Guest post by Veranio
Everyday life goes on, but lately it has been disheartening to see people suffer from natural, man-made, economic, and political calamities. It seems that difficulties of different degrees are becoming the norm. It will not get better, especially with the epidemic of moral decay and political corruption sweeping our society.
Definitely, there will be a shift on how we will live our lives. We need to prepare. First, we need to strengthen our faith and be spiritually ready. This means we need to pray unceasingly, ask for guidance and discernment, and submit ourselves to God.
Prepare, but do not be anxious. Be grateful to the Lord for his grace and blessings, even in this time of difficulty. Second, we need to be prepared to maintain our humanity and dignity, thus preventing us from succumbing to the dog eat dog psychosis. These are the main reasons why I prepare my family.
We lived in Southern California before we moved to Maui. Although we had a good time in So Cal, we needed to move to a slower and smaller place. For us, life in the city was becoming restrictive because crimes especially against children were increasing in intensity.
At that time, we had only one child, a daughter. God kept blessing us and we have three more children, all boys born in the island. I joke with my wife that she keeps gives birth every decade. One in the late 80’s, two in the 90’s and one in 00’s, so the decades are well represented.
My wife and I are fortunate that were blessed with good children. Although sometimes, they think they know better than we do. Their insolence leads them to misadventures and grief like any other teenagers. We are constantly on our knees praying for them.
One of the most challenging parts of preparedness is involving the children. This article relates to how we interact with them. Each child has their own personality, but my middle son typically exemplifies today’s children of average families who are into preparedness.
The major reason we moved was to have a more wholesome environment to raise a family. Island living allows our children to mature at a slower pace. This gives them time to enjoy their childhood so they are not prematurely preoccupied with the trappings of material world.
Living in the city has many advantages too. Depending on our financial situation, we take mainland trips to expand their perspective, as so not to limit them to island culture.
The bounty and serenity of the island taught preparedness in an unhurried way. We were able to let them grow in faith and appreciate God’s creation, since were blessed with beautiful oceans and mountains. We have fun as a family and it was easier for me to teach them survival craft, both the old and the new.
For teenagers, it is more difficult to persuade them in preparedness because they are more concerned in asserting their individuality, which also changes their priorities. The beauty of living here makes it also more difficult to maintain preparedness. It is hard for the children to envision that anything can go wrong in “paradise”.
My younger middle son is a very nice and likable. He is the cutesy easygoing sensitive type that girls like. When he is young, I had no problem bringing him along to test reloads and shoot. In fact, my wife warned me to watch him closely because he gets too trigger-happy. After a while he lost interest and focused on winning interscholastic surfing championships. Asking him to go shooting with me might have only created a rift, so I just let him with his activities.
Unwittingly, I invited one of his classmate’s dad to go shooting with me. The dad brought his son whenever we would go together, causing my son to tag along. The same classmate also convinced my son to join the high school rifle team. To encourage him, I told him that I would build him a colorful 10/22 to match his personality, red heavy barrel with multi-colored barracuda stock.
He actually shot well and is familiar with the disassembly and assembly of AR and AK. As of now, his peers influence his interest. It is all right because he has the basics to rely on.
My son is also very patient and understanding. His temperament is suited for fishing. We live close to the beach that we have the opportunity to do a lot of shoreline casting. Almost all the time, he ends up catching the most and the bigger fishes.
The older brother is the search and destroy type. He does not have the patience to sit and wait for bites. He would rather dive in the water and spear fish or go scout after wild game. He is actually more successful this way, either fishing or hunting. Both of them bring food for the table if they are in the mood.
Going back to my younger middle son, I was trying to convince him to join the wrestling team like his sister before him. I would tell him it is good for self-defense and good for his college resume. He will tell me “I am a lover, not a fighter”. At the same time, this frustrates and amuses me.
My friend did not help either because he told my son that when he was wrestling, his opponent puts him on hold and squeeze his stomach. He could not help passing gas and disrupting the match with roaring laughter.
My middle son met a very nice girl while surfing and they ended going steady. I told him that his girlfriend is very attractive, a head turner. I gave him scenarios that he might get into confrontations. I also asked him how he could protect his girl friend. Two weeks after that conversation, he enrolled in kickboxing. Now, he is planning to compete. Therefore, I told him to be careful with his nice looking nose.
I feel it might also be worthwhile to share how I trained my children to be safe and comfortable in shooting firearms. The second amendment is very important right to exercise. It is God given right incorporated in the U.S. Constitution for citizens to protect themselves. It is an integral right needed to safeguard our freedom as individuals and as a nation.
It is an on going process to teach the children to become proficient with firearms. Normally, the children started shooting, swimming, fishing, riding bicycles at six-years old. In regards to shooting, they started with a single shot .22 rifle. This takes away the mystique of firearms while at the same time teaching proper and safe handling.
It took a systematic approach to teach them to shoot more complicated firearms. They shoot the same action using a .22 before they step up to higher caliber. For example, a .22 pump action made them familiar with a pump shotgun. They shoot .22 semi-automatics to be acquainted with semi-automatic center fire by learning with Feather AT 22, which made it easier to transition to a Feather AT 9mm, or a Ruger 10/22 and step up to Mini-14.
In shooting handguns, they started with .22 revolvers before moving up. The emphasis was to be comfortable with what they do to make the shooting experience enjoyable. Later on, hitting targets and marksmanship comes naturally because there was no pressure involved.
They are proficient with a variety of calibers and actions but our main battery is based on the .22’s and .223’s that are based on AR 15’s. The AR’s have .22 conversions as part of the grab kit. This simplifies accessories and cleaning kits.
We role-play different scenarios when they were young and suggested what they can do in a playful way. One time, when we had only three young children I overheard my daughter calling her two brothers for an emergency meeting. First, she started like a newscaster recounting the news of the day. Then she decided who would get to carry this and that and so on.
It was fascinating and funny at the same time. With this in mind, I made sure that they understood that guns are useful tools but at the same time, very destructive if mishandled or misused. I made them aware to never, never touch a gun in a state of anger.
As their parents, we make sure that they are active in practicing our Christian faith. We try our best to set good examples of our faith and conservative principles. This will help them establish the proper foundation to make life-changing decisions. We hope to ingrain good values, morality, courtesy, humility and compassion so they can be good citizens.
My wife and I believe that it is time again to move back to the mainland, the children will have better chances. Here, we are water locked and vital resources have to be shipped. If there is major disruption, it will be difficult to maintain long-term survival.
There will be limited options that most likely lead to reliance on government institutions. The island is in the process of going beyond its sustainable population. It does not help too that were in the region of the ring of fire. Hawaii has also one of the most restrictive gun laws. Any suggestions where to relocate?
Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.