Tag Archive: guns

WEEKLY THREAT ROUNDUP 2-4-18

From AlertsUSA

 

Scene from latest Islamic State video entitled. "Answer the Call." - ALLOW IMAGES

President Warns of Nuclear Threat from N. Korea

 

February 3, 2018

 

On Jan 30th the following related Flash SMS message
was sent to
AlertsUSA subscriber mobile devices:

1/30 – President Trump in State of the Union Address: N. Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten the U.S. homeland.

What You Need To Know

On eight occasions this week AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via SMS messages to their mobile devices regarding safety and security matters. Most important for this report, on Tuesday, AlertsUSA subscribers were informed of a warning issued by President Trump during his State of the Union address within which he branded North Korea’s leadership as “depraved” and stated that Pyongyang’s pursuit of nuclear missiles could “very soon threaten our homeland.” The President vowed a continued campaign to prevent that from happening.

While most mainstream news coverage of N. Korea over the last few weeks has revolved around the hermit kingdom sending a limited number of athletes (along with hundreds of cheerleaders) to the upcoming Winter Olympics in S. Korea, behind the scenes, tensions are increasing as their nuclear and missile programs continue to advance.

According to the U.S. Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) published late this week by the Department of Defense:

“North Korea has accelerated its provocative pursuit of nuclear weapons and missile capabilities, and expressed explicit threats to use nuclear weapons against the United States and its allies in the region. North Korean officials insist that they will not give up nuclear weapons. Given North Korea’s current and emerging nuclear capabilities; existing chemical, biological, and conventional capabilities; and extremely provocative rhetoric and actions, it has come to pose an urgent and unpredictable threat to the United States, allies, and partners. Consequently, the United States reaffirms that North Korea’s illicit nuclear program must be completely, verifiably, and irreversibly eliminated, resulting in a Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons.

Note the head-on conflict between the two emboldened statements above. As consecutive N. Korean regimes have literally destroyed their country (and caused significant pain and hardship for their citizens) in the pursuit of a strategic weapons capability, it is inconceivable that they would, under any circumstances, voluntarily give up these weapons now that the baseline goal has been achieved. Similarly, S. Korea, the U.S., Japan and other nations repeatedly threatened by N. Korea are equally unlikely to tolerate a nuclear-armed N. Korea for much longer. The risk is perceived as much too great.

The NPR document goes on::

“Our deterrence strategy for North Korea makes clear that any North Korean nuclear attack against the United States or its allies and partners is unacceptable and will result in the end of that regime. There is no scenario in which the Kim (Jong-un) regime could employ nuclear weapons and survive.”

Proliferation Threat

Of equal importance is the threat of the proliferation of these weapons. The fact stands that N. Korea is financially in ruins and their situation is growing increasingly dire by the day. Their major benefactors are gone, numerous rounds of United Nations sanctions have reduced incoming revenue streams to a trickle, and the country is desperate for cold hard cash.

In this regard, the NPR also highlights the risk of North Korea selling its nuclear weapons and technology to other state and non-state actors, in turn increasing the pressure on still other nations to build their own nuclear arsenal in order to defend themselves from a nuclear attack.

One glaring example would be Iran, a very close ally of N. Korea. If Tehran were to acquire nuclear weapons, Saudi Arabia (a historic enemy of Iran) would acquire their own, as would most other Gulf nations.

North Korea already has a troubling history of selling advanced military technology, including that used in nuclear weapons, to Asian and Middle Eastern countries. In the 1990s, North Korean scientists taught Pakistan how to make Krytrons (cold-cathode gas-filled tubes used in nuclear triggers), as well as provided them with low-enriched uranium hexafluoride (UF6) which was then transferred to Libya. It is widely believed that North Korea provided Iran with nuclear technology. Pyongyang also helped Syria build a nuclear reactor (which was destroyed by Israel in 2007).

Then there are the numerous terrorist organizations seeking access to the ultimate weapon of war, which could generate both a significant cash haul for North Korea, as well as help them strike the U.S., albeit indirectly.

In 1998, al Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden declared in a religious edict that acquiring and using weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) was his “Islamic duty.” In 2008, current al Qaeda leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, released a book titled Exoneration within which he uses key Quranic themes (as opposed to an outright religious edict) to justify the use of such weapons.

While N. Korea’s participation in the Olympics is a nice step in engagement, keep this situation in perspective as it has little bearing on a peaceful resolution to the overall crisis.



IMPORTANT RESOURCE

Nuclear Posture Review cover - ALLOW IMAGES

The 2018 Department of Defense Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) is a sweeping analysis and reassessment of the U.S. nuclear weapons policy and doctrine. Thematically, the 2018 NPR shows a dramatic shift from that outlined in the 2010 version, including the loosening of the constraints on the use of nuclear weapons to cover significant non-nuclear strategic attacks. This includes, but is not limited to, attacks on the U.S., allied, or partner civilian populations or infrastructure, and attacks on U.S. or allied nuclear forces, their command and control, or warning and attack assessment capabilities.

Click here to visit the DoD Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) web page.

Click here to download the full Nuclear Posture Review (PDF).

Click here to download the Executive Summary (PDF).

AlertsUSA continues to monitor the domestic and international threat environment and will immediately notify service subscribers, via SMS messages, of new alerts, warnings and advisories or any developments which signal a change the overall threat picture for American citizens as events warrant.

 


 

AlertsUSA.com

OTHER SMS ALERTS FROM THIS WEEK
NOT DETAILED IN THIS NEWSLETTER ISSUE

2/2 – Pro al-Qaeda and Islamic State social media chatter increasing w/ threats & calls for new attacks flwg POTUS action to keep Guantanamo Bay military prison open.

1/31 – Local authorities designate Amtrak crash site a HAZMAT scene based on contents of trash hauler involved in collision. Monitoring…

1/31 – At least one confirmed fatality and numerous injuries in Amtrak train crash. Check national media for latest info.

1/31 – AlertsUSA monitoring crash of charter Amtrak train carrying GOP members of Congress in Crozet, VA. Collision with truck on tracks. Add’l alerts as warranted.

1/30 – Multi-casualty shooting, Concord Plaza Shopping Ctr, S. St. Louis Co., MO. Minimal info available. Police urge avoiding the area. Add’l alerts as warranted.

1/30 – Security increasing around Capital complex for tonight’s State of the Union address. Expect road closures & restricted access to some areas of downtown DC.

1/29 – Wave of bomb threats targeting 25 buildings in Moscow, incl Parliament and the stock exchange, results in mass evacuations and searches. AlertsUSA monitoring…

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Security Tight for Super Bowl LII

 

February 3, 2018

 

What You Need To Know

The quarterback calling the plays for Super Bowl LII at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN is the U.S. government, and in particular, the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation. In addition, National Guard troops and law enforcement partners from across the country are patrolling festivities in the Twin Cities area until February 5th. Not so visible are the FBI hostage-rescue team, Tier 1 military counterterrorism assets, detection teams for nuclear, chemical, and biological hazards, as well as response and mitigation teams for those weapons of mass destruction.

Despite these assets, a cloud of concern covers the event, and most importantly, outside of the main security perimeter, given that Minneapolis-St. Paul, or “Little Mogadishu” as the locals call it, is home to the third highest number of terror prosecutions in the U.S. since 9/11.

Consider the following:

  • 12 area residents have been charged with providing support to the Islamic State.
  • 20 area residents have been arrested for alleged support of the Somali terror group al Shabab which pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda in 2012.
  • Between 2011 – 2014, 13 area residents died fighting for the groups.
  • In September of 2016, Somali refugee Dahir Adan walked into a Minneapolis shopping mall and started stabbing shoppers — after asking if they were Muslim — and shouting “Allahu Akbar!”
  • In May of 2017, two local men were arrested after police searched their car and discovered a hand grenade, handgun, several assault rifles, a large quantity of ammunition, and devices capable of igniting bombs.

These are just a few of the ties between the Twin Cities area and Islamic terrorism.

Readers are reminded that as AlertsUSA has warned, almost weekly, over the past two years, the Islamic State and al Qaeda have repeatedly called for followers to carry out attacks in the U.S. and other Western nations using any means available.

Caution and vigilance are urged.

 

 


 

Marines provide simulated security during a dive mission in Key West, Fla., Jan. 24, 2018. The Marines, assigned to Charlie Company, 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion, were preparing for an upcoming deployment. Marines Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Brennon A. Taylor. - ALLOW IMAGES

 

World News Roundup

 

February 3, 2018

 

Other Developments We Are Following

AMERICAS

Ranking America’s enemies
Sea Cables in a Thawing Arctic
Trump signs order to keep Guantanamo Bay prison open

Pentagon ‘can’t afford the sustainment costs‘ on F-35
The Air Force Turned Off GPS To Rehearse a War Without It
New Army Precision-Guided 155m Round Destroys Targets Without GPS
Mattis seeking to ban cell phones from Pentagon
Tillerson: Latin America should not rely on China
Top Democrat questions US meeting with Russian spy chiefs
CIA Director Pompeo defends meetings with Russian spy chiefs
Trump grants 6,900 Syrians permission to stay in US
DoD Fears Rapid Adv. of Chinese, Russian Anti-Satellite Weapons
Castro freezes Cuban private sector, throws future in doubt
Hamas leader Ismail Haniya added to US ‘terror list’

EUROPE

Russia: If U.S. Navy pilots can’t handle buzzing, stay out of the Black Sea
Su-27 Buzzing: Video 1, Video 2, Video 3, Video 4
Russia: Halt spy plane flights near our borders or agree on rules
The Last 48 Hours Have Been Good for Putin
Is the Czech Republic moving closer to China and Russia?
U.S., Russia likely to meet nuclear treaty obligations by Feb. 5
Brexit: UK and EU on collision course over residency rights
Auditors say Britain can’t afford its 10-year defense equipment plan
U.S., U.K. to upgrade ballistic missile guidance system
Europe’s Migration Crisis is Anything but over

MIDDLE EAST

Iran says Jerusalem ‘unchangeable’ capital of Palestine
Abbas to address U.N. Security Council on Feb. 20 amid U.S. tensions.
US troops arrive for drill simulating massive missile attack on Israel
US officials say Syria’s Assad may be making new chemical weapons
Ankara uses Afrin campaign to showcase Turkish-made weapons
Kurds in Syria call on US support to rein in Turkish operations
Israel threatens Lebanon with ‘full strength’ invasion in case of conflict.
Israel, Lebanon clash over offshore energy, raising tensions
France’s Macron warns Turkey over Syrian operation

ASIA

Fears of US ‘bloody nose’ attack on North Korea on the rise
N. Korea would see blanket ban of oil supplies as declaration of war
China Wants New Nuclear Weapons to Keep Up With U.S. and Russia
Do the Americans know who they’re fighting in Afghanistan — or why?
Long Shadow of A.Q. Khan: How One Scientist Helped the World Go Nuclear
Australian Gov Secret ‘Cabinet Files’ Were Found In … An Old Cabinet
The Taliban is gaining strength and territory in Afghanistan
U.S. hails Olympics security plan; opposes North Korea military parade
Philippine guerrilla chief held after peace talks scrapped.
Duterte bent on rewriting Philippine constitution
Wanted: A Strategy to Limit China’s Plans for the S. China Sea

 


 

Travel Security

The U.S. Dept. of State Travel Website is the authoritative federal source for information on the security situation at travel destinations worldwide. With tensions rapidly increasing in most regions, readers planning international travel, even to such common destinations as Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean Islands, are strongly encouraged to do a little research on the security situation well prior to departure.

Major USGOV Travel Notices

Europe Travel Alert
11/16/2017

Worldwide Caution

12/06/2017

The Department of State’s Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) provides several resources to enhance the safety and security of the U.S. private sector abroad. Additional information can be found on OSAC.gov

Mariners and U.S. citizens considering maritime travel should also review information at the websites of the National Geospatial Agency, the Maritime Security Communications with Industry Portal, and the U.S. Coast Guard for information related to maritime and port security globally.

Additional Sources of Travel Guidance

Canada Dept. of Foreign Affairs

Australia Dept. of Foreign Affairs

UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office

 


 

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F.B.I. moves on Militia: One Shot Dead, Others Wounded. Armed standoff underway.

The federal government has sealed off the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, after last night’s deadly confrontation with Ammon Bundy and other militia members. Late last night, the F.B.I. shot and killed one of the protesters and took seven others into custody.


Hours after Ammon Bundy was arrested in the deadly encounter with the federal government, additional protesters took control of the Oregon wildlife refuge at the center of a weeks-long standoff. This morning at a press conference the feds signaled that time may be running out.



Earlier this month Bundy told media that he and two of his brothers were among a group of dozens of militia occupying the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Ammon Bundy said the group planned to stay at the refuge indefinitely. “We’re planning on staying here for years, absolutely,” Ammon Bundy said. “This is not a decision we’ve made at the last minute.”

The Bundy Family came to Oregon to protest the arrest and attempted land seizure of an Oregon Ranching family that was being targeted by the federal government.

Why Would the Feds Attempt to Turn this into a Deadly Situation?

Think about it; was the F.B.I. called in to arrest or shoot the liberal Occupy Wall Street people who did much more than just assemble at a wildlife refuge? Did the F.B.I get sent in to arrest the armed criminals who burnt their own neighborhoods in Baltimore and Ferguson to the ground last summer?

No matter how you feel about the Bundy family, or the militia who is peacefully assembling at the wildlife refuge in Oregon, keep in mind that nothing they are doing is harming anyone. The Refuge is in the middle of nowhere, and the F.B.I. could have easily just waited them out. This after all is public land; land we pay for with our tax dollars. There was NO THREAT to public safety, and there was no reason to try to start a gun fight.

Earlier in the day, Jason Patrick, one of the leaders of the militia remaining at the outpost, said he could see an armored convoy and a number of law enforcement officers gathered from his perch in the compound.

“Sounds like the definition of peaceful resolution is either forcefully kidnapping me or death,” Patrick told USA Today. “A peaceful resolution is not dead people.”

“Right now, we’re doing fine,” Patrick said. “We’re just trying to figure out how a dead cowboy equals a peaceful resolution.” Patrick’s comments could have been aimed at Oregon Gov. Kate Brown who asked for “patience as officials continue pursuit of a swift and peaceful resolution.”

Patrick told The Oregonian: “We’re all standing here ready to defend our peaceful resolution.”

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Via: offgridsurvival


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In Iraq, I raided insurgents. In Virginia, the police raided me.


Alex Horton, 30, poses in the hallway outside his apartment on Thursday July 16, 2015 in Alexandria, VA.

An Iraq War veteran, Horton was recently awoken by a police raid as he slept.

(Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post) (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

 

Alex Horton is a member of the Defense Council at the Truman National Security Project. He served as an infantryman in Iraq with the Army’s 3rd Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.

I got home from the bar and fell into bed soon after Saturday night bled into Sunday morning. I didn’t wake up until three police officers barged into my apartment, barking their presence at my door. They sped down the hallway to my bedroom, their service pistols drawn and leveled at me.

It was just past 9 a.m., and I was still under the covers. The only visible target was my head.

In the shouting and commotion, I felt an instant familiarity. I’d been here before. This was a raid.

I had done this a few dozen times myself, 6,000 miles away from my Alexandria, Va., apartment. As an Army infantryman in Iraq, I’d always been on the trigger side of the weapon. Now that I was on the barrel side, I recalled basic training’s most important firearm rule: Aim only at something you intend to kill.

I had conducted the same kind of raid on suspected bombmakers and high-value insurgents. But the Fairfax County officers in my apartment were aiming their weapons at a target whose rap sheet consisted only of parking tickets and an overdue library book.

My situation was terrifying. Lying facedown in bed, I knew that any move I made could be viewed as a threat. Instinct told me to get up and protect myself. Training told me that if I did, these officers would shoot me dead.

In a panic, I asked the officers what was going on but got no immediate answer. Their tactics were similar to the ones I used to clear rooms during the height of guerilla warfare in Iraq. I could almost admire it — their fluid sweep from the bedroom doorway to the distant corner. They stayed clear of one another’s lines of fire in case they needed to empty their Sig Sauer .40-caliber pistols into me.

They were well-trained, their supervisor later told me. But I knew that means little when adrenaline governs an imminent-danger scenario, real or imagined. Triggers are pulled. Mistakes are made.

I spread my arms out to either side. An officer jumped onto my bed and locked handcuffs onto my wrists. The officers rolled me from side to side, searching my boxers for weapons, then yanked me up to sit on the edge of the bed.

At first, I was stunned. I searched my memory for any incident that would justify a police raid. Then it clicked.

Earlier in the week, the managers of my apartment complex moved me to a model unit while a crew repaired a leak in my dishwasher. But they hadn’t informed my temporary neighbors. So when one resident noticed the door slightly cracked open to what he presumed was an unoccupied apartment, he looked in, saw me sleeping and called the police to report a squatter.

Sitting on the edge of the bed dressed only in underwear, I laughed. The situation was ludicrous and embarrassing. My only mistake had been failing to make sure the apartment door was completely closed before I threw myself into bed the night before.

I told the officers to check my driver’s license, nodding toward my khaki pants on the floor. It showed my address at a unit in the same complex. As the fog of their chaotic entry lifted, the officers realized it had been an unfortunate error. They walked me into the living room and removed the cuffs, though two continued to stand over me as the third contacted management to confirm my story. Once they were satisfied, they left.

When I later visited the Fairfax County police station to gather details about what went wrong, I met the shift commander, Lt. Erik Rhoads. I asked why his officers hadn’t contacted management before they raided the apartment. Why did they classify the incident as a forced entry, when the information they had suggested something innocuous? Why not evaluate the situation before escalating it?

Rhoads defended the procedure, calling the officers’ actions “on point.” It’s not standard to conduct investigations beforehand because that delays the apprehension of suspects, he told me.

I noted that the officers could have sought information from the apartment complex’s security guard that would have resolved the matter without violence. But he played down the importance of such information: “It doesn’t matter whatsoever what was said or not said at the security booth.”

This is where Rhoads is wrong. We’ve seen this troubling approach to law enforcement nationwide, in militarized police responses to nonviolent protesters and in fatal police shootings of unarmed citizens. The culture that encourages police officers to engage their weapons before gathering information promotes the mind-set that nothing, including citizen safety, is more important than officers’ personal security. That approach has caused public trust in law enforcement to deteriorate.

It’s the same culture that characterized the early phases of the Iraq war, in which I served a 15-month tour in 2006 and 2007. Soldiers left their sprawling bases in armored vehicles, leveling buildings with missile strikes and shooting up entire blocks during gun battles with insurgents, only to return to their protected bases and do it all again hours later.

The short-sighted notion that we should always protect ourselves endangered us more in the long term. It was a flawed strategy that could often create more insurgents than it stopped and inspired some Iraqis to hate us rather than help us.

In one instance in Baghdad, a stray round landed in a compound that our unit was building. An overzealous officer decided that we were under attack and ordered machine guns and grenade launchers to shoot at distant rooftops. A row of buildings caught fire, and we left our compound on foot, seeking to capture any injured fighters by entering structures choked with flames.

Instead, we found a man frantically pulling his furniture out of his house. “Thank you for your security!” he yelled in perfect English. He pointed to the billowing smoke. “This is what you call security?”

We didn’t find any insurgents. There weren’t any. But it was easy to imagine that we forged some in that fire. Similarly, when U.S. police officers use excessive force to control nonviolent citizens or respond to minor incidents, they lose supporters and public trust.

That’s a problem, because law enforcement officers need the cooperation of the communities they patrol in order to do their jobs effectively. In the early stages of the war, the U.S. military overlooked that reality as well. Leaders defined success as increasing military hold on geographic terrain, while the human terrain was the real battle. For example, when our platoon entered Iraq’s volatile Diyala province in early 2007, children at a school plugged their ears just before an IED exploded beneath one of our vehicles. The kids knew what was coming, but they saw no reason to warn us. Instead, they watched us drive right into the ambush. One of our men died, and in the subsequent crossfire, several insurgents and children were killed. We saw Iraqis cheering and dancing at the blast crater as we left the area hours later.

With the U.S. effort in Iraq faltering, Gen. David Petraeus unveiled a new counterinsurgency strategy that year. He believed that showing more restraint during gunfights would help foster Iraqis’ trust in U.S. forces and that forming better relationships with civilians would improve our intelligence-gathering. We refined our warrior mentality — the one that directed us to protect ourselves above all else — with a community-building component.

My unit began to patrol on foot almost exclusively, which was exceptionally more dangerous than staying inside our armored vehicles. We relinquished much of our personal security by entering dimly lit homes in insurgent strongholds. We didn’t know if the hand we would shake at each door held a detonator to a suicide vest or a small glass of hot, sugary tea.

But as a result, we better understood our environment and earned the allegiance of some people in it. The benefits quickly became clear. One day during that bloody summer, insurgents loaded a car with hundreds of pounds of explosives and parked it by a school. They knew we searched every building for hidden weapons caches, and they waited for us to gather near the car. But as we turned the corner to head toward the school, several Iraqis told us about the danger. We evacuated civilians from the area and called in a helicopter gunship to fire at the vehicle.

The resulting explosion pulverized half the building and blasted the car’s engine block through two cement walls. Shrapnel dropped like jagged hail as far as a quarter-mile away.

If we had not risked our safety by patrolling the neighborhood on foot, trusting our sources and gathering intelligence, it would have been a massacre. But no one was hurt in the blast.

Domestic police forces would benefit from a similar change in strategy. Instead of relying on aggression, they should rely more on relationships. Rather than responding to a squatter call with guns raised, they should knock on the door and extend a hand. But unfortunately, my encounter with officers is just one in a stream of recent examples of police placing their own safety ahead of those they’re sworn to serve and protect.

Rhoads, the Fairfax County police lieutenant, was upfront about this mind-set. He explained that it was standard procedure to point guns at suspects in many cases to protect the lives of police officers. Their firearm rules were different from mine; they aimed not to kill but to intimidate. According toreporting by The Washington Post, those rules are established in police training, which often emphasizes a violent response over deescalation. Recruits spend an average of eight hours learning how to neutralize tense situations; they spend more than seven times as many hours at the weapons range.

Of course, officers’ safety is vital, and they’re entitled to defend themselves and the communities they serve. But they’re failing to see the connection between their aggressive postures and the hostility they’ve encountered in Ferguson, Mo., Baltimore and other communities. When you level assault rifles at protesters, you create animosity. When you kill an unarmed man on his own property while his hands are raised — as Fairfax County police did in 2013 — you sow distrust. And when you threaten to Taser a woman during a routine traffic stop (as happened to 28-year-old Sandra Bland, who died in a Texas jail this month), you cultivate a fear of police. This makes policing more dangerous for everyone.

I understood the risks of war when I enlisted as an infantryman. Police officers should understand the risks in their jobs when they enroll in the academy, as well. That means knowing that personal safety can’t always come first. That is why it’s service. That’s why it’s sacrifice.

Twitter: @AlexHortonTX

 

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Via: washingtonpost


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Obama pushes to extend gun background checks to Social Security

Seeking tighter controls over firearm purchases, the Obama administration is pushing to ban Social Security beneficiaries from owning guns if they lack the mental capacity to manage their own affairs, a move that could affect millions whose monthly disability payments are handled by others.

The push is intended to bring the Social Security Administration in line with laws regulating who gets reported to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, which is used to prevent gun sales to felons, drug addicts, immigrants in the country illegally and others.

A potentially large group within Social Security are people who, in the language of federal gun laws, are unable to manage their own affairs due to “marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease.”

There is no simple way to identify that group, but a strategy used by the Department of Veterans Affairs since the creation of the background check system is reporting anyone who has been declared incompetent to manage pension or disability payments and assigned a fiduciary.

If Social Security, which has never participated in the background check system, uses the same standard as the VA, millions of its beneficiaries would be affected. About 4.2 million adults receive monthly benefits that are managed by “representative payees.”

The move is part of a concerted effort by the Obama administration after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., to strengthen gun control, including by plugging holes in the background check system.

But critics — including gun rights activists, mental health experts and advocates for the disabled — say that expanding the list of prohibited gun owners based on financial competence is wrongheaded.

Though such a ban would keep at least some people who pose a danger to themselves or others from owning guns, the strategy undoubtedly would also include numerous people who may just have a bad memory or difficulty balancing a checkbook, the critics argue.

“Someone can be incapable of managing their funds but not be dangerous, violent or unsafe,” said Dr. Marc Rosen, a Yale psychiatrist who has studied how veterans with mental health problems manage their money. “They are very different determinations.”

Steven Overman, a 30-year-old former Marine who lives in Virginia, said his case demonstrates the flaws of judging gun safety through financial competence.

After his Humvee hit a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2007, he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and a brain injury that weakened his memory and cognitive ability.

The VA eventually deemed him 100% disabled and after reviewing his case in 2012 declared him incompetent, making his wife his fiduciary.

Upon being notified that he was being reported to the background check system, he gave his guns to his mother and began working with a lawyer to get them back.

Overman grew up hunting in Wisconsin. After his return from Iraq, he found solace in target shooting. “It’s relaxing to me,” he said. “It’s a break from day-to-day life. It calms me down.”

Though his wife had managed their financial affairs since his deployment, Overman said he has never felt like he was a danger to himself or others.

“I didn’t know the VA could take away your guns,” he said.

The background check system was created in 1993 by the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, named after White House Press Secretary James Brady, who was partially paralyzed after being shot in the 1981 assassination attempt on President Reagan.

The law requires gun stores to run the names of prospective buyers through the computerized system before every sale.

The system’s databases contain more than 13 million records, which include the names of felons, immigrants in the U.S. illegally, fugitives, dishonorably discharged service members, drug addicts and domestic abusers.

State agencies, local police and federal agencies are required to enter names into the databases, but the system has been hampered by loopholes and inconsistent reporting since its launch.

The shortcomings became clear in the wake of the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, in which Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people. Cho had been declared mentally ill by a court and ordered to undergo outpatient treatment, but at the time the law did not require that he be added to the databases.

Someone can be incapable of managing their funds but not be dangerous, violent or unsafe. They are very different determinations.– Dr. Marc Rosen, Yale psychiatrist

Congress expanded the reporting requirements, but Social Security determined it was not required to submit records, according to LaVenia LaVelle, an agency spokeswoman.

After 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother, 20 children and six school staffers in Newtown in 2012, President Obama vowed to make gun control a central issue of his second term.

The effort fell flat. Congress ultimately rejected his proposals for new gun control legislation.

But among 23 executive orders on the issue was one to the Department of Justice to ensure that federal agencies were complying with the existing law on reporting to the background check system.

One baseline for other agencies is the VA, which has been entering names into the system since the beginning. About 177,000 veterans and survivors of veterans are in the system, according to VA figures.

The VA reports names under a category in gun control regulations known as “adjudicated as a mental defective,” terminology that derives from decades-old laws. Its only criterion is whether somebody has been appointed a fiduciary.

More than half of the names on the VA list are of people 80 or older, often suffering from dementia, a reasonable criterion for prohibiting gun ownership.

But the category also includes anybody found by a “court, board, commission or other lawful authority” to be lacking “the mental capacity to contract or manage his own affairs” for a wide variety of reasons.

The agency’s efforts have been criticized by a variety of groups.

Rosen, the Yale psychiatrist, said some veterans may avoid seeking help for mental health problems out of fear that they would be required to give up their guns.

Conservative groups have denounced the policy as an excuse to strip veterans of their gun rights.

Republicans have introduced legislation in the last several sessions of Congress to change the policy. The Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act, now under consideration in the House, would require a court to determine that somebody poses a danger before being reported to the background check system.

Social Security would generally report names under the same “mental defective” category. The agency is still figuring out how that definition should be applied, LaVelle said.

About 2.7 million people are now receiving disability payments from Social Security for mental health problems, a potentially higher risk category for gun ownership. An addition 1.5 million have their finances handled by others for a variety of reasons.

The agency has been drafting its policy outside of public view. Even the National Rifle Assn. was unaware of it.

Told about the initiative, the NRA issued a statement from its chief lobbyist, Chris W. Cox, saying: “If the Obama administration attempts to deny millions of law-abiding citizens their constitutional rights by executive fiat, the NRA stands ready to pursue all available avenues to stop them in their tracks.”

Gun rights advocates are unlikely to be the only opponents.

Ari Ne’eman, a member of the National Council on Disability, said the independent federal agency would oppose any policy that used assignment of a representative payee as a basis to take any fundamental right from people with disabilities.

“The rep payee is an extraordinarily broad brush,” he said.

Since 2008, VA beneficiaries have been able to get off the list by filing an appeal and demonstrating that they pose no danger to themselves or others.

But as of April, just nine of 298 appeals have been granted, according to data provided by the VA. Thirteen others were pending, and 44 were withdrawn after the VA overturned its determination of financial incompetence.

Overman is one of the few who decided to appeal.

He is irritable and antisocial, he said, but not dangerous. “I’ve never been suicidal,” he said. “To me that solves nothing.”

More than a year and a half after Overman filed his challenge, the VA lifted its incompetence ruling, allowing his removal from the background check system before the VA ever had to determine whether he should be trusted with a gun.

Overman, who hasn’t worked since leaving the military, said he and a friend are now thinking of opening a gunsmith business.

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

 

Via: latimes


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How to Create a Safe Room in Your House or Apartment


The homes of many rich, famous people have a secret hidden within them.  Somewhere, in the depths of the home, is a secure room to which the residents can retreat in the event of a home invasion or violent intruder.  A safe room was carved into the original house plan, and many of these are state of the art.  Features might include a bank of monitors for viewing what’s going on outside the room, a small kitchenette, comfortable furnishings, fresh air venting, and a hardened communications system.  These expertly designed rooms can cost tens of thousands of dollars, but you don’t have to be a movie star or a multi-millionaire to build your own version of a safe room. Even the most humble home or apartment can have on a place to which vulnerable family members can retreat if they are under threat.

Why should you have a safe room?

Some folks may read this and think to themselves, “I don’t need a safe room when I have my 12 gauge shotgun and my 9 mm. That’s just running away.”

I completely understand your point. Most of the people who read prepping and survival sites are not of a “retreat” mentality.  But, if a gang of 12 thugs (possibly wearing badges) kicks down your door, how likely are you to shoot every single one of them before someone gets off a lucky shot and hits you?  Hint: If you aren’t tactically trained, the likelihood of this is pretty slim.

Here’s another reason: do you have vulnerable family members in the house? Children? A spouse or elderly relative? Someone who just isn’t a fighter?  Even if you intend to engage, you may have people in the home who are not willing or able to do so, and it will be better for you if they are safely out of the way.

A safe room is honestly just another prep. It doesn’t mean you are cowardly. It means you are ready for a variety of scenarios and that the safety of your family is paramount.  It is a layer of protection that allows vulnerable people to retreat until help arrives.

Here’s a perk: another great use for your safe room is that you can stash your valuables there. Most break-ins occur when you aren’t home.  If your valuables are locked away, a random tweaker searching for things to sell to support his habit is not going to be able to access your important papers, your fine jewelry, your firearms, or your most prized possessions.

Retreating to your safe room

When you retreat to your safe room, you have one goal: to end any possibility of interaction with an unwelcome person. Please don’t call it a panic room. That indicates that you are a scared victim.  You are retreating to a safer location because you don’t intend tobe a victim. In a military gun battle, do soldiers move behind sandbags or into trenches? Of course. They want to limit the likelihood of being shot or otherwise injured. You may or may not be a trained soldier, but your goal is the same. It is to avoid being injured by a person who may be intent on injuring you.

A safe room is not a bunker. You probably aren’t going to be holed up in there for days during a stand-off. It is a point of retreat until help arrives.

The #1 rule of the safe room: DO NOT LEAVE IT UNTIL YOU ARE SAFE AND YOUR HOME HAS BEEN CLEARED. NOT FOR ANY REASON. A criminal will threaten, cajole, manipulate, and bully to try to make you come out. DON’T DO IT.

We’ve often talked about the importance of having a plan (as well as a few back-up plans) and running practice drills. A safe room is no different. All family members that are physically able should be able to quickly access the room. If you have several people in your household, you might want to put a keypad access on the door to the safe room so that whoever has retreated first is safely locked in without worrying about admitting the other family members.

Map out as many different ways as possible to get to the safe room from various locations in the house. This is a great time to get the kids involved, because children are explorers by nature. They may know routes that you had never even considered.  Practice, practice, practice.  Run timed drills and make a game out of how quickly all family members can get to the safe room and get the door secured.

Of course, the success of moving quickly to your safe room rests upon being alerted that someone is in your home.  You should have security measures in place that let you know that the home has been breached:

  • A dog
  • A high quality monitored alarm system
  • A wireless alarm system that sounds an alarm and automatically calls for assistance
  • Outdoor sensors that will alert you when someone comes through your gate or approaches your home. (Note: If you’re like us and you live somewhere with a lot of wildlife, this option may not work well for you.)

The more of these early warnings you have, the better off you’ll be. Someone might get through one of the alarms, but how likely are they to get through 3 or 4 without you being alerted?

Where should your safe room be?

If you are building a new home from the ground up, you have the unique opportunity to have this special room added to the plans. In this case, your far less limited by the existing design and layout of the house. In fact, there are companies whose sole purpose is designing safe rooms for homes and businesses.  One of the most reputable, Gaffco, offers consultations, plans, and even construction of these rooms. Additionally, they offer “pods” that were originally designed for the US military, which can be incorporated into the design of your home or connected to the home via a breezeway.  These options are top of the line, and may be out of the affordable price range for the average family.

Most of us aren’t in that building process though, so we need to adapt part of our living space to make a safe room.   Some people adapt a large walk-in closet or pantry, while others refurbish a room in their home. DuPont offers a “Stormroom” that is reinforced with Kevlar and is epoxied to your garage floor. It’s designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane, so it’s a good be that it will also withstand your average home invasion.  These start at $6000 for the smallest size.

Here are some important qualities:

  • No windows to the outside
  • Ventilation
  • Thick/reinforced walls
  • Water and a bathroom
  • Enough space for the number of people likely to shelter there
  • Ease of accessibility for the family from multiple locations in the house

Of course, finding all of these things, sitting there in one room, waiting for you to reinforce the door may not be likely so you have to work with what you’ve got.

Some good options are:

  • Walk-in closet
  • Master bedroom with attached bath
  • Basement family room
  • Storage room
  • Wine cellar (Not as outrageous as it sounds – surprisingly the humble little 2 bedroom Victorian cottage we used to live in had one)
  • Interior den with no windows
  • Inside an attached garage

If you intend to go full out and reinforce the walls, it will be less expensive to convert the smallest area that will house the required number of family members.

It is of vital importance to locate the safe room in a place that can be quicky and easily accessed by family members. If you have to run past the entry through which intruders just burst, you probably aren’t going to make it to the safe room. Remember, the most ideal safe room situation is one in which the criminal has no idea that you were home or, if he knows you’re home, has no idea where you may have gone.

One important thing to remember is that your safe room doesn’t have to only be a safe room. The best use of space would have the room used regularly for other purposes.  Most of the modifications you’ll make don’t have to be obvious. For example, if you’re reinforcing the walls, you can drywall over your reinforcements, paint the wall a happy color, and carry on with your life.  An attractive exterior type door can be painted to match the other interior doors in your home.  Even if you live in an apartment or condo, you can make some subtle changes to create a safe place to retreat.

The key here is to do the best you can with your resources and the space you have available. Let’s talk about the most important modifications.

The Door

The very first line of defense is the door you will slam behind you.  For many of us, this is where the majority of the money will be spent.

Forget about flimsy interior doors.  Most of them are hollow core and your average everyday axe wielding murderer or gangbanger intent on mayhem can get through them by kicking or punching through. Go to Home Depot and get yourself the very best exterior steel slab door that you can afford.  If your safe room is an ordinary room in the house, look for a door that can be painted to blend in with the other doors in the house. There’s no sense making it obvious that this room is special.

There’s no point in having a great door in a cruddy door frame. Your door is only as solid as the frame that holds it, so replace your standard interior door frame with reinforced steel. Get the absolute best quality you can afford, then paint it to match the rest of the door frames in your home.  Hang your door so it swings inward. Then you can add extra layers of security to the door.

You want to add more locks than just the doorknob type. For your primary lock, choose aheavy duty reinforced deadbolt system. You can also add a jimmy-proof security lock like this one for an added deterrent, but this should NOT be your primary lock.  You can add adoor bar, the hardware for which would be fairly unobtrusive when the bar is not across it.  If you make all of these changes, NO ONE is getting through that door by kicking it in.

The Windows

Windows are a definite weak point in a safe room. If you are using a room that is also used for other purposes (like a master bedroom) you probably have them.  Don’t despair – they too can be reinforced.

The biggest threat with a window, of course, is that the glass will easily break, allowing someone to either get in the room or shoot people who are in the room.

You can go all out and replace the window in that room with a bulletproof security window.  Although they are very expensive, you may decide it’s worthwhile since it’s just for one room. If this is out of your price range, you can purchase ballistic film and apply it to your existing window.  This video shows you how much a high quality ballistic film will withstand.  If you’re doing this, do NOT skimp on quality.


If you have windows, no matter how resistant they are to impact, it’s a good idea to have curtains too.  You don’t want the aggressor standing out there watching you or casing your retreat.  Not only would that be mentally rattling, they just might figure out a way to breach your safe room or counteract your safety plan, like secondary communications.  They do not need to know how many people are in the safe room, what equipment and supplies you have, or what you’re doing in there.  Get heavy curtains and make sure they’re completely closed with no gaps whatsoever.

The Walls

This is where the serious expense comes in.  A round from a 9mm handgun can easily penetrate the walls of the average home. Dry wall does NOT stop bullets, not even from a weaker caliber gun. That’s why one of the most important rules of gun safety is to not only know your target, but what is beyond your target.  If your walls aren’t sturdy enough to withstand bullets, then you’ve basically just put your family into a box to be shot more easily.

One way to lessen the expense of this is to choose a room in the basement. If you build your retreat into a corner, then you have two exterior walls that are concrete surrounded by dirt – virtually unbreachable.  Then you only have two walls to worry about.  If you are in an apartment, the laws in most states insist that walls separating two apartments must be fire resistant. Therefore, the wall between your apartment and the next could be made of cement, providing one wall of safety.

Free plans for a variety of safe rooms are offered by the Department of Homeland Security. As well, FEMA offers free plans for a safe room that is designed to withstand natural disasters. This could be easily adapted for home security purposes too.

There are a few different ways to reinforce the walls of your safe room. Some of the following options may be out of your price range or skill level, and some may not be practical for your living situation.

  • Armored steel panels: One of the best ways to convert an existing room into a ballistic haven is by adding armored steel panels to the walls. You can add drywall over the panels and no one will even realize they are there. These are heavy and use on upper floors could damage the integrity of your structure. They’re expensive, with a bottom end price of about $400 for a 4×8 panel, but depending on the layout of the room, they may not be needed on every wall.
  • Kevlar: These resistant walls are made out of a fiberglass type material.  This is a much lighter weight alternative and can be used in places that can’t hold up to the addition of heavy steel or concrete. You can learn more about Kevlar construction from Total Security Solutions.
  • Poured concrete:  This MUST be used on a ground floor or in a basement because of the extreme weight.  This is a far less expensive option and can withstand most threats.
  • Sand:  This is another heavy weight option, but it can be far less expensive than other options, particularly if you live in an area with abundant sand.  A 12 inch thick barricade of sand can protect against many different ballistic threats. In a basement room, a sand-packed wall in between the exterior of the room and interior drywall can provide substantial protection at a lower price. The Prepper Journal has an interesting article on using sandbags to stop bullets. The ideas could potentially be adapted to the interior of your home.  For example, you could stack sandbags halfway up a wall and then build a lightweight wall over the sandbags – the inhabitants of the room would need to shelter behind the sandbags to remain safe.

Temporary options: For the average family, many of these solutions can be out of reach.  If you rent, you probably won’t want to do major construction, either. It’s best to choose a room that is already as sturdy as possible and then reinforce the weak points. Although these options aren’t anywhere near as resistant as the ones above, they are better than nothing.

  • Have a heavy duty item you can shelter behind, like a steel desk or deep freezer.
  • Line your walls with heavy furniture, like loaded bookcases with real wood backs, not flimsy particle board.
  • Line your walls with metal filing cabinets, fill the drawers with anything, and stay low.

The Camouflaged Safe Room

Even though safe rooms aren’t really a “fun” topic, a secret hidden safe room is the kind of thing that stirs the imagination.  After all, how many awesome movies from your youth began with the magical discovery of a stairway or room hidden behind a bookcase or a mysterious doorway at the back of the closet?

The success of a camouflaged safe room rests on the residents of the home quickly moving into hiding without the intruders even knowing that they are home. This is the best case scenario for an event during which you need to retreat to a safe room.

You don’t have to have a mysterious Victorian mansion to have a hidden safe room. Amazon sells a hidden door hinge system that you can use to create a bookcase door. (You can also buy plans for installing a bookcase door or even an entire bookcase door kit.) Other options might include a trap door in the floor hidden under an attached throw rug or a discreet door at the back of a closet behind all the clothing.

Don’t rely strictly on the secret entry for your security. It should be followed up by the reinforcements described above, in the event that the intruders discover you’ve gotten away.

Communications

As was discussed in the introduction, a safe room is simply a retreat. If you don’t have help coming, you could remain trapped in there indefinitely, particularly if the intruders decide to wait you out.

Remember the #1 rule of the safe room? DO NOT LEAVE IT UNTIL YOU ARE SAFE AND YOUR HOME HAS BEEN CLEARED. NOT FOR ANY REASON. A criminal will threaten, cajole, manipulate, and bully to try to make you come out. DON’T DO IT.

You may not have had time to call 911 or your well-armed neighbor before sheltering in your safe room.  If that is the case, then you need to be able to summon assistance from within the safe room. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Cell phone: Make sure you have an additional charger for your cellphone that stays in the safe room.  Remember that a cell phone is not 100% reliable.  While it’s not exceptionally likely that your average home invader will jam your cell phone, it’s possible. (WikiHow explains how easily one can be made and this device jams  both cell signals and WIFI. )
  • Landline phone: Put an old fashioned phone in your safe room. Don’t get one that relies on electricity to work. Even better, install a secondary buried line in the event that your primary line is disabled. If a criminal cuts one phone line, he generally won’t look for a secondary line.
  • Computer: Just like the secondary landline, above, consider a secondary internet access as well.  If you have Skype, you can also have an internet telephone system from which you can call for assistance, but be warned that you many not immediately reach your local 911 from a Skype phone.

Once you have 911 on the line, be sure to let them know that you are armed. (Cops hate surprises.)  If at all possible, stay on the line with the 911 operator so that you can confirm that help has arrived without opening the door of your safe room.

  • Two-way radio: If you have a trusted friend or neighbor nearby, a two way radio system is another way to summon help. This one transmits up to 36 miles.
  • Ham radio:  Be warned, you need an FCC license for a ham radio.  You can learn more about the different kinds of ham radios in this article.
  • Cameras:  While cameras won’t help you summon help, they can let you know what’s going on outside your safe room.  Especially important, a camera outside the door of the room will give you some advance warning if your retreat is about to be breached.  It can let you know if help has actually arrived or if the intruders are just trying to trick you into thinking so. This system feeds into your cell phone or your computer.

Supplies

You want to have enough supplies to stay in your safe room for 24-48 hours. Since this is a safe room and not a bunker, you don’t need  year’s supply of beans and rice in there.

  • Food: Stock up on food that doesn’t require any cooking or refrigeration. (This article is about food that you’d eat during a power outage but many of the suggestions will work for your safe room supply.)
  • Water: Even if you have an attached bathroom with running water, store at least one gallon per person that is likely to be in the room,.  Just in case. Because stuff happens, especially when bad guys are around.
  • Cold weather gear: In the event that your heat stops working during cold weather, stash a selection of winter coats, gloves, hats, sleeping bags, and a warm change of clothing.
  • Entertainment:  Really.  If you end up in the room for more than a couple of hours, you’ll go insane just staring at the monitors.  As well, if there are children in there with you, they’ll handle the ordeal much better with some distractions.  Keep some books, games, puzzles, DVDs, etc., in the safe room.
  • Sanitation: Ideally, you’ll have an actual bathroom as part of your safe room. If not, you’ll need a place to relieve yourself.  The best portable option is a camping toilet, which will eventually have to be emptied, but holds over 5 gallons and should last throughout any amount of time you’d be in your safe room. Also stock hand sanitizer, baby wipes, feminine hygiene supplies, and diapers, if applicable to your family.
  • Special needs items:  Remember that movie “Panic Room”, with Jodie Foster and Kristen Stewart?  They were forced to leave the safe room because it wasn’t stocked with the necessary supplies for the diabetic child.  Don’t let this happen to you. Not only will you stock your safe room with food, but keep extra medication for any family members with special needs.
  • First aid supplies: Keep a full first aid kit, as well as a manual, in your safe room. If a family member was injured on the way to the room, you want to be able to provide some care for them. Particularly focus on supplies necessary for traumatic injuries.  Also stock things like antacids, pain relievers,  and anti-diarrheal medications. You can find a great first aid supply list in this article.
  • Emergency supplies: Always keep a fire extinguisher, goggles, and some particulate masks in your safe room.  A very determined criminal might try to force you to leave the room by starting a fire. Depending on the materials used in the construction of your room, this could be successful.  The goggles and masks aren’t perfect, but they give you a chance to launch an offensive if you do have to leave the safe room.

Defense

Here’s the bottom line: If an intruder somehow manages to breach your safe room, the time for retreat is completely over.   There’s no option left – you have to be prepared to fight like your life depends on it.  If an intruder has gone to the trouble to break through all of your defenses to get to you, your life most likely does depend on your ability to mount an aggressive defense.

Aside from your primary defense weapon (which you’re probably carrying with you), all of your other weapons should be stored in your safe room. Your extra ammunition should be stored there too.

Is every person of reasonable age in your family able to handle a weapon? If not, it’s time to sign up for classes or go to the range.

You need to have a plan in the event your defenses are breached. You don’t want any “friendly fire” injuries to occur. This plan will be different for every family based on individual skills, on available weapons, and on the set-up of your safe room.

The safe room is your final point of retreat. If someone brings the battle to you, you must be prepared, both mentally and physically. Otherwise, you and your family are like fish in a barrel, neatly corralled targets for the intruders.

Outside of your safe room, might want to consider this:


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

This article originally appeared in The Organic Prepper

Via: apartmentprepper


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Hunting Skills: Use Pellet Practice to Perfect Your Shots

 

Want to be a deadly big-game rifle shot? Then start right now, with an air gun.

 


Photo by Remie Geoffroi

 

While hunting seasons forge great hunters via experience, off-seasons make riflemen. Here are drills that will train muscles, improve hand-eye coordination, ingrain field positions, and perfect your trigger squeeze to make you a better game shot.

The Rifle
Buy a single-stroke, spring-piston air rifle for adults, such as a Gamo Whisper Fusion, and top it with a scope similar in size, power, height-above-bore, and reticle style as the one on your hunting rifle.

 

The Setup
In your backyard or shooting area, hang soda cans from fishing line to tree limbs or clothes lines 10 to 50 yards distant at various heights, and number the cans in bold permanent marker. Be sure of your background and ensure that pellets either hit a backstop or sail into a safe zone. Have a friend randomly call out the number of a can to shoot. Find it, pull up, and hit it as fast as possible. Wagering on each shot will increase mental pressure and enhance your training session.

 

Skill: Off-Hand Shooting 
Practice keeping your eye on the can and centering it in the scope as you smoothly raise the rifle to your shoulder and cheek; focus on the number on the can and concentrate on a steady hold—by holding your breath just before the shot—and a smooth trigger squeeze. Accept that it’s impossible to hold the reticle absolutely still, so practice pulling the trigger decisively when the crosshair hovers on target, then following through by trying to keep it there throughout the shot.
Drill: Shoot all cans as quickly as possible, then take a short rest.

 

Skill: Breath Control
During a mountain hunt, it’s not uncommon to find yourself heaving for breath as the animal presents a shot.
Drill: Do anything that will increase your heart rate: performing jumping jacks, jumping rope, or taking a lap around the house. With your heart pumping wildly, find a rest and try to deliver an accurate shot. The key here is to hold your breath, squeeze the trigger between surges, and shoot quickly enough that you don’t have to hold your breath for long or take another breath.

 

Skill: Field Positions 
From a relaxed stance, randomly choose a field position, quickly assume it (remember, smooth is quick), then shoot a can. Use any natural rest available, such as a tree, or an artificial one, like a lawnmower or deck railing or even your kids’ swingset, to enhance accuracy. (Field positions used without rests are for competitive shooting; hunters can almost always augment field positions with a pack or a natural object.) If using a railing or tree trunk to support the rifle, for example, put your weight on your forward knee so you can use your rear knee to brace the elbow of your trigger arm. Keep track of the number of hits.
Drill: Find and assume a solid position and deliver an accurate shot at a can in 10 seconds or less. Next, execute the drill with shooting sticks or a bipod from standing, kneeling, and prone positions.

 

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

Via: outdoorlife



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Make Your Own Shoot-and-See Targets

Why spend a lot on things you’re just going to perforate?


 

Targets should be cheap, right? I mean, you’re just going to shoot them full of holes, after all. And sometimes, paper targets can be affordable, but targets that let you see your shots, like Birchwood Casey Shoot-N-C and Caldwell Orange Peel, can cost more than $2 each.

Someone came up with a way to make targets that do the same thing for cheap. The nice thing is, you can even do it to a large surface affordably if you’re just starting to zero a gun and don’t know where it’s hitting. It would cost a small fortune to cover a two-foot-square piece of cardboard with commercially-made targets, but you could apply this method to the same size surface for considerably less than a buck.

The video below will show you how, but here’s the gist: Take some brightly-colored paper like construction paper. Cover one side of it with slick plastic packing tape. Spray paint it with “el cheapo grande” flat black spray paint. Then paint (or stick on) some dots for aiming points.

Voila! Now you can see your shots, and you saved some money that you can use for ammo, gasoline, or a nice cold beverage to enjoy when the shooting’s over.

Nice.


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

Via: alloutdoor


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Texas Ranger Drops Jade Helm Bombshell: “There Are Trains With Shackles On Them”


The reports about the coming Jade Helm 15 operation across the southwest continue to suggest that this is not merely a standard training exercise to prepare our military personnel for foreign engagements as has been suggested by officials.

A letter sent to Dave Hodges at The Common Sense Show by a concerned Texas Ranger indicates that the government is preparing for a scenario similar to what has been described in William Forstchen’s recent novellaDay of Wrath in which ISIS terrorists cross the southern border of the United States and simultaneously attack soft targets across the nation.

But the letter doesn’t stop there. The Ranger, who has kept his identify private for obvious reasons and makes clear that the scope of Jade Helm is so secret that the intent is not completely clear, says that the JH15 mission objectives may go much farther than just preparing for terrorists. According to the law enforcement insider there are trains moving throughout Texas and some of them have been outfitted with shackles, presumably to “transport prisoners of some sort.” The claim adds further credence to a report about Jade Helm dissident roundups and arrests and widespreadmartial law declarations following an emergency.

His letter sheds some light on the Walmart store closings, suggesting at least one may be utilized in a national security capacity as a staging point for the Department of Homeland Security, an agency that is apparently not trusted by anyone within the Texas Rangers organization, according to the source.

The full letter follows:

Hello Mr. Hodges,

I have been a Texas Ranger for quite some time, and as such, I am privy to much of what is going on with regard to the Midland Walmart store closing, the presence of ISIS on Texas soil and our preparations to combat an insurgent threat.

I will not give you my rank or location because it would not be safe to do so. It is a waste of time to try and trace the IP#, etc., as I have taken steps to ensure that this note cannot be traced back to me.  I understand and  realize that you seem to have a growing issue with people who will not go on the record with their inside knowledge or first-hand observations, but you cannot understand the pressure and scrutiny that some of us are under. I am taking a big risk writing this email to you.

The main reason that I am writing to you is to encourage you to keep writing on the growing threat of infiltration in Texas and I suspect other states as well. The infiltration I am writing about is not just Special Forces that are going to conducting covert drills in our state. that is concerning and I agree with you this involves martial law.  For now I am talking about ISIS and the danger that they pose to all of us. Our intelligence indicates that they have enough manpower & firepower to subdue a small town. The Midland Walmart takeover by DHS is a national security move in which we have been told falls under the Continuity of Government provisions. The Threat Fusion Centers are providing related information on what it is we are facing but the information sharing is only in one direction and that is very concerning.

We expecting an attack on more than one Texas city or town by ISIS and/or any of their partners. I believe the information to be accurate. However, this makes the covert operations of groups like the Navy Seals and others under JH15 highly suspicious. We do not need the insertion of Special Ops into Texas towns and cities. I think that you are probably right about the intention of arresting political undesirables given what we know about JH15. I am of the opinion that whatever the mission objectives of JH15, they have nothing to do with the immediate threat. Therefore, I do not pretend to understand the full scope of JH 15 because there are unfolding operational details which are almost impossible to reconcile with what I already know to be fact based the evidence for what is going on.

Let me drop a bombshell that I have not seen you address. There are trains moving throughout Texas that have shackles inside some of the cars. I have not personally seen them, but I know personnel that have seen this. This indicates that these trains will be used to transport prisoners of some sort. I know from reading your articles that your default belief will be that these are for American political prisoners and will be transported to FEMA detention camps of some sort. We have been told by Homeland that these trains are slated for transporting captured terrorists, non-domestic. We are not sure we can trust this explanation because Homeland is keeping a lot from us and we are growing increasingly uncomfortable with their presence in Texas.

I wanted to tell also you that we believe that Pantex is a high value target for ISIS and much or our preparation is to thwart any action by terrorists against the facility.  I am wondering how in the hell you figured that out. Someone on the deep inside must be talking with you.

Keep writing Mr. Hodges, you and the underground media are making a difference. As I am sure you know, Colorado announced today that JH15 is suspended in that state. Unfortunately, we do not have that prerogative because we believe that we are under the threat of eminent attack here in Texas.

I do believe the ISIS threat is legitimate. But you are also correct to suspect the motives behind the JH15 drills. They are clouded in secrecy and we have been shut out regarding their operational intent. The people of Texas and all of the United States of America should be pushing back against JH15.

I will support the Feds in their preparation against ISIS. But the moment that this action turns against our locals is the moment I will perform my oath of office. I am not alone in this feeling. None of my brothers trust Homeland. We will have to see where this is going but I have a bad feeling.

You do your job and keep writing and I will do my job in upholding the Constitution

Thank You

The suspicions of the public are quite justified, it seems. The operational commanders for Jade Helm have compartmentalized the “exercise” to such an extent that no one, not the local and state law enforcement officers involved or the majority of military personnel, has any idea what is actually going on.

As noted in the letter, a realistic threat from our southern border certainly exists and as we’ve written previously, Border Patrol and Homeland Security have been capturing suspected terrorist operatives crossing into the United States for years. But the Texas Ranger who penned the letter says this is not necessarily the full scope of the massive Summer exercise.

And given that people within his own organization report seeing shackles in trains, is it completely out of the question to suggest that the government does, in fact, have procedures in place to detain, transport and imprison those suspected of terrorism, or those who may be suspected of being suspected?

When Gerald Celente warned of the Auschwitz Express back in a 2012 interview he wasn’t joking:

First it was the Patriot Act. Now it’s the National Defense Authorization Act. And then it was Obama’s Executive Order giving El Presidente Los Estados Unidos the supreme right to call Martial Law at a potential threat – a potential threat.

Then there’s Big Bro over there, Attorney General Eric Holder, who just passed these guidelines that could let them listen in to what we’re saying right now, listen to you on your cell phone, watch every stroke of your keyboard, and they at the White House could then determine whether or not the algorythms add up to you being a terrorist or a potential terrorist.

Big Brother never had it so good.

…all aboard the Auschwitz Express…

…That’s what’s going on here… and the people don’t see it, and they’re afraid to speak up… People don’t want to believe it.

Full Interview Via SGT Report

We will soon find out if Jade Helm is just another military exercise. Some are of the opinion that it could be used to facilitate a false flag operation that would then be used as justification to implement nationwide martial law and to activate Doomsday Executive Orders recently signed by President Obama.

It may sound wildly conspiratorial, but it wouldn’t be the first time a government has purposefully engaged in such conduct.

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

 

Via:  shtfplan


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White House dismisses rumors of Texas takeover; Texas Governor orders Guard to ‘monitor’ Federal Troop Drills

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered the Texas State Guard to monitor Federal Troop movements as the White House prepares for a two-month training exercise that involves labeling Texas and Utah as “Hostile” States.

Operation Jade Helm will bring Federal troops, including Navy Seals, Green Berets and the 82nd airborne division to Texas and a number of other southwestern states for simulated special operations in a hostile territory. While the military routinely trains for urban combat, many became concerned after leaked military documents categorized Texas and Utah as “Hostile” States.

 


 

White House tried to tap down fears by saying the training operation is no cause for alarm.

“In no way will the constitutional rights or civil liberties of any American citizen be infringed upon while this exercise is being conducted,” said White House press secretary Josh Earnest.

But apparently Texas Governor Greg Abbott isn’t so sure.

In a letter to Major General Gerald Betty of the Texas State Guard, Gov. Abbott asked the Guard “to address concerns of Texas citizens.”

“During the training operation, it is important that Texans know their safety, constitutional rights, private property right and civil liberties will not be infringed,” the governor wrote. “I am directing the Texas State Guard to monitor Operation Jade Helm 15.”

An Increasing number of Military Drills are using American Citizens as Theoretical Threats.

Over the last couple of years these types of drills seem to be increasing in regularity. Just last month, National Guard troops in California used crisis actors to play the role of angry U.S. citizens shouting “right-wing” rhetoric at the soldiers. These drills seem to align with a 2012 report, prepared for the Department of Homeland Security, which talked about how the military could be used as a police force within the United States.

That report, titled Full Spectrum Operations in the Homeland: A “Vision” of the Future, outlined theoretical situations where the U.S. Army could be sent into U.S. cities that have been taken over by Tea Party “insurrectionists.

In 2013, the Ohio Army National Guard 52nd Civil Support Unit conducted a training drill where Second Amendment supporters with “anti-government” opinions were portrayed as domestic terrorists.

 

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

 

Via:  offgridsurvival


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Baltimore riots highlight ‘progressive’ paradox on guns and police

Korean merchants, Los Angeles Riots, 1992. “I don’t know if I am wrong or not. People say I am wrong. What am I going to do? Just sit down and die? I am going to protect my store and my family and myself.”

As Baltimore erupts in violence, and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake promises a safe haven for destroyers (thwarted only by the occasional armed citizen protecting life and property where the police fear to tread), an inescapable observation strikes. High-profile shootings of black males continue to occur in cities where “progressive” Democrats run things. Yet in spite of that, they embrace “gun control,” that is, a system where police are the “only ones” trusted to keep and bear arms. . .

None of us can foresee the future and predictions are always dicey things to make, but if I had to venture one, I’d say U.S. cities are in for an interesting summer. If that’s the case, we shouldn’t be surprised to see members of the productive sector, who in turn will soon come to understand the “authorities” are useless at providing protection, reapplying old lessons learned from when Korean merchants refused to stand by while their livelihoods went up in flames.

For background on the Korean grocers for those too young at the time to remember see: Pocket of Tension; A Target of Rioters, Koreatown Is Bitter, Armed and Determined

“I want to make it clear that we didn’t open fire first,” said David Joo, manager of the gun shop. “At that time, four police cars were there. Somebody started to shoot at us. The L.A.P.D. ran away in half a second. I never saw such a fast escape. I was pretty disappointed.”

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

 

Via:  sipseystreetirregulars


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