboot-thugs simply haul us off to the gulag one by one?

I'll leave you with another quote from the brilliant mind of Benjamin Franklin: "We must hang together, gentlemen...else, we shall most assuredly hang separately."

- J.W.R.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Hello Mr. Rawles:
I appreciate your suggestion on purchasing/acquiring some Pre-1899 or otherwise standard language weapons ban legislation immune firearms that could prove effective and "legal." (I use the term facetiously) in the event of a successful statist gun grab. (God forbid.) Other than the M1 Garand, could you perhaps provide a list of other firearms that may prove a prudent investment?

God Bless, - Jason in Kansas

JWR Replies: The following is is an excerpt from my Pre-1899 Antique Guns FAQ:

Q: What would you consider a basic battery of pre-1899 guns for a typical shooter that wants to diversify and "hedge his bets" by buying some pre-1899s for his family?

A:  I'd recommend buying the following pre-1899 production guns:

* Two big bore S&W top break double action revolvers (.44-40 or .44 Russian, but get both in the same caliber.)

* One Winchester Model 1897 in 12 gauge

* One pre-1899 .22 Long Rifle.  (Winchester Model 1890 pump or Winchester Low Wall single shot rifles are ideal.)

* Two Model 1893/94/95/96 Mauser bolt action rifles. (I suggest 6.5x55, 7x57, or 8x57, but regardless get both rifles in the same caliber.)

If you have a big budget, you should also invest in few additional pre-1899 Colts and Winchesters that are chambered for commonly available factory made ammunition.

For those who live in states with already tight restrictions (such as California and New Jersey), I'd recommend doing some research and finding semi-autos that were overlooked from their ban lists. These might still include the Ruger Mini-14 (in "vanilla" sporter configurations), FN-49 rifles, M1 Garands, Remington Model 81 Police (extended magazine) rifles, Remington 740 Woodmaster series hunting rifles (for which 10-round magazines are available), Winchester Model 100 rifles, and SKS carbines (with a few fairly limited magazine options.) Saiga-12 shotguns may also still be overlooked in some states with bans. Be sure to check the latest enacted editions of your state laws before making a purchase. If possible, buy rifles without a paper trail. When I last checked, rifles that are more than 50 years old could be purchased from private parties in California by a fellow resident without any FFL and DOJ paperwork.

By the way, although they are often mentioned as "loophole" guns, I don't recommend M1 Carbines, because they shoot a relatively weak pistol-class cartridge with a looping trajectory.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Is the M1A the best rifle to have sitting in your gun safe?  Ever since there have been rifles and humans, there has been discussions about what is the best rifle to have when you are thrust into a survival situation.  That situation might just be a government fallout, natural disaster, or the end of the world as we know it (TEOTWAWKI).  Either way, you need a rifle that will take you thru that situation and give you a fighting chance to survive. 

So what attributes make a good rifle to rely on?  For starters there are many of you that will feel that they already have the best survival rifle already.  Just hear me out.  A must is a semi automatic rifle that has the ability for you to shoot a single round for deer hunting or get you past an hour long shoot out with people trying to take your resources.  For this, you need a semi auto over any other form of repeating rifle.  Lever action, bolt action, pump, and single shot rifles all fall short here. 

Second, you need to be able to come back on target after your first shot.  I know that you are the best shooter and its one shot one kill right.  Well trust me, as a military combat veteran, it doesn’t always work that way.  Follow up shots are a must, whether you miss or acquire another target.

Touching up on the last requirement of being able to make follow up shots, your go to rifle needs to contain a box magazine.  This is a requirement and not optional.  The reason is the ability to reload fast and carry your ammunition in a way that you can make that reload fast and consistent.  This also allows you to share your ammo with other people in your party if you find yourself in this situation.  Box magazines come in all shapes and sizes.  Since we are discussing the M1A, we will limit this to those magazines.  I rely only on one brand of magazine for my rifle, checkmate steel magazines.  These come in all capacities.  No, I’m not talking about 100 round magazines.  Keep these limited to two sizes.  Standard twenty round magazines and a couple five round magazines.  The five round magazines are for hunting before a "without rule of law" (WROL) situation.  Once fish and game are no longer an issue, stick with the 20 round magazines.  I like steel magazines only.  The reason is they are easy to repair compared to plastic.  Steel will last forever, be bent back into shape, and have been proven where polymer magazines are new to come about.  M1As are picky when it comes to magazines.  Spend the money and buy a good set of magazines.  There is no reason to spend $1,500 on your rifle to go cheap on the accessories.  At a minimum you should have 10 magazines.  With everything, more is always better. 

Next I want to talk about the bullets themselves.  There are discussion boards that talk about 5.56 vs .308 vs 7.62x39, and you can read until you die.  Without going into a deep discussion, let me talk to you about why the .308 is the best round.  In North America, there is not a single animal that cannot be taken with this round.  This is not to say that you cannot take them with an AR-15 or AK, but I would feel much better hunting with a .308.  Looking at what hunters use right now, why would your even consider elk or moose hunting with that small of a round.  In the south, wild boar will be a huge part of the diet when there are no longer grocery stores to go to.  You should not risk an animal getting away from you if you wound them when you and your family are relying on the meat. 

Moving on, knockdown power or penetration is another area that the .308 will be able to win.  The military uses the 7.62x51 for their crew served weapons.  This gives the soldiers the ability to shoot thru cover and concealment.  The extra mass of the round allows it to not be deflected as easy when passing through leaves and small brush.  This could be the difference between a hit and miss.  Lastly, when it comes to ammunition, you need to be able to find it and purchase it at a good price.  With the ammunition shortage that has happened, I have still been able to find some .308 ammo on the shelves.  While the .223 shelves have been empty, there are some instances where you are able to find .308.  The times you do find .223, the price is just as much as what you can find .308 ammunition for. 

Moving on to the reason that the M1A is now the best rifle to have, lets talk about proposed bans.  The assault rifle has come under sustained fire ever since its been around.  This has not been more tested than now.  With the few mentally ill people going on shooting sprees, some members of congress feel that the American people should not have the ability to defend themselves.  This has been shown with Dianne Feinstein and her many assault weapons bans that she has tried to pass lately.  Looking at what she wants to ban, you never know if you will be able to keep your rifle in the future.  Lets just say that she gets her way and is able to pass the bill someday.  What is left to own?  The FAL is out, since it has a pistol grip and box magazines.  The AR platforms are out for the same reason.  The AK formats are in the same restrictions. The HK91, Galil, SCAR, and nearly every other [.308 detachable magazine] option are eliminated.  This is why the M1A is the best rifle to have in your possession today.  Proven, reliable, and possibly safe from the government. 

JWR Replies: Although you've constructed a bit a of straw man argument, a lot of your points are valid.

The core premise of your letter--the potential advent of new firearms laws--is what led me to diversify my collection to include some Pre-1899 guns, which are not even considered firearms under Federal law. (They are entirely outside of Federal jurisdiction.) A scoped Mauser Model 1895 bolt action shooting a cartridge like 7x57 Mauser or 6.5x55 Swedish Mauser can be quite potent and very accurate. To own one that is in the same category as a black powder muzzleloader in the eyes of the law is a great advantage.

Of all of the .308 semi-autos I've ever owned or shot, the one least likely to be banned is the M1 Garand (yes, some have been made in .308), since it uses a top-loading 8-round en bloc clip rather than a bottom-loading detachable box magazine. But I'm not going to sell off any of my other .308s out of fear of them being banned. I will not compromise when it comes to my Constitutional rights, and I will not comply with any law that is plainly unconstitutional. However, I am quite pragmatic about choosing the right time to "lock and load.") Claire Wolfe was prescient, in her most famous quote: "America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." So it indeed might be wise to have some pre-1899s and other legislatively resilient guns, just in case. Presumably we'll be able to leave these out in plain view while some other guns in our collections disappear for a while.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

My prayer life in recent days has been dominated by South Africa. I have relatives in both Zimbabwe and South Africa, so I've kept a close eye on the situation there for many years. After reading the writings of Ilana Mercer, other South Africans (including Dr. Peter Hammond, Cathy Buckle, the anonymous posts at The Afrikaner Journal,) and the many voices from the African diaspora, I can see that there is indeed a genocide nearing in South Africa. Those who fled Zimbabwe (the former Rhodesia) to South Africa gained only a temporary reprieve. I encourage all freedom-loving Christian and Jewish South Africans (and I do mean all of them: white, black, asian, and coloured) to emigrate and settle in the American Redoubt. If you are going to flee to America seeking freedom, then you might as well settle in the Redoubt--America's bastion of freedom, where the bedrock culture still predominates.

South Africa's Afrikaner culture is quite traditional and has deep roots. (Americans need to understand that Afrikaner culture is largely church-going, quiet, and conservative. It is much more about ballroom dancing than it is rock-n-roll.) I recognize that it is hard to leave your relatives, your friends and that red dirt. But there comes a day when you must either leave or perish. That day has come.

My messages:

1.) To the Christians and Jews of South Africa: Recognize the true peril that you face, and emigrate if you feel convicted to do so. God will providentially protect his Elect, but they must heed the warnings that they hear.

2.) To the folks already living in the American Redoubt: Please do your best to encourage and support emigration from South Africa. They need more than just our prayers. Please help these refugees find jobs, land, and church homes in the Redoubt. If you have God-fearing friends or relatives in Africa then encourage them to emigrate as soon as possible.

3.) To those with any influence in our government: Please do your best to have immigration quotas raised, to welcome newcomers from South Africa.

4.) My prayer for both the people of South Africa and to those who will welcome them here in America is simple and forthright: Matthew 25:34-46. Please meditate on these verses and pray that doors will be opened.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Good Morning, Mr. Rawles:

After watching part of last night's Blackout Docudrama on National Geographic. I turned the television off in total disgust and went to bed.  What insidious propaganda! 

I could not help but notice that the "prepper" father was a gun toting, autocratic bully who bossed everyone and refused to act humanely by sharing all his wealth with those less fortunate or less willing to be responsible for themselves?  How interesting.

And of course, the compassionate one was the young and hip boyfriend of the prepper's daughter.  He hadn't prepared himself but he was more than happy to live off of someone else's largess.  He was also more than happy to be judge and jury as to how someone else's preps should be treated. 

And the young woman, who was attacked and most probably raped and/or killed, "deserved" it because she was a wealthy "princess" who lived in a penthouse.  She was portrayed as stupid and totally un-connected to the real world in which most of us live.  Also interesting was the portrayal of her rich boyfriend who believed he was entitled to whatever resources were available as he tried "throwing his money around."

And of course, we were all going to be saved by the government as our fearless leader gravely assured us.  I'm amazed I got half way through the program!  Here was an excellent opportunity to impress upon the average citizen that they need to be ready for bad weather or other unforeseen circumstances.  Instead we got the "PC" version of who the good guys are and who the bad guys are.  I think I'll just stick to SurvivalBlog.

Thanks for all you do! - Getting Ready in N.C.

Friday, October 25, 2013

[I recently saw an announcement from a company that caught my attention.] This alone would seem to me to make a company at least worthy of consideration for future business:

   'Effective Immediately!! Due to the recent changes in 2nd Amendment laws that are pending or currently enforced by states across the country, the J&T Family of Companies which includes J&T Distributing, DoubleStar Corp., Ace Limited, and the DoubleStar Training Academy has been forced to reassess our policies regarding government and law enforcement sales. Effective immediately, the J&T Family of Companies will be joining other manufacturers and distributors by ceasing sales of regulated items in states that have altered the rights of citizens to keep and bear arms.

The JTFOC will no longer sell prohibited items to law enforcement agencies or any government agencies in states, counties, cities, and municipalities that have enacted restrictive gun control laws against their law abiding citizens. We hope other companies will join us with their support. We applaud those already involved with this effort to protect our 2nd Amendment rights.'

Regards, - J. McC.

JWR Replies: Thanks for sending that. According to at least 80 other companies have done likewise. These sales policies are good examples of how to express our principles in a way to effect positive change in our nation. I consider this sort of action comparable to the whole concept of "voting with our feet." It is a non-violent, non-coercive way of disengaging ourselves from that which is corrupt and associating ourselves with what is right and good. Call it Going Galt (a la Atlas Shrugged), or call it what you will, but I believe it is fully justified. We need a lot more of it. We should also do our best to boost local economies by buying locally, attracting businesses, supporting farmers markets, and boosting local currencies as well more widely circulating alternative currencies such as Bitcoin. These are all part of a logical progression for America's nascent Redoubts. (I use the plural because it would be arrogant to think that The American Redoubt region that I named will be the only one. There will undoubtedly be others in places such as the State of Jefferson, Northern Colorado, the Cumberland Plateau (advocated by Joel Skousen,) the Four Corners region, and perhaps in places like Maine and western New York.)

There is a long standing precept in American private enterprise. It is summarized in a small sign you see, often hand-printed: "We reserve the right to refuse to do business with anyone." This principle undoubtedly rankles the nerves of the statists, fascists, and other assorted collectivists. To their mind, industry is at their beck and call. They'd like to be able to place a purchase order (using taxpayer funds, of course) for 1,000 dozen rubber truncheons to their precise specification from whichever company they'd like, and have that company be obliged--under penalty of law--to fill that order. But the statists are presumptuous. America doesn't work that way. We never have, and we never will. Just like "voting with our feet," by refraining from accepting business from those that intend to enslave us, we can effect positive change.

Please support companies like J&T Family of Companies. They deserve your business and your notes of encouragement. As time goes on, the "red/blue" polarization of the U.S. will continue. Do your best to help the good folks band together. Encourage company management to relocate their firms to the Redoubts. Vote with your feet. Vote with your wallet. We can all Go Galt, at least in some small way.

An important note, in closing.: I'm not advocating polarization by race (which is nonsensical.) And I'm not advocating polarization by political party (as that is now meaningless, since America's two dominant parties have been thoroughly co-opted.) Rather, I'm advocating polarization based on the propensity for human Liberty. Let freedom reign.

Monday, October 21, 2013

The recent political crisis over the delayed raising of the U.S. debt ceiling was just a precursor of a much larger crisis that will occur when interest rates inevitably rise. Once they do rise, it will become impossible for the Federal government to service its debt without massive monetization and concomitant mass inflation. There may also be some draconian stopgap measures such as levies on bank accounts (a.k.a. "bail ins"), nationalization of private pension funds, nationalization or forced common stock purchases for IRA and 401(k) plans, currency controls, bank holidays, bank withdrawal limits, currency recalls, limited access to safe deposit boxes, IRA and 401(k) withdrawals limits, and perhaps even another ban on privately held gold bullion.

For the past seven years I have urged my readers to diversify their investments out of U.S. Dollars and into tangibles. I am now repeating that with an even greater sense of urgency. It is high time to deliberately draw down you bank accounts and stop rolling over your CDs. I now urge my readers to gradually withdraw as much cash as you can, leaving only as much in your checking accounts as you need to pay your monthly expenses and to make your tax payments.

Beware of CTRs

If you have more than $10,000 in your account and you attempt withdraw it all at once, then by law your bank teller will fill out a Currency Transaction Report (CTR). These reports are available to the IRS and other government agencies. To avoid this, you need to gradually withdraw your cash, in unequal amounts, over a period of weeks or months. If you have a lot of cash to move, then one viable approach is to write checks to open bank accounts in other banking institutions, and then deliberately draw down those new accounts with numerous small cash withdrawals.(Less than $7,000 each.) According to Wikipedia, CTRs include "an optional checkbox at the top if the bank employee believes the transaction to be suspicious or fraudulent, commonly called a SAR, or Suspicious Activity Report." If your bankers suspects that you are "structuring" withdrawals, then they will feel obliged to file a SAR.

What to do with the cash you withdraw:

1.) Get your beans, bullets and Band-Aids squared away. This should be your highest priority. Don't consider "investing" in anything else until you get your key preparations established.

2.) Keep some greenback cash "mattress money" in small bills. If possible, keep enough cash for a couple of months worth of expenses. Again, keep it very well hidden at home, or bury it in waterproof containers.

3.) Only after accomplishing Steps 1 and 2, buy some physical silver. In the U.S., pre-1965 dimes, and quarters are the best choice. Keep your silver very well hidden at home, or bury it in waterproof containers. Make sure that you let a couple of trusted relatives know exactly where it is hidden, in case you might come to harm.

4.) Invest in some common caliber ammunition. Here is your shopping list, in a nutshell: Rifle: .30-06, .308 Win., 5.56 NATO, 5.45x39, 7.62x39, .30-30, and .22 LR. Pistol: .45 ACP, 9mm, .40 S&W., .357. 38 Special. Shotgun: 12 Gauge, 2-3/4" length. (Buy a good mix of buckshot, slug and birdshot shotshells, with an emphasis on buckshot.)

5.) Invest in some good quality battle rifles, handguns, and full capacity magazines.

6.) Buy productive farm or ranch land (with good pasture and hay ground) that is in a viable retreat region.

7.) Invest in your education. That is the ultimate form of portable wealth. A second stream of income may become important in the coming years, so getting an education in a practical trade would be wise.

8.) If you have substantial liquid wealth (more than $500,000), then start shuttling some of it offshore. But because of the coming currency fluctuations, I recommend that the majority of that be stored offshore in physical precious metals. If you don't already have a deeply trusted relationship with a family in your offshore host country (you should!), then you will have to trust a bank deposit box in your offshore host country.

9.) Buy a few books of "Forever" postage stamps. These may become useful for barter, as they will hold their value against inflation better than cash.

10.) Invest in a depression-proof business that is portable. (See the blog article links in my reply to these letters.)

11.) Build your personal reference library.

12.) If you are elderly, then invest in preparedness for your children and grandchildren. In the depths of the Second Great Depression, you won't be able to count on the government to help you. But you can count on your close relatives.

What NOT to do with the cash you withdraw:

1.) Unless you are a multimillionaire, don't buy large quantities of gold or gemstones. Not only is gold too compact a form of wealth for practical barter, but it is also far more likely to be confiscated than silver.

2.) Don't build up your Bitcoin wallet balance above 15 BTC. Because Bitcoins are a synthetic currency and Internet-based, they are subject the whims of larcenous politicians. Bitcoin transactions can be tracked, because nearly every Bitcoin transaction has a corresponding e-mail trail. (And anyone who thinks that their e-mails are all "safely encrypted" is fooling themselves.)

3.) Don't buy urban or suburban real estate.

4.) Don't buy a second home in a "resort" area. As I've mentioned before in SurvivalBlog, resort areas will be targeted by looters in times of social chaos.

5.) Don't invest in fine art, vintage wines, rare postage stamps, classic cars, or collectibles. Those will sell for just pennies on the dollar in the Depression. (If you want any of those, then wait for the opportunity to "buy low.")

6.) Other than some home security webcams, commo gear, a starlight scope, and a Dakota Alert passive IR intrusion detection system, don't waste your money on electronic gadgets.

7.) Don't invest in foreign currencies. There are no more "safe" currencies!

8.) Don't invest in foreign stocks. Tangibles will trump, worldwide.

9.) Don't over-prepare or over-invest in one area, at the expense of others. (For example, buying all guns and no storage food, or vice versa.) Balanced preparedness is the key!

Bottom line: The time for hesitation has passed. If you leave your liquid assets in a bank or in a savings and loan, then you are now a sitting duck.


Interest rate turmoil again affected holding company trading revenues heavily in the first and second quarters of 2013. According to the latest report from the U.S. Office of the Compttroller of the Currency (OCC), rate trading derivatives losses were $3.018 Billion in 1Q 2013 and $3.804 Billion in 2Q 2013.

It is noteworthy that the present-day casino in credit derivatives has built up in the era of ZIRP, where interest rate changes have been miniscule. The losses reported in the first two quarters were apparently triggered by the unexpected rate moves of less than 20 basis points. (Two tenths of one percent.)

While the total credit exposure to risk based capital has declined for the top four U.S. commercial banks that do derivatives trading, the notional value of their derivatives increased by $2.2 trillion, to $233.9 trillion. And JPMorgan (the world's biggest derivatives trader) just by itself holds derivatives contracts with a notional value of around $71 Trillion! (To be precise: $71,289,673,000,000.) To put that in perspective, the total value of the US economy is around $15 trillion.

The counterparty risk in credit derivatives would be gigamongous, if interest rates were to spike several full points, and any large institutions then subsequently failed. If you thought that the bailouts back in 2009-2010 were huge, then just wait and see what the next credit crisis brings. - JWR

Thursday, October 17, 2013

This may inflame some folks, but for others I hope it jogs our brain cells to ask, how did we get to this spot, and why are we of this prepper mindset?

Think back to the early sixties (if you can), 6th grade in sunny California, and unlike my folks who suffered through the Great Depression, life was good.  NY Yankees' Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris were hitting away, trying to break the Babe's home run record.  Every kid in my school played ball, at every opportunity, and you carried your glove with you, was a mark of boyhood.  The school janitor was our ump, and recess went by all to fast.  Girls did their own thing, and to be honest I don't remember what it was.  Even the teachers were "betting" on Mantle, but the principal held out for Maris. America invented baseball, along with the Colt .45 peacemaker and 1911, flying saucers, the muscle car, the movies, Rock and Roll,  NASA, the transistor radio, drive-in theaters, cowboys and the wild west, and countless scores of other things.  We were a nation of heroes and legends who won the World War against fascism and evil.  We even won at the Alamo even when we lost, because of men like Crockett and Bowie and Travis.  Sports figures were heroes, not thugs, they were paid well but not rich, and they spent time with kids, not like today's sports celebrities, who spend more time using performance enhancers to cheat.  Kids played outside, with no fear.

Eisenhower, the commanding General of "the Allies" in WWII, was President.  Kennedy and Nixon were running for President, and the girls all wanted Kennedy because he was the better looking and younger of the two.  We all felt a sense of strength in Kennedy, whether or not that was true.  He was perceived as a just man who would not be slapped around, who knew right from wrong, and had proven himself in battle.  John and Jackie Kennedy were the darlings of the era.  Nobody disliked them.  When we look back at those times, now-liberal agendas were simply not on the table and not debated as today.  And Kennedy was not mocked for his frequent mentions of the Almighty.  BHO would have never been elected during this time, regardless of skin color or attitudes then, but because of his socialist views, his associates, and his lack of proven leadership qualities.

Most boys were in Scouts, and most went through hunter safety.  I still remember that nobody caught any flak for walking down the street with your .22.  We all had a warrior mindset, but not a mindset of violence or evil to our fellow Americans, but rather, respect.  The NRA was not involved in politics like today, because there was no need to protect peoples' 2nd Amendment rights...everyone just had them - this was America!.  Kids could go into Joe Agueda's gas station and buy .22 rounds for very little money.  There were no background checks of course.

Most things were based on horse sense.  There were not a lot of "WSM's" (whining, sniveling malcontents) who showed themselves back then.  Men married women.  Homosexual people did not join up in the military and if found out they were booted out.  Women did not serve on board ships in the Navy with men.  Duh.  People refrained from certain locker-room talk in front of women and kids, flipped the bird only to your worst enemy, and the "F" bomb was not dropped in public, especially by young people, and never on the silver screen.  People helped others who were in need or in trouble.  People who acted like jerks were shunned, and those who were honorable were respected.

Certain things were never done.   Nobody, not even nuts,  not even suicidal nuts,  walked into a school full of children or into a movie theater or a military installation or a church,  and opened fire.  There was always a general, overall sense that this country was one of real manhood, whose people were warriors, who would protect us all from harmful people, from mentally deranged people.   There were far less threats because those of that bent were not allowed to just go about in society doing as they wished.  There were consequences, not like today.  There was far more respectful treatment among us.  Life was sometimes harsh,  sometimes "unfair", and sometimes folks' "rights" were violated...but we were far, far safer than today, and without "political correctness".  There were winners and losers, and that was not considered a detriment to our society.  People just dealt with it.  Like Clint Eastwood's character in "Heartbreak Ridge" said, "Adapt, improvise, overcome".

While people were different in many ways, and there were always the criminal types ("hoodlums" Granny called them) seemed like most Americans were on the same page.  Yes there was still problems with segregation in those days, especially in the South -  a  scar, a blight, and a curse on our country ever since the inclusion of slavery on our shores.  Native Americans and Japanese citizens were also treated poorly in our history.   In spite of our weaknesses and failures and differences, we seemed to be more of a nation of patriots, even black men (called "negroes" then) rose above the racial inequalities and fought their hearts out or competed their hearts out when called; As did our Native Americans, as did our Japanese people...persecuted and oft times ridiculed, but fought anyway, because we were a nation of patriots.  Adults were also hard working patriots, with a sense of dignity and loathing for handouts.  We all come from pioneers and fighters, most of whom were from foreign shores. Our whole culture is one based on survival in the face of hardships.

The UN was still an infant back then, and heralded by many as a new, ground-breaking way to have peace on Earth (okay so that didn't work so bueno.)  All of us in grade school had to know who Dag Hamerskjold was, the 2nd secretary general of the UN...he died in a plane crash while in office, and President Kennedy called him "the greatest statesman of this century".  At about the same time, Fidel Castro had stormed Cuba and we were all taught that he was a no-good, a "red" (communist) who murdered his own people and enslaved many, like Stalin or Hitler.  In spite of the celeb's today who want us to believe Cuba is wrongfully persecuted by the USA, talk to those who risked their lives to get out of there, to be here.

The 50's and early 60's were lazy, blissful days.  Saturday matinees, and Little League.   Weekly ball games on TV called by legends Pee Wee Reese and Dizzy Dean, and heavyweight boxing matches on "the boob tube" as my Dad called it (to him there would never be another Rocky Marciano - and Cassius Clay was no Marciano, he would say).  Push manual lawn mowers, record stores, rotary dial phones and party lines, hot cars, cheap gas, "Bonanza" (yay!) and Lawrence Welk (yech!)  It seemed like everybody smoked cigarettes except a few of the old timers who stuck with their pipes.  There were no microwaves, bottled water, smart phones, the internet, video games, iPods or pads, Kindles, methamphetamine labs or crack houses (although there were "dope fiends"), rock concerts, gyms, espresso coffee, pizza or fast food joints.  There was also no Super Bowl much less "tailgate parties", nor were there any "R" rated movies or any other rating for that matter..."Ben Hur" and "Ol' Yeller" were the hit movies.  And there were definitely no terrorists.  Still,  there were lots of mistakes made in those days, from abusing our lands and wildlife to unwise medical practices to liberal parenting models (thanks to Dr. Benjamin Spock)..we are, after all, fallen, imperfect human beings in constant need of a Savior!

Most importantly, there were no preppers as we know it today.  Folks just modestly put away here and there for emergencies, or disasters, not counting the "fall out shelter" craze that went on for awhile during the Cold War.  But Mom's knew more back then about making things, and all Mom's cooked like crazy back then.  Government and/or economic collapse was hardly ever talked about, pandemics and natural disasters were mentioned occasionally, there were no movies about these themes.  And climate change was not on the table at all.  Catch this:  Nobody would have ever dreamed that just owning a gun and ammo would be a big deal, or that .22 LR would ever be in short supply.

When we were stopped and questioned by the local gendarme's back then, it was always "yes sir" and "no sir"...or you suffered the consequences.  Same applied to teachers and neighbors.  In those days the male teachers wore coats and ties and were well-groomed, and used those long yellow chalk board erasers on sassy boys, with reckless abandon.  The female teachers wore dresses in class, and were equally well known for their lightening fast disciplinary techniques, again, mostly with the boys.  Parents used corporal punishment on children as well, with no fear of child abuse charges because somebody's bottom got a was just...common sense!  Try that today.  Respect.

Little did we realize, but there were hard and confusing times shortly ahead,  much different than the challenges of WWII and Korea.   There were also insidious forces at work behind the scenes, on the attack from the inside to change our way of life as we knew it.  Nothing like Pearl Harbor mind you, but attacks nonetheless.  Many of us remember watching little Nikita Khrushchev pound his shoe on the podium at the UN and warning us that communism would take us over...from within!

 As just one example, most of us did not realize that the number of attorneys would explode over the next few decades, litigating the USA into a society of fear and loathing where anyone could get sued for anything. The ACLU, founded by a card carrying communist, would become extremely powerful and give birth to many like organizations, such as the National Lawyers Guild.  These organizations have put a serious dent in legal fairness, common sense, and Americanism, and continue to do so, unabated.  They have warped our judicial system and have made a mockery of criminal justice.  

What has taken it's toll on America?  The killing of the Kennedy's and MLK, Viet Nam, the drug culture, abortion, segregation unrest, bigger and more abusive government, taxes, crime, liberal prison reforms, powerful labor unions, the growth of gangs, "alternative" lifestyles, Hollywood, the MTV culture, environmental hazards and disasters, the entitlement lifestyle, porous borders, ill health and obesity, and most importantly, the rejection of our Christian heritage.  We are a nation divided.  There are now many Americans who have zero respect for parents, teachers or elders, for our laws and our Constitution, our heritage, or for our military protectors.

Like the frog in the hot water, we are now close to the boiling point, and we are complacent, choosing to boil to death rather than jump out of the cauldron.  This is very dangerous for our society.

An example:  Who would have thought years ago that it is "normal" to hear a Hollywood talking head on the radio, advertising tax specialist assistance in order to keep the IRS from seizing our bank accounts and homes because  of "back taxes"?.  Why are we standing for this nonsense?  We are taxed to death already, and nobody's homes or paychecks should be seized by anyone in this country much less our own government!.  Yet we ignore the advertisement and think about getting a latte instead.

So we prepare for the worst because we can't rely on our leaders in Washington to do right by us.  Instead, we fear our own government, and with good reason.  With each passing year, the government shows itself to be a heartless and really dumb entity that exists to victimize it's own citizens.  To add insult to injury, our government and the Central Bank are bedfellows, and between the two, have managed to drive us to financial Armageddon.  The American dream is a little hard to come by when everyone ends up broke.

We prep because we can't trust the rest of the world to leave us in peace and worry about their own countries.

We prep because we  want to take care of our families and give our little ones a fighting chance.

We prep because we don't want to be boiled frogs.

Those who take the necessary precautions, those who are the willing, will be able to take our heritage back from those who are stealing it and destroying it.  Because we have respect for our country.  But if we continue to thumb our noses at the Creator of the universe and all mankind, it won't matter.  Time to realize that Jesus is coming back, and now is not the time to be goofing off!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Hi James,
I just came across the news story about some EBT cards to have apparently unlimited balances leading to the almost cleaning out of a Wal-Mart before the computer glitch was corrected.

I bring this up because it is a near perfect parallel to the situation Nathan Hale Jefferson put in "The Wayward Journey" which I reviewed several months back.  He deserves a pat on the back for anticipating this. - Harry

Monday, October 14, 2013

I'm often asked about social media, forums, and meetup/networking web sites as a method for preppers to get together. I generally discourage the use of social media, as a big OPSEC risk. As I've warned my readers many times in SurvivalBlog, these sites are intelligence-gathering vacuum cleaners for self-incrimination, plain and simple. It has been well established that the NSA gobbles up as much information as it can and wherever it can.

Even if what you mention about your private life in Tweets and Facebook posts is presently legal and commonplace (such as food storage, hunting, and shooting), that doesn't mean that it won't someday become demeaned or even illegal.

You must recognize that whatever you post in social media is there forever, even if you later "delete" your posts, and even if you completely delete your user account.

I will not be surprised if it is someday revealed that most of these sites were created specifically for the purpose of intelligence gathering. (Google and Facebook have many CIA and NSA connections, and what could best be described as an incestuous relationship. Google, in particular, is suspect.)

For all of these reasons, I have never created a Facebook or Twitter page for myself, and I discourage others from doing so. And likewise, I do not have a "SurvivalBlog Forum", or a YouTube channel with "followers", nor do I have a mechanism for auto-posting of comments in my blog. Those can be tracked and easily cross-correlated. I have no intention of making myself a tool for some malefactor. The few letters from readers that I post are edited for OPSEC. For example I almost always change or truncate names and change their initials.

One quiet afternoon I did some pondering and decided that the names of the social media sites and some of their operative terms are in fact acronyms, which I've defined, as follows:


FACEBOOK: FBI-Arranged Confessions Eternally Bookmarked On Our Komputer.

KICKSTARTER: Kicking In Cash Koupons Solely To Accord Retarded Teenage Enterprises with Relevancy

MYSPACE: My Yesterdays Saved Permanently, Allowing Character Extirpation

PINTEREST: Police (or Pedophiles) Interested in Nattering Teen Effusiveness, Regardless of any Eventual Statist Tendencies

TWITTER: Those Willingly Incriminating Themselves to The Evil Regime

LINKED IN: Lashed Interminably to National Komputers, Every DHS Intelligencer is Notified

MYLIFE: Many Youngsters Lured into Intelligence Fusion Enterprises

DEVIANTART: Datamining Extroverts and Voyeurs In Artfully Nefarious Temptations, Arguably a Resilient Trap

LIVEJOURNAL: Low Intelligence Value Everyday Jests Or Unthreatening Rantings of Nutcases And Lunatics

YAHOO GROUPS: Your Antiquated Hooligans and Obstinate Old-timers Gather Religiously--Obviously Under Police Scrutiny

GOOGLE+: Gatherings Of Overweight Geriatric Lechers and Enticers, (+Police)

PHOTOBUCKET: Photos of Hotties Obseverable To Officers Briefly, Until Canceled (but Kept Eternally in Terabytes)

BLOGGER: Blogs for Lazy Old Grannies, for GOOGLE's Evidentiary Research

MEETUP: Matching Every Extrovert To an Unprincipled Provocateur

ORKUT: Only Read in Kolkata or at Universidade Teresina

PANDORA: Pilfering Another Ditty Or Radio Attraction

SECONDLIFE: Some Escapist Charades Only Needed by Delinquent Losers, Indolents, Fantasizers or Evaders

SKYPE: Sent Konversations of Youths Penetrated by ECHELON

STUMBLEUPON: Surveillance That U.S. Magistrates Blithely Let Enforcers Use to Pressure Opponents and Naysayers

DELICIOUS: Designating Eternal Links In Cyberspace (Ignorant of OPSEC), Utilized by Stasi

YOUTUBE: Youthful Obsessions Unfit for Television, Until Brin-Endorsed

FOURSQUARE: Forgettable Or Unstable Relationships, but Some are Qualitatively Utilized (the Addresses Reveal Entanglements)

DIGG: Dissident Intelligence Gathered by Government

WIKIPEDIA: Wasted Intellect, Kreating an Immense Propaganda Encyclopedia Designed to Incapacitate America

INSTAGRAM: Innocuously, Napolitano Seizes Treasured Assets and Gendarmes Reap Actionable Material

WAYBACKMACHINE: Wonderfully Accurate Years of Belligerent Allocution by Citizens Knavishly Making Archives, Compiling HUMINT Inventories of Natterings Evidence

MY YEARBOOK: Meeting Youth of Yesteryear, Enrolling Alums at Reseau Bluffdale Or Other Keeps

FLICKR PHOTOS: Fotos, Largely that I Couldn't Kontribute Rationally, Possibly Holding On To Old Shamefulness

CLASSMATES: Could Lead Alumni to Squeal Stories Mistakenly to Agencies and Their ECHELON Storehouses

TAGGED: Those Agencies Getting Gun Evidence Details

WINDOWS LIVE HOME: Where Imbeciles Naively Disclose Old Wrongdoings, Snoops Love It, and Vigorously Engineer Hoards Of Maleficent Espionage

Component and Operative Terms:

TWEETS: The Way Everyone Evinces Themselves Slavishly

FANS: FISA And Napolitano Sensors

HASHTAGS: Harmful And Sly Handles with Thousands of Aggregated Guilt Summaries

PINS: People In NSA Stings

FORUM: Future Ordered Roundup of Undesirable Malcontents

MEETUPS: Meeting Extraordinarily Eccentric, Tactless, and Untrustworthy People Somewhere

FRIENDS: Folks who are Really Intelligence Envoys, Navigators, Dupes, and Servants

BLOG COMMENTS: Buffoons Letting Others Generate Confessions for Our Mainframes, Makes Every Nazi's Task Simple

REACH: Rahm Emmanuel's Asset Collection Hooks

GEOTAG: Getting Everyone's Obscure True Address and Geolocation

HANGOUT: Handing All Nefarious Government Operatives Useful Tidbits

MASHUP: Mixing Assorted Schumer, Hunting Unwitting Patriots

FOLLOWERS: Feds Only Like Lots Of Willing, Emasculated, Robotic Slaves

TROLLS: Those Really are Obama's Lawmen, Lying for the State

CLOUDCOMPUTING: Clapper's Latest Outlandish and Unrestrained Dream of all Computer Operations Manipulated by Placing them Under The Interests of the National Government

FLASHMOB: FISA-Launched Assemblies Secretly Harnessed to Manhandle Objective Bystanders

LURKER: License to Unrepentant Roving Komputer Expert Rabble-rousers

AVATAR: A Vivacious Alterego That Averts Reality

WIKIS: We're In Kolusion and Infiltrating Systematically

CHAT: Conversations Heard and Arranged by Troublemakers

RSS: Routed Straight to Stasi

BSD: Big Sis Department

CROWDSOURCING: Counting Reliably On Wisdom and Dollars Swiped from Others, Using Resourceful Cunning or Intrigues that Needle for Generosity
(Alternatively: Corralling and Recruiting Others to Waste Dollars and Scarce Opportunities in Uncompensated Risk to Co-create Idylls, Instituting Nothing Good)

SEO: Surreptitious Evidence Obtained

UGC: Usurped (Government's) Content

WEBINAR: We're Essentially Being Interrogated, the NSA is Always Recording

TAGCLOUD: Tallies Arranged for Government's Clandestine Location Of Unbridled Dissidents

TRIBES: The Roundup Is Becoming Extremely Simple

You have been warned! Stay away from social media sites.

My advice: Learn the lost art of letter writing. In this age of universal surveillance, a stamped envelope in the mail is perhaps the only relatively secure way relate your thoughts over a distance without risk of interception. Oh by the way: Because of the new US Postal Service mail logging program, you should type the recipient's name and address in both the center and upper left hand corner of the envelope. - JWR

‘The fate of the country is now in our hands’ It is is time for “Forced Resignations” initiated by our Citizens!
Our federal government continues down the path of destroying America. Americans must now stand up and put America back on the right track. The federal government has not subsided in “sucking the oxygen” out of America and its people with legislation and without the action required to solve our problems. The National Call to Action of the people begins now! And we call to action all branches of government to do your constitutional duties and not be led astray in the cultural and moral decay of America. We have witnessed far too many lies, deception and corruption of the republic.
You see, we do not need you other than to represent us, the people, and abide by and protect the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The Declaration of Independence states: “To secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness.”
Likewise, in the poem “Invictus” by English poet William Ernest Henley (1849–1903), we read: “I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.” Yes, America, WE are the Masters of our Fate and the Captains of our Soul.” Our nation burns and self-destructs before our very eyes but now you are starting to awaken. The majority of the country and its citizens have experienced and seen our inept and incompetent leadership In Washington! The battle is on and we shall not retreat.
We will not permit the leaders in the White House and halls of Congress to lead us down a road of progressive socialism and destruction of the republic. The patriotic revolution that I forecast well over a year ago is happening now. We constitutionalists face a battle that is unknown to our generations so we must be aggressive in our collective efforts to continue to turn back the tide. The fate of the country is now in our hands and the plea from the majority of our citizens is to enforce the Constitution, severely limit the federal government and its out-of-control spending. There is a growing list of documented violations of the Constitution and their oath of office by current elected and appointed government officials
Lincoln issued this warning in his inaugural address, “Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government and form a new one. This is a most valuable and sacred right — a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world.” Being a representative republic, not a democracy, “rising up” means for us something other than revolution by use of arms. The people must “rise up” (Stand Up) from the grassroots across this great country as we think of the greater good of this and future generations. We are limited in the peaceful transfer of power… resignation, elections, and impeachment. That is why the patriotic revolution and patriotic union must take place to ensure survival of the Union.
The oath is simple and reads: “I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”
Sadly, we have seen too many officials violate their oath. Fraud, lying, and corruption are rampant and some have engaged in treasonous activities, and they effectively thumb their noses at us and have sold you to the highest bidder.
The Articles of Confederation were replaced with the Constitution, which granted the federal government enough authority to cultivate, promote and secure the blessings of liberty. The balance of authority and individual liberty was understood. Power was confined to that which was enumerated in the Constitution with a certain and meaningful intent for check and balances. We must make it a local imperative and movement… of the people… by the people… and for the people.
“We the People” have had enough. Enough is Enough. The Obama White House and identifiable members of Congress must now depart from a progressive socialist and treasonous death march and bankrupting the country beyond expectations. We have watched them violate their sacred oath of office. “We the People” cannot solely depend on the results of the elections. It is now that many of these public servants (and you know who they are) must put the peoples’ and country’s interests above self-interest by resigning and stepping down immediately.
A civil uprising is still not out of the question as “pain” grips the country more each day. Hopefully, our future will reflect the citizens changing the tide in a peaceful way. This means raising your voice now to your neighbors, family, co-workers, and friends. Be the captains of your souls. I pray for another George Washington to appear within the year and lead us. This is a National Call to Action.
Paul E. Vallely MG, US Army (ret)
Chairman – Stand Up America and “The Americans”

JWR Adds: I first met General Vallely in 1984, when I was a newly-minted Second Lieutenant. My USAR Military Intelligence unit (the 519th ASA Co.) was co-located with the headquarters of the 351st Civil Affairs Command in Mountain View, California, which Vallely then commanded. After retiring as a Major General, Vallely became a frequent commentator on international military affairs for Fox News. He also founded Nemo Arms, a Kalispell, Montana-based maker of top-quality AR-10 and AR-15 family rifles.

Monday, October 7, 2013

By the year 2020 we may be in the midst of (or in the early stages of recovery from) a major depression or perhaps even a full-blown socioeconomic collapse. An old saying is: "Hindsight is 20/20." So here is a gedanken: What will people observe in the year 2020, with the benefit of hindsight?
The following is my conjecture on what folks will cite when asked: "What went wrong?"

  • Profligate government spending at all levels
  • Multigenerational welfare
  • Rampant food stamp dependence (1/6th of the populace, as of 2013!)
  • Loss of American competitiveness
  • Declining academic standards and performance
  • Decline in manufacturing and a shift to a service economy
  • A systematically debased currency
  • Deteriorating roads, bridges, power distribution, and civic water systems
  • Increasing dependence on technology and long chains of supply
  • General apathy, moral decline, and degeneracy
  • Artificially manipulated interest rates
  • A declining work ethic and detachment from traditional self-sufficiency skills
  • Socialist policies, over-regulation, and over-taxation
  • Malinvestment in everything from wind farms to Tesla Motors
  • A narcissistic, self-absorbed, and overweight society
  • A populace obsessed with popular culture, fads, gossip, fashion, celebrities, and media sensations
  • A populace that ignores genuinely important issues
  • Statism
  • Corporate welfare
  • A corrupt crony relationship between Wall Street, the Federal Reserve banking cartel, and the Treasury Department
  • Enormous, uncontrolled debt--both public and private
  • Never-ending bailouts of public and private organizations, paid for with tax dollars.

They will also ask themselves: "What could I gave done differently, to be prepared?" They will realize that they could have, and should have decided to:

  • Move to a lightly-populated farming region that is well-removed from major population centers.
  • Learn traditional skills such as gardening, canning, hunting, welding, and home mechanics.
  • Network with like-minded individuals.
  • Get out of debt. and stay out of debt.
  • Stock up on storage food and other key logistics.
  • Arm yourself and get tactically-oriented firearms training.
  • Develop a second income stream with a home-based business that will be depression proof and resilient to mass inflation
  • Assemble a reference library.
  • Train in advanced first aid.
  • Get a ham radio license.
  • Become involved with your local farmer's market.
  • Join a local Volunteer Fire Department.

I don't claim to have any special insight on the future. But I can certainly see social, political, and economic trends and project their likely outcomes. The current trends do not bode well. Just by themselves, the public and private debt burdens will be enough to cause major problems in coming years. Get ready, folks.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

I was reading Tuchman's seminal work The Guns of August last night and found this quote, where she describes the emphasis in 1910 by author Norman Angell in his book The Great Illusion on how the increasing connectedness of business and nations would assuredly preclude future conflict:

'By impressive examples and incontrovertible argument Angell showed that in the present financial and economic interdependence of nations, the victor would suffer equally with the vanquished; therefore war had become unprofitable; therefor no nation would be so foolish as to start one.'

This cited work was published in 1910, just prior to the Great War.  Not only does this example from over one hundred years ago point out man's failure to learn from history, it also illuminates the path for those who choose to learn.  'He who has ears, let him hear' Mathew 11:15.

Recommend your readers who are interested in this idea of interconnectedness and system resilience read, in these books, in sequence:

1)  The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, by  Nassim Nicholas Taleb
2)  The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism , by Naomi Klein (a Canadian Red Diaper baby but still a valid critique)
3)  The Guns of August, by Barbara Tuchman

Those who want to delve deeper into the idea of system of systems analysis (SOSA) can look to Complex Interdependence Theory, well articulated by Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye. 

As Frank Herbert says in his novel Dune, "The first step in avoiding a trap, is knowing of it's existence."  If the "trap" is system fragility, the trap-avoidance tactic/strategy is engendering system resiliency.  Readers of your excellent blog would be well advised to continue their preparations with the addition of strengthening local social, economic, religious and, yes, even political systems. - Tom K.

Monday, September 16, 2013

As I've mentioned before, Wikipedia's editors have strong leftist and statist biases. This is evidenced by the way that they selectively delete content and gradually push the Point of View (POV) of articles to match their world views.

According a SurvivalBlog reader in Switzerland, the following section was deleted from Wikipedia by members of an anti-gun Wikipedia cabal on August 14, 2013. (It had been part of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns article):

Members convicted of illegal activity
Some members of MAIG have been convicted of crimes. They include:
Baltimore, Maryland - Mayor Sheila Dixon
Hartford, Connecticut - Mayor Eddie Perez
Racine, Wisconsin - Mayor Gary Becker
East Haven, Connecticut - Mayor April Capone Almon

Detroit, Michigan - Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick

Guttenberg, New Jersey - Mayor David Delle Donna
Jackson, Mississippi - Mayor Frank Melton

Passaic, New Jersey - Mayor Samuel Rivera

Austin, Texas - Mayor Will Wynn
Jersey City, New Jersey - Mayor Jerremiah Healy
Birmingham, Alabama - Mayor Larry Langford
Inglewood, California - Mayor Roosevelt F. Dorn
White Plains, New York - Mayor Adam Bradley

Port St. Lucie, Florida - Mayor Patricia Christensen

Hamilton, New Jersey - Mayor John Bencivengo

Brownsville, Texas - Mayor Pat Ahumada
Monticello, New York - Mayor Gordon Jenkins

JWR Adds: Never mentioned in the Wiki article was the fact that there are charges pending against at least seven other members of their "crime fighting" organization:

Marcus Hook Mayor James 'Jay' Schiliro. (The "furnishing alcohol to a minor" charge was just dropped on a technicality, but he still faces misdemeanor charges of official oppression, recklessly endangering another person, unlawful restraint and false imprisonment, in a bizarre incident where he tried to force a young man to have homosexual relations, at gunpoint.)

Trenton Mayor Tony Mack

Spring Valley, New York Mayor Noramie Jasmin

Coaldale Mayor Richard P. Corkery (Still no formal charges, after two years!)

Gainesville Mayor Craig Lowe

West New York Mayor Felix Roque

Monticello Mayor Gordon Jenkins

And a couple more have left office without formal charges:

San Diego Mayor Bob "Filthy" Fillner

Morristown Mayor Donald Cresitello

And then there are those who have shamelessly refused to leave office, despite clear proof of criminal and unethical behavior:

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

Portland Mayor Sam Adams

East Orange Mayor Robert Bowser

...among others. - J.W.R.

Friday, September 13, 2013

There is a lot of talk in the media these days about three dimensional (3D) printers. For our community there is the Liberator, a 3D printed gun. It is an amazing development but certainly not ready for widespread use. 3D printers also make it possible to print your own magazines, holsters, and just about anything else you can think of that is made from plastic. But how good are these printers? Should they be part of your survival arsenal? If so, which one should you get? You can get used 3D Printers for around $550 without trying very hard but is it a waste of money? I'll answer these questions and much more in this article.

My Background
I am a mechanical engineer and I design products every day. I use my own 3D Printer regularly, which is a Thing-O-Matic from Makerbot. I bought it for $1,200 a few years ago and I had to build it myself. I have since made my own customizations to it to make it work a little better than it did originally. I use it to make parts, for projects to help me demonstrate a concept to a client, for prototyping an idea, or for fixing my kids' toys. It costs me pennies to make something on this machine and I can go from idea to finished part in as little as 5 minutes.

I also have access to an Objet 30, a $30,000 machine. I use this machine regularly when my 3D printer isn't be sufficient. It has a bigger build volume (12"x8"x6"), a better surface quality, higher accuracy, and is a dual material printer (I'll explain more below). I only have to pay for the material costs and it typically runs overnight.

When I really need a large item printed or a nearly perfect quality part I use a local 3D print house. They can even make molds of my "Master" part and produce replicas using nearly any plastic material. It usually takes a few days for a master part and a lot more money. They have an array of printers but their printers can easily cost $500,000.

How do 3D Printers work?
3D printers all use the concept of building a part in layers. Most machines build from the bottom up. Typically the "entry level" printers build each layer of plastic by squirting a noodle of hot plastic out a nozzle. The nozzle is connected to 3 servos(motors) that control the left-to-right, front-to-back, and vertical motion. There is also a servo to control whether the hot plastic is being squirted out the nozzle or not. These four motors are controlled by a computer that coordinates their actions.

The build process works as follows: if your part is going to be a tube standing on end the 3d printer would squirt material as it moved around a circle on the outside. Then it would stop squirting plastic and move to the middle and draw the inside circle of the cylinder. Next it would fill in the material between the two circles. Then the nozzle would lift a small amount, usually .005 to .020 inches and repeat the circles and fill. It would repeat this process hundreds of times until your part looks like a tube. On a more complex part the inside and outside profiles could be any shape. During the setup process you decide whether you want the printer to create the part as completely solid or internally use a honeycomb structure (which makes the part lighter and saves material).

3D printers are unique in that they can build parts that you can't build with any other machine. They can create internal features on a part because the nozzle has access to the inside of the part during the build process. 3D printers have created a new market of manufacturing referred to as "Additive Manufacturing".

If a machine has only one nozzle you can't build parts that have any sudden overhangs.  If it does the noodle will droop and give you a poor quality part. Another issue with single nozzle machines is that you need parts that have a wide flat base. These are big limitations. You really want a printer with a dual nozzle. On these dual-head machines one nozzle lays down a support structure with a water soluble material and the other dispenses the part material. If your machine is a dual-head printer then when your part is done you need to clean the part in a sink to remove the support material. A high pressure sprayer is helpful.

The best dual head machine on the market is the Replicator 2x from MakerBot (owned by Stratasys). This is the machine that the Liberator pistol was made with. In fact Microsoft says that the next service pack of Windows 8 will natively support the Replicator 2 as another printer. I don't know what this means exactly because there is more to the process that just connecting to it.

The Replicator 2x can dispense different colors and PLA or ABS plastic. ABS is a relatively strong material that isn't brittle and has a relatively high melting point. PLA is also strong and can produce more accurate features but it has a low melting point. Parts can droop in a hot car. The Replicator 2x is $2800 (not including support service).

There are other kinds of 3d printers that use a process called SLA in which a movable platform sits in a pool of liquid. A laser shoots at the top surface of the pool and hardens the liquid where it builds the parts. These machines are extremely accurate but the resulting part is brittle. A new "entry level" printer called the Form 1 is due in November 2013 that has the professional rapid prototyping service companies nervous. It is expected to cost $3300 which is extremely cheap for this kind of machine.

Let's assume that you decide to buy a printer. You also need a computer to run the printer. If you want to create your own parts then you need software to design your parts. Right now you can download Creo Elements for free. Creo Elements is a basic 3D modeling software but it is very functional for many parts. For the price you can't go wrong. Personally I use Solidworks but it starts at $4000. SolidWorks is the most common 3D software among small to mid-size companies. I can design anything with SolidWorks.

If you don't want to design anything you can download 3D parts such as magazines and grips that others have designed. has a lot "defense" related models. You can also get some at and In my experience they usually aren't designed very accurately or for 3d printing. DefCAD is your best bet. There are also other sites that have zipped up the DefCAD models and made them available to ensure the models never become inaccessible.

So are these 3D printers useful in a TEOTWAWKI scenario?
I think that there may be some very useful applications for a 3D printer. I could see someone developing good quality models of magazines, belt clips, grips, and other "accessories" for your systems. When you need more you print them.

I personally wouldn't make any parts for a weapon that see any kind of high pressure, temperature or need high precision. The Liberator gun suggests replacing the barrel between every shot of a .22. It would take nearly 2 hours to print one barrel. It costs maybe $1 in material. Between time and money it isn't worth it. Even more importantly, the danger is that the barrel is made in layers and under high pressures it could crack and or disintegrate in unpredictable ways. I suppose if things got really bad I might consider it but it would be have to be extreme circumstances.

Is there anything else a 3D printer could be used for?
There is an entire other possibility for 3D printers that I haven't mentioned yet. This is the idea of making molds for parts. There is a resurgence in the DIY market of making your own molds and therefore producing low volume production of parts. The essential company to know is They have everything you need to make your own molds and parts. In fact, in some cases you don't even need a 3D printer. You might be able to take some of the existing parts you have, create molds, and duplicate your parts. Smooth-On has an unbelievable array of materials that you can make parts from. You can even make metal parts from some of their mold materials. Now if you combine a 3D printer into the mix you have yourself a versatile, small production manufacturing capability. It does take practice learning how to make a mold well but it isn't rocket science.

Should everyone get a 3D printer?
Personally I think if you operate in a relatively large group and are well prepared a 3D printer and molding supplies might be worth considering. More likely is that I would suggest the tools and knowledge for someone that wants to have a backup profession for when the SHTF. I could see someone being the local manufacturing guy in their area. I have made hundreds of parts in my basement from my 3D printer, mold materials, and some simple tools (drill, knife, screwdrivers, etc).

Right now the 3D printer market is still in its infancy. There are a lot people out there trying to figure out to get the average household to want them in their house. No one has figured it out yet. If you do think that you want get a printer then I recommend the Replicator 2x. It has good customer support, a strong community, and lots of connections to software. I will seriously consider the Form 1 printer once I see that the bugs are worked out. There are less expensive printers out there that you might consider to experiment with but I don't see them as a useful tool. Best wishes in your preps and be safe.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hi James,
I was just looking at your FAQ article about antique firearms.

Apparently, there has been some controversy over the dates of manufacture of some Winchester firearms. The discovery of so called Polishing Room Records have dates of "manufacture" which apparently disagree with the previously established "Madis" dates of manufacture.

I was just wondering what your take is on this subject.

Also, I've been trying to find out if there is any logical reason for selecting December 31, 1898 as the Antique firearms cutoff date. Did someone just arbitrarily pick this date? I know that there were cartridge ammunition and smokeless powder before that date.

Thanks, - Jim P.

JWR Replies: The Polishing Room Records are of interest to collectors, but have no legal bearing. The ATF has repeatedly held that the date that a receiver is made legally constitutes "manufacture."   So once a serial number goes on a receiver or frame then that is it's date of manufacture, in the eyes of the law. (Although in recent years, they've clarified that for modern guns as to say when a serial number stamped on a receiver that is more than 80% complete.) So, for example, even though S&W was still assembling large frame .44 top break revolvers up to around 1913, they are all considered antique, because they stopped making frames for them before 1899.

The December 31, 1898 cutoff date was essentially arbitrary.  I suppose that some nameless legislator (or more likely some pimply-faced congressional staffer) might have been thinking about the Spanish-American War, for a frame of reference, since that was the last war where we fielded black powder Trapdoor Springfield cartridge rifles. (Although Krag rifles and Spanish Mausers were both high velocity smokeless powder guns.) But you are right: The 1898 date has little to do with the state of the art in fireams technology. Colt switched to steel frames for their famed Single Action Army(SAA) revolvers in 1893, and smokeless powder Mausers had been made in quantity since 1891.  For that matter, there had been shoulder-fired full-auto battle rifles around since 1887.

The bottom line: American legislators should keep their sticky fingers off of all guns, regardless of their vintage.  The Second Amendment codified a sacrosanct right that predates the Constitution itself.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

(Editor's Introductory Note: The following article is presented as an intellectual exercise, or gedanken. Be forewarned that there are mentions of torture (mental and physical) herein which are of course not conscionable behavior! But this mention is only for the sake of showing the full range of potential interrogation techniques, and as a warning that in the future -- under different circumstances -- you might have to be prepared to resist interrogation. "Forewarned is fore-armed." Again, none of the following is intended to encourage any SurvivalBlog readers to do anything immoral, or illegal, or unethical. It is in your own best interest to learn about interrogation techniques, even if you never intend to use them yourself. If nothing else, this knowledge could prove useful to recognize when subtle interrogation and propaganda techniques are being used against you. - J.W.R.)

(Author's Introductory Note: This is not a manual for interrogation, but rather an attempt to convince the preparedness community of the importance of seeking out references on this topic. The methods and mindsets associated with interrogation are too large to catalogue in even one book, let alone an article.)

"All Warfare is based on deception." - Sun Tzu

In the best case TEOTWAWKI scenarios, such as earthquakes or hurricanes, our survival training and preparedness will enable us to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe until order is restored, and we can get back to our lives. In the absolute worst case scenarios, such as economic collapse, terrible plagues that wipe out large parts of the population, or nuclear apocalypse, the American Prepper may be facing complete anarchy for an extended period of time.  In these scenarios it is highly unlikely that the supplies that have been set aside will last for more than a few months, and I’m sure that your planning on raiding your local Wal-Mart or other superstore, but remember, so is everyone else.  In this new Darwinian world money will have zero value, and there will be two ways in which a lone survivor or a family unit will be able to obtain more supplies. You can barter, or you can take, and in order to take, you must know where the goods are. Now I consider myself a moral man, so the idea of stealing repulses me, especially if that stealing will cost other persons their lives due to starvation or inability to defend themselves. But here is the simple truth, not a whole lot of other survivors will feel that way. In the initial months following the “event” there will be a quick culling of the herd. Those unprepared for the scenario will starve, and those willing to prey on others (I.E. criminals, immoral persons, or simply desperate regular people who quickly adapt an extremist mindset) will stockpile what they can take, while killing those who stand in their way. Of course Preppers will be holed up in bug-out locations, waiting for all this to blow over. But what comes after? Afterwards we will be forced to look outside for more supplies, whether by farming or by scavenging for that which cannot be grown. And here is the basic fundamental fact, others will want what you have, and you will want what others have. In talking about these scenarios often basic principles are overlooked. Most importantly that is will be highly unlikely that anything of value will be left at the super-stores. Persons will hide the supplies away. So we must ascertain the locations of these supply caches, but how? We could do house to house searches, exposing ourselves to small arms fire. We could look for camps and appeal to their humanity (it is unlikely that they will have any humanity left at this point). Or, we can approach this situation from a guerilla warfare mindset, and take the information that we need. In order to know where the goods are you will either have to go find it yourself, or ask someone who knows, enter interrogation.  

Enemy soldiers are a goldmine of information. You can learn more information in a five minute interrogation than in a week of scouting. For the purposes of this article I will speak on interrogation as related to a scenario where we are searching for supplies. But there are many other scenarios in which the need would be pressing and undeniable. One of your party’s members has been taken hostage to an unknown location, you capture an enemy scout; will you be able to educe the location of their camp from him? And in doing so save your family/friend? Your group has fallen into conflict with another group, you decide to go on the offensive, you capture one of the enemy scavengers and want to find out all the tactical details of their camp, will he break? You are alone and on the move and become engaged with small arms fire by a small group. Your superior marksmanship and cool head win the day, you kill two and wound one but are injured yourself and it looks bad, you need medical attention. The injured enemy is bleeding out and you don’t have a lot of time, you don’t know the area and need to find medical supplies, can you get him to break before he dies? The applications and need for a thorough understanding of interrogation is obvious. But the area of interrogation as a teachable science is still in its developmental stages by the US Military and Intelligence community. The average American citizen known very little about interrogation methods and most all of what he knows is learned from Hollywood or media reports; not the most reliable sources. I am in the military and have deployment experience in HUMINT operations; I am also a student of Intelligence (About to graduate with a Bachelors of Science in Intelligence Operations) and have studied every reliable source I can find. I want to be clear when I say that I am not an experienced interrogator, but rather someone who has conducted a thorough study of materials produced by experienced interrogators and am presenting my findings to yo.  I will not present you with a roadmap to a successful interrogation. I won’t even concentrate on methods; you can read every book on the subject and still be less effective than someone who has conducted only one interrogation. I will simply dispel myths, and provide several proven guidelines to interrogation so that if the Schumer ever hits the fan, you will be able to develop your skills quicker.  Interrogation is something that you can only learn by doing, so read this and know that while you will still be a novice, at least you will be an informed one.

The myths surrounding intelligence are so numerous that it is almost comical. Hollywood depicts interrogations that last a grand total of thirty seconds with the result of a highly indoctrinated terrorist in the corner crying while the hero is shaking hands with impressed onlookers. The media is so busy telling us that torture doesn’t work that they have managed to ignore all other methods used in interrogation. And here is food for thought, if torture doesn’t work, then why has it endured millenniums of use. You’d think if it had such a high failure rate someone would have noticed. You must approach interrogation with an open mind. Here are the best and most easily abbreviated principles. For a more thorough study, see the “KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation Manual”. [JWR Adds: "KUBARK" is an obsolete a CIA cryptonym for the agency's own name, used in internally-published documents for purposes of deniability for interagency training, or in the event of unintended release.)

  • Just ask first, you never know how unhappy he is in his current organization, you may be the answer to his prayers.
  • A successful interrogation is a process, not a series of events. You can’t torture a subject then five minutes later attempt to talk him into giving up what he knows.
  • You must tailor your methods to the subject, everything matters. Age, sex, ethnicity, all of these have influences that if not respected and worked around can hinder and even kill an interrogation.
  • No matter who you talk to, anyone who has experience with interrogation will tell you that rapport building is the most reliable way to go. Now this doesn’t mean that you need to convince the subject that you are his best friend. But you must get him firmly rooted in a relationship of your choosing, even if he sees you as his enemy, if you can get him to respect you as an enemy then you are well on your way. The roles you can take are limited only by your imagination. But he must perceive you as being in control.
  • Torture is interrogation for the unskilled. Better to break his spirit than his body. But if you must torture, don’t try to be fancy. Waterboarding and car batteries are a lot of work and you run the risk of killing him. Pliers and heated blades are classics but you have to be careful of shock and passing out. Fists are a viable option but make sure you don’t break your wrist hitting him, which would make you look ridiculous and seriously hinder your interrogation.
  • He will be silent, then he will attempt to deceive, he will keep deceiving until you catch him in a lie. Then he will tell the truth.
  • If he fears that you will kill him after you are done, then you may be forced to resort to physical torture. Try not to let him think about that.
  • Never ever lie. He must believe that you will do the things that you threaten to do. Whether you are threatening him or promising reward.
  • Fear is a product of imagination. His imagination will instill in him more fear than anything you can do. Feed that, build on it. Don’t tell him what comes next, let him fear the worst.

Keeping these tenants in mind I hope alongside you that none of us will ever be forced to resort to them. Remember that these are not rules but merely guidelines. And that nothing can take the place of experience. You may have noticed that I spend much of this article justifying the reasoning and morality of interrogation; it is because to me the biggest hurdle of interrogation wouldn’t be the interrogation itself, but convincing my group to allow it. Many people would be willing to kill but for some reason torture is completely unacceptable to them. Keep this in mind, don’t become the evil that you have set out to destroy. At all costs avoid hurting the innocent. But recognize that someday you may be forced to choose between your morals and your life, or the life of a loved one. Only you can make that decision. If you are really interested I suggest that you download a copy of the KUBARK manual, which is an interrogation manual written by an accomplished CIA interrogator in the early 1960s, before such actions were put under government oversight. The science of interrogation is still in its developmental stages, and the current engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan have provided a unique opportunity for experimentation and innovation. Expect some great products and manuals to be produced in a few years. And remember, the best skills that you can use in an interrogation are those that you use every day, the ability to read faces and emotions, the ability to relate and emphasize. Trust yourself and be willing to adapt. And good luck.

The Central Intelligence Agency and Dantalion Jones. The CIA Document of Human Manipulation: Kubark Counterintelligence Interrogation Manual. Central Intelligence Agency, Langley VA: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2008.

Christopher E. Kelly: “A Taxonomy of Interrogation Methods.” dissertation., University at Albany, State University of New York, 2013

Lawrence E. Hinkle and Harold G. Wolff: The Methods of Interrogation and Indoctrination Used by the Communist State Police

National Defense Intelligence: Educing Information Interrogation: Science and Art

JWR Adds: I recommend that anyone who anticipates a societal collapse or a foreign invasion and a subsequent war of resistance should study both counterintelligence (CI) and human intelligence (HUMINT.) Though the terms are often mistakenly used almost interchangeably, CI and HUMNIT are distinct spheres. In the context of the DIA and its subordinate agencies the rule is that HUMINTers cannot do investigations and that the CI guys ("Special Agents") cannot do interrogations. (However, CI Agents do some strategic level debriefings.) When deployed overseas, CI operations are conducted "inside the wire" while HUMINT is collected "outside of the wire." (But raw HUMINT is then analyzed and fused behind the wire.)

Coincidentally, the protagonist in my fifth novel ("Liberators", scheduled for released in October of 2014) is a DIA contract CI agent.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Gold and silver will survive as a store of value and wealth. Paper money, the economic status quo, unfunded liabilities, pension plans, exponentially increasing debt, massive budget deficits, “to-big-to-fail” banks, and so much more are at risk of gradual or catastrophic failure.

Gold and Silver

Precious metals have been recognized as wealth and a store of value for over 3,000 years. They may no longer be used as currency but they retain their value. Example: I can’t go to Wal-Mart and buy food with silver coins but, practically speaking, I can sell or trade a gold or silver coin minted by Australia, Canada, or the United States in almost any country in the world at any time. Over the centuries, on average, they have retained their value, whether measured in gallons of gasoline, hours of labor, or food. Can you say the same for dollars, pounds, or any paper money?

The Status Quo

Let’s call the Status Quo the existing state of affairs including the system of politics, government, currencies, banks, military contractors, financial systems and so forth. We all know “something is wrong” with the system, but the system is what it is and we live within it. The system richly rewards the political and financial elite, the upper middle class and a few privileged groups, usually at the expense of the remaining “debt serfs” via higher taxes, massive debts, wars, assets transfers, currency debasement and various controls over the economy.
Throughout history, this process has been repeated many times. From Simon Black regarding Italian history:

“And as one Emperor after another bankrupted the treasury through foreign wars, palatial opulence, and unaffordable social welfare programs, Rome gradually changed for the worse.
Desperate to keep the party going, later Emperors debased the currency to the point of hyperinflation. They imposed wage and price controls under penalty of death. They raised taxes so punitively that people simply quit working altogether.

With each successive emperor, Romans would foolishly believe that the ‘new guy will be different’ and that things would improve. Of course, apart from the occasional sage, Rome’s political leadership became more destructive.”

This is a familiar story. Empires throughout history have always gone through this life cycle of rise, peak, decline and collapse. Rome. Egypt. The Hapsburg Empire. The Ottoman Empire.
And the salient points are always the same – out of control government spending, a rapidly debased currency, costly foreign military campaigns, burdensome regulations, etc.”
“Meanwhile, the ‘richest’ countries in the world (US, Europe, Japan, etc.) are so deeply in debt that they have to borrow money just to pay interest on the money they’ve already borrowed.”
This isn’t rocket science. Predicting the end of this system is not attention–seeking sensationalism; it’s just common sense.”

It is easy to see that many western governments are following essentially the same path as Rome’s road to self-destruction. Rome’s status quo was increasingly expensive to support and eventually failed. Is the status quo in Europe or the United States likely to experience a different fate?

Consider Charles Hugh Smith’s commentary: That Which is Incapable of Reforming Itself Disappears
“Here is my scale-invariant summary of the Status Quo:

  • An economy that is controlled by the government is one in which political power, not the market, controls the distribution of national income. Politics is the arena in which the national income is distributed. The primary contestants are entrenched, vested interests seeking to protect their perquisites and power.
  • A government in which political power is for sale to the highest bidder puts the wealthy at an extreme advantage, as they have the means to buy political power to conserve and expand their share of the national income.
  • In order to do the bidding of the financial Elite, the political Elite redistributes enough national income to the bottom 50% and retirees to buy their silence/complicity.
  • A nation in which political power is for sale is one in which the rule of law is bent to serve those with power.”

“The political and financial Status Quo is incapable of true reform, because real reform threatens the perquisites and power of entrenched vested interests, what I call fiefdoms.”
“That leaves breakdown as the only possible endpoint.
Though the Status Quo still has enough resources to put off the eventual breakdown and collapse for a while longer, I expect an initial crisis to emerge in 2014-2015 that is resolved by the usual politically expedient half-measures.
The sigh of relief that “everything’s been fixed” may last two to three years to 2017-18, and then the ultimate crisis will gather force until it is beyond half-measures, likely in the 2021-22 timeline.”

Or, as Karl Denninger says:
“There is a mathematically-certain collapse in our funding and economic model in the offing and we are now at the point where the actions we have left available to us can only change the outcome from catastrophic to “big suck,” but cannot avoid the inevitable and ugly adjustment that must be taken.”
When debt grows far more rapidly than GDP, the consequences will eventually be catastrophic. Yes, we have ignored the reality of excessive spending, unpayable debts, unsustainable monetary policies, and Ponzi-finance for several decades, but that does not mean we can delay the consequences forever.
Yes, the consequences of failed policies, expensive wars, massive debts, and bond monetization must eventually be faced and the price will be paid. Yes, the consequences might be delayed a few more years, or perhaps even a decade. But, considering the inevitable consequences from the actions of our financial and political status quo, NOW would be a good time to transfer paper assets into real wealth – gold and silver – and store them outside the banking system.
Remember: The world has been living with unbacked paper currencies since Nixon’s default in August of 1971. Since then we have clear evidence that:

  • Governments do not maintain the value of their unbacked paper currencies.
  • Purchasing power declines.
  • Debts and unfunded liabilities increase much more rapidly than the underlying economy which must support those debts.
  • Expensive wars and social programs accelerate the process.
  • Political promises to balance the budget, put the fiscal house in order, and live within our means are good theater, but little more.

Yes, now would be a good time to transfer paper assets into real wealth – gold and silver – and store them outside the banking system.

Further Reading:

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Dear Sir,
Thank you for an excellent web site. I read it every day. I have a question regarding traveling with my handgun. I live in Ohio, a reasonably free state these days. I occasionally have to travel by car to one of the totalitarian states such as New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and Maryland. I of course prefer to carry my handgun and have CCW licenses to carry in all the surrounding free states on the way. However, as my need to enter these other states, would potentially land me in jail if I brought my weapon, I must make my whole trip unarmed. Other than burying my gun just outside the state line of one of these totalitarian regimes, do you or your readers have any suggestions? I have considered contacting gun retailers near, but outside the borders, to store my gun while I am in the hostile territories, but this may have many complications, including entry at many points depending on my destination and scheduling.

Thanks again, - Checkpoint Charlie

JWR Replies: While many guns shops would be accommodating (for a small fee), keep in mind that you might have to do a background check to get your own gun back! (That could be avoided if there was a fee for "gunsmithing service", while they held your guns. That could be as simple as just "lubrication.") For example, I've heard of a couple of FFLs in Tok, Alaska (the last city in Alaska before you enter Canada on the Al-Can Highway) that do this for a fee.)

Some alternatives to storage with a gun shop could be public lockers in train stations, bus terminals or in hotel concierge luggage rooms, or perhaps in mini storage company spaces. (But the latter are fairly expensive and there is lot of paperwork.) Another option might be storage with a shooting range facility. Yet another might be companies in tourist towns that rent bicycles or kayaks. (They often store luggage for the customers for a modest fee, or even free with a rental.) But of courses security might be dicey with any of those, so do your due diligence. One partial mitigation to that risk is using discreet gun cases. My favorite for this is using musical instrument cases. These come in all shapes and sizes, and many of the hard cases are locking. I've found that a trumpet case works great for a takedown riotgun, and an electric guitar case will fit a lot. Just be sure to slap on a few music-related stickers, for camouflage. Needless to say, you will need to first research company policies and state and local laws...

A side note: I've found that public locker accommodations are much more extensive in Europe than they are in the States. In Europe rail travel is much heavier per capita so therefore they've developed a much larger infrastructure. In some European train station that have hundreds of lockers! FWIW, I once safely left a sizeable cache of 19mm HK flares, gun magazines, and a few pocketknives in a locker at the Hauptbahnhof in Frankfurt for several weeks while I was touring elsewhere in Europe. Those items were much safer from theft there, and my knowledge of the laws of some of the countries that I was going to be visiting was admittedly scant.

A far better alternative to all of the foregoing is developing friendships. Using some networking, you can develop a personal "hospitality database" of trustworthy pro-gun people who live in or near state lines or national border cities. Ideally, this would be with like-minded folks who have some extra gun vault space. The quid pro quo could be just the promise of a place for that family to stay while on vacation, or taking turns at cooperative housesitting, or a place to safely park their car (if you live near a major airport or a cruise ship harbor,) or perhaps even the promise of mutual "Plan B" bugout locations, in the event of a disaster. Think outside the box and do some networking. Some of the friendships that you develop could be mutually rewarding in many ways.

Perhaps some readers would like to chime in on this.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

[Editor's Introductory Note: I sometimes receive quite lengthy articles that are mix of great practical information and extended political narratives. In such cases I sometimes opt to edit out the particularly ranty sections. Where I have done so, you will see: "[Some deleted, for brevity]". My apologies, but to make an article of this length readable, editorial discretion is a must. Furthermore, I have to recognize that all politics are local. Since SurvivalBlog is a publication with an international readership, I feel obliged to chop out political discourses that would be of little or no interest to my readers in places like England, Germany, or India.]

My family and I have received so much benefit from all of the information from SurvivalBlog as fellow blog readers, that we wanted to give something back.  Hence we decided we would submit this entry into your writing  contest.  Hopefully it will help other readers, who like us, struggle with both, not seeing as clearly as we may think what lies in store for us, nor knowing exactly how to prepare for it when we do see it.  While there is something to be said for lessons learned the hard way, as we all know, there is also never enough time to make all those mistakes again for yourself. So for that reason, as well as all the wasted time & resources we've fumbled our way through, we would like to share with other readers the lessons we've learned, with the hope that they will help someone else streamline their preparations better than we did.  We certainly don't have all the answers, in fact I can't even say for sure that the answers we do have are the right ones for anyone other than us, it's just what we've found, and how we have addressed our various concerns.  I guess here's also where I should say, "your individual mileage may vary." To best convey the lessons we've learned  I would like to do it in three distinct sections. First, how we arrived at where we did, secondly, the information which generally guided our then redirected and more aware thought process, and finally, the actual equipment and decisions that actually got us to where we wanted to be. 

I should start off by saying that we are middle class Americans.  Christian, law abiding, patriotic, and freedom loving of course.  We are not disenfranchised, anarchists, social malcontents, nor psychotic. We are just worried by what we see happening in our country.  I'm a ten year military veteran, former police detective / SWAT officer, and now a licensed in a medical private practice. My wife works as a sales representative. We have three sons who are in their mid to upper teens.  We're just average, everyday people by most standards.

Like most folks, we thought we had been moving along the prepping path fairly smoothly, until recently when my wife and I both began to feel very uncomfortable with what we were seeing regarding how easily our various elected "leaders" were apparently embracing the concept of "political corruption with impunity".  Additionally, we were very concerned not only with how all of us, as citizens were being treated, but the very way in which these same "leaders" seemed to view us at a fundamental level.  They seemed to be barely able to conceal the disdain they have, both for us, as well as the constitutional rights we claim, when we question their actions, and seek their accountability. 

[Some deleted, for brevity]

Our hope and goal of course, is to be able to remain low profile, and stay in the home we are preparing on our northern Idaho ranch.  It is, after all, our primary security and logistical base.  I know many of us realize that at some point we may need to defend our homes, as well as ourselves, be it just as a single family, or in cooperative groups.  Home defense, to whatever degree may be required, I happen to believe, can only be realistically attempted against civilian threats, and even then, only in reasonable numbers.  Certainly not against any, even moderate size, or type of conventional military, or militarized police forces.  Like most in the prepper community, we want to avoid any armed confrontations with anyone, to whatever degree we can.  Our intent has been to do that by being as discreet as possible.  Knowing that will only go so far however, our simultaneous plan has been to make our ranch as inaccessible, and undesirable of a target as possible.  Worth neither the risk, nor the cost, to any potential miscreants. Should the worst come to pass, hopefully, Good Lord willing, there will be an evolution into cooperative communities throughout The Redoubt, be that simply a single street, a whole neighborhood, or entire communities.  An evolution into working together for their mutual security, as well as other common benefits.  The down side to this hope however, is that such cooperation will likely take time before people realize the logic and mutual benefit in doing so, as well as to develop the willingness to trust anyone again.  In view of these things, our mindset had been to hope for the best, while preparing for the worst.  All well and good I suppose, until in our scenarios, we started replacing criminals and looters with federal sanctioned enforcement troops, who viewed us as "the threat".  We then started wondering, what happens at that point?  More importantly, what if these same "leaders" who show such disdain for the citizenry and their constitutional rights now, become a bigger component in this forthcoming problem?  What's left then, just to run and hide?  I must admit, we considered that tactic. Just hide, survive, wait for the dust to settle, and then help rebuild. Hard for us to swallow to be sure, but something we had to consider, none the less.  In the end however, we felt that simply leaving our ranch to be plundered, and running away to hide, in what we access would clearly be a hostile environment at that point, with no additional substantial support structure in place to sustain us, just to avoid potential conflict, put us all in an equal, albeit different type, of danger that is every bit as grave.  

[Some deleted, for brevity]

Up to this point, our preparations being geared towards living discretely and then hiding and waiting things out, was not a bad starting framework.  However, given these aforementioned realizations, we have been forced to evolve in our thinking, and therefore make some adjustments to our preparations as well.  Due to the increasing concerns these realizations have have brought to our attention, my wife, now thoroughly stressed out, opted to turn it all over to me (God bless her) to find the solution.  To that end, I began doing research both historically, as well as regarding current military forces, and their use in quelling the civil unrest that's currently going on around the globe.  As a result, I've come to the conclusion that there will very likely be more violence directed at dissenting citizenry than we personally were anticipating. That appears to be the common thread in how these situations unfold. Additionally, as for us, we were probably too open in voicing our opinions about the current state of affairs in our country, letters to newspaper editors, etc.  Thus, I don't think we can effectively "fly under the radar" at this point.  We've already spoken up and drawn all the wrong kinds of attention to ourselves, "making the list", so to speak.  Decision's I'm not sure I would make a second time. They only served to draw negative attention to our position on these social issues, while producing no apparent immediate positive change.  Why send out such an alert, when we are all so closely scrutinized?  Why inadvertently shorten your G.O.O.D. reaction window, and become one of those first houses visited without warning?  Was it worth it or not?  I cannot say. 

[Some deleted, for brevity]

Things in recent world news, as well as events here in the various scandals of our own government,   It scares us to death.  It's as if our elected leadership has been empowered, and turned down the path of trampling any of our rights that are not convenient for them.  Usurping authority, abusing citizens, and not to sound melodramatic, but turning not only ungodly, but just plain evil.   Such demonstrated behavior compels us to believe that without the boundaries of accountability and resistance when needed, their abusiveness will not end, but rather will only expand and grow worse, until it destroys us all.  If that's in fact true, and we see no reason to think otherwise, then the hide and wait scenario has a very limited shelf life after all.   No more "low profile", hide & wait it out.  We're all going to have to stand the line, or live with something much worse than what we're complaining about right now!  While we can't speak for anyone else, we've decided that we're not up for passing that legacy on.  The buck had to stop somewhere, & that's where some new stuff for us had to begin. These realizations have changed both our thinking, and how we prepare, we believe for the better. This section was about realizing the underlying threat.  The next two sections respectively are about better understanding that threat & how to cope with it, and then the item by item list of how we modified our preparations meet this evolving threat. We hope that it helps others to to take a look with fresh eyes at their own preparations and consider the realities we did not.

[Some deleted, for brevity]

I also learned military operations today are primarily focused around the concept of forces being "inserted" near a conflict area.  This can be done via airborne drops, rotary wing, vehicle, etc type transport.  Once deployed, forces may have to move on foot a couple clicks to an objective, where they perform their specific mission, and walk back to their vehicles or extraction point for transportation back to their base of operations.  They don't really march in & out any more, which enables them to carry more high tech gear on their missions, the downside of which equals heavier combat loads.  It also means however that in carrying that extreme load, they are unable to move as quickly during actual contact (look at pictures of guys in full kit and see how likely you think it is that they can effectively get prone, & when they do, that they can get back up & quickly sprint to a new position). Additionally, unless it is an "Elite" soldier, whose physical conditioning standards are significantly higher, they are not going to carry all that gear very far very fast (below is an AAR about that). Regarding that issue, I learned that overall, in today's conventional military forces, although some have the title, there is generally speaking, no longer a true "Light Infantry".  By light infantry I am referring to foot-borne units that are capable of rapid movement over long distances of varied terrain, being able to rapidly engage a non-static, elusive target. All my reading led me to believe that in significant part, the inability to move as quickly, having a less intimate knowledge of an operational area, and the dissidents ability to "disappear into the indigenous local populations" (which in some instances supported them in their cause), seemed to account for most of the problems abusive governments had with using conventional military forces to deal with dissident type problems, and offset much of the benefit of the increased technology. (now the caveat, that does not of course include the numerically limited, elite units such as Rangers, S.F., SEALs, etc, as that is precisely their game.) It seemed as though this would be applicable to us as well, rather I should find myself at odds with abusive government enforcers, OR an overwhelming group of marauding civilians wishing us harm, and that could not be successfully preemptively repelled at a greater distance.  Being able to move faster & farther, knowing the area better, and being able to disappear, seem generally beneficial across the board.  I further discovered that when confronted by a force by which you are outgunned and out supplied, a static defense (such as defending a home against a military or militarized police unit) is almost certainly a losing proposition.  However, if you turn the tables, and they have to carry all those beans and bullets as they pursue you, and you are fluid, fast (i.e. can travel light due to pre-positioned cache points), and can blend in, they are generally not able to be very effective in such a dynamic situation.  Basically, what it all boiled down to is that it's hard to catch a ghost.  In support of that, I also came across some interesting information from a S.F. NCO in Afghanistan, that the average fighting load carried by a combat infantry soldier in the mountains of Afghanistan is 60-80 lbs. Now bear in mind that that is what he is carrying in the midst of the actual combat, i.e. closure with the enemy. This same soldiers "approach march load" (which is what he carries to sustain him in the field just getting to the fight) is between 130-150 lbs.  It is also noteworthy that the load weights listed, only addressed the "doctrinal load", and did not include the inevitable addition of personal items that most guy's also carry.  Now I realize, these are fit and conditioned young men, but that's a lot of weight to pack, and having a little brother currently over there, I know the Hindu Kush mountains are some serious mountains.  Thinking about that, and digging further I found this information, which puts into perspective the results of carryings such massive loads.  This is an excerpt from an after action report from a first sergeant in the 187th infantry regiment of the 101st airborne div. during operation Anaconda in Afghanistan.  It stated:

“We had extreme difficulty moving with all of our weight. If your movement would have been to relieve "a unit in contact", or a time-sensitive mission, we would not have been able to move in a timely manner. It took us 8 hours to move 5 klicks. With just the vest (Interceptor Body Armor vest) and LBV, we were easily carrying 80 pounds. Throw on the ruck and you’re sucking.”

I also discovered in this information that these incredible loads were based on apparently short term needs vs more protracted time periods, because they were factored on 48-72 hr regular re-supply.  They are not able to be self reliant any longer than that and remain at full capability.  Now one of the things I found particularly interesting about this information, was how it related to a previous study conducted by the U.S. military that I found, (it seems the military quickly forgets the lessons of it's past).  In this study, they determined that a soldiers maximum "approach march" load should not exceed 55 lbs. That was the maximum that he could carry, and still possess the energy to be able to fight effectively when he got to the fight.  Now bear in mind, that "approach march load" is inclusive of all the gear they carry, period.  The study further determined that a maximum 48 lb "fighting load" could be effectively carried in actual combat if it was carried by a "conditioned soldier".  

Now, that's all interesting stuff, but why go into it? For several reasons.  Because I wanted to understand something about those who may be sent to come after us, and at least in part, some of their strengths and weaknesses, as well as to have a better understanding of both myself, as well as the physical abilities we need to possess.  Realizing that while in good health,  I am no longer the highly fit, conditioned soldier of my youth, this helps put into perspective the importance of our daily PT regimen because survival isn't something that is graded on an age curve.  You either will, or you won't.  The age, we're stuck with. The mileage, and the wear and tear, well, it just is what it is. The conditioning however, that is within our control to improve every day.  This information was also helpful when we got down to seriously culling our gear.  When I looked at all our preps in the harsh light of these weight recommendations, it was clear that we were carrying far too much in our BOBs.  Think about how much faster could you run, or if necessary, better defend yourself, if you were carrying less weight.  When it comes to surviving there are no points awarded for second place, we want to have every advantage possible, even before we start cheating!  For me, this is when I realized that the gear we were amassing, and the way we were planning to utilize, and transport it, was totally inadequate for this updated scenario.  Our gear was set up great for an extended "backpack" type movement, or to pack it all on the mules and haul it up to a remote alpine static location & hide there until the smoke settled.  We definitely were not however, set up for a "break contact" type running gun battle while trying to E&E from folks intending to incarcerate, kill, or perhaps do even worse things to my family and I.  What we were doing wasn't going to cut it for people who had to be alert, fluid, and ready for a spectrum of scenarios.  Scenarios ranging from the daily working and defending of our ranch, to short range patrols around our AO / Community, to fight, disengage & run from surprise encounters, and unexpected E&E when you might not have all your gear with you, and progressing all the way up to proactive offensive actions.  All while still trying to function in discreet daily living on our ranch.  A pretty broad spectrum to fill.  What we needed was a system, and gear, that would be as adaptable to both home / ranch security, as to living in the field, or on the run, and it all had to be able to be accomplished potentially without the availability of the ranch as a base to work from any longer.  So, we switched from a full size, catch-all emergency / survival pack system which involved a get home bag, a B.O.B., separate cold weather gear packs, and a separate tactical gear set up, to a lighter, more efficient, integrated four tier system.  I was able to, for the most part, use gear I already had to accomplish this, although some new stuff was required.  

Now that we've identified the threat, and have a fundamental understanding of it as well as it's various strengths and weaknesses, we can now look at the actual equipment changes we made to address those issues.

Before delving into how we cut incredible weight from our loads, and streamlined our equipment, we feel it would be irresponsible not to point out something that is best expressed by a saying from a man with some real credibility in this area.  "Software trumps hardware."  My interpretation of this is, skills are more important that excess equipment.  Beware of the trap many of us have fallen into, gear is absolutely necessary, however, training and the high level of skills it produces, even more so.  That being said, onto the gear!  Oh, and by the way, I have no affiliation with any of these products other than as a consumer, except the Kydex mag pouches, which we make ourselves.

The first sorting out, or "Culling" of our gear, was done according to this new load weight information, and threat expectations.  It was done according to the recommended mnemonic of SMOLES. This stands for Self defense, Medical emergencies, Observation, Lost & found, Extreme weather, Survival.  Focusing on those priorities, with an eye on cutting weight, actually reduced what we thought was a pretty "Necessary stuff only" out by about half.  We were feeling pretty good at that point, little did we know we had barely scratched the surface.  With our newly updated version of "necessary" gear as a starting point, we began looking at putting it into tiers, and found some great recommendations out there to combine with our own experience.

In breaking down my tiers, I found it most effective if it is built upon a base uniform, and then each tier folds into the next, but is independent from it.  This is important since it, in essence, this prioritizes the gear.  The very first issue I ran into however, was how I was going to be able to have my Tier 1 gear (basic survival essentials) on me at all times, as that was our goal for Tier 1.  I'm sure there are a lot of other ideas about how to skin that particular cat, but the way I did it, was opt for a style of military clothing called Combat Vehicle Crewman (CVC) coveralls. They are a type of coverall that looks very much like the flight suits we built our ghillie suits on in the military. They are inexpensive and they are actually ideally suited for my purposes.  They are fire retardant, have re-enforced knees, elbows, and seat. They also have both a front zipper that opens from the top down as well as up from the crotch up, and a seat flap, (trying to be discreet here) both of which are quite utilitarian when you are wearing a tac-vest with plates and a battle belt, and don't want to have to virtually disrobe when nature calls, hence this also makes them unisex applicable.  Additionally, they have 9 zipper closure pockets wherein I can secure all of my Tier 1 gear.  Thus, as long as I'm dressed, it is with me.  The only adaptation required was to put in an additional chest pocket I reinforced with kydex to support my P220 when I'm not wearing my Tier 2 gear, and sewing on some 1 3/4' exterior belt loops.  

Regarding clothing, and viewing it in light of using it in the Rocky Mountains of the pacific northwest, and in an attempt to more or less standardize, we tried to err on the side of going bit  overboard, knowing we can cull it down as necessary.  Some of our selections were due to what we felt is the very real possibility that we may end up living in a field base camp(s) situation for an extended period of time.  Therefore, durability, medical, as well as hygiene issues came up in our considerations, and influenced some of our choices.  We decided to start at the basics, and worked our way through a complete set of field clothes.  Since the CVCs may be a bit warm during the hottest time of the year in the Pacific Northwest (although I don't think unbearable, by any means) we put extra cost into undergarments to stay as dry as possible, and avoid things like severe rashes, yeast infections, etc, as those types of issues not only interfere with your ability to move rapidly, but can also be an unnecessary drain on medical supplies.  We avoided cotton altogether.  We did some research on a product called Under Armor Heat Gear.  Well made, it wicks moisture extremely well, eliminates chaffing, dries quickly, and is antimicrobial.  Additionally, it comes in a style that acts very much like the nylon leggings I used to wear under a karate gi, to allow it to slide freely and not bind up during kicking, jumping, etc.  Thus they have the same effect regarding combat athleticism in the CVCs, as an added benefit.  They also have shirts to match. That is what we use under the CVCs as a base layer.  For cold weather we also have the underarmor cold gear, which we already knew, works fantastically.  Polypropylene sock liners, again wicks moisture, and eliminates friction, helping to eliminate blisters, etc.  Wool outer socks for cushion, as well as being insulating even when wet, have been useful in all weather.  We discovered that a style called "wader socks" work the best for us. 

Footgear has been an individual choice, it's only requirement being, that it is constructed of heavy leather to minimize the potential penetration of snakebites.  Those are overlapped with TurtleSkin snake gaiters.  Many may think I'm crazy on this one, but here's our logic;  Without antivenin a Rattlesnake bite's hemotoxin can be bad at best, and fatal at worst.  Discounting the approx 20% of bites that are "dry", that still leaves 8 out of 10 bites that potentially envenomate the person struck.  Medical care being uncertain at best, we were not willing to gamble on those odds.  Antivenin is not something we can access, nor stockpile.  Contrary to popular belief, they don't always rattle, before striking, or rattle early enough to be of any help.  According to a gentleman at Turtle Skin who happened to have spent a great deal of time working in the woods for the forest service in northern Idaho, and is quite familiar with the area, it's unlikely that any of us would run across a rattlesnake. However, "unlikely" is not the same thing as won't.  Living and operating in the woods constantly, can only increase our "unlikely" chance of that one "run in" with one. While we are normally very alert to the things around us, as well as avoiding high risk behaviors and places for them, our concern is, that in running from pursuers, or trying to navigate and hastily exit a two way firing range, we'll likely have other things on our mind, and may find ourselves stepping in the wrong place at the wrong time.  This strikes us as one of those times where an ounce of prevention, is worth a pound of cure.  Moving on, we included KEPS (knee & elbow pads) which anyone who as ever had to drop to their knees or prone on rocky ground will understand, and for headgear use the old standby USGI boonie hat.  Lastly we all have solar watches that also contain a digital altimeter, compass, and barometer in them.  This constitutes our basic field uniform.  (BTW, should anyone else opt for CVCs, be sure to break up the solid OD color with some Rit dye in spray bottles, it works great, if you don't then they will stand out.)

\This brings us to the four tiers of our gear.  Tier 1 is our basic survival stuff.  It's the stuff we figure you should always have on your person in such an environment.  It's a pared down compilation of various experts recommendations, as well as our own experience.  It's primary purpose is that if due to some threat, I needed to immediately run without any other gear, or had to ditch my gear so that I could run faster than the "fed-ex man" pursuing me with my FEMA invitation, I would still have what I needed to survive until I could get to either a safe place, or a cache site.  ~ yes in our system we chose to employ the use of cache sites for long term emergency resupply ~  Tier 1 is what you have on you when you are just working, etc. within what you consider to be your secure area, whatever that may be at any given time. This gear provides for the needs of defense, shelter, navigation, fire, water, and food, and would never be discarded.  The way I currently have it configured, it all fits nicely in the nine various pockets of my slightly modified CVCs.

Our Tier 1, "Survival Load" that, Lord willing, we will never be without, consists of the following:

1. SIG P220 & one spare mag in modified, kydex re-enforced, zippered chest pocket of my CVCs (whenever not in Tac gear). (S.S. 220 with 1full 8
        rd mag and 1 in the chamber + 1 spare mag of eight 230 gr. JHP's weighs a total of 53.6 oz OR 3.35 lbs.

2. Leatherman Wave tool. (weighs 7.9 oz)

3. #550 cord (50' daisy chain weighs 3.9 oz ~ we also use #550 cord in my boot laces, 5" daisy chained pull tabs on all 9 zippers, with a cord-lock 
         on the end of each.  Those pull tabs, while just normally handy, when "unchained", each also provide 2'4" of emergency cordage, believe it or 
         not.  9 separate 2'+ sections (12' worth) of #550 cord with a cord lock on each. (Great for shelter construction, making a yeti for concealment, 

4. Small Silva compass. Explorer Pro High Vis.  (This is redundant, in case of failure of the digital compass built into our watches) (1.0 oz)

5. Small flint & steel fire starter & 15' roll of jute. Tie 3 or 4 overhand knots back to back and then leave 3-4" of cord & cut.  Fray the un-knotted
        end into a "bird's nest" & strike a spark. Works great & lasts long enough to get your twigs going well and then some. (Jute weighs 1.7 oz & the
        "Light my Fire" flint & steel weigh 0.3 oz, for a combined total of 2.0 oz)

6. A small collapsable MSR dromedary type bag (we use a Camel-Bak bladder & tube) and purification tablets to purify it. (2 liter bladder & tube
        = 7.3 oz, 1 bottle Potable Aqua & 1 bottle of Potable Aqua+ , weigh 1.1 oz each, combined total of 9.5 oz and will treat 25 ltrs of water)

7. Small fishing kit (a roll of spiderwire, some small split shot & some #10 hooks in a Zip-Loc bag.)

8. Casualty blanket for shelter ~ Heavy duty, OD green / reflective (with 4 daisy chained, 5' long sections of #550 cord, one attached to each 
        corner grommet.  All you then have to do is make some quick stakes, or use some rocks for that matter (weighs 11.8 oz) 

9. A rat trap (Works great for catching squirrels around the house here, but I need to test it, out in the field) (weighs 5.4 oz) [JWR Adds: I'd rather carry 10 wire snares (also about five ounces, combined weight) for 10 times the number of chances to catch critters.

10. Plain fish netting (two pieces, approx 12"x24" and 2'x6') In the military, I learned in Survival / E&E, staying hidden is very important.  With the
        2X6 netting you just cut a slit in the middle of for your head, drape it over you like a poncho, and secure it around your waist with your belt or
        #550 cord and you have the foundation for a quick, makeshift bushrag.  Thread it with whatever foliage is appropriate.  Use the 12x24 over your
        boonie hat, for your head veil.  Not as effective as my full ghillie suit, but it's field expedient, light weight, and it's quicker and easier to throw 
        together than a yeti. It's also versatile and can be used for other things as well.

11. Gig head. Cut shaft for it in the field, if needed. For frogs, fish, reptiles, small mammals (weighs 1.7 oz) [JWR Adds: For safety, be sure to cap your gig's points with a piece of rubber or a wine bottle cork, when stowed!]

12. Blackhawk Serpa holster (weighs 4.3 oz + 2.0 oz for chest adaptor = 6.3 oz total)

13. Pistol mag pouch (weighs 2.2 oz)

Tier 1 weight before culling:  103.1 oz, i.e. 6.44 lbs.  We felt that this was too much, so after consideration, we made the following initial cuts:

The ever-painful "Culling Of The Gear":

Dropped gig head (-1.7 oz), P220 (-38.4 oz), 2 empty magazines (total -5.0 oz), 17 rds of ammo (-10.2 oz), holster (-6.3 oz), mag pouch (-2.2 oz). Combined weight of these cuts was 3.99 lbs.
(The pistol and ammo can be replaced if the threat situation merits it.) 

Total weight of my Tier 1 load is after culling is: 2.46 lbs) 

Tier 2 is all of our basic combat gear, our "Fighting Load", or "Kit", if you will.  It's contained on our Tac-Vest / battle belt.  In my case, I opted to attach a battle belt to my plate carrier tac-vest. While I wouldn't say it's necessary for everyone, due to my body geometry (i.e. long torso) it's just the way I chose to go.  It gives me a little more real-estate to put my gear on, without interfering with my ability to get prone, should I need to.  Tier 2  is supplemented by your survival load which you will always have on your person.  We would be wearing Tier 2 gear for example, anytime there was an elevated threat level, when performing security operations at the ranch, or of course for anything that took us out into the field, things of that nature.  It is not a "stand alone" gear list however, it both builds upon the Tier 1 gear, and is in turn, supplemental to the Tier 3 gear as well.  It is divided this way so that if any of us were to find ourselves in a fix and needed to hastily E&E, and our combat gear was slowing us down too much, we could ditch it in order to run faster, and come back for it later.  Meanwhile we still have all of the necessary 1st tier gear on our person, because it is not actually attached to the Tier 1 gear.  The important point here being that you can dump Tier 2 and still have your survival load. This gear would be the last of the three tiers to be discarded.  Our goal here, although probably unattainable given our choice of battle rifle and caliber, is to keep the combined weight our Tier 1 & 2 gear to right around 40 lbs, with a maximum of 48 lbs.

My Tier 2, "Fighting Load" consists of the following:

1. Tactical vest:  We went with Blackhawk's S.T.R.I.K.E. Commando Recon front & back plate carriers, along with Infidel Armor front & rear ballistic
        plates.  Heavier than I'd like, but they fit into the budget.  We've gone to wearing our's while doing PT & H2H practice, & it's beginning to feel a
        little less foreign at least. (plates and vest collectively weigh 268 oz, i.e. 16.75 lbs).

2. Battle belt (attached). We went with High Speed Gear's "Sure Grip" belts for those who wanted them, with a Cobra riggers belt as an under belt.
        (weight unknown at the moment)

3. M1A Rifle mag pouches, X 6.  We went for seven 20 rd mag's - two on the vest, two on each side of the battle belt (both in the event of an
        extremity injury, as well as I reload faster from different sides, depending on my shooting position) & one in the rifle.  Went with kydex, since that
        is my side business anyway, and made our own custom mag pouches. (weight per mag pouch is 3.5 oz, for a total of 21.0 oz)

4. M1A magazines X 7 ~ one carried in the rifle and 6 spares (loaded w / 20 rds each), (weight per empty mag 8.6 oz, loaded mag is 26.6 oz, X7
        = total of 186.2 oz or 11.6 lbs)

5. M1A rifle, in Sage EBR mod 1 configuration, with scope, with no mag. (weight 224 oz or 14 lbs) 

6. M1A rifle sling (I did not opt for a fancy "tactical" sling, instead I went for the simple Blackhawk "Rapid Adjust" 2 point sling.  With SOCP, as my
        primary form of H2H, you will understand why I chose to avoid a 3 point tactical sling.  (weight 5.9 oz) 

7. Pistol mag pouches, X 1 .  Again we went with the kydex, and made our own custom single mag pouches. (weight is was excluded at Tier 1)

8. SIG P220 SS magazines X 2 ~ one in pistol + 1 spare, loaded w / 8 rds each +1 extra for the chamber (weight was excluded at Tier 1)

9. SIG P220 ST, .45 ACP (weight excluded at Tier 1) 

10. Dump pouch.  We went with the Blackhawk S.T.R.I.K.E. folding dump pouch, mounted rear center of the battle belt so that it was accessible with
        either hand.  (weight 8 oz)

11. SOCP dagger (While some may cringe at the non-utilitarian nature of having a "dagger", and I would have too, it's not what you're probably 
        thinking it is.)  Since we use SOCP (my brother is a SF NCO), in part, for our hand to hand / CQB defense, this is actually fantastic.  If you're
        curious, then do a web search on it.  Watch Greg Thompson's demos and see for yourself, it's fairly close to perfect, especially when you are loaded down in kit
        and things need to be simple and effective!) (weight 2.5 oz)

12. Tomahawk. Some may think I'm crazy on this one too, but honestly, after spending a lot of time in the woods using it for everything from
        firewood, to pulling the handle out and using it like an Alaskan Ulu knife, I've found it's a lot more versatile that my ghurka kukri.  It's quite handy, and
        between it and my Leatherman I've had no want of anything edged. I made a custom kydex sheath for it, it stays out of my way, but is handy when I
        need it.  (weight 30.0 oz)

13. B.O.K.  (You could think of it as a trauma first aid kit) (weight 18 oz estimated)

14. 2-Way Radio (currently undecided on model)  (weight TBD)

15. Poncho with liner, in pouch on rear plate carrier (weight is approx 21 oz for poncho and 21 oz for liner, TOTAL is 42 oz)

16. An empty, drawstring closure pouch on the back of my Tac-Vest for carrying dehydrated food, as well as being able to carry your emergency 
        water bladder when you're not packing your Tier 3 Camel-Bak.  (weight 12 oz)

Tier 2 weight before culling:  817.6 oz, i.e. 51.1lbs. The initial weight of our Tier 2 gear was more than we were satisfied with, so again, we let the culling begin!

After consideration we made the following cuts:  As much as I hated to, I reallocated the tomahawk to Tier 4 (-30.0 oz), & reallocated the poncho / liner (-42 oz) to Tier 3 as it's only necessary away from home. 

Combined weight of these cuts was 72.0 oz, i.e. 4.5 lbs.
Total Tier 2 weight after culling:  46.6 lbs.

Results: Combined Tier 1 and 2 "Fighting Load" weight is:  49 lbs (goal is 48 lbs or less) compared to 60 - 80+ lbs, for an average conventional foot soldier, or enforcer who may be pursuing the pleasure of our company [JWR Adds: Note that his calculations are based on an empty Camel-Bak and minimal rations. The weight of water and food adds up quickly.

Missed the weight allotment goal for the Tier 1 and 2 combined "Fighting Load", by 1 lb.  I really would like to do more reduction. However the body armor and the M1A EBR are big drains against our weight allotment.  The weight of the .30 cal ammo is also not helpful.  While we did not opt to trade away what we see as a ballistically more beneficial caliber for our varied purposes, one could clearly present a legitimate case for the lighter weight of both the AR platform rifle, as well as it's lighter .223 caliber ammunition in this particular context. Those tradeoffs just are what they are however, not much can be done there.  Unquestionably, without just the armor plates alone, the load is reduced by 15 lbs, ( down to 30.41 lbs) but that option was off the table for us.  Expecting the lack of surgical facilities to deal with a thoracic gunshot wound, we don't see that as a chance worth taking.  The reality is, this is going to be the Tier where the the real weight is. I'm not sure anything else can be cut at this point, after all, we need what we need, & then cull out the rest. This heavy stuff (i.e, the armor plates, ammo and rifle) are necessary.  At this point I guess that just means more PT, and after all, 48 isn't that old, right?

Tier 3 is our S.R.R.P. (Short Range Reconnaissance Pack).  It falls under the higher combined weight restrictions of the "Approach March" load's 55 lbs maximum weight, although should still be as minimal as possible.  For us, that currently means it should be somewhere in the area of about 6 lbs.  We knew from the beginning that was not going to happen.  The pack and water alone weigh more than that already. . .  This is the gear that it would take to sustain us, in addition to the items in Tiers 1 & 2, for those times you would be in a potentially hostile, field environment, overnight and up to 3 days.  You are basically living out of a Camel-Bak.  Logistically speaking, this is to enable you to perform short term patrols / missions within your AO.  It is supplemented by the equipment that is already contained in your Tier 1 and Tier 2 loads.  It is the "less essential" gear that could/would be dropped prior to dropping the Tier 2 gear, if anything had to be dumped.  Agai, it is not actually attached to the Tier 2 gear, it simply augments it.  Excluding Tier 4, this gear would be the first option to be left behind.

My Tier 3, "S.R.R.P. load" consists of the following:

1. Camel-Bak W / bladder.  We use the Rim Runner model. (36.5 oz) (note: the H2O will weigh an additional 4.4 lbs, a total combined weight of 6.7

2. For "field rations", so to speak, as I am only addressing a 24 - 72 hr window, we decided to go with the "Mainstay" emergency ration bars.  Good
        for five years, these come in 400 cal meal bars, 6 to 9 in a packet depending on what you order.  You can check the other nutrients on line if you 
        are interested, but they're good.  Additionally, they do not increase your thirst, a good thing if you find yourself in an unexpected situation where
        water is either scarce, or if the incoming fire that your attempts to access it creates irritates those around you. A 2,400 cal pack contains six 400
        cal bars, each a meal they say, and weighs 16 oz.  the 3,600 cal pack contains 9 of the same bars and weighs 24 oz. They figure that at 1,200 cal
        a day, this is a two day supply pack, however they are also thinking in terms of someone in a life raft on an ocean.  But honestly, how far are you
        really going to walk per day, in that case?  Being a "land lubber", I planned for a higher caloric need of 2,400 cal per day.  Six bars a day, 
        breaking it down however you want.  The good thing about this however, is that should you need to reduce your consumption for some reason
        and stretch this supply out, or share with someone, you can easily do so.  I also include 3 multi-vitamins as an additional margin.  (weight is 48 

3. Petzl headlamp with one set of spare batteries (4.3 oz) 

4. Casualty blanket to wrap up in (this = 2, 1 for shelter, which is in my survival load, and now a second one to wrap up in)  (11 oz)

5. Poncho (with liner) (42 oz) 

6. Underwear, extra pair (U/A Heat Gear type) (2.2 oz)

7. Poly-pro sock liners, extra pair (0.6 oz)

8. Wool socks, extra pair (6.7 oz)

9. Under Armor cold weather hood (1.6 oz)  

10. Solo stove / pot (16.3 oz)

11. Leather gloves  (4.8 oz)  

12. Safety pins X3 (0)  

13. Area map (N/A)

14. ACE wrap (2.2 oz)

15. E-Tool (40 oz)  

16. Note pad & pencil  (1.7 oz)   

        UPON TERRAIN, 

*** Rope for rappelling seat and a 100' rappelling rope (NOT FACTORED IN AGAINST WEIGHT ALLOWANCE.)

Tier 3 weight before culling:  170.4 oz = 10.7 lbs + 6.7 lbs = 17.35 lbs.  The initial weight of our Tier 3 gear was way more than we were satisfied with, so again, we continued with the culling.

After consideration we made the following cuts:  Reallocated the e-tool to Tier 4 (due to high wt. & limited use, more useful in establishing a remote base camp than on a S.R.R.P.) (-40.0 oz), dumped the spare sock liners (-0.6), spare wool socks (-6.7 oz), solo stove & pot (-16.3 oz. With the Mainstay rations no cooking is required, & with H2o tablets no boiling water is necessary on a 3 day patrol), 1 Mainstay 2,400 cal packet (can live for 3 days with NO food, so can surely do fine with 1,600 cal, i.e. four bars per day)(-16 oz), casualty blanket (may rethink in winter, along with socks) (-11 oz), spare underwear (-2.2 oz).

Combined weight of these cuts was 92.8 oz, i.e. 5.8 lbs.
Total Tier 3 weight after culling: 11.55 lbs, (without H2o weight 7.15 lbs.)

Results: Combined Tier 1, 2 and 3 "Approach March Load" weight is:  60.61 lbs (56.21 lbs without the H2o) compared to 130 -150+ lbs, for the average "Marching Load" of a conventional foot soldier, who my be pursuing my family & I …  

While 5.6 lbs over what we wanted for our Maximum March Load, given the larger, heavier rifle, the heavier basic load of ammunition, and the extra 15 lbs of armor, we are quite happy with where we are at this point.  The bottom line:  We got the "Fighting Load" to 49 lbs,  one pound over our 48 lb. maximum goal, but still  11 - 31 lbs lighter than that of potential pursuers.  We got the "Approach March Load" to within 5.6 lbs of our 55 lb. maximum limit goal, but are still 69.4 - 89.4 lbs. lighter than that of potential pursuers.  The difference being more than the weight of our entire Marching Load Out. Frankly, at this point I think we have more or less reached bare bones, if you will.  I just can't find any more reasonable cut's to make, so for additional gains at this point, the game has to change from an issue of hardware (equipment) to one of software (skills, tactics, conditioning, area familiarity, etc.). 

Tier 4 is my L.R.R.P. (Long Range Reconnaissance Pack).  It's incomplete at this point, still undergoing construction and refinement. It is the gear that would allow us to set up a distant field base of operations.  It is primarily the equipment required for establishing a primitive alpine safe haven, should you be forced from your normal AO. It would also serve to develop a base camp of a semi permanent nature, from which could be conducted security patrol operations to a distance greater than that which your SRRP provides for. The areas for camps were pre-selected as optional sites and then will be chosen specifically depending on the situation. The pack will contain more rations, to sustain you during the initial set up of your field location.  As well, it will have a longer term shelter system, increased & upgraded medical supplies, and additional munitions.  This is not a tier that would normally be carried in the field, and with any luck will be transported by pack animal, although it, out of necessity, is man portable as well. It is best thought of as a sort of foundation level, emergency camp construction pack.  It's intent is to provide for the needs covered in S.M.O.L.E.S.  (but of a base camp nature), and expands upon the equipment you already have at your disposal via the first 3 tiers.  At this point, ours contains the following, although exacts amounts and weights have not yet been determined:

1. Backpack (Gregory, North Face and Dana, internal frame packs, although any quality pack will work, this is just what we have).
2. Food, dehydrated (additional rations).
3. Second full set of clothes & cold weather gear -fleece pants & top.
4. Medical kit (more inclusive).
5. Shelter ( a new enclosed 4 season hammock design).
6. Spare magazines and ammo. 
7. Spare weapons parts (Firing pin, extractor, cleaning supplies etc).
8. Mission specific items, (Rappelling ropes harnesses, etc).
9. Mini-mag light with solar rechargeable batteries and spare bulbs.
10. Range finder & spotting scope.
11. Weatherproof notebook.
12. Additional H2O purification tablets.
13. Additional roll of jute rope.
14. Tomahawk.
15. Mess kit.
16. Wyoming saw.
17. Spare parts / sewing kit.
18. P220, mags & ammo.
19. Solo stove & pot.
20. E-Tool.
21. Second causality blanket.
22. Spotting scope.
23. Solar charger kit.
24. 100' of additional #550 cord.
25. Night vision optic is currently under debate as it has an IR illuminator as enhancement option, and given the preponderance of IR detection 
        devices out there in the hands of anyone and everyone, we are evaluating the risk of sending out such a beacon as opposed to the reward any night 
        time surveillance ability may offer.  Of course the logistics of it are an additional concern. May well end up becoming a cached away special 
        purpose tool, since we already have it.

While tier #4 is still a work in progress, and being interfaced with pre-positioned caches and preps, we look for it to eventually, like the other 3 
        tiers, come together as part of a cohesive system.  

Hopefully this information will be of use to other prepper's in understanding, more fully than we did, the dangers facing us all, as well as the need to adapt to it.  While certainly not the only way to address these issues, we hope our solutions will stimulate thoughts, and help other survivalblog readers find the ways that best address the issues facing them in their unique situations.  Master your skills, travel light and fast, blend in well, and most importantly, trust that God often shows His strength through our weakness!  

Friday, August 9, 2013

It occurs to me that the sudden desire to "privatize" Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae is simply a way to deploy the wet ink dollars out of the Fed and big banks without overwhelming the money supply. We all know what would happen if those dollars entered the mainstream market place. This just seems to me to be yet another ploy to stall the inevitable, but I haven't seen anyone else talking about that. Am I missing something? - Big Jon

JWR Replies: You are essentially correct. The majority of the U.S. Dollars that have been magically created by Quantitative Easing (QE) have been used to buy up Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS) derivatives paper. This was $70 billion per month in QE2 and $85 billion per month in QE3, and this has been going on month after month. QE2 began in November of 2010, and QE3 began in September of 2012.

Quantitative Easing doesn’t do much for the real economy. It is really more of an asset swap that benefits high level financiers. They reap the benefits, while only a portion gets trickled down into the economy at large. It is a grossly inefficient mechanism for boosting the economy, but it has done great things for the bottom lines of the investment houses. It has proved to be just the trick for re-inflating the bi-coastal real estate bubble. Quantitative Easing effectively increases the money supply, since lower interest rates let banks generate more loans. (It unleashes the fractional reserve banking multiplier effect.) But because all of that QE money is top fed and directed primarily at the real estate sector, it is creating false prosperity for both the residential and commercial real estate markets. Granted, a lot of that money is almost immediately reinvested in other vehicles/sectors, but that doesn't change the fact that this money is created out of thin air, and in he long run it will prove to be very inflationary. And, as I've mentioned in my blog several times before, inflation is a hidden form of taxation. Creative legerdemain like QE might outwardly look low risk, beneficial, "and all that happy stuff" but the long term effects will be devastating: Injecting all this artificial money encourages malinvestment, encourages casino style investing, discourages thrift, and does little to build up a long term economic base in sectors like manufacturing. A decade from now, we will look back on QE as one of those World Class "What on Earth was I thinking?" varieties of big mistakes.

All of the recent talk of "privatizing" Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac largely ignores that fact QE money has already been used to prop up both of them. A report issued by the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank in 2011 notes:

"The first round of QE began in March 2009 and concluded in March 2010. One of the primary goals was to increase the availability of credit in private markets to help revitalize mortgage lending and support the housing market. To accomplish this goal, the Fed purchased $1.25 trillion in mortgage-backed securities [MBS] and $200 billion in federal agency debt (i.e., debt issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae to fund the purchase of mortgage loans). To help lower interest rates in general (and thaw the frozen private credit market), the Fed also purchased $300 billion in long-term Treasury securities."

In July, 2013, the House Financial Services Committee pushed forward a bill that would Liquidate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It was heralded by HuffPo as a way to "...dramatically reduce the U.S. government backstop in the mortgage market." But in actuality, it is not privatization (or, more properly, re-privatization.) It is simply a new venue for Uncle Ben's Instant Rice Dollars. You and I (indirectly, through dilution of the value of the U.S. Dollar) will be paying to "privatize" Fannie and Freddie. Most of the "privatization" money will be coming from QE Dollars! So the bottom line is that our wallets will be fleeced to enrich a bunch of Wall Street mortgage financiers.

The opinion molders at HuffPo go on to say:

"The House bill would abolish government-controlled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac within five years and replace them with a non-profit, utility-like platform that investors would use to securitize mortgages. Unlike mortgage securities offered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the new securities would be issued without a government guarantee."

Oh, really? That might sound great on the surface--as if it will take the American taxpayer of the hook--but what is really going to transpire? Instead of two great big assets for the taxpayers (with a huge underlying liability), they will become assets for the banksters. But here is the kicker: the bankers have been implicitly told: "Don't worry: you are Too Big To Fail", and we will always bail you out. (And they have been, again and again. It is no coincidence that the $182 billion government bail out of American International Group (AIG) in September, 2008 came just a week after the government takeover of "quasi-private" Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The real story didn't emerge until two years later.) So we--the American taxpayers--will give up the assets, but retain the liabilities. How charming. And the banksters won't be using their own money to do this. They will be using the unending stream of QE Funny Money--that again, is a hidden form of tax! Someone with a corner office on the 67th floor with a great view of Central Park must be saying: "Sounds like a 'win-win' to me!"

As a blogger who lives out in The Hinterboonies, I am just a distant observer of all these machinations. I can only shake my head in disgust. I know that writing more letters to my senators and congressman will be futile. But one thing that I can do is step back and look at the big picture: The folks in Washington D.C. and their banker buddies are systematically destroying the U.S. Dollar. They are doing so because the American people are ignorant and treated like mushrooms (i.e. kept in the dark and fed Schumer) by the mass media. There is nothing that I can do to stop it. But I can protect myself from the inevitable resulting mass inflation, by shifting most of my assets out of Dollar-denominated investments and into tangibles. The D.C. crowd can debase the Dollar all they'd like, but they can't erase the inherent value of a box of .45 ACP Hydra-Shoks. I recommend that you diversify, similarly.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Several readers sent me a link to a study by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania recently published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine that had some surprising results: They concluded that big cities are statistically safer than small towns.

This study, titled Safety in Numbers: Are Major Cities the Safest Places in the United States? has a number of flaws. First, it treats deaths by intentional violence equally with accidental deaths and deaths related to the use of alcohol and illicit drugs. This is not quite fair, because the former are not nearly so avoidable as the latter. If I want to avoid most drunk driving accidents then I can simply abstain from drinking. (Unless of course, it is a drunk that hits my car, or me as a pedestrian.) That means that I can effectively excuse myself from being part of the statistics. But if I want to minimize my chance of getting robbed and shot to death, then I can only do so by changing my ZIP code. And if I want to avoid high speed traffic accidents, I can drive more conservatively. Again, that means that I can in part at least excuse myself from being part of the statistics, or at least lower my actuarial risk.

The "flattening" of volitional differences by the researchers also ignores the psychological impact of various forms of death. All families are of course aggrieved by the loss of a loved one. But consider this: What would be the quality of your sleep for the rest of your life be if your teenage daughter were killed: A.) In a simple highway traffic accident and you never saw her body, or B.) Your home was invaded by a gang, they tied everyone up, and then you witnessed your daughter being violated and then murdered? To a statistician, it is all the same. But to you and me, not all "injury-related" deaths are equal.

Another flaw is that while the University of Pennsylvania study narrowed in on trauma, it ignores lifestyle differences that can contribute to significantly longer life spans that would put then outside of statistical norms. A non-smoking, non-drinking rural person who drives conservatively, drinks pure water, breathes fresh air, eats veggies from his own garden, and who eats local trout and lean venison is probably going to be a "Statistical Outlier"--that is, someone who defies the odds and lives to a ripe old age. And guess what: That is the very definition of a SurvivalBlog reader, or at least what he strives to be, and urges him to where he plans to live.

One other flaw is that the statistics are all based on the county of deaths occurrence, rather than the county of residence of the decedent. (Death certificates are filed in the place where someone assumes room temperature, rather than their Home of Record.) So this ignores neo-local deaths. I can assure you that there are plenty of them in The American Redoubt. The populations of some towns in the Redoubt doubles each summer. Every year in our county, accidental deaths peak in the summer months. That is when the idiotic drivers from western Washington come here to "play." (And that play often involves drinking and driving fast, or drinking and water skiing.) And then there is hunting season when, again, urbanites come here to release their Inner Idiot. Many of the deaths due to exposure and snowmobile accidents are neo-local. And the only negligent shooting death in recent memory involved out-of-state hunters. Many of these yahoos come from either Seattle or Portland.

Again, there is the flaw of throwing together intentional deaths with unintentional deaths, in drawing the report's primarily conclusion. Granted, when you are dead, you are dead. But to say that it is more "risky" to live in the country where people often commute long distances at high speed versus in the Big City, where people commute short distances at low speed is not quite fair. Not when part of the offsetting risk of "injury-related" death risk in urban areas comes from instantaneous lead poisoning when you dare to step outdoors after dark. All things being equal, I'd rather face the risk of spinning out on black ice or the risk of a deer coming through my windshield than I would having a twitchy drug addict sticking a pistol in my face and saying: "Your money or your life."

Notably, I found this proviso buried in the report: "We chose to exclude terrorist-related deaths, the majority of which are associated with the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States." Well, well, that was convenient! When 3,000 people get whacked on a single day, it badly messes up your intention to show that cities are "safer", doesn't it? I have a news flash for them: Terrorists regularly target big cities, because that is where population and news cameras are concentrated. They don't intentionally crash airliners full of screaming passengers into Kansas wheat fields. No! They aim for Manhattan skyscrapers. They don't set off pressure cooker bombs at 5K Fun Runs in Lander, Wyoming. They choose events like the Boston Marathon, where there are huge crowds and more television reporters than you can count. And when they eventually get their hands on some nukes (and they will), they won't be be shouting "Allahu Ahkbar" and pressing the button in Miles City, Montana. No, it will more likely be in Los Angeles or Dallas. So someday--most likely in the next 20 years--there will be a great big "Boom!" (or more likely simultaneous "booms" in multiple cities, given their proven modus operandi) potentially with millions of deaths. And that event will absolutely blow their statistics right out of the water. (Or should I say, into mushroom clouds.) Then, and only then, will the statisticians say to themselves: "Gee, maybe it is safer out in the boonies."

I recently did some web wandering, and gathered some interesting murder statistics, from the most recent years available. (These are mostly 2010 stats.):

Honduras homicide rate: 91 per 100,000 people.

El Salvador homicide rate: 69 per 100,000 people.

Detroit, Michigan homicide rate 58 per 100,000 people.

Flint, Michigan homicide rate per 48 100,000 people.

Colombia homicide rate: 32 per 100,000 people.

Oakland, California homicide rate: 22 per 100,000 people.

Washington, DC homicide rate: 21.9 per 100,000 people.

Richmond, California homicide rate: 20.3 per 100,000 people.

Stockton, California homicide rate: 16.8 per 100,000 people.

Louisiana homicide rate: 11.2 per 100,000 people.

Jersey City, New Jersey homicide rate: 10.2 per 100,000 people.

New York City, New York homicide rate: 6.4 per 100,000 people.

Tennessee homicide rate: 5.8 per 100,000 people.

Chile homicide rate: 5.5 per 100,000 people.

Bolivia homicide rate: 5.3 per 100,000 people.

Ohio homicide rate: 4.1 per 100,000 people.

Montana homicide rate: 2.6 per 100,000 people.

Washington (state) homicide rate: 2.3 per 100,000 people.

Maine homicide rate: 1.8 per 100,000 people.

Boise, Idaho homicide rate: 1.5 per 100,000 people.

Wyoming homicide rate: 1.4 per 100,000 people.

Missoula, Montana homicide rate: 1.4 per 100,000 people.

Idaho homicide rate: 1.3 per 100,000 people.

Vermont homicide rate: 1.1 per 100,000 people.

Newport, Washington homicide rate: 0 per 100,000 people.

Condon, Oregon homicide rate: 0 per 100,000 people.

Rogue River, Oregon homicide rate: 0 per 100,000 people.

Lewiston, Idaho homicide rate: 0 per 100,000 people.

Moscow, Idaho homicide rate: 0 per 100,000 people.

Bonners Ferry, Idaho homicide rate: 0 per 100,000 people.

Bozeman, Montana homicide rate: 0 per 100,000 people.

Helena, Montana homicide rate: 0 per 100,000 people.

Cody, Wyoming homicide rate: 0 per 100,000 people.

Newcastle, Wyoming homicide rate: 0 per 100,000 people.

It certainly sounds safer, in some respects, out in "The Wild West."

As for me and mine, we keep our guns handy, and we'll continue to primarily travel in a big, safe SUV with a massive "Deer Stopper" bumper, in which we carry both a trauma kit and an AED. We'll take our chances, living out in the country, thanks. - J.W.R.

I believe that the world is on the verge of a possible economic meltdown. I think that there is just too much debt (both governmental and private), not enough assets, and with a end result of the financial system breaking down with devastating consequences.
There are some common problems that the countries I will be looking at  all share. The first is high debt levels that cannot be repaid. However, the more important factor is negative demographics in these countries.  I think that national demographics do not receive enough consideration when analyzing a country's economic potential. This is a mistake. Demographics are probably the single most important issue that should be examined. For example, a country could have massive natural resources available for both domestic use and export. But if this nation has a elderly and child 'bulge' with a very small working age population that doesn't have the manpower to exploit these resources, then the resources will provide this country with very little economic benefit.
The title of this article asks a question. The honest truth is that I don't know what the exact answer is (or when).  I think it will be Europe first, but Japan isn't looking so hot either. China is a export-driven economy. Yes, they have some serious problems too, but I think they won't truly take a hit until either Europe or Japan go off the rails first.
I think Europe's economy collapses first because of something originally designed to help the area's economy: the Euro Currency. Having a regional currency used by multiple European countries is a idea that has failed completely. When a nation controls it's national currency it can devalue the currency if it's economy slows down. A devalued currency will make that nation's exports cheaper for its neighbors to buy. More exports leads to a higher level of economic activity and the end result will be a pick up in economic output overall (Please keep in mind that these are general economic theories, and they may not work every time in every country. If a nation has no exports then a currency devaluation does them no good, since the price of their imports will rise).
Since most of Europe uses the Euro Currency, and not their former national currencies (the Italian Lira, French Franc, Greek Drachma, etc) there can be no currency devaluation at the national level in a effort to goose exports and sell more of that nation's cheaper goods to its neighbors. This is why European countries like Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Italy have been mired in recession for the last couple of years. the 'easy' way for them to get their national economies back on track by boosting exports through devaluation is no longer a available option.
These countries now have to boost their economic output by much harder methods: internal labor market reform, (translation: working more for less) opening up protected industries to competition to make them more productive, decreasing governmental control of the economy, and other ideas that aren't well liked by the locals.
Things are beginning to reach a breaking point in Europe. Yes, I have written in previous articles that I  thought the Euro Currency would be collapsing by now. And maybe I am wrong this time as well. I have underestimated the ability of European politicians to keep kicking the Euro Currency can down the road in their desire to keep things from imploding in Europe. Last year, I did not expect that European Central Bank President Draghi would make his infamous "Whatever it takes" comment and then unveil the ECB's plan to buy unlimited amounts of European sovereign debt in order to keep bond yields low (BTW, one year after Draghi announced the ECB bond-buying plan, there is still today no formal plan, idea, document or even anything sketched out on a soggy cocktail napkin on how exactly the ECB would conduct it's bond buying operation and how the plan would actually work).
The general Unemployment levels across Europe are  hitting all time highs of around 12%. Youth (18-to-25 years) unemployment in countries like Greece and Spain are around 50-to-60% and rising. Since more people are unemployed, this means economic activity is negative pretty much across Europe (Germany is still positive, but not by much) High unemployment and lower growth have two bad effects on a country's finances. First, government has higher expenditures due to increased numbers of unemployed citizens needing government-provided social support. second, governments take in less tax revenue from both businesses and employed individuals. Higher government expenditures and lower incoming revenues can really raise government debt levels. This is why Greece needs another  multi billion Euro Bail-Out (it will be their third or fourth, I have lost track) The Italians may soon be asking for one also. And the Spanish are lining up for their second hand out. Even the French aren't in such great economic shape anymore, and may soon be needing financial help.
The bottom line is that Europe is in trouble and there is no real way out of it until they kill the Euro Currency and go back to previous national currencies. The Euro Currency has become a noose that is slowly strangling European economic growth. Even if the Euro is killed tomorrow, Europe isn't out of the bad economic woods yet. European demographics are ugly. Too many retirees, not enough workers, and not enough Europeans having kids to sustain national populations going into the future. All national Social Security type programs are basically legal ponzi schemes. There needs to be a steady source of incoming workers starting to pay into the system to replace the retiring workers who will soon be receiving payments from the system. Thanks to the postwar 'Baby Boomer' generation that is starting to retire, Social security programs will soon have more money flowing out of the system then into it. (This is just not a European problem, The USA will have to deal with the exact same issue)
High levels of unemployment, exploding debt levels, decreased government revenues, no national currency that can be devalued: add it all up and things are grim in Europe and getting worse by the day. Europe's current downward spiral cannot continue. Something will break, and it will be soon.

Japan is the only country in the entire world with a demographic picture that makes Europe's look easy to fix. Europe's demographics are bad. Japan's demographics  are horrible, ghastly, terrible, and hideous.  Europe has bad sovereign debt problems. Japan's debt problem is simply impossible to fix. They will default someday, probably within the next two years. Japan is reaching the point of no return, and they have few options left.
What does the number 'One Quadrillion' represent? If you said "That is the Yen-denominated figure of all outstanding Japanese Government debt they have issued", then you  just won a free drink on me. Congratulations!  Yeah, that number is accurate. Honestly I'm not sure exactly just how many zeros there are in a Quadrillion, 14? 16? I do know that if you started at 'One' and counted one number every second until you reached One Quadrillion, you would be counting for 32 million years. Does that sound like a number that Japan will ever be able to pay back?
For the last two years, a milestone has been  achieved in Japan, but nobody in Japan should be popping a bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne in celebration yet because the milestone reached was not a good one. The milestone reached was that the sale of adult 'Depends' style diapers now outsells regular baby diapers. This is because Japan has the fastest growing elderly population in the entire industrialized world. Nobody comes close to the speed that which Japan is becoming old. Once again, demographics are key. If national demographics are bleak, there just isn't much a country can do to fix it.  Japan is no exception. Unless Japan starts  making some huge gains in robotics starting tomorrow and starts developing 'Cylons' (I admit it, I'm a big 'Battlestar Galactica' fan), then going forward they just will not have enough workers replacing all the retiring elderly. Japan does control the value of the Yen, and they have been devaluing it ("Abenomics") but they have a slight problem. Thanks to World War Two, they aren't the most well liked country in Asia ( to put it mildly). They have few friends in the region who want to buy cheap exports from Japan. And thanks to some current nationalistic events regarding disputed territory involving China and Japan, Japan's largest export customer, China, has stopped buying Japan's goods. So even if the Yen gets devalued massively, it won't help much regarding China's  lack of desire to now  buy Japanese products and services.
Making a bunch of robotic worker 'Cylons' is about the only option Japan has left, since they allow almost no migration into the country. The economic picture is getting so bleak that they have had around ten (yes, 10) different Finance Ministers in the last five years. One FM actually committed suicide while he held the post. Another had to  resign and be checked into a mental hospital because the job was so stressful. If you have the time, look up on 'Youtube' some speeches by a billionaire Hedge Fund Manager named Kyle Bass.  He lays out Japan's ugly economic future quite well.

Just when you thought it would be safe to pick up Asia's economic pieces once Japan explodes, here come the Chinese. Unlike Europe and Japan, the Chinese actually have a growing economy. But they have problems. Thanks to China's 'one child' policy, they will soon be hitting some unique demographic issues. Because of the policy and a Asian preference for baby boys, there will soon be a generation of Chinese males without girlfriends or wives who will be caring for four grandparents all by themselves. Personally, I can barely manage my own life, so the idea of taking care of elderly relatives doesn't have much appeal. Luckily, I am not facing this prospect, but a lot of males in China soon will be, and I wish them the best of luck cause they will need it.
Bad demographics aren't the only issue mainland china faces. Due to them becoming the manufacturing center of the world, all that industrialization has produced massive environmental damage that will takes decades to heal. Their factories rely heavily on coal-fired power plants for energy.  Burning all that coal is another factor in China's environmental problems and is also a issue regarding health problems.
There are economic problems as well. When the global economy tanked in 2008, the Chinese central government kept their economy growing by launching a multi trillion Yuan stimulus package. This backfired due to the fact that  many construction projects were launched that were completely unneeded. Think 'bridges to nowhere' on a massive scale. The Chinese built entire cities that stand vacant with very few residents. This overbuilding also produced rampant property speculation, resulting in local governments making bad real estate investments that are now badly  underwater. The speculation also led to large amounts of shady deals and outright criminal activity that has no positive benefit to the nation. The central government is now so concerned about bad debt levels at the local government level that they are conducting a massive audit of local finances to get handle on just how big this problem could be. My prediction is that what the central government learns from the audit of local book keeping will result in a whole bunch of local commissar type folks getting lined up against a wall in a police station basement and.... not walking out again, ever.
I know it makes for pretty depressing reading, but these are some of the things I see ahead for the global economy. Even the best-case outlook still results in  a lot of uncertainty that will soon be upon us. And the worst case means that we could be looking at: Regional conflict?, Economic meltdown? World war? It is something that we all need to keep a eye on. - CDWT

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Following up on my recently-posted list of field gear makers that have all American-made products, I've compiled a comparable list of American tool makers.

The Sell-Outs

Some companies that have long been thought of as "American" companies now produce most or all of their tools overseas. For example, Craftsman (the Sears house brand) now produces many of their tools in Asia. Others include: Cooper, Disston, Eastwood, Greenlee, Lufkin, Milwaukee, Peerless, Porter Cable, Shurlite, Snap-On, Thorsen, Vise-Grip, Vermont American, Weller, Williams, and Winchester. The many, many others are almost too numerous to list.

Some of the "good guy" companies that I will list here sell a few imported tools, but to qualify for inclusion, they must sell mostly American-made tools (and component parts.) Also, beware even "All American" tool companies source their plastic storage boxes, their belt pouches, and their tool bags overseas.

What to Buy?

When I was growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, I would simply look at my father's collection of tools to get an idea of the good brands to buy. My kids can't safely do that today. Quite sadly, the majority of those tool companies have now moved their production offshore.

Do your homework before you buy! With the exception of high speed cutting tools, the vast majority of American tool manufacturing has moved offshore to mainland China. (The home of laogai "Reform Through Labor" prison factories.) Rather than just be depressed about this situation, I have resolved to do something to counter this trend. I urge all of my readers to do the following:

1.) Don't just blithely purchase merchandise without first checking on its country of origin. Take the time to LOOK at labels! When buying from mailorder catalogs or online, take a minute to call and ask, before you order if the country of origin is uncertain.

2.) If a product listing says "imported", then the odds are now better than 80% that it is made in mainland China. So skip it.

3.) Be sure to thank the management of these companies for keeping their production in the States, and tell them that they earned your business because of it.

Companies that proudly still offer "Made in USA" tools:

Measurement, Squaring, and Leveling Tools

  • Chappell Universal Square and Rule - Framing squares and other carpentry measuring/layout tools. Made in Maine.
  • Crick Tool - Traditional wood frame spirit levels. (Made in Ben Wheeler, Texas.)
  • Fischer Machine - Edge Finders, Vee Blocks and Clamps, and PeeDee thread measuring wires.
  • Port Austin Level and Tool - Wood and aluminum spirit levels. (Made in Michigan.)
  • Kraft Tool Company - Spirit levels as well as concrete and masonry tools.
  • L.S. Starrett Co. - Calipers, levels, tape measures, micrometers, dial indicators, and gage blocks. Most are still made in USA at their plants in Ohio, Massachusetts, Minnesota and North Carolina. (Some imported products, so see their catalog or web site, to be sure.)
  • U.S. Tape Company - The only domestic tape measure manufacturing company that makes a full line of tapes.

Wrenches, Socket Bits, and Socket Sets

  • Armstrong Tools - A wide variety of tools, all made in USA. (Now owned by Danaher Corporation.)
  • Bondhus - Various hex tools, including ball head. (Made in Minnesota.)
  • Bristol Wrench - The originators of the Bristol Spline Drive System.
  • Channellock - A wide variety of of pliers and other hand tools, including, of course, their patented slip-joint pliers. (Made in Pennsylvania.)
  • Eklind Tool Co. - Hex (Allen head) and Torx head tools, including folding, L-keys, and T-keys.
  • Klein Tools - This company was mention by nearly a dozen SurvivalBlog readers. They make a wide variety of hand tools at nine factories in Illinois. (A few of their products are imported, but those are noted in their catalog and on their web page.) Klein tools are widely available at hardware and Big Box stores.
  • Lisle Tools - Torx head and specialty automotive tools.
  • Loggerhead Tools - Adjustable wrenches, including the "Bionic" wrench.
  • Montana Brand Tools - Drive sets, drills, and more. (Made in Ronan, Montana.)
  • OTC - Wheel bearing wrenches and gear pullers. (Note that many other OTC products are imported.)
  • Precision Instruments - Click torque wrenches. Unlike other torque wrenches, these don't need to be "turned down" after use.
  • S-K Handtool - Socket wrenches, sockets, impact sockets, adjustable wrenches, screwdrivers, punches, chisels, hammers, and more.
  • Snap-on Tools - A huge variety of tools. They have four factories, all in the U.S. (In Elkmont, Alabama; Algona, Iowa; Elizabethton, Tennessee; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.) Most Snap-on products are US-made, but they also catalog some others tools that are imported. (So be sure to check.)
  • Superb Wrench - Filter wrenches.

Cutting Tools & Saws

  • American Carbide - Carbide end mills, burrs, and router bits.
  • Atlas Cutting Tools - Carbide, high speed steel and cobalt cutting tools made with domestic (USA) carbide.
  • Blu-Mol - (An American division of Disston.) Drill bits and power saw blades. Note: Disston's domestic operation is in South Deerfield, Massachusetts. But some of their tools are made in China.
  • Cenco Grinding - Drill blanks, Core Pins, Go/No-Go Gages, Plug Gages, Punches, Guide Pins, and Stainless Pins
  • Diamond Saw Works - Makers of Sterling brand saw blades. Blades for band saws, reciprocating saws, jig saws, hack saws, and more.
  • Eagle America - Router bits and jigs. More than 900 patterns of router bits. (Made in Ohio.)
  • Forrest's Blades - Excellent circular saw blades.
  • Hanson Tools - (a division of Irwin Tools) Taps and dies
  • Hart Steel - Hand-made straight razors. (Useful for more than just shaving.)
  • Imperial Blades - Oscillating blades.
  • Katie Jig - Dovetail cutting jigs.
  • King Tool - Hobby and craft tools. (Their knife sets are a lot like the old standby X-Acto brand--which sadly went offshore.)
  • Kodiak Cutting Tools - End mills, taps, twist drills, thread mills, burs, carbide drills and reamers
  • Lakeshore Carbide - Carbide end mills, center drills, and countersinks, made with American carbide.
  • Lie-Nielsen Toolworks - Woodworking block planes, bench planes, and chisels. (Made in Maine.)
  • Mastercut Tool Corp. - High Speed Steel Drills and Taps.
  • Mayhew - Punches, chisels, pry bars, etc.
  • Midwest Tool & Cutlery (aka Midwest Snips) - Forged blade hand tools, including metal cutting snips and other edged hand tools. Made in Minnesota.
  • MK Diamond - Masonry and Lapidary Cutting Saws.
  • Montana Brand Tools - Drills and drive sets, including titanium drill bits, magnetic screw guides, and more. Their "4-in1" self-countersinking bit/drivers are brilliant. (Made in Ronan, Montana.)
  • Niagara Cutter - Carbide and diamond-coated carbide cutting tools. (Headquartered in Amherst, but their tools are made in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.)
  • Norseman Drill and Tool - JWR's favorite brand of drill bits.
  • RedLine Tools - Machine tools (carbide end mills, drills, thread mills, tool holders, and cutting lubricants)
  • Scientific Cutting Tools (SCT) - Carbide and carbide-coated tools.
  • Severance Tool Industries - High-speed steel and carbide cutting tools
  • SGS Tool Company - Solid carbide rotary cutting tools: Burrs, drills, end mills, and router bits. (Made in Ohio.)
  • Silvey - Electric chainsaw sharpeners. (Unlike the cheap imported chain grinders, these cut a precision square notch.)
  • Southeast Tool - Router Bits and Drill Bits
  • Titan USA - Carbide, high speed steel,and cobalt cutting tools.
  • Toolco Industrial Corp. - Various cutting tools including Solid Carbide End Mills, Taps & Dies, Drills, HSS & Cobalt End Mills, Micro Tools, Threadmills, Carbide Burrs, Countersinks, Slotters, Door Bits, and Reamers
  • Triumph Twist Drill - Twist drills, tile drills, and taps & die,
  • Viking Drill - Various rotary cutting tools including drill bits, tap & dies, and annular cutters
  • Vortex Tool Company - Router and insert cutting tools.
  • Wenzloff & Sons - Awesome hand saws. Presently very limited production. (So it is best to buy them on the secondary market.)
  • Whiteside Machine Co. - Solid carbide and carbide-tipped router bits, form tools, spirals, and slotting cutters/arbors. Also a good assortment of chucks.
  • World's Best Saw Blades - Circular saw blades, dubbed: "Flattest, Truest, Smoothest, Best Made Blades... Anywhere"
  • Xuron Corporation - Shears, pliers and forming tools. (Made in Saco, Maine.)

Knives and Multi-Tools:

Hand Tools (Various)

  • ABC Hammers - Brass and bronze hammers.
  • Armstrong Tools - A wide variety of tools, all made in USA. (Now owned by Danaher Corporation.)
  • Arrow Fastener - Staple guns of all sorts. Note that some Arrow tools are imported, so be sure to check before you order.
  • Barco Tools - A wide variety of had tools including hammers, axes, pry bars, digging bars, trowels, etc.
  • Barr Specialty Tools - Excellent hand-forged woodworking tools such as adzes, chisels, draw knives, gouges, knives, mallets, and slicks. (Made in McCall, Idaho.)
  • Bicycle Tool - Specialty bike tools. They also make a fantastic 1/4-inch offset driver.
  • Blue Spruce Toolworks - Nice woodworking chisels, marking knives, scratch awls and mallets. (Made in Oregon.)
  • Bridge City Tool Works - Gorgeous (brass and rosewood!) woodworking tools including chisels, squares, Japanese saws, and planes. Pre-sold, in limited run batches. (Made in Oregon.)
  • Bully Tools - Shovels, hoes, planters, and trowels.
  • Chapman Mfg. Tools - Ratchets, drivers, and adaptors for Allen, Bristol, Phillips, and Torx head fasteners.
  • Council Tool - Reportedly, the only axe maker in the country that still forges its own axes. (Made in Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina)
  • Crosscut Saw Company - Logging hand saws and accessories. (Made in Seneca Falls, New York.)
  • Estwing Tools - Hammers, bars, small axes, and mineralogist picks
  • Hardcore Hammers - Framing hammers. (Made in Kansas.)
  • INCRA Precision Tools - Dovetail and precision miter fences for table saws and router tables. (Made in Texas. )
  • Kahn Tools - Retailers of exclusively American-made products from more than 50 companies.
  • Klein Tools - This great company was mentioned by nearly a dozen SurvivalBlog readers. They make a wide variety of hand tools at nine factories in Illinois. (A few of their products are imported, but those are noted in their catalog and on their web page.) Klein tools are widely available at hardware and Big Box stores.
  • Logrite - Logging hand tools.
  • Lumberjack Tools - Tenon Cutters.
  • Moody Tools - Excellent miniature tools, such as jeweler's screwdrivers.
  • Park Tool - Bicycle maintenance and repair tools, made in Minnesota. (But their multi-tools are imported.)
  • Peavey Manufacturing - Axes, post hole diggers and off course Peaveys. (Made in Eddington Maine.)
  • Pratt-Read (now owned by Ideal) - Screwdrivers and nut drivers.
  • Pro-Tools - Tubing benders.
  • Proto (aka Stanley-Proto--a division of Stanley.) Most Proto tools are made in USA.
  • Ridgid Tools - Pipe wrenches, pipe threaders, and tubing cutters. Note that some Ridgid tools are imported, so be sure to check before you order.
  • Snyder Manufacturing - Ratcheting and non-ratchet screwdrivers. (Made in Salamanca, New York.)
  • St. Croix Forge Family - Horse shoeing tools, nails and other farrier equipment
  • Stiletto Tool Co. - Titanium and stainless steel hammers. (Made in Winton, California.)
  • Vaughan Mfg. (aka Vaughan-Grayvik) - Hammers, pry bars, hatchets, axes, drywall hatchets, etc. Note that some Vaughan tools are imported, so be sure to check before you order.
  • Wilde Tool - A great range of hand tools, including pliers, screwdrivers, scrapers, wrenches and more. (Spoken "Wild-ee.")
  • Woodman's Pal - A trail machete/hatchet/pruner.
  • Wright Tool - Wrenches, sockets, screwdrivers, pliers, and hammers,
  • Xuron Corporation - Shears, pliers and forming tools. (Made in Saco, Maine.)

Sewing and Leatherworking Tools:

Gunsmithing, Reloading, and Bullet Casting Tools:

  • Brownell's - America's largest gunsmithing tools supplier. They sell a mix of US-made and imported tools, so be sure to check the country of origin for each item before ordering.
  • Chapman Mfg. Tools - Ratchets, drivers, and adaptors for standard slotted (gunsmithing style), Allen, Bristol, Phillips, and Torx head.
  • Dillon Precision - Reloading tools. Oh, and a great Minigun. ;-)
  • Grace USA - Excellent hollow-ground gunsmithing screwdrivers, as well as hammers and pin pinches.
  • Infinite Products - Stainless Steel Solvent Trap 1/2x28 to Oil Filter (3/4x16) Thread Adapters
  • Lee Precision - Reloading and bullet casting tools.
  • Lone Wolf Distributors - Glock armorer tools.
  • Lyman Products - Reloading and bullet casting tools.
  • RCBS - Reloading tools.
  • Squirrel Daddy - AR15 / M16 Lower Receiver Magazine Vise Block. (These are handy to just hold your AR for cleaning, too.)
  • Tapco - The best AR-15 armorer's wrench. Many of their other products are imported, so check before your order.
  • UTG - AR-15 Sight adjusting tools, and many products. (Check for country of origin.)

Welding Tools:

Clamps and Vises:

  • Anvil - (aka Wolff Industries) Their fly-tying (miniature) vise is American-made. (Made in Indiana.)
  • Armstrong Tools - Some clamps made in USA.
  • Badger Clamp - A variety of clamps. (Made in Michigan.)
  • Bench Crafted - "Build It Yourself" woodworking table vise kits and plans, including a great split-top Roubo bench. They also make great magnetic knife and tool holders.
  • Bench Dog Tools - Clamping assembly squares and hole clamps.
  • Dyna King - Their fly-tying (miniature) vises are American-made. (Made in Cloverdale, California.)
  • Griffin Enterprises - Fly-tying (miniature) vises, all American-made. (Made in Kalispell, Montana.)
  • Pony Clamps - Most of their clamps are made in the USA.
  • Wilton - Only some of their vises are still American-made, so check carefully before ordering.
  • Yost Vises - U.S. and imported vises. (Only the vises shown on their "Made in USA" web page are American-made.)

Handheld Electric Power Tools:

Except for Dremel, there are now precious few US-made hand-held AC (power cord) or DC (battery) power tools. We now must look for used tools that are marked "Made in USA." Even Milwaukee and Porter Cable have shifted their manufacturing to China! I personally use Dewalt tools, which are now mostly made in Mexico. (I refuse to buy tools made in China, unless I have no other choice.) Ironically, I've read that Makita (a Japanese conglomerate) now makes more tools in the U.S. than does Dewalt! BTW, I also own some Dremel brand tools, but they now only claim "Made in North America" (rather than "Made in USA") for their product line. Many of their tools are also now made in Mexico.

Floor and Bench Mount Power Tools:

Note: Pitifully, there are no more mid-size (home shop weight) milling machines made in the USA. The only one that comes close is is the Industrial Hobbies (Charter Oak Automation) brand mill, but the big castings that they start with fro those are imported from Taiwan. It is generally best to look for used American-made machines from quality makers, locally, via Craigslist. (Such as Apex, Jet, Atlas, or Bridgeport.) Ditto for bench grinders, disc sanders, scroll saws, and many other tools. Here are a few American floor and bench mount power tool makers that are still hanging in there:

  • Buffalo Machines, Inc. - Perhaps the last American maker of home workshop drill presses. Both their machines and their documentation still look "Old School", too! (Made in Lockport, New York.)
  • Clausing - Only their few "Insourced" machines are American-made.
  • Dremel - Makes a Rotary Tool Work Station that turns your Dremel tool into a miniature drill press.
  • Ellis Mfg. - Band saws, band saw blades, floor mount belt grinders, and a CNC drill press.
  • Powermatic - Table saws. (In October of 1999 Powermatic was purchased by WMH, who already owned Jet Tools, and Performax Products.)
  • Ridgid Tools - Best known for their pipe tools, they also make bench-mount (or cart-mount) miter saws, table saws, and abrasive cut-offs
  • Sherline - Miniature lathes and milling machines.
  • Shopsmith - Multipurpose woodworking machines (functions include lathe, table saw, disc sander, boring and routing) for home woodworking. (Some argue that in attempting to all of these tasks, that they do none of them particularly well. I only recommend Shopsmiths if you have very limited floor space in your wood shop.)
  • TAIG Tools - Bench top mini milling machines and lathes. Now with CNC control!

3D Printers

Here is a new technology where America presently has the lead! American companies control more than 90% of the market:

Pneumatic Power Tools:

  • Bondhus - Various hex (Allen and Torx head) tools, including ball head. (Made in Minnesota.)
  • Campbell Hausfeld - Cast Iron Air Compressors.
  • Proto (aka Stanley-Proto--a division of Stanley.) Most Proto tools are made in USA.
  • Snap-on Tools - A huge variety of tools. They have four factories, all in the U.S. (In Elkmont, Alabama; Algona, Iowa; Elizabethton, Tennessee; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.) Most Snap-on products are US-made, but they also catalog some others tools that are imported. (So be sure to check.)
  • Texas Pneumatic Tools - Compressors, impact wrenches, grinders, et cetera.
  • St. Louis Pneumatic - Impact wrenches, grinders, drills, and power chisels.

Masonry Tools:

Log Splitters:

  • DR - Gas engine and electric splitters. Unlike a typical gas engine splitter, their electric splitters cannot be heard from more than a short distance away.
  • Ramsplitter - As electric splitters go, these are fast and powerful.

Pouches and Tool Bags:

Work Benches, Tool Chests, Cabinets, Tool Carts, Router Tables, and Saw Horses:

  • Akro-Mils - Very handy plastic hardware storage bins and metal racks, to hold them.
  • American Workbench - Excellent wooden workbenches, shipped unassembled. (Made in Charlestown South Carolina.)
  • Bench Crafted - "Build It Yourself" woodworking table vise kits and plans, including a nice split-top Roubo bench.
  • Bench Dog Tools - Cast iron router tables.
  • Black & Decker - Workmate Portable Workbenches. (Note that most Black & Decker tools are imported.)
  • Edsal - Steel work benches, shelves, pallet racks, and tool carts. Their is a real bargain, and quite versatile.
  • Gerstner - Some of the nicest wooden tool chests made. (Steel tool chests are more practical for most of us.)
  • Hideahorse - Strong, stable folding sawhorses
  • Kennedy Manufacturing - Rolling tool chests, bench top chests, hand-carry chests, modular cabinets, and benches with drawers.
  • Moduline - Aluminum tool cabinets
  • Noden Furniture Design - Makers of the Adjust-A-Bench
  • Task Horse Brackets - Sturdy sawhorses, using standard 2x4 dimensional lumber.
  • U.J. Ramelson Co. - Scribes, carving tools, and checkering tools.
  • Woodpeckers - Router tables, router mounting plates, router fences, measuring tools, layout tools and clamping accessories. Note that they also sell some imported products (under other brand names), so be sure to check the country of origin before ordering. (Their products under their brand name are made in Ohio.)

A Few Odd Ducks

Here are a few others American tool companies with products that are not in the aforementioned categories:

  • MacCoupler - A clever adapter that allows you to re-fill one-pound propane cylinders from 20 to 40 pound tanks.
  • MagEyes - Magnifying lenses with a headband for hands-free detail work. (Made in Texas.)

Closing Notes: Special thanks to Harry J. Epstein Company, a tool retailer that still cares about the country of origin off the tools that they sell.

When you do buy an American-made product, again, please send an e-mail to the maker, with a note of encouragement to let them know that you appreciate their integrity in keeping their production on-shore.

Please let me know via e-mail which companies I've missed in the preceding lists, and I will add them before I move this piece to a permanent reference page.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Mr. Rawles,
I wanted to share my experience regarding this situation. When the great scare began in December, I knew that as a prepared individual I did not need to panic buy and so I decided to perform an experiment.

The goal: To acquire an AR-15 for the lowest possible cost during a time with the highest possible demand.

Total cost for my AR-15: $654 (For perspective, the bulk of the component parts that I purchased was when complete rifles were easily selling for $2,000+)

How I did it:

When the scare began in earnest, I knew that the odds of getting the Rock River Arms tactical operator 2 that I had been eyeing went out the window, so I decided the easiest method of acquiring would be to buy the key components (the ones most likely to be banned) and then lay low for everything else.

Purchased during the scare:

Lower: Milled lowers were in short supply and those that were available were testing the $400 range, this was not an acceptable price. Based on many positive reviews online, I knew that Palmetto State Armory carried lowers produced by ATI that were polymer (and would not be on the top of anyone's purchasing list). Cost $49 + $20 FFL transfer fee

Upper: Clearly, any of the high dollar uppers that one would normally buy were in the realm of crazy prices at this time. Again, Youtube and Google came in handy. A small operation known as Blackthorrne sells AR uppers at very reasonable prices online and I was able to acquire an M4 style 16" upper (assembled) for $300 shipped.

Stock: As "Evil Adjustable Stocks" were going to be squarely in the crosshairs, I went on to a local firearms forum and offered to trade a 500rd bulk pack of .22LR (at this point more endangered than African Elephants) in exchange for a stock, tube, buffer and spring (Mil Spec not commercial as that is what the lower had marked on the box). Estimated value: $27 (including shipping)

Lower parts kit: Needed to complete the lower. And it included the "evil" and potentially banned, pistol grip. RGuns in Carpentersville, Illinois provided it for $80 (Including Shipping + Sales Tax -- I am in the People's Republic of Illinois.)

Total expenditure during the Crisis: $466

Purchased after the scare subsided (Items that had the feinstein ban passed (With no changes), we still would have the ability to purchase):

Bolt carrier group: Cosmetically blemished, but otherwise fine Auto profile BCG from Palmetto State Armory: $99

Charging Handle: $19

Professional Assembly by a gunsmith: $70 (Headspace checked, test fired, etc..)

Expenditure after the crisis: $188

What have we learned during this crisis:
Some of the good that has come out of this crisis are actually very interesting web sites. allows you to search for "In stock" ammo sorted by price per round. ARPartsFinder allows you to find "In stock" AR components, again at the lowest possible prices. Additionally, and I think this is the most important thing, if you can afford to stock up more than you see yourself needing, do it. If nothing, when the next scare comes, you will be positioned that you can turn a handsome profit. Last summer I had purchased Tapco AK mags for $6/each, not out of any need but rather just to have them... I sold 10 of those magazines in January at a staggering $15/each, this may not sound like much but in six months I had a 150% return on my investment... when was the last time you had an annual return of 300% on your 401(k) or IRA? - K.A.

Monday, July 22, 2013

You may have heard about the BHO administration regime's expanded “Insider Threat Program," which amplifies Executive Order 13587, published back in 2011. After a brief flurry of media attention earlier this month, this has been thoroughly soft-pedaled. ("Nothing to see here, move along.") But these new policies have been laid down and the penalties for noncompliance have been established. Without an act of Congress, these policies are now effective. Rather than re-hash the details, I will quote the first part of a well-written McClatchy News Service article:

"In an initiative aimed at rooting out future leakers and other security violators, President Barack Obama has ordered federal employees to report suspicious actions of their colleagues based on behavioral profiling techniques that are not scientifically proven to work, according to experts and government documents.

The techniques are a key pillar of the Insider Threat Program, an unprecedented government-wide crackdown under which millions of federal bureaucrats and contractors must watch out for “high-risk persons or behaviors” among co-workers. Those who fail to report them could face penalties, including criminal charges.

Obama mandated the program in an October 2011 executive order after Army Pfc. Bradley Manning downloaded hundreds of thousands of documents from a classified computer network and gave them to WikiLeaks, the anti-government secrecy group. The order covers virtually every federal department and agency, including the Peace Corps, the Department of Education and others not directly involved in national security.

Under the program, which is being implemented with little public attention, security investigations can be launched when government employees showing “indicators of insider threat behavior” are reported by co-workers, according to previously undisclosed administration documents obtained by McClatchy. Investigations also can be triggered when “suspicious user behavior” is detected by computer network monitoring and reported to “insider threat personnel.”

Federal employees and contractors are asked to pay particular attention to the lifestyles, attitudes and behaviors – like financial troubles, odd working hours or unexplained travel – of co-workers as a way to predict whether they might do “harm to the United States.” Managers of special insider threat offices will have “regular, timely, and, if possible, electronic, access” to employees’ personnel, payroll, disciplinary and “personal contact” files, as well as records of their use of classified and unclassified computer networks, polygraph results, travel reports and financial disclosure forms.

Over the years, numerous studies of public and private workers who’ve been caught spying, leaking classified information, stealing corporate secrets or engaging in sabotage have identified psychological profiles that could offer clues to possible threats. Administration officials want government workers trained to look for such indicators and report them so the next violation can be stopped before it happens.

“In past espionage cases, we find people saw things that may have helped identify a spy, but never reported it,” said Gene Barlow, a spokesman for the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive, which oversees government efforts to detect threats like spies and computer hackers and is helping implement the Insider Threat Program. “That is why the awareness effort of the program is to teach people not only what types of activity to report, but how to report it and why it is so important to report it.”

But even the government’s top scientific advisers have questioned these techniques. Those experts say that trying to predict future acts through behavioral monitoring is unproven and could result in illegal ethnic and racial profiling and privacy violations.

“There is no consensus in the relevant scientific community nor on the committee regarding whether any behavioral surveillance or physiological monitoring techniques are ready for use at all,” concluded a 2008 National Research Council report on detecting terrorists.

“Doing something similar about predicting future leakers seems even more speculative,” Stephen Fienberg, a professor of statistics and social science at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and a member of the committee that wrote the report, told McClatchy.

The emphasis on individual lifestyles, attitudes and behaviors comes at a time when growing numbers of Americans must submit to extensive background checks, polygraph tests and security investigations to be hired or to keep government or federal contracting jobs. The U.S. government is one of the world’s largest employers, overseeing an ever-expanding ocean of information.

While the Insider Threat Program mandates that the nearly 5 million federal workers and contractors with clearances undergo training in recognizing suspicious behavior indicators, it allows individual departments and agencies to extend the requirement to their entire workforces, something the Army already has done.

Training should address “current and potential threats in the work and personal environment” and focus on “the importance of detecting potential insider threats by cleared employees and reporting suspected activity to insider threat personnel and other designated officials,” says one of the documents obtained by McClatchy..."

This employee snitch policy for the Federal government is intent on making all government employees spy upon one another, like loyal communist East Germans before 1989. Das ist die neu Stasi. Failure to report someone suspicious is now grounds for termination or for release from a contract. And we aren't just talking about people who are read-on for SCI here. We are talking about all Federal employees.

With this new policy, the byword appears to have been changed to: "If you see something, say something, or else!"

It is important to note that "Misprison of a Serious Offense" has been included in the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) for many years. Article 134 (the "catch all" general article, that comes right after "conduct unbecoming an officer") says in part that if a sworn member of the U.S. armed forces knows of the commission of a serious crime and fails to report it, then they themselves may be held criminally liable. But it is grossly over-reaching to institute a similar policy without consent of congress, upon GS-series employees and outside contractors who are not sworn defenders of the nation, and who did not consent to this level of intrusiveness as a precondition of their employment. I predict that this policy will not survive judicial scrutiny.

Now all of this is not to say that someone in a position of "special trust and confidence" shouldn't beware of suspicious contacts by foreigners. (And FWIW, I had my own brush with this, when I was read on for SCI, and I reported it, just as I had been instructed.) But this new policy is downright paranoid, and is more about CYA for Team Obama than it is about protecting classified information from genuine hostile intelligence threats. I should also mention that I believe that Edward Snowden's initial revelations about PRISM and Upstream was justified for the public interest, although he should have refrained from releasing SCI codeword acronyms, in the process. (The code words themselves are classified. Publishing them was not necessary, since they could have easily been redacted.)

By setting this standard, President Bolt Hold Open is now effectively militarizing the entire Federal Government, by absurdly setting the bar at the Article 134 level for every employee. Think about it. This means: Every IRS paper pusher. Every USDA soil tester. Every Corps of Engineers bulldozer driver. Every Peace Corps volunteer. Every Forest Service contract tree planter. Every janitor in a Federal building. This all fits with BHO's unremitting push toward statism--toward the goal of placing the national government in the rightful sphere recognized as belonging to God: omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. George Orwell only had a glimpse of what was to come.

The mere knowledge of the commission of a crime cannot be considered a crime in and of itself. (The rarely used Federal statute on Misprision of a Felony, codified in 1910, only includes actively concealing a felony, not just mere knowledge.) But BHO & Company has effectively expanded the Article 134 level of scrutiny from sworn members of the armed forces to now include all Federal employees and contractors. The news stories make reference to "criminal charges" for Federal employees who fail to report suspicious behavior. But since the Executive branch cannot write laws--only enforce them--how could they create a new category of law that has criminal penalties? The short answer is: They can't. But by cleverly mixing fact and hyperbole in their public statements, they are apparently hoping to buffalo their employees into becoming informants. But the fact is, unless the law changes--and only Congress can do that--then the only Federal employees who can be charged with misprision for anything other than actively concealing a felony are those who are under the jurisdiction of the UCMJ. (Parenthetically, in 2007 civilian contractors who work in combat zones were quietly added to UCMJ jurisdiction, by an act of Congress.)

How long will it be until they try to force this on the entire citizenry? Or are they just hoping to entice us into informing on our neighbors, making us all supergrassers? Since they are all already encouraging the citizenry with the glib: "If you see something, say something" line, then I suspect that it probably won't be very long. And if they make not snitching a crime for everyone, then they'll have to build a lot of new prisons. (They could be called misprison prisons.) And they'll need huge warehouses with miles of file folder shelves and huge server farms for all of the reports from their informants and digital recordings of conversations.

We are living in perilous times. BHO and Eric Holder would probably love to see our society go Full Stasi. Don't let them succeed.

As I've summarized before: We are living in the age of deception and betrayal. Beware. Be politically active. Let your congresscritters feel the heat, so that they will see the light. Be vocal, but do so about the right things. Pray for the wisdom and discernment to know when to remain silent. Don't become a tool of the statists. - J.W.R.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

This is an introduction to collections, charge off, repossession, and the current debt cycle that many good people are finding themselves in. It will be a generalization of the rules and laws as they differ from state to state.
Let me start with my credentials. I have been a collector for the last 14 years. I have worked first party and third party files (the difference between the two will be described herein). The accounts I have worked have ranged from five days past due to 10 to 20 years past charge off. I have worked commercial, Small Business Administration, and consumer accounts, specializing in skip tracing, recovery, bankruptcy, foreclosure, repossession, liquidating the collateral, and litigation. I have called all 50 states and all of the U.S. controlled territories along with some foreign countries. I have personally repossessed everything from pens and pencils to major construction equipment along with foreclosures on personal and business property.
In my years of work I have enjoyed the many times I have been able to help someone find a way out of financial trouble. That is the most satisfying part of my job.
The difference between first party and third party collections.
·         First party is where the originating financial institution maintains and services the bad account.
·         Third party is where the bad account is transferred to an outside company for servicing. This can happen in two ways.
        1.       The originating financial institution transfers the bad account for outside servicing without selling it. The original financial institution maintains control of the account but merely lets the new outside servicer make contact splitting every penny collected between the two companies.
        2.       The originating financial institution sells the bad account to an outside collection agency for generally $0.01 to $0.55 on the dollar depending on the average age and balance of the bad accounts. These are generally sold in what is called portfolios and involve up to hundreds of millions of dollars of bad accounts at a time.
It must be noted that many originating financial institutions have formed their own third party agencies to service the bad accounts with the originating financial institution while operating under a different name, so they can squeeze out every penny before they transfer or sell the accounts.
Moving on to the collections cycle.
The collections cycle begins at five days past due. Your account will be included on a list that a collector will review. We will take many factors into account before we attempt to make contact.
·         The age of the account.
   o   If it is a first payment default it will be worked harder than an account that is halfway through its term length.
·         If the account is secured or unsecured.
   o   If the past due account is a personal loan, credit card, or any other form of unsecured debt it will be worked harder than a secured loan i.e. auto loan, boat loan, house loan. There is more to lose with an unsecured loan as there is nothing to repossess. 
   o   Secured loans are worked and lien position is verified. A good collector will generally know where the collateral for the secured loan is at this point.
At 10 to 15 days past due late fees are assessed to the account. Every financial institution has late fees written into all contracts. It is the bread and butter of the financial institution. Late fees and other service fees keep the lights on and bills paid.
·         If the account was deemed to be low risk and has not had a payment credited to it will be called now. Late Payment Notices will be mailed out. Files will be reviewed for any information pertaining to the debtor.
·         It is important that the debtor be contacted now. As a general rule if an account slips further past due the chances that they will never get current increase greatly every day that goes by and the account remains delinquent.
·         Higher risk secured accounts will receive a personal visit. Pictures will be taken of the collateral and questions will be asked of the debtor. If possible, arrangements will be made to bring the account current.
Personal contact with debtors can be dangerous. I have had one gun pulled on me, threatened with physical violence, almost attacked by dogs, spit on, and yelled at. I understand that the debtor is mad at the situation so I don’t take these things personally. When I have to make face to face contact I have to go with a calm demeanor.  I feel that my attitude and actions will direct a possibly hostile event to be a calm and friendly time. I am not there to make the debtor feel bad or embarrassed. I am there to merely talk and see what is going on so I can help solve the issues before it goes any further. It is better that the loan goes through its life cycle and pay off than charge off, although there are profits to be made if the account charges off.

At 16 to 30 days past due repossession is considered. Repossession depends on risk rating--each financial institution has a risk based lending practices. Where each loan is scored on the credit score, past loan history on the credit bureau, and other condition to come up with an (I feel) arbitrary score that may or may not predict the chances of delinquency--collateral condition, amount owed, and the ratio of the estimated value of the collateral and the amount the debtor owes.
Default letters are sent asking that the debtor bring the account(s) current within a set period of time, generally 15 days depending on state laws.
Skip tracing intensifies if no contact has been made. Most of us have done web searches on our own names. It is harmless to do so and should be done to see what is linked to you. I will “Google” you and use other free web sites to try to find you.
If I am unsuccessful with those web sites I will move on to the not publicly available web sites. These sites are paid for by the financial institution and contain enormous amounts of information. These sites list your information-including your SSN, your relatives' info, neighbors info, past neighbor info,  past addresses for you, your spouse, your family, current and past work info, what assets you have, any legal info-lawsuits, family law, bankruptcies, foreclosures, etc.
Between the information gained from public web sites, nonpublic web sites, and your application I can correlate and get new phone numbers and addresses. Cell phones can be found also so don’t think that those are private, yes even the ones bought at Wal-Mart and other retailers can be found.
***A quick side note, don’t use the grocery store discount cards they sell all the information you give them when you sign up to the non public web sites plus they track what you buy and who knows if they give it to Big Brother or not. Hospitals are another source that can and will sell your information.
If your account is unsecured the credit line may be suspended at this time. Any related accounts may be restricted and inaccessible.
The option of Set Off may be exercised at this time. This means that if you have money in savings it may be applied to the past due loan to make as much of the payment as possible. You will receive a letter called either Notice of Action Taken or Notice of Adverse Action describing the amount and date of the Set Off.
 At 31 to 60 days past due the debtor is now due for two full payments going on three. Chances are very likely that the account will not recover at this time. Most debtors will have to rob Peter to pay Paul now. To add insult to injury more late fees are added to the account. Also, if it is written into the contract, the Default Interest Rate will be applied to the account. Default Interest Rate can be as high as 35% depending on your state laws.  
Demand letters will be sent. The debtor will have between 10 to 15 days to bring the account current depending on state law.
The financial situation for the debtor is very serious and bankruptcy is an option now. From what I have seen, debtors that have one account reach this stage have multiple account that are in the same state or going to be in the same state very soon. A major disruption to the debtor’s financial situation has happened and they need an immediate intervention to save their finances.
I will be pulling your credit report now. What I am looking for is new credit lines, addresses, employers, and credit inquiries. By the time the debtor is 31+ days past due they have been in a financial hardship for around 60 to 90 days prior to reaching 31+ days past due. Financial problems don’t just pop up. They build up over a long period of time. Small setbacks build up over time and snowball into the huge burden that faces them at this point. I will be able to see a pattern of delinquency on your credit report. Also I will be able to see which bank(s) you are paying. This lets me know what you hold as important in your financial world.
This is the point in time when desperation takes over the debtor. They start applying anywhere and everywhere for a loan to get them out of the situation. This is also where banks deny the debtor credit because of current delinquency on the credit report, a vicious Catch 22. And so starts the spiral of payday loans. Payday loans and short term loans are no better than loan sharks and should be avoided at all costs.
You cannot borrow your way out of debt.
If there is collateral securing the loan generally it will be assigned for repossession. The financial institution will hire a third party to locate and secure the collateral. Once the collateral is secured the debtor will receive a letter giving them 10 days to pay off the remaining balance of the loan. If the loan is not paid off then the collateral is sold. The sale-depending on state laws- can either be a private sale where the financial institution sells it directly to another person or public sale such as an auction. After the sale the Recovery process starts. Recovery will be explained below.
Unsecured loans are prepped for charge off now. All information about the debtor is gathered and the information is reviewed with management. The decision to charge off an account is made here and the debtor’s account will be assigned a date to be charged off.
There is a world of difference between WRITTEN OFF and CHARGED OFF.
·         "Written off" means that the financial institution has forgiven the debt and will not be pursuing the deficiency balance. If this happens to you get it in writing that they are forgiving the debt. 
·         "Charged off" means that financial institution has moved the loan from a performing loan to a non-performing loan on the financial institutions accounting books. The debt is still owed.

At 61 to 120 days past due the debtor’s account(s) are past the point of no return. While I have seen debtors come back from this point, it is a rare occurrence.
At 61 days past due the debtor owes two past due payments + late fees and one current payment. If the debtor has a car payment of $350 a month, at 61 days past due he owes a total of $1050 ($350+$350+$350) + late fees just to bring the account current.
The accounts are generally charged off by the time they reach 120 days past due regardless of if the collateral is repossessed or not.
The debtor’s checking and savings accounts may be Set Off and closed to recoup some of the charged off balance.
If the debtor has filed Bankruptcy generally the debt life cycle ends here. There are instances where collections can continue and that explanation deserves a different letter.
I do not fault anyone for filing Bankruptcy. It is allowed by law and should be used to reset the debtor on the right path. The stigma of the past is gone and people are not looked down upon as much now as they were in the past. I advocate that if the debtor is with one of the “Too Big to Fail” banks that they do file bankruptcy.
The Recovery process starts at this point. 
The Recovery Process starts immediately after the account is charged off. The debtor has already had his credit bureau report pulled so there is an idea of where the debtor stands financially. After all the Skip Tracing and the collateral has been repossessed the financial institution now has the debtor’s new address and possibly his employer.
Contact is then made with the debtor. Payment arrangements will be offered although the remaining deficiency balance is now due in full. Remember the account is now Charged Off. It is no longer a performing loan on the financial institution’s books. The financial institution has reported the account to the State and Feds as a loan that is no longer on the books-in essence the defaulted loan may become a tax write-off.
Every penny the financial institution collects now is profit. Depending on the debtor’s state laws interest may still be charged. Again the balance in full is due now. Financial institutions don’t have to ask for payments. If the financial institution chooses to they can sue you for the balance. The financial institution will incur legal fees, which will be added to the deficiency balance making it greater. If they win in court they will seek a monetary judgment and garnishment.
In my former state of residence, somewhere in the Redoubt, the maximum garnishment rate was 35% of each paycheck until the judgment is satisfied (paid in full). Try to live with an income that has been reduced by 35% each paycheck if you are already struggling. Pull out your last pay stub and subtract 35% from it. It turns out to be quite a sum.
If the financial institution deems that it is not economically sound to sue the debtor they can choose to service the account as an internal collection account (First party collections) or transfer or sell the account to an outside collection agency (Third party collections).
In first party collections the charged off account is serviced in-house for six months to one year. After that if the charged off account is not paid, then it is sold or transferred to an outside collection agency.

Welcome to the murky world of Third Party Collections.  
Third party agencies are governed by the FAIR DEBT COLLECTIONS PRACTICES ACT (FDCPA) and various other federal and state laws.
Largely the third party agencies follow the preceding acts and laws.  If they don’t, they are financially liable for any damages that take place if they are sued. The fines start at $1,000 and can go through the roof. Along with this the individual collector can be held financially responsible. Some third party agencies have had fines in the $100,000+ range.
A collector with a third party agency is supposed to recite what is called the Mini Miranda when they contact the debtor (This is _name_ with _company name_ a debt collector. This is an attempt to collect a debt any information obtained will be used for that purpose). If they don’t it is a violation of the FDCPA and can be used against them in court.
Third party agencies are up against the clock for initiating a law suit. Each state law is different pertaining to the Statute of Limitations of debt. The Statute of Limitations only limits the amount of time a financial institution can initiate a lawsuit against the debtor. The Statute of Limitations does not limit the amount of time that the debt can be collected on. Hence why “Zombie Debt” is a catch phrase in the media.
Debts that have exceeded the Statute of Limitations and have also fallen off the debtor’s credit bureau are still collectable. The Statute of Limitations restarts every time there is a payment made on a “Zombie Debt”.  So if you have a “Zombie Debt” and a collection agency calls I recommend that you do not make a payment. As always seek legal counsel and get a professionals opinion about this debt.  
Third party agencies will try anything and everything to get you to pay. It is their job to keep you talking and stumble into making payments. Legally, you don’t have to (As always seek legal counsel and get a professionals opinion about this debt). Morally you should. It is up to you to make that choice.
If the charged off account is not paid on it will be sold to another third party agency. This cycle will continue forever. Like I said I have called on accounts that were close to 20 years old.
Some notes on charged off accounts:
If you have fallen on hard times (I have) and have had an account charge off (I have), don’t feel like it is the end of the earth. If you can, make payment arrangements with the original financial institution. They will probably be more lenient at this point.
If you can’t, and the original financial institution does not sue you, be prepared to receive a lot of calls. You can choose to ignore them or talk to them. Remember third party agencies are paid a wage plus a bonus for each dollar collected.  
A little suggestion for the third party agency calls;
·         Record them if it is legal to do so.
·         While on the phone with the collector be courteous and pleasant. Let the collector be the aggressor.
·         Do not let them bully you.
·         Do not let them argue with you.
·         Do not let them call you names.
·         They cannot, if the account is outside the Statute of Limitations, threaten to sue and garnish you.
·         There is no such thing as a Debtors Prison. You cannot go to jail for a debt unless you committed fraud. As always seek legal counsel and get a professionals opinion about this debt
My personal views on charged off accounts:
Bad things happen to good people.
As a collector I try to understand what happened that caused the account to charge off. For the most, part people are well intentioned and mean to pay for what they buy or incur through other means. I will treat you with all respect that you deserve. You are still a brother or sister under God and I have a responsibility to treat you kindly.
Bankruptcy is a personal choice. The world we live in today does not look down on it as much as they have in the past.  I do not fault you for using a legal means to get a fresh start on life. You would be surprised how much the pile of debt weighs on you and how liberated you feel after the bankruptcy is over. Just please learn your lesson and don’t do it again.
I have had hard times and fallen behind on my bills too. I am human and make human mistakes.
I'll close with an inside joke: Debt collectors are some of the hardest people to collect from. We know the rules of the game.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I just want to say that I find it amazing how most people, including well-known commentators, go round and round about guns versus crime. This point has been beaten to death, but the gun control crowd wants it to continue. Please folks, realize that the purpose is to disarm the civilian population and has little or nothing to do with public safety. Government safety is what is at stake and as long as the reality can be deflected away from the disarmament purpose, the discussion about public safety is fine! Why does the word stupid come to mind? - Phil in Fort Lauderdale

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

While discussing the potential for a gun ban in the United States I realized that the pro-gun-ban people genuinely believe that banning guns will save lives. In an attempt to facilitate debate I discovered that getting down to the numbers helps discover where their math is different from the pro-gun position, it is these points we can focus on to help them see the light. I put this sequence of equations on a spreadsheet but you can talk someone through them without one. For each value get the person you are speaking to, to give you their value. I've using example numbers with a typical anti-gun leaning.

A: Population: That's an easy one, about 311,000,000.

B: Number of people killed with guns in America each year, I don't have exact figures for this but it's about 6,500. [JWR Adds: According to Bureau of Justice Statistics, the actual figure was around 11,100 in 2011, and has been in decline since 1993.]

C: The percentage of people who would be saved if guns were banned, lets say 50%. (Clearly it's not 100%, since illegal guns would still be used, while pro-gun people may claim that the number would actually increase, lets not waste our time on this point just now.)

D: The number of additional people who would be killed because criminals would become bolder with less to fear from disarmed victims and would-be-victims who today can defend themselves who would be helpless once disarmed, lets say 200.

So, the total killed with easy access to guns = B (6,500) Total killed without easy access to guns = B*C+D (3,450). Pro-gun people typically get bogged down at this point debating these figures, but they are only one piece of the story and it's a small piece. Agree to disagree and move on, say something like "While I disagree with those figures let's accept them for now and move on." What about government-driven Genocide events against their own people? These occur very infrequently, but when they do the loss of life is often in the millions. The problem is they are very hard to calculate and most anti-gun people put the chances at zero. This is where the pro-gun argument clearly defeats the anti-gun argument it's here we want to spend our time opening the mind of the the anti-gun people. Estimating the probability of a genocidal event initiated by the US government and the resultant loss of life is very hard so let's look at the world average for the 20th Century:

E: Average population of the world during the 20th Century. Obviously this varied but let's say that the populated started about 5,000 Million and ended about 7,000 Million. So the average is about 6,000 Million.

F: Number of people killed by their own governments in genocidal actions during the 20th Century: 170 Million. (You can find evidence to back this number up pretty easily just by a quick web search)

G: Number of people killed by their own governments as a yearly average during the 20th Century = F/100 = 1.7 Million

H: Probability of a person being killed per year by their own governments as a yearly average during the 20th Century = G/E = 1.7M/6000M = 0.000283

I: Average number of Americans killed per year by their own government in genocidal actions = H * A = 88,116 That is roughly 88,000 Americans would die on average each year if the American government were capable of and intent upon taking some form of genocidal action against the American people. Of course it wouldn't be 88,000 each and every year, it's more likely to be 200 times this number once every 200 years or something similar but we're dealing with averages here. Now the anti-gun people will typically walk right into you logical arms by pointing out that America is not a 'typical world country', it's existed longer than 200 years without a Genocidal event. (Let's not get into discussing some of the things Americans did to the aboriginal ("First Nation") people some of which look very like genocide). "A genocidal event is less likely to happen in America", they will cry. Is it? Why is that? Oh yes, it's because the 2nd Amendment allows the population to be armed to discourage any such attempt!

J: The probability that a Genocidal event would be attempted given an armed population: Let's say 25%? It could happen but it's a lot less likely.

K: The percentage loss of life if a Genocidal event were to be tried against an armed population versus an unarmed population, certainly people would still die but it's probably going to be fewer people because the people will be able to defend themselves. Even if it's only by being able to lay down covering fire while they flee. Let's be 'generous' to the anti-gun people and say no fewer than 80%.

So looking at Genocidal events we have Without guns: = I = 88,116 people / year With guns = I * J * K = 88,116 * 0.25 * 0.8 = 17,623 people / year

Totals so far: Losses of life with an Armed population per year: 6,500 + 17,623 = 24,234 Losses of life with an unarmed population per year: 3.450 + 88,116 = 91,566. We can stop here and try and let those numbers sink in. An Anti-gun America doesn't save 3,050 lives a year (6,500 - 3,450). Long term, on average, it would cost 67,443 lives a year (91,566 - 24,123).

Or if you want to hammer things home you can do similar estimations based on loss of life from any external country attempting to invade America. Once again an America with an armed civilian population is less likely to be attacked and the losses will be smaller as the population can defend (or worst case lay down cover for a retreat) versus an unarmed population who are ripe for slaughter.

Also you can point out that the 1.7 Million people killed by genocidal events per year by their governments in the 20th Century is an average across the whole world. If you look at the events behind these figures in detail you see that by far the majority of these were killed after government disarmed the people. Thus logically these killings are less likely to happen to an armed population and more likely to happen to an unarmed population.

We reduced the value above (factor J) for an armed population but we didn't increase it for an unarmed one (I). Without knowing what percentage of the world population were armed versus disarmed across the 20th Century we can't really include this in our calculations but we can be confident that the average of 88,116 deaths per year for a population the size of America is a very conservative figure, it's probably well over 100,000.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Dear Jim,
I'm hoping that you will help me get the word out nationwide on this:

As many celebrate the passage of Concealed Carry in Illinois it comes with a very heavy price. Municipalities have 10 days from the law's enactment to pass their own "Assault Weapons" bans. Many of us in the suburbs of Chicago will face a choice in 90 days to move our weapons somewhere else, render them permanently inoperable or turn them over to the police. Lets call it what it is, Confiscation!

No grandfathering, straight up outlawing of previously lawfully owned rifles and standard capacity magazines. It doesn't spell out that they are going to come kick in our doors but it certainly makes it a possibility.

Please withhold publishing my name I have not decided what my course of action will be. The crooks who run Illinois are dishonorable and tyrannical and I very much fear for my safety as I exercise my 1st Amendment right while trying to do some small thing to try and save our rights under both the Second and Fourteenth amendments and for good measure I'm sure they will violate a couple more amendments along the way!

Thanks! - Fearful in Illinois

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Captain Rawles,
I have to go to the Socialist Republic of Kalifornia later this week to rescue my sister and her husband (helping them move household goods) and in doing so must surrender my right to be able to defend myself due to their draconian gun laws.  Living in Utah I know that my permit is recognized only as far as the Nevada border, but I can transport and possess my Model 1911 albeit in a separate locked container from the corresponding ammunition.  I was wondering what advice or opinions you could offer as I leave on this little trek.  Any input would be very much appreciated.
Respectfully, - Brad M.

JWR Replies: I can sympathize with you, since I still have a few relatives in California. Parenthetically, my Rawles ancestors came to California via covered wagon in the 1850s. I also have two relatives by marriage who were participants in the Bear Flag Revolt. (Henry Beeson of Boonville and William B. Elliott of Geyserville. The red stripe on the original Bear Flag was some red flannel that had been purchased to make new underwear for William Elliott and a new petticoat for his wife.) If these pioneers were to witness California's current web of draconian laws, they wouldn't just chafe--they'd start another revolt!

Getting back to the 21st Century: Under California's absurd laws, by most common interpretations you can transport a gun into the state only if you have a target shooting session or hunting trip planned. You need to be able to document that planned event--whether or not it ever takes place. (A printout-out of an e-mail exchange between you and yours relatives discussing that shooting session should suffice.) But then, once you are in California you would only be able to have the gun loaded while you are target shooting or hunting, or perhaps while you are inside your sister's house. (I'm not an attorney, so don't quote me on that.) Furthermore, even though it must be unloaded and the ammunition in a separate locked compartment of your vehicle, you would not be able to carry your unloaded pistol on any "in and around" trips while you are in California. That would only be allowable when traveling to or from the shooting range, or of course on your final trip out of the state.

Oh, and FYI, though it is not applicable in your case, if you were to stay in California, the pistol would have to be registered by mail within 60 days.)

I urge all of my readers in California to vote with their feet and move out of that doomed Mickey Mouse state! (I say doomed because the political remedies and recourses have been exhausted. The leftist-statists are too deeply entrenched and they have a solid multigenerational voting bloc. It is time to bail!)

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Your reader who wrote regarding "relocating & transport of firearms and ammo" from New Hampshire to South Carolina is trapped. There's no way out of New Hampshire without going through New York, Massachusetts, or New Jersey.

I'm sure readers in those states will have more info, but I'd suggest avoiding New Jersey at all costs. Massachusetts, despite its strong restrictions, may be the least onerous of the three; New York has a state law stipulating possession of five or more handguns is prima facie evidence of felony gun trafficking, New Jersey prohibits possession of hollow point ammunition (in any caliber) outside the home or business.

He, and you, are correct in not entrusting such goods to household move transporters, regardless of their rules. My suggestion would be to "bury" the New York/New Jersey/Massachusetts contraband at the very front of the truck under an absolutely packed and completely full load of innocuous household goods, make sure anything visible in the truck and in the first couple of layers inside the door is completely generic, totally non-suspicious "everywhere legal" household goods. Anything that could attract official attention should not be in the truck and especially not visible - plants, fruit (real or artificial), "weapons" - such as axes - or anything flammable. I wouldn't put even an empty fuel container of any type in the truck.

I'd suggest planning the trip to get to Pennsylvania by the shortest and safest route, traverse the non-American states in full daylight, arrange fuel/food/bathroom/motel stops to eliminate all stops for any reason in any of the non-American states, even if that means paying higher prices for fuel. Have maps available so alternate routes, if needed, can be easily determined, and observe each and every traffic law very strictly. Make sure the truck you rent is absolutely reliable, even if that means paying more to rent from a company that has newer trucks. An additional few hundred dollars in moving expense is vastly preferable to thousands in legal fees and confiscation of your property.

Once in Pennsylvania, while there may be some two lane travel (I-81 is 4 lane from northeastern Pennsylvania to the Philadelphia area and I-84 and I-80 connect to it from the east), he can get on Route 95 near Philadelphia and it's America from there to South Carolina. - Nosmo

JWR Replies: I generally concur. The Federal law does provide some protection, but some states like New Jersey are notorious for selective enforcement of their own laws. To be safe from prosecution from state authorities, one alternative is shipping your guns (or just their frames or receivers, for some models) to your new address, via a common carrier. By law and by the policies of the major shipping companies , you do not need to hire an FFL to do this. you simply ship them "from yourself to yourself." This often done by folks who are moving to or from Alaska and others who are visiting Alaska for big game hunts, to avoid entanglement with Canada's gun laws. Of course this approach must be timed carefully and there is the risk of theft. But it might be the best bet for folks with a lot of handguns or battle rifles.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Hello Mr. Rawles,
This information may be useful for Americans living in states with strict magazine capacities.

A loophole exists under Canadian laws that allows shooters the ability to legally bypass magazine capacity restrictions.  

Under Canadian law, a magazine DESIGNED for a rifle may only hold five rounds of the caliber it is designed for.  A magazine designed for a pistol may only hold 10 rounds of the caliber for the pistol it is designed for.  But there is no law prohibiting the use of a pistol magazine in a rifle, a magazine designed for a different caliber than the caliber of gun it is being used in, or loading different caliber ammunition in a magazine than what it was designed for.

This loophole has been exploited in the past as follows:
- Using .40 caliber pistol magazines to hold 13 founds of 9mm
- Using 10 round .223 AR-15 pistol magazines in an AR-15 rifle
- Using 10 round 7.62x39 AR-15 pistol magazines in an AR-15 rifle, holding 12 rounds of .223

A new development is unfolding now, where 5 round .50 caliber AR-15 rifle magazines, capable of holding 15 rounds of .223 are hitting the market.  

It is not inconceivable that in the near future, 10 round, .50 caliber AR-15 pistol magazines will be available which under Canadian law will be legal and will be capable of holding 30 rounds of .223 - completely bypassing the the rifle magazine capacity restrictions.

Here is an article on the subject.

And here is a Canadian business that is 5 round .50 caliber magazines.

Regards, - Mr. X.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Along with Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, leading conservative radio host Mark Levin reaches tens of millions of listeners weekly, and what he talked about recently on his nationally syndicated show has sent shivers down the spines of many of them.

A few years ago this was fringe theory, restricted only to the sphere of alternative (conspiracy) news.

Warnings of a massive economic collapse, government stockpiling of weaponry, and the idea that Americans could be broadly classified as terrorists and then detained indefinitely or killed often fell upon deaf ears.

Today, as more information ‘leaks’ into the mainstream, it is no longer just conspiracy theory. We now have some of the most influential journalists and commentators in the country alerting Americans to the possibility that everything the government has been preparing for the last several years may soon be realized.

I’m going to tell you what I think is going on.

I don’t think domestic insurrection. Law enforcement and national security agencies, they play out multiple scenarios. They simulate multiple scenarios.

I’ll tell you what I think they’re simulating.

The collapse of our financial system, the collapse of our society and the potential for widespread violence, looting, killing in the streets, because that’s what happens when an economy collapses.

I’m not talking about a recession. I’m talking about a collapse, when people are desperate, when they can’t get food or clothing, when they have no way of going from place to place, when they can’t protect themselves.

There aren’t enough police officers on the face of the earth to adequately handle a situation like that.

I suspect, that just in case our fiscal situation collapses, our monetary situation collapses, and following it the civil society collapses – that is the rule of law – that they want to be prepared.

There is no other explanation for this.

Sourced via Red Flag News

See the Mark Levin video clip HERE.

The Pentagon and military have been war-gaming large-scale economic collapse and civil unrest for nearly four years. Those within our government who understand the ramifications a massive breakdown in our systems of commerce, transportation and justice are preparing by stockpiling weapons and ammo, tens of millions of food rations, and even emergency shelters. They are spending hundreds of billions of dollars on continuity of government programs and exercises, preparing for what they know is coming.

Now why would the government be doing this if there wasn’t a reasonable chance that such events could come to pass?

We’ve urged our readers to prepare a well thought out contingency plan for the very scenarios our government is spending your hard earned tax dollars on.

So you’d better have your own reserves. For those who fail to prepare, it will be horrific. - Mac Slavo,

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Mr. Rawles,
 I read with interest the bit you wrote on the television show "Longmire."  I, too, have found the show somewhat entertaining so have been following it the past few weeks.  Doing so recently I watched a bit that I thought you might find interesting.
During a recent episode Longmire is inspecting the body of a murder victim while talking about the victim with the owner of the property upon which the corpse was found.  Longmire notes that the property owner is wearing a holstered firearm, probably a 1911 or other semi-auto pistol, with some "angst."  I use that word for a reason.  The look Longmire gives the property owner is one of "why do you think you should be wearing a firearm?"  The look, of course, sets up the response by the property owner that explains why she thinks that she needs a firearm.  But she also explains to the sheriff that "it's all registered and all."
Something didn't sound right about that statement. First, that a Wyoming rancher and a Wyoming sheriff would give the idea of a holstered firearm even a one little bit of thought.  In my experience in the west, a firearm is a tool like a shovel or a pick.  Nothing at all to be concerned about.  Unless it comes out of the holster and ends up being pointed at you.  At which point you do likewise and point your own gun at the other guy.
Then there is the question of registration.  Again, in my experience it didn't sound right,  Now, I've been to Wyoming a few times but, as a Wisconsin boy, I don't get there that often.  So, to get the definitive answer on gun law in Wyoming I did what any other red-blooded American would do.  I turned to Wikipedia.
Wikipedia has lots of information about gun laws.  Some of it is even accurate,  This I'm pretty sure of: Nowhere in Wyoming is it necessary to "register" a gun.  It is no more necessary to register a gun in Wyoming than it is in Wisconsin.  Maybe New York.  Maybe California.  But not Wyoming.  In 2011 Wyoming became another state that has shown that it respects the Constitution of the United States by now not requiring any kind of permit at all for concealed carry.  But the state will gladly give you a permit for a modest fee if you want it. (So that you can carry it when you visit other states [with reciprocity agreements.)
I'm sure you will agree with me that there is an enormous amount of bad information about firearms in the popular media.  That includes both news and entertainment media.  The most egregious example, of course, is the magical handgun that never needs reloading.  In this case I think that the script writers brought their own ideas and/or prejudices to the table.  It's likely that the screen writer is a resident of California or New York or some other state where citizen's God given rights are abridged so they bring that bit of "knowledge" to their script.  They're certainly not residents of Wyoming.  Maybe they're Australians.

As Will Rogers once said: “The problem ain't what people know. It's what people know that ain't so that's the problem.”  Regards, - E.B.

JWR Replies: The root of the problem is that most script writers come out of leftist universities and are ignorant about both guns and gun laws. A few of their flubs get corrected on the set by the weapons wranglers just before filming, but many don't. And the actors aren't much help, because most of them aren't genuine shooters, either. (There are a few exceptions but unfortunately the Tom Sellecks and Gerald McRaneys of the acting world are vastly outnumbered by actors who know very little about guns. Many horrible gaffes get filmed.)

In Longmire, the gun-handling is overall pretty decent. However, there is one thing makes me absolutely cringe: The leading man ("Walt Longmire") carries a Colt M1911, which is designed to be carried "cocked and locked." (Condition 1.) But he carries his hammer down, and at least twice we see him thumb cock the hammer while his pistol is holstered. This is an unsafe practice, because it implies that he carries the pistol hammer down on a live round. Unless you are at a shooting range with a safe backstop or you are standing before a specially-built clearing tube backstop, there is NO REALLY SAFE WAY to lower the hammer on a live round to put a M1911 in that condition. (Condition 2.) And if you do slip while lowering the hammer and the pistol fires and cycles, then the back of the slide might tear off your thumbnail and/or rip all of the skin off of the top of your thumb. (Ouch!)

Now I understand that seeing a cocked M1911 in Condition 1 makes some people nervous. (Although it shouldn't.) But Condition 1 is the preferred carry mode. The only truly safe way to carry a M1911 or other single action semi-auto hammer down is with a full magazine but with an empty chamber. This is properly called Condition 3. But it is commonly called "Israeli Carry" , because it was popularized in Israel in the 1950s and 1960s. This carry mode is fairly fast but cumbersome, since you have to rack the slide to ready the piece for firing. Unless you do something fancy and rack the slide on your belt, web gear, or holster (which violates a muzzle safety rule, for most of us) this requires two hands, which isn't always possible. (Such as as when one if your hands is holding another object, when you are grappling, or when you are injured.) So I DO NOT recommend Israeli Carry unless you live in some strange jurisdiction where you can carry a pistol but not one with a loaded chamber.

I also agree that the whole concept of a "registered gun" is absolutely foreign to folks in Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. If you were to ask them if their guns were "registered", they'd look at you like you were from Mars, unless you were talking about the small numbers of Federally-registered machineguns, short-barreled rifles (SBRs) or short-barreled shotguns (SBSes) in those states.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Dear Mr Rawles,
I have a couple of disturbing events in my state (southeastern New England) I wish to report to you and your readers.
I do not have medical  insurance.  Because of this I go to the local health  center run (until now) very well by the local hospital. and I have benefited greatly by their care. However, this past week I became quite sick, and made an appointment to be seen by one of their doctors.

Upon entering I saw they have new computers and scanners. A patient must use this to check in. This is done by scanning the back of our driver's license. Our state has a scanning bar code on the back. When I saw what this was I went directly to the desk and told them who I was and my appointment time. No go, I had to scan in. So I told them I forgot my wallet. No worries it will also use my fingerprints. I wanted to see this and sure enough, through my fingerprint they had all my info. Where did they get this info? I have been fingerprinted before for a few jobs I’ve had in the past but I assumed (foolish me) this remained private.
Eventually I got to the examination room with the nurse and the first question was not how do I feel, what is my medical problem not even my name and date of birth but “Do you own any firearms” to which my response was "None of your business." She replied that the question had to be answered or they could not treat me. So I said no. In my chart (which is electronic, on a tablet device), the nurse seemed to type a heck of a lot more than “no”. This made me quite angry and so I asked to speak to a supervisor which they did do. The supervisor said that the nurse was wrong and that I did not have to answer the question, and in fact the question of firearms was supposed to be asked if I reported depression or suicidal thoughts. The supervisor was polite and did not seem to be lying or attempting to placate me but when I asked to see my chart I was told I would have to pay the records office and fill out forms. I barely have enough money to pay for the visits let alone the fifty dollars it would take to get a copy of my own medical charts.

A few days later my car broke down on the way home from work and so I pushed it into a parking lot and waited for the tow truck. A town policeman pulls up next to me, and though I do not know him personally, I did recognize him from our local gun store. He recognized me as well. He told me my plate was expired by a couple of months. He did not write me a ticket as I was on private property and it was getting towed anyway. I commented how he got that info really fast and he laughed ruefully and showed me the computer in the car. It automatically scans license plates and alerts to any sort of plate violation or warrants out for the registered owner. Not only that, but it show any weapon purchased by the owner of the vehicle that were supposedly (I’ll get to that in a second) registered through the state. All paid for by the town, through a grant from Homeland Security. This may all seem pretty bleak but it gets worse. The firearms I own have never had to be registered. In fact due to new laws recently passed this year, I have to until July 1st of this year to register one of them. The rest do not legally have to be registered. I have a one year grace period to get this done, so none of my firearms should be on his list. Yet, on his list it showed two firearms I purchased a couple of years ago. As I said earlier, only one of my rifles will need to be registered. What they are doing is using the forms for the two week wait period we have to compile a list of firearms owners, bypassing any sort of registration. Out of the weapons I own only two were purchased through a store, the rest through private transaction, which until a few months ago was perfectly legal.

The policeman who showed my all this expressed his own deep reservation over this and claims the state legislature is being inundated with complaints and he expressed hope there would be a court injunction to stop this. I asked him this, and I leave it for you and your readers as well, I asked this policeman “At what point do you refuse the order?” He shook his head shook my hand and replied “I ask myself that a lot these days!”

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Hello Mr. Rawles, 
As an avid reader of your blog I felt compelled to send this email. I noticed again in your Sunday blog that your telling people to not register there firearms. While that may be easy advise for someone living in a free state, those of us who can't relocate due to various reasons and live in Progressive hell holes like myself (in Connecticut) find that advise to be very dangerous. If you do not register your firearms here and get caught with them after our new unconstitutional new "laws" go into effect, it's a class "D" felony and means at least two years jail time for the unlucky Citizen. I have already removed my firearms to a free state as I WILL NOT COMPLY to their unconstitutional 'laws'. [Here in Connecticut] I now only have an [exempt pre-1899] antique Colt .45 and a shotgun (per Joe Biden's advice) that is not required to be registered, well at least not yet.

Yes, we do plan on moving but are unable to do so before these unconstitutional laws take effect. So, please consider the legal issues many will have to deal with if caught with these "now" illegal weapons before offering advise that may well get them thrown in jail for years for not bowing down to the state. We Citizens already have enough to worry about living in these Progressive hell holes. Thank you sir for your time. - Kenneth B.

JWR Replies:  You are correct. Drawing the line on noncompliance is a personal decision that cannot be dictated by an outsider. My apologies for speaking in absolutes, from the perspective of someone who lives in a relatively free state. There are indeed a variety of viable strategies for noncompliance with unconstitutional laws. For many, the best solution is to vote with your feet, thereby removing yourself from intolerable regulations. But in my opinion just evacuating your guns from the state where you live is a stopgap solution, at best. It leaves you without access to the best tools that you may need to fight for life, property, and liberty.

We must recognize that in our generation there might come a day with no remaining avenue of escape. State laws can be avoiding simply by moving, but what of unconstitutional Federal laws? At that point we will have no choice but to rebel against tyranny. (Since the alternative would be to live as little better than bleating sheep.) When we reach that juncture I doubt that I will advocate expatriation. Most foreign lands have less freedom than we enjoy here in these United States. I don't think that I will find some ideal "bolt hole" nation with more firearms freedom, better banking privacy, a more positive business climate, lower taxes, full religious freedom, unimpeded personal property rights, fair courts, and assured freedom of speech.

If I must die, then I will do so here in America, fully armed and facing my oppressors. I won't die in some ditch, begging for mercy.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Recently, I was falsely labeled "antigovernment" by the SPLC, and that prompts me to post some clarifying remarks: There is a huge difference between being "antigovernment" and being someone who insists that our government remain our government and that it abide by the law of the land. Constitutional rights are not negotiable.

In our system of government--a Constitutional Republic--we are a nation of laws, with the consent of the governed. In effect, we govern ourselves, through our elected representatives and our appointed officials. Or at least that is how it is supposed to work. I am not a "subject" of the state. I am not a serf. I'm not a vassal. Rather, I am a de jure part of the government, because I'm a Citizen and a part of "We, The People." I'm in fact a descendant of colonial Americans who pre-dated the Constitution. So, by definition I am not and cannot be "antigovernment." Yes, there are some current government policies that I oppose. Yes, there has been some legislation that I have opposed. Yes, there have been candidates for public office that I have opposed. And yes, there are some pressure groups (like Mayor Bloomberg's MAIG) that I oppose. But please don't call me--and folks like me--"antigovernment," because we are the government.

In recent years, some government officials (who had been called "public servants", in a gentler age) have lost sight of who they work for, and they've started to look upon the Citizenry as their subjects. Opposition to that view does not make me a rebel. Let me step back for a moment and explain what has happened: During my lifetime, some statist and collectivist insurgents have insidiously risen to positions of power within our government. So I'm what could best be called a counterinsurgent. I'm not trying to tear down the government. Instead, I'm doing my best to restore it.

There is an ongoing culture war in America. On one side are the statists, collectivists, and authoritarians of various stripes. On the other side is America's traditional freedom-loving and minimalist government-espousing bedrock culture. I represent the latter. Let freedom reign! - JWR

California State Senator Tom Berryhill (who represents a far-flung conservative district up in the lightly-populated Sierras) recently sent an e-mail with a depressingly long list of pending Democrat-sponsored gun legislation in People's Republic of California:

Senate Bill (S.B.) 47 (Yee, D-San Francisco) Changes the definition of “assault weapon” to include a firearm which is a semiautomatic, centerfire rifle or semiautomatic pistol that does not have a detachable magazine.

S.B. 53 (DeLeon, D-Los Angeles) Dubbed the “ammo purchase permit bill”, this legislation creates new state permits that require background checks for buyers of ammunition.

S.B. 108 (Yee, D-SF) Requires ‘safe’ storage of firearms and lays out penalties for failure to store them properly. A one-sized fits all approach to safe storage is impractical and does not take into account the wide variety of people that own and safely store their firearms.

S.B. 374 (Steinberg, D-Sacramento) Ban on the sale of all semi-auto rifles, this bill would ban rimfire and centerfire semi-auto rifles with detachable magazines with fixed magazines over ten rounds.

S.B. No. 396 (Hancock, D-Berkeley) Ban all magazines that hold more than ten rounds, regardless of the date acquired. A violation is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail.

S.B. 293 (DeSaulnier, D-Concord) Proposes any pistol or handgun sold in California to eventually be equipped with owner recognition technology.

S.B. 299 (DeSaulnier, D-Concord) Requires a 48 hour turnaround from a firearm owner discovering a firearm missing and reporting it (theft, loss or recovery) to local law enforcement. Failure to comply can result in fines and prison time.

S.B. 475 (Leno, D-San Francisco) Sets up additional hurdles for the Cow Palace to contract for a ‘gun show’ or other event at which a firearm or ammunition is going to be sold on the property.

S.B. 567 (Jackson, D-Santa Barbara) Changes the definition of certain kinds of “shotguns” to make them assault weapons.

S.B. No. 755 (Wolk D-Davis) This bill adds a number of crimes – including drug addiction, chronic alcoholism and others – that would result in a 10-year ban on gun ownership.

S.B. No. 683 (Block, D-San Diego) Requires all gun buyers to take a firearm safety class and earn a safety certificate.

Assembly Bill 48 (Skinner, D-Berkeley) Revises the definition of “large-capacity magazine” to mean any ammunition feeding device with the capacity to accept more than ten rounds.

Assembly Bill 169 (Dickinson, D-Sacramento) BANS the sale of handguns not on the state-approved roster – this would include banning the sale of millions of old and used handguns currently owned by Californians by dealers and private party transfers.

Assembly Bill 180 (Bonta, D-Oakland) Repeals California’s firearm preemption law by granting Oakland an exemption to enact unique laws regarding possession, registration, licensing and subjecting gun owners to unknowing criminal liability when traveling through Oakland.

Assembly Bill 231 (Ting, D-San Francisco) expands the law for Criminal Storage of Firearms and child access placing unprecedented liability on gun owners.

Assembly Bill 711 (Rendon, D-Lakewood) BANS the use of all lead ammunition for hunting.

Assembly Bill 760 (Dickinson, D-Sacramento) Tax on ammunition.

With a deeply entrenched Democrat majority now controlling the state senate, the state assembly, and the governorship, California seems doomed. The state is doomed to perpetual over-spending, high taxation, and horrible gun laws. Vote with your feet, folks!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Mr. Rawles,
Two years ago, I wrote to you prior to the abolition of the Canadian Long Gun Registry about rumors that senior officials with the RCMP were conspiring to reclassify a large number of long guns.

A major development has recently unfolded that I think merits attention to both your Canadian and American readers - as this could potentially set a major precedent pertaining to gun registration and confiscation.  

There is a lot of drama and intrigue involved between some of the owners of businesses involved, and a more comprehensive explanation of the situation can be found here (with the most current information):

The simplest way to explain the story is the Swiss Arms Rifle is a variant of the SIG 540, which is very similar to the SIG 550.  Under Canadian law, SIG 550 and variants are prohibited, while the SIG 540 and variants are not.  The Swiss Arms rifle has been imported into Canada for over 12 years with many variants classified as Non-Restricted (the least strict classification of a rifle, requiring only a license and as of this point in time no registration).  In all probability, it is speculated that there are over 1,000 owners of the rifle which, by Canadian standards, a fairly high number.

Recently, a business came into possession of a supposed Swiss Arms rifle sold by one of their competitors, and observed that it appeared to contain SIG 550 parts - potentially rendering it a variant of the SIG 550 - and thus a prohibited firearm.  This business sent a sample to be reviewed by the RCMP who came to the conclusion that potentially all Swiss Arms Rifles are SIG 550 variants, and thus were incorrectly classified over a decade ago as either non-restricted or restricted, as opposed to prohibited.

Why this is important is prior to the Long Gun registry being abolished, the RCMP criteria for classifying firearms was very inconsistent and error prone.  As a result, it is entirely conceivable that dozens of firearms that were classified as Non-restricted in fact meet the legislation requirements to be prohibited.  Furthermore, some of these rifles could potentially be in the hands of thousands if not tens of thousands of Canadian gun owners with no official registration data to track them. 

With the abolition of the Long Gun Registry, there are reports that the RCMP is increasingly and more intensely scrutinizing firearms classifications and reopening classifications of existing firearms.  A recently leaked report has a definitive list of guns the  RCMP was reviewing for reclassification prior to the abolition of the Long Gun Registry.  The list itself is comical and completely devoid of substance. One of the most laughable points is that the the Ruger SR22 (a 10/22 dolled up to cosmetically LOOK like an AR-15) is somehow in the AR-15 family.

What this all means is, potentially, the RCMP may reclassify huge swaths of firearms that were once non-restricted or restricted into the prohibited category - effectively banning them from civilian ownership.

The big catch to this is this: with many (if not most) of these guns being Non-restricted, and the long gun registry data (supposedly) having been destroyed this past year, there is no official way the RCMP can track who is in possession of a non-restricted gun that they reclassify to prohibited, that is unless agents in the RCMP have maintained illegal backups of the data.

I learnt the hard way that many firearms businesses are very friendly with the RCMP, while some are not.  However, what is certain is firearms purchased from private businesses do maintain some paper trail, and If many non-restricted guns are prohibited, many of these businesses will either voluntarily surrender their ledger of sales or be forced to by warrant.  

However, I believe within Canada there is no requirement for private owners selling their guns to other private owners to maintain a inventory of sales (I have sold dozens of guns and never kept any paper record).  Ergo, if I bought a firearm from a business that potentially could be reclassified - I would be a bit more concerned.  If I bought one through a private sale, I would be less concerned, although classification would effectively render such firearms a prohibited device and carry a very stiff jail term.

The parties involved with the initial Swiss Arms Prohibition situation have until July 30, 2013 to petition the RCMP but either way, a ground breaking decision could potentially be made by then that could set a major precedent for gun control in Canada.

What's interesting to note in is what will happen if this happens in the middle of a Conservative Party Majority term.  Personally, I am not overly optimistic the Conservatives will do the right thing (and rein in the RCMP).

Mr. Rawles, one thing in particular I would like your guidance on is what is the Christian thing to do if you have lawfully and in good conscience acquired a firearms as a piece of property, and "Caesar" arbitrarily prohibits you from owning it?  Canada is a big place and there aren't enough Praetorians to practically enforce such an edict.  Furthermore, while I don't have any confidence in the Canadian government, I do think as a Christian you have the obligation to protect yourself and your family from theft - regardless of who is doing it.

Thank you. - H.T.C.

JWR Replies: Here in the United States, we fortunately have the protection of Second Amendment, which solemnized a God-given right that pre-dated the Constitution and that therefore invalidates most of the gun-related laws that have recently been enacted. ("Lex mala, lex nulla.") So Christians should not feel even a twinge when they ignore such laws. You can sleep soundly knowing that American Jurisprudence is clear, and on our side:

"The general rule is that an unconstitutional statute, whether federal or state, though having the form and name of law, is in reality no law but is wholly void and ineffective for any purpose. Since unconstitutionality dates from the time of its enactment and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it, an unconstitutional law, in legal contemplation, is as inoperative as if it had never been passed and never existed; that is, it is void ab initio. Such a statute leaves the question that it purports to settle just as it would be had the statute not been enacted.

Since an unconstitutional law is void, it follows that generally the statute imposes no duties, confers no rights, creates no office or liabilities, bestows no power or authority on anyone, affords no protection, is incapable of creating any rights or obligations, does not allow for the granting of any relief, and justifies no acts performed under it."

(See the detailed citation, which I've previously posted on SurvivalBlog.)

But in Canada, where you lack a similarly enshrined right, your mileage may vary.

An aside: Because of Canada's draconian handgun laws, most folks in the U.S. have a distorted view of firearms ownership in Canada. They mistakenly picture the country as uniformly anti-gun and fairly-well disarmed. The eastern provinces are indeed dominated by anti-gun liberals and gun ownership is uncommon. But in western Canada, folks raise their kids differently. Here is a picture of a new college graduate in Alberta, holding her graduation present. (That photo link came to me courtesy of SurvivalBlog's Mike Williamson.)

Everyone must decide for themselves where they draw the line in consenting to laws that they know are inherently evil. In 1938 it was against the law for a Jew to go out in public without wearing a Star of David sewn on their clothes. Would you call someone who refused do so a "criminal" or would you instead call them a "dissenter"? A free nation has legitimacy only so long as it has the consent of the governed. When that legitimacy is lost, a few brave souls need to stand up and say forthrightly: "Consent withdrawn!"

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Hey Mr. Rawles,

So I'm stuck in The People's Republic of California. I can't get out. We would basically have to walk away from a business we have been running since 1978 with nothing. As I've noted in the past, I do have a mountain retreat that is ready to go.

But here is my question - With all these new California laws which will surely be passed and signed by the governor, I'm obviously a little concerned about my semi-auto long guns. I know folks talk about burying them in tubes and such. But would this be a viable option - I live about three hours from Yuma Arizona, and have someone out there I believe I could trust to hold my guns. If the authorities every came sniffing around asking where the weapons were, would I be able to legally say they have been taken out of state for safe-keeping until such time as the laws are repealed or changes, or whatever? Or not say anything at all, let them tear up the place and find nothing (except my bolt actions and revolvers)?

I mean, it seems like they'd have no jurisdiction in Arizona. Any thoughts you might have on this would be most welcome, thanks - Mountain Man Virgil

JWR Replies: I'm not an attorney, so don't take the following as legal advice and consult an attorney licensed in your state for definitive answers. But I can mention, in general terms that a state's jurisdiction ends at its state lines. Imagine that you mysteriously received an income tax bill in the mail from the Czech Republic, even though you've never worked there or had any business dealings with anyone there. Would you have to pay it? Could they come and arrest you or seize your bank assets for not paying it? Of course not.

If you transport a gun out of California before a new law goes into effect then you will be immune from prosecution by the State of California (the once fine but now sullied California Republic). Now, if that same gun were formerly registered in California then you might be asked to prove that it is now out of the State, but you are not bound by law to do so. And be advised that warranted police searches can be time consuming a and destructive, and you will have limited legal recourse. So maintaining a signed and witnessed affidavit from a friend or relative in Yuma would be wise.

Anyone who attempted to indict you without physical evidence of a crime would be laughed out of court. This is part of the long-standing corpus delicti requirement. The onus probandi (burden of proof) in any prosecution for a state law violation rests upon the state. ( "Semper necessitas probandi incumbit ei qui agit.") Without substantive evidence that you had a proscribed firearm or magazine in your possession inside the state's boundaries after the law went into effect, there could be no prosecution of a case, and not even grounds to arrest you. And mere suspicion--without a statement from a witness--would be shaky grounds at best, to secure a search warrant. (But again, we are talking about The People's Republic of California, where in some cases they search homes with impunity, so who knows?)

It bears mention that there are a few firms in Las Vegas, Nevada that specialize in private vault storage of valuables (such as documents, precious metals, jewelry, gemstones, and guns.) It is also notable that some guns, such as AR-15s, a gun can be quickly disassembled, so that just the banned parts (namely the lower receiver and magazines) can fit in a safe deposit box. The remaining parts could legally be stored elsewhere. (Again, consult your state and local laws.) The beauty of doing business with these firms is that because they are not FDIC-insured "banks", they would not be affected by a national "Bank Holiday" situation, which would otherwise limit access to safe deposit boxes. Another storage option for Californians might be buying a membership and renting vault storage space with a well-established firearms training academy in Oregon, Arizona, or Nevada.

Storing guns with friends and relatives out of state can be problematic, but if your alternatives are surrendering your guns for destruction, or selling them at a loss, or facing prosecution, then in my opinion it is well worth the risk. By the way, even though Yuma has a very dry climate, you should consult the many articles in SurvivalBlog's archives about long term gun storage, as well as the copious advice on wall caches, door caches, hidden rooms, and some"hidden in plain sight" options.

And the unspoken bottom line is: Vote with your feet. The history of the western world is replete with tales of families that strategically relocated to escape tyranny. But there are also plenty of stories of families that did not. Go ahead and put your business on the market. If it is God's will for you to move, then you will find a buyer. Jehovah Jireh!

Monday, May 27, 2013

I find it curious that the definition of "weapon of mass destruction" has become more elastic and quite geographically dependent in recent years. When it is used to describe events overseas, the phrase still seems to include only lethal chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons. But here in the States, it can mean something as small as a pressure cooker packed with 10 pounds of black powder, or even just a home-made hand grenade containing perhaps eight ounces of explosive. Meanwhile, the Obama administration has ordered laser-guided GBU-38 JDAMs up to 2,000 pounds dropped on Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, and Yemen, yet nobody calls those "weapons of mass destruction." Curious, indeed.

I'd like to emphasize an important point: Words and phrases do indeed have specific meanings. It is troubling when journalists, law enforcement officers, and politicians sling around a phrase like "weapon of mass destruction" when they actually mean "destructive device." The standards used by prosecuting attorneys should be exacting and scrupulous, but some prosecutors now seem to decide who to charge (or not charge) based on appearances and the relative popularity of those involved. An aside for any readers who might someday be impaneled on a jury or a grand jury: I urge you to show wisdom and discernment. Adhere to the strict definitions of the black letter law, but remember that you have the right to weigh both the facts of the case and the validity of the law itself.

Because so many items are "dual use," it is important to distinguish the intent of the owners of explosive or incendiary chemical compounds, and their precursor chemicals. Nearly every household in America at any given time contains three items: gasoline, Mason jars and rags. But that doesn't mean that we intend to make Molotov Cocktails and burn down the White House. Nay, 99.99% of Americans use those items in peaceful ways--like fueling our cars, and for canning peaches. Similarly, hundreds of thousands of recreational shooters own some Tannerite or Sure Shot exploding target powder. But that doesn't mean that we intend to contain it in cookware and position it at the terminus of marathon races. And there are tens of thousands of pounds of Thermite in private hands, but that powder can be used for both practical welding and for burning a hole in an APC's engine block.

In the past decade the distinction between connotation and denotation has been blurred by politics. The definitions of words should not change with every shift in the winds of public sentiment. Our society has already suffered from four decades of Situational Ethics. Heaven help us in this new era of Situational Definitions. A rocket scientist or military engineer can teach you about Sympathetic Detonations, but it is 21st Century television commentators who have introduced us to the era of Sympathetic Denotations. We now live in an Orwellian world where a semi-auto rifle is arbitrarily called an "assault rifle" if it has black plastic furniture, where a standard capacity magazine is called a "high capacity" magazine, where the confiscation and redistribution of wealth is dubbed "fairness." This also a new age when folks who are given free health care, HD televisions, free cell phones, and enough money to be able to afford air conditioning are deemed to be "living in poverty." The fluidity of our language is evidence that America is sliding into oblivion.

Hold fast to the true meaning of words and phrases, or we are doomed. - J.W.R.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Mr. Rawles:
In every decent sized town I've lived in there has been at least one "discount" grocery store. The stores that sell almost-expired food, dented cans or torn bags, local farmer over-production, that sort of thing. (And FWIW, only one can in a flat has to be dented for "the powers that be" to deem the entire batch unfit.)

My most recent good buy has been repeated three years in a row here. It's May, and the local store is selling one-pound bags of black-eyed peas at the discount price of 3 for $1. New Year's Day was 5.7 months ago and the bags are marked 2012. It's a seasonal product, like Thanksgiving cranberries or Christmas and Easter candy. The peas will be good for 4-10 years, at least, if treated properly. Given that every other grocery store in town still has black-eyes at anywhere from $1.29 to $2.29 a pound, three pounds for a buck is ridiculously cheap. The best price I usually see on any form of dried beans in pound bags is about a dollar. The best price I've EVER seen at a normal store is 50 cents a pound for pintos at Sam's, but that's gone up recently, and it's a 25-50 pound bag.

Point being, smart shoppers should know what average prices are, know what the "buy" price is, and (best yet) know when to buy everything the store has, or all they can afford. I now have about 60 more pounds of viable food for a $20 expenditure. The buckets are free at another store's cake-frosting department, and the mylar bags are a necessary, arguably negligible expense.

For those who don't know: Red beans, black beans, black-eyed peas, field peas, pintos, etc. can all be put in a crock-pot or solar cooker with good results. One pound of dried beans and four cups of water (more or less, with no pre-soak usually necessary) and you have food. Add an onion, half a pound of smoked sausage and Tony Chachere's to taste, and you've got a Southern classic, best served over fresh cornbread with sweet tea on the side. Just don't add the sausage or spice mix until the beans are cooked, or the beans will get tough.

And up next (starting in about two weeks) we've got blueberry season, organically grown pick-your-own for $9 a gallon. - J.D.C. in Mississippi

Mr. Rawles,
Greetings from the occupied territory of Coloradostan. 

I am a long time reader and first time responder to the blog. I am an agricultural economist and read Woody's perspective with interest, as I am sure many did. I just examined USDA's crop progress report from this afternoon. Much progress was made in the 18 primary corn producing states. We are now 71 percent planted versus the previous five year average(which is skewed by last years data) of 79 percent. Woody's home state of Ohio, about which he's was particularly alarmed is now 74 percent planted vs. 58 percent for the five year average. To be clear his quote of 12 percent planted on 12 May 2013 is in error as the latest report shows 28 percent planted last Sunday and 71 percent last evening. We are now further along in corn planting than we were in both 2009 and 2011. 

His disdain for USDA is a little troubling as they do a far better job than the ag department of any other. Are they perfect? Certainly not, but as one of my mentor always said, "but they are official!".  Common wisdom may hold for common corn varieties but that isn't what is being planted in the US. Mote than half of this year's planted acreage will be stacked gene varieties and nearly 90 percent will be some form of biotech variety. Stacked gene varieties accounted for only 1 percent in 2001. Even if we lost the 8 percent we are behind vs the five year average it would still be the fifth largest corn planted acreage in US history. 

Corn price haven't responded or rallied because the acreage number is record large and even with conservative yield estimates corn ending stocks for the 2013/14 crop are expected to more than double to the largest corn surplus since the late 1980s. The renewable fuel standard will keep corn prices from approaching prices seen for the 1987/88 crop but they are still expected to drop by 25 to 35 percent. Just wanted folks to know before they loaded the boat so to speak. I'd buy some if I didn't have any but wouldn't lay in my entire needs of a lifetime. 

Most respectfully, - D.W. in Colorado

Monday, May 20, 2013

As a retired corn farmer, I find it quite interesting that the Fed's USDA is still keeping to it's hard-and-fast immutable "projections" of 97.3 million acres of corn being planted this year. Just like building a house, call the Fed's number the "planned" or projected blueprint idea.

But now let's look at the "as built" story. Here, where the "rubber meets the road," or I should say "where the planter tucks in the actual corn seed,' the "actual" or real situation is quite another story due to very late corn plantings, if at all. The surprise is that the market has not yet reacted much.

Last Monday USDA reported that only 12% of the nation's corn crop was in as of Sunday night (12 May 2013.) This should have shocked the markets--but didn't. As of today, US corn planting is up to 28%, but a far cry from the "fast planting" of last year which stood at 85% [on the same date] one year ago.

Western states show significant delayed corn planting because of wet soils.

With long corn crop maturation days here in Ohio's Corn Belt, common wisdom is that if you don't have your seed in by May 10th, you may as well forget it (or switch to planting soybean.) Here we are almost the middle of May and very little corn is planted and the media and markets seem to say: "Ho-hum...nothing to see here, move along folks." This is not good; we are not being told or shown the truth that a nation can rely and act upon.

Maybe this all just doesn't matter; maybe all the corn will eventually get in, maybe we'll have excellent weather and no drought or natural disasters, maybe insects and diseases won't affect the corn, maybe the price at harvest will be just ducky. "Maybe" is the operative word here and that word ain't even good a notion as "close enough" like when you play horseshoes or toss hand grenades.

My thanks to Marlin Clark, commodity trader at "Market Monitor" on pages A6-A7 in Ohio's "Farm and Dairy" newspaper, issue of 16 May 2013, for is alert on this same subject..

Thoughtfully submitted, - Woody in Ohio

JWR Replies: Thanks for that early news tip. SurvivalBlog readers should consider themselves forewarned. This would be a good juncture to buy few more super pails of whole corn and cornmeal. Be sure to buy them before prices jump!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

To follow up on a recent letter: Yes, stock up on shotgun shells! The availability of shotgun shells here locally (northern Gulf Coast) seems to have improved in some stores-but by no means all retail outlets- in recent weeks. For a while there wasn't much to be found. Shells that were available generally had a high price or were of a variety that fell outside the range of everyday use (i.e. high-priced shells loaded with tungsten or steel shot.) If a person needs shotshells and you can find a good product that meets your needs, then I suggest you buy them by the case. If you don't, then your only regret will be not buying them when you had the opportunity. - J.B. and Co.

Friday, May 17, 2013

 I am struck by the continued availability of a variety of 12 gauge during this severe ammo shortage.  As we all know, the 12 gauge is probably one of the most versatile and powerful firearms we can have in a survival battery, or even just to have around during normal times.  I live in Houston, Texas and can't vouch for the rest of the country but I see plenty of 12 Gauge ammo everywhere I go.  The Bass Pro Shops flyer I just got even has Federal target loads in it for $6.49 per box of 25, that's 26 cents per round!  With 9mm, .223, and the like hovering around an average of $1 per round, this seems like a steal, by comparison.  Anyway, all the sporting good stores used to have plenty of sales on a variety of ammo, but now the only thing anyone seems to have enough of to even bother advertising is the 12 Gauge.  Yes, maybe some 20 gauge and .410 as well.  My point is: like-minded individuals should take this opportunity to make sure they are fully stocked with all flavors of shotshells.  Just six months ago it seemed absurd to think that we would now have a hard time finding .22 Long Rifle ammo.  Most would say we have not entered TEOTWAWKI as of yet, but the bare ammo shelves at the store make me wonder.  Even my 12 year old son is taken aback by the continued sight of these bare shelves.  Could the shotgun shells be gone in the next six months?  What a scary sight that would be. - David O.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Consider the implications of some recent events in America:

So much for enjoying "The most ethical and transparent administration in history."

Eleven years ago, when the Department of Homeland Security was formed, were were promised that it would merely be an umbrella organization that would just coordinate the activities of existing agencies, and have no policing powers of of it own. Well, look at what it has become. With more than 230,000 employees, DHS is now the third largest Cabinet-level Federal department. DHS now has legions of cyber sniffers, blue-gloved crotch gropers, and asset seizers. I suspect that internal DHS checkpoints will be coming soon.

The worst sort of tyranny is the sort that isn't even recognized by those who suffer beneath it's yoke.

Can't folks see how the nooses are being tightened around our necks? Don't they recognize the collusion of the mass media? Where is the outrage? Where are the protests? I've concluded that the America's rams got elastratred by the Public School system years ago, and now there are just a bunch of useless wethers. This is pathetic. If this continues, American liberty and free enterprise will end with just a few plaintive cries of "baa." The sheep have eagerly followed a bucket of grain. Welcome to the slaughterhouse--or at least to the anteroom. - J.W.R.

Monday, May 13, 2013

A recurring theme in western journalism, academia, and collectivist politics is the quaint notion that firearms are intrinsically evil. That is, that they have a will of their own, that somehow inspires their owners to murder and mayhem. I liken this nonsensical belief to voodoo.

The "guns are evil" viewpoint was encapsulated by social psychologist Leonard Berkowitz when he wrote: “Guns not only permit violence, they can stimulate it as well. The finger pulls the trigger, but the trigger may also be pulling the finger.” I am astounded that something like that can be earnestly said or written in modern times, and not immediately get shouted down. This statement betrays an outlook that is not much different than that of a practitioner of Voodoo. And to see this espoused by some with a nomen appendage like "Ph.D." makes it even more absurd. (Leonard Berkowitz was awarded a Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Michigan in 1951. But apparently U. of M.'s doctoral program did not include courses in logic. And his study of what he called "the weapons effect" was conducted quite unscientifically.) Just imagine if he or one of his academic cohort were to proclaim: "Typewriters not only permit libel, they can stimulate it as well. The fingers tap the keys, but the keys may also be pulling the finger toward the keyboard by an unseen force, stimulating libel.” Any psychologist who trots out such nonsense needs to consult a psychiatrist.

I have a few questions for Dr. Berkowitz and his peers:

1.) What is the mechanical difference between a "target pistol" and a "murder weapon"?

2.) What is a "Nazi Luger"? Can a Luger pistol join the National Socialist party, and share their hatred of perceived Untermenschen and wish to exterminate them? By the same token, what is a "Communist AK-47"?

3.) How many people have been killed by guns without someone physically pulling the trigger? And in any very rare exception to the norm, was it a mechanical defect or negligent handling at fault, or did the gun really wish to do harm and "go off by itself."?

4.) Why have gun makers been sued for wrongful death because of murders committed with their products? (If a gun does indeed consistently fire a bullet at high velocity when the safety mechanism is disengaged and the trigger is pulled, then isn't that device working just as designed?)

5.) What, pray tell, is the distinguishing characteristics of an "assault" rifle, and what differentiates it from a "hunting" rifle? Does the attachment of a black plastic buttstock make a gun in any way more wicked, murderous, or bent on assault than attaching a pretty wooden stock?

6.) Is a magazine capacity of 16 rounds inherently more evil, criminal or sinister than a capacity of 15 rounds? (This was threshold that the geniuses in the Colorado legislature recently declared, complete with jail term penalties. OBTW, Canada set the threshold of evil at a mere five rounds, for semiautomatic long guns.)

Let step back and look at these tools logically and dispassionately: A firearm cartridge can be thought of as a simple single-use internal combustion engine, with a piston that does not reciprocate. Instead, it takes a one-way flight. The engine housing is a brass cartridge case, and the "vehicle" is the entire gun. The pistons as are called bullets. The fuel for these engines (gunpowder) creates the expanding gasses that drive the pistons. Cartridge firearms are compact vehicles for change that have shaped modern history. The righteousness of their use is entirely up to their users, since like any other tool they can be used both for good or for ill.  A firearm is just a tool with no volition. A rifle is no different than a claw hammer. To wit: A hammer can be used to build a house, or it can be used to bash in someone’s skull—the choice of uses is entirely up to the owner.  A bulldozer can be used to build roads, or to destroy houses. A rifle can be used to drill holes in paper targets, or to dispatch a marauding bear, or to murder your fellow man. Again, the choice of uses is entirely up to the user. But, alas, even though it is the 21st Century, we are still dealing with voodoo-like superstition. If you get angry or drunk and you then use your Chrysler car to run over a neighbor's child, should your neighbor then launch an organization called "The Coalition to Ban Chryslers," to punish all Chrysler owners?

I am also opposed to all so-called “gun control” laws because they are a form of prior restraint. The gun grabbers presuppose ill-intent on the part of law-abiding citizens and even the guns themselves. I find these laws akin to the concept of “pre-crime”—a term coined by science fiction novelist Phillip K. Dick, in his novel Minority Report. (It was later turned into a movie, starring Tom Cruise.)

If a firearm is used by a criminal or psychopath with evil intentions, then it is a tool for evil. But if it is used for good (to defend life and property), then it is a tool for good. A firearm by itself has no sentience, no volition, no moral force, and no politics. The proper term for this is an adiaphorous object--something that is neither good nor evil. A firearm is simply a cleverly-designed construction of metal, wood, and plastic in the form of a precision tool. Granted, a firearms magnifies the reach of a man's volition. But so does a long bow, and so does a telephone and the Internet. But to deride the tool itself instead of someone who abuses it is profoundly illogical and superstitious.

So why do they disparage the tool and not the one who wrongly wields it? Why isn't gasoline seen as evil, since Julio Gonzalez used it to kill 87 people at the Happy Land Club in his murderous arson, in 1990? And why aren't there calls to ban nitrogen fertilizer, since Timothy McVeigh used it to kill 168 people in the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995? And shouldn't Boeing brand jet aircraft be banned, since they were used to take nearly 3,000 innocent lives on September 11, 2001? And aren't pressure cookers now the weapon of choice of Islamic terrorists?

Ever since the invention accurate rifled firearms, the course of human history has been set by the men who wield them. For someone to exclude themselves or seek to disenfranchise others from owning or carrying them is the most absurdly illogical and downright suicidal attitude imaginable. It is obvious that so-called "Gun Control" laws have nothing to do with the criminal misuse of guns, since criminals ignore all laws, by definition. Only honest, law-abiding citizens obey these laws. Rather, these laws are just about control--namely people control. Dictators cannot dictate unless they have unarmed subjects.

Here it is, in quintessence: You are either a man with a gun, or you are mere human cattle for the slaughter. The choice is yours. I prefer to be armed and vigilant rather than being at the mercy of some would-be slave master. There is no notch in my ear.

Because they are such useful tools, our founding fathers recognized the great importance of safeguarding our ownership, carry, and free use of arms. Like the printing press, they were specifically protected by the Bill of Rights. These enumerated rights should be taken at face value and not misconstrued. The Second Amendment is about protecting your right to go deer hunting the same way that the First Amendment is about protecting your right to publish poetry.

Please speak up when you see someone preaching voodoo gun hatred. Violence involving firearms is actually down 39% in the U.S. since 1993. But anti-gun rhetoric has recently been increasing. All of the "evil gun" talk is nothing more than an unfounded irrational fear and loathing that has no place in a modern society that recognizes facts and logic. Anyone who engages in this rhetoric should be immediately suspect. Odds are that they are halophantae with a hidden agenda. While they rail against an inanimate tool, I suspect that they are actually plotting against the liberty of a group of people with whom they disagree. They want to disarm you, so that they (or their hired armed thugs) will have a monopoly on force. And if the history of the 20th century taught us anything, it is that a monopoly on force inevitably leads to genocide. - JWR

Monday, May 6, 2013

I've encountered a few folks who don't realize that slavery still exists in the world. I'm not talking about figurative slavery--like every April 15th, here in the States. Rather, I'm talking about literal contemporary slavery, with kidnapping and a life spent in chains or locked up in a cell or prison-like dormitory every night. Slavery is still commonplace in North Africa, most notably in the Sahel. Wikipedia sums it up: "The [slavery] problem is most severe in the Sahel region (and to a lesser extent the Horn of Africa), along the racial boundary of Arabized Berbers in the north and blacks in the south. This concerns the Sahel states of Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad and Sudan in particular, continuing a centuries-old pattern of hereditary servitude going back to the Muslim conquests." It is estimated that there are more than 200,000 slaves in Sudan, alone. Many of these slaves are Christian, and virtually all of their slave masters are Muslims.

You will have to look hard to find many mentions of slavery in the politically correct mainstream media, which is still dutifully chanting the "Islam is the religion of Peace" mantra. Most western liberal journalists have conveniently twisted the concept of modern slavery to focus almost entirely on sex slaves in Eastern Europe and in places like Thailand, while ignoring much more blatant slavery in North Africa. To be fair, it is much easier for a journalist to get a picture of a teenage prostitute on a street corner in Bangkok than it is for them to get a picture of slave toiling in field near Al-Fashir. But there still seems to be a lot of willful ignorance and misdirection. Thankfully, we do hear about what is going on in Sudan on CBN, from bloggers like Chuck Holton, and through other Christian media outlets.

How can you help stop modern-day slavery? Please support active resistance in the Sahel region. Just a few brave folks are liberating slaves and teaching villagers how to shoot, so that they can fight off would-be slaver kidnappers. One charitable group that will soon be doing firearms training on the border of South Sudan and Sudan is Christian Reformed Outreach, South Sudan (C.R.O.S.S.) I support and highly recommend their unique ministry. OBTW, they have a few volunteer support positions open, here in the United States that would be ideal for retirees.

Just buying up modern-day slaves and giving them their freedom hasn't worked. The Islamic slavers simply go and kidnap more of them. The only way to effectively stop armed slaver kidnappers is to train and equip large numbers of armed free men in the border villages. In the modern context, you can "Just Say No" to slavery only with a battle rifle.

Addendum: Here is a recent headline: Sudan Intensifies Arrests, Deportations of Christians: Interrogations include threat to bury ministry group members alive. Please pray for the citizens of both South Sudan and Sudan. - J.W.R.

I just heard from my long-time friend, Gene Sockut, who lives in Israel. Gene was the chief firearms instructor for the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) for 26 years. Even though he's now in his mid-70s, he's still very active - he's a sniper/sniper instructor with the Israel Border Police, and has written several books, and videos and is a much in demand speaker on security matters in Israel. So Gene e-mailed me this morning, and he mentioned they are experiencing ammo shortages in Israel, much like we have here, and when you can find ammo there, it is double and triple the usual price. So, things are bad all over... Make It Count, - Pat Cascio (SurvivalBlog's Field Gear Editor)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Reader Joe K. sent this news link: Bill Seeks Steel Cents, Nickels, Dimes, and Quarters. Note that the bill's main sponsors are from Ohio, which is a steel manufacturing state. But this legislation is more than just grandstanding. Unlike similar legislation in previous sessions of congress, this new bill will probably gain traction in the current congress, since the government has now been losing money with the seigniorage costs of pennies and nickels for many years. Well, I've been warning you since 2009, folks. While this bill is still in committee, I suspect that a coinage composition change will take place before the end of 2013. The ravages of inflation made the change inevitable. The Coinflation web site presently lists the scrap value of the base metal content of the current U.S. zinc penny at $0.021192 (211.92% of face value) and the cupronickel five cent piece at $0.045671 (91.34% of face value), and their actual minting and distribution costs are actually much higher. According to Coin Update, it cost the US Mint $0.1009 to produce and distribute each nickel, as of fiscal year 2013. They can't go on spending 10 cents producing each five cent coin much longer.

You gave been warned. I strongly urge you to go to your local bank or credit union and ask them to order you some $200 U.S. Mint Boxes of nickels. In just a few years, after the debasement is completed and the rational self interest of Gresham's Law psychology purges all of the real cupronickel nickels from circulation, rolls of pre-2013 nickels will sell at a substantial premium. Because nickel is a base metal, this premium will never be as high as that for silver coins, but at least you'll know that you possess some genuine money that will hold its value, even if the Quantitative Easing monetization process continues indefinitely. (Quantitative Easing is debasement of the dollar, writ large.)

In addition to hedging against gradual inflation, holding nickels will also provide you insurance against the less likely sudden revaluation of the Dollar. As I've explained previously, if a zero is ever lopped off the Dollar, new paper currency will be issued, but the old coinage will probably still circulate. (Since it would be too expensive to replace.) This will make anyone holding coins the beneficiaries of an overnight 10X gain.

This may be your last chance to stock up on nickels at face value, and without any sorting, folks! If you don't already have four or five .30 caliber ammo cans full of rolls of nickels, then you are behind the power curve. Don't dawdle any longer. - J.W.R.

Mr. Rawles;
I had a conversation with a friend and the question came up: "I wonder how the rest of the world is on prepping or is it mostly just the US?"

Can you shed some light on that by any chance? Thanks, - P.W.

JWR Replies: Preparedness is indeed catching on, globally. Just look at the visits map for SurvivalBlog. (We have had visits from 200 countries!) Granted, survivalism is primarily a phenomenon of the English-speaking world, but there is also considerable interest in France, Germany, Russia, Japan, and in the Scandinavian countries. And there probably would be greater interest in the Third World, if not that income levels are so low that it is difficult for most families to get beyond a subsistence level of Hamsterungen. But I have heard from some American travelers that wealthy families in India, Pakistan, Panama, Honduras and several other countries have also been seen stocking up.

Monday, April 29, 2013

One topic that has come up recently is that license holders are more law-abiding than the general population, presumably because they’ve undergone background checks by the state.    The reality is that this has been shown in multiple case reviews.
A 2011 study in Texas concluded that CCW/CCL permit holders generally do not use guns to commit crimes and they commit crimes of any nature much less frequently than the general population of Texas.
According to an article by the Beaufort Observer concerning the study:
 “The Texas Department of Public Safety published a list of crimes committed in Texas in 2011 by everyone convicted and by those convicted who also held CCL's. The bottom line: Concealed carry permit holders commit less than 1% of the crimes. If you want to be exact, they committed two tenths of one percent of the crimes in 2011. And not all of those involved firearms or violence.”

“The data show that 63,679 people were convicted of a long list of crimes. Of those 63 thousand, only 120 were CCL holders.”

Ironically, if you drill down into the data it shows that the most frequently committed crime by CCL holders were domestic violence related crimes.”
Likewise, a recent article looking at Kansas CCW permit holders by the Wichita Eagle concluded the same:
“Of the 51,078 permits that have been issued by the state since the law took effect in 2007, 44 permit holders have been charged with a crime while using a firearm through late October, according to records provided by the Kansas Attorney General’s Office.    That works out to one charge for every 1,161 permit holders, or 0.09 percent.   The numbers squeeze even tighter when you consider that of the 44 permit holders charged, 17 licenses have been revoked because they were convicted of a crime that disqualifies them from having a permit.
Additionally, a 2011 New York Times article derived that among North Carolina permit holders, they were 5.48 times less likely to commit a violent crime.
Granted, there is no guarantee that someone with a clean past cannot commit a future crime – we are all born without a criminal conviction.     However, it would seem impossible not to concede that those who legally carry a weapon are the Good Guys.

Thanks again, - Doc C. in Flyover Country

Saturday, April 27, 2013

I currently provide consulting services to major global corporations. One effective way to do battle with a competitor is to place yourself in their shoes and plan out your own demise – exactly what I will do here today. Below is my concise strategy to completely ban firearms in the US within 10 years. I am not alone here, rest assured there are many groups that have paid tidy sums to have the same roadmap developed and are currently rolling it out in a very deliberate manner.

Step 1 – Divide to conquer. We know there were not enough votes to maintain the AWB and there are more gun owners now then there were in 2004. We know there is Youtube and forums that people gather on and multiply like cockroaches. We know that about 5 million AR-15s have been sold and probably the same magnitude of AK-47s if not more. We have surveys, Freedom of Information requests and NICS records at our disposal. We cannot defeat the entire gun owning US and we know it, but it doesn’t matter one bit. Let them believe the NRA is all powerful and they don’t have to act on their own, much less as a group.

First, make this a Democrat versus Republican issue. This will cut their forces in half immediately.

Next, divide the gun owners into niche groups and get them to turn on each other. We know there are gun owners that only hunt. We’ll craft a message that explains they hunt with three shotgun shells, why would anyone need a Saiga baby killer that can accept 10 or 20? That gun is only meant to destroy lives, you can’t even legally carry one into the field. That will resonate with at least some. We also know some only target or competitively shoot. Why would you need a 100 round drum magazine? Find a time when it was used to kill and convince them to give up someone else’s 100 round drum, in return for not touching their 1911. Then, find all the new concealed handgun people and show them how ridiculous it is to have a flash hider and PVS-14 night vision scope. These are offensive tools for the military and how would you like it if they got in the wrong hands and the bad guys entered your home one night with them? If we can make a reasonable law about offensive weapons, I’m sure we can live with your right to defend yourself against criminals trying to get them to kill your family and steal your guns.

This is by far the most powerful and greatest strategy to achieve our goal, divide the group off and pick them off one at a time. If we do nothing else, do this.

We will also hit them at the local, state and federal level. We have politicians and the media at all levels and they don’t. Make them defend several fronts and confuse the issue by launching similar but different bills. Have ten different definitions of an “assault rifle” and make them tell everyone how great assault is. “Assault” is a crime, force them to defend it daily. Our goal is to chip away and develop a base to build on; we just need small victories and don’t really care where they are or what we take out of their hands. Let the genie out of the bottle and she won’t go back.

Finally, divide the supply chain and make independent deals. Make a deal with Wal-Mart to slack off the government heat in exchange for them to voluntarily agree to stop selling semi-automatic weapons and 5.56 ammunition. Make a deal with the NRA to expand background checks in return for a larger voice or a few extra cops. is probably willing to do just about anything as are the other retailers from the west coast. People will see all of these big companies coming on board and each deal by itself will make some sense. Together, we gain a tremendous amount without giving anything up. It’s like winning without the burden of a congressional vote. Church groups are golden, get them on stage with you and host discussions about how bad guns are. Pass out candles and framed pictures of the fallen. Make sure we develop the agenda and makes sure it is gun control.

Step 2 – Hearts, not minds. Babies dying. Families destroyed. Tragic accidents. Candlelight vigil. Sensible steps. Moral obligation. Reasonable response. Blood. Funerals. Mothers crying. President’s crying. Enough is enough. Why is the US so much worse? Emotion sells, don’t deviate.

We sell to the heart and ignore the mind. People on average don’t know history and won’t take the time to research anything we or the other side says – plus, they tend to be limited by the truth. If we say it, it is true. “Assault weapons” are what we say they are, and can and should expand over time. The 5.56 is a high-powered killing machine designed to mow down military enemies 1,000 yards away and has no civilian use. Tyranny is so dead we don’t even bring it up unless we are talking about the Middle East. The second amendment applies to hunting with muskets. High capacity is anything over one round. Everything is high-powered.

Make up new names or find ugly names like “street sweeper.” “Tactical” companies play right in, go out and find guns with pictures of snakes, infidels, skulls and goblins on them. Put them on the news, in the press and on the morning and evening shows. Use those pictures for stories they aren’t even related to. Make famous a few YouTuber mall ninjas and tough guys who don’t shave. Use the word militia and northern Idaho with pictures of skinheads from the 1980s.

Answer questions with questions. Q: Do you believe in a natural right of self-defense? A: How many little children have to die before we act?

Statistics are great, start with strong societies like Japan that are inherently peaceful. They have no guns and just about no murders, case closed. Don’t worry about places like Chicago, nobody outside inner city Chicago knows or really cares. Chicago doesn’t even care. Canada and the UK are safe too. We want to be just like them, probably even better. The university brigade is your best friend here, start with UC Berkeley and go out from there. Find the janitor at Harvard and get him on MSNBC and CNN. He is an expert in a suit and tie and we all believe him. Combine university experts with their anecdotal statistics. Better yet, find a crazy gun owner and have a debate showing everyone how rabid they are.

Our side is the “pro” side and their side is the “anti” side. Remember how we turned the pro-life crowd into anti-abortion activists? Activists shoot people and blow up buildings. Pro-safety is the first step but not the last. Develop a name other than “gun owner” or “gun rights” and certainly stay away from the word constitution. Our enemies are anti-_____ activists, fill in the blank.

Finally, send every gun death story to the media and discuss it during all press briefings. Every issue can be tied back to the tragedy of the day. Are you old enough to remember when the nightly news read every American death nightly during the latter part of the Vietnam War? It is flat out effective. If it ends up showing something you don’t want to see (like the Oregon shooting stopped by a legally armed citizen who didn’t even need to fire a shot), simply let it fade. Nobody will pick it up except maybe Faux News. Every article should contain the following words: high-powered, high-capacity, military style, arsenal, explosives, cache, bulletproof vest, legally owned and certainly assault rifle. Have a high count for something; the number of deaths this year, the number of mass shootings, number of guns at the scene, number of bullets, just find big numbers. Don’t worry about accuracy, who is going to argue with you and take the side of the killer? Nobody will notice when the 10 assault rifle cache discovered in his car turns into only one two weeks from now.

Publicize reloading. Send the ATF in to inspect illegal ammunition factories cranking out thousands of high-power rounds in garages. Did you know your neighbor had a stockpile of explosive gunpowder, 5,000 detonators and 5,000 armor piercing bullets and was assembling them in the garage near the playground your kid uses? Let them argue terminology and defend the terrorists. We probably need a hotline like we had for drugs as well as several stock homemade videos of explosions and anarchists for the news to use.

Step 3 – Diversion - “an attack or feint that draws the attention and force of an enemy from the point of the principal operation” (from

Beat the “ban” drum. Beat the executive order drum even louder. Let Feinstein and all of the pro-safety groups whip them into a frenzy. While the other side is all lathered up and running around putting out fires, we are free to get work done. Use existing powers to limit or tax imports (creating US jobs or protecting US manufactures from those pesky Russians and Chinese dumping illegal cheap imports into the US). Pass regulations to make it just about impossible to be an FFL. Raid a few. Send IRS auditors to the rest.

Work on Internet sales, how can they actually verify someone is 18 or 21? There should be a couple dozen hoops to set up somewhere. A good raid or ten would work well here too and doesn’t require anyone to vote on anything. Use stock pictures of a gun shop in the seedy part of town and tie it back to a shooting – “in a store like this…..” even if the store had nothing to do with any crimes.

Undercover gun show footage is great – everyone knows that is where evil goes for fun. We prove our point and make people afraid to buy or sell. Beat on the gun show loophole but never define it. “Narrow” it six or seven times, always limiting something but never quite fixing the problem.

What about shooting ranges? Do they comply with zoning requirements? How about making new ones? Noise ordinances? Have we tested nearby water for lead? I bet we can find a few holes in the outside wall the local news would love to hear about. What chemicals are in primers or powder that can hurt people or damage the environment? Same goes with gun stores, the city really should find a way to ban the sale of arms and ammunitions within city or county limits, don’t we have an attorney they could borrow or a “best practice” from another city we could share with them?

Get the point yet? Make life miserable for gun merchants and owners. Many will throw in the towel and give up. Make them drive long distances, spend lots of money and take tremendous amounts time to do the simplest task. Their group will get smaller over time and eventually they will go down in a whimper.

Step 4 – Money talks, especially when they don’t have any. Remember sin taxes on cigarettes and liquor? We make more money from smokes than Marlboro! Tax ammunition 50% and use the money for victim support and trauma bandages for first responders. Put it up for a vote with no riders, let them vote against grieving mothers.

Parlay this with Step 1 – people accept more taxes as long as we tax someone else. Go round and round and eventually you have everyone. Divide ammunition up and start with taxes on military ammunition, “armor piercing” or hollow points. What is military ammunition you ask? It is something we don’t want them to have. Expand it over time. A .308 or 30-06 can and will pierce a police officer’s Level IIIA vest, do we even have a name for ultra-high power cop killer armor piercing bullets yet? Vilify reloading, they are some of the most dedicated.

An NFA firearm or accessory now costs $200 just for the tax stamp, simply expand it to include things we can’t yet ban. Who would argue against a more solid background check for assault rifles (remember the truth doesn’t really matter here). $200 for the rifle stamp, $200 for a magazine stamp, $1,000 for a rifle (isn’t supply and demand great?), $600 for a case of ammo, $100 for mandatory locks and cases for the home and vehicle followed up with $150 for a state license = Joe be too broke to be a gun owner.

Levy a $1,000 annual FFL renewal fee plus $50 per firearm sale and use the money for more inspectors. We probably only have a few, or at least that is our story. Shouldn’t they also need $50,000,000 in liability insurance as a minimum? How can a hairdresser be required to be licensed, but not a guy selling the most high-powered weapon known to man? The owner and all their staff needs to be federally certified and licensed as well and that’s going to cost money a guy making $12 an hour just won’t have. The instructors are private citizens that also need to be certified. To protect the workers and gun shop owners, we’ll limit what they can charge to $50 for the four day course which will naturally restrict how many classes they offer and where. Add a test that they send in to us for an eight week grading process. They will have found another job by the time they get the results. Annual renewals with excessive paperwork work well.

Don’t forget about the local level, they deserve love too. They need the money new licenses and permits can provide – plus two sets of permits beats one any day. Inspectors are people that need jobs too, especially if we reward the ones that issue the most citations with promotions. Let’s see how they like “pay for performance.”

Step 5 – Frame it and hang it on our wall. We experienced a near miss when the NRA proposed an idea to end the real problem – social violence. This should serve as a stark reminder of our need to completely define the discussion. For anyone not paying attention, we are aiming to end gun ownership. Use tragic events to frame the discussion of gun control. Debate gun control, not violence or our society.

What would have happened if the NRA proposed a gathering at their headquarters to develop a comprehensive proposal to curb violence by addressing it as a social problem?

We frame the issue, we choose the venue and we choose the participant list. The issue is always gun control, we don’t debate the problem, we debate a version of the solution – gun control. The only question we want to hear is what type of gun control is best? How many rounds do people need? Should this gun be legal?

Use tragic events, then quickly transition to the core issue of disarming the nation. Every tragedy has the same solution.

Debrief – It would be almost comical if it weren’t playing out on the news every night. President Obama has chosen this place and this time as the battle royale. This is the big one. Canada had theirs, so did the UK and New Zealand. Today in the UK, you can be arrested for carrying a baseball bat in your car. I say this to reinforce the fact that you are either in support of private gun ownership or not. This isn’t the time to debate what types of magazines are “necessary”. Win this battle or the only magazine you will be buying will be Newsweek.

Six main reasons were cited by the authors as to why the Second Amendment is necessary (reference Wikipedia):

• Deter a tyrannical government
• Repel invasion
• Suppress insurrection
• Facilitate the natural right of self-defense
• Participate in law enforcement
• Enable the people to organize a militia system

Hunting and target shooting are notably absent. In fact, all of the above justifications involve fighting or war-time activities. The Second Amendment has nothing to do with deer or pieces of paper with circles on them. Noah Webster perhaps summarized it most eloquently (my emphasis) “Before a standing army can rule the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States.”

I now take the liberty of combining the six known justifications for the Second Amendment into two:

• Defend the country against a tyrannical government
• Defend ourselves, our family and our neighbors against people who wish to harm and kill us

The most effective (and only logical) argument that the Second Amendment is antiquated and should be removed or revised would be to argue that these are modern times and the two bullets above longer exist. Regarding tyrannical government, as of this writing the world has witnessed the beginning of at least five revolutions in the last two years: Egypt, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Tunisia. In the last decade, at least five additional governments were overthrown by their citizens. I refuse to participate in the fantasy that American leaders are somehow genetically immune to future tyranny – it is an unfortunate human trait.

Neither can a sane person assume that Americans will never again face war or crime that requires citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves or the nation. Our armed forces and law enforcement are the best trained, best equipped, finest organization that has ever walked the Earth, yet we cannot expect them to be everywhere, always. Reference the LA riots, 9-11, Katrina, or any of the 6.6 million violent crimes committed every year in the US during “peace time.”

We need semi-automatic rifles with full capacity magazines for the same reason the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, police, National Guard, FBI, CIA, State Department, Secret Service, Border Patrol, and Homeland Security do – they are a very effective tool for stopping bad people from doing bad things to those we care about. Go back to the LA riots, if you were looking out your window and an armed group of thugs was heading to your front door, what weapon would you want?

If you think this is a republican vs. democrat or liberal vs. conservative debate, please wake up. Republicans, if you ever want to find a concentrated group of gun enthusiasts, head over to the union hall. The fight is those for the constitution and those against it. If one amendment falls, what holds the other ones up?

What do we do? Easy to say, hard to do – act as one unit and stand for someone you may not even agree with. You may only hunt birds and actually really despise the AK-47 and the punks on Youtube. The thing is that someday you will probably need that guy with the AK to stand for you. If he falls, who do you think is next? My daughter’s NRA instructor hit the nail on the head by having a student break a pencil. Then he handed 15 to the strongest guy in the class that couldn’t break them all at one time. Realize that there is an agenda to disarm you and this is simply the first fight.

The future depends on sportsmen and gun owners, make more of them. Find more like you and band together – you’ll need reassurance and a strong partner. Join whatever organization floats your boat, better yet join three or four.

Take your kid hunting. Take a neighbor shooting. Teach them both to be safe and respectful of life. Attend a rally or protest in a suit armed with children, mothers, an honest face and a bunch of facts. Volunteer as a gun owning group, volunteer to teach hunters education. Take the Scout troop to the rifle range to shoot arrows. Take a class or teach a class. Host a swap meet at the range. Invite people out to your property for shooting or hunting. Turn a fisherman into a hunter. Turn a bird hunter into a defensive pistol shooter. Buy them all a pocket constitution. Have you ever heard of Project Appleseed? They will send someone out to talk to your group for free.

You don’t have to be a gun owner to respect the constitution. Talk with as many people as you can, you may be surprised how many non-gun owners are just as afraid as you.

Buy arms and ammunition, a right not exercised is a right lost. You shouldn’t need another reason to pick up a new gun, magazines, ammunition or parts right now. Do it. Buy whatever you need, buy whatever you may need - the industry needs your support. Firearms, ammunition, magazines, parts, holsters, targets, everything. Make sure to tell the vendors your support is based on their support, one big happy family. Find the ones that actively donate and work with GOA and the NRA. Send them a letter thanking them – they will probably be getting a lot of heat soon. Convince others to do the same. Could you talk to 10 people to get them to send a single e-mail, letter or call? Do they support second amendment groups? Ask them why not and remind them their competitors do. Keep the heat on anyone that starts to go soft on our rights. Use your Youtube channel or your blog to magnify your efforts. Link to other like-minded messages.

Get a concealed carry permit and use it. In my state, each and every one either goes across the desk of a sheriff or police chief. What message will the small town sheriff that is up for re-election next year get if 500 cross his desk this month? Meet your local sheriff or police chief and thank them for what they do. Go as a sportsman’s group and hit the fire station on the way home.

Watch each company that meets with the administration or state and local government. Write them a letter thanking them for what they do and letting them know your continued business 100% depends on helping defend our constitutional rights. Let them know about your YouTube channel with 50,000 subscribers or the 10 forums you regularly post to. Send the letter out to other companies just in case. They may be caving or preparing to fight, you don’t know without asking.

For an offensive strategy, how about we also talk about the 2,500 babies killed every day in abortion clinics? Maybe we can discuss how Obama and David Gregory’s kids go to a school with 11 armed guards? Remind them this is in addition to the Secret Service, the school had the guards long before the Obama kids showed up – Obama and David chose to protect their kids with guns and now want yours. What about Bloomberg’s bodyguards? Hypocrisy doesn’t play well with most Americans. They already know politicians have a tendency to be elitist hypocrites, feed that fire with some good old facts.

The solution is measured, appropriate action in massive quantity. Pull people toward us, don’t push them away. Act as if your life depends on it because it just may. What are you going to do TODAY? What can you do during your lunch break? What about for 30 minutes tonight?

You have a natural right of self-protection that you enjoy today because patriots banded together and gave their life so that you can be free. Nobody knows what tomorrow will bring; liberty is the one gift we must give to our children and grandchildren just as it was handed down to us.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Dear Sir:
Many are dismayed by the recent Colorado law restricting firearms. But a cursory reading shows that the law only applies to "persons liable" and not the people at large.

Regarding any new law, tax or regulation, remember to ask servant government:
[ ] Whose endowed rights are being secured by this ?
[ ] How and when did I give consent to be bound by this ?
[ ] What privilege is the subject of this tax ?

Because the Declaration of Independence states that
Job #1 = secure rights, and
Job #2 = govern those who consent.

As to consent, let us recall that the republican form of government, as defined, recognizes that the American people are sovereigns, served - not ruled - by government.

Furthermore, the courts recognize that the laws are often limited in scope and applicability.

"In common usage, the term 'person' does not include the sovereign, [and] statutes employing the [word] are ordinarily construed to exclude it."
Wilson v. Omaha Indian Tribe, 442 U.S. 653, 667, 61 L.Ed2. 153, 99 S.Ct. 2529 (1979)
(quoting United States v. Cooper Corp. 312 U.S. 600, 604, 85 L.Ed. 1071, 61S.Ct. 742 (1941)).

"A Sovereign cannot be named in any statute as merely a 'person' or 'any person'".
Wills v. Michigan State Police, 105 L.Ed. 45 (1989)

If you thought "government" was sovereign, read these:

The people of the state, as the successors of its former sovereign, are entitled to all the rights which formerly belonged to the king by his own prerogative.
Lansing v. Smith, (1829) 4 Wendell 9, (NY)

At the Revolution, the sovereignty devolved on the people and they are truly the sovereigns of the country.
Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 Dall. 440, 463

It will be admitted on all hands that with the exception of the powers granted to the states and the federal government, through the Constitutions, the people of the several states are unconditionally sovereign within their respective states.
Ohio L. Ins. & T. Co. v. Debolt 16 How. 416, 14 L.Ed. 997

In America, however, the case is widely different. Our government is founded upon compact. Sovereignty was, and is, in the people.
[ Glass v. The Sloop Betsey, 3 Dall 6 (1794)]

Sovereignty itself is, of course, not subject to law, for it is the author and source of law; but in our system, while sovereign powers are delegated to the agencies of government, sovereignty itself remains with the people, by whom and for whom all government exists and acts.
[Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356, 370 (1886)]

Finally, a non-legal reference that shows our ancestors were better informed:

ALIEN, n.  An American sovereign in his probationary state.
- "The Devil's Dictionary" (1906), by Ambrose Bierce

His audience knew what an "American sovereign" was, to understand the joke.

GOVERNMENT (Republican Form of Government) "One in which the powers of sovereignty are vested in the people and are exercised by the people ... directly ..."
- Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, P. 695

BTW - citizens, by definition, are subjects, because they are obligated to perform mandatory civic duties (i.e., militia duty, jury duty, etc.).
There is no such thing as a sovereign citizen (with a lower case "c".) Which also means that if American people are sovereigns, no one was "born" a U.S. citizen unless they were (a) slaves and (b) outside the jurisdiction of the 50 States united (see: 13th Amendment).

With My Regards, - J.G.

JWR Replies: Sovereignty claims are root-level jurisdictional challenges to the court's relationship to the defendant. While I agree with what you've written in principle, as a practical matter for the past 30+ years the American courts have run roughshod over anyone who has attempted to make any such jurisdictional arguments. This has been true at every level--all the way from local traffic courts up to Federal tax courts. In effect they've corralled everyone into their jurisdiction, and they have selectively tossed out any legal precedents that they dislike, especially those dating from before 1913. Once you step inside their courts, they have you. Even those who rightfully claim to be outside of their synthetic jurisdiction become ensnared by it. And virtually all of the policing organizations enforce that make-believe jurisdiction, despite its contrived origin. So no matter where you go in the 50 States, you are likely to end up in the court system at some point in your life, and 99 times out of 100 you will lose, and this is regardless of how many precedent cases you cite.

Over the past 25 years I've spent hundreds and hundreds of hours researching this, and everything that I've read leads me to the same conclusion: There is precious little justice left in our justice system. It is now more of a "just us" system. And their definition "us" includes just The Powers That Be. My heart goes out to those who have tried to use sovereignty and other jurisdictional arguments in the courts, but the sad truth is that those arguments are regularly ignored--regardless of their relevance, their merit, or their import. We are now faced with a well-entrenched court system that is adjudicating statutory cases (malum prohibitum) just as if they were malum in se cases.

Don't expect to find any "silver bullets" in case citations that pre-date their more recently created (and corrupted) court system. In effect, the courts are now little more than tools of the cabal formed by the fractional reserve bankers, the statist/collectivist state and Federal legislatures, the FDR/BHO school of executive action, and their taxing agents with the BATFE and the IRS. If you fight them on jurisdictional grounds you will nearly always lose. Tilting at windmills may seem noble, but it isn't when they've put liens on your bank accounts, garnished your wages, snatched your kids with their CPS goons, thrown you in jail, or caused you to lose your job/shut down your own business. I've seen many lives, marriages and fortunes ruined by folks who did not choose their fights wisely. Be wise as serpents and meek as lambs. Don't go to war with them over trifles!

Yes, I know, I know, "The first in the order of pleadings is to the jurisdiction" and a court can't proceed with the facts of a case until its jurisdiction has been established. And yes, there are some strong cites out there, such as:

"Once challenged, jurisdiction cannot be assumed, it must be proved to exist." Stuck v. Medical Examiners, 94 Ca 2d 751. 211 P2d 389.

"Once jurisdiction is challenged, the court cannot proceed when it clearly appears that the court lacks jurisdiction, the court has no authority to reach merits, but, rather, should dismiss the action." Melo v. US, 505 F2d 1026.

"A universal principle as old as the law is that a proceedings of a court without jurisdiction are a nullity and its judgment therein without effect either on person or property." Norwood v. Renfield, 34 C 329; Ex parte Giambonini, 49 P. 732.

"The law requires proof of jurisdiction to appear on the record of the administrative agency and all administrative proceedings." Hagans v. Lavine, 415 U. S. 533.

"A court cannot confer jurisdiction where none existed and cannot make a void proceeding valid. It is clear and well established law that a void order can be challenged in any court" Old Wayne Mit. L. Aassoc. v. McDonough, 204 U. S. 8, 27 S. Ct. 236 (1907).

"There is no discretion to ignore lack of jurisdiction." Joyce v. U.S. 474 2D 215.

"Court must prove on the record, all jurisdiction facts related to the jurisdiction asserted." Latana v. Hopper, 102 F. 2d 188; Chicago v. New York, 37 F Supp. 150.

"The law provides that once State and Federal Jurisdiction has been challenged, it must be proven." Main v. Thiboutot, 100 S. Ct. 2502 (1980).

"Jurisdiction can be challenged at any time." and "Jurisdiction, once challenged, cannot be assumed and must be decided." Basso v. Utah Power & Light Co., 495 F 2d 906, 910.

"Defense of lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter may be raised at any time, even on appeal." Hill Top Developers v. Holiday Pines Service Corp., 478 So. 2d. 368 (Fla 2nd DCA 1985)

"There is no discretion to ignore that lack of jurisdiction." Joyce v. US, 474 F2d 215.

"The burden shifts to the court to prove jurisdiction." Rosemond v. Lambert, 469 F2d 416.

"Jurisdiction is fundamental and a judgment rendered by a court that does not have jurisdiction to hear is void ab initio." In Re Application of Wyatt, 300 P. 132; Re Cavitt, 118 P2d 846.

"Thus, where a judicial tribunal has no jurisdiction of the subject matter on which it assumes to act, its proceedings are absolutely void in the fullest sense of the term." Dillon v. Dillon, 187 P 27.

"A court has no jurisdiction to determine its own jurisdiction, for a basic issue in any case before a tribunal is its power to act, and a court must have the authority to decide that question in the first instance." Rescue Army v. Municipal Court of Los Angeles, 171 P2d 8; 331 US 549, 91 L. ed. 1666, 67 S.Ct. 1409.

But good luck citing those decisions in today's courts! In most instances they will simply be ignored. The courts are no longer concerned with what is right, fair, and just. Rather, they are concerned with gathering revenue and perpetuating their new-found powers.

The only good news that I have to offer is that although jurisdictional challenges have been consistently ignored, there has at least been some success in getting juries to nullify bad laws. I enthusiastically support the Fully Informed Jury Association. In summary: We The People have failed to convince the judges that they lack jurisdiction over Sovereigns, but at least we can still educate the juries of our peers, and convince them to nullify bad laws, on a case-by-case basis. As long as there is still a jury system for criminal trial in this country, then there is still hope for justice.

If ever you end up in court fighting an unconstitutional felony charge or if you are at risk of losing custody of your children to the state, then yes by all means, challenge the court's jurisdiction from the very outset. But if you fail that, then do your utmost to educate the jury that they have the long-established power to weigh both the facts of the case and the validity of the law itself. Lex mala, lex nulla! And jury nullification can work regardless of the wording of the Jury Instructions from the court. In the end, once the jury room door is shut, the judge is powerless and your fate it is entirely up to the jury. May God Bless You and Protect Your Liberty!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

On March 10, 2013, the Governor of Colorado signed into law three new statutes that pertain to gun and magazine owners throughout the state. In this post, I will address the addition of C.R.S. 18-12-112, having to do with “Private Firearms Transfer”. No reader should consider this post to be legal advice for themselves or anyone else. My intent is to educate you on the law and for you to make your own decisions. 
On and after July 1, 2013, a person who is not a licensed gun dealer, before they transfer or attempt to transfer possession of a firearm to a transferee, they must:
1. Require that a background check be conducted of the prospective transferee;
2. Obtain approval of a transfer from CBI after a background check has been requested by a licensed gun dealer.
In order to understand the law you must start with the definitions. A “Transferee” means a person who desires to receive or acquire a firearm from the “Transferor”. A “Transferor” is the person who either owns or has possession of the firearm for a number of reasons.

If you are not a licensed gun dealer and you want to transfer possession of a firearm to a transferee, you will have to utilize the services of a licensed gun dealer for the purpose of having them provide you a background check of the transferee. The licensed gun dealer will provide the same background check and fill out the same paperwork as if they were selling the transferee the firearm themselves. For this service, the licensed gun dealer may not charge more than ten dollars.
Once the licensed gun dealer completes the background check of the transferee, they shall provide the transferor a copy of the results of the background check, including CBI’s approval or disapproval of the transfer. The approval will be valid for 30 days and valid only for the transferor and transferee.
The licensed gun dealer will be required to record the transfer and retain the records as they would on any retail gun purchase.

A person who violates this statute shall be guilty of a Class 1 Misdemeanor. This is the highest level of Misdemeanor and is punishable by six months to eighteen months imprisonment and/or a Five hundred dollars and up to a Five thousand dollar fine or both. There is an additional punishment associated with a violation of this statute. The violator shall also be prohibited from possessing a firearm for two years, beginning on the date of his or her conviction. If convicted, the State Court Administrator will report the conviction to National Instant Criminal Background Check System. You will not be able to legally possess a firearm in Colorado during the prohibition time. What is not clear is how other states will view this restriction. Will they too also determine that you are not to carry in their state?
Remember prohibition time period starts at the time of your conviction. That means if you go to trial on the matter, it could be anywhere from six months to a year before your conviction actually occurs.
Additionally, if you violate this statute you MAY be jointly and severally liable for any civil damages proximately caused by the transferee’s subsequent use of the firearm. I will expound on this below.

There are numerous exceptions within this statute. The background requirement does not apply to the following:
1. The transfer of an antique firearm; [JWR Adds: See my FAQ page on antique guns. I predict that pre-1899 antiques will become increasingly important, as gun laws expand in some states in coming years.]
2. A bona fide gift or loan between immediate family members;
3. A transfer that occurs by operation of law or because of the death of a person for whom the transferor is an executor of a will or trust;
4. A transfer that is temporary and occurs while in the home of the unlicensed transferee if, the transferee is not prohibited from possessing firearms and the unlicensed transferee reasonably believes that the possession of the firearm is necessary to prevent imminent death or serious bodily injury to the unlicensed transferee;
5. A temporary transfer of possession without transfer of ownership or a title to ownership occurs at:
a. At a shooting range;
b. At a target firearm shooting competition;
c. While hunting, fishing, target shooting or trapping if:
1. All hunting, fishing, target shooting or trapping is legal in all places where the unlicensed transferee is possessing the firearm; and
2. The unlicensed transferee holds any license or permit that is required
d. Any temporary transfer occurs while in the continuous presence of the owner of the firearm;
e. A temporary transfer cannot be for more than 72 hours. Should the transferee use your firearm unlawfully, you may be jointly and severally liable for damages proximately caused by the transferee’s use.
f. A transfer that is made to facilitate the repair or maintenance of the firearm.
g. A transfer from a person who is serving in the Armed Forces of the US who will be deploying within 30 days and the transfer go to an immediate family member.

All I have heard over and over from the politicians in Colorado is that this is not a gun registry. Yet, now all private guns sales will be recorded in the books of licensed gun dealers. These records are required to be kept for twenty (20) years after the transfer occurs and the records are open for inspection at any time by the ATF. Additionally, should the licensed gun dealer go out of business or decides to retire, he/she is required to forward all of their gun records to the ATF. Knowing this, please tell me how this is not a gun registry.

The punishment for the violation of this statute is severe. A Class 1 misdemeanor can include jail time if the Judge chooses to sentence you with such and the monetary fine can range from five hundred to five thousand dollars. But the addition of the loss of possession of ANY firearm for two years is well beyond what I would consider to be fair punishment.

As with the Large Capacity Magazine law, it appears that the goal of these laws are to disarm and remove guns from citizens as opposed to punishing them for not completing paperwork. I would like to see the true statistics relating to how many criminals are buying guns from private citizens before committing their crimes. Using common sense, we know that is not how they are arming themselves. The criminals are acting as criminals by stealing the guns and then using them in the commission of crimes. This law does nothing more than regulate (control) law abiding citizens when selling their own private property.

Another punishment for violation of this statute is the attachment of joint and several liability for any civil damages proximately caused by the transferee’s subsequent use of the firearm. Joint and several liability means that if three people were involved in the matter and all three were found to be liable, the damaged party could pursue all three people or just one to recover the whole amount. Given this, the person with the deepest pocket looses.

Read alongside the Large Capacity Magazine law, this law will allow firearms that utilize Large Capacity Magazines to be transferred but just without the Large Capacity Magazines. Again, just a coincidence or the grand plan all along?

Currently, 40 out of 62 Sheriffs in Colorado will be filing suit against the state of Colorado to determine whether this law and the large capacity magazine law are constitutional. While this is good, it will be a long and expensive route to take in order to get a resolution.

I will continue to update my blog as more information about this statute becomes available. Visit and leave me your questions.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Just as I warned SurvivalBlog readers, it appears that the BHO Administration is taking executive action on firearms importation. Take a few minutes to read this: After Senate setback, Obama quietly moving forward with gun regulation. Here is the key portion of the article:

"The Importation of Defense Articles and Defense Services -- U.S. Munitions Import List references executive orders, amends ATF regulations and clarifies Attorney General authority “to designate defense articles and defense services as part of the statutory USML for purposes of permanent import controls,” among other clauses specified in heavy legalese requiring commensurate analysis to identify just what the administration’s intentions are. Among the speculations of what this could enable are concerns that importing and International Traffic in Arms Regulations [ITAR] may go forward to reflect key elements within the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty." [Emphasis added.]

Depending on how it is implemented, the implications of this change could be huge. With the stroke of a pen and without the consent of Congress, ATF bureaucrats could make ANY gun part or accessory (including magazines) or ammunition that were originally manufactured or perhaps even those designed for military use no longer legal for importation for civilian use. That might mean no more milsurp parts sets. No more milsurp magazines. No more milsurp ammo. No more milsurp optics. Perhaps not even spare firing pins. This could be ugly.

I strongly recommend that you stock up on magazines, ammunition and spare parts for any of your imported military pattern guns, as soon as possible! Once an import ban is implemented, prices will skyrocket. Importation of Chinese military guns and ammunition was banned during the Clinton Administration, but importers quickly worked around that, by tapping other sources. But imagine if all of the channels for military surplus are cut off. That mean no more spam cans of any of the Russian calibers, no more battle packs of .223 or .308, and no more affordable AK, HK, FAL, Galil, or SIG magazines.

This may be just the first of several executive actions/orders. There is also the possibility of a blanket ban on the importation of any civilian magazines (Glock, SIG, Beretta, etc.) of more than 10 round capacity, by declaring them "non-sporting." There is a precedent for that, as well, set in 1989. That ban could be grossly widened. And don't look for too much support from American gun makers on this issue. They actually benefit from import bans. They benefited in 1968, when import of most of the milsurp rifles stopped. And they benefited again with the 1989 Import Ban.

Don't dawdle. Be proactive! If you wait until after the door slams shut, then you will be paying two or three times the price. If there is a gun show near you this weekend, then you should be there, with a wad of cash. - J.W.R.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

James Wesley,
I should  have known I was in trouble when it took an hour to get in the gates, my wallet was light with cash and some of the parking areas were "4 wheel drive only", due to rain.  Later, after 36 hours of driving fueled by Caffeine, Caffeine and oh yeah, more caffeine (otherwise known as Coffee, Coca-Cola and chocolate) I was flattened my some kind of sabotage by my heart. The doctor told me I needed to start slowing down in life. I replied that the Revolution/Economic Armageddon  freight train was bearing down on me and I didn’t have time to stand around gawking like a tourist. He then told me he wished he was ready to retire to avoid Obama Care and asked how much .357 SIG was at the show. (True story, I hadn’t even known that he owned a gun!)
The only 9mm for sale by Friday (dealers and shooters can buy on Thursday) was one guy with Tula steel cased $259 for 500 rounds. I managed to buy some 9mm for a friend with Federal and Remington selling on the dust choked side market for $20-25 a box from people wandering around. One of these guys with a backpack full of ammo sold me two Olin-Mathieson (Winchester) M14 mags with the GI pouch for $50, which with the current craziness, I considered a minor victory. I believe the lowest retail price I have found original 50’s-70’s contract magazines for since the Clinton 1994 crime bill was $20each, about seven years ago.
I didn’t see any .223 for less than the range of $600-to-$800 per thousand. I passed two kids who were each carrying a half case that they said they got for $500/1000. It didn’t have the usually Russian markings on the boxes so I am not sure what it was. .308 was unaffordable at basically $1 round. I did see a case of Lake City match for $30 a box, but couldn’t find it later so I imagine it disappeared pretty quick. AK/SKS ammo was $325 -$375 with J&G ammo the lowest I believe.  AK74 ammo was $450 a case of 2400 (instead of the normal $275-300) which I told one dealer was highway robbery considering how little demand and how few people used it. Mosin ammo was $160 to $180 for two tins of 440 in a case.
Copes Distributing had several types of AR mags for $15 bucks new but one of them intrigued me. It was a dull gray in color and made in Oconomowoc, the same town La Belle Industries used to produce them in Wisconsin. It was by H&K tactical with what I was told were Magpul anti-tilt followers with similar top of the follower design as the Belgium FN-FNC mags. Looked and felt slick so I bought a few. They also had new Checkmate industries M14 mags for $30 so my backpack swallowed a few of those as well.  APEX Gun Parts had the best buy on HK Alloy G3 mags for $3. Saw several dealers with Original German Contract G-3 steel mags for $9-10. I don’t know why you would chose alloy at that price except to dump, lose or barter later. All the CETME ones I saw were over $20 per. DSA wants $10 for FAL  mags. Guy told me that if I bought 20 he would go $8 for me. Apparently, my pathetic look still needs work and some accessories like one of those old iron-on lettered t-shirts that states some kind of wisdom like “unemployed since 92” on it. He apparently was too young to have much experience reading faces, as mine obviously had a stupid looking painful grimace and said $5 all over it.
One old codger had 30+ cases of .22LR he was selling for $50 a brick and he had CCI mini-mags for $60. I looked at the shipping label and it was from 1982 and said “pkg 1 of 32”. He assured me they tested a brick and it all fired. I bought a brick or two for a friend and went on my way. Everything else at the show was $80 a brick unless they had some of this guys 1982 score. When I went back later, a dealer had bought all he had left and put $70 on it. This new dealer told me when he got back to Ohio he could get $80 all day long for it.  He told me the subsonic 22Lr was going for $90 minimum a brick. Seems like early last year I thought that $30 a brick for that was akin to rape.
My ongoing AR conversion to 5.45mm took another step back since the October show as I am getting at best 1 out of 7 primer ignition. Model 1 sales who sold me the barrel and bolt was strangely absent from this show (due to lack of product I suppose, although it could have been they had gotten wind through the grapevine that I was coming to talk to them, yet again) so I talked with the guys at Doublestar/J&T who opined that I should try to file a very small amount off of the tube where the firing pin flange hits against it. Ok, I will investigate this further. At this rate I will have this thing running like a finely tuned racing engine about 2 days after Jesus returns.
I bought a bag full of FAL parts (springs, firing pins, flash hiders, recoil and gas springs) from Dan the FAL Guy for $50. Sarco wanted $15 bucks for a firing pin itself. Cripes. I picked ups some stainless steel AP 8mm bullets for $20 a 100 and (API) 7.62x54r  full rounds for .50 a piece/$50 per hundred. I would tell you were but I want to try and get some more. I got all the brass cased ones they had left. I hiked back to the swampy hill my car was tenaciously clinging too, alongside some guy who said he had an FFL and had a NIB Springfield Armory MIA he said he got for $1300. He stated that he couldn’t even get them in due to the late unpleasantness so he jumped at the chance. I absolutely would have traded one of my perfectly functioning kidneys and a bad check if I had seen it first.  I also bought 2 dozen large orange floating smoke grenades? For ships and life rafts for $5 per. Someone asked me what I was going to use them for. I stated that if something was chasing me I was going to pop one or two and keep running. Everyone but this guy, has obviously read their JRR Tolkien and knows that Obama’s Ring Wraiths cannot stay in the presence of iridescent orange?
There were a number of items that I normally buy and see that shouldn’t be mentioned on a public forum that disappeared rather quickly, when normally there is plenty of it. Huummmm? Lance, the seller of eclectic books and videos, added “Saints and Sinners” to my collection, a WWII movie about some survivors at Malmedy trying to get back to American lines. Kudos to the writer for correctly (according to both sides) showing that the massacre started when a USGI jailbreak started and not pre-meditated murder. Sadly, it was more about a bunch of guys trying to mesh together in trying circumstances than combat. Good production values though. Still waiting to watch “the war of the arrows”. My big Berkey water filter is gleaming with pride  and strutting around the kitchen now that it has some new black chemical reducing filters and bottom fluoride filters. It set me back about $150 dollars along with some other parts, but here’s hoping that it will delay my chances of a chemical induced neurological disorder from the municipal water supply for at least another year. - T.A.B.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Mr. Rawles,
In the aftermath of the apparent hostile takeover of Colorado by immigrants from California, I have been wondering about the status of the States that comprise the American Redoubt. Is there any information available about demographic shifts within the Redoubt as a result of immigration? I've heard a little here and there, particularly about some of the resort type areas of Idaho and the coastal regions of Washington and Oregon, but nothing about significant shifts within the states as a whole.

Thanks, - Thetonedeafbard

JWR Replies: The American Redoubt region is conservative, and gradually getting more conservative, year by year. Wyoming's recent enactment of permitless concealed carry is indicative of this trend. Take a look at the 2008 Presidential election returns versus the 2012 Presidential election returns. There are indeed a few liberals moving in, but they are vastly outnumbered by conservatives who are coming from the same states. With higher taxes and more draconian gun laws, I expect this trend to accelerate in the future. In effect the Red States are getting darker red and the Blue States are getting darker blue. Colorado was an example of a purple state that gradually turned blue, at least in the larger cities. But now that it has enacted sweeping civilian disarmament laws, I expect that Colorado will lose conservatives (through out-migration), and conservative states like Wyoming and Montana will be the beneficiaries of those who have "voted with their feet."

The key goal of the American Redoubt movement was to simply solidify an existing demographic trend. Back in 2011 I wrote: "I'm inviting people with the same outlook to move to the Redoubt States, to effect a demographic solidification. We're already a majority here. I'd just like to see an even stronger majority."

Echoing these trends, the likelihood of partition of Eastern Oregon and Eastern Washington will continue to grow. The residents of the eastern counties have little in common with the folks west of the Cascades, and will have less and less in common with them, as time goes on. I predict that inevitably either taxes or civilian disarmament laws will be the triggers that will force a separation.

Wikipedia sums up this divide between the eastern halves of Oregon and Washington: "East of the Cascades, in eastern Washington, eastern Oregon, and Idaho, the population is much more conservative. The eastern portions of Washington and especially Oregon, due to their low populations, do not generally have enough voting power to be competitive at the state level, and thus the governorships and U.S. Senate seats of both Oregon and Washington are usually held by the Democrats. Idaho, being a separate state located entirely within the conservative interior of the Pacific Northwest, is a Republican stronghold. Conservatism in the US part of the Pacific Northwest tends to be distrustful of federal government interference and strongly protective of gun rights."

Don't over-rate the influence of a few liberal enclaves like Sun Valley, Idaho and Missoula, Montana. They are so vastly outnumbered that they are politically irrelevant.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

This is in response to a letter published on Sunday, 4 April "Letter Re: Advice on U.S. Military Service"

Jim M. says the person should consider joining the Navy Seabees. I am writing to say the exact opposite. Do not consider joining the Seabees at least not at this time. The Naval Construction Force (NCF) consist of six active duty Naval Mobile Construction Battalions (NMCB) and 12 reserve NMCBs. (Along with various Cargo Handling Battalions (NCHB), Maintenance Units (CBMU) and others.) With the current fiscal problems and general changes in needs of the DoD, there are heavy cuts in the works.

Between now and 2015 you'll see this force effectively cut in half. Three of the active and six reserve NMCBs will cease to exist. Each is typically manned at about 80%, the unfilled billets (job positions) of the untouched NMCBs will be filled with some of the Bees from the battalions being cut. This will leave about 60% of the remaining half without a position.

These Bees will be in essence 'laid off'. Not pink slipped exactly but will be in a state of limbo. They'll be transferred to Administrative units. Not actual training units, just holding units that will take care of their paperwork (admin/medical). On the plus side, about one-third of those will be retiring in the next 2-4 years and about one-third weren't going to make a career of it and will get out at the end of their contracts in 2-4 years. The remaining third will have to change rates to non-construction related fields and join fleet-type units. Some percent of the total are so hardcore (don't call a Seabee a Sailor), they'll get ticked off and quit rather than change and finish their 20 years. - Seabee B.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Captain Rawles:
I read the text of the draft Toomey-Manchin-Schumer Amendment. It does not define the word "publication." Because there are several common definitions of the word, including the transitive verb ,"publish" could include just telling two or more people at once that you have a gun for sale. 

Also the "safe travel" provision does not include magazines, so if you are stopped in New York or Connecticut or Maryland with a 30 round mag while driving from Pennsylvania to New Hampshire (for example) then you are a felon.  Also NY SAFE act bans transport of Guns AND Ammo,  the Toomey-Manchin-Schumer Amendment only protects transport Guns OR Ammo, it may seem a small distinction, but as an attorney  I can tell you it does matter.  If under the SAFE act you are stopped traveling through, with an AR-15 and some ammo, both locked in your trunk, you are not protected by McClure-Volkmer. Regards, - W.M.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Many reader may be stunned by the drop in COMEX silver prices. However, holders of physical silver need not despair. The price to obtain actual coins has hardly been affected at all.
Both Kitco and eBay testify to this:

On Kitco
, single silver eagles are now $29.10, or $4.15 over the Friday silver Comex close of $25.95 and a monster box of 500 eagles at $14,300 is still $28.60 each.

Kitco at present is not even listing "junk silver bags", they're just not available through them (sometimes this happens), but others are selling the $1,000 face value bags of 715 ounces for $21,403, or $29.93 per ounce. Wow! That is about $4.00 per ounce over spot! (Just before year's-end, Camino Coin was selling junk silver at $0.50 over! And that was at just a minimum purchase of $1,500 to avoid California sales tax!)

More telling however are eBay actual completed auctions:
Rolls of 20 Eagles are going for at least $645, and often over $650 or $660 a roll. At $650 that is $32.50 each.
And individual coins are even selling for up to $36.00 each. ($10 over spot!)

The divergence between the paper and physical markets is here and we can expect it to remain, and even widen.
No one who holds physical needs despair. The optics of the COMEX are for the sheeple.

Maybe a far-fetched notion, but with the bank raids on deposits in Cyprus as a precedent for the future of all, and PMs beat down on the COMEX, but the DJIA at record highs (nominal) a slightly paranoid outlook may be the central bankers are herding the sheeple of means from off the sidelines and back into the stock market. Meanwhile central banks stock up on gold and billionaires and corporations are quietly divesting of the market. Caveat Emptor.

Respectfully, - Douglas C.

JWR Replies: I still remember the angst that my friends and readers expressed back in October of 2008, when spot silver briefly dropped below $9.00 per troy ounce. (It had been over $19, in July of that year.) One SurvivalBlog reader even demanded an apology. But I held fast to my prediction, and time proved me right. Later that same month I observed that the COMEX market and the physical market had become disconnected. Some folks laughed at my "buy" advice, but thankfully most others heeded it.

Silver had slumped to $25.85, when I last checked. (Saturday, April 13, 2013.) Yes, that is down substantially from the high of $33.23, back on January 23rd. But look at the big picture-- look at the ten year chart. The current sell-off is another buying opportunity in a long term bull market. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Buy on the dips! In the long run, the U.S. Dollar is doomed. Invest accordingly.

Mark my words: In ten years we'll look back and laugh about the current metals market slump, and wish that we'd stacked more silver.

Dear James,
Concerning joining the military and prepping:  If the person has the aptitude then joining the Navy Seabees [Construction Battalion] would definitely be something to consider. The Seabees are primarily builders but do get training to fight.  Being as they are not "combat" troops the deployment should be less than a combat arm. And the training [they provide] as a builder would be very handy if the Schumer Hits The Fan.

Best Regards, - Jim M.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Greetings Mr. Rawles and thank you for your service to this great country.  

I would like to commend you on your knowledge, mindset, and ability to create a web site where we all can come together as like-minded individuals and expand our relative knowledge of survival during these harsh social times in this place we call, and will fight for, home.  

I am currently 28 years old, and I have a strong urge to do whatever it takes to prepare for the unknown, to protect my wife and I against anything that rears its ugly head, and most of all survive.  I have been aware of your site for quite some time now thanks to my father, but I have only been an avid reader for the last 6 months due to the current state in this country.  I have limited knowledge in survival and general preparedness and I am trying to increase my level everyday.  

My work colleague and I were discussing the military reserves the other day and I started to really think about it.  I have always had the patriotism and urge to fight for my country, but never made it a priority.  Especially now that I have a very stable and well paying job, wife, planning to have a baby, house, dog, etc., it is more difficult to pack up and leave.  My life is really great and I couldn't accept anything else.  

With all the added bonuses of military benefits, and supplementary pay for the reserves, I can't help but push this aside.  Of course the training and experience that ensues is really starting to weigh itself in my mind a lot.  As a beginner prepper and future survivalist of the apocalypse  assuming I will need to use these skills in the near future, the military training and experience is something that I would consider a huge push for my future survival.  Yes I could remain in the civilian sector and take numerous training and survival classes, but at the expense of my own wallet as these kind of training courses are very expensive. 

With that said and the current state of our country, our personal liberties and freedoms are being thrown out the window, and our constitution and bill of rights being trampled, a piece of me would like to halt my decision of military involvement.  I can't help but think that, if our politicians continue along the path they are currently on, I might end up on the top of some anti-veteran list that would consider me a home-grown terrorist and my rights, liberties and freedoms are now out the window because of some UN-siding dictator.

Given your background in the military, and eye into the current situations in our country, would military involvement be a good strategy for the survival and protection of my family? - Steve in Washington

JWR Replies: I do still recommend military service. My background was in the Army, so I will only address that. Your mileage may vary with the other services.

The training for the Reserves, National Guard and Active component are just about identical. So your choice of component can be based upon how many years you want to devote to the military.

Given your age, the clock is ticking if you do want to join.  Generally, the door closes at age 31, except for JAG officers and a few rare waivers.  If you have a college degree, then I think that you should apply for a Direct Commission. This is a little-known but amazing opportunity. It is mostly for Medical Service, Chaplains, and JAG officers, but in the Army Reserve, direct commissions are sometimes available for other branches. Someone with a Police Science degree, for example, is a good candidate for a direct commission as a Military Police officer.

Since it appears that the GWOT will grind on endlessly, I recommend that you pick a branch that is least likely to get you repeated overseas deployments. So avoid the Combat Arms branches, except perhaps for Air Defense Artillery.  With the Combat Support and Combat Service Support branches, you'll ge a lot of the same great training, but much less likelihood of deployments. And working in the support branches, there is a higher correlation for equivalent civilian careers. So it is generally more useful for your resume. (I'm not denigrating the Combat Arms--they have my utmost respect--but there not a lot of civilian jobs for trigger pullers and cannon cockers.)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Hey Jim,
This guy lived within 30 miles from me for 27 years. An interesting story to be sure. I'd like to bail him out just for the chance to talk but for $5,000 it would be too expensive. This is not wilderness. It is a 30 minute walk from Pine Tree Camp - I have been there a few times. My buddy in high school worked there as a cook.

Here is some news coverage about him, from another source.

Keep up the good work. - Bubby

JWR Replies: After you wrote me to mention this, I found an article that has much greater detail about his camp. And here is one more article.

Reading these accounts, I couldn't help but be reminded of Idaho's "Wild Man" or "Ridgerunner," Bill Moreland, who has been previously mentioned in SurvivalBlog. He wasn't on the lam nearly so long (only 11 years), but he was notable for walking tremendous distances, even in the dead of winter. He is also notable for killing 24 deer with just 24 cartridges (.22 Long Rifle rimfire!)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A brief article I saw on underground homeless camp in Kansas: Underground homeless camp cleared near the East Bottoms.

Although the article does not give much detail, I find it an interesting use of space, staying out of the way and a lesson to learn regarding people who may be close to your proximity without one even knowing it.  It also drew my mind back to the Bielski partisans and the camps they dug in Naliboki Forest.
God Bless, - John in Ohio

Friday, April 5, 2013

On March 10, 2013, the Governor of Colorado signed into law three new statutes that pertain to gun and magazine owners throughout the state. In this post, I will start with the addition of C.R.S. 18-12-301, having to do with “Large Capacity Ammunition Magazines”.

We will first begin with the name of the bill. As many of you know, a magazine which holds more than 15 rounds is not a “Large Capacity” magazine but in many cases just the stock or standard magazine that comes with the firearm. However, if you asked my mother, who is not a gun owner, “Do you think people should have access to “large capacity magazines”, she would answer,”No, why do you need any more bullets than a standard capacity ammunition magazine can hold? ”.  So without knowing about magazines, she would say she is in favor of such a law. Same could hold true with a jury, more on that below.
Next, this piece of legislation was passed without guidance or suggestions from those who would be most affected. The politicians did not care about input from the citizens of Colorado. They knew their window of time was limited and they had to get this passed post haste. Whenever this occurs, we get bad law. This is bad law.

Some of the people tasked with having to enforce this law, namely law enforcement and district attorneys, have come out against it. For example, El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa and Weld County Sheriff John Cooke have stated that this law will do nothing to protect the citizens of Colorado and that they will not enforce it. El Paso County District Attorney Dan Mays has come out recently being critical of the law stating, “Quite frankly, that’s what this is, window dressing”.

I am not so naïve to believe that the sponsors of this bill had our best interests in mind when creating this law. This law was created for other purposes. As is coming out in the news in New York, Mayor Bloomberg’s group has been writing these laws or openly “assisting” with their creation. As such, they are heavily flawed and designed to be able to remove guns from the public. The true effect of the recent New York laws are coming to light and the citizens are not happy. New Yorkers have found that what was sold to them in the name of safety is making life for them more dangerous. The New York politicians are placing the blame on Mayor Bloomberg’s people and stating that they did not fully understand the impact of the laws when enacted. I feel the same will happen in Colorado.

But for now, we have these laws and we will be impacted by them so you need to know how they can affect you. As usual, I am not providing the reader with legal advice. I am just educating you on what the law is and how I will respond to them. You will choose on your own how you will choose to respond.

Most statutes begin with certain definitions so that it is clear when we use words contained within the statute, we all understand how the word is to be used.
C.R.S. 18-12-301 (2)(a) defines the term, “Large Capacity Magazine”. It states, (I) A fixed or detachable magazine, box, drum, feed strip or similar device capable of accepting, or that is designed to be readily converted to accept, more than fifteen rounds of ammunition.
As you can see, there is a huge problem with this definition. The wording, “or that is designed to be readily converted to accept”, is flawed at best. Why? With this definition, a police officer or prosecutor could expand the definition of a magazine.
If I am a prosecutor who is deciding whether to charge someone with a violation of this law, I would want to see what magazine the person had on his person when arrested. If the magazine had the capacity to hold fifteen or less rounds of ammunition, I would not charge the person. But if I did not like citizens possessing guns or magazines with fifteen rounds because of my personal agenda, I would use the defining language to state that the magazine “could be readily converted” to hold more than fifteen rounds so it is a chargeable offense.

As many of you know, a magazine has a certain capacity for the number of rounds it holds. But on many magazines, you can remove the bottom plate and add a device that will extend the magazine. By doing so, you allow for more rounds to be loaded into the magazine.

So in the hands of a district attorney, jury or Judge who are against a citizen’s Second Amendment’s rights and do not like people having the ability to protect themselves with firearms, it could be argued that all magazines that people possess are designed to be  “readily converted” to accept more than fifteen rounds of ammunition. If so, you can be found guilty of a Class 2 Misdemeanor for possession of standard magazine.  Incredible coincidence or the grand plan all along? You decide. [JWR Adds: Magazine extensions are indeed available for a wide variety of pistol magazines. See for example, those made by Taylor Freelance and Scherer.]

There are two other points to note from the definition section of this law. First, if the magazine is only capable of operating with .22 caliber rimfire ammunition it is not affected by this law. Perhaps the discussion of the capability of the .22 round will become more popular again. Second, a magazine that is contained on a “lever-action” firearm is not affected. This would include the cowboy style rifles that were used in the movies and old tv shows.
C.R.S. 18-12-302 deals with the penalties and exceptions to the law. Section (1)(a) states as follows:
Except as otherwise provided in this section, on and after July 1, 2013, a person who sells, transfers, or possesses a large capacity magazine commits a Class 2 Misdemeanor.

This means starting on July 1, 2013, if you have what is defined as a “large capacity magazine”, you cannot sell, transfer or possess it legally. We will talk about the exceptions to this below but for now we will start with the definitions again.
For the individual, I think we all understand what it means to “sell”. But what does “transfer” mean in this circumstance? Does this mean that we cannot give away such a magazine when we die through a will or trust? I think that is what could and will be argued by a prosecutor. What if I am at the range and someone offers to me a chance to shoot their firearm and they have a non-compliant magazine? By allowing me to borrow the firearm to shoot for a minute or two, is that a “transfer”? Again, it could be argued that way.

The same holds true for the word, “possesses”. Who “possesses” a magazine if the non-compliant magazine is found in a house or car? Will my children be charged with such a violation if I am found to have a non-compliant magazine in my home? Can more than one person possess a magazine?
In People v. Garcia, 595 P. 2d 228, the Colorado Supreme Court stated “The common sense definition of "possession," as it is used in this statute, is the actual or physical control of a firearm.[4]  However, they included a footnote to that statement. That footnote reads:

[4] The determination of whether or not a firearm is within one's actual or physical control is a question of fact for the jury. However, it is clear that the mere ownership of a firearm is not sufficient to constitute "possession" under the statute. Some of the factors which could be considered by the trier of fact in making this determination are: (1) the proximately of the defendant to the firearm; (2) the ordinary place of storage of the firearm; (3) the defendant's awareness of the presence of the firearm; (4) locks or other physical impediments which preclude ready access to the firearm.

Using this legal precedent, a prosecutor could use those four factors to charge anyone with a violation of this statute. Not just the owner of the firearm but anyone near or aware of the magazine(s).  I hope you can see how in the hands of an overzealous Government agent, this could become ugly very quickly.
The first conviction of the statute will be a Class 2 Misdemeanor. If you are convicted a second time, you will be facing a Class 1 Misdemeanor.  If you should use such a magazine during the commission of a felony or any crime of violence, you will be committing a Class 6 Felony as well. Crimes are divided into two categories, Misdemeanors and Felonies. Within each type of crimes, there are different classes. Class 1 is the highest class within that crime category and a Class 6 class is the lowest.

While there is a grandfather clause within this statute, it is limited or conditional. In order to possess a large capacity magazine, you must have owned the large capacity magazine before July 1, 2013 and you must have maintained “continuous possession” of the magazine. See section (2)(a).
So again, we start with the definitions: what does it mean to “own”? Can more than one person “own” a magazine? Again, back to my previous example- if a non-compliant magazine is found in my house who owns it? Me, my wife, my children? In Colorado, it is illegal for someone under the age of 18 to possess a firearm, unless certain exemptions apply. Since my children can not possess a firearm, they cannot own the magazine that comes with the firearm. In that circumstance can my children be charged with possessing a non compliant magazine found at my house even though they do not own it? Or what about my wife? Will I be forced to say that my wife “owns” the magazine so I get arrested for not having the exception apply to me?

For the exception to apply, we must have also “continuously possessed the magazine”. So what does that mean? If we take the firearm and magazine to be worked on by a gunsmith have we lost our continuous possession? If we loan the firearm and magazine to a friend, have we broken the possession? Again, can more than one person continuously possess a magazine? If the magazine is listed within a gun trust, has the possession be broken? As an NRA certified instructor, if I let a student shoot my firearm, have I broken my continuous possession? I do not know.

Remember that the exception only allows you to possess a large capacity magazine. It is still a violation of the law if you “sell” or “transfer” a large capacity magazine.

In order for the exception to apply, the person who is charged must assert the exception mentioned above, i.e., you owned the magazine as of July 1, 2013 and you maintained continuous possession of the magazine.

Unlike the provisions of C.R.S.  18-1-704.5(2), the so called “Make my Day” law, this law does not allow for a defendant to raise the assertion and receive immunity from further criminal prosecution.  Instead, in order to raise the assertion it reads to be an affirmative defense. This means that in order to assert the exception and not be found guilty, you must fight the charge. This means that you will  have to go to trial. Once there, you will be required to raise the exceptions by presenting some credible evidence supporting the exceptions. Once done, the prosecution must then refute your assertions beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a higher burden of proof than the defendant’s burden of proof when asserting the exceptions. While is this better for the defendant, you still must go to trial to assert the exceptions.

But how can a person prove such an assertion? Will your personal statement that you owned and maintained continuous possession of the magazine satisfy the Judge or jury? I don’t know. I, for one, will be finding and keeping any and all receipts that I have for any large capacity magazine(s) that I own. No receipts? I would suggest that you take a photograph or video of any of the large capacity magazines that you now currently own. Make sure that the video or photograph includes a date stamp.

After you assert the exception, the burden of proof shifts back to the prosecution to refute your assertion. How will they refute my assertion? Calling my wife or my children as a witness against me? Subpoena my credit card statements to show when the purchase occurred? Call friends that I shoot with to determine if I allowed them to borrow the magazine? If in the hands of a biased prosecutor, this law could provide them with the backing to abuse the gun owner and his/her family.

To conclude, here are some of the areas where I could see the police and district attorneys using this statute to abuse gun owners:
1. If you are open carrying a semi-automatic handgun, this law will provide the police probable cause to stop and detain you while they determine if you are violating this statute (which the police could not do legally before this law);
2. This law will provide the police the ability to disarm you while they determine the capacity of your magazine (which was not legal before this law);
3. If you inform the police that you are conceal carrying a handgun, you can be stopped and detained to determine the capacity of the magazine (which before this law was not a valid reason to detain you);
4. If your magazine carries more than 15 rounds of ammunition, you could be arrested or cited for a violation of this law and your firearm and magazine taken as evidence while you prove your innocence. Remember, in order to fully assert your exemptions, you must go to trial. This will take time and you will be without your handgun and magazine until after the trial.
5. Should you now claim your Fifth Amendment right if asked by a police officer whether you are carrying a firearm? Perhaps if your magazine holds more than 15 rounds of ammunition. If you do so, what will be the police officer’s response? Arrest you? Let you go?
6. As stated above, who possesses a magazine when it is found in a person’s home or car? And, for the exception, who owns and maintains continuous possession of a large capacity magazine when it is located in an area where multiple people are?
1. After receiving the firearm and magazine as evidence, the district attorney could use the threat of a trial on defendants to make them accept a plea deal that will include the loss of your firearm and magazine forever.
2. What will they do when you die owning a large capacity magazine? Would they charge the executor of your will if a transfer per your will takes place after you die? What actually is that executor to do with the magazine at that point? Turn it in to the police? Given that, it will not be that long before all of the current owners of large capacity magazines pass away and their magazines destroyed after being turned in the police. Call it self- directed gun confiscation.
3. Going on a “fishing expedition” trying to refute my exception assertions. This can be accomplished by requesting any and all documents, people, etc that could be used to refute my exception assertions.
4. Tying up the defendant in a long, expensive trial while at the same time not allowing the defendant to have possession of their handgun(s) while the trial is ongoing.
5. With the way that this law is written, if you plan on asserting the exceptions you will be waiving your 5th Amendment rights to self incrimination. By that I mean you will have to testify to assert the exemptions. This will give the prosecutor the ability to cross examine you as they attempt to refute your assertions.
What can you do right now? First, support your local Sheriff if they are opposed to these gun laws. Call them and voice your support. They need to hear from their supporters. Second, join the effort to recall Senator John Morse. He was the gang leader in the creation of this legislation. As we all remember from grade school, if you do not fight back hard when the bully picks on you, he will return again and again. A message must be sent to our local legislators. You can look up the recall effort on Facebook for more information. Alternatively, you can go to

I will continue to update my blog as more information about this statute becomes available. Visit and leave me your questions.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Connecticut is known as a progenitor of American Liberty. There were some small War of Independence battles fought at Stonington (1775), Danbury (1777), New Haven (1779), and New London (1781.) But sadly, legislators in Connecticut just dutifully lined up for their Kool-Aid cups and voted for a ban so-called "assault" weapons, a ban on private party sales of used guns, creates a new "ammunition eligibility certificate," and mandates a ban on the manufacture or sale and a registry for high capacity magazines. Do these buffoons have any concept of how many millions of magazines larger that 10 round capacity exist, or that virtually none of them carry a serial number? How do they expect to register a commodity? And what happens if someone miscounts their magazines, or misses a few of them in some forgotten box in the back of a closet? Does that make them a felon? And how, pray tell, is someone supposed to register each link in a disintegrating belt? (The last time I bought .223 and .308 links, they came to me in boxes of roughly 1,000 or 2,000 links per box. They are difficult to count, so they are sold by the pound. You can buy 1,000 of them for as little as $17, and of course they can be assembled ("manufactured") into belts of any length desired. So exactly how will that part of the registry work? Would someone have to ask to have a belt de-registered, once it is fired and hence no longer of 11+ round length? And how could a belt be linked together longer than 9 rounds, after the effective date of the new law? Talk about "Unintended Consequences"!

Oh, and let's not forget the new Connecticut law's New York style "honor system" provision, which dictates that owners of full capacity magazines can load their magazines up to 30 cartridges, but only at home, but just 10 rounds if they are carried outside of their homes unless they're at an approved shooting range. Miscounting cartridges and loading just one too many would be a punishable offense. Stopping short of enacting an outright ban on full capacity magazines and this idiotic honor system provision were characterized as "gracious compromises." As one commenter at the Northeast Shooters Forum aptly put it: "... how generous our Overlords are." Do any Connecticut legislators believe that mass murderers will abide by any of this arbitrary nonsense?

It is noteworthy that the vote on this legislation came on Monday, April 1, 2013. (April Fools Days.) What fools (and tools) they are!

I urge Connecticut residents to do your best to fight this legislatively in the courts, but if all else fails, then vote with your feet. Speaking of which... I just heard that in light of this new legislation Todd Savage of has announced that he has added Connecticut to his list of states that qualify for a 20% discount for "gun law refugee" clients. He is now extending the 20% discount to residents of California, Connecticut, Colorado, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York who identify themselves as gun law refugees. - J.W.R.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Dear Editor:
In response to R.B. and his comments on "Things to Understand When Interacting With the Police," I'd like to share "Some Things He Needs to Understand When Interacting With Civilians."

We've long abandoned the idea that the police are interested in helping us when they interact with us. We expect, for good reason, that any encounter with a police officer is going to be a reminder that right or wrong, he or she is a cop, they must be respected no matter how inhumane their behavior, and that any error on the part of the officer is inconsequential. I may have to accept the ticket for allegedly running the red light, pay the fine, and suffer the insurance consequences, but if my dash cam video shows that the officer lied, the most I can expect is that the ticket is thrown out. No matter that my time was wasted in by a fraudulent traffic stop and a day off work to come in and prove my innocence in the absence of an officer actually being able to prove I was guilty. What we almost never see happen is that the officer is reprimanded for lying.

We also know that in nearly every encounter with police, the only reason they speak to us is to find something indictable. They aren't looking for a reason to exonerate us or for a reason not to cite or arrest us, and that means any discussion with a police officer has the potential to lead to consequences for us, and silence will never incriminate us. That is why we have a right to remain silent, and it's ludicrous for an officer to suggest that it's a good idea to talk to the police.

For the perspective that only 5% of defense attorneys are honest, I don't disagree, but that statistic can be just as easily applied to the police, but with a more insidious element; defense attorneys are only trying to defend the impropriety of their client (a potential criminal) while the police routinely defend the impropriety of each other.

There is no denying the fact that there are a lot of bad cops out there. They are truly a stain on the tradition of law enforcement, but the idea that they are a "few bad apples" ignores several facts. 1. Their fellow officers (the supposed 'good' cops) never interfere when one of these bad officers is violating someone's rights. 2. They usually cover for these bad cops, whether through silence, looking the other way, or outright lying. 3. The police enjoy immunity from the mistakes they make which often ruin lives.

These things considered, please don't be surprised that the public view of the image of law enforcement is crumbling. We are tired of the videos of perpetrators being assaulted by the police while not a single officer steps in to stop the assault. The ludicrousness of the police justifying their actions when they asphyxiate a subject and then beat him for "resisting" when his guttural instinct for survival kicks in. The repeated instances of the police demanding that civilians turn off cameras in public places, where they assault people for recording them, and where they illegally confiscate recording equipment which so often goes 'mysteriously' missing. This indicates two key problems; the police know that their words don't match their behaviors, and such evidence cannot be tolerated, and that we really need to think about the level of accountability among an institution that loses more video evidence (both police dash-cam and confiscated video) than Hollywood.

The one thing that is predictable in these discussions is that the blame for law-enforcement misbehavior is quickly directed back at the citizens, where civilians are somehow at fault for the misbehavior of the police and that we can't possibly understand why they do what they do. This is illogical and insulting. The bottom line is that the police are responsible for their own image, whether good cop or bad, and it's not enough to say "those are the bad cops, I'm a good cop" and leave it at that. Unless you are taking specific action to protect the citizens (as sworn?) from bad cops, then you are no better than them, falling somewhere on the 'respect' list between used car salesmen and the Nigerian prince who wants me to help him collect his inheritance. It's your responsibility as a police officer and as an institution to consider why your image is falling like a North Korean satellite, and to address ways of resolving it. Blaming us is not the answer. Calling other people a liar is not the answer. Look inward and then show a good faith effort the people who are losing trust and respect for you, and therein you might regain our trust.

One thing I've learned is that when an "executive officer of the state" tells me that someone else is lying, that someone else is probably telling the truth. We aren't "anti-police," we are anti-bad-police-establishment." - S.T.


Mr. Rawles,
The recent article by G.S. suggested that prepper's maintain a distrustful attitude when interacting with law enforcement personnel.  This was followed by R.B.'s disdainful view of the defense bar and belief that law enforcement personnel can be trusted to protect the constitution rights of citizens.  Taken together, these viewpoints demonstrate something that preppers should carefully consider; the law enforcement environment in which they are operating, and what steps to take to protect themselves.

I have no doubt that in the Western state that R.B. works to keep safe, law enforcement officers use common sense and can be trusted to understand the Constitutional rights of Americans.  Similarly, we have seen enough stories to know that there are parts of this country, certainly where G.S. resides, where police view Constitutional rights as nothing more than a hindrance and common sense plays little role in decision making.

It is vitally important to learn about your legal and law enforcement environment before significant contact with law enforcement, rather than after the fact.  Here are a couple ideas:

- Talk to a lawyer.   If you don't already have one or know one, it is much easier to shop around for a good plumber before your pipe breaks. The same is true for attorneys.  Ask around, find one with a good reputation.  Many attorneys will set up an appointment for a nominal fee.  While attorneys cannot divulge the content of your discussion, there is no need to share details about your preps, numbers of firearms, etc.  It may be enough to ask "what should I do if and intruder is on my property or breaking into my home?"  or "Do we have a 'stand-your-ground' law here?"  The answers may be different depending on where you live.

-Find out about the prosecutor in your area.  Is the prosecutor elected or a political appointment and if so, by whom?  Are judges elected or appointed?  Is your local prosecutor or police chief involved with anti-Second Amendment groups?  The mayor?   Does your local prosecutor have a history of filing charges against citizens protecting themselves and their families? 

-Learn about the police and sheriff.  Knowing what precinct and beat you live in is particularly helpful if you are monitoring a radio scanner or an online police scanner.   If there is a neighborhood police meeting, take the time to show up and meet the officers working in your area.   You can get a read on the officer's view of public safety and information about the crime trends in your area could be critical to your family's safety. 

-Check the news.  Have there been a string of police misconduct complaints?  In proven cases of misconduct, have offenders been punished or is everything swept under the rug?   Do the police have a written or unwritten policy of making an arrest every time someone defends them self from attack?

In many cases, the law enforcement environment in an area is reflective the quality of local government in general,  the area economy, level of personal freedom, and so forth.    When it comes to interactions with law enforcement, like everything else in preparedness, know your environment and have a plan.

How you would deal with a deputy who you know on a first name since grade school would be completely different than a police officer while visiting a major East coast city.   Regardless of your environment,

-Be courteous.  Presume that the officer is doing his job in a manner that deserves our respect. 

-Know your rights.  Don't think you know them, find out exactly what you can, cannot and must do in your jurisdiction.

-Do not lie.   You may have the right to stay silent, you don't have the right to say something is untrue.

-Keep your paperwork straight and vehicle in good working order.  Avoid interactions in the first place by ensuring your tags, insurance, etc. are up to date, and your vehicle is in good shape.  This is particularly important if you preparations include a bug-out plan using your vehicle.

-If you determine that an officer is acting in an inappropriate manner and you must invoke your Constitution rights to refuse to make a statement or consent to a search, continue to be courteous and even tempered.  If your rights are violated you can tell the judge, citizens review board, or other authority when the time is appropriate.

After reading both articles, I believe that both G.S. and R.B. are correct as concerns their locale.  Preppers should examine their own locale, and consider their own legal environment and what that environment might become in the event of a local or widespread disaster. - R.L.W.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

In my opinion 99.9% of preppers are law-abiding citizens who fear God and want nothing more than to be left alone to live their lives in peace and prosperity. Having said that I take extreme exception to the recent article entitled, “Things to Understand When Interacting With Police”, by G.S. from Florida. G.S. is a defense attorney who used to be a prosecuting attorney. Let me introduce myself as much as I can. I am a prepper and a police detective in a Western state and have arrested many criminals over the years. I have been in many jury and bench trials and have had many dealings with defense attorneys. There is a common joke in the world of law that it is very difficult to be an honest person and be a defense attorney. It is my belief and opinion that 1 in 20 defense attorneys are honest people. That is a mere 5% that are honest and I will explain why that is.

It is a defense attorney’s job to represent people accused of committing crimes and they are an important and necessary part of the judicial system. But often times the defense attorney knows full well that his client is guilty of the crime he is accused of. Unfortunately for the defense attorney, this knowledge usually comes directly from the defendant. So there lies the dilemma. How do you represent a person you know is guilty, when your client has told you himself he committed the crime and especially when the crime is heinous? Well an honest person would say “I can’t.” But a defense attorney will say, “What can I do to get my client off these charges,” and will use various dishonest practices that I have seen defense attorneys employ. Defense attorneys attempt to get their clients off on technicalities (such as on DUI charges) and practice character assassinations of witnesses, police officers and most horrifically on victims. I saw a defense attorney make a rape victim break down and cry on the stand during a jury trial as he attempted to paint the victim as a culprit during his character assassination of her. A defense attorney outright called me a liar on the stand during a jury trial because the trial was not going well for his client who had admitted to me, post Miranda and on recording, that he had committed the aggravated robbery he was accused of. I could go on but my point is that be weary of defense attorneys. There are some good ones who have a conscience and don’t lie. But many believe that the ends truly justify the means.
Let me be clear. Police officers must never violate a person’s Constitutional rights and must always arrest on probable cause with clear evidence. If in doubt I don’t arrest and I let the district attorney’s office decide if there is enough evidence to prosecute. G.S. is correct about the level 1, 2 and 3 stops and I beg each citizen to be familiar with each of these.

Next G.S. recommended not speaking with police. I think this is false and let me give you a great example as to why. One night, while on patrol, I responded to a call where a man was waiving a gun around in a parking lot and other people were running away. A description of the man and his vehicle were given by dispatch. I was first on scene and located the “suspect” vehicle leaving the parking lot. Myself and other officers conducted a “high hazard” stop of the vehicle. The driver was removed from his vehicle and his handgun was located. Also in the vehicle were his wife and several children. The witness said that she saw this man pointing his handgun at several people who then fled the scene prior to our arrival. Next I wanted to speak with the accused suspect who happened to have a carry permit. I read him Miranda and he was anxious to speak with me. He said that a group of four males approached him and were asking him about where he was from and what his religion was. When he told them that information two of them produced knives and were going to attack him. A fact the witness did not know and did not see. Fearing for his life and for the life of his children and wife, he produced his handgun, which he pointed at the suspects. In this situation he could have shot them and would have been justified in doing so. We all complimented the man for doing what he needed to do protect himself and his family, returned his handgun and sent him on his way. If he had chosen not to speak with us that night (which is his right), as G.S. recommended, he would have been taken to jail at least for reckless endangerment and his handgun would have been seized. I understand a person’s apprehension to speak with police but it is my experience that it is only beneficial to you to do so.

In the next section G.S. writes about the force matrix. This is where his experience as a defense attorney shines brightly for all to see as he twists facts and information into what he wants them to be. He said, “Note that under the matrix, active physical resistance by a person can be met by police with deadly force.” This is not true and the chart that he linked says it is not true. I implore each of you to look at the chart he provided and recognize his false statement. The chart listed “Aggravated Physical Resistance” as being met with deadly force. There is a huge difference between “Active Physical Resistance” and “Aggravated Physical Resistance” and G.S. knows it. Let me give you some examples of “Aggravated Physical Resistance” against police: pulling a gun, pulling a knife, attempting to disarm, strangling (like a rear strangle hold), attempting to cause death or serious bodily injury, etc. G.S. would have you believe that police can kill you just because you are actively resisting, i.e. running away, taking a fighting position, not putting your hands behind your back, etc. What he would have you believe is true and what is actually true are two different things.

I will not delve too deeply into police corruption other than to say it does exist and in my department it is dealt with swiftly and severely. Any officer who is corrupt is a disgrace to the office and has not upheld their oath to protect and preserve the Constitution of the United States. Many may not know this but as executive officers of a state we, as law enforcement, are bound by oath and affirmation to support the Constitution (last paragraph of Article VI).
I understand that G.S. was just attempting to write an article to help the prepper community. His world is tough because he is always dealing with the criminal element and criminals are often times disheartening. But I found several of his points to be false.

Over the years I have read several articles on this blog that seem anti and pro police. I want the prepper community to know that most police officers I work with don’t want to bother you and only want to protect the communities in which they serve. Look for truth in all things and be a watchman of the night.  - R.B. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Hi Folks,
I’m a transplant to my now-home state of Colorado.  When I came here where I’m living now was about the edge of suburban development.  Denver has a law that restricted it from growing called the Poundstone Amendment (wherein cities couldn’t annex without a vote of approval of land owners.)   My wife is a fifth generation native, her ancestors settled and farmed northeast of Denver for a few decades.  Winter wheat was a big crop, Rocky Ford produced perhaps the best melons I’ve eaten and in the summer it was nearly impossible to drive around without tripping over a small farmer’s market (even in the city).
Fast forward...  Farmers in Rocky Ford sold their water to a Aurora.  Farmers in the Northeast corridor (east side of the divide) sold their water to Denver.   Urban planning boomed (again) and even during official drought years it was not uncommon for 30,000 new building permits a month to be issued in the metro area.   With their new-found water wealth, the urban planners created sprawl, they loved the income and were addicted to it.  While we were told to conserve, they’d build a few thousand more homes with the water we didn’t use.  Their formulas used a usage ratio of existing users, so the more we conserved – the more building permits they could justify. 
Remember the Listeria deaths attributed to melons from Southeastern Colorado?  Do you know how the Listeria got a hold?  The farmers had “upgraded” their facilities, and were assured that city provided water was sufficiently chlorinated that they could just use city water, and not recycle and treat their own – all those nasty chemicals they added to the wash water were ruining the environment!  Well, as any dummy can figure out – chlorination varies day to day in any municipal water supply – and there was insufficient chlorine to cleanse the melons for market – so whereas the old environmentally-unfriendly method kept us alive, the new-improved city mandated solution killed several people – killing, essentially, the melon growing industry in that part of the state.
Many people don’t realizes that Water has it’s own court system, at least in Colorado it does.  Water is politics and big money urban developers have managed to buy nearly all the surface water and aquifer accessed rights in the state.
Our agriculture isn’t producing the same amounts of food as it was ten years ago not because we have a drought problem, it’s because the farmers don’t have the rights to the water anymore – they were “squandering” it and environmental lawsuit after lawsuit put most of them out of business – forcing them to sell their water rights to a city.  When you look at the agricultural production numbers plummeting in Colorado, don’t attribute it to the “drought” attribute it exactly where the blame belongs – urban sprawl.  What else did we get with urban sprawl?  Hundreds of thousands of city-dwellers dependent on the state for their every need.   With government employment and service industry growth the majority of people were liberals who moved here for the “rocky mountain high” – bringing their needs for cheap housing and water with them. 
We are a liberal majority-controlled state only in the cities. Everywhere else in the state, reason reigns.  Our farmers will never produce again, because the city will never return water rights to the land.  Our drought has always been a fact of life in Colorado, according to my wife’s relatives water has never been abundant for farmers.   Our farmers weren’t victims of G-d’s will and poor rainfall, they were victims of political realities and urban sprawl.  So, yes, we are part of the seven states with water problems, but it’s a redistribution problem not one of agriculture. - Jim H.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

I hope your readers don’t lump all police officers into the ignorant category. I’m retired now, but I clearly remember an instance about 15 years ago…
I was on grave shift and received a call of a man with a gun in a Shari’s restaurant at about 2 a.m.. When I asked the dispatcher what the man was doing, she told me he was eating.
I walked in and spotted him fairly quickly. He had a Ruger Blackhawk in a leather western style holster. I sat down in the booth with him and asked him why he was wearing the gun.
He explained that he and some friends had been out 4-wheeling and target practicing. Since his truck didn’t have doors, (it was summer), he didn’t want to leave it in the truck and since he didn’t have a CCW permit, he decided to wear it open carry.
I congratulated him for exercising his Second Amendment rights.
I then informed him of a little known fact in Oregon law: One may carry concealed if one is going to or from hunting or fishing or to or from target practicing. I then told him that he should alway carry a cardboard-backed target, earmuffs, live ammo and fireed brass in his car as “proof” that he has just been target practicing. And that he could carry concealed to not alarm the sheeple. I showed him the law in writing with my pocket guide I always carried.
The restaurant manager seemed rather displeased that a patron had a gun. I then pointed to mine and asked her if it bothered her. She said no, because I was the police. I told her that her restaurant was a safer place with an armed customer and left.
My sergeant was rather displeased that I didn’t have the “suspect's” name. And that is another story. - Tom in Oregon

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

As a former prosecutor and now criminal defense attorney practicing in Florida, I offer some insights gained by experience for the patriotic reader.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2,266,800 adults were incarcerated in U.S. federal and state prisons, and county jails at year-end 2010 – about 0.7% of adults in the U.S. resident population. Additionally, 4,933,667 adults at year-end 2009 were on probation or on parole. In total, 7,225,800 adults were under correctional supervision (probation, parole, jail or prison) in 2009 – about 3.1% of adults in the U.S. resident population. With the statist establishment criminalizing everything, and the prosecution machine grinding out prison inmates every day, a dedicated “prepper,” gun-owner or survivalist has much to be wary of when dealing with of law enforcement officers.

Obviously, the first bit of advice is to not violate the law. Unfortunately, there are so many laws on the books that almost everyone is a criminal. For more on this point, see Go Directly to Jail: The Criminalization of Almost Everything by Gene Healy and Three Felonies A Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent by Harvey Silverglate. With the new proposals to ban certain capacity magazines and firearms and to seek a universal gun registration system, many people have become concerned that the law abiding citizen will be labeled a criminal by the state.

We must also recognize that when lawful gun owners discuss the use of force (including lethal force) in defense of self and others, we are not talking about a hypothetical construct. In the event of TEOTWAWKI, this may be an everyday reality. How functional the police and law enforcement agencies are in such an event is unknowable, but planning for such an eventuality can only be smart. It is not hard to imagine a scenario where you defend your home against a home invader using your legally carried firearm, but are faced with the ugly possibility of life in prison. The taking of a human life is no small thing. In Florida, the illegal use of a firearm that results in death carries a minimum mandatory life in prison sentence. Would you plea to a reduced charge for less prison time or take your chances with a jury? Are you sure? The best thing to do is to give your defense attorney the best case you can by planning ahead and understanding how to react to police.

One is reminded of the dilemma faced by the survivors in JWR’s novel Patriots where the protagonists must decide what to do with the bodies and belongings of the armed marauders who have attacked their camp. I would suggest that having a flexible plan to deal with the aftermath of armed citizen conflict should be part of your considerations. Obviously, TEOTWAWKI can come in many varieties with varying levels of societal dysfunction and different responses to such a situation may be called for. This essay presupposes that the police are still actively functioning and that the current U.S. Constitution is still in force.

You must understand that police are state agents. While most of us perceive the police are our friends, neighbors and protectors, it is very easy for this relationship to flip wherein we are the targets of tyrannical state power. Note, for example, the demonization of certain “right wing fringe groups” that believe in such crazy ideas at the founding documents and the right to gun ownership! I am of the belief that the likelihood of Blackhawk helicopters, drones or military strikes against civilians is remote. On the other hand, when TSHTF, the behavior of the local police forces will be one of the critical components as to how things will unfold. All the preps in the world will be of no use if you are sitting in a jail or prison cell. Knowing how to stay out of jail and prison is a critical bit of knowledge for everyone to have. Because the local police forces are the entry point for our prison and jail populations, you should know how the police deal with you.

It is important to understand that there are three levels of police citizen encounters: 1) consensual encounter, 2) investigatory stop and 3) detainer and arrest. See Popple v. State, 626 So. 2d 185, 186 (Fla. 1993).

The first level, “consensual encounter,” involves only minimal police contact, during which a citizen may either voluntarily comply with a police officer's requests or choose to ignore them. A consensual encounter is not a seizure, so it may occur without repercussion, even when a police officer has no reason to suspect that criminal activity is afoot. Because the citizen is free to leave during a consensual encounter, constitutional safeguards are not invoked. Therefore, anything you say in a consensual encounter will be admissible against you. Often, consensual encounters are the basis for many a search. The police officer will ask, “Do you mind if I search your car?” Because it is a question, you have a right to refuse the offer – and you should. An officer may ask you at a highway check point, “would you mind pulling over to the side of the road for a moment?” The response to this is a polite, “I would respectfully decline. I would like to be on my way. Are you ordering me to the side of the road?” If the answer is yes, then understand that you are now adversarial to the police, and are being targeted for arrest. If you are free to leave, then by all means leave. 

The second level of police-citizen encounter is an investigatory stop. At this level, a police officer may reasonably detain a citizen temporarily if the officer has a reasonable suspicion that a person has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime. In order not to violate a citizen's Fourth Amendment rights, an investigatory stop requires a well-founded, articulable suspicion of criminal activity. An investigatory stop requires a factual basis to support it. Unfortunately, this test is subjective and can be falsely created after the fact by an officer. In an investigatory stop police have a right to search for weapons in what is called a Terry search (after Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968) if they suspect a person has a weapon. Thus, if you are detained and a police officer asks you if you have “anything on you that he should know about” the correct response is “I have a permit to carry a concealed weapon which is located in my right front pocket.” Note how you say you have a permit first, which reduced the alarm for you being armed. Do not grab for the weapon. Let the officer retrieve the weapon, if he chooses.

The third level of police-citizen encounter is an arrest supported by probable cause that a crime has been or is being committed. A person is arrested or detained. It is only at this point that your ‘right to remain silent’ and ‘right to an attorney’ protections apply. Invoke them immediately. Further, always be polite. There is no reason to get indignant, angry or out of control – those things can only make your life worse when dealing with a police officer.
Back to our earlier example wherein an intruder is justifiably shot, what is it you should say to police? The answer is quite simple: Do not talk to the police. Instead, immediately invoke your right to remain silent and ask for an attorney. There is nothing you can say that will dissuade them from arresting you if that is their intent. There is nothing you can say that cannot also be told to them through your attorney. Having your attorney speak for you allows you to tell your side without the problem of implicating yourself in a crime. Exercise your right and then keep quiet. In many jurisdictions, police are given a 48 hour cooling off period before they are questioned about any police involved shootings. If the police have a waiting period to talk about justifiable shootings, then why not you? Help those who want to help you – and we are not talking about the police! The police are there to put you in jail. Otherwise, why do they want to talk to you? There is no information that you can give them that will persuade them to let you go that cannot also be provided through your defense attorney. If you are under arrest, you are not their “friend.”

I have seen people hang themselves with a statement to police on life felonies for the price of a cop-bought basket of chicken. Thus, do not talk with the police. Sadly, I have also seen many cases where an accused citizen’s comments were misunderstood by the police (either intentionally or accidentally) and used against them. If you find yourself being questioned by the police, politely decline to answer, and tell them you would be happy to answer any questions directed to your attorney. If you are read your Miranda rights, immediately and unequivocally invoke your right to remain silent and ask for an attorney. Then, do not talk about your case! That means, do not talk about it with the friend they bring into the room with you (your conversations are being recorded). Don’t talk about it on the jail phone (also recorded). Don’t talk about it in code (doesn’t work.) Don’t talk about it with fellow inmates (they will turn snitch.) Police love to place you in situations with other people (other than your attorney) that tempt you to talk about your case. The only person you talk to about the case is your attorney.

Another point: don’t be discouraged that an attorney does not magically appear in front of you when you request one. Your attorney only has to be provided to you at arraignment, which can be many days off. Often the police will use this delay to wear out the person being held. People become impatient with the system when after they invoke their right to an attorney they are abandoned in the questioning room for several hours as the police prepare the paperwork to transport them to jail. Time after time, citizens give up their rights and talk to the police to their detriment because the arrestee thinks they can talk their way out of jail. All they end up doing is talking their way into prison!

It is also vital to understand the police use of force continuum. Many police agencies rely on a use of force continuum (also called the use of force matrix) when dealing with citizens. Generally, law enforcement can utilize an amount of force one level above what is presently being exerted against them. Here is an example of the matrix.  As you can see from the matrix, if you are only verbally opposing arrest, the police officer may use physical force against you. It is vitally important for the responsible gun owner to know about this matrix. Many people get into big, big trouble when they think they are being wrongfully arrested and argue with the police. The police then respond with an allowable use of physical force, which is then physically resisted by the suspect. In Florida, while it is true that one can resist an illegal arrest without violence, a person cannot in any circumstance resist arrest (even an illegal arrest) with violence. A citizen’s righteous indignation may have been originally justified. But by trying to resolve the dispute with the police on the side of the road, they turn an encounter with the police into a felony charge that lands them in prison. If you are being detained and “think” you know the law and decide to oppose your arrest understand this: whether an arrest is illegal or not will not be determined on the side of the road. Instead, it will be in a courtroom by a judge and prosecutor who are agents of the state. When the police are writing up their report, guess whose side it will take. The worst mistake you can make is to become indignant and physically oppose an arrest. Note that under the matrix, active physical resistance by a person can be met by police with deadly force.

Finally and sadly, you must be aware of the reality and existence of police corruption. While it is true that defense attorneys perceive higher rates of wrongful conviction in the jurisdictions than do judges, prosecutors, and police, the differing opinion of the defense attorneys could be explained by their closer relationship to the defendants. See Ramsey and Frank “Wrongful Conviction” 2007. Judges, prosecutors, and police rarely have contact with a defendant at his most candid, whereas the defense attorney often gains substantial insight into a case through the defendant’s perspective. Often, there are factual disagreements between a defendant’s version of events versus that of a police officer. While it is a defense attorney’s obligation to advocate for their client, defense attorneys also recognize that the other groups almost always side with law enforcement when matters of credibility are at issue. Most defense attorneys understand that the current legal regime provides no protection against unreasonable illegal searches by corrupt police officers and law enforcement officials. This is rarely accounted for by the other three groups, who often work closely together as part of a law enforcement regime.
While actual framing and planting of evidence by law enforcement is possible, most of the corruption does not involve such blatant frame ups. Rather, it takes the form of self-justification, i.e. since we know the defendant is guilty, lying about the circumstances of an arrest is justified since “they are guilty anyway.” Such lying, when accepted and institutionalized as a regular part of the process, effectively eviscerates the individual protections of the Constitution. The individual Rights enshrined in the Constitution only exist if the procedures afforded individual defendants are respected.

Police procedure is where the rubber meets the road in Constitutional law. Fabricated justifications by police destroy Constitutional protections. For example, “Stop and search” has become an increasingly common tactic for normal law enforcement. “NYPD "Stop and Frisks" Hit All-Time High - City police officers stopped and questioned 684,330 people on the street last year.” Feb. 14, 2012 Can it be said that all of these stops were supported by probable cause? What exactly is going on here?

Many laymen would be surprised to learn that since 1996, there is no longer any such thing as a pre-textual stop. The Supreme Court case Whren v. United States, 517 U.S. 806 (1996) effectively removed any defense attorney check on corrupt police officers. The Court ruled, “As a general matter, the decision to stop an automobile is reasonable where the police have probable cause to believe that a traffic violation has occurred.” “Subjective intentions play no role in ordinary, probable-cause Fourth Amendment analysis.” Whren; See also United States v. Holloman, 113 F.3d 192, 194 (11th Cir.1997) (stating that Whren “squarely rejected the pre-textual stop analysis” and that an officer's “ulterior motives” for a stop are not relevant so long as it is justified by probable cause). This ruling effectively disarmed the defense check on police corruption, thus placing the entire burden for rooting out impermissible behavior on law enforcement themselves and the prosecutors who often serve as a rubberstamping branch of their local law enforcement agencies.

Two common scenarios are commonly subject to this type of corruption: 1) justifying probable cause to stop a vehicle and 2) justifying probable cause to search a vehicle or person. When justifying probable cause to stop a vehicle, there are many un-falsifiable strategies an officer can use to justify a stop, placing his word against that of the defendant.  This places the prosecutor and the court in a position of having to doubt the word of a law enforcement agent over that of an accused defendant. Most courts, almost as a rule, side with law enforcement in this circumstance. It is not my intent to argue that anything like a majority of cases are in fact falsified. Rather, it is to explain that there is no external check on police falsifications available to defense attorneys. Therefore, it is currently incumbent on prosecutors, judges and other law enforcement officials to self enforce. Understanding some all too common techniques of petty police corruption (in the Appendix below) should shed some insight into the indices of falsification.

As someone who could be on the receiving end of this, you, the reader, should know that the best way to deal with police officer (whether or not they are operating in a legal manner) is not to argue with them, but to remain silent and ask for an attorney.
How petty police corruption often undermines the current constitutional search and seizure framework.

The following are ways a corrupt officer can justify stopping a vehicle based on probable cause. Because the current state of the law does not have a defense check on police power, a police officer who is willing to lie can stop any vehicle based on an after the fact, made up, unverifiable reason. Some examples of the many excuses that can be used to justify stopping a vehicle in Florida are outlined below:
I.                    “You rolled a stop sign.”
A.      (The officer testified unequivocally that defendant failed to stop at the stop sign, while defendant testified unequivocally that he made a full and complete stop. The officer's testimony was more credible in those areas where it conflicted with defendant's testimony. As a matter of fact, defendant committed a traffic infraction in violation of Florida law by failing to come to a complete stop at the stop sign. Therefore, the officer's stop of the vehicle did not violate the Fourth Amendment). United States v. Maddox, 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34838 (M.D. Fla. Dec. 6, 2005)
B.      (Officer stopped a truck for running a stop sign when exiting the complex and received permission to search the truck from the male driver.) Holland v. State, 696 So. 2d 757, 758 (Fla. 1997)
C.      (Defendant committed various moving violations-rolling through several stop signs-which prompted the officers to lawfully stop his vehicle. Thus, the officers had probable cause to stop Defendant.) United States v. Jefferson, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143674, 6-7 (S.D. Fla. Dec. 19, 2010)
D.      (Officer alleged Defendant drove his van past an agricultural inspection station he was required to stop at, justifying stop). Grimes v State, 1982 Fla. App. LEXIS 19563 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1st Dist. Mar. 29, 1982)
II.                  “Your tail light was out.” (Police officer had probable cause to stop the vehicle for driving after dark without its tail lights illuminated). United States v. St. Louis, 255 Fed. Appx. 432 (11th Cir. Fla. 2007) Note that this allows for the possibility that the individual simply had turned out his lights with the switch, making the fact completely dependant on the officer’s observations.
III.                “Your tag light was out.”
A.      (Officer can stop a car for an inoperable tag light) See Cole v. State, 838 So. 2d 1205, 1205 (Fla. 2d DCA 2003)
B.      (While maintaining that the tag light did not work, the State also argued that the validity of the stop of defendant's vehicle did not depend on whether the light worked; the State claimed the stop was valid if the deputy had a reasonable suspicion that a traffic infraction had occurred). State v. Lee, 957 So. 2d 76 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 5th Dist. 2007) Note that the language of the opinion allows for later testimony that the tag light in fact works – all that is required is that the deputy had a reasonable suspicion that it did not. This inquiry into the officer’s subjective intent is exactly the inquiry that the Supreme Court was trying to avoid in Whren.
IV.                “Your window tinting is too dark.” (Officer can stop based on a tint violation), See Lawrence v. State, 942 So. 2d 467, 468 (Fla. 4th DCA 2006); Davis v. State, 788 So. 2d 308, 309 (Fla. 5th DCA 2001).
V.                   “Your license tag is dirty and I can’t read it.”
A.      “… the word "Florida," the registration decal, and the alphanumeric designation shall be clear and distinct and free from defacement, mutilation, grease, and other obscuring matter, so that they will be plainly visible and legible at all times 100 feet from the rear or front.” Fla. Stat. § 316.605 Note that the officer’s opinion of a dirty tag cannot be falsified, since the officer can claim that the tag was subject to post-arrest cleaning.
VI.                “Your windshield is cracked.”
A.      (Stop is valid when a deputy stopped defendant's vehicle after he observed a severe crack in the vehicle's windshield). United States v. Anderson, 367 Fed. Appx. 30 (11th Cir. Fla. 2010)
B.      Any police officer may at any time, upon reasonable cause to believe that a vehicle is unsafe or not equipped as required by law, or that its equipment is not in proper adjustment or repair, require the driver of the vehicle to stop and submit the vehicle to an inspection and such test with reference thereto as may be appropriate. Fla. Stat. § 316.610(1)
VII.              “You crossed the center line.” (Officer testified that he stopped the vehicle because he observed it cross over the center line twice and because the vehicle was impeding traffic by traveling far below the normal speed limit). State v. Thomas, 714 So. 2d 1176 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2d Dist. 1998)
The following are ways a corrupt officer can justify searching a vehicle based on probable cause.  Based on the current state of the law, after the vehicle was stopped a police officer can the search any vehicle based on a made up, unverifiable reason. The following are examples of the many excuses can be used to justify searching a stopped vehicle or person in Florida are outlined below.
I.                    “He acted nervous.” (Defendant became extremely "nervous" and "jittery" during his pre-search interaction with Officer) State v. Betz, 815 So. 2d 627, 633 (Fla. 2002)
II.                  “He made furtive movements.” What exactly is a “furtive” movement? This term, while hardly ever used in normal conversation, is commonly used by deputies when testifying to justify searches and actions, as a search of the term “furtive movement” in Westlaw easily demonstrates. [See, for example, Lightbourne v. State, 438 So. 2d 380 (Fla. 1983) (Pat down of individual justified when officer observes furtive movements combined with nervous appearance), and over 112 such references.] A search indicates 135 hits in Florida, and 2740 hits nationwide. The relative suspiciousness of a movement, or even its existence, is a matter of opinion of the officer who is subject to prosecutorial and judicial deference even in the face of defense disagreement.
III.                Detainee is “Unusually calm” (Defendant was unusually calm, actually lounging on the side of the interstate). State v. Petion, 992 So. 2d 889, 892-893 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2d Dist. 2008)
IV.                “He gave consent to search.” (Consent to search after tag light stop includes tearing the vehicle apart for an hour with tools). State v. Petion, 992 So. 2d 889, 893 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2d Dist. 2008) (Consent can be a mere shrug). State v. Jennings, 968 So. 2d 694 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 4th Dist. 2007). (The inspector asked to look in the van, and inspector alleged that appellant consented). Grimes v State, 1982 Fla. App. LEXIS 19563 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1st Dist. Mar. 29, 1982) Consent is often a matter of opinion of the officer, who is subject to prosecutorial and judicial deference even in the face of defense disagreement.
V.                  “I smelled what appeared to be marijuana.” (The odor of burnt cannabis emanating from a vehicle constitutes probable cause to search all occupants of that vehicle) State v. Williams, 967 So. 2d 941 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1st Dist. 2007); Wynn v. State, 14 So. 3d 1094, 1096 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2d Dist. 2009); Nazien v. State, 36 So. 3d 184, 185 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 3d Dist. 2010); State v. T.P., 835 So. 2d 1277, 1278 (Fla. 4th DCA 2003); State v. Williams, 739 So. 2d 717 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 5th Dist. 1999); State v. Betz, 815 So. 2d 627, 633 (Fla. 2002); (Odor of burnt or burning cannabis detected as the deputy approached defendant provided him with probable cause to search the vehicle). State v. Lee, 957 So. 2d 76 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 5th Dist. 2007); (The odor of marijuana gave probable cause to search the bales), Grimes v State, 1982 Fla. App. LEXIS 19563 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1st Dist. Mar. 29, 1982) While the smell of marijuana alone gives an officer a basis to search, it does not appear dependant on actually finding marijuana. Therefore, invisible and transitory smells can be not be independently verified outside of the officer’s word.

On March 20th, Colorado's Democrat Governor John Hickenlooper did a very foolish thing. He signed into law a ban on any magazine over 15 round capacity with a ban on shotguns with tubular magazines that can hold more than 28 lineal inches of shotshells, and another law that will ban private party sales of guns. (All transfers except a few within families will have to be handled through Federally licensed dealers. )

Because the magazine ban won't take effect until July 1, 2013, I can predict an unintended consequence: Close to one million magazines of 16+ round capacity will be purchased by Coloradans in the next three months. It is in their own best interest to immediately stock up their lifetime supply. So, instead of reducing the number of full capacity magazines in private hands, Colorado's legislature has triggered a spending spree that will likely double or triple the number of 16+ round magazines in the state. Perhaps one million more magazines will be marched (well, mailed, actually) into Colorado.

The next few big gun shows in Colorado will surely be memorable events. Something tells me that the dealers will be headed home in substantially lighter vehicles. (Any readers who are gun show vendors, take note. Reserve your tables, soon, and bring a large inventory of magazines.)

As I've mentioned before, the new law's grandfather clause is not multigenerational. It will be limited to only then-current owners on June 30th. Therefore I have urged Coloradans to be sure to properly document the gift of your magazines to your children and grandchildren, and have those records notarized.

If you have friends who live in Colorado, help them out, before the end of June. Many magazines are scarce, at present. Even Glock magazines are hard to find. Do you bit to support the Boulder Airlift. And if any Coloradans wisely vote with your feet and move to a Free State before July, then I recommend that you sell most of your 16+ round rifle magazines and 9+ round shotguns magazines to local friends before you depart, and then immediately buy replacements once you've moved.

Another unintended consequence of the new laws will be be political. The democrats have enraged Colorado's gun owners. In the 2014 election we will probably see a huge backlash. As recently as December, Governor John Hickenlooper was deemed "safe for re-election" in 2014. I have news for him: Gun owners have a long memory.

The national political landscape may change in 2014, as well. Let's not forget that 20 Democratic US senators face re-election in 2014. If they push civilian disarmament too far, many of those senators may get the boot. - J.W.R.

Mr. Rawles,
I read your essay "The Right to Open Carry Guns: Use It or Lose It," with interest.  I watched the videos you linked to with horror.  I was awestruck.

It is a shock to my system to see law enforcement officers so poorly trained and so willing to violate rights of citizens.  Perhaps I should know better by now.  To think that just one telephone call from a "concerned citizen" is enough to cause the police to violate a law abiding persons civil rights is terrifying.

I live in an extremely 2nd amendment friendly state, Arizona.  It is very common to see open carry just about everywhere, with the only real exceptions being schools, court houses and bars.  If you venture out, even in the large cities, you will see a variety of people from all walks of life going about their daily business with an openly carried handgun.  No one freaks out and no one calls the cops. It's been this way as far back as I can remember.

But, one of the freedoms that makes Arizona special may actually cause a hindrance to liberty if we are not careful.  Constitutional concealed carry passed a couple of years ago here in Arizona.  And while it is still extremely common to see open carry, many people have moved to concealed carry since the law passed.  I am a little afraid that this trend could cause the local population to become less familiar and comfortable with open carry. Plus, we have many people that move to Arizona from less gun free states.  I hate to think that in the near future, our law enforcement may be pressured to react because someone saw a "person with a gun" in public.  What a sad day that will be.

In an effort to stop the trend, I would like to encourage my fellow Arizonans to not take our exceptional freedom for granted.  Even if you regularly carry concealed, as so may of us do, set aside one or two days a week to open carry.  If we can keep it commonplace, we may save everyone problems down the line.  

Thank you for the work you do. - Ralph in Arizona

Monday, March 25, 2013

The American concealed carry movement can now be chalked up as a bona fide victory. CCW permits are now available in 48+ states. (To be safe I'd say around 46 or 47 states, depending on several factors. For example, permit issuance policies are not always uniformly non-discretionary in every county within a state.)

The logical successors to the concealed carry movement are the Constitutional Carry Movement (aka permitless concealed carry) and the Open Carry Movement. In my opinion, both of these are worthy endeavors.

I've said the following before, but it bears repeating:

Whenever someone must buy a license or pay a fee to exercise a right, then it is something less than a right. It is in fact a mere privilege, subject to the whim of petty bureaucrats. Fundamental rights are not abstract tokens that are given or sold by other men. They are in fact primary liberties bestowed upon us by God, our maker. Rights are not substantially secured by asking, "Mother may I?" of any government agency. Rights are more properly demanded or boldly seized and then conspicuously exercised regularly. This secures the liberties that have legitimately belonged to us since birth. If need be, lost rights can and must be restored through proscriptive use. If you live in a land where your rights have been marginalized into privileges, then it is either time to change your government, or to change your address. Much like a muscle that atrophies with disuse, any right that goes unexercised for many years devolves into a privilege, and eventually can even be redefined as a crime.

(Note: I occasionally quote myself, but at least I don't refer to myself in the Third Person.)

I applaud the folks who open carry in states where it is legal, but where it is still frowned upon. This is principled patriotism, in action. Some might consider this merely grandstanding, but it is not! Rather, it is an important educational process, both for the public at large and for our public servants. (Many police are woefully ignorant about their own state laws.) At times these open carry encounters with police involve risk. Sometimes they take persistence. And they generally require standing firm when the police apply a double standard. (Repeatedly, courts have found that open carry, in an open carry state, does not give police a reasonable articulable suspicion that any crime is occurring--hence an open carrying pedestrian or motorist should be treated no differently that someone who is unarmed.) At times, proving such points requires litigation. (Thankfully, most of those court cases--like a 1920s case in North Carolina or a 2009 case in Wisconsin--rule in favor of the plaintiffs.)

Just rarely, negative encounters with police even take place inside The American Redoubt.

Overall, the effect of open carry demonstrations have been positive and restorative. But in some statist bastions, they have resulted in the state enacting even worse laws.

I'm confident that eventually our public servants will learn.

Before exercising your right to open carry be sure to research your State's open carry, concealed carry, and Stop and Identify ("Terry Stop") laws, in detail.

In closing: To America's open carriers: You are to be commended, as Watchmen on the Wall! - J.W.R.

Mayor Mike Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns political pressure group is hard at work. Working with several paid lobbyist, advertising, and public relations firmss, they are about to launch a $12 million television ad campaign, pressing for "comprehensive background checks". Banning private party sales of used guns (forcing all gun sales to go through licensed dealers) will lay the groundwork for a nationwide system of gun registration. But Bloomberg's Buddies have some public relations problems...

The latest news is that another member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns has been arrested. This time it was Mayor Craig Lowe of Gainesville, Florida, arrested for drunk driving. The arresting officer found the mayor sleeping it off, in his wrecked car. Lowe was one of 30 mayors recently featured in a Bloomberg-funded anti-gun commercial.

And the same week Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania, Mayor James Schiliro, got himself in very deep trouble, by falsely imprisoning and providing alcohol to an underage man, and drunkenly firing a gun inside his home, reportedly to intimidate the young man into having oral homosexual relations. (In this incident, it was also reported the Mayor had first ordered a borough police officer to pick up the 20-year-old and bring him to his home.) As with many other criminal mayors, Bloomberg's anti-gun organization quickly dropped Schiliro from their roster, to distance themselves. (Coincidentally, it was a desire for boys and young men that also landed Coaldale Pennsylvania Mayor Richard P. Corkery in jail on 28 charges of possession of child pornography. He too was a Mayors Against Illegal Guns member. )

Meanwhile, sentencing is expected this week for John Bencivengo, the former mayor of Hamilton Township--a suburb of Trenton, New Jersey. He was convicted last November on extortion, money laundering and bribery-related counts. He too was a Mayors Against Illegal Guns member.

These events were heralded just a few weeks after former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was indicted, and just days after former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was found guilty of 24 additional corruption charges. They too were Mayors Against Illegal Guns members.

Illegal guns aren't a problem, but illegal mayors in Bloomberg's "crime fighting" group certainly are! (There were at least 20 of them (if you include Felix Roque), at last count.) Mikey Bloomberg seems to attract these low-lifes. Contact your legislators to insist that they Close the Mayor's Office Loophole! Tell them that you support comprehensive background checks on Mayoral candidates. That's just a commonsense step. And something needs to be done about High Capacity Mayors--you know, the mayors with a high capacity for corruption and influence peddling, a high capacity for campaign contribution fraud, a high capacity for pedophilia, a high capacity for alcohol abuse, a high capacity for assault, a high capacity for theft, a high capacity for money laundering, a high capacity for conspiracy, a high capacity for extortion, and a high capacity for racketeering.

These criminals have gained access to mayor's chairs one too many times. It is far too easy for criminals to become mayors. Demand a Plan and Demand Action, America! - J.W.R.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Unfortunately, it has become common for preppers to express outrage at the exorbitant post-Newtown pricing of ammo and certain magazines and firearms. Frequently, the complaints are accompanied by vows and pleas for others not to patronize certain offending retailers after things return to "normal." Apart from the implicit assumption that things will return to "normal," I think that this sentiment is way off base. Although I like paying "reasonable" prices as much (and probably more) than the next guy, I find the notion that retailers should not raise prices to meet increased demand both fundamentally flawed, and ultimately dangerous for preppers. 
First, we have to be true to our principles. Either we believe in free markets where supply and demand sets prices, or we do not.  And if we do not, Heaven help us. If we admit that free market principles really are not truly important, we open the door to all kinds of unsavory alternatives, including both "voluntary" and mandatory government-sanctioned price and wage controls. (I, and perhaps you, are old enough to remember our country's last attempt at wage and price controls, to "Whip Inflation Now (WIN)." Younger readers can either take my word for it or do the research: the government's efforts to control the markets did not work.) 
Second, why do consumers think high prices are unfair, but have no compunction about buying at "below market" prices? No one who snags a good deal at a gun show thinks that it is unfair to the seller. Rather, we all instinctively understand that the seller wouldn't sell at that price if he did not want to. If he wants to sell "below market," we assume that he has a reason (maybe he doesn't want to carry it home, he needs the money right away, his wife is impatient and wants to leave, or his feet are tired). But it is his decision. So why should our attitude change when the seller is demanding a price that we think is too high?  I think that most of the reason is bias in favor of self interest; most preppers currently see themselves as primarily buyers, not sellers. That motivates a lot of complaining about "price gouging." But those that are preparing for TEOTWAWKI presumably will be net sellers when the big day comes. In other words, it will likely be those who have prepared (and set aside items for barter) who will be trading a couple jugs of clean water for a box of ammo, a box of ammo for a FN-FAL, or a FN-FAL for a cabin, a cow and ten acres.  We should be very reluctant to stake out the idea that the fair value of an item is what it sold at for years, months or even days earlier. The fair value of an item is the price that a willing buyer agrees to pay now and a willing seller agrees to accept now--not a penny more or a penny less.  
Third, although the retailers that raised their prices post-Newtown are motivated by self-interest, they are performing a critically important public service, by keeping scarce items available. For example, although I thought that I was pretty prepared pre-Newtown, I took to heart your admonition to make sure that my family's future generational needs were satisfied, especially with respect to certain magazines. So within days of Newtown, I purchased some used, high quality steel AK-47 mags, at the still pre-Newtown price of $15. I was equally successful in buying some other mags at pre-Newtown prices. But I dallied, and did not fare nearly as well with respect to Glock mags. So I hedged my bets. I placed one order with an authorized distributor at "reasonable" prices. (That retailer recently informed me that I am still at least four months away from receiving my mags.) And I simultaneously went on Gunbroker and bought some others at the then-market price (which was about three times their MSRP). The mags arrived the next week. Did I make a good decision? It is too soon to tell. If transfers of the backordered mags are outlawed before I receive them from the authorized distributor, then I was a genius to buy on On the other hand, if I receive the mags from the distributor before I actually want to use them, then I wasted my money on the mags. But the important thing is that I had a choice. Because sellers in the marketplace were willing to "gouge" people like me, I had the freedom to get my mags when I wanted them.  
Similarly, within days of your recommending the Mako Group E-Lander AR-15 magazines in early January, I placed an order at "reasonable" prices. I am still waiting for mine (and have heard nothing from the supplier, despite my e-mails). Nevertheless, based on your experience and others', I expect to receive them any day now, in which case I will be happy with my decision. But irrespective of whether it was a good or bad decision, the important thing is that it was my choice. I could have bought similar magazines from another vendor at maybe double the price (or more), and received them months ago. Although I chose to wait, the freedom to do what I think is best is of great value to me. In the future, I want to continue to have options.
I came across a recent example of what can happen when consumers intimidate vendors into not raising prices during a shortage. I sometimes patronize an Internet retailer, Classic, which is physically located in Monroe, North Carolina. I do not know anyone there, but have been very satisfied with their merchandise quality and customer service, and especially their candor. (And, as their web site makes clear, they are owned by Believers.) I also think that they tried hard to keep prices down the last couple months. (For example, shortly after Newtown, I bought 40 round Bulgarian AK mags at $19.99 each. When I decided to buy more the next day, the price had gone up to a still "reasonable" $22.99. Subsequently, they went to $24.99 and then were quickly out-of-stock, which is their current status.)  In any event, Classic Firearms recently advertised on their web site that they would soon have corrosive milsurp 7.62x25 ammo available after a period of unavailability, at a price of $499.99 per case of 1260. Although this price is less than many other calibers, it is about three times the price that this stuff was selling for a few months ago, when supplies were plentiful. (Although I did not spend a lot of time looking, I cannot find anyone that has milsurp 7.62x25 ammo available now.) But according to the Classic Firearms  web site, their announcement generated a lot of negative feedback from their customers about the new price, though they were merely planning to pass along their own high wholesale cost with a "very small profit margin." So they decided not to offer the ammo at all, out of concern that it "would reflect badly on us as the seller."  Although I am not in the market for 7.62x25 ammo (and certainly not at $499.99 per case), this is a crazy result. Having the option of buying 7.62x25 ammo at $499.99 a case is infinitely preferable to not being able to buy it at all. 
In fact, history teaches that attempts to persuade/coerce sellers into keeping prices below that which they can sell to others never works. That is why black markets exist. As anyone who has ever been a visitor in a country with currency controls knows, you can always find a burly guy on a street corner who is willing to give you more of the local currency in exchange for your dollars than will the government-owned bank. And here is an example closer to home: in December, the operator of a classified ad web site specializing in certain firearms was dismayed that sellers had jacked up prices. He therefore decreed that ads for exorbitantly-priced firearms would no longer be accepted. Presumably, he thought that the sellers would lower their prices for the privilege of listing on his web site. Guess what--they didn't. As could have been predicted, they simply stop listing on his web site. The sellers didn't care that the bump in prices might be temporary, or that market prices were higher than what the operator deemed reasonable; they weren't going to voluntarily sell below the market that then existed. And anyone who has read through this lengthy posting can probably guess how this story ends: the operator's policy lasted only a few days. Rather than become irrelevant, he relented and let sellers post their ads at the prices that they thought appropriate.  
In short, the law of supply and demand is as immutable as the laws of physics. Attempts to ignore either one do not end prettily.
Keep up the good work. - A Consumer Who Likes Choices

JWR Replies: I concur. As a believer in free markets I am of the opinion that "price gouging" is a myth. This is a fiction perpetuated by Keynesians, societal malcontents, and people who don't take the time to fully observe free market forces. The fact is that there are buyers and sellers in every market, and that supply and demand do indeed drive pricing. The few price disappointments that we encounter in our daily lives are more than offset by the successful gains made when we are simply observant. In a free and fair market, intelligent people who are forward thinking generally win. But, in contrast, those who are unobservant and stupid generally lose.

I liken all this to the inherent difference between those who are math and market astute and those who are math and market illiterate. The former do things like:

  • Clip coupons
  • Studiously comparison price
  • Pay cash
  • Buy tangibles
  • Buy into long term up-trends
  • Take advantage of seasonal sales
  • Buy in bulk
  • Fill their underground storage tanks with fuel during price dips
  • Buy quality-made products that hold timeless value
  • Make ratio trades
  • Invest using dollar cost averaging
  • Closely watch market trends
  • Cash out during market spikes.

But he latter (the market illiterate) do things like:

  • Pay on credit
  • Buy shabby products
  • Buy products that decline in value. ("Contrapreneurs.")
  • Make impulse buys
  • Buy consumer products that are popular and faddish
  • "Invest" in timeshare condominiums
  • Major in the Social Sciences
  • Buy conceptuals
  • Buy lottery tickets

Since 2005, I have consistently urged SurvivalBlog readers to invest in tangibles like common caliber ammunition, full capacity magazines and guns. Those who took that advice up to December 13, 2012 (the day before the Newtown Massacre) are presently sitting very pretty. Many of these tangibles have doubled or tripled in price. Not wishing to gloat or to sound trite, but I told you so. Oh, and FWIW, I still stand by my often-maligned advice on stockpiling nickels. (In a couple of years, I can foresee again being able to say "I told you so.")

Saturday, March 16, 2013

How many times has the President said that we need to raise taxes on those making more than $1 million per annum?
Some believe that the government will also confiscate gold and silver.
As many know, our government already confiscated gold in America, circa 1933.
Even so, collectable coins were exempt, which is reason enough to own gold/silver coins that have value beyond the base metal – a discussion topic for another day.
Many of us at retirement age receive some form of retirement income from the federal government.
Some receive disability pay as well, but the feds would take a massive hit for even thinking about taxing or reducing disability pay.
But in that same vein, our government has NEVER met a tax they dislike.
If any of the foregoing is true, or even close, congratulate yourself – you just might be a millionaire!  
If you can work backwards for a moment (something left handed people have always done) consider this:
     A federal retirement paying you $33,000/year would require a private sector principle of $1,100,000, and paying 3% annually to maintain the principle.
     Finding a safe 3% annual yield in this economy is just about impossible, excluding 30 year bonds and junk paper.
     If my left handed calculator is correct, that is more than a million dollars – congrats, you are a millionaire.
     Even though you may not feel like a millionaire, but you sure look like one on paper.
     Remember – this is the same government that tells you that social security is sound.
     Bernie Madoff would be pleased.
For those of us that are or will be “quintuple dippers” (military, civilian retirement, disability, TSP/401 K plans, and Social Security) we look like fat on paper.  
Nationalizing not just federal retirements, but all retirements would be far easier than confiscating gold or silver.
Of course, the program would be couched as a measure to ensure that everyone receives a fair share – But you’re a millionaire, quit complaining.
Food for thought.
- Dan X. (A retired U.S. Navy Commander.)

Friday, March 15, 2013

I saw that the Colorado law banning magazines of greater than 15 round capacity passed – outrageous but not unbelievable for this state. Colorado  used to be a great and conservative one, but no longer.

[Regarding the law's limited grandfather clause,] I have written out documents for all of my magazines, which I have had notarized, transferring ownership of the magazines I own to my children. This way, when I die, it can easily be ascertained that the magazines were actually their property before the law went into effect. I am not a lawyer, but this sort of thing is done with many other objects so it should be acceptable with these as well. Only time will tell, but this was the best I could do or come up with on short notice.
All the Best, - Tim P.

JWR Replies: I urge Colorado SurvivalBlog readers to relocate to one of the American Redoubt States, if possible. The laws in Colorado will likely get a lot worse. Vote with you feet!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

SurvivalBlog reader Diana V. wrote to mention some good news: Colorado ban on campus concealed weapons defeated.

But the same day, reader Bill C. sent some bad news: The Colorado legislature passed H.B. 1224--a ban on any magazine over 15 round capacity. It is now headed to the Governor's desk. It appears that he will sign it. The only glimmer of hope is that the law has a grandfather clause.

Updates: Reader K.A.W. wrote to mention: "The grandfather clause in HB13-1224 only applies to current owners.  There are NO transfers to anyone else, including descendants, upon death.  The only way to make sure magazines get passed down is with a trust or corporation owning the magazines, and the descendants being part of the trust or officers in the corporation".

To take advantage of a brief window of opportunity before the law goes into effect, I made an offer to Colorado Citizens who are SurvivalBlog readers, to sell about 200 assorted full capacity magazines at my cost. Those magazines all sold out in less than three hours. Thanks folks. I'll be praying that you are soon able to vote with your feet - J.W.R.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I've observed that we are now living in The Age of Sequestration, in many senses of the word.

First, and most noticeably, is all mass media talk about the Federal Budget Sequestration. Despite all of the hoopla and handwringing, it is actually just a token decrease to an already enormously bloated budget.

Second, is the forced sequestration of some Bad People. You've probably heard the latest news: following a lengthy jury sequestration former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilppatrick was found guilty. But his upcoming sequestration is hardly a news flash. Everyone knew he was a crook and this is of course his second conviction.

OBTW, does Mayors Against Illegal Guns have a special Life Sentence Membership option? And coincidentally it looks like former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin (another one in Mikey Bloomberg's Elite "Crime-Fighting" anti-gun club) may also be sequestered. If convicted, Nagin would join a long list of very ex-Mayors. One thing more gratifying than seing a bit of the Federal budget sequestered is seeing more of Bloomberg's Band of Fools sequestered for long stretches in Club Fed, where they can't do the public any more harm.

Third, Germany is sequestering its gold reserves. Once thought safe under the streets of New York City, the German government has announced that it is repatriating its gold. Since there are probably more banker IOUs than there is physical gold in the depository, this will surely be seen as a wise move, in retrospect. (Nobody wants to be the proverbial Third Guy In Line.)

Fourth, in reaction to economic turmoil and Quantitative easing (monetization) the citizens of many countries are wisely sequestering part of their life savings by buying more silver and gold.

Fifth, a bunch of collectivists are trying to sequester your gun collection. They tell us that melting our guns down to make manhole covers is for our protection. Yeah, right.

Sixth, American gun owners, in reaction to the gun grabbers, are sequestering part of their life savings by buying more guns, more ammunition and more full capacity magazines. That is a wise move.

Seventh, and most important to SurvivalBlog readers is the quiet exodus of American gun owners and other freedom lovers. They are moving from Blue States to Red States. Many people are fed up and have wisely chosen to vote with their feet. They are moving to places like The American Redoubt. May God bless them, provide for them, and protect them. We have our own ideas about where we want to sequester our gun collections, and sequester our kids, too. - J.W.R.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Back on January 13, 2013 I mentioned the availability of steel AR-15/M16-compatible Tavor magazines, made in Israel, being sold by a company in the U.S. called The Mako Group. These were priced at $18.70 each. I personally ordered more than 100 of them on January 11th. My order just arrived on March 7th.

I was very pleased with the fit and finish of the magazines. Mine came with white followers. Their finish was glossy black and quite slick feeling. They have gave reinforced magazine retainer tabs. The E-Lander company maintains stringent military specifications and they have ISO certified and NQA certified (TS16949) processes.

I test fit several 30 round E-Lander magazines (both loaded and unloaded) in the magazine wells of six ARs here at the Rawles Ranch. I should mention that their lower receivers on these ARs came from four different makers. The magazines went into all six lowers with no difficulty whatsoever, and they dropped free with a touch of the magazine release. I also test fired one full magazine, and it fed wonderfully. Since they are steel, these magazines should give a lifetime of reliable service.

So the good news is that they ARE shipping, but they are obviously deluged with orders and that is causing long delays. Be patient, folks! We can safely assume that Mako Group is shipping orders sequentially from the date that orders are placed. So anyone who ordered their magazines from Mako during the week of January 13th should be seeing the Big Brown Truck of Joy fairly soon. And for anyone who orders any henceforth, you can expect at least a two month delay.

One odd thing that I noticed was that the magazines that I received were all marked "M.D. 02.13" So with a February manufacture date, these would have had to have been shipped to New York via air freight. This leaves me convinced that The Mako Group is doing their best to fill orders in a timely manner. But they obviously have a LOT of orders, and have developed a two month+ backlog.

Delayed orders are just part of life in the era of BHO, Dianne Feinstein, and Piers Morgan. Get used it. There will be continuing shortages, delays, and deep back-orders. I expect this situation to continue for at least a year. It will take that long for the manufacturers and importers to catch up. BTW, America's gun hating television talking heads all deserve awards for boosting gun, ammunition, and magazine sales to all-time highs. Because of those oh-so-vocal gun grabbers there will be an extra two million AR-15s produced in the U.S. this year, and untold millions of full capacity magazines made or imported. That just warms my heart.

To their credit, The Mako Group did not raise their prices after the Sandy Hook massacre. They could have easily cashed in on the crisis and doubled their prices, but they left them right at $18.70 each. That tells me a lot of about the company's management. Bottom line: The E-Lander magazines are worth the long wait. - J.W.R.

Monday, March 4, 2013

I recently heard from one of my readers who holds a Top Secret clearance and who has SCI access. His clearance was up for a Single-Scope Background Investigation (SSBI) periodic reinvestigation (PR). These SSBI-PRs are standard practice for anyone who holds a Top Secret clearance with access to Special Access Programs (SAPs), Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI), or nuclear ("Q Access") programs. He told me that he was the subject of an "Expanded Reinvestigation" and in the course of that investigation he was challenged by investigators about his loyalty. The challenges, he discovered,were based upon his e-mail history and the assortment of books that he had purchased for his Kindle reader. Among other prepper-oriented books, he had Kindle copies of all three of my novels, and the investigator's report specifically mentioned them as suspect.

I find it almost comically absurd that for someone to possess copies of novels that have been on the New York Times bestseller list is somehow "Un-American" or "disloyal." But there you have it. We have now reached the era of ultimate inversion. The kissing cousins of the Stasi have been put in charge of guarding the hen house. They have unilaterally declared that family preparedness is now be disloyal and unpatriotic. So being prepared like a Boy Scout and stocking up on canned goods like your grandmother is something suspect, or somehow sinister. Lord help us.

At the risk of having my blog's web statistics take a hit, I feel obliged to warn my readers: If you are in a "position of special trust and confidence" (you know who you are: You hold a TS clearance with a bunch of funny little letters following the "TS") then I recommend that you take the following precautions:

  • Completely avoid using any government-owned computer or network for web surfing. Use only privately owned computers and non-DOD/non-government networks.
  • Use The Onion Router (Tor) for all of your web browsing. If you are not familiar with Tor, then get up to speed quickly.
  • Use anonymous re-mailers for any e-mails that say anything more than: "I miss you and I can't wait to get home from this deployment."
  • Use an inexpensive VPN service.
  • Be very careful about how you phrase your e-mails, even if they go through a re-mailer and use strong encryption. Warn all of your friends and relatives to do likewise in their e-mails to you. (Since the contents of incoming e-mails can be nearly as damning as outgoing e-mails, in the eyes of investigators.)
  • Rather than copying and pasting the text of anything controversial from any web site, instead send just Permalink URLs, couched with statements like: "I haven't had the chance to read this yet, but Bob said it was worth reading" (or some such.) This will provide plausible deniability.
  • If you buy any books that might be deemed controversial then buy only hard copies, pay cash, and don't leave a paper trail. I would suggest gun shows, preparedness expos, and "brick and mortar" bookstores are the best places to buy such books. If you are deployed overseas, then have your relatives buy books for you and ask them to send them to you in Flat Rate boxes.
  • Don't consider ANYTHING you do over the Internet to be "secure", even if you use strong encryption.
  • Get in the habit of sending traditional typed or hand-written letters. If you are worried about the receiver of the letter being under surveillance (a warrantless Postal Mail Cover), then put their address in both the TO and FROM blocks on the envelope.

The foregoing precautions are now only recommended only for folks with a Top Secret clearance that requires a SSBI. But everyone else reading this should pay attention. Who knows? You may need to take similar steps, if the statists tighten their grasp on our collective throats. - J.W.R.

Taking note of the recent passage of The Firearms Safety Act in the Maryland Senate, New York's SAFE Act, and other legislation that appears very likely to be enacted, Todd Savage of has announced a 20% discount for "gun law refugee" clients. He is now extending the 20% discount to residents of California, Colorado, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York who identify themselves as gun law refugees.

I predict that the American Redoubt will soon have a large influx of residents hailing from states with draconian new gun laws. I was glad to hear that Todd Savage is helping freedom-loving people find a better place to live. - J.W.R.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Mr. Rawles,
I have, most of the time been proud to be a Canadian. We have our problems, much like other countries, but I'd always believed that our country was one of the best, most free in the world. It both infuriates me and causes me great sadness to write the latter in the past tense. Today I read an article from a news source I have followed for many years and trust implicitly, Lifesitenews.

Essentially, the Supreme Court of Canada has killed freedom of speech and freedom of religion in one fell blow. If we can no longer as Christians be permitted to have beliefs with regards to what actions are right and wrong, and to communicate those beliefs, I have little hope for our society. If calling certain actions sinful is 'hate speech', I fear it won't be long before we see priests, pastors, teachers and parents arrested for speaking their beliefs, even to their own children. And what will happen to these children? I feel betrayed by my country, and furious that almost no one else realizes that we are being betrayed.

My parents home schooled me and my siblings for most of our school years. My brother and his wife home schooled their 9, my wife and I home school our 4, my sister and her husband plan to do likewise. There are other homeschooling families and members of our church who are beginning to wake up, but we are among the few who have not been inculcated. We are a very small minority. I wish I could say otherwise, I wish I could be more hopeful, but there will be no 'Canadian Redoubt', nor any reason for one. Even among the few who can see what is happening, there are fewer yet who are of the belief that anything can be done by citizens. And with that belief, they may be right. We would be as lambs to the proverbial slaughter, being the nail that sticks up, only to be hammered down.

I live in rural Alberta. I love it here. Today I started looking at Montana's home schooling laws and gun laws. I like them, so I started looking at property. I'm a rig welder in the oilfield, and I hear North Dakota is pretty busy now.

Your prayer will be appreciated. I will pray for you and yours. God bless you and keep you - G.L.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The mass media is still all atwitter with talk of "closing the gun show loophole" and "universal background checks." These phrases are tossed about without concern to their true intent: a de facto system of gun registration in these United States. I am dead set against any form of registration, since the history of the 20th Century showed countless times that registration leads to eventual confiscation.

There is one other inherent problem with gun registration schemes that is often ignored: that is that it only applies to law-abiding citizens. By virtue of established case law and cemented with an 8-1 Supreme Court decision, criminals are exempt from gun registration because it would violate their Fifth Amendment protection from self-incrimination. Second Amendment expert Clayton Cramer explains it all in a fine essay titled: The Fifth Amendment, Self-Incrimination, and Gun Registration. Here is an excerpt:

In Haynes v. U.S. (1968), a Miles Edward Haynes appealed his conviction for unlawful possession of an unregistered short-barreled shotgun. His argument was ingenious: since he was a convicted felon at the time he was arrested on the shotgun charge, he could not legally possess a firearm. Haynes further argued that for a convicted felon to register a gun, especially a short-barreled shotgun, was effectively an announcement to the government that he was breaking the law. If he did register it, as 26 U.S.C. sec.5841 required, he was incriminating himself; but if he did not register it, the government would punish him for possessing an unregistered firearm -- a violation of 26 U.S.C. sec.5851. Consequently, his Fifth Amendment protection against self- incrimination ("No person... shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself") was being violated -- he would be punished if he registered it, and punished if he did not register it. While the Court acknowledged that there were circumstances where a person might register such a weapon without having violated the prohibition on illegal possession or transfer, both the prosecution and the Court acknowledged such circumstances were "uncommon." The Court concluded:

"We hold that a proper claim of the constitutional privilege against self-incrimination provides a full defense to prosecutions either for failure to register a firearm under sec.5841 or for possession of an unregistered firearm under sec.5851."

If you ever get into an argument with a neighbor or co-worker about any gun registration stupidity, then I recommend that you either send them the link to Cramer's essay, or hand them a printout of it. End of argument! - J.W.R.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Captain Rawles,
The inflation calculator that you linked to is way off. If you punch in five cents it returns $1.16. [JWR Adds: This is because their calculator uses "official" CPI data, which is badly skewed.]
In 1913 it cost five cents for a loaf of bread. I would love to find a store that sells a loaf of bread for $1.16 today.
Being a master of Excel, I played around with this a few months ago. It turns out that a loaf of bread costs about $4.00. An increase from five cents to four dollars is an increase of 7,900%. The 2,226.1% increase claimed on the inflation calculator is too low by nearly a factor of 4.
An ounce of gold in 1913 cost $20.68. When I did these calculations gold cost $1677 per ounce. That is an increase of 8,009%. So I think it much more accurate to say that inflation since 1913 is roughly 8,000%.
Another point that might be interesting to those who are not aware: the value of gold does not change. The number of fake reserve notes it takes to buy gold keeps going up but the value doesn’t change. The evidence: Take the cost of a loaf of bread in 1913, five cents, and divide it by the cost of one ounce of gold in 1913, $20.68, and you get 0.24%. Then take the cost of a loaf of bread today, $4.00 and divide it buy the cost of one ounce of gold today, $1677 and you get 0.24%. It costs exactly the same amount of gold today to buy a loaf of bread as it did in 1913!

So if you leave the fake money out of the equation and only calculate with bread and gold, you find that there has been no inflation at all. I think this proves that inflation is a construct of the criminals in the Federal Reserve along with their fake money. - Maddog

Monday, February 25, 2013

I am blessed. It was very apparent during the trip that I had many people, and people fervently praying for me and that they were praying to a holy and sovereign God who answered. So thank you. And my wife thanks you too!  To elaborate, it was frankly terrifying leaving my family in Idaho and going to a country half way round the world that had so many unknowns and is reported to be overly violent… not knowing if I would come back or not. But we serve an awesome God. In Him I put my trust and got on the plane.

The trip was about three weeks long. I left Boise, Idaho, on January 29th and arrived safely home on February 19th. I went from 20 degree days to 100 degree days in a matter of hours. But I must back up and tell you that the South Sudanese Embassy in D.C. was going to deny my visa application after I bought my plane ticket. It was nearly a miracle that brought me my visa just two days before I got on the plane! This was due to God bringing a wonderful lady from South Sudan (who was in a South Sudanese state government level position – we will call her my “host” in this letter) to assist me in getting my visa and later to introduce me to key figures in South Sudan and help me learn about the country, people, and religious and political situation. Praise God for bringing her to help C.R.O.S.S.!

The trip was a mixture of crazy-busy and almost boring depending on the day. I spent a couple days in Juba, the capitol of South Sudan, walking for hours on end, exploring and experiencing the capitol, registering with the U.S. embassy, and reading. I did a lot of reading. I was blessed to meet a pilot with the Red Cross and a local businessman (from America) who helped take me around town, explain much about Juba and help pass the time.

Upon the arrival of my host in Juba, we then flew north to the town of Aweil in Northern Bahr el Gazahl State (NBG) that is relatively close to the border with Sudan. There I was whisked away by AK-47 toting bodyguards in Land Cruisers to my hotel. Well, that’s what they call it in South Sudan at least. They did have power!… but only at night, the shower was little more than a trickle when it worked (half the days I recall), and I did have a fine luxury, a flush toilet which needed the reservoir to be filled by hand. All this for a low cost of just about $100 USD per night. Of course breakfast was thrown in for free even at that “low” rate… the menu was the same meal for two weeks. LOL!

During my two weeks in Aweil I walked. A lot. That was on the days my host was too busy to introduce me around or take me with her. It was actually for the best. I met shopkeepers and visited the crowded and busy market, took many pictures (did I tell you that a National Security Agent almost confiscated my camera?) of everyday life and was even randomly accosted by a military officer with the UN. Okay, not really accosted but while I was walking through the market a UN vehicle stopped next to me and the driver in military fatigues told me to get in. Ha! Get in a UN vehicle. Right. He told me it was not safe for me in the market. Nice ruse I think, but I get in for some reason. I can only say I felt God wanted me to get in. Here is why: Three times during the trip during one of those “boring” days, I said a simple prayer to God. I asked Him to bring someone or something to me so that the time would be used to the fullest for His glory. Each time I got an answer quickly. So I took a walk in this case and God brought me “O.” He was from El Salvador and a MLO (military liaison officer) with the UN. This led to many introductions, several nights at the UN compound for dinner and good favor with all I met. I learned a tremendous deal about South Sudan and NBG state in particular. God is sovereign.

During many of the other days it was non-stop meeting political figures, “touring” the bush (always a purpose to accomplish though) in a Land Cruiser driving on footpaths and driving on a nearly empty gas tank hours from home. Handing out vitamins to children living in the bush, fixing the Land Cruiser with a Leatherman and 550 parachute cord, and getting lost (I wasn’t driving!) in the dark driving through the bush hours from Aweil seemed to be a normal day. We visited several villages and once saw a 8-10’ long Cobra snake (the driver wouldn’t run it over for some reason) in the road. Aaah, the roads. They are glorious. Not even gravel. Take an American backcountry gravel road with washboards and major potholes and quadruple it… I think we made great time when we traveled 50 miles north in about 2.5 hours.

Near the end of the trip we traveled to a small village for a funeral of a woman who’s daughter had died of cancer. This woman had no hope in Christ and had stopped eating and drinking the day before so that she could join her daughter in death. She had no hope, no reason to live, and no faith in God.  The day before I was to leave Aweil, I met with the representatives from the state’s cripple population. Many had polio (no use of their legs), were blind or had other similarly disabling challenges to face with no hope of a cure or medical help and virtually no job/income prospects. There are thousands in the community. My last day up north before returning to Juba, I was able to do a video interview of Carbino, a man who was kidnapped by the Muslim Janjaweed horsemen that Sudan sponsors (unofficially of course) to rape, burn, pillage and kill. He was kidnapped as a child and escaped three days later, only to return to his village to find it burned, his father murdered, and most of his family, friends and people from his village kidnapped or dead.

The needs in South Sudan are tremendous: physically, spiritually and socially.

The single biggest need is access to safe drinking and cooking water. The norm is to walk miles one way to get 3-5 gallons of relatively safe drinking water from one of the few “bore holes” (hand pumped wells) and walk miles back to repeat the journey the next day. Others walk miles to get firewood to cook with. Wildfires are a constant threat as the local villagers frequently burn the undergrowth away to spur new vegetation growth for the cattle and goats to eat… but leave the fires unattended!

They need teaching. They need pastors. They need materials and discipleship. While NBG is estimated to be 90% Roman Catholic most don’t know the difference between Roman Catholic, Protestant, Mormon, or otherwise. They have so little teaching of any kind, but are eager to hear. The few services are often packed with people outside the huts or buildings for a hundred yards or more! However, there are few services. I met some who have a beautiful and simple faith due to a lack of teaching, but it was still a faith in Christ crucified and resurrected!

Women are eligible to be married once they start their cycle, and men often marry around age 30+ and multiple wives are the norm if you can afford them. Bride prices are high and often the motive behind violent cattle raids on other villages due to bride prices being paid in cattle. Police are often abusive, often beating people and sometimes shooting people, almost always without consequence.

Okay, so you say what is the good news? The good news is that first, God is sovereign, loving, holy, righteous, gracious and able to accomplish His will on this earth! To my great encouragement, the people of NBG in South Sudan know that they do not know! They want help, teaching and mentoring! Sure, some want handouts but most I spoke with want the initial shot in the arm (financially or materially)… but so that they could be self-sufficient. They want education. They want vocational training and are in turn willing to train others. They do not want to be dependent on the outside world for long. The people are almost universally grateful to the U.S.’s role in their independence and respect and love America(ns).

The local government figure I met with who is responsible for the military and police in the region and safety of the border villagers was very favorable to our offer to help in that regard. He is a high ranking General with the SPLA and very much understands the value of training for soldiers and villagers alike. He had previously pushed to get the soldiers’ salaries cut to use it on a training budget but to no avail. Furthermore, he watches internet videos of Americans’ training and wants that training for his soldiers and to help defend the villages and his country. While nothing was made official, I am confident that by the time the Wood family moves to South Sudan, that this will be a significant part of our ministry.

So you say, this trip went far too smoothly and I was blessed with great success in making connections, learning and preparing for a move to the Aweil area. Ah, but there was one bit of “fun.” The day I was to leave Aweil, I was dropped off at the airport (two huts and a World Food Program tent), checked in my baggage (to the back of a Toyota Hilux pickup), and was told to wait three hours under the tree. So I waited. When my plane arrived they loaded my luggage and I proceeded to give my boarding pass to the airline person. But apparently it was not a boarding pass, it was “just” the ticket and I “did not check in,” despite checking in my baggage and being told to wait (I did triple check with others that was all I had to do, BTW). I tried to explain, but to no avail. So my plane left with my baggage (they wouldn’t give it back!) and I was alone at the airport. This led to a bit of frustration at the ridiculousness of the technicality of not getting a boarding pass, but quickly turned to me laughing, thinking, “If this is the worst I’ve had to face, God has indeed blessed this trip!” However, despite my good mood, this inconvenience was not without a ripple-effect. I had to call my new UN contacts to get access to Internet and a good phone (for international calls) so that I could change my flight home that was leaving Juba that I would now not make. Then I had to spend another night in Aweil at the hotel and the next morning ended up being driven a bone-jarring 2.5 hours north to a village where a small Cessna 208B was landing anyway that day, which later in the day flew me back to Juba, where I spent two nights waiting for the next flight out of the country… and from there of course I was able to return to the U.S. (about an additional $800 later.)

My Closing Thoughts
God is indeed great. Simple you say, but this trip went almost too well. However, possibly for the first time in my life, I knew that many people were praying for me. I also had the chance, or more correctly, the motivation and time, to read a huge portion of Scripture. I read 110 chapters of Psalms, all of Romans and all of Acts and selected Proverbs and other New Testament passages. That definitely influenced how I acted and spoke. I prayed like I’ve never prayed before and had a humble boldness that I’ve never had before. I was granted favor before men in a way I could not have pulled off on my own.

A quick lesson learned here: About a week into being in the town of Aweil it finally hit me… I am the only white guy in this whole town. Literally. Now before you say “it took you that long?,” I took that as a good sign, that race wasn’t registered on my radar due to being raised right. We are all made in the image of God regardless of how we look. People are people. That simple. But it did later make me think of something significant. It occurred to me: I am on a different continent, don’t speak the language, can’t run and hide if needed (due to my face), don’t understand much about the culture, don’t have my gun (which I’ve almost never been without for the last 15 years), can’t even tell north without a compass, don’t know where the water holes are, had my phone die on me and even my knife and tomahawk taken from me when the plane left with my luggage and not me. The point is simple. I was stripped to nothing. No familiarities. No comforts. Nothing to trust in or run to… nothing but God and His Word. Let me repeat that. Nothing but God and His Word. Praise God!

While there are many “I” statements in the above, they are all meant to demonstrate how God worked in/through me, not how I did anything of my own nature. Essentially while I’ve had some reservations or doubts along the way, I am now fully confident that God indeed does want us to go to South Sudan for His glory! God is paving the way. God is leading and we will follow.
God made it clear through this trip that C.R.O.S.S.’s plan to help with “water, fire, and security,” will be very well received by the people of South Sudan, and that additionally and more importantly they are spiritually receptive as well. It is encouraging to know that God prepared my background to be able to help with each of the three humanitarian needs C.R.O.S.S. plans on helping with and that they “happen” to be in the top few that South Sudan needs most desperately.

Now I am not ashamed to say we are starting to raise money for the move to, and establishment in, South Sudan. We need a lot of material and financial support to make this move and solidly establish C.R.O.S.S. Ministries with a firm foundation to be effective in our ministry and Lord willing, growing the ministry to other regions of South Sudan! To that end we ask for your material and financial support as God moves you to support us. You can find more info/updates (and lots of pictures, thoughts, and news added often) on our web site: or on our new Facebook page. (Please share these URLs with everyone you know!)

Again, a humble thank-you to those of you who helped make this financially possible and a sincere thank you to those of you who prayed for the outcome of this trip to the end of glorifying God!

The year 2013 marks one significant anniversary that will probably be soft-pedaled by the mass media: December 23, 2013 will be the 100th anniversary of the exclusive private banking cartel known as The Federal Reserve--America's central bank. I detest this organization. It isn't Federal (not any more "Federal" than Federal Express), and it has no real Reserves.

Lex Mala, Lex Nulla
The Federal Reserve Act was improperly implemented as an act of congress. Properly, it should have been promulgated as a Constitutional amendment. Article 1, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution dictates: "No state shall make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payments of debts." And Article 1, Section 8 dictates: "Congress shall have power to coin money." Neither of those clauses can be nullified without a Constitutional amendment. Rather than fitting in with the letter or intent of our Constitution, the Federal Reserve better matches the fifth plank (or "demand") of the Communist Manifesto: "Centralization of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly." (Das Kommunistische Manifest, by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, published in 1848.)

Dollar Destruction
Per Title 12 U.S.C. § 225, the Federal Reserve had three chartered objectives: creating maximum employment, assuring stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates. But the Fed has pursued policies that are diametrically opposed to those chartered objectives. Rather than assuring stable prices they have consistently engaged in monetary policies that have gradually destroyed the purchasing power of the dollar, though currency inflation. The U.S. Inflation Calculator illustrates this gradual, insidious process.

Here is the long term effect of inflationist policies, in a nutshell: $1 worth of goods in 1913 terms now costs us $23.26 (based on official CPI data, rather than real world inflation.) Or, better put: A Dollar in silver coinage (four well-worn silver quarters with no collector's value) now costs around $34 at your local coin shop. The Federal Reserve Note is funny money, plain and simple. Don't expect stable prices. rather, expect the continuing destruction of the Dollar.

I've said it before: The Federal Reserve should be re-named the Feral Reserve. Their unconstitutional cartel is a wild beast that should be put down.

For further reading, I recommend the book The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve. - J.W.R.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

I'm sure many will point out that a list of educational sources should include those who thought the proposed US system would turn into a tyranny:

The Anti-Federalist Papers

More about the Anti-Federalist Papers, at

It may be seen as a different issue, but the debate between Hamiltonians and the anti-Hamiltonians is also most worthy of study. This leads into the whole question of what was called the American (or National) System of Political Economy, which has been used at times for great development in the US, Germany, and now China. On the other hand, the way it was used in the US probably contributed to creating an environment for the Civil War.

Regards, - Paul L.


I wanted to thank you for the great article by Steven G. on important foundational documents of our country. I wanted to bring to your attention that there is a great app available for Android smartphones called "United States Constitution" written by Ken Hunt (I know that similar apps exist in the Apple App Store but I can't speak for their content or usability). In addition to the Constitution it contains the Declaration of Independence, Gettysburg Address, the Virginia Plan, The Great Compromise and many others. It is very well organized and written, is searchable and best of all is free. I have referenced it many times and often just sit down to read it and remind myself how grateful we should be to the individuals who created these marvelous documents and to renew my energy to keep myself focused on the important issues facing our country. It's very eerie how The Declaration of Independence currently reads like it could have been written just yesterday if you only change a few words.
Regards, - L.D.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Often, when two modern patriots are having a discussion, they agree with the failure of the public education system to teach basic American history, or to expose students to the foundations of our modern Republican form of government. The speakers quickly move on since they are often unable to specifically identify that which has been lost. Similarly, you often hear talk radio or television personalities spend an enormous amount of time suggesting courses of study or books, only concluding that the answer to the conundrum is the latest product that they happen to have for sale on their web site or by calling an eight hundred number. What is missing is an actual guide to understanding American Constitutional history.

As I raise my son, I am often having to explain the context of various readings he is assigned in class. How can a student understand Martin Luther King during Black History Month without understanding the United States Declaration of Independence or the Holy Bible? This remedial instruction began my thinking on what primary materials do we, as American patriots, expect every well informed citizen to know. Since the “prepper” or “survivalist” is known for keeping checklists and additionally for home schooling their children, what better way to outline a course of study for every patriot to learn and share with their student.

In that vein, I am submitting for your approval the following checklist of source documents of the American Republic. I am not selling any of the recommended books, and most of the material presented here can be readily accessed online and are therefore free. I have included linkages to the original source documents when possible. I have tried to choose the most readable copies I could find, however there are usually multiple sources for the texts available online. For example, some of the best sources for historical documents are Yale University’s web site. and the National Archives. English translations of Ancient Greek works can be found for free at a Tufts University web site.  Many books can be downloaded for free or a minimal .99 at for the Kindle. Note that you do not need a Kindle to read these books, as you can use the Amazon “cloud reader” to read the texts on your computer. also has tremendous linking resources, usually at the bottom of the page, that should not be overlooked.

Since the framework of America is founded in the English tradition, I have attempted to identify the foundational documents for America going back to those sources. These reading suggestions follow three distinct categories: first the patriotic student should begin by gaining a broad overview of the period of study. Traditional history classes use the term “survey class.” The survey is important to provide meaning and context to the other materials presented. The recommended survey materials can be supplemented by multiple secondary sources such as encyclopedias and web research. I have also recommended certain books as survey sources. I have tried to recommend readable books, and avoid overly political books (especially seeking to avoid the left wing bias that dominates the school curriculum today).

What do we stand for and what do we believe in? If this question cannot be answered, then we are disarmed in our resistance to harmful ideas. Unfortunately, the left has accomplished its agenda driven politicization of our school system, with propaganda crowding out the great ideas of America’s foundation. This outline can also be used as a guide for a concerned parent to confront intrusions and deletions in their schools’ curriculum. A parent can experience the richness of our history with their student by simply spending time together moving methodically through these guidelines.

Note that this outline is part of a larger outline I have been working on covering essential highlights of American history and the Western tradition. While my area of study is modern American Military history as well as law, I have attempted to fill in gaps in my own knowledge by targeting books that have had an impact on Western Civilization. The parts of the larger outline are: I. Foundations of Western Civilization; II. Understanding the Foundations of the American Republic; III. Early Federal Period; IV. The American Civil War; V. The Modern Era. The larger list is derived from a “Great Books” type curriculum, with much of the fiction downplayed. Only those fictional works that have impact on the course of history are included. My recommendations also steer away from thoughts and ideas that are antithetical to the American tradition. The recommendations are divided into several parts, using survey and biographical books combined with essential source materials of American and Western Civilization. When foreign sources are recommended, they are for the purpose of understanding the competing systems that have confronted the United States. For example, “Mein Kampf” (Nazi fascism) and the “Communist Manifesto” (communism) have had a disproportionate impact on the history of the United States.

II.             Understanding the Foundations of the American Republic
A.            The Holy Bible. Most readers should be familiar with the Bible, as were the Founding Fathers.
B.            Magna Carta 1297. Though short, the original text is dense and difficult reading. However, it is an interesting exercise to read through this early document that was in fact a contract between the sovereign and the free people. Sir Edward Coke argued logically for limitations on absolute monarchical power based on the Magna Carta.
C.            Survey readings about the English Civil War. This is a very dense period of English history, but it is critical to understand this part of history since it is the well spring of experience which the Founding Fathers shared. Especially recommended:
                        1.             Catherine Drinker Bowen “The Lion and the Throne” 1958. A complex but very well written account of the life of Sir Edward Coke. Winner of the National Book Award for Nonfiction. Available used at for a reasonable price.
                        2.             Michael Barone “Our First Revolution” 2007. The story of the Glorious Revolution (the term often applied to the ending of the English Civil War) and its relevance to the founding of the United States. Often available used at for a reasonable price.
D.            Sir Edward Coke “The Petition of Right” 1628.
E.            Thomas Hobbes “Leviathan” 1651. Available on Kindle for .99. Also available for free at an OSU web site. Written during the English Civil War, Hobbes considers the nature of government, developing what is known as social contract theory.
F.            John Locke “Two Treatises of Government” 1689. John Locke’s writings were probably the most influential source in the thinking of the Founding Fathers. Thus, a deep understanding of his work is essential to understanding the philosophical underpinnings of the American Republic. Available for free here.
G.            John Locke “An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding” 1690. Available for free here.
H.            The English Bill of Rights 1689. Strongly influenced the United States Bill of Rights. Available for free at a Yale web site.
I.            Survey materials on the American Revolutionary War. There are lots of resources available for the student of the American revolutionary period, but here are some references of note.
                        1.            John Fiske “The War of Independence, a book for young people” 1889 and “The American Revolution” 1891 both are available for free as a Kindle download.
                        2.            Gordon S. Wood “The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787,” “The Radicalism of the American Revolution,” and “The American Revolution: A History (Modern Library Chronicles)” More modern writings on the revolutionary period.
                        2.            The PBS video set “Liberty! The American Revolution” is very good, but retails for about $28. The set is worth owning.
                        3.            Stuart Murray “DK Eyewitness Books: American Revolution” For kids, the Eyewitness books are very good, with lots of “meat” and illustrations. Available used for a reasonable price.
J.            Biographical materials on George Washington. Washington turned down the chance to be king and steered the country into the great experiment in Republican government. He is the essential man in American history. Again, there are innumerable biographies of the George Washington, but the following are available for free online.
                        1.            William Roscoe Thayer, “George Washington” 1922. This book is available for free on the Kindle.
                        2.            John Marshall “The Life of George Washington” in five volumes. This set is written by Washington’s contemporary and Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, John Marshall. A very readable copy is available for .99 on Kindle and free here.
K.            The Continental Association, 1774. The earliest American foundational document, wherein the American colonies bind together to form a cohesive response to increased English malfeasance.
L.            Thomas Paine “Common Sense” 1776. Available for free here. This supremely influential political pamphlet was widely read by the founding generation.
M.            Adam Smith “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations” 1776. Available for free here. The Scottish economist’s penultimate work describing free markets and capitalism.
N.            George Mason “The Virginia Declaration of Rights” 1776. This document influenced the later Declaration of Independence and United States Bill of Rights. Available for free here.
O.            Thomas Jefferson The Declaration of Independence 1776.
P.            The Articles of Confederation. 1777. The organizing document for the original American colonies that established the framework for the colonies to fight the American Revolutionary War. The weaknesses apparent in the Articles were later addressed in the United States Constitution.
Q.            The Federalist Papers 1787-1788. A series of letters written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay advocating the adoption of the United States Constitution and elaborating on the ideas enshrined therein.
R.            The United States Constitution 1789. Primarily the work of James Madison, this document sets out the framework of the United States government.  Also see this searchable view with commentary by the Heritage Foundation.
S.            The United States Bill of Rights 1789. George Mason demanded the inclusion of a Bill of Rights, and refused to support the Constitution without it. The compromise was a quick adoption of the first ten amendments to the United State Constitution, in what is known as the Bill of Rights.    Also see this searchable view with commentary by the Heritage Foundation.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Apparently, this server is straining as news of the DHS targets is spreading virally.

A friend wrote to ask: "Don't these people have any devil's advocate types on staff who might say, "Gee Bob, I'm not sure this is the best idea..."

Description: [Note: cut and pasted, all typos and bad grammar original to these Protectors and Servers of Freedom]

Non-traditional threat dipicting [sic] a hostile young mother surrounded by childred [sic] on a playground. Background is faded further highligting [sic] and highlighting the threat.
Full Color realistic target.
Size: 23" x 35"

Site is overloaded.  Target shows an armed "hostile" mother with child.

Other targets include young boys.

So cops can practice shooting at them...

- Michael Z. Williamson (SurvivalBlog's Editor at Large)

JWR Adds: The server seems to have crashed. But InfoWars has now posted an article with target images.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Statists use cleverly constructed language for obfuscation and to further their unconstitutional Big Government agenda. Statists rarely say what they mean or mean what they say.

Ray X., a SurvivalBlog reader in Wyoming provides us the following dictionary that describes what the statists really mean:

Access: Our people put on TV or put in positions of authority, via our access to your wallet.

Activists: Rabble without jobs but with access to TV cameras.

Affirmative Action: Giving hiring preference to those with lower test scores, for countless generations.

Advocacy/Advocate: Advocating our agenda. All others are not Advocates. They are, Radicals, Haters and Tea Baggers.

Agenda, The. The word that shall never be spoken, unless in the context of The Right Wing Agenda. Instead use: Fairness, Change, Hope, New Direction, Social Progress, et cetera.

Agreement (Reaching): Forcing an agenda on unwilling Citizens, via the courts, regulation, legislation, bureaucratic decree, or character assassination through the mass media.

Allocate/Allocation: To extort by coercion, force, or threat of force, under color of law.

Alternative Lifestyle: Guys who do perverse things with other guys, little boys, or goats.

Alternative Media: Leftist guys who couldn't get a job as a newspaper reporter.

Alternative Sentencing: Forcing felons to stay at home under house arrest or give lectures or teach classes about the dangers of criminal behavior instead doing hard time.

Amnesty: Giving citizenship to someone who stole their way into the country and promises to vote Democrat.

Assault Weapon: Any firearm that Dianne Feinstein thinks looks scary, regardless of how it operates.

Assistance: See: Redistribution of Wealth.

Balance/Balanced Media: The scales tipped solidly in the direction of our agenda.

Bias: Any view held by a conservative. (A label we never apply to ourselves or to our Fellow Travelers.)

Big Oil/Big Pharma/Big Tobacco: Any company, regardless of size, with a politically conservative board of directors.

Bipartisan: Making conservatives cave in, repeatedly.

Birther: Epithet hurled at anyone who dares to challenge the place of birth of Barack Obama.

Bitter Clingers: Civilians who refuse to be disarmed.

Budget Cut: Any reduction in the rate of increase of a budget. See Also: Deep Cut.

Budget Imbalance: Spending far too much money of Free Stuff to maintain our large voting bloc.

Cap and Trade: Obsolete term. Use "clean energy" or "market-based", instead.

Carbon Credit: Paying people overseas to not produce things, so that our companies can, with permission, under close supervision, and with fines for any company that produces too much.

Censorship: Refusing to allow taxpayer funds to be used to push our agenda.

Change: Fabian Socialism or Marxism, depending on the speed of the change.

Child Development: Molding young people into compliant sheeple. Requires lots of Programs.

Choice: Choosing to murder a baby, at taxpayer expense.

Civil Union: Two sodomites who want to pretend they are normal, and want to be given health benefits to cover the cost of their expensive HIV medications.

Clean Energy: Energy created by Programs and the lavish infusion of taxpayer dollars, regardless of the cost per kilowatt hour.

Coalition: A group of groups that excludes the participation and opinions of conservative or libertarian groups.

Codeword: The term we use to demonize anyone who stands for less government, individual responsibility, and

Common Sense: Our agenda, on our terms, and on our timetable.

Common Sense Gun Laws: Civilian disarmament.

Community Leader: A leftist who has learned how to work the system.

Compassion: Wealth redistribution.

Compound: Any house outside of city limits that is owned by either a Kennedy or a Survivalist.

Concerned Citizens: People who agree with our agenda. All others are Radical Right Wingers.

Contributions: Coerced payments. See: Revenue, Taxes

Compromise: Forcing you to agree with the statist agenda.

Consensus: Using Focus Groups and other tools to drag everyone into agreement with our agenda.

Conservative: Anyone who drags their feet or who speaks out against the statist agenda. See also: Ultraconservative.

Constituency: The deluded fools that keep voting us into office, again and again.

Contribution: A tax or fee.

Create jobs: Create new agencies and programs. If any actual jobs are thence created then they must only be government jobs or union jobs.

Crisis: Any event, however small, that is an excuse for more government.

Cultural Literacy: New curriculum designed to encourage Alternative Lifestyles, Diversity, Sensitivity, Fairness, et cetera Never include any mention of the Bible or The Constitution of the United States, which were creations of Dead White Males.

Deadlock (Legislative): Failure to move quickly enough in advancing our Agenda.

Dead White Male: The originators of all human suffering who we must denigrate at every opportunity

Debt (public): Money that we spent that we didn't have, but which doesn't matter, because we can always print more.

Debt Ceiling: The convenient fiction that there is a limit to what we can spend on Programs. Revised annual or semiannually, as needed, following false protestations and then Compromise.

Deep Cut: A decrease in the rate of increase of a budget by more than 10%.

Deeply concerned: I have no intention of changing anything.

Deep Pockets: The ultimate source of Revenue.

Deficit: Money that we overspent and haven't yet taxed or created out of thin air.

Democracy: Socialist tyranny, via incrementalism.

Democrat: The political party that is pushing statism, in a hurry. (See also: Republican.)

Deserving: Daytime TV-watching and EBT card-using.

Dialog: A mono-directional lecture from the Ivory Tower to the plebeian masses. They are then told that they "have a voice."

Dictator: Any national leader who doesn't agree with our agenda. Anyone who does is a Leader.

Disadvantaged: Multigenerationally accustomed to sucking from the welfare teat.

Disparity: Some who makes less money than you, but who wants Free Stuff.

Diversity: Let's force people to stop saying "no" to sodomy, bestiality, and pedophilia.

Divisive/Divisiveness: Anyone who disagrees with our agenda.

Eco-Friendly Lighting: Chinese-made Mercury-Laden Light Bulbs

Economic Justice: Marxism.

Enhancement: Getting things to go more our way.

Election: An advance sale on stolen goods.

Empowered/Empowerment: Getting more Free Stuff at taxpayer expense, and face time on TV.

Elite: Anyone with a Wikipedia biography page but who does not agree with us.

Enable: Handing out taxpayer money.

Entitled: See: Deserving.

Equal Access to Opportunity: Jobs based on quotas rather than merit.

Equality: Inequality enforced regardless of facts or logic. Also: Paying everyone the same regardless of whether or not they choose to work. Bonus definition: Fining anyone for being above average.

Estimated Tax: Self-employed people writing huge quarterly checks for their own enslavement.

Excess Profits: The profits of any company that doesn't buy in to the statist agenda.

Extremist: Anyone who dares to speak up for their God-given rights.

Fairness: Giving Free Stuff to people who did not work for it, at the expense of people who did.

Fairness Doctrine: Always giving the statist agenda prominence, and making conservatives pay for the air time to do so.

Fair Share/Fair Shot: Taxing some people at a higher rate than others.

Fee/Fine/Assessment/Levy/License: A tax by any other name.

First Amendment: Freedom from any mention of Christianity in schools. (But not Wicca or Islam, which should be part of the new school curriculum.)

Fiscal Conservative: A socially liberal politician, regardless of their voting record. (All Democrats are automatically "Fiscal Conservatives.")

Flash Mob: "Youths" who have learned how to use their Obama Phones to get Free Stuff without even signing up for a Program.

Focus Group: Putting people in a room, reaching the lowest common denominator, and then labeling it Consensus.

Freedom: The freedom to do only what we tell you what you can do.

Free Thinker: People in our constituency who have a hostility to faith in God.

Free Stuff: Stuff we don't have to pay for. You pay for all of it, but just don't realize it.

Freedom Fighter: Anyone in a conflict overseas who agrees with our agenda. In contrast anyone who does not agree is a Colonialist, Imperialist, a Terrorist or an Evil Oppressor.

Free Press: Our lackeys who are fully or partially complicit with our agenda.

Fully-Funded: A Program that has reached multiple teats.

Funding: See: Taxes.

Global: A policy that matches the Agenda of the Eastern Seaboard of the United States.

Global Warming: : Obsolete term. Use "climate change" instead. (You know, just incase of a Little Ice Age.)

Good Government: More government, with incremental degradation of liberty. In the long term, total government.

Gun Buy-Back: Paying 10 cents on the dollar for something that we never owned, and then destroying it at taxpayer expense.

Gun Control: People control, dissent control, and civilian disarmament.

The Gun Lobby: Gun owning Citizens.

Gun Show Loophole: Two guys in the same state, privately transacting the sale of a used gun, like they've always done.

Harmony: The lack of resistance to our Agenda

Hater: Anyone who loves individual freedom and who stands up for God's Moral Law

Hate Speech: Saying something critical of our agenda. standing up for morality, or otherwise speaking the truth.

Helping Hand: The hand that helps dollars out of your wallet and into government coffers, and then helps a portion of those dollars into the wallets of layabouts.

High Capacity Magazine: Standard capacity magazine. (We deceptively called any magazine over 10 rounds "high capacity" when in fact the standard military issue has been 30 rounds or even 40 rounds since the early 1970s. Thus, we want to force the plebes to own only reduced capacity magazines.)

Homeless: Bums.

Homophobia: Term of derision for failure to enthusiastically subscribe to the homosexual agenda.

Human Rights: The Right to free health care, the right to a Living Wage, et cetera. To pay for providing all of these "rights" necessitates a large and intrusive government, and taxing your income, to operate it. (Note that "Human Rights" do not include the right to keep and near arms, the right to home school your children, the right to work without joking a union, the right to travel without being searched, et cetera. Those are rather privileges, which must be closely regulated. )

Inclusion/Inclusive/Inclusiveness: Including people with every wacky idea imaginable into our power base, to form a larger voting bloc

Inflation: Obsolete term. Instead use: Monetary Policy.

Injustice: Anyone who has not yet benefited from Wealth Redistribution.

Inflation: Stealing your money incrementally, so that you don't notice it.

Integrity: Willingness to buy in to our Agenda.

Invest in: Fund with tax dollars, lavishly and interminably.

Investment/Invest in the Future: A new tax.

It takes a village: Obsolete term. Use "Governance" instead.

Judgmental: Anyone with moral values and discernment.

Justice: Just Us.

Labor Organizer: A leftist who quit his job to push The Agenda, and now lives off the "dues" or other forced contributions of guys who still work for a living.

Labor Union: An organization that two or three generations ago fought for fair working conditions but now exists only to perpetuate itself and to push The Agenda.

Less fortunate: Layabouts and moochers.

LGBT: An initialism that secretly stands for Liberal Goat-Loving Blasphemous Terrorists.

Liberal: An obsolete and soiled term. Do Not Use. Instead substitute "Progressive" in all cases.

License: Permission to do what would otherwise be illegal under our make-believe laws, granted only after coerced payment of a fee.

Living Wage: Enough money, whether it is earned or not, to have air conditioning and a big screen TV.

Long Term Obligation: Money that is mathematically impossible to repay unless we inflate away the value of the currency by more than 90%.

Lower Income Workers: People who don't work but who are given a middle class income, at taxpayer expense.

Marginalized: Someone who has not yet (in their opinion) received enough Free Stuff.

Marxist: A statist who has foolishly tipped his hand.

Mean-Spirited: People who want to keep what they earn.

Mechanism: Our latest scheme. See also: Program.

Metrosexual: An ostensibly straight guy who thinks his neighbor's perversion is okay.

Militia Movement: Two or more Citizens who have similar gripes and who each own a gun.

Minority-owned business: A business that is foolishly started in an economically depressed ghetto. This term does not apply to Asians or to any successful businesses owned by minorities if they are in wealthy suburbs. Hence, Famous Amos Cookies is not a "Minority-owned business." See also: Uncle Tom.

Misunderstood: Insane, Idiotic, or Perverted.

Moderate: Left wing.

Money: The stuff that was once minted with silver and gold, but is now created out of thin air.

Move forward: Move to the left, create a Program, and subsidize with tax dollars.

Monopoly: Any company with market capitalization greater than $200 million USD, regardless of their market share.

Multicultural: High crime.

Narrative: What we call the history that we don't like and would prefer didn't really exist.

Nation Building: Sending American taxpayer dollars to prop up Third World dictatorships.

Nazi: A derisive term formerly reserved for members of the National Socialist Party in Germany, but now used as smear for anyone who opposes Socialism.

Neocon: A derisive term that we apply to anyone not in the Hard Left Camp, regardless of where they are on political spectrum, or when they got there. No longer has anything to do with George McGovern and the politics of 1972.

Nonviable Tissue Mass: An unborn baby.

Obamacare: Socialist imposition of medicine paid by a few taxpayers but provided to all, and brought to the lowest common denominator. Wait in line over there.

Obama Phone: More Free Stuff, for loafers. This device has the side benefit of alerting other loafers about where to line up or sign up for more free stuff.

Obstacles: Anything that stands between our constituents and the Free Stuff.

Occupy ___________(Location). Organize smelly layabouts to camp out, beat on drums, and demand The Agenda and more Free Stuff.

Offshoring: Sending factory jobs overseas, so that the then-unemployed will vote Democrat--because their party claims to stands for unions, job protection, and long term unemployment benefits.

Open-Minded: Those who embrace sin without any reservations.

Oppressor(s): Taxpayers who speak out against the statist agenda.

Opportunity: See Revenue and Wealth Redistribution.

Our: Your. (e.g.: Our Resources, Our Taxes, Our Cities, Our Nation, etc.)

Our Troops (Supporting): Formerly our sons, now Their Troops, used to collect revenue and assure a steady flow of overseas oil.

Outcome: Getting things our way.

Palestinian: Mostly Arab Muslims who got kicked out of North Africa or Saudi Arabia and then settled in Israel to get ahead economically when they saw Jews were prospering there. We pretend that they've lived there since Biblical Times. Does not apply to Jews with multigenerational roots in Palestine.

Patriot Movement: Anyone who dares to speak out against statism.

Patriarchy: A label used by those who make believe that it wasn't only men who founded and led Western Society and who signed the Declaration of Independence.

Payroll deduction: Stealing your money incrementally, so that you don't notice it.

People of Color: People of a dark skin tone who promise to vote Democrat. (Does not apply to any gainfully employed Asians or to anyone with dark skin who is a registered Republican. See: Uncle Tom.)

Privileged, The: Anyone who make more than $100,000 per year unless he a is liberal.

Poor, The: Anyone who doesn't want to work, but promises to vote Democrat.

Privileged: Anyone who works for a living. (See also: Oppressor and The Rich.)

Pro-Choice: Insisting on taxpayer-funded abortion.

Program: Waste of money, our latest scheme.

Progressive: Marxist, collectivist, or otherwise regressive to personal freedom.

Property tax: Paying rent to someone who doesn't own your land.

Provide: To take from one (by coercion) and to provide as "Free Stuff" to another.

Public Education: Systematic indoctrination into the statist mindset.

Public Housing: Taxpayer-paid housing for layabouts.The buildings are destroyed through neglect and abuse and then torn down and replaced at great expense roughly every 30 years.

Public-Private Partnership: Fascism.

Quantitative Easing: Creating Dollars out of thin air to prop up the Bond market and to dilute the value of all other Dollars already in circulation.

Racist: Anyone who opposes the statist agenda, regardless of their thoughts on race or ethnicity.

Radical Right/Radical Right Wingers: Anyone who dares to speak out against statism or refuses to be disarmed.

Reasonable Restriction: Degradation of a pre-existing right.

Redistribution of Wealth: Theft for the purpose of implementing Marxist Leninism. This is an obsolete and maligned term. Instead use: Empower, Give Respect, or Allocate.

Religious Freedom: The freedom to tout any religion and inject it into public school curriculum, except Christianity.

Representative: The elected officials who formerly represented the people, but who now represent an agenda.

Reproductive Health: Murdering unborn babies.

Reparations: Payment for a crime committed seven generations ago, even if your family never owned slaves and opposed slavery, or if your kin has only been in America for three generations.

Republican: The political party that is pushing statism, but in less of a hurry. (See also: Democrat.)

Respect: Paying Tribute.

Revenue: Theft, by any means possible.

The Rich: Anyone who works hard and saves part of what they earn. (See also: Hater, Privileged and Oppressor.)

Rights: Our constituents' rights to Free Stuff.

Right Wing/Right Winger: Anyone more conservative than Chairman Mao.

Safety: More government. (Such as: Airline Safety, Gun Safety, Highway Safety, etc.)

Say No To Drugs: Say Yes To Some Legalized Drugs.

Sell Out: See Uncle Tom.

Second Amendment: An obsolete part of the Constitution that protects the National Guard's right to keep weapons.

Senate: The elected body that once represented the states, but who now represent an agenda.

Separation of church and state: Exclusion of Christianity from schools. (But not Islam, because it is trendy.)

Share The Wealth: See: Redistribution of Wealth

Situational Ethics: Abandoning ethical and moral values.

Sliding Scale: Charging higher fees to the people who work hard, and less for people who don't work at all.

Sniper Rifle: Scoped deer rifle.

Social Contract: Big government, more government, higher taxes.

Socialism: Obsolete, soiled term. Do not use. Use "Fairness:, "Empowerment", ,or "Investment" instead.

Social Justice: Wealth redistribution.

Social Responsibility: Abandoning personal responsibility and signing up for the Free Stuff.

Social Security: The promise to pay people money that doesn't exist, in perpetuity.

Social Security Trust Fund: A nonexistent pool of money that has been promised in perpetuity.

Sovereign Citizens: Those whackos who dare to believe that they have rights that cannot be violated.

Special Interest Groups: Conservative companies that dare speak up, or contribute to political campaigns. (Does not apply to liberals who do the same thing.)

Special Needs: Kids that we want to give special or individualized instruction that we aren't willing to pay for.

Sporting Firearms: The humble-looking guns that we haven't tried to ban yet.

Stakeholder: Anyone who wants More Free Stuff.

Statistical Anomaly: How we dismiss any statistics that are embarrassing.

Stimulus: Handing out money that was either taxed or created out of thin air.

Streets, The: More accurately: Your house or Your bedroom closet. (As in: "Get guns off the streets.")

Survivalist: Anyone we dislike who lives outside of city limits, or who had "survival" training (such as that given to all Boy Scouts.)

Sustainable: A Government Program or industry propped up by the Government that can be sustained, ad infinitum, only with taxpayer funds.

Talking Point(s): Our agenda, cozily wrapped up in soothing terms, delivered to our friends in the media, for delivery to the sheeple.

Taxes: Money, coerced under threat of force and under color of law, that we we take from The Privileged to implement our agenda.

Tax Loophole: Any legal way to avoid being robbed too badly, as used by literate people (i.e. those who can read Tax Code.)

Tax Refund: Giving you back part of what we incrementally stole from you, and making you feel joyful for getting it.

Tea Bagger: Anyone who dares to speak out against the agenda. See also: Hater, Oppressor, The Rich.

Tenth Amendment:An obsolete part of the Constitution that was never intended to prevent the preeminence of the Federal Government and its Programs.

Tolerance: Toleration of our agenda. (Tolerating anything else is intolerable Hate Speech.) A key goal of Tolerance is silencing anyone who disagrees with out Agenda. That is not tolerated.

Too Big To Fail: Too Cozy to Prosecute.

Treasury Department Officials: Former stock brokers, who now "regulate" other stock brokers.

Ultraconservative: Any conservative who finds a media platform.

Unfair: People who work harder earning more than those who don't.

Urban: High crime area.

Uncle Tom: People of a darker skin tone who don't unquestioningly adhere to the statist agenda.

Underprivileged: Anyone who votes for a living rather than works for a living.

Undocumented Immigrant: Illegal Alien, future registered Democrat.

Union Shop: An employer that in the name "freedom of association" refuses to hire anyone who doesn't want to associate with their union.

Universal Background Checks: Universal Gun Registration. (And leading to Universal Gun Confiscation.)

Victim(s): Poor, inner-city People of Color who are seen as suffering any offense, either real or imagined. This term does not apply to rich White or Asian people, even when they are killed or when their livelihoods are wiped out.

War on Terror/Drugs/Poverty/Ex Cetera. Excuse for bigger government.

Weapons Cache: A gun collection consisting of more than three guns.

Welfare: Robbing Peter to Pay Paul a Living Wage, whether he wants to work, or not.

We Owe it to Ourselves: You owe it to us, or we'll throw you in prison for tax evasion.

White Guilt: A time travel metaphor for people in the present somehow causing the wrongs of their Great-great-great-grandfathers, or for people of the same era who were no kin to them whatsoever.

White Hispanics: People with Spanish surnames, regardless of skin tone, who make more than $100,000 per year. (See also: Oppressor.)

White Male. The Devil. Unless he is a registered Democrat, but even then, he still must have White Guilt and support Affirmative Action and Reparations, as penance.

White Male Value System: Antiquated adherence to hard work, property rights, morality, etc. See also Bitter Clingers.

Windfall profits: Any profits, if earned by the wrong company.

Win the future: Create more Programs

Workers: The children or grandchildren of people who once worked, but who now watch TV and collect Free Stuff.

Working Poor: People who haven't yet received enough Free Stuff or reached the status of Community Leader.

Voluntary: Mandatory, under threat of force and under color of law.

You didn't build that: You DID build that, but we'd like to tax most of it away from you, and give it to someone who lives in Public Housing and uses his EBT card to party at strip clubs.

Youths: Gang members.

Zero Tolerance: Not allowing anything we don't like (e.g.: Smoking, 32-ounce sodas, Hate Speech, etc.)

Note: Permission to reprint or re-post this copyrighted piece by any method (printed or electronically) is granted as a long as it is not altered in any way and attributed to, with a link.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

In my recent (and now notorious) Burn Barrel essay on civil disobedience, I made reference to a legal summary in the 2d edition of American Jurisprudence. But at the time I didn't have access to the important case citation footnotes. SurvivalBlog reader and legal scholar S.G. very kindly sent me an extract with full case cite footnotes, from American Jurisprudence 2d. This was from Volume 16 (Conflict of Laws to Constitutional Law 1-359). This came from the latest edition, so it cites cases as recent at 2009. Here it is:

§ 195 Generally

The general rule is that an unconstitutional statute, whether federal or state, though having the form and name of law, is in reality no law(1) but is wholly void(2) and ineffective for any purpose.(3) Since unconstitutionality dates from the time of its enactment and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it,(4) an unconstitutional law, in legal contemplation, is as inoperative as if it had never been passed(5) and never existed;(6) that is, it is void ab initio.(7) Such a statute leaves the question that it purports to settle just as it would be had the statute not been enacted.(8)
Since an unconstitutional law is void, it follows that generally the statute imposes no duties,(9) confers no rights,(10) creates no office(11) or liabilities,(12) bestows no power or authority on anyone,(13) affords no protection,(14) is incapable of creating any rights or obligations,(15) does not allow for the granting of any relief,(16) and justifies no acts performed under it.(17)
Once a statute is determined to be unconstitutional, no private citizen or division of the state may take any further action pursuant to its provisions.(18) A contract that rests on an unconstitutional statute creates no obligation to be impaired by subsequent legislation.(19) No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law,(20) and no courts are bound to enforce it.(21) A law contrary to the United States Constitution may not be enforced.(22) Once a statute has been declared unconstitutional, courts thereafter have no jurisdiction over alleged violations.(23) Persons convicted and fined under a statute subsequently held unconstitutional may recover the fines paid.(24)


1 Commissioners of Roads and Revenues of Fulton County v. Davis, 213 Ga. 792, 102 S.E.2d 180 (1958); State v. Village of Garden City, 74 Idaho 513, 265 P.2d 328 (1953); McGuire v. C & L Restaurant Inc., 346 N.W.2d 605 (Minn. 1984); People v. Corley, 91 Misc. 2d 255, 397 N.Y.S.2d 875 (City Crim. Ct. 1977).

2 Lewis v. Uselton, 224 Ga. App. 428, 480 S.E.2d 856 (1997); State ex rel. Stenberg v. Murphy, 247 Neb. 358, 527 N.W.2d 185 (1995); State v. Clark, 367 N.W.2d 168 (N.D. 1985); St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co. v. Getty Oil Co., 1989 OK 139, 782 P.2d 915 (Okla. 1989); Weegar v. Bakeberg, 527 N.W.2d 676 (S.D. 1995); Almond v. Day, 197 Va. 419, 89 S.E.2d 851 (1955).

3State v. One Oldsmobile Two-Door Sedan, Model 1946, 227 Minn. 280, 35 N.W.2d 525 (1948); Grieb v. Department of Liquor Control of State, 153 Ohio St. 77, 41 Ohio Op. 148, 90 N.E.2d 691 (1950); Hunter v. School Dist. of Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau, 97 Wis. 2d 435, 293 N.W.2d 515 (1980).

4 Shirley v. Getty Oil Co., 367 So. 2d 1388 (Ala. 1979); Oliver v. State, 619 So. 2d 384 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1st Dist. 1993); Lewis v. Uselton, 224 Ga. App. 428, 480 S.E.2d 856 (1997); Trout v. State, 231 S.W.3d 140 (Mo. 2007); State ex rel. Stenberg v. Murphy, 247 Neb. 358, 527 N.W.2d 185 (1995); Texas Dept. of Family and Protective Services v. Dickensheets, 274 S.W.3d 150 (Tex. App. Houston 1st Dist. 2008).

5 Huffman v. Dawkins, 273 Ark. 520, 622 S.W.2d 159 (1981); Commissioners of Roads and Revenues of Fulton County v. Davis, 213 Ga. 792, 102 S.E.2d 180 (1958); Briggs v. Campbell, Wyant & Cannon Foundry Co., Division Textron Am. Inc., 2 Mich. App. 204, 139 N.W.2d 336 (1966), judgment aff'd, 379 Mich. 160, 150 N.W.2d 752 (1967); McGuire v. C & L Restaurant Inc., 346 N.W.2d 605 (Minn. 1984); State ex rel. Stenberg v. Murphy, 247 Neb. 358, 527 N.W.2d 185 (1995); State v. Clark, 367 N.W.2d 168 (N.D. 1985); St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co. v. Getty Oil Co., 1989 OK 139, 782 P.2d 915 (Okla. 1989); Glen-Gery Corp. v. Zoning Hearing Bd. of Dover Tp., 589 Pa. 135, 907 A.2d 1033 (2006); Franks v. State, 772 S.W.2d 428 (Tenn. 1989); School Districts' Alliance for Adequate Funding of Special Educ. v. State, 149 Wash. App. 241, 202 P.3d 990, 242 Ed. Law Rep. 383 (Div. 2 2009); City of Fairmont v. Pitrolo Pontiac-Cadillac Co., 172 W. Va. 505, 308 S.E.2d 527 (1983).

6 Thomas v. North Carolina Dept. of Human Resources, 124 N.C. App. 698, 478 S.E.2d 816 (1996), aff'd, 346 N.C. 268, 485 S.E.2d 295 (1997); Weegar v. Bakeberg, 527 N.W.2d 676 (S.D. 1995).

7 People v. Manuel, 94 Ill. 2d 242, 68 Ill. Dec. 506, 446 N.E.2d 240 (1983); Lovgren v. Peoples Elec. Co., Inc., 380 N.W.2d 791 (Minn. 1986); Nevada Power Co. v. Metropolitan Development Co., 104 Nev. 684, 765 P.2d 1162 (1988); Town of Islip v. Paliotti, 196 A.D.2d 648, 601 N.Y.S.2d 926 (2d Dep't 1993); American Mfrs. Mut. Ins. Co. v. Ingram, 301 N.C. 138, 271 S.E.2d 46 (1980).

8 Commissioners of Roads and Revenues of Fulton County v. Davis, 213 Ga. 792, 102 S.E.2d 180 (1958).

9 Flournoy v. First Nat. Bank of Shreveport, 197 La. 1067, 3 So. 2d 244 (1941); State ex rel. Stenberg v. Murphy, 247 Neb. 358, 527 N.W.2d 185 (1995); Franks v. State, 772 S.W.2d 428 (Tenn. 1989).

10 People v. Harvey, 379 Ill. App. 3d 518, 318 Ill. Dec. 756, 884 N.E.2d 724 (1st Dist. 2008); State ex rel. Stenberg v. Murphy, 247 Neb. 358, 527 N.W.2d 185 (1995); Nevada Power Co. v. Metropolitan Development Co., 104 Nev. 684, 765 P.2d 1162 (1988); Ethics Com'n of State of Okl. v. Cullison, 1993 OK 37, 850 P.2d 1069 (Okla. 1993); General Motors Corp. v. Oklahoma County Bd. of Equalization, 1983 OK 59, 678 P.2d 233 (Okla. 1983); Franks v. State, 772 S.W.2d 428 (Tenn. 1989); Geeslin v. State Farm Lloyds, 255 S.W.3d 786 (Tex. App. Austin 2008).
As to the effect of and rights under a judgment based upon an unconstitutional law, see Am. Jur. 2d, Judgments § 17.
As to the res judicata effect of a judgment based upon an unconstitutional law, see Am. Jur. 2d, Judgments § 752.

11 Flournoy v. First Nat. Bank of Shreveport, 197 La. 1067, 3 So. 2d 244 (1941); Franks v. State, 772 S.W.2d 428 (Tenn. 1989).

12 Liddell v. Heavner, 2008 OK 6, 180 P.3d 1191 (Okla. 2008).

13 Flournoy v. First Nat. Bank of Shreveport, 197 La. 1067, 3 So. 2d 244 (1941).

14 Nevada Power Co. v. Metropolitan Development Co., 104 Nev. 684, 765 P.2d 1162 (1988); Ethics Com'n of State of Okl. v. Cullison, 1993 OK 37, 850 P.2d 1069 (Okla. 1993); Franks v. State, 772 S.W.2d 428 (Tenn. 1989).
As to the limitations to which this rule is subject, see § 196.

15 State ex rel. Stenberg v. Murphy, 247 Neb. 358, 527 N.W.2d 185 (1995).

16 Helvey v. Dawson County Bd. of Equalization, 242 Neb. 379, 495 N.W.2d 261 (1993) (a court may not grant any relief based upon a statute which is nonexistent or a statute which has become nonexistent by reason of a judicial declaration of unconstitutionality).

17 Millet v. Rizzo, 2 So. 2d 244 (La. Ct. App. 1st Cir. 1941); Board of Managers of James Walker Memorial Hospital of Wilmington v. City of Wilmington, 237 N.C. 179, 74 S.E.2d 749 (1953); State ex rel. Tharel v. Board of Com'rs of Creek County, 1940 OK 468, 188 Okla. 184, 107 P.2d 542 (1940).
As to the effect of a declaration of unconstitutionality on acts performed under it, generally, see § 196.

18 Thomas v. North Carolina Dept. of Human Resources, 124 N.C. App. 698, 478 S.E.2d 816 (1996), aff'd, 346 N.C. 268, 485 S.E.2d 295 (1997).

19 Jones v. Columbian Carbon Co., 132 W. Va. 219, 51 S.E.2d 790 (1948).

20 Flournoy v. First Nat. Bank of Shreveport, 197 La. 1067, 3 So. 2d 244 (1941); Amyot v. Caron, 88 N.H. 394, 190 A. 134 (1937).

21 Chicago, I. & L.R. Co. v. Hackett, 228 U.S. 559, 33 S. Ct. 581, 57 L. Ed. 966 (1913); Payne v. Griffin, 51 F. Supp. 588 (M.D. Ga. 1943); Flournoy v. First Nat. Bank of Shreveport, 197 La. 1067, 3 So. 2d 244 (1941).

22 Painter v. Shalala, 97 F.3d 1351 (10th Cir. 1996); Bartlett v. Bowen, 816 F.2d 695 (D.C. Cir. 1987), opinion reinstated on reconsideration, 824 F.2d 1240 (D.C. Cir. 1987).

23 U.S. v. Baucum, 80 F.3d 539 (D.C. Cir. 1996).

24 Neely v. U.S., 546 F.2d 1059, 41 A.L.R. Fed. 331 (3d Cir. 1976).

In Closing: For readers with an interest in legal research, I must mention this proviso: Summary references such as American Jurisprudence (Am Jur) and Corpus Juris Secundum (CJS) are secondary sources that are overviews of the body of law and as such are merely jumping off places for further research. From these, you have to then dig into the citations to truly find authority. This takes either access to a law library (yes, there are law libraries that are open to the public), or a LEXIS/NEXIS account, which is expensive.

Read the book Legal Research (by Elias) first, or you will be just flailing around, wasting valuable time.

Good luck with your research, and I pray that all your visits to court be with you in control of the situation, sitting before a fully informed jury, and with all the requisite authoritative facts at your fingertips.

Special thanks once again to SurvivalBlog reader S.G. for sending me those cites, pro bono publico.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I am a 14-year veteran of one of the "top 10 by size" police departments in the US. My whole career has been within this department so my perception of this issue is only that of a large urban city department.

I want to comment on your article "Plan B: Key Phrases to Memorize for Citizens' Reservation of Rights." In my earlier days I can unfortunately admit I probably may have been one of these officers that would try to find something to turn a civil violation traffic stop into a felony arrest. I will add though that I have never violated anyone's civil rights during my career. But I can see myself trying to find my way into someone's car that I believed was in violation of a greater crime than just the petty violation I stopped them for.

I have never attempted or detained any motorists for the length of time described in this article. I have seen officers do it and usually found ways to help the motorist out by redirecting my fellow officer, or some similar tactic.

I would like to add though that officers who conduct themselves in this manner are outside the norm. I will also add they almost  cannot be stopped once they get it set in their minds they are going to "find something".

Your comments on how to act around officers will work well with the majority of officers. But there will be a few who I can see that will not be deterred. I would say to those using this defense to also be prepared to have the officer become upset. Why some of them do I have no idea but they will.

If at all possible try to video or audio record the stop. Most smart phones have video recorders now. Using this might keep the officer on the right side of things if he sees you are recording him. This is more overt though and may be tough to do in all occasions. It is pretty easy to turn on an audio recording app though and stick your phone on the dashboard during the whole stop. Just make sure that such recording is not a crime in your state.

Another thing to think about in these situations is the officer may ask you to step out of the car. This will change the scenario up a bit. Not that I agree with it but per case law officers can order drivers and occupants out of the vehicle with nothing more than reasonable suspicion or "officer safety".

Don't feel afraid to file a complaint against them. We serve you! Many of us peace officers have forgotten this. I no longer write traffic citations to generate income. Dangerous driving and similar are the exceptions. 

I get a lot of strange looks from people when I thank them for carrying their CCW and open carried weapons and supporting the Constitution. But it is necessary!

I hope many more of my fellow peace officers will change and realize how badly they treat Citizens. I am glad I woke up and changed. - Jeff J.

Dear James:
Regarding what to do in response to being pulled over by the state or local Gestapo, err, I mean the police who then attempt a fishing expedition may I suggest a dash cam like the police have.  After watching Breakfast in Collinsville and Lodging in Collinsville in which the officer claimed the motorist violated the law by drifting over the white lane markers while the motorist stated it was the officer who had drifted over the lane markers while following the motorist I decided to take a page from Chairman Mao and get a personal dash camera.

My quest brought me to which is a clearinghouse of sorts for Chinese retailer/wholesalers to sell their products to the world market.  They withhold payment from the vendor until they receive the return post card showing the merchandise has been received.  I received my dash cam two weeks ago but the purchase still has not been posted to my credit card account. (Ebay is another option.)
After a little searching (use the phrase “Car DVR” in the search box) I jumped and purchased this dash cam that records not only the front view but with the remote camera records the rear view as well.  (I did jump too fast and overspent as I’ll explain.) 

After waiting two weeks the package arrived on a Saturday afternoon.  After a quick trip to the big box electronic store for a micro SD memory card I had a fully functional personal dash camera.  Now I feel the tables will be turned if I happen to be unfortunate enough to be seen as a possible milk cow by a law enforcement agency.
Consider the following exchange, after pulling over for the police:

Officer:  “The reason I pulled you over is because you crossed over the lane dividers several times while I happened to be behind you.”
Me:  “I crossed over the lane dividers???  Can I see your dash cam video officer so I can see for myself?
Officer:  “No, the dash cam only turns on when I activate my police lights.”
Me:  “Well officer, today’s your lucky day.  See that (pointing to my dash camera).  That is my dash cam.  It automatically starts recording three seconds after I start my car and has been recording since I left home this morning.  And see that wire, it leads to the rear camera that records motorists behind me.  Now if you give me a moment I’ll be happy to pull up the files and play them for you.  You will see that while I maintained my lane as you followed me it was you who crossed over the lane lines multiple times.  May I ask, are you under the influence of alcohol or some other drug, legal or illegal, that would cause you to drive so careless and reckless manner?”

That should end the conservation. 
Some notes on personal dash cams:
1.)  All units plug into you vehicle’s power outlet, powering up and down with the vehicle.  Some like mine comes with an extra power cord that can be wired directly into the vehicle's fuse box. 

2.)  Most need the user to buy a micro SD card (TF card).  The bigger the memory the more of your driving is recorded.  Be sure to buy the proper “class” of card.  Most require at least a “class 6” card or better.  If the wrong class of memory card is used expect skips and jumps on the recorded video files as the result.  I have a 16 GB class 10 card.  I figure it will record 4 plus hours of continuous driving.

3.)  With mine files are saved in either 1, 2, or 5 minutes blocks of time.  The user can select the file size.  When the memory card is full the oldest files are overwritten first.  Other units record can record up to 15 minute files. 

4.)  Depending on the unit video quality can be set by the user (1080, 720, 640 x 480, etc.).  I suggest using the lowest video quality setting since it allows for more recording time.

5.)  The video files can be replayed on the camera’s video screen or transferred to a computer and played through the computer’s video player.  

6.)  There are units that have 3-axis G-force sensors that will automatically save crash event files and protect the files from being overwritten (usually 10 seconds before and 20 seconds after the crash). And there are units that allow the user to hit a button to do the same thing (Such as when you are not involved in a crash but would like to save and protect an incident.)

7.)  There are units that have GPS receivers recording the GPS location as well as the video file (example).  These units come with their own computer program that merges all the data into one viewing program using internet available maps (Google Maps).

8.)  Most units record the vehicle’s interior sound.  So no more talking to yourself as you drive! 

9.)  Most units have an internal battery and can be powered up independent of the vehicle’s power.  I would suggest if possible after being pulled over and giving the officer your driver’s license, etc. unplug the unit and power up the dash cam using the internal battery so if the officer tells you to shut off the car the camera will continue to record. 

10.)  Units can be purchased for under twenty-five dollars to hundreds of dollars (example). But for under $60 dash cams can be purchased with front and rear view cameras and a GPS receiver.  (This will be my next purchase.)

11.)  My dash cam came with instructions written in Chinese-English and the printing was so small that I had to photo-copy the instructions several times enlarging the print-out each time so I could read it - and I have 20/20 vision.  But because of the language barriers I just tinkered with my dash cam figuring it out on my own. 

Finally, poke around first before diving into the dash cam pool as there are units that have a single camera, dual cameras, dual cameras with one being a remote camera, single units with GPS, dual cameras with GPS that are either internal or external (GPS can be unplugged but the cameras still operate), etc., all for under $100.

Thanks for the Blog, - Johnny Dash Cam

Monday, February 11, 2013

I've posted numerous articles and links in SurvivalBlog that emphasize the importance of remaining silent whenever you are contacted by law enforcement officers. I strongly recommend that before reading the rest of this post, you take the time watch this lecture: Don't Talk To The Police, and take it to heart.

I've heard from several readers who say that that they've been pulled over by police officers on "fishing expeditions". The officers refused to let the motorists go, even though it was obvious that no crime had been committed. These readers did everything right. They presented their identification and proof of insurance, and repeated: "On the advice of my attorney, I am exercising my right to remain silent and I do not consent to any search." This has to be repeated over and over.

The officers pressed on, with all their usual tricks, to try to get the motorists to agree to an unconstitutional search. Repeated queries were made, with the words: "Officer, am I free to go?" Finally, after more than an hour, a supervising officer would arrive on the scene, and the entire litany would then be repeated, for the umpteenth time. Then they were finally allowed to continue their travel. This is real fun in southern states when the outside temperature is 100 degrees F and the temperature inside your car is even higher.

So what if an officer persists? What if it goes on for more than an hour? At that point, depending on your patience or the volume of your bladder, it might be time for Plan B. Here is what I recommend:

1.) Keep your hands in view, preferably resting at the classic "10 and 2 o'clock" position on your steering wheel. To make the officer feel more at ease, leave your hands there throughout the encounter unless specifically ordered by the officer to move them for some specific reason.

2.) When the officer approaches your window--or the passenger's side window, depending on the situation--roll the window down a crack and slowly and without and sudden movements hand him your driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance. If you are a CCW permit holder, then also hand him your CCW permit at the same time as the other paperwork, and tell the officer: "I am obliged to tell you that I am a concealed carry permit holder and that in accordance with the concealed carry law of ______ (state) I am carrying a ________ pistol/revolver/whatever, located ___________."

3.) If a traffic citation is issued, read it and then ask: "Am I free to go?" If you are told "Yes" then go. Don't stick around for any debates, lectures, or pleasantries.

4.) If the officer asks you any questions, say: "On the advice of my attorney, I am exercising my right to remain silent and I do not consent to any search. Am I free to go?"

5.) If the officer start playing fishing expedition games to try to trick you into consenting to a search, simply repeat: "On the advice of my attorney, I am exercising my right to remain silent and I do not consent to any search. Am I free to go?"

6.) Repeat this as many times as necessary.

7.) If this goes on for more than 20 minutes, then add the phrase: "You seem to be unreasonably delaying my freedom to travel. Please contact your supervising officer. Will you please do so?"

8.) If, after an hour you still cannot get permission to proceed, I recommend that you ask: "Officer, may I contact my attorney?" If permission is refused, of if you do not have a cell phone with you or you are not in a cell phone coverage area, then you will be in a bit of jam. Then, and only then, I recommend that you politely elevate the encounter with another series of questions:

A.) Ask: "Officer, please explain why you are arresting or detaining me?" He will probably answer: "You are not under arrest."

B.) Then ask: "So, am I free to go?"

C.) If the answer is still no, then ask: "Officer, I need to ask you: Are you familiar with the legal standards of Probable Cause, Reasonable Suspicion, and Plain View?" He will probably answer: "Yes I am" or perhaps: "What, are you some kind of an attorney?"

D.) Then ask: "Do you have Probable Cause to believe that I have committed or am about to commit a criminal offense?"

E.) If the answer is no, then ask: "Am I free to go?" If the answer is no, then ask: Then ask: "Do you have Reasonable Suspicion to believe that I have committed or am about to commit a criminal offense?"

F.) If the answer is no, then ask: "Am I free to go?"If the answer is no, then ask: "Is there anything that you see on my vehicle in your Plain View that would lead you to believe that I have committed or am about to commit a criminal offense?"

G.) If the answer is no, then ask: "Am I free to go?" If the answer is no, then ask: "Is there some new legal doctrine or standard that I am not aware of that would give you cause to detain me? Please explain."

H.) If the officer gets obstinate and orders you out of your car, and declares that he (or they) are going to conduct a search or you witness them initiating a search, or they tell you to wait while a K-9 unit is being be summoned, you should ask: "Officer: Are you familiar with the Fruit of the Poisonous Tree legal precept? I must warn you that this is an nonconsensual and unconstitutional search and that anything that you might find will not be admissible as evidence. I must insist that you cease this search. By continuing, you are opening yourself up to litigation and I will not hesitate to sue both you personally, and your Department. Because you are proceeding with a clearly unconstitutional search you will not benefit from any immunity. "

Memorize these phrases, and their sequence. Beyond them, I don't know what else I can recommend.

Note that almost everything that I have recommended that you say should be IN THE FORM OF A QUESTION. This keeps the officer on the defensive at all times.

May God Bless you, in your travels. Be safe out there! - JWR

Hello James,
Over the last number of months I have really enjoyed reading articles on your survivalblog.  I like to thank you for all the good and commonsense information.
What are your thoughts on joining the army?  I have a 16 year old son who has his mind set on joining the Canadian armed forces.

I like the fact that he is willing to serve his country, but as a Christian is it wise to expose yourself willingly to crude and foul language and other foul behavior. I spoke to a Canadian veteran and told me that you are as a Christian on an ''island'' on your own with few exceptions. (Those who claim to be Christian but their daily living shows otherwise).
With all the developments in your country (police state? financial collapse?) Canada is surely not far behind. Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Regards., K.

JWR Replies: That is a tough question.  But I do have some recommendations.

First, he should be at least 19 and well-grounded as a mature Christian before he enlists.  Younger and less discerning recruits are more likely to succumb to peer pressure and fall into sinful, self-destructive patterns.

Canada announced the end of combat operations in Afghanistan in 2011, but there are still about 1,000 Canadian troops there--mainly trainers for the Afghan army.  Deployments to Afghanistan are still a possibility if you son goes active duty.

I'd recommend that your son join the Army Reserve, directly.  This way he will get the same valuable training that he would receive as an active duty soldier, but he'll be safer and probably happier. The Reserve units probably won't get called up in the event of a major economic collapse. And even if they do, they will probably stay close to home.

Do some checking and find out the branch specialty of your local Reserve unit.  If it is not Infantry or Transportation, then he'll probably be quite safe, even if his unit unexpectedly mobilizes and deploys to Afghanistan (or elsewhere.)

If he finds that he really enjoys it, then your son can always transition of active duty, later.

This afternoon I went to the 3 day gun show (Friday 3-8 and all day Sat, Sun) which began on Friday at 3PM.  Being retired it was easy for me to go but clearly a very large number of people left work early to get ahead of the Saturday morning crowds.

So we all got the Friday afternoon crowd instead!

Parking in a disabled slot, a gentleman in security noted that I was a 100 percent disabled Veteran and allowed me to walk straight in rather than wait in either of the two lines which went at least 500 meters in either direction.  The line was far bigger than I've ever seen.  It was astonishing!

Once in the door the line went straight to the back where the ammo dealers were.  The dealers were advising people to not even shop for themselves but to simply line up for the cash register and tell their staff what ammo they wanted and it would be handed to them as they waited for their turn to pay.  No mention of brands, just calibers and quantities.  

It reminded e of the old Soviet Union and people lining up to buy shoes.  "I'll take a case of .223, five boxes of .45 ACP and three boxes of 9mm and a box of .38 Special if you have it.  They would move along the line and await their ration and turn to pay.

Everyone bitched about the prices and the profiteering but few left the line.  They just adjusted what they were willing to buy or what they were willing to spend to match the new reality.  

Shooter grade ammo in .223 and.308 was a buck a round!  AK ammo was only slightly less.  And that was the price by the case!  A 1,000 round case was $1,000.  No negotiation.  No discount.

I bought two ammo cans of Lake City GI issue M2 ball .30-06 in en bloc clips to feed my M1 Garand rifles for a comparative bargain price as most people were in a feeding frenzy for the modern stuff.  Luckily I had stocked up before the election so I just shook my head and figured I'd wait for the furor to die down in a year or so.

Magpul PMAGs were averaging $50 to $60 each. As low as $45 if you bought in quantity or were a regular customer of the dealer.  [JWR Adds: These magazines were selling for as little as $11 wholesale and $16 retail, just before the frenzy.]

Genuine AK mags were $60 bucks each.  Perhaps somebody had them at a better price but I never saw them except for the cheap plastic junk.  

Cruddy old metric FN FAL mags that had sold for $4 each were $20 each.

I brought along a marginal quality Vulcan flat top AR and it was quickly snatched up for $1,600 within minutes of my walking in the door.  Most people were asking $2,000 for ARs but mine was an off-brand and a plain Jane version which I didn't really like.  Besides, I have a half dozen better ones at home so I was happy to unload it for a hefty profit.

Oh, just so you understand, people were BUYING.   Why?  

Because they knew that on Saturday most dealers would be sold out and there would be nothing at any price.  It reminded me of the panic before a blizzard hits when people strip the stores.

Most buyers said they believed there would be a ban and or confiscation.  Some said they were expecting an economic and society collapse.  A few said they believed we were about to have all of the above and it would cause a civil war between the Constitutionalists and the Federalists.

Best Regards, - Gunwriter

JWR Replies: Reader K.A.F. recently sent me the link to article that dovetails with comments, nicely: SITREP.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Dear JWR:
I currently live in the People's Republic of Illinois and have seen the mad dash for ammo and firearms make it very difficult to acquire even the standard .22 Long Rifle rimfire ammo that until a few months ago could be purchased by the case at nearly any Wal-Mart, gun shop, or sporting goods store. Recently when browsing the aisles of both Bass Pro Shop and Wal-Mart I noticed something rather peculiar: that .22 Magnum ammunition was aplenty. This struck me as really odd that .22 Magnum was even being sold in bulk packs (CCI brand) at Bass Pro with no purchase limits. It appeared as though one could easily (even now) buy 5,000 rounds of .22 Magnum without so much as a single person to compete with for it. My thoughts are now leaning towards acquiring a Kel-Tec PMR-30 [30-round .22 Magnum pistol] as well as a decent bolt-action (also in .22 Magnum) so as to provide myself the flexibility to buy this ammo even in times when other calibers may be hard to come by.

Your thoughts and opinion would be appreciated. Thanks, - K.

JWR Replies: That might be a good mitigation plan for our current circumstances. But keep in mind that even after the current shortages end that the cost per round for .22 Magnum will always be substantially higher--which makes target shooting more expensive. Hearing protection is also crucial with this cartridge. Our friends at Chuckhawks provide some background info and here are some ballistics comparisons. Yes, the .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire (WMR) has substantially more energy than .22 LR, but it is quite expensive.

You should also consider that WTSHTF, the current supply situation may be reversed to the longer term norm, for barter. (Since .22 LR is ubiquitous, while .22 Magnum will always be the much more expensive oddball.) So stock up heavily if you opt for .22 Magnum rimfires.

Friday, February 8, 2013

I read a post from one of the administrative members of the Citadel the other day.  He posted a request for "ways ahead" from group members (individuals who have paid the $208 application).  Specifically, he asked for suggestions on how to proceed given that they told the world they were looking for 3,000 acres on which to build their community.  Now, they are leaning towards a scaled down version to start; 200 acres.  While I don't find that too cosmic a question to ask, I do think incompetence is showing.  On top of that, the forum they've created for paid applicants seems to push people in the direction only they want to go.  Example, they have a subforum named "Name Our City".  In this, the administrator asks the masses what they'd like the area the Citadel lies on to be called if it is ever incorporated.  Members throw out their suggestions.  Then the administrator posts that they're pretty much focused on calling it "the Citadel" (so why even have the subforum in the first place?).  This is just one example (and a trivial one) on how uncoordinated this project is.  They should've had all the details laid out prior to recruiting.  Right now, I get the heavy impression this is being run be a handful of dreamers that are stumbling through the process.  I don't have high hopes that this is going to work
I gave them my $208 with serious reservations.  Why?  On the off chance that this is exactly what they say it is and everything works out.  Not really a hit on my finances, I had a slush fund and I'm way ahead of schedule with my preps.  I looked at it as a low risk, high pay off investment.  I didn't have to give them any info, just the money (right now).  In the future, they will be conducting interviews--so they say.  I can back out at any time. (We'll see if I get my money back). 
So, I wrote this to you because I trust you and you have the ear of many.  Please advise the masses as you see fit.  I'd request that if you post anything that I've wrote, you keep it anonymous please!  Keep your powder dry. - Mr. E.

JWR Replies: As I've mentioned before, I share some strong reservations about the Citadel community plan and the group's leadership. (Namely, Mr. Kerodin.) Our friend Patrice Lewis, who lives in the same county, recently wrote a cogent summary, in her excellent Rural Revolution blog. Some of the comments that follow are thought provoking.

A fundamental flaw is that they plan to lease shares in a walled community, rather than sell clear title to individual lots. Without private land holdings by the individual members, this wouldn't be much more than a hippie commune--albeit a heavily-armed hippie commune.

I know the region quite well. In fact, it is not far from where my first novel (Patriots) was set. The subdivision, zoning and permit requirements in Benewah County are favorable to development. (Much better than in adjoining Latah County, where there is a 40 acre minimum parcel size, for subdivision.) There are now permits required and a building code is enforced, but agricultural buildings are exempt.

Outside of the sprawling National Forest, the only large tracts of land around there (usually no more than 640 acre sections--see the checkerboard pattern of sections in the Forest Service maps) are mostly held by the big timber companies such as Potlatch.  The largest tracts and the most affordable (per acre) are mostly in high elevation country which have serious access problems in the winter and are pitiful, agriculturally.  (Again, because of the elevation, which means a short growing season.)

Generally, the big tracts of land don't go on the market until after they've been logged.  Bit I must mention that these days, the loggers no longer do many clear cuts, and they have special cutting plans required near streams.

While I do recommend the lower-elevation portions of the region, I don't think that the current Citadel plan has much chance of success. And as long as ex-felon Mr. Kerodin is in the leadership, I cannot endorse it.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

First, I must mention that the Feinstein bill is remarkably similar to what we live with already in California, other than some additional models being added and some language changes. With all of Feinstein and colleague's rhetoric about the California bullet button loophole, I notice that in her Federally proposed bill, if you have a fixed magazine (al la the California bullet button feature, which makes the magazine fixed) your (military) features are not limited. You are, however, limited to a 10 round fixed magazine capacity. Once you have a removable magazine, the "Military" (scary looking) features come into play. I would have thought the great Feinstein would have modified her legislation to include the removal of the bullet button exemption as she is threatening to do in California. It kinda makes the case that her goal is total disarmament through incremental legislation.

Second, regarding the article about the Iowa cops purchasing their own AR to protect the public, we have been doing this in California for some time now. Officers are permitted to purchase a AR type firearm with the authorization of their department head (Sheriff or Chief) and for law enforcement purposes. These firearms are required to be registered with the California DOJ. Initially officers were told that since the firearms were lawfully obtained and registered, they would be treated like pre ban firearms and individual officers would be allowed to keep upon their honorable retirement. California Governor Moonbeam (Brown) was the California Attorney General when a San Diego Sheriff asked for an opinion as to whether officers were allowed to keep their personally purchased firearms upon their retirement. It was the then Attorney General Moonbeam's opinion that officers may not keep their personally owned "assault weapons' since they no longer served a law enforcement purpose. Attorney General Moonbeam cited several examples of case law in support of his opinion; Silveira v. Lockyer2002, The District of Columbia v. Heller 2008 and McDonald v. Chicago 2010, all of which, as I understand it, have been overturned.
Third, it was not long ago that law enforcement officials were clamoring (and rightly so) for weaponry at least equal to that of many criminals. Their cry was for semi automatic pistols with "normal capacity" magazines and semiautomatic rifles with "normal capacity" magazines. The public overwhelmingly supported this upgrade. It is no surprise that law enforcement settled on some of the most reliable, proven and popular firearms in the industry and whose magazine capacities ranged from 12 to 30 rounds. These firearms consisted of SIGs, Glocks and S&Ws to name a few as well as the most popular rifle in the United States, the venerable AR-15 style rifle, the civilian version of the military "Assault Rifle." My question is; has the criminal element become any less armed or dangerous to the highly trained and coordinated law enforcement response? Criminals, particularly organized street and outlaw gangs are often better armed and more coordinated than ever. Since a highly trained and coordinated police response requires these tools to effectively protect themselves and their communities, would it not stand to reason that a lesser trained (but safe and responsible) civilian who is likely on his own (remember, when seconds count , the police are but minutes away, not a slam, just a fact) would not require the option of similar tools when confronting the violent actions of others? During my tenure as a metropolitan LEO (30+ years, most of it on the street) I have learned that when committing serious crimes, criminals often, even typically, operate in teams. I have also seen subjects sustain multiple gunshot wounds and walk, on their own power, to an ambulance. The idea that one is able to consistently and effectively protect himself or herself with 5, 7 or even 10 rounds is simply not supportable by facts. If a victim has a 30 round capability, their obligation is to engage a suspect(S) until the suspects stop their assault. Having that 30 round capacity gives the victim "Options" in dealing with the threat. A victim is not required to use the entire magazine capacity, just that portion that proves to be effective. In my experience, lawful owners of firearms who have accepted the responsibility and obligations of firearm ownership are an asset and are typically reserved in the responsible deployment of their firearms as circumstances dictate.
Fourth, keeping firearms out of the hands of those who are irresponsible or incapable of good judgment should be our common goal. So how might this be accomplished? I see no reason why a national database of those who are not qualified to own or possess any firearm and should include relevant information from the mental health field, could not be effectively established and available to Law Enforcement and for background checks. The FFL dealer calls in the background check to the National Registry and receives a YES/NO response. The registry does not need to know or retain specific firearm information (with the exception of various restricted items), simply that an individual qualifies or not for the purchase. Of course there would be the ability to challenge the database information if one was disqualified unjustly. This system would generally accomplish the goals of keeping firearms from those who should not have them while safeguarding the legal and privacy rights of the millions of lawful firearms owners.
So where am I going with this? In California the controversy of honorably retired LEOs keeping their AR-15s has raised its head. Many firearms owners feel it unfair that LEOs are able to retain their "Assault Weapon" when they cannot. As I understand it, this is based on a right of equal protection. I get that and can support the concept. As lawful firearms owners generally and Californian firearms owners specifically, we should learn about incrementalism from those who would strip us of our rights. We should steadfastly support the second amendment rights of our responsible fellow citizens in all states. We should then support the idea that an honorable retired California LEO is "entitled" to keep his or her personal property. Once established we should use that same argument of a right of equal protection to increment California back to a free state where the second amendment is not infringed for any law abiding citizen. This is an inclusive strategy not an exclusive strategy. Many of you would be surprised that, once out of the major metro areas of California, the majority of the remainder of the state is very conservative. In the last election the liberal vote trumped the conservative vote by just a few percentage points. Yes, there is hope, even in California.
Last, as a thought, when we see police officials standing in the midst of those who would infringe our second amendment rights, you will rarely see a member of the rank and file. Under the auspices of community policing, crime is a community problem. The police are a tool of the community in addressing those problems. By the same token, the common tools and options available to community members who are in good standing should be at least as broad as those available to the trained and coordinated police response. - Scott M.

Monday, January 28, 2013

This is a standing invitation to my fellow Americans: If congress ever enacts a law mandating the registration and/or a production ban of detachable magazine semiautomatic rifles then you are hereby invited to the town square of your local community. There, burn barrels will be set up and we will publicly burn Form 4473s, FFL Bound Books, state and local registration records, and the sales receipts for every firearm in the United States. On that same day, FFL holders and public officials holding electronic firearms records will simultaneously erase those records, permanently and irretrievably. (Using special file erasure software such as Blancco, X-Ways, and Stellar Wipe, or though the physical destruction of disk drives.)

Spontaneous Gatherings, Spontaneous Combustion

This burn barrel day--likely to be held the day after the President signs any new draconian legislation--will include speeches, public prayers, and the blessing of those who have gathered by ministers, rabbis, and priests.

The core of the activities on that day will be stalwart public defiance of any new unconstitutional law(s), the open and notorious destruction of records that might be used to enslave us, and vocal public affirmations of solidarity of free men and women, in the face of tyranny. This will be a defining moment for America--a line drawn in the sand. We will forthrightly declare that we will not obey any unconstitutional law and that we will treat it dismissively, as if it had never been enacted -- nunc pro tunc. We will pledge ourselves to the defense of liberty, both individually and collectively. We will vow that if ever called to jury duty, we will nullify any unconstitutional laws, vacating the charges against the accused, in accordance with our long-standing right as jurors. (See:

The Law is On Our Side

We will publicly re-affirm some long standing precepts of American jurisprudence, to wit:

§ 195 Generally

The general rule is that an unconstitutional statute, whether federal or state, though having the form and name of law, is in reality no law(1) but is wholly void(2) and ineffective for any purpose.(3) Since unconstitutionality dates from the time of its enactment and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it,(4) an unconstitutional law, in legal contemplation, is as inoperative as if it had never been passed(5) and never existed;(6) that is, it is void ab initio.(7) Such a statute leaves the question that it purports to settle just as it would be had the statute not been enacted.(8)
Since an unconstitutional law is void, it follows that generally the statute imposes no duties,(9) confers no rights,(10) creates no office(11) or liabilities,(12) bestows no power or authority on anyone,(13) affords no protection,(14) is incapable of creating any rights or obligations,(15) does not allow for the granting of any relief,(16) and justifies no acts performed under it.(17)
Once a statute is determined to be unconstitutional, no private citizen or division of the state may take any further action pursuant to its provisions.(18) A contract that rests on an unconstitutional statute creates no obligation to be impaired by subsequent legislation.(19) No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law,(20) and no courts are bound to enforce it.(21) A law contrary to the United States Constitution may not be enforced.(22) Once a statute has been declared unconstitutional, courts thereafter have no jurisdiction over alleged violations.(23) Persons convicted and fined under a statute subsequently held unconstitutional may recover the fines paid.(24)


1 Commissioners of Roads and Revenues of Fulton County v. Davis, 213 Ga. 792, 102 S.E.2d 180 (1958); State v. Village of Garden City, 74 Idaho 513, 265 P.2d 328 (1953); McGuire v. C & L Restaurant Inc., 346 N.W.2d 605 (Minn. 1984); People v. Corley, 91 Misc. 2d 255, 397 N.Y.S.2d 875 (City Crim. Ct. 1977).

2 Lewis v. Uselton, 224 Ga. App. 428, 480 S.E.2d 856 (1997); State ex rel. Stenberg v. Murphy, 247 Neb. 358, 527 N.W.2d 185 (1995); State v. Clark, 367 N.W.2d 168 (N.D. 1985); St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co. v. Getty Oil Co., 1989 OK 139, 782 P.2d 915 (Okla. 1989); Weegar v. Bakeberg, 527 N.W.2d 676 (S.D. 1995); Almond v. Day, 197 Va. 419, 89 S.E.2d 851 (1955).

3State v. One Oldsmobile Two-Door Sedan, Model 1946, 227 Minn. 280, 35 N.W.2d 525 (1948); Grieb v. Department of Liquor Control of State, 153 Ohio St. 77, 41 Ohio Op. 148, 90 N.E.2d 691 (1950); Hunter v. School Dist. of Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau, 97 Wis. 2d 435, 293 N.W.2d 515 (1980).

4 Shirley v. Getty Oil Co., 367 So. 2d 1388 (Ala. 1979); Oliver v. State, 619 So. 2d 384 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1st Dist. 1993); Lewis v. Uselton, 224 Ga. App. 428, 480 S.E.2d 856 (1997); Trout v. State, 231 S.W.3d 140 (Mo. 2007); State ex rel. Stenberg v. Murphy, 247 Neb. 358, 527 N.W.2d 185 (1995); Texas Dept. of Family and Protective Services v. Dickensheets, 274 S.W.3d 150 (Tex. App. Houston 1st Dist. 2008).

5 Huffman v. Dawkins, 273 Ark. 520, 622 S.W.2d 159 (1981); Commissioners of Roads and Revenues of Fulton County v. Davis, 213 Ga. 792, 102 S.E.2d 180 (1958); Briggs v. Campbell, Wyant & Cannon Foundry Co., Division Textron Am. Inc., 2 Mich. App. 204, 139 N.W.2d 336 (1966), judgment aff'd, 379 Mich. 160, 150 N.W.2d 752 (1967); McGuire v. C & L Restaurant Inc., 346 N.W.2d 605 (Minn. 1984); State ex rel. Stenberg v. Murphy, 247 Neb. 358, 527 N.W.2d 185 (1995); State v. Clark, 367 N.W.2d 168 (N.D. 1985); St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co. v. Getty Oil Co., 1989 OK 139, 782 P.2d 915 (Okla. 1989); Glen-Gery Corp. v. Zoning Hearing Bd. of Dover Tp., 589 Pa. 135, 907 A.2d 1033 (2006); Franks v. State, 772 S.W.2d 428 (Tenn. 1989); School Districts' Alliance for Adequate Funding of Special Educ. v. State, 149 Wash. App. 241, 202 P.3d 990, 242 Ed. Law Rep. 383 (Div. 2 2009); City of Fairmont v. Pitrolo Pontiac-Cadillac Co., 172 W. Va. 505, 308 S.E.2d 527 (1983).

6 Thomas v. North Carolina Dept. of Human Resources, 124 N.C. App. 698, 478 S.E.2d 816 (1996), aff'd, 346 N.C. 268, 485 S.E.2d 295 (1997); Weegar v. Bakeberg, 527 N.W.2d 676 (S.D. 1995).

7 People v. Manuel, 94 Ill. 2d 242, 68 Ill. Dec. 506, 446 N.E.2d 240 (1983); Lovgren v. Peoples Elec. Co., Inc., 380 N.W.2d 791 (Minn. 1986); Nevada Power Co. v. Metropolitan Development Co., 104 Nev. 684, 765 P.2d 1162 (1988); Town of Islip v. Paliotti, 196 A.D.2d 648, 601 N.Y.S.2d 926 (2d Dep't 1993); American Mfrs. Mut. Ins. Co. v. Ingram, 301 N.C. 138, 271 S.E.2d 46 (1980).

8 Commissioners of Roads and Revenues of Fulton County v. Davis, 213 Ga. 792, 102 S.E.2d 180 (1958).

9 Flournoy v. First Nat. Bank of Shreveport, 197 La. 1067, 3 So. 2d 244 (1941); State ex rel. Stenberg v. Murphy, 247 Neb. 358, 527 N.W.2d 185 (1995); Franks v. State, 772 S.W.2d 428 (Tenn. 1989).

10 People v. Harvey, 379 Ill. App. 3d 518, 318 Ill. Dec. 756, 884 N.E.2d 724 (1st Dist. 2008); State ex rel. Stenberg v. Murphy, 247 Neb. 358, 527 N.W.2d 185 (1995); Nevada Power Co. v. Metropolitan Development Co., 104 Nev. 684, 765 P.2d 1162 (1988); Ethics Com'n of State of Okl. v. Cullison, 1993 OK 37, 850 P.2d 1069 (Okla. 1993); General Motors Corp. v. Oklahoma County Bd. of Equalization, 1983 OK 59, 678 P.2d 233 (Okla. 1983); Franks v. State, 772 S.W.2d 428 (Tenn. 1989); Geeslin v. State Farm Lloyds, 255 S.W.3d 786 (Tex. App. Austin 2008).
As to the effect of and rights under a judgment based upon an unconstitutional law, see Am. Jur. 2d, Judgments § 17.
As to the res judicata effect of a judgment based upon an unconstitutional law, see Am. Jur. 2d, Judgments § 752.

11 Flournoy v. First Nat. Bank of Shreveport, 197 La. 1067, 3 So. 2d 244 (1941); Franks v. State, 772 S.W.2d 428 (Tenn. 1989).

12 Liddell v. Heavner, 2008 OK 6, 180 P.3d 1191 (Okla. 2008).

13 Flournoy v. First Nat. Bank of Shreveport, 197 La. 1067, 3 So. 2d 244 (1941).

14 Nevada Power Co. v. Metropolitan Development Co., 104 Nev. 684, 765 P.2d 1162 (1988); Ethics Com'n of State of Okl. v. Cullison, 1993 OK 37, 850 P.2d 1069 (Okla. 1993); Franks v. State, 772 S.W.2d 428 (Tenn. 1989).
As to the limitations to which this rule is subject, see § 196.

15 State ex rel. Stenberg v. Murphy, 247 Neb. 358, 527 N.W.2d 185 (1995).

16 Helvey v. Dawson County Bd. of Equalization, 242 Neb. 379, 495 N.W.2d 261 (1993) (a court may not grant any relief based upon a statute which is nonexistent or a statute which has become nonexistent by reason of a judicial declaration of unconstitutionality).

17 Millet v. Rizzo, 2 So. 2d 244 (La. Ct. App. 1st Cir. 1941); Board of Managers of James Walker Memorial Hospital of Wilmington v. City of Wilmington, 237 N.C. 179, 74 S.E.2d 749 (1953); State ex rel. Tharel v. Board of Com'rs of Creek County, 1940 OK 468, 188 Okla. 184, 107 P.2d 542 (1940).
As to the effect of a declaration of unconstitutionality on acts performed under it, generally, see § 196.

18 Thomas v. North Carolina Dept. of Human Resources, 124 N.C. App. 698, 478 S.E.2d 816 (1996), aff'd, 346 N.C. 268, 485 S.E.2d 295 (1997).

19 Jones v. Columbian Carbon Co., 132 W. Va. 219, 51 S.E.2d 790 (1948).

20 Flournoy v. First Nat. Bank of Shreveport, 197 La. 1067, 3 So. 2d 244 (1941); Amyot v. Caron, 88 N.H. 394, 190 A. 134 (1937).

21 Chicago, I. & L.R. Co. v. Hackett, 228 U.S. 559, 33 S. Ct. 581, 57 L. Ed. 966 (1913); Payne v. Griffin, 51 F. Supp. 588 (M.D. Ga. 1943); Flournoy v. First Nat. Bank of Shreveport, 197 La. 1067, 3 So. 2d 244 (1941).

22 Painter v. Shalala, 97 F.3d 1351 (10th Cir. 1996); Bartlett v. Bowen, 816 F.2d 695 (D.C. Cir. 1987), opinion reinstated on reconsideration, 824 F.2d 1240 (D.C. Cir. 1987).

23 U.S. v. Baucum, 80 F.3d 539 (D.C. Cir. 1996).

24 Neely v. U.S., 546 F.2d 1059, 41 A.L.R. Fed. 331 (3d Cir. 1976).

From: § 195, American Jurisprudence 2d, Volume 16 (Conflict of Laws to Constitutional Law 1-359).

Never Again!

Recognizing the many sad lessons of civilian disarmament and subsequent genocides in the 20th Century, we will make bold and forthright statement: Never Again! We will not submit to the unlawful decrees of tyrants. We will not meekly go their jails and internment camps. We will fight for our liberty, to our dying breath.

Come Armed, Come Masked

I recommend that all adults who publicly assemble at these burn barrel events do so armed, as is our right. And those who come armed should also wear masks, to protect themselves from malicious prosecution. I plan to wear a Guy Fawkes mask, but you can wear a bandana, face muffler, or the face mask of your choice. Joining you, also wearing masks, will be many mayors, sheriffs and their deputies, chiefs of police and their officers, town council members, clergy, and people of all walks of life. We vastly outnumber the tyrants. The tyrants deserve nothing but our scorn and derision. Their fate is already sealed.

Plausible Denial

After this fateful day has come and gone, FFL holders and public officials will be able to recount: "I had no choice. My records were taken by men with guns who were wearing masks!" (So they'll have no excuse if they don't cooperate with this nationwide display of civil disobedience.)

God Bless The Republic. Down with Tyrants. We Will Prevail!

- James Wesley, Rawles - January 28, 2013

Note: Permission to reprint or re-post this piece in full by any method (printed or electronically) is granted by the author (James Wesley, Rawles), as a long as it is not altered in any way and it is reproduced in full.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Senator-For-Life Dianne Feinstein's recently-introduced firearms and magazine ban bill is not only unconstitutional but also incredibly poorly written. It is riddled with typographical errors, inconsistencies, illogical construction, lapses, and some redundancies to existing laws. For example, the bill calls out the "Streetsweeper' and "Striker 12" even though several years ago both of those those shotguns reclassified as "Destructive Devices, making them subject to a $200 Federal transfer tax!

FWIW, I am not going to spell out the typos and the nonexistent models, simply because I don't want provide Comrade Feinstein with potential corrections to her horrible legislation. Suffice to say, there are lots of errors.

The ban bill works two different ways "by description" and also "by name." (The latter, by the way, makes this an unconstitutional Bill of Attainder.) There are 157 specifically-named firearms.

The "by description" portion of the bill would ban the sale, transfer, manufacturing and importation of:

All semiautomatic rifles that can accept a detachable magazine and have at least one military feature: pistol grip; forward grip; folding, telescoping, or detachable stock; grenade launcher or rocket launcher; barrel shroud; or threaded barrel.

All semiautomatic pistols that can accept a detachable magazine and have at least one military feature: threaded barrel; second pistol grip; barrel shroud; capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside of the pistol grip; or semiautomatic version of an automatic firearm.

All semiautomatic rifles and handguns that have a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.

All semiautomatic shotguns that have a folding, telescoping, or detachable stock; pistol grip; fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 5 rounds; ability to accept a detachable magazine; forward grip; grenade launcher or rocket launcher; or shotgun with a revolving cylinder.

All ammunition feeding devices (magazines, strips, and drums) capable of accepting more than 10 rounds.

List of Firearms Prohibited by Name:

All AK types, including the following: AK, AK47,AK47S, AK-74, AKM, AKS, ARM, MAK90, MISR, MHM90, MHM91, Rock River Arms LAR-47, SA85, SA93, Vector Arms AK-47, VEPR, WASR-10 and WUM, IZHMASH Saiga AK, MAADI AK47 and ARM, Norinco 56S, 56S2, 84S and 86S, Poly Technologies AK47 and AKS;
All AR types, including the following: AR-10, AR-15, Armalite M15 22LR Carbine, Armalite M15-T, Barrett REC7, Beretta AR-70, Bushmaster ACR, Bushmaster Carbon 15, Bushmaster MOE series, Bushmaster XM15, Colt Match Target Rifles, DoubleStar AR rifles, DPMS Tactical Rifles, Heckler & Koch MR556, Olympic Arms, Remington R-15 rifles, Rock River Arms LAR-15, Sig Sauer SIG516 rifles, Smith & Wesson M&P15 rifles, Stag Arms AR rifles, Sturm, Ruger & Co. SR556 rifles;

Barrett M107A1; Barrett M82A1, Beretta CX4 Storm; Calico Liberty Series; CETME Sporter; Daewoo K-1, K-2 Max 1, Max 2, AR 100 and AR 100C;
Fabrique Nationale/FN Herstral FAL, LAR 22 FNC, 308 Match, L1A1 Sporter, PS90, SCAR and FS2000
Feather Industries AT-9
Galil Model AR and Model ARM
Hi-Point Carbine; HK-91, HK-93, HK-94, HK-PSG-1 and HK USC
Kel-Tec Sub-2000, SU-16 and RFB, SIG AMT, SIG PE-57, Sig Sauer SG 500 and Sig Sauer SG 551
Springfield Armory SAR-48
Steyr AUG
Sturm, Ruger Mini-14 Tactical Rifle M-14/20CF
All Thompson rifles, including the following: Thompson M1SB, ThompsonT1100D, Thompson T150D, Thompson T1B, Thompson T1B100D, Thompson T1B50D, Thompson T1BSB, Thompson T1-C, Thompson T1D, Thompson T1SB, Thompson T5, Thompson T5100D, Thompson TM1, Thompson TM1C
UMAREX UZI rifle, UZI mini carbine and UZI Model B Carbine
Valmet M62S, M71S and M78
Vector Arms USI Type
Weaver Arms Nighthawk
Wilkinson Arms Linda Carbine

All AK-47 types, including the following: Centurion 39 AK pistol, Draco AK-47 pistol, HCR AK-47 pistol, IO Inc. Hellpup AK-47 pistol, Krinkov Pistol, Mini Draco AK-47 pistol, Yugo Krebs Krink pistol
All AR-15 types, including the following: American Spirit Ar-15 pistol, Bushmaster Carbon 15 pistol, DoubleStar Corporation AR pistol, DPMS AR-15 pistol, Olympic Arms AR-15 pistol
Encom MP-9 and MP-45
Heckler & Koch model SP-89 pistol
Intratec AB-10, TEC-22 Scorpion, TEC-9 and TEC-DC9
Kel-Tex PLR 16 pistol
The following MAC types: MAC-10, MAC-11 Masterpiece Arms MPA A930 Mini Pistol, MPA460 Pistol, MPA Tactical Pistol and MPA Mini Tactical Pistol
Military Armament Corp. INgram M-11, Velocity Arms VMAC
Sig Saur P556 pistol
Sites Spectre
All Thompson, types including the following: Thompson TA510D, Thompson TA5
All UZI types, including: Micro-UZI

Franchi LAW-12 and SPAS 12
All IZHMASH Saiga 12 types, including the following: IZHMASH Saiga 12, IZHMASH Saiga 12S, IZHMASH Saiga 12S EXP-01, IZHMASH Saiga 12K, IZHMASH Saiga 12K-030, IZHMASH Saiga 12K-040 Taktika; Streetsweeper, Striker 12.

Belt-fed semiautomatic firearms
All belt-fed semiautomatic firearms, including: TNW M2HB

Additional details can be found here.

Please contact you congress members and insist that they oppose this horribly flawed and unconstitutional legislation. The congressional contact links at the Ruger web site are quick and easy to use.

Closing Note from JWR: In the unlikely event that this bill passes it will be ESSENTIAL to immediately set up a family firearms trust. That way, transfers within your trust (among the trust beneficiaries) can still be made at will, multi-generationally.

Friday, January 25, 2013

The end of the world as we knew it is upon us in New York State. 
New York’s recent SAFE Act legislation (see the full text) immediately prohibited the sale of what misguided politicians call “assault weapons” and any magazine that holds more than seven cartridges effective January 14, 2013.  Sales within New York were immediately halted and are now forever forbidden unless there is an unlikely repeal or successful legal challenge.  This means that if you live in New York state and wanted to get a PTR91, AR15, WASR, Saiga, or a standard capacity magazine for any of the same – it is too late.  You can not EVER legally buy one in New York – EVER - even from a private citizen within state lines. If you already have one you must dispose of or register it within one year.  The same is true of magazines with the capacity to hold 10 or more cartridges.  If you do not already have them, you can not legally obtain them in New York.  And if you do have them, you will be required to dispose of them unless they belong to a C&R eligible weapon that your register as an assault weapon.
Through SurvivalBlog you have warned your readers for years that when the SHTF, we will have to make due with those supplies that we have prepared ahead of time.  That now is the case in New York.  If you have not armed yourself, you can not now legally do so with the most effective tools for defense.  To merely posses what has been legal will become a crime unless you are willing to give up your standard capacity magazines and give these same ignorant and arrogant politicians a list of what you have then rely on their good will to allow you to continue to possess it.
It gets worse.  Effective March 15th 2013 private sales of any firearm (“assault weapon” or otherwise) will be forbidden in New York without a NICS check; and effective January 2014 sales of ammunition will require a background check and be logged so that the state will know how many of what type of cartridge are purchase and how often we do so.  Ammunition sellers will be required to record our name and address along with the quantity, brand, and caliber of ammunition purchased. As you can imagine under these circumstances, ammunition prices have skyrocketed in the rush for people to accumulate a lifetime supply of it before January 13, 2014.
For those of us who value privacy the S has already hit the fan. If we ever need to defend ourselves from anything from criminals, corrupt governments, or post apocalyptic dangers, we will need to defend ourselves with whatever tools are already on hand and the ammunition we can accumulate in the next year. 
For those of you outside of New York I can only say heed the warnings.  Learn by our failures, and fight against any similar tyranny on a Federal level or in your home states.  I am relying on you since I am actively looking for real estate in a place where there is still a measure of freedom.
Mike (aka Mr. Yankee)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Brother Rawles,
Thank you to you and Ulysses in Montana for the detailed article on .308 battle rifles.  The current political environment kicked me into high gear, buying one.  Ulysses information helped me out tremendously.  It will help me save time and money on getting familiar with a new caliber and rifle.  In the beginning hours of the Gun Grab I picked up an Armalite AR-10 lower receiver and mags. I've got a number of 5.56 AR's but have been putting off getting my "dream" rifle for a couple of years.  Depending on what happens in Washington DC, I might trade it toward a FAL or build the .308 Armalite. 
There's a lot of people who argue with their spouse's upset over their firearm purchases.  I've had to explain to my wife that I'm expending a large part of my lifetime's firearm budget in a short period of time...and not by choice.  It's either now or never.  We had a heart to heart discussion about it and have had to make some sacrifice's in some other area's for a short period of time.  She's been supportive but I regret not explaining things to her better at the beginning.  One silver lining of this situation is learning to be a better husband and mate. 
Thank you for years of telling us to stock up on magazines and all the information you share. God bless you and yours, - K. in Richland, Washington 

JWR Replies: I've mentioned this before, but given the exigencies of the politics of the day, it bears repetition: Stock up on magazines before a ban. Magazines should be your highest purchasing priority.

In the worst case there will be a Federal production ban on battle rifles and magazines with no grandfather clause. But failing that, I expect to read of a "bi-partisan compromise" for "...only a magazine ban." And this compromise will be labeled by the mass media as a huge disappointment for the Democrat party. (Isn't incrementalism devious?)

But even if a magazine ban fails in Congress, then we can expect an import ban via Executive Order! I've been warning you since 2007. It is time to get serious about buying full capacity magazines, even if it means running up a balance on your credit card for a couple of months. (And this is coming from someone who is adverse to consumer credit!) In three or four year, when a 19-round Glock magazine is selling for $200, you'll be glad that you did!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Dear Jim,
Over the last 4 years, I have read your blog almost every day! As a committed “prepper”, most of the advice found herein is good to excellent. Likewise the recent comment by a public safety officer regarding his concern that he not be lumped into a category of untrustworthy “guvmint” agents. My professional work as a physician and my recreational pursuit of shooting activities put me into contact with many, many local policemen, sheriff’s deputies and even Federal agents, e.g., FBI and ATF. In my opinion, based on conversations with these folks, most are good guys who are true patriots and on our side, at least here in south Georgia. This is especially true of local law enforcement officials. As part of my plan to espouse disaster preparedness as an important mainstream function of a mature adult, I try to associate with LE folks, including the Feds, as often as possible. Do I feel that they are taking notes and planning to hunt me down in the event of an overarching socioeconomic meltdown and the ensuing chaos? Absolutely not! When things go south, it would be most beneficial to have these folks on my side. And by presenting them with sane, sober and intelligent strategies for disaster preparation, I believe that they perceive our efforts as both socially wholesome and vital to public safety. - RangerDoc


I wanted to write concerning the letter: "Many Police and Firefighters are the Good Guys."

First I want to agree with the premise of the title of the letter. However, that is about where it ends. I am ex-military and ex-law enforcement myself. I have friends and family that are, or were, police, fire, EMS, and military. I have not yet been able to find a truly honest LEO who proclaims that they would not "confiscate" firearms, or refuse to enforce some draconian legislative measure when it comes to guns (similar to what this letter is presenting), who I did not ultimately prove were hypocritical in their claims.

We must first examine these new proclamations and "oaths" LEOs are making (publicly and privately), indicating that they will not personally abide by, nor enforce, any new anti-gun legislation, nor will they confiscate guns from citizens. Personally, if they hold true to this claim, they are to be commended, because they will be upholding Constitutional law. It is likely that any new anti-gun laws not adhered to by citizens will be considered felonies. Therefore, any law enforcement officer who knowingly allows a person to keep their "restricted" guns, is allowing a felon (possibly uncharged, yet to be convicted) to posses a firearm.

Now ask that same officer if they have ever taken a gun away from a convicted felon. If they answer is yes, then how are we to believe that this same officer will suddenly not seize weapons from new felons? Am I making a big leap here? Maybe. What if a less than honorable LEO does enforce new anti-gun laws, seizes weapons, makes arrests which result in convictions, and now those new felons (only felons because they refused to give up their "assault" weapons) are stopped by the self-proclaimed honorable LEO in possession of guns, what is he to do now?

I ask every active law enforcement official to answer these few simple questions before you start making such bold proclamations:

Why are you suddenly so willing to not enforce any new anti-gun legislation, but more than willing to enforce the previous draconian anti-gun legislation? Why are they not one in the same?
If you are willing to admit one anti-gun law to be unconstitutional (draconian, anti-American, or whatever you want to call it), then you must be willing to admit that all existing anti-gun laws are unconstitutional, right? If not, you are a hypocrite.

If any new anti-gun law requires that the public registers their "assault" weapons under NFA or GCA rules (old or revised), and you are unwilling to enforce these new measures, then are you also willing to not enforce any NFA or GCA gun laws? If not, you are a hypocrite.

Until the Gun Control Act (1968), convicted felons retained their God Given Natural Born Right to keep and bear arms. How exactly did felons change from October 21, 1968 to October 22, 1968 to somehow deserve to have their inalienable Rights stripped from them? Remember, it is this exact legislative removal of an inalienable Right that you have been willing enforce without question. Are you a hypocrite?

You have been hearing "anti law enforcement sentiment" because of the dichotomy of these new statements of intent versus LEOs verifiable past actions opposing these new claims of intent. If LEOs cannot reconcile these differences, how are they ever going to reconcile who's guns to take, and who's they do not? On the day that any new anti-gun legislation is signed by any president, there will be millions of instant (yet to be convicted) felons, and if you are prone to taking weapons from felons, you are going to hear far more than just some simple "anti law enforcement sentiment[s]," you are likely going to hear inbound gunfire. - S.M.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Dear Mr. Rawles,

First, I want to take a moment to tell you how much we love your blog site.  The amount of well thought out information that you have available is a great resource for all of us. 

I would however like to discuss a disturbing trend I am seeing on your blog.  While your distrust of the policies and actions of the government may be well founded I am worried about the anti law enforcement sentiment that is popping up is troubling.  I would never tell anybody to blindly trust or follow any one person or group of people but to distrust any entire group based on their vocation is extremely biased.  I had a sergeant who was found of asking people why they judged us on our color.  He would always get a response of “no I’m not” or “that’s crazy we’re the same color!”  My sergeant would reply “blue, you’re judging us on the color of our uniform, blue.”  I say we are being judged on our uniform now. 

I have been attending The Catholic Church for most of my life.  Many of you may remember the despicable actions of several members of the clergy from the news.  While their actions were appalling and in my eyes deserved a much more severe punishment, it did not warrant a mistrust of all clergy of all faiths.  Have there been police officers who treated people unfairly or even broken the laws they were sworn to uphold?  Of course!  There have also been teachers who preyed on the very children they were there to help.  Soldiers who attacked and abused their own female counterparts.  The list is unfoundedly endless.  I far from condone these actions, in fact I think harsher penalties are due to those who abuse their power.  You simply cannot judge an entire group by the actions of a few of its members. 

I have been a medic, firefighter and most recently a police officer.  I am proud of my chosen vocation and will lay down my life if called upon to do so.  I have attended the funerals of more of my brothers and sisters then I care to discuss.  The number of officers that have been killed in the line of duty is rising at an alarming rate.  These are men and women who laid down their lives for the same good people who read this blog.  I tell the people that I come in contact with to get their concealed weapons permit and carry regularly!  I have sworn to uphold the laws of this state and the constitution of our great country so I tell people to get the permit.  I have even gone so far as to put citizens in contact with instructors.  If it were up to me they would need no permit but it’s not so I direct them to the legal path of self protection.  Saying that LEOs are all out to get you is, in my eyes, the same as a LEO saying that all preppers are domestic terrorists.  I’m not saying to trust every cop you see. Rather, I’m just asking that you give them the same opportunity to earn your trust as anybody else.  Remember that at the end of the day most of us are just trying to make a difference in our communities.  I don’t want to take away the rights of any citizens.  I think the attacks on the 2nd amendment are a threat to the life and liberty of every American.  I can tell you that if, and when in my opinion, guns are outlawed and officers are called upon to collect them it will be a slow day at the office.  I can’t speak for every officer everywhere but I can tell you I have yet to meet one who would even try to take guns out of the hands of honest hard working Americans. 

I learned about this blog from other officers at my department who share the worries of many of the readers here.  It is my wish that more good Christians were able and willing to take care of themselves.  I wish that every decent person was armed and when some crazy person attacks a school or movie theater they were able to stop him or her before anybody lost their lives.  A lot, maybe most, of people today are unwilling to protect themselves.  I believe there are many reasons why this is so and could no doubt fill an entire article with them but the fact remains, it falls on a few to protect the many.  I will continue to be an avid follower and supporter of SurvivalBlog but it is my hope that my fellow readers will see the men and women who protect and serve for what they are: people.  - A Prepared Sheepdog

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Picture this: On some not-so-remote night, you are awakened by an insistent thumping on your door, or perhaps by the sound of breaking glass. You stagger up and groggily go toward the noise, maybe muttering or worse. Perhaps you have the time and presence of mind to grab your home defense tool of whatever description, and maybe you awaken your spouse and get him or her (and any children) to a more secure part of the house. Now what? What are you prepared to do?

Like many of you, I have been self-sufficient and responsible for more decades than I care to remember, starting with my days in the Scouts and continuing through my backpacker period in the 1970s. As a downy-faced youth barely out of my teens, I raised my right hand and solemnly swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States and of the Commonwealth of Virginia, an oath I have reaffirmed five times since and take very seriously. In the intervening thirty-five or more years, I have served as a member of state, local, and federal law enforcement organizations. I was a prosecutor for about twenty years and have practiced law in and out of government. I competed in intercollegiate shooting sports back in the day, and have maintained safety and proficiency ever since. I have food, water, medical supplies, radios, batteries, ammunition and other prudential stores securely on hand, just as I am sure many of you do. I do not scare easily.

But I am concerned today more than I have ever been. Why?
Go back to the opening paragraph of this post. In the time I used to introduce myself, you have stumbled to a window and looked out over the street. Oddly, you note, the police already seem to be there to deal with this apparent home invasion. Good, it saves you the 9-1-1 call and allows you to relax some. The cavalry is already here! That reflex, borne out of a century of trusting relationships with law enforcement officials, just might get you killed tonight.You see, the police are not here to help you – to either serve or protect you – tonight. They are here to search your home, detain your family members, and perhaps to arrest you or them. No, this is not some bad dream from 1930’s Nazi Germany, or Stalinist Russia. .. but it might as well be. Your crime? Rumored possession of a twelve-round magazine.

Impossible? I hope so with all my heart, but the trend lines are leading in that direction with a velocity I have never seen before. The current occupant of the White House is no friend of freedom and is famously dismissive of the opinions of people who disagree with him. He has nothing to fear and nothing to lose. Congress has proven itself incapable of principled action, other than self-serving posturing and dithering. The barely-suppressed glee with which the opponents of an armed law-abiding citizenry sought to capitalize upon the tragic loss of life in Connecticut should be a wake-up call to all of us. Consider Senator Feinstein: her gun registration/confiscation/licensing/permitting bill was drafted and ready before the shooting started, so it could be pulled off the shelf and presented as if it were prompted by the tragedy. This crisis, from their perspective, is just too good to waste. The Judiciary, then, certainly? Hang on for a minute.

Those are the politics of the day and are beyond my expertise. My purpose in authoring this post is to encourage you to pause and reflect on the legal and Constitutional framework in which your life-and-death decisions will be made this awful night, and every night hereafter, together with some suggestions I hope you will consider. First the disclaimer: this is general Constitutional and occasional Virginia state law information, and should not be considered legal advice, either in Virginia or elsewhere. If these musings prompt you to specific legal questions, you should consult an attorney licensed in your state and experienced in the subject matter of your concern.

So, let us begin at the beginning – why shouldn’t you surrender your firearms to Senator Feinstein’s minions, or at least let her and her Congressional buddies decide how many of what type of what caliber and what action you should be “permitted” to possess, and when, and where? The simple answer to that question is the best one: it is simply none of her business.
I admit that I do not know how things are in the People’s Democratic Republic of California, but here in the United States we have a foundational principle, enshrined and encapsulated in a document called the Constitution. The Constitution, ratified in 1789 and amended twenty-seven times since, is a living and breathing expression of the minimal conditions deemed necessary, in 1789 and every day since, for liberty to blossom. Think of it as the DNA of freedom – the simple, brief, and basic blueprint that underlies and enables everything that makes the United States the United States. Just as with DNA, if you tweak or delete or add to the basic components, the creature that emerges is not merely a weakened version of the original, but (if it lives at all) is a completely different creature.

Our Constitution is a model of clarity and brevity. There is nothing in there that is complicated or obscure. You could read it (and I hope you will) in a few minutes, including the Amendments. It sets out some basic principles, establishes a structure for the federal government, specifies a few duties for the federal government to address, and then sweeps up everything else back into the bin from which the material to form a government came in the first place – from the people. Drawing on another pillar of liberty, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution is an expression of the consent of the governed to a specific and very limited role for the central government. That consent, like any consent, may be revoked or modified but should not be taken for granted.

One stark difference between our Constitution and others attempted in other places and times is that the Constitution is all about limiting, not expanding, the powers of the central government. Fresh from the experience of the War of Independence, fighting against monarchial tyranny, the drafters of the Declaration of Independence (before the war) and the Constitution (after) were mindful of the human reflex to aggregate power and were determined to institute safeguards against that aggregation. That is one reason why there are three independent and theoretically equal branches of the government, one of which is composed of two bodies chosen in vastly different manners for significantly different time periods. That is why the states were originally active participants, controlling the selection of senators. That is why the resultant entity was called “The United States of America”, as opposed to the “Homogenized Formerly Independent States of America”.

Look again at the first Ten Amendments. You or I, in our individual capacities, could not possibly violate the Bill of Rights because every provision is a restriction upon the conduct of the central government, made applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment. Also please notice that the Amendments do not undertake to create rights for us, but rather that they guarantee preexisting God-given rights, or rights free men had earned and received in centuries of struggle with the English Crown, like trial by jury. You may recall that these first ten were part of a package of twelve proposed amendments passed by the first Congress in response to concerns in some states, that the original draft was not sufficiently specific and clear that the central government was, in all Constitutional matters, a limited carve-out from pre-existing states rights or citizen’s rights. Two of the twelve, the first two, were not ratified by a sufficient number of states, so the ten which were ratified were renumbered and became the Bill of Rights. Finally, please notice that there are no “senior” rights or “junior” rights – no super-amendments or semi-amendments – and that every right is of equal significance and is entitled to the same deference.

Unpack the Amendments and you will immediately see that they support and reinforce one another for the purpose of restraining the central government from tyrannical impulses. They do not represent an ala carte menu, from which the government may pick and choose, but rather constitute a recipe in which all the ingredients are necessarily included. This reality has real consequences; no one would look at a brownie and insist that the baker “back out” the eggs for use elsewhere, and neither could one reach into the Constitution and void one provision without crashing the whole thing. Freedom of speech and of religious expression, of peaceful assembly, to petition the government, from unreasonable searches and seizures, from excessive bail, from compelled self-incrimination, from cruel and unusual punishment. . . these are all cut from the same cloth as one another, and all cut from the same cloth as the right to keep and bear arms. The Second Amendment is no more an anachronism than is the First, or the Fourth, or the Fifth, and that is why, Senator, I do not need or seek your permission to keep and bear arms.

Either from intellectual dishonesty or lack of capacity, this point is seldom made in the discussion of gun rights, but it should be, and I encourage you to ponder it. Given the interdependence of the rights expressed (but not “granted”, remember) in the Bill of Rights, the arguments advanced by Senator Feinstein, Governor Cuomo, and others are plainly flawed. Take any one of them, pop out the references to firearms, and replace it with another right reiterated in the Constitution. “Why would anybody need more than ten cartridges to hunt deer?” then becomes “Why would anyone own more than ten books?”, or “Why would anybody need to post more than ten blog posts?”. “Why would any city need more than one newspaper, or more than one house of worship?”

Indeed, twisting a Second Amendment discussion to a discussion about hunting (or target shooting or collecting or home defense) cedes the main point – the Amendment prohibits infringement of the right for any reason, or for no reason. It is not a hunting amendment, although it reinforces a hunting tradition. It is an anti-tyranny measure – nothing more, and nothing less. Want more proof? Review the rest of the Constitution . . . no other tangible object is expressly named and expressly protected from government infringement. You have no specific Constitutional right to possess anything else; that speaks volumes about the strength and purpose of the amendment. Nothing else is specifically protected because nothing else can compare with the effect firearms have on tyrants.

Another fallacy commonly running through the arguments of those seeking to infringe gun rights is that those proponents are making use of some of the same rights in their efforts to invalidate another. They are freely speaking, assembling, petitioning, as they are welcome to do, for the purpose of undermining their freedom to speak, assemble, and petition. Considering the interdependent nature of the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights, it is fallacious to claim to support some while decrying others. If your spouse or significant other were to cheat on you every Friday night, for example, would you consider that he or she is 86% faithful? No, you would rightly conclude that he or she is ”unfaithful”, and the same is true of those who claim to ardently support “some” of the Bill of Rights. They survive or fail as a group.

How do you know that the anti-gun forces know that their argument is flawed? Because they have consistently approached their aims by nibbling away at gun rights, by stealth and guile and a state at a time, especially when they can find cover in some tragedy. If they really believed that the Second Amendment is not a basic right, or that the vast majority of people in the United States do not value it as a basic right, they have had over two hundred years to propose an amendment repealing the second amendment. Nothing is stopping them, except the illogic of their own position.

Back at your door, you warily peek out and are stunned to see the pale face of your neighbor, or member of your church, or the parent of another child on your child’s sports team, except tonight he is wearing a helmet, and body armor, and talking into a radio to others you cannot see. Do you invite him in? You may or may not have known that he was a police officer or federal agent, and until tonight it has not mattered to you. Tonight, however, it matters. What will you do?

What you will do is a very personal and difficult decision. What you may do, depending on the circumstances, is easier to describe. With few exceptions, you are under no obligation to open your door to the police. You may, if you choose, remain silent. You may order them off your porch and away from your property. If they escalate and try to force an entry, there are cases which endorse the principle that you may use a reasonable amount of force to resist an unlawful entry or assault, including lethal force if necessary. (See, John Bad Elk v United States, 177 U.S. 529). The facts of these cases are always horrific for everyone concerned, however, and in some of the state cases the result was that the homeowner was convicted of manslaughter instead of murder, which is some solace but definitely not a desirable outcome.

Another approach is to communicate with them. If they are on any lawful mission (as opposed to some cops-gone-wild frolic of their own) they likely have obtained a warrant, either a search warrant to look for something specified in the warrant or an arrest warrant for someone they have reason to believe is located in the house, or perhaps both. The homeowner or person in charge of the location is entitled to see the warrant and know what it authorizes. If a federal warrant, daytime execution is generally required unless the officers have pleaded facts which convinced the issuing judge to authorize a night search. State laws differ on this point. If they have a warrant, resistance is not only futile but is unlawful. You must consent to the execution of a warrant; live to litigate another day. How will you know? They are supposed to announce that they have a warrant, if they do, but you can almost always get in contact with the police commander on scene through the 9-1-1 system. Tell the dispatcher (who is recording the call, so be prudent) that unknown persons are on your porch, ask for assistance, and then ask to speak with the commander if dispatch claims the officers. The fact that the one you saw is all tactical is a plus, in an odd way, because it shows that the officers are concerned for their safety and may be willing to discuss a peaceful resolution.

In this conversation, if you choose it, be judicious in your speech. Do not say anything that might be interpreted as a threat against them or anyone else – that might just give them the excuse they are looking for to escalate. This will be very hard, since your adrenalin will be on overdrive, but it is necessary. Ask whomever you can reach to read the warrant to you. If they have no warrant, tell them goodbye and goodnight. Make no admissions about anything, and do not consent to anything. Remember, they are the professionals at this (“May we just come inside and sit on the couch and work our way through this misunderstanding. . .?”). If they have a warrant, they do not need consent. If they do not have a warrant, they cannot get consent. Right? If at all possible, an audio and video recording of the contact will pay dividends far beyond its expense. If interviewed, I recommend the old Irish Republic Army saying: “Whatever you say, say nothing at all.”

If you elect to litigate another day, you should know what you are up against. I promised, above, to write more about the judicial branch, and here is where I deliver on that promise. Look at Article III of your Constitution . . . absolutely everything the Constitution says about the judicial branch is contained in those ten sentences. Everything else ever done by a federal judge, since 1789, is judicially or statutorily created and extra-constitutional. The Constitution establishes one judgeship, the Chief Justice, and authorizes Congress to create more, if necessary. They have done so, with a will. There are presently 874 federal judgeships, representing a three-fold increase just since 1950. One hundred seventy three of those, or about 20%, are judges nominated by this president in the past four years. Unique in the United States political experience, but common among tin-pot dictators in banana republics, federal judges are appointed for life. They are theoretically subject to impeachment by the House of Representatives and removal by the Senate, but this sanction has been tried only eleven times since 1789 and has resulted in removal only seven times, representing about 0.1% of persons who have served as federal judges. One of the most recent, District Judge Alcee Hastings of Florida, was impeached and removed in 1989 for perjury and bribery, after which he was elected to the House of Representatives, where he remains today. Impeachment is not a serious concern of jurists.

Notable among these extraconstitutional excursions is the claimed authority to invalidate legislative enactments or executive decisions by the simple expedient of declaring those decisions “unconstitutional”. The irony in this is too rich to pass without comment – unaccountable judges making up a rule not found in the constitution to create a veto over the actions of the elected, accountable branches of government, while justifying the grab by constitutional arguments. The case that first articulated this judicial power grab was Marbury v. Madison, a 1802 Supreme Court decision related to the authority of the Court to compel the newly-inaugurated President Jefferson to recognize the last-minute appointments of John Adams’ supporters to federal judgeships. Although not found in or added to the Constitution, this judicial power is not seriously questioned today. Because of this, and because the Supreme Court is the highest federal court, their pronouncements acquire the character of transcendent wisdom, even when demonstrably false or inconsistent. This is the court that found that racial segregation is constitutional (Plessy v. Ferguson, 1896) and also that is not (Brown v. Board of Education, 1954). To paraphrase the words of Justice Robert Jackson, the Supreme Court is not final because it is infallible, but is infallible because it is final.

Federal judges are overwhelmingly older white males (about 70%) who are wealthy by any measure. They are all lawyers, and most are graduates of the same few Ivy League schools. They receive a salary, which may not be diminished, on a par with the starting salary of a first-year associate from a prominent law school working in a big-name big-city law firm, so it would be overly polite to suggest that the best legal minds are concentrated on the bench. Indeed, the Chief Justice has campaigned for higher salaries for judges on this exact basis. (Law school snarky riddle: What do you call an "A" student ten years after law school? “Professor”. What do you call an "C" student ten years after law school? “Your Honor”).

Stark choices, indeed; the young trooper on the porch, in paramilitary garb, or the old judge on the bench, dressed (for some obscure reason) in a medieval cleric’s robe. If he or she is a federal judge, the probability today is one out of five that this president appointed him or her, which could be problematic for you if the issue is some Executive Order issued by the man to whom the judge owes his or her lifetime appointment. That likelihood only grows during the second term.
How about a third option? Apply the principles of cover, concealment, and camouflage to your daily actions with a goal of avoiding the dilemma presented above, and create a “door number three” through which you might escape undetected and unharmed. How?
Consider how people get caught and convicted for present day offenses, and then apply that to the as-yet hypothetical situation in which some firearm or accessory you lawfully posses may become prohibited. Defendants get to be defendants for a very few reasons:
• They are careless in their actions
• They are careless in their words
• They are careless in their selection of “friends”

Those three errors account for the vast majority of charges and convictions, and any future government action against you is likely to follow this pattern. What preparations can you make today that will lessen the probability of this occurring to you, or mitigate the harm if the situation cannot be avoided?

Suggestion One: Make it unnecessary. The scenario outlined above is hypothetical, for now, because no one has seriously proposed additional restrictions (as of the writing of this in mid-January, 2013). That means that the political system, flawed though it is, may provide the safest and surest means to immediately resist any further infringement. Communicate with your legislators, both local and federal, and make your calm and reasonable voice heard. Ranting, while satisfying on some level, is counterproductive. Consider joining and supporting pro-constitutional organizations. Network. Vote. Contribute financially to candidates who support the Constitution and oppose those who do not. Don’t get mad, get busy!

Suggestion Two: Make it hard on them. The simple math of the situation dictates that, should the political process fail the Constitution, enforcement will necessarily be selective and spotty. This argument presupposes that the rest of the society has not crumbled, in which case all bets are off, but rather that respect for only this part of the Constitution has faltered. There are a limited number of police, agents, marshals, judges and jails; they will have to choose targets of opportunity or those prosecutions which make a statement to intimidate others. Your suggested strategy is to be neither of those. Reconsider that “cold dead hands” bumper sticker with a view to how that sentiment might be used against you in a search warrant affidavit to justify a night search. Reevaluate whether it is prudent to advertise your favorite gun manufacturers with stickers on the windows of your vehicles, or with custom license plates. Yes, I know that this represents a self-infringement of both your first and second amendment rights, but I note that this option is only selected after the government jumps the rails and disregards both. If you choose martyrdom, do it thoughtfully.

Similarly, anticipate that everything you write and have ever written on the Internet is still around and might be used against you. Police just need a search warrant, based on an affidavit, to get all of your emails and tweets ever sent, all social media posts and photos, and all data from your computer(s), depending on the retention policies of your service providers. They need less than that, under some circumstances, to get phone records, credit card statements, and other data in the hands of third parties. This might be a great time to look into encryption technologies and IP masking services (like Tor, The Onion Router), but at least be mindful that anything you say or do online or on your smartphone can come back to bite.

Suggestion Three: Make it unproductive. Since scarce enforcement resources will be chasing big headlines and big successes for their political masters, deprive them of this prize. You are not likely to use all of your firearms and all of your ammunition in one night, right, so why risk storing it all in one place where it all may be found? Be creative – and learn from ordinary criminals. Don’t hide your stash where other people can stumble across it, and do not tell anyone what you have and where it is. Do not being twenty guns to the range and let others see them. Trust no one, and particularly not people you do not know extremely well. Let them take all night getting a safe open only to find a broken .22 revolver. If you choose to carry, with or without whatever permit your state requires, do so discretely. In short, be safe by being invisible.
We can all hope that it never comes to this, but prudence dictates preparation. Unless you are willing to consent to the systematic destruction of your basic rights, give it some thought.

Captain Rawles,
In response to your mention of people voting with their feet - I believe this is much more prevalent today than people realize.  According to the best data I can find, there are currently more than a million Americans leaving the United States each year.  And while the vast majority will choose to retain their US citizenship, and their reasons for leaving are varied, the net effect on the American economy will be great.  Here's why:  The people who are leaving are, almost to a family, high income earners.  Many of those replacing them in the US are coming to take advantage of our generous "entitlement" system, and this phenomenon will result in a net drain on the system that will only accelerate the demise of our current economy.

The light went on for me on election night.  I realized, with perfect clarity, that this administration had spent the previous four years using MY tax dollars to aggressively create as many economic parasites as possible, and then promise them even more of my money in return for their votes.  As a fiercely patriotic American who has fought and bled for this country, this brought me to a painful decision:  I must take drastic measures to stop supporting such a corrupt system.

One of the reasons we've had such a hard time winning the war in Afghanistan is that our aid to that country has been used to support both sides of the war.  For example, when we paid to build a new highway or school, for example, the Taliban would show up and extort about 15% of the total project cost as "protection" against the contractor's equipment being destroyed.  In this way, our money has been supporting both sides of the conflict, which is a recipe for perpetual war (until the money runs out).

This is what I believe has happened in America.  Hard working taxpayers have been milked nearly to the breaking point, and our money used to solidify the voting base of the current administration.  This will only continue until we find a way to stop sending them our money.

For me, that prompted the decision to leave.  I sold my businesses in the United States before the end of the year and moved my family to a safe, stable Central American country where I will seek residency and be able to live on much less in order to give away much more.

Essentially, I've gone into tax exile.  I am choosing to keep less of what I make this year, but rather than be a slave to the US government, I will voluntarily give away much more to worthy causes that support the Kingdom of God.  In this way (and with the help of the still-legal "Foreign Earned Income Exclusion") I will minimize my support to the US kleptocracy for as long as possible.

Here's the interesting part:  The real estate agent I dealt with here in Central America told me he's been absolutely swamped by calls from wealthy U.S. citizens who cannot get out fast enough.  He has fielded literally dozens of calls and visits in the final few weeks of the year.  

The IRS stopped reporting the number of US citizens living overseas, but the number is exploding.  I believe as many as 3 million Americans will leave this year alone.  And the way I see it, this is the most patriotic thing I can do.

One last thing:  the country where I am now living has some common-sense rules on getting a gun permit - one must get an eye exam, take a drug test and get a mental health exam.  After that, a permit is issued and I can then own any kind of weapon I like - from sawed-off shotguns to standard-capacity handguns or carbines.  And I can carry them anywhere.

May God Save Our Republic. - A Patriot in Central America

Monday, January 14, 2013

It should come as no surprise that at the same time that Statists agitators are vociferously calling for more People Control that freedom lovers are heading for the exit doors in greater numbers, to wit: The American Redoubt movement, Glenn Beck's announced Independence Park community (in Texas), calls for state secession (which has been going on longer than most people realize), the ongoing but sadly polarized Free State Movement (in which Free State Wyoming has the best chance of success, demographically), the quiet expatriation of thousands, primarily to various Central and South American countries, and the more splashy celebrity exits. There are also lots of other "out there" projects that may have difficulty getting past the concept phase, like Paulville, Texas, and Seasteading. But regardless, these are all indicative that people are willing to vote with their feet.

I predict that these trends will continue and that the polarization of world views will become more pronounced and sharply delineated in coming years. You can look for many other exit strategies being publicize. There will also be a lot more "Nien Danke!" legislation like the bill recently introduced in the Wyoming legislature (and about to be introduced in Texas) announced and inevitably enacted. The harder that the Statists push, the harder libertarians will push back. Some say this will lead to Civil War II. I dread that. God willing, we'll see our Constitutional Republic restored peacefully. - J.W.R.

The name "III Citadel" came into the limelight last weekend, when The Drudge Report posted a prominent link to a CNS article by Gregory Gwyn-Williams, Jr.. In a nutshell, a man identifying himself as "Sam III" who is somehow loosely associated with III Arms (a legitimate company, in West Virginia) started a patriot community building project, somewhere east of St. Maries, Idaho. When I first heard about it in November, I made just one short and noncommittal "this sounds interesting" mention in my blog. (A post which I just removed.)

Two days ago I was quite troubled to learn that the main promoter of Citadel III is a convicted felon. (That, according to the SipseyStreetIrregulars blog.)

In the III Citadel web page and blog, Mr. Hyman /Sam Kerodin / Christian Kerodin / Sam Kerillion / Sam Hellesponte / Sam III / Nom Du Jour seems to imply that I've somehow endorsed his venture or that what they are doing fits in with my American Redoubt concept.  I haven't endorsed it, and he is not my buddy.  To the best of my knowledge I've never met, spoken or corresponded with the man. 

For some background, see:

"Citadel." Convicted extortionist's latest con gets huge play on Drudge.


Three-letter frog in Kerodin's pocket? Anecdotes of the Kerodin career. A convicted extortionist. Turns out his real name is Christian Hyman.

Again, I have nothing to do with Mr. Hyman.  My only nexus to him is that he chose a piece of land that is in one of the states that I recommend for relocation. He has apparently tried to capitalize on my name. According to the SipseyStreetIrregulars blog, Mr. Hyman "persuades folks to invest" in the project. My advice: Beware of III Citadel!

In closing, I should point out that III Arms is a separate entity and to the best of my knowledge they are a legitimate and reputable company. - J.W.R.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I noticed yesterday that one of your readers (and I'm assuming many others) are looking for AR-15 magazines.

While I haven't yet tested the Israeli E-Lander magazines personally (I have six of them on order), the reviews seemed positive albeit the magazines are slightly heavy compared to a PMAG. Beggars can't be choosers in this [current political and market] environment. A few people noted they were not fitting in MEGA lower receiver magazine wells, and were very tight in some other receivers, however the majority of users had no issues. I believe the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) use these magazine. I wanted to let your readers know of their availability, as they claim they are 'In Stock' and receiving shipments weekly, however they are estimated to ship within 21 days. I placed my order today (1/10/2013) and it went through just fine.

With the potential forthcoming ban on normal-capacity magazines this may be the most expedient way to stock up on some, at a reasonable price.

As an added tip, the coupon code "ARFCOM" will get a small discount and the code "FREE-GRND" will get you free shipping if the order is more than $100. Both codes can be used at the same time.

Regards, - Nick in Ohio

JWR Replies: At around $18 each, those are a relative bargain, it today's frantic market. Watching some recent auctions and the ongoing sales at Buddy's Board, I've logged a few data points: Glock pistol magazines have gone up in price 3X or even 4X (jumping from around $19 each to $60 to $80 each), PMAGs are up 4X, USGI alloy M16 magazines are up 3X, steel FN-SCAR (M16/AR-15 compatible) magazines are up 4X or even 5X, FN-FAL magazines are up 2X, and Beta Company 100 round CMAGs are also up 2X. The real bargains are HK alloy G3 (HK91 compatible) magazines and Steyr AUG magazines. Those are both up only 10% to 20%. My advice: Stock up before an import ban is declared via Executive Order, folks! I've been warning you since 2007: Almost as important as food storage, magazines are critical items for every well-prepared family's program of Hamsterungen.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Mr. Rawles, 
I love the SurvivalBlog site and what you do. Many thanks to you and all contributors! I have some remarks on the letter: A Call to Action: The Impending Weapons Ban, by James M.
I agree on the fundamental points made regarding firearms, but it does sound like a re-hash of the red-herring debate from '91 with the only "Call to Action" being that Congress should ban something else.  Maybe they should ban Murder. Oh, wait that's been done…
I personally don't think our Congressional leaders should really be banning anything at all, and when the subject of mental capacity & banning comes up together (within the context of forced medication or incarceration), my main question/concern becomes,….  who gets to determine which of us is mentally ill or unstable?   I already know that everyone is somebody else's weirdo, and apparently we preppers are all completely nuts.  But, on the serious side I have a problem with limiting anyone's rights based on thought crime or any interpretive means where there is no victim (especially where the result would be forced medication or detainment for "potential" criminal activity).

So, an interesting scenario to consider based on my perspective described above.    Let's say some Psychologist/government agent convinces city council or some judge that Christianity is a mental illness.  You are now required by law to take powerful medication that most likely would ruin your quality of life.  That kind of control over anyone's life is a terribly bad idea, because we all know that  it is unethical and wouldn't stop there.
I also am getting frustrated with people saying our rights are granted by the Constitution.  That is completely wrong.  Our rights are God given and don't change regardless of what the Constitution says (The document may still fail to list them all in some cases).  It was simply written to generally explain and provide a reminder to elected officials of what the people already have and what cannot be infringed upon.  In the case of slavery and women's rights, I believe it was errant of the original crafters of the Constitution to have not recognized these as inherent rights for all people at that time.  So again, the "document" is just an imperfect representation of what God has already provisioned.
"There are certain principles that are inherent in man, that belong to man, and that were enunciated in an early day, before the United States government was formed, and they are principles that rightfully belong to all men everywhere. They are described in the Declaration of Independence as inalienable rights, one of which is that men have a right to live; another is that they have a right to pursue happiness; and another is that they have a right to be free and no man has authority to deprive them of those God-given rights, and none but tyrants would do it. These principles, I say, are inalienable in man; they belong to him; they existed before any constitutions were framed or any laws made. Men have in various ages striven to strip their fellow-men of these rights, and dispossess them of them. And hence the wars, the bloodshed and carnage that have spread over the earth. We, therefore, are not indebted to the United States for these rights; we were free as men born into the world, having the right to do as we please, to act as we please, as long as we do not transgress constitutional law nor violate the rights of others... Another thing God expects us to do, and that is to maintain the principle of human rights... We owe it to all liberty-loving men, to stand up for human rights and to protect human freedom, and in the name of God we will do it, and let the congregation say Amen." - John Taylor, 1882,
The best thing for Congress to do in this case is nothing at all.  The only change needed is to allow the free responsible peoples of the USA to provide for their own defense - as was intended by God.  (Current rules apply with regard to all levels of assault, making threats with a firearm, etc.),  which would simply serve to reinforce responsible fire arms use by those who choose to carry.
IF, our leaders are serious about the value of a Gun ban, then I suggest they set the example and demand that their personal security force switch to Mace as their primary means of defense.  Lead by example or shut your mouth!
IF, a ban is passed we still have options:  Our judicial system was meant to provide protections from such unjust law, so we would still have the Sheriff (elected), Judges (also elected) and the jury (free peoples), who can respectively;  1) refuse to enforce, 2) refuse to try, 3) refuse to convict.  If that message is made clear in local government no State prosecutor would dare bring a case in the first place. [JWR Adds: All Americans should familiarize themselves with the details of jury nullification. This may prove crucial, in the near future.[

“Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once?” –  Henry David Thoreau
You can only voluntarily give up/refuse to partake of your God given right (or blessing, but you can never ethically take away someone else's (that is infringement/tyranny).
Thank you, - D.P. in Pittsburgh

Mr. Rawles,
The Letter Re: Why Civilian Disarmament in the U.S. is Just a Statist Fantasy written by Michael W. is a perfect example of the insidious nature of government over-reach.  They will take our guns the same inexorable way they stole the purchasing power of the dollar. And they will continue to press the gun issue until they succeed - even if it takes a hundred years.  Our inability to recognize and stop the fed over the last century, portends a similar outcome for weapons. - BigTexMarine


To make sense of this issue, consider the following in support of the percentage of compliance that can be expected if the Feinstein ban bill is enacted:

This is not The Truth. This is not even 'back of the envelope'.

The following contains a bunch of assumptions, whose justification is feeble at best. Since almost all 'assault weapons' are rifles, I will ignore shotguns and handguns that bother CA.

Suppose, for discussion, that Californians bought rifles (that the state erroneously defines as 'assault weapons') in a number proportional to the share of the US population. Since this is just a guess, might as well use the current value: 37 million of 310 million, 12%. There's no reason to believe this is true - California gun owners may actually buy more or fewer, and the distribution of the kinds they buy may be different from other states or the national average. And the year-to-year proportions may be very different. (I can easily get the CA/US proportion for all the years, but with such poor guesses, there's no value to being more precise.)

And suppose the bulk of those were purchased between 1970 and 2000, when SB 23 did the 'ban by feature'. I picked 1970 because the M16 went into service in 1963, so maybe 1970, just post-Vietnam for a lot of servicemen, would be a good place to start. Years that end in '0' attract the eye.

I cannot easily find import numbers just now, so I'll ignore them; they're no doubt significant with AKs and FALs and HKs and such.
ETA perhaps Bloomberg is not entirely useless. There is a document giving some info on imported rifles here:, "Commerce in Firearms in the United States". Imported rifles total a bit under 10 million 1970 - 1999. I suspect I could eventually get the export data by country, but I won't bother.

ATF has the US manufacturing reports on line at the AFMER page. For each of 1998, 1999, and 2000 the manufactured number of rifles was about 1.5 million. Total long guns includes shotguns, and that adds about a million a year, so about 60% of long guns are rifles in those 3 years.

Kleck has numbers from the same source; the 'net addition to stock' for long guns is about 2.5 million per year, 1980-1994, so again, it is not entirely unreasonable to guess that about 40% of those were shotguns. 1970-1979, the numbers were over 3 million per year

So, for 31 years 1970-2000, something like 77 million rifles were manufactured in the US. (Some were exported - let's ignore that detail, too.)

Using that 12% proportion, around 9 million of those might have gone to California [to match their proportion of the national population].

But, what proportion of those rifles were not lever actions and bolt actions and semi-autos that did not meet "Assault Weapon" (AW) standards?

I'm going to make a further guess by using the 1998 AFMER data. Toss out Winchester and Remington and Marlin and Weatherby and Ruger - but not Colt, oh, no! - and guess that most of the rest could have been AW types, and take that proportion. Very shaky, but anyway...

Throwing out those big non-AR-type manufacturers covers about 900,000 - about 60% of the 1.4 million in 1998. Let's use the remaining 40% as the maximum possible proportion of the US production of rifles that might be AW types. That's surely too high a proportion, but for a guess it's a nice even number. (Again, numbers that end in '0'.) (I could look at more AFMER reports, but the recent proportion of AW types seems to me to be increasing, so the more recent data would seem to skew the results even more than I am certain they are already.)

Now, guess how many were 'assault weapons' if California definitions might be applied -- 40% of 9 million rifles in California is 3.6 million. Only 166,000 are known to be registered.

Around 4.5% actually registered might be a supportable number.

With an estimated 10 million total imports, 12% for California is 1.2 million. 40% of those as 'assault weapons' (Too high? Too low? No information!) is 480,000. 166/4,180 is still only about 4% registered.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary was as profound a tragedy as one can imagine; period. In light of this and similar events we need to have a national discussion about the real causes of mass murder. Contrary to what we will hear in the coming days and weeks, guns were not the cause of the Sandy Hook murders. Nevertheless, local, state, and national leaders, lead by California’s Senator Dianne Feinstein, will use this awful event as a rallying call to push for the most serious infringement of our Second Amendment rights ever proposed in this country’s history. They will ignore the familial and societal factors that actually compel these mass murderers to carry out their awful missions. They will ignore the connection between these horrible acts and the increase in the use of prescription psychiatric drugs on our children and youth, reductions in mental health services and incarcerations, increased exposure to violent images in mass media and games, and mandated removal of faith and morality from many aspects of our daily lives. Some of these representatives will be motivated to act out of a legitimate desire to preclude a recurrence of this type of event. Others, like Senator Feinstein, will seek to use this awful event to push long held personal agendas; an incremental step towards completely banning private ownership of the types of firearms which can best effectuate the intent of the framers of our Constitution.

We need to demand that our representatives do something that might have a real effect on reducing the occurrences of mass murder in American society. We must demand that they undertake action to understand the real factors that cause people to do these terrible things and then demand that they have the courage to actually address the root causes of the problem rather than its tragic manifestation. And we must do this without allowing the decimation of our Second Amendment protections.

The primary focus of this editorial is to briefly restate the intent of the founding fathers when they drafted the Second Amendment and then illustrate, with facts, the futility of passing laws regulating firearms and magazines in the hope that doing so will prevent criminal behavior.

Those who will argue for a new “assault weapons” and “high capacity magazine” ban will claim that there is no legitimate “sporting purpose” or self defense need for these types of weapons and accessories; as if sporting or self defense use were the intent of the Constitutional guarantee of our right to keep and bear arms. In its entirety the Second Amendment reads, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” There is no mention of this being a protection of the right to have guns for sporting purposes, or as some will claim, solely for self defense purposes. The intent of the language could not be clearer, the right to bear arms was much more militaristic in nature and was to ensure that the recently acquired free status of the several newly united states, individually and collectively, could be defended against, and not subjugated to, a new tyrannical rule imposed by the creation of a federal government. Thomas Jefferson confirmed this understanding saying, “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government”.  More recently the late Hubert Humphrey, not known as a bastion of conservative or right wing political thought, said, “Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of citizens to keep and bear arms.  This is not to say that firearms should not be very carefully used and that definite safety rules of precaution should not be taught and enforced.  But the right of citizens to bear arms is just one more guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against a tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible.”

That protection against tyranny was the intent of the Second Amendment was acknowledged by the U.S. Supreme Court in its decision in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller. Writing for majority Justice Scalia recited that the history of "[T]he debate with respect to the right to keep and bear arms, as with other guarantees in the Bill of Rights, was not over whether it was desirable (all agreed that it was) but over whether it needed to be codified in the Constitution. Justice Scalia indicated that the founding fathers knew "[T]hat history showed that the way tyrants had eliminated a militia consisting of all the able-bodied men was not by banning the militia but simply by taking away the people's arms, enabling a select militia or standing army to suppress political opponents." The conclusion of the Court was that the Second Amendment's guarantee of the right to keep and bears arms was a personal, not corporate, right; that it guaranteed the right to keep and bear those types of firearms typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes for use in personal defense as well as a deterrent against tyranny.
Those that support a proposed assault weapon/high capacity magazine ban would deny the populace the very civilian arms best suited to fulfill the constitutional intent of the Second Amendment. The AR-15 rifle, which fires a .223 caliber cartridge and is capable of being used with 30 round magazines, is one of the primary targets of any proposed assault weapons ban and is the best selling type of rifle in America today. These and other, similar rifles are owned and used by millions of Americans for clearly lawful purposes. The internationally known firearms and self defense expert, Massad Ayoob, recently wrote in Backwoods Home magazine,  "The cops are the experts on the current criminal trends. If they have determined that a “high capacity” semiautomatic pistol and a .223 semiautomatic rifle with 30-round magazines are the best firearms for them to use to protect people like me and my family, they are obviously the best things for us to use to protect ourselves and our families."

The ban supporters will, no doubt, argue that the loss of this fundamental right is worth the benefit that will accrue as a result of its implementation. They will claim that their restrictions will result in a reduction in violent crime. Evidence worldwide and here at home refutes those claims.

There are two truths that are obvious to me. The first is that laws only proscribe the behavior of law abiding citizens. By definition, criminals ignore the law. Every mass murderer violates numerous laws in the commission of their heinous act and none of those laws stop the horror. Secondly, if banning anything worked, America would be a teatotaling, drug free society and Chicago and Washington D.C. would have the lowest murder rates in the country. We aren’t and they don’t.

I have heard it said that the definition of being crazy is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. There is plenty of evidence that stricter gun laws do not reduce violent crime. Yet more gun control is always the answer when a tragedy like Sandy Hook occurs. 

Each year the Brady Campaign for the Prevention of Gun Violence, an organization " . . . devoted to creating an America free from gun violence, where all Americans are safe at home, at school, at work, and in our communities . . .", ranks states based upon the strength or weakness of their gun laws. The following is a comparison of FBI statistics for the ten states which the Brady Campaign says have the strongest gun laws (the top ten) and those of the ten states with the weakest gun laws (the bottom ten) according to the Brady Campaign. Connecticut, scene of the Sandy Hook shootings, is in the Brady Campaign top ten; ranked fifth in 2011 for having strong gun control laws. The cited standings and statistics are for 2010 or 2011, the most recent information available. The FBI has reported that, in 2011, the violent crime rate in the top ten states was 376 violent crimes per one hundred thousand residents versus 350 per one hundred thousand in the bottom ten. The reported rates for murder and non-negligent homicide, unrelated to the instrumentality causing death, in the top ten states was 4.31 per one hundred thousand population versus 4.15 in the bottom ten states. Focusing just on murder rates for firearm related murders, FBI statistics show that the murder rate for all murders committed with any type of firearm was approximately 2.5 per one hundred thousand residents in the top ten states and 2.4 in the bottom ten. California, which tops the Brady top ten list, has 3.2 firearms murder per hundred thousand. The murder by handgun rate was 2.0 in the top ten states and 1.8 in the bottom ten. Again, the stricter gun control states fare marginally worse than those with weaker gun laws. The only anomaly is found in the murder by firearms other than handguns rate which was 5.1 deaths per thousand in the top ten states and 5.9 in the bottom ten. The obvious conclusion from all of these statistics is that stricter gun control laws do not reduce the rates of violent crimes, homicides, or gun related murders. Equally obvious is that there are other factors which actually cause violent crimes and murders other than the relative ease with which one can or cannot obtain a firearm or the type of firearm that is available. Nonetheless, stricter gun control will be touted as the solution to preventing school shootings. It won't be a solution, simply because gun control doesn't work.

I suspect that ban supporters will also claim that the state statistics are flawed because we don’t have a nationwide firearms ban. But nationwide bans, even in modern western democracies, don’t reduce violent crime. Both Britain and Australia banned most gun ownership, nationwide, in 1997 and implemented buy-up programs. In both societies, violent crime rates rose.
We'll also be told that gun control will work this time because we'll control "assault weapons" and "high capacity" magazines. Again, the historical evidence doesn't support the proposition. This country had an assault weapons ban from 1994 until 2004. While we will hear Senator Feinstein claim that the ban resulted in a 6.7% reduction in murder rates, the study she cites acknowledges that the data is for one year of the ten year period and that the data set was too small to conclude that the apparent reduction was connected to the assault weapon ban. The Brady Campaign says, "Connecticut has strong gun laws that help combat the illegal gun market, prevent the sale of most guns without background checks and reduce risks to children". Despite having strong gun control laws and an assault weapon ban, Connecticut was still the scene of the Sandy Hook murders. Proponents of a new ban will assert that both the Connecticut and 1994 assault weapon and magazine bans were not comprehensive enough; that we need a bigger, broader, more restrictive ban. And besides, we have to do something to protect the children.

Make no mistake about it, Senator Feinstein’s new assault weapon and magazine ban is not about protecting the children. If she was truly concerned about child safety she'd address the real threats to children.  Depending on the information one looks at, during the last thirty years on average, ten to twenty children are killed each year in school related shootings. Yes, each child's death is itself a tragedy. But statistics show that many more children die annually as the result of other causes. Eighty to one hundred children die each year by drowning in swimming pools and spas, one hundred to hundred and fifty in bicycle accidents, and more than two hundred are killed annually at the hands of drunk drivers. Where are Senator Feinstein’s cries to ban pools, spas, and bicycles? Where is the demand that cars be made that preclude their operation by intoxicated drivers? Those cries are inaudible. That is because Senator Feinstein wants to ban guns; end of story. In 1995, in a CBS interview, Feinstein said, "If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them . . . Mr. and Mrs. America, turn 'em all in, I would have done it. I could not do that. The votes weren't here."

We have a fundamental constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Once that right is lost we will never ever regain it. And without that right, every other one of our constitutionally guaranteed rights is in jeopardy. Do not allow our politicians to trade that sacred right for the hollow, ineffective promise of reduced crime through a restriction of that right. We must heed the admonition of Benjamin Franklin who said, “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”


The Internet is replete with potential gun confiscation scenarios. Many people voice the opinion that this confiscation will take the form of armed troops going house to house searching for guns. This would be a potential source of revolution, would demonstrate the true nature of government and would result in the deaths of many of the regimes ostensible supporters.
I'll make the assumption that The Powers That Be are not stupid (evil, probably, but stupid, no). Since they are not stupid, and can foresee the difficulties with house-to-house searches, they will use other methods. Let's explore some of these methods.

Before we start that, we should be aware of the massive data gathering efforts that many government agencies have undertaken, and the abilities they have gained, in recent years. I don't think it is unlikely that the government knows, or can know quickly, with varying degrees of reliability, who a majority of gun owners in this country are. It is true that most of
the actual records of who own what are in the form of 4473s in individual gun shops. It is possible for the BATFE and related agencies to swoop down on gun stores and confiscate these records and, while it would take significant effort, convert them to electronic records. These records, when combined with all of the other data and methods that the Business Intelligence community has developed over the years, would create a database of gun owners with a pretty high reliability in my estimation. Even without the 4473s, combining credit card information (remember when you bought those M1 Garand bandoleers with your MasterCard a couple of years ago?), the intact database of background checks, explicit firearm owner databases (as in Illinois), State Police concealed carry information and the plethora of other data stores that exist, a comprehensive set of firearm owners could be put together. It does not have to be perfect! It doesn't even have to be that close. It will be your responsibility to prove that you don't have any firearms, not the other way around.

Now that the government has this information, what should they do? Ship in troops from West Africa and start invading peoples' homes? No way. Firstly, the demonization of gun owners will continue. Unabated. It will intensify and become part of our daily lives. Guns are bad. Gun owners are sick. Mentally ill. Crime is their fault. They endanger all of us. Continuous,
methodical, overwhelming messaging from all corners of the media.

The actual 'confiscations' will begin pleasantly enough. Guns (or some overwhelming subset of guns) will be made illegal (whether by actual congressional bill or executive order, it doesn't matter). 'Take you guns to the local police station and have them checked off the list'. No questions asked. Easy. Many people will simply comply. A letter in the mail asks nicely for you turn in the Ruger SP101 you bought on X date at Y gun store in Z city. Ruger sent it back after a repair to this address in 2008...yada yada yada. More compliance.

When the initial turn in period ends, penalties will begin. More friendly letters in the mail. Fines assessed. Jail time threatened. More compliance. Then, an amnesty. Turn them in, no questions asked. More compliance. Then maybe a so-called 'buy back'. Free gas cards, gift cards, cash. Who knows?

In parallel to all this, of course, are the exhortations to the public to turn in non-compliant gun owners. Turn them in for rewards. Turn them in for reduced prison sentences. Turn them in for a pat on the head. Your civic duty and all that.

See, now that you are demonized in the eyes of the public, and an actual criminal in the eyes of the government, then all of governments resources can be applied to you with impunity. No one except other criminals will stand up for you. And no singular event will affect many people at once, never enough to cause more than a few to take an actual stand. Anyway, who
would you stand up to? Who would you shoot? When a law is passed making it illegal for banks to engage in any transaction with suspected gun owners, what will you do? Shoot a teller when your account is closed and your funds confiscated? Your mortgage called? How about when they assess a fine of, say, $250,000 and require employers to garnish all wages until the fine is paid. You going to shoot someone in HR for complying with the law? What about when Child Protective Services abducts your kids right out of their public school? Your kids go to school one day, then, poof, they're gone. You want them back - no problem - turn in your guns. Electricity turned off at your house? Yup, new law enacted. How long can any of us operate with no income, no bank accounts, while attending to an eviction and attempting to get your kids back? What will you do to get your kids back? Remember, it will be your job to prove that you don't have any guns or ammo. "C'mon, prove it, let us search your house, tell us who your buddies are" get the idea.

You see, there are countless ways that the government can make us 'voluntarily' give them up. The pressure will be overwhelming and, given how long they have been considering this, probably much more expeditious than I am making it sound.

In any case, the VERY LAST THING they will try will be the midnight raids. Everyone and anyone will be your enemy before that occurs. There will be no one individual to strike out against. The giant, gray miasma of society will be your enemy. Ignorance, lethargy, apathy. How do you fight that?

And government has all manner of resources, time, people, money, to address this problem.

My two main points are these: First, if the government has people who are even reasonably smart (they do) and they are earnest about solving the problem of identifying gun owners (they are) then the technology to do this should not elude them. Second, busting down doors is expensive, risky and provocative, and they will use all of the tricks at their disposal to avoid it. - Michael W.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Dear Mr. Rawles
I am quite sad to say that you warned me about stocking up on [full capacity] magazines, but I ignored you. I stupidly concentrated on building a couple of .22 target rifles. Now I'm hurting. Here's my situation: I have a Bravo Company (BCM) M4 with only three magazines (30 round), and a Mini-14, also with three mags. (One is a factory 5 rounder, and the 2 others are junky "PMI" [aftermarket] 30 rounders that I don't trust [to feed reliably].) I also have a Beretta Model 92 [9mm pistol], but for that I'm in pretty good shape with 6 original (factory and Army M9) 15 rounders.

I have the chance to buy a PTR-91-"GI" [HK91 clone] from a friend for $1,200, but [it] comes with just four magazines. He is willing to take my Mini-14 as a partial trade. What do you think I should do? Thanking You in Advance, - G.T.CF

JWR Replies: You aren't the only one to be caught flat-footed. As is explained in article back in 2007, (How Federal "Bans", "Freezes", and "Price Controls" Spread Economic Chaos), and in a letter from 2008, full capacity magazines can very quickly transition from mass-produced "commodity" status to almost precious metal status overnight, at the whim of a bureaucrat.

The gun shops are all sold out of 11+ round magazines and the gun shows are jam-packed with eager buyers. Original Ruger Mini-14 20 round and 30 round magazines are now fetching $90 each, and AR-15 magazines range from $30 each (for used 30 round alloy magazines) to $75 each (for 30 round windowed PMAGs). That is IF you can find them. The most sought-after AR magazines seem to be PMAGs, HK "Maritime" steel magazines, and the FN-made steel AR/FNC/SCAR steel magazines. The latter are selling for $100+ each!

One bit of good news is that at gun shows you can still find a decent supply of German surplus G3 alloy magazines that will work in a HK91 (or clone) for less than $10 each, even in the current shortage-driven market. (These came into the States in large quantity a few years ago, at nearly scrap metal prices.) and both had thousands of these magazines, but they recently sold out. (Check with them once a week, as they will probably get more.) still has some steel German surplus G3 magazines, but they are priced at $29 each. And Robert at RTG still has some alloy G3 magazines for $5.95 each, but he is swamped with orders and is now taking a waiting list. (He says "I don't have the time to sort them.")

Given the current scarcity of magazines and the likelihood of an import ban or even a production ban, I'd recommend that you jump on what you can, as soon as possible. You might even consider buying some magazines for rifles that you don't yet own (such as AK-47, AK-74, M14, FAL, and AR-10), just to use as barter material. There may come a time when people aren't willing to sell 11+ round magazines for any price, but they might still be willing to trade. Just be sure to only buy factory original or military contract magazines. Do not buy aftermarket garbage!

I'd recommend that you go ahead and trade your Mini-14, unless you can immediately find some ORIGINAL factory magazines. Not only is the PTR-91-GI a better rifle, but the wide availability of magazines makes it the clear choice.

Monday, January 7, 2013