How To Make Copper, Just Like Our Ancestors Did

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How To Make Cooper, Just Like Our Ancestors Did

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How much easier would it be to make electrical repairs if you didn’t have to make your way back into town or even cannibalize another piece of equipment in hopes that it will have the component you need?

Whether you’re homesteading or simply trying to make life easier as a survivalist, the knowledge of how to refine copper into wiring, small copper components and other parts with the resources around you is a crucial chunk of survival knowledge.

I know, I know. You’re probably thinking: “Wouldn’t I at least need some kind of expensive blower to get a fire hot enough to produce copper?”

The answer is a resounding “no.” That being said, let’s discuss which natural ores are available around you to produce this valuable metal.

The most common ore is chalcopyrite, and while finding this ore isn’t as easy as slipping outside for a stroll and picking it up along the forest floor like berries, it is still a relatively easy ore to find. Chalcopyrite can be found at the base of limestone-rich mountains and natural rocky outcroppings containing limestone. It is found by breaking open large limestone and extracting the metallic tetrahedron-shaped mass from the inside by simply hammering it out.

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The second most commonly found copper-bearing ore is chalcocite, found mainly in sedimentary rock quarries that are heavy in sedimentary rocks such as limestone, for example. See a correlation here? Chalcocite is widely commercially mined due to the ease at which it can be separated from the copper sulfide.

Now, for those of you desert buffs who prefer to homestead in more arid climates. The third most-common copper sulfide bearing ore is malachite. This ore is so prolific and was mined so much commercially that you have most likely seen malachite at rock and gem shops and had no idea you were looking at one of the most common sources of copper in history. While malachite doesn’t have nearly the amount of copper that chalcocite (79.8 percent when purified) has, it’s still one of the easiest ores from which to separate the copper.

Since your head may be spinning from the scientific end of this project, I suggest we move to the fun part: producing copper. As wonderful as this modern age is due to all the convenient equipment it brings — including flashlights, generators, solar panels and so much more — it has one flaw. Like everything else, eventually, your equipment will wear down. Parts break, and wire burns and shorts out.

Either way, one of the wonderful things about copper is that it doesn’t take some million dollar factory plant or factory to produce the copper products that we use each day.

You need three things to start: a bellow, wind pipes, and a furnace in order to smelt your copper ore.

After a suitable furnace spot has been found, your next step is to make a small piece of clay tubing to fit over the end of the wind pipes in order to keep the end of the wind pipes out of the direct heat.

You now get to play with some clay. You have to mold a small clay cup or “crucible” to contain your ore, and make a lid to match. It’s best to make sure all the parts match as best you can. Take your copper bearing ore and roast it for about an hour by sprinkling it over a small camp fire and putting wood on top of it. Don’t be worried about sifting out the copper from the wood ash, as the difference will be obvious.

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Crush your roasted ore with either a hammerstone or a hammer, and deposit it into your clay crucible after allowing the clay to dry in the sun for two to three days.

You will need a furnace to smelt the copper now. One of the fastest ways to build a furnace primitively is to carefully remove a nice 1 ½-foot piece of round turf or rooted ground in the spot you chose to smelt your ore and dig down another foot and a half into the dirt. This will create a natural furnace to keep your heat right where you want it. After building a small fire inside your hole, line the bottom and sides of the hole with charcoal. Set your clay crucible in the middle of it and put your lid on your crucible before covering it with more charcoal.

Simply replace the turf lid and insert your bellows windpipe under the lid of the turf. Begin working your bellows, and get comfortable for the next five hours! Apologies but this is the economic way of doing things. After five to six hours of  continuous pumping (see where a partner comes in handy?) you will see the flame start to show streaks of green. This shows that your copper is nearly complete. Have a friend continue working the bellows while you use long tongs to remove the turf lid and carefuly lift the clay lid from your crucible to check that the contents have melted into your liquid copper.

Once this has occurred then your next step is to carefully pour the liquid metal into either a mold you prepared to recast a broken copper electrical component, or into a long thin tube mould for later reheating and stretching into copper wire as you need it.

Keep whatever scraps of copper remain after your project. This copper can be easily reheated and used how you see fit.

What advice would you add? Share it in the section below:

Are You Truly Prepared For A Downed Grid? Read More Here.

Hedging Against a Multitude of Threats-Cale Nelson

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Cale Nelson of HamRadio360.com joins me on the show today to talk about the multitude of threats and constant barrage of attacks against our way of life. We discuss our responsibility to be ready.

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God bless and happy prepping!

Mark

The post Hedging Against a Multitude of Threats-Cale Nelson appeared first on Prepper Recon.

Prepper Conditioning: Total Body Fitness for When the SHTF

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

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 Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Sam Thift. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


A violent mob a tad over 1,000 strong is blocking all outbound traffic on a major freeway leading out of downtown, your car is stuck in the snarled traffic and night is approaching. What are you going to do?

You were just about to pull into work on a Monday morning when an electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) leaves your car sitting in the middle of the street on a downtown city block. How are you going to move?

Record breaking 100-year flooding is quickly rushing towards your neighborhood, and you have heard the bridge to safety is already under 3 feet of water. Where are you going to go?

Civil unrest, the breakdown of society, perhaps Martial Law, or the absence of the Rule of Law, are all possible consequences of any number of doomsday scenarios, or even breaking points themselves. Solar flares or tactically deployed strategic nuclear weapons can emit an EMP capable of destroying on-board computers and sensitive electronics in vehicles manufactured after 1980, while damaging the power grid and basically returning modern technology to the peak era of horse and buggies, the butter churn, and the quill pen. Major natural disasters such as flooding, earthquakes, and wildfires can be severe, quick, and unannounced, potentially forcing you into an immediate need to evacuate, sometimes without the luxury of vehicles, boats, or other modern modes of transportation.

What is your current level of prepper conditioning?

Being in the wrong place, at the wrong time, swarmed by an angry mob can reduce a city to foot traffic, and potentially put you in direct physical danger. Think about Ferguson, Baltimore, Dallas, Milwaukee, or Reginald Denny, the truck driver during the 1992 L.A. Riots, whose beating was caught by a news helicopter:

Fight-or-Flight instincts right? We are all familiar with that clever little quip. Are you capable of fighting back? Against multiple aggressors? For a sustained period of time? If not, are you capable of the flight option? Can you escape those aggressors? Could you outrun them in a sprint, through an urban environment, and continue to lose them over a sustained longer distance? What if you do initially outrun the aggressors, but are eventually caught and then forced to defend yourself? Fighting fresh sucks enough, try fighting when you are already fatigued. It is important to consider your level of prepper conditioning before you are facing a disaster.

Many of us have our everyday carry (EDC) gear, whether on our person or in a small easily accessible bag of some sorts, at all times. Others have a get home bag (GHB) or bug out bag (BOB) loaded with tools, gear, emergency food supplies, and even defensive items, either in our vehicle, at work, or otherwise ready to grab and go at a moment’s notice. Have you ever shouldered that pack and walked any distance? Even if you know a route to get home without consulting your Google maps or in-dash navigation, have you ever actually walked it? How far is it? What type of footwear do you have on? Dress shoes, high heels, flats, sandals, all not good choices for long walks. Have you done so in inclement weather? What if your planned route is impassable (consider the angry mob presence, or flooded roads/trails)? How heavy is that pack again?

Paratus 3 Day Operator's Pack Military Style MOLLE Compatible Tactical Backpack Bug Out Bag

Paratus 3 Day Operator’s Pack Military Style MOLLE Compatible Tactical Backpack Bug Out Bag

Sheriffs offices, fire departments, and other emergency management professionals do their best to warn residents of impending danger from natural disasters, and will assist in pre-planned evacuations often designed to allow ample time for you and your family to be removed from your residence safely. However the timing of natural disasters is not always so convenient and officials may not be available to help you, individually. You may have to load up your valuables and find a road out, but without the knowledge to move forward, a safe route may not be possible in your family car. Can you hike out of your neighborhood on foot? Are you a strong enough swimmer to tread water for extended periods of time, or even swim across a pond or lake to escape the danger? If you have small children with you, are you capable of carrying them to safety as well? Can you push a heavy object out of your way, lift an item off yourself or a loved one, pull yourself over an obstacle, or negotiate a series of uneven, loose, or otherwise treacherous terrain to find safety on solid ground?

What do all of these have in common?

How long do you expect to survive a SHTF event?

All of these scenarios are examples of easy ways your ability to survival the initial blow of shit hitting that proverbial fan will depend upon your physical ability and conditioning. If you have ever been in a fight, even in training, sparring, bag drills, or other controlled environments, you know how quickly you can fatigue. If you have not, just find a large pillow or something else soft to punch, and hit it as furiously as possible – as if your life depended on beating that pillow – for about 30 seconds, then assess your heart rate, breathing, and perspiration. They are probably all up quite a bit. Rest for 10 seconds then do it again for a minute. Then sprint out your door to the end of the block, and do it again for another 45 seconds. Rest for 5 seconds and go ALL OUT for a final 10 second surge. Then run a lap around your neighborhood and reassess yourself when you get back home. Go inside for a glass of water, you earned it – then defend yourself against that last attacking pillow for another 30 seconds. Get the point?

Fatigue from fighting is very real, and very quick. If you are not big on hand-to-hand combat, but have read a couple of books, or seen a movie or two, or practiced kata or other sequenced movements such as are commonly trained in karate and taekwondo, then you may not know how your body will actually stand up to the massive expenditure of energy required in a fight. Need somewhere to start? Look for a local gym and sign up for a free test class in Krav Maga. Condition yourself.

If you have ever been in a fight, even in training, sparring, bag drills, or other controlled environments, you know how quickly you can fatigue.

If your prepping relies heavily on the use of EDC, GHB, or BOB gear, you should not only be intimately familiar with every piece of gear you carry or plan on carrying, but you should be even more familiar with what it feels like to actually carry that gear. As the crow flies, I work 10 miles from home. My regular commute covers 15 miles. Pending any alterations in safe passage following an incident, I expect my trip home could range upwards of 20-30 miles. At 6’4” and about 225 lbs with a GHB weighing in around 24 lbs dry, I have a little room for 3 liters of water while keeping my ruck right around 30 lbs. With a little intimate road time, proper footwear, a series of blister/heal cycles and rubbing my shoulders raw from straps, I know what pace I can move at and how long I can move like that. Toss in variables of being loaded with an unplanned item, or extra gear I happen upon, and I also know that I can double upon that coupon and keep going. How do I know that? Walking around the neighborhood, simple day hikes on the weekend, or a good backpacking trip are all good places to start. Or jump straight up for a good sense of what added stresses could feel like on your psyche and your body, and look at completing a GoRuck event (Google it, it is worth every dime). Condition yourself.

Not sure what will be required of you before, during, after a natural disaster? Ask anyone who has lived through an earthquake, wildfire, tornado, or flooding. Look at the Cajun Navy in Baton Rouge, LA. Think they have it easy in their boats? I guarantee they end their day plum tired from the physicality required to help their neighbors. Strangers even. If you cannot push yourself off the floor, could you push a standard home office bookshelf off yourself? If you cannot perform a single pullup, could you pull yourself up and over a large item like a refrigerator blocking the doorway out to safety? Say your kid, spouse, or loved one is unconscious or otherwise unable to walk to safety themselves, can you carry them – even if for just a short distance to get out of the house? Could you drag them even? Can you hike out from danger, run away from danger, swim to safety, or simply walk down the road, for miles, until you find refuge? No, you do not need to go to the gym, eat protein bars and post-workout shakes. Try some simple body-weight exercises. Pushups, pullups, squats, planks. YouTube any one of those, find progression exercises for them if you cannot do them strictly now, and work your way towards them.

Take care of your conditioning now before life takes care of it for you

Get up and move, if even a little. Go for a walk, swim at the rec center, ride a bike, anything. You have a busy schedule. Work. Family. Life. A daily set of push ups, pull-ups, squats, and planks can be done in as little as 5 minutes. You have spent far more time than that just reading this little 1600 word article. You probably spent more time than that navigating the internet to find this article. You may even spend ten times that amount scrolling through Facebook feeds, or news articles, or simply sitting on the couch watching glimpses of your favorite programming between chunks of commercials and advertising. That’s fine. Just slip off the couch and do 10 push ups during a commercial break. Even once a day. How long does it take to walk around the block? Twenty minutes? Take the dog. Can you run a couple of miles? That doesn’t really take too long either? Be like Nike…Just Do It. Swim at the pool? It takes longer to drive there, rinse off afterwards, and drive home than it does to actually swim even just 500 meters. Condition yourself.

BodyWeightExercise

No, you do not need to go to the gym, eat protein bars and post-workout shakes. Try some simple body-weight exercises. Pushups, pull-ups, squats, planks.

Surviving is just the first step to survival. If you struggle with the basic physical abilities to easily get through some of the things I have discussed above, what good will the 2 years of food, hundreds of gallons of water, or thousands of rounds of ammunition do for you when the shit hits the fan? That stockpile will just be a jackpot for someone more conditioned for a survival situation than you. Someone like me who comes along later to find the money you spent, thinking you were prepared, when a few simple daily efforts could have made a far bigger difference in your life.

Get through step one first. Survive the events of the day. Then start to consider.

Are you free of addictive substances, habits, or vices? Quitting smoking is hard enough today, without other stresses, and with the assistance of any gum, patches, or other tricks to take the edge off. I know. I have done it. I cannot even imagine how weak-minded I would be a few weeks after SHTF to come across someone trading a pack of cigarettes…I probably would have sold the farm for it if I hadn’t already quit. Many prepper philosophies out there advocate for even non-users to stock up on alcohol, tobacco, and coffee to be used as trade items later on. The thought being that these little trinkets will have substantial value in bartering systems when regular supplies have long disappeared or been consumed by former smokers, drinkers, and coffee addicts. If you make it that far after the SHTF but cannot turn down a smoke, a drink, or a cup of Joe, you are just begging to be taken advantage of.

Is your body accustomed to the diet you plan on sustaining yourself with post-SHTF? Yeah, bust out the beef stew or chicken with salsa MRE, throw it in the nifty heater and lean it against a rock or something, and you’ll be a member of the “these are actually pretty good” crowd. Now eat them every day for two weeks. How has your stomach felt? How are your bowel movements? Are you paying attention to calorie intake versus expenditure? During the crucible for the Marine Corps, you are given just 2 MREs over a 54 hour period when you cover 48 miles with 45 lbs of gear, navigate 36 “warrior stations” and 29 “team building exercises” all on 6 hours of sleep. I had food left over afterwards and don’t remember going number two at all, but made it just fine. If you eat three MREs per day, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you’ll “survive” alright, but your guts will hate you.

Can you perform the daily physical duties and manual labor required in your long-term survival plan? If you currently work on a farm or ranch, in most construction trades, oil field operations, logging, or other physically intense professions, you probably do not need much of this information at all. If you do not work in one of the above, or a closely related field, go spend a day with a family member, friend, or neighbor who does work in one of those fields and tell me how you feel the next morning. Manual labor is real. If you think the post-apocalyptic world is ripe with clerical positions, business analytics, or private consulting firms, think again. Your air-conditioned office, break rooms, water coolers, hour-long lunches, and paid vacation and sick leave are all gone. If you want to get by now, it will all be on your shoulders. Day in and day out. If you cannot weed a garden all day, you will starve. If you cannot walk the countryside gathering wild edibles all day, you will starve. If you cannot climb to the top of a ridge, check a trap line, or take down some big game and carry it home, you will starve. If you cannot gather firewood, build or reinforce a shelter, haul water, move gear – over and over – or potentially even engage in defensive postures, struggles, or all out battles, where does that land you in your new world?

Condition yourself early and often. Move. Eat right. Live right. Easiest, cheapest, most sustainable preps out there. I appreciate any and all feedback and dialogue! Know a little about anything in any of these areas, share it, talk about it, and get the thought trains rolling. Disagree with me, let me know why. Look for more to come on my conditioned prepping, from SHTFit. I am totally open to your ideas, I may even flat-out admit it and incorporate your thoughts into my own conditioning approaches. In the end, we should all make sure we are Fit for when the Shit Hits.

If you liked this article, please rate it.

The post Prepper Conditioning: Total Body Fitness for When the SHTF appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Gun Control Myths.

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This primitive pistol can only be legally used on a pistol club range!!!

TEN MYTHS ABOUT GUN CONTROL

Table of Contents

MYTH 1 — Public opinion polls

MYTH 2 — The purpose of a handgun

MYTH 3 — Armed citizens don’t deter crime

MYTH 4 — Licensing and registration

MYTH 5 — Foreign gun control works

MYTH 6 — Crimes of passion and guns

MYTH 7 — Semi-autos should be banned

MYTH 8 — No `right’ to own a gun

MYTH 9 — Concealed carry laws are dangerous

MYTH 10 — Gun control reduces crime



Ten Myths About Gun Control

“We will never fully solve our nation’s horrific problem of gun violence unless we ban the manufacture and sale of handguns and semi-automatic assault weapons.” –USA Today, December 29, 1993

“Why should America adopt a policy of near-zero tolerance for private gun ownership?. .. (W)ho can still argue compellingly that Americans can be trusted to handle guns safely? We think the time has come for Americans to tell the truth about guns. They are not for us, we cannot handle them.” –Los Angeles Times, December 28, 1993

These editorial opinions expressed by two of the nations most widely read newspapers represent the absolute extreme in the firearms controversy: that no citizen can be trusted to own a firearm. It is the product of a series of myths which–through incessant repetition–have been mistaken for truth. These myths are being exploited to generate fear and mistrust of the 60-65 million decent and responsible Americans who own firearms. Yet, as this document proves, none of these myths will stand up under the cold light of fact.

MYTH 1:”The majority of Americans favor strict new additional federal gun controls.”

Polls can be slanted by carefully worded questions to achieve any desired outcome. It is a fact that most people do not know what laws currently exist; thus, it is meaningless to assert that people favor “stricter” laws when they do not know how “strict” the laws are in the first place. Asking about a waiting period for a police background check presumes, incorrectly, that police can and will actually conduct a check during the wait. Similarly, it is meaningless to infer anything from support of a 7- or 5-day waiting period when respondents live in a state with a 15-day wait or a 1-6 month permit scheme in place. Asked whether they favor making any particular law “stricter,” however, most people do not. Unbiased, scientific polls have consistently shown that most people:

Oppose costly registration of firearms.

Oppose giving police power to decide who should own guns.

Do not believe that stricter gun laws would prevent criminals from illegally obtaining guns.

In 1993, Luntz Weber Research and Strategic Services found that only 9% of the American people believe “gun control” to be the most important thing that could be done to reduce crime. By a margin of almost 3-1, respondents said mandatory prison would reduce crime more than “gun control.” This poll, unlike many others, allowed respondents to answer more honestly by using open ended questions without leading introductions. The result was an honest appraisal of the attitude of the American people: “gun control” is not crime control.

One clear example of a poll done which used biased questions and flawed procedures was conducted by Louis Harris Research Inc. (LHRI) in the summer of 1993. The poll reported unprecedented levels of gun abuse by high school students. However, after examining the poll, Professor Gary Kleck of Florida State University, the nation’s leading scholar on crime and firearms, called the findings “…implausible, being inconsistent with more sophisticated prior research.” Prof. Kleck found the Harris findings of students who had been shot at or who had actually shot at someone to be insupportable by crime and victimization statistics as reported by the Department of Justice: “Even if the percent of handgun crime victimization had doubled from the average for the 1979-1987 period, the LHRI results would still be overstated by a factor of 100.” In the end, he labeled the LHRI poll “advocacy polling.”1

A more direct measure of the public’s attitude on “gun control” comes when the electorate has a chance to speak on the issue. Public opinion polls do not form public policy, but individual actions by hundreds of thousands of citizens do. For example, in 1993, the voters of Madison, Wisconsin, were presented with a referendum calling for a ban on handgun ownership in that city. Pollsters predicted an overwhelming win for the gun banners. When Second Amendment rights activists rallied opposition and educated the electorate on the facts about gun ownership, the referendum was defeated. In the 1993 gubernatorial elections, the incumbent governor in New Jersey and the front-runner in Virginia made “gun control” a central theme of their campaigns. Both candidates lost to opponents who stressed real criminal justice reforms, not “gun control.” In November 1982, Californians rejected, by a 63-37% margin, a statewide handgun initiative that called for the registration of all handguns and a “freeze” on the number of handguns allowed in the state. Again, pre-elect ion pollsters reported support for the measure. That initiative was also opposed by the majority of California’s law enforcement community. Fifty-one of the state’s 58 working sheriffs opposed Proposition 15, as did 101 chiefs of police. Nine law enforcement organizations, speaking for rank-and-file police, went on record against the initiative.

Increasingly, the American people are voicing support for reform of the criminal justice system. The NRA also actively supports initiatives calling for mandatory jail time for violent criminals. In 1982, the residents of Washington, D.C., enacted an NRA-endorsed mandatory penalty bill, actively opposed by the anti-gun D.C. City Council, that severely punishes those who use firearms to commit a violent crime . In 1988, the residents of Oregon approved, by a 78-22% margin, an NRA-supported initiative mandating prison sentences for repeat offenders after the state legislature and governor failed to act on the issue. In 1993, the residents of Washington state overwhelmingly approved the “three strikes you’re out” initiative calling for life sentences without parole for anyone convicted of a third serious crime. NRA’s Crime Strike program was instrumental in collecting the needed signatures to put that question on the ballot.

In 1993, the Southern States Police Benevolent Association conducted a scientific poll of its members. Sixty-five percent of the respondents identified “gun control” as the least effective method of combating violent crime. Only 1% identified guns as a cause of violent crime, while 48% selected drug abuse, and 21% said the failure of the criminal justice system was the most pressing cause. The officers also revealed that 97% support the right of the people to own firearms, and 90% said they believed the Constitution guarantees that right.

The SSPBA findings affirmed a series of polls conducted by the National Association of Chiefs of Police of every chief and sheriff in the country, representing over 15,000 departments. In 1991 the poll discovered for the third year in a row that law enforcement officers overwhelmingly agree that “gun control” measures have no effect on crime. A clear majority of 93% of the respondents said that banning firearms would not reduce a criminal’s ability to get firearms, while 89% said that the banning of semi-automatic firearms would not reduce criminal access to such firearms. Ninety-two percent felt that criminals obtain their firearms from illegal sources; 90% agreed that the banning of private ownership of firearms would not result in fewer crimes. Seventy-three percent felt that a national waiting period would have no effect on criminals getting firearms. An overwhelming 90% felt that such a scheme would instead make agencies less effective against crime by reducing their manpower and only serve to open them up to liability lawsuits.

These are the only national polls of law enforcement officers in the country, with the leadership of most other major groups adamantly refusing to poll their membership on firearms issues.

1 Kleck, “Reasons for Skepticism on the Results from a New Poll on: The Incidence of Gun Violence Among Young People,” The Public Perspective, Sept./Oct. 1993.

MYTH 2: “The only purpose of a handgun is to kill people.”

This often repeated statement is patently untrue, but to those Americans whose only knowledge of firearms comes from the nightly violence on television, it might seem believable. When anti-gun researcher James Wright, then of the University of Massachusetts, studied all the available literature on firearms, he concluded: “Even the most casual and passing familiarity with this literature is therefore sufficient to believe the contention that handguns have `no legitimate sport or recreational use.’ “

There are an estimated 65-70 million privately owned handguns in the United States that are used for hunting, target shooting, protection of families and businesses, and other legitimate and lawful purposes. By comparison, handguns were used in an estimated 13,200 homicides in 1992 –less than 0.02% (two hundredths of 1%) of the handguns in America. Many of these reported homicides (1,500-2,800) were self-defense or justifiable and, therefore, not criminal. That fact alone renders the myth about the “only purpose” of handguns absurd, for more than 99% of all handguns are used for no criminal purpose.

By far the most commonly cited reason for owning a handgun is protection against criminals. At least one-half of handgun owners in America own handguns for protection and security. A handgun’s function is one of insurance as well as defense. A handgun in the home is a contingency, based on the knowledge that if there ever comes a time when it is needed, no substitute will do. Certainly no violent intent is implied, any more than a purchaser of life insurance intends to die soon.

MYTH 3:”Since a gun in a home is many times more likely to kill a family member than to stop a criminal, armed citizens are not a deterrent to crime.”

This myth, stemming from a superficial “study” of firearm accidents in the Cleveland, Ohio, area, represents a comparison of 148 accidental deaths (including suicides) to the deaths of 23 intruders killed by home owners over a 16-year period. 2

Gross errors in this and similar “studies”–with even greater claimed ratios of harm to good–include: the assumption that a gun hasn’t been used for protection unless an assailant dies; no distinction is made between handgun and long gun deaths; all accidental firearm fatalities were counted whether the deceased was part of the “family” or not; all accidents were counted whether they occurred in the home or not, while self-defense outside the home was excluded; almost half the self-defense uses of guns in the home were excluded on the grounds that the criminal intruder killed may not have been a total stranger to the home defender; suicides were sometimes counted and some self-defense shootings misclassified. Cleveland’s experience with crime and accidents during the study period was atypical of the nation as a whole and of Cleveland since the mid-1970s. Moreover, in a later study, the same researchers noted that roughly 10% of killings by civilians are justifiable homicides. 3

The “guns in the home” myth has been repeated time and again by the media, and anti-gun academics continue to build on it. In 1993, Dr. Arthur Kellermann of Emory University and a number of colleagues presented a study that claimed to show that a home with a gun was much more likely to experience a homicide.4 However, Dr. Kellermann selected for his study only homes where homicides had taken place–ignoring the millions of homes with firearms where no harm is done–and a control group that was not representative of American households. By only looking at homes where homicides had occurred and failing to control for more pertinent variables, such as prior criminal record or histories of violence, Kellermann et al. skewed the results of this study. Prof. Kleck wrote that with the methodology used by Kellermann, one could prove that since diabetics are much more likely to possess insulin than non-diabetics, possession of insulin is a risk factor for diabetes. Even Dr. Kellermann admitted this in his study: “It is possible that reverse causation accounted for some of the association we observed between gun ownership and homicide.” Law Professor Daniel D. Polsby went further, “Indeed the point is stronger than that: ‘reverse causation’ may account for most of the association between gun ownership and homicide. Kellermann’s data simply do not allow one to draw any conclusion.”5

Research conducted by Professors James Wright and Peter Rossi,6 for a landmark study funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, points to the armed citizen as possibly the most effective deterrent to crime in the nation. Wright and Rossi questioned over 1,800 felons serving time in prisons across the nation and found:

81% agreed the “smart criminal” will try to find out if a potential victim is armed.

74% felt that burglars avoided occupied dwellings for fear of being shot.

80% of “handgun predators” had encountered armed citizens.

40% did not commit a specific crime for fear that the victim was armed.

34% of “handgun predators” were scared off or shot at by armed victims.

57% felt that the typical criminal feared being shot by citizens more than he feared being shot by police.

Professor Kleck estimates that annually 1,500-2,800 felons are legally killed in “excusable self-defense” or “justifiable” shootings by civilians, and 8,000-16,000 criminals are wounded. This compares to 300-600 justifiable homicides by police. Yet, in most instances, civilians used a firearm to threaten, apprehend, shoot at a criminal, or to fire a warning shot without injuring anyone.

Based on his extensive independent survey research, Kleck estimates that each year Americans use guns for protection from criminals more than 2.5 million times annually. 7 U.S. Department of Justice victimization surveys show that protective use of a gun lessens the chance that robberies, rapes, and assaults will be successfully completed while also reducing the likelihood of victim injury. Clearly, criminals fear armed citizens.

2 Rushforth, et al., “Accidental Firearm Fatalities in a Metropolitan County, ” 100 American Journal of Epidemiology 499 (1975).

3 Rushforth, et al., “Violent Death in a Metropolitan County,” 297 New England Journal of Medicine 531, 533 (1977).

4 Kellermann, et al., “Gun Ownership as a Risk Factor for Homicide in the Home,” New England Journal of Medicine 467 (1993).

5 Polsby, “The False Promise of Gun Control,” The Atlantic Monthly, March 1994.

6 Wright and Rossi, Armed and Considered Dangerous: A Survey of Felons and Their Firearms (N.Y.: Aldine de Gruyter, 1986).

7 Kleck, interview, Orange County Register,Sept. 19, 1993.

MYTH 4:”Honest citizens have nothing to fear from gun registration and licensing which will curb crime by disarming criminals.”

“Gun control” proponents tout automobile registration and licensing as model schemes for firearm ownership. Yet driving an automobile on city or state roads is a privilege and, as s uch, can be regulated, while the individual right to possess firearms is constitutionally protected from infringement. Registration and licensing do not prevent criminal misuse nor accidental fatalities involving motor vehicles in America, where more than 40,000 people die on the nation’s highways each year. By contrast, about 1,400 persons are involved in fatal firearm accidents each year.

Registration and licensing have no effect on crime, as criminals, by definition, do not obey laws. Indeed, a national survey of prisoners conducted by Wright and Rossi for the Department of Justice found that 82% agreed that “gun laws only affect law-abiding citizens; criminals will always be able to get guns.”

Further, felons are constitutionally exempt from a gun registration requirement. According to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Haynes v. U.S., since felons are prohibited by law from possessing a firearm, compelling them to register firearms would violate the Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination. 8 Only law-abiding citizens would be required to comply with registration–citizens who have neither committed crime nor have any intention of doing so.

Registration and licensing of America’s 60-65 million gun owners and their 200 million firearms would require the creation of a huge bureaucracy at tremendous cost to the taxpayer, with absolutely no tangible anti-crime return. Indeed, New Zealand authorities repealed registration in the 1980s after police acknowledged its worthlessness, and a similar recommendation was made by Australian law enforcement. Law enforcement would be diverted from its primary responsibility, apprehending and arresting criminals, to investigating and processing paperwork on law-abiding citizens.

In the U.S., after President Clinton, Attorney General Reno, and others announced support for registration and licensing, police response was immediate and non-supportive. Dewey Stokes, President of the Fraternal Order of Police said … I don’t want to get into a situation where we have gun registration.” Other law enforcement officers responded even more strongly. Charles Canterbury, President of the South Carolina FOP said, “On behalf of the South Carolina law enforcement, I can say we are adamantly opposed to registration of guns.” Dennis Martin, President of the National Association of Chiefs of Police reported, “I have had a lot of calls from police chiefs and sheriffs who are worried about this. They are afraid that we’re going to create a lot of criminals out of law-abiding people who don’t want to get a license for their gun.

Finally, a national registration/licensing scheme would violate an individual’s right to privacy protected by the Fourth Amendment and establish a basis upon which gun confiscation could be implemented. More than 60,000 rifles and shotguns were confiscated in April, 1989 from honest citizens who had dutifully registered their guns with the authorities in Soviet Georgia (Chicago Sun-Times, April 12, 1989, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, May 21, 1989). Could that happen in America? Gun prohibitionists in Massachusetts, Ohio, and Washington, D.C., have already proposed using registration lists for such purposes. And, since 1991, New York City authorities have used registration lists to enforce a ban on semi-automatic rifles and shotguns. Avowed handgun prohibitionist Charles Morgan, as director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Washington office, in a 1975 hearing before the House Subcommittee on Crime stated: “I have not one doubt, even if I am in agreement with the National Rifle Association, that kind of a record-keeping procedure is the first step to eventual confiscation under one administration or another.”

Reasonable fears of such confis cation lead otherwise law-abiding citizens to ignore such laws, creating a disrespect for law and a lessened support for government. In states and cities which recently required registration of semi-automatic firearms, estimates of compliance range from 5 to 10%.

8 Haynes v. U.S., 309 U.S. 85 (1968).

“Stiff `gun control’ laws work as shown by the low crime rates in England and Japan, while U. S crime rates continue to soar.”

All criminologists studying the firearms issue reject simple comparisons of violent crime among foreign countries. It is impossible to draw valid conclusions without taking into account differences in each nation’s collection of crime data, and their political, cultural, racial, religious, and economic disparities. Such factors are not only hard to compare, they are rarely, if ever, taken into account by “gun control” proponents.9

Only one scholar, attorney David Kopel, has attempted to evaluate the impact of “gun control” on crime in several foreign countries. In his book The Samurai, The Mountie and The Cowboy: Should America adopt the gun controls of other democracies?, named a 1992 Book of the Year by the American Society of Criminology, Kopel examined numerous nations with varying gun laws, and concluded: “Contrary to the claims of the American gun control movement, gun control does not deserve credit for the low crime rates in Britain, Japan, or other nations.” He noted that Israel and Switzerland, with more widespread rates of gunownership, have crime rates comparable to or lower than the usual foreign examples. And he stated: “Foreign style gun control is doomed to failure in America. Foreign gun control comes along with searches and seizures, and with many other restrictions on civil liberties too intrusive for America. Foreign gun control…postulates an authoritarian philosophy of government fundamentally at odds with the individualist and egalitarian American ethos.”10

America’s high crime rates can be attributed to re volving-door justice. In a typical year in the U.S., there are 8.1 million serious crimes like homicide, assault, and burglary. Only 724,000 adults are arrested and fewer still (193,000) are convicted. Less than 150,000 are sentenced to prison, with 36,00 0 serving less than a year (U.S. News and World Report, July 31, 1989). A 1987 National Institute of Justice study found that the average felon released due to prison overcrowding commits upwards of 187 crimes per year, costing society approximately $430, 000.

Foreign countries are two to six times more effective in solving crimes and punishing criminals than the U.S. In London, about 20% of reported robberies end in conviction; in New York City, less than 5% result in conviction, and in those cases imprisonment is frequently not imposed. Nonetheless, England annually has twice as many homicides with firearms as it did before adopting its tough laws. Despite tight licensing procedures, the handgun-related robbery rate in Britain rose about 200% duri ng the past dozen years, five times as fast as in the U.S.

Part of Japan’s low crime rate is explained by the efficiency of its criminal justice system, fewer protections of the right to privacy, and fewer rights for criminal suspects than exist in the United States. Japanese police routinely search citizens at will and twice a year pay “home visits” to citizens’ residences. Suspect confession rate is 95% and trial conviction rate is over 99.9%. The Tokyo Bar Association has said that the Japanese police routinely “…engage in torture or illegal treatment. Even in cases where suspects claimed to have been tortured and their bodies bore the physical traces to back their claims, courts have still accepted their confessions.” Neither the powers and secrecy of the police nor the docility of defense counsel would be acceptable to most Americans. In addition, the Japanese police understate the amount of crime, particularly covering up the problem of organized crime, in order to appear more efficient an d worthy of the respect the citizens have for the police.

Widespread respect for law and order is deeply ingrained in the Japanese citizenry. This cultural trait has been passed along to their descendants in the United States where the murder ratef or Japanese-Americans (who have access to firearms) is similar to that in Japan itself. If gun availability were a factor in crime rates, one would expect European crime rates to be related to firearms availability in those countries, but crime rat es are similar in European countries with high or relatively high gun ownership, such as Switzerland, Israel, and Norway, and in low availability countries like England and Germany. Furthermore, one would expect American violent crime rates to be more sim ilar to European rates in crime where guns are rarely used, such as rape, than in crimes where guns are often used, such as homicide. But the reverse is true: American non-gun violent crime rates exceed those of European countries.

9 Wright, et al ., Under the Gun: Weapons, Crime and Violence in America (N.Y.: Aldine, 1983).

10 Kopel, “The Samurai, The Mountie, and the Cowboy: Should America adopt the gun controls of other democracies?’ (Buffalo, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1992), 431-32.

MYTH 6: “Most murders are argument-related `crimes of passion’ against a relative, neighbor, friend or acquaintance. “

The vast majority of murders are committed by persons with long established patterns of violent criminal behavior. Acc ording to analyses by the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency, the FBI, and the Chicago, New York City, and other police departments, about 70% of suspected murderers have criminal careers of long standing–as do nearly half their victims. FBI data show that roughly 47% of murderers are known to their victims.

The waiting period, or “cooling-off” period, as some in the “gun control” community call it, is the most often cited solution to “crimes of passion.” However, state crime records show that in 1992, states with waiting periods and other laws delaying or denying gun purchases had an overall violent crime rate more than 47% higher and a homicide rate 19% higher than other states. In the five states that have some jurisdictions with waiting periods (Georgia, Kansas, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia), the non-waiting period portions of all five states have far lower violent crime and homicide rates.

Recent studies by the Justice Department suggest that persons who live violent lives e xhibit those violent tendencies “both within their home and among their family and friends and outside their home among strangers in society.” A National Institute of Justice study reveals that the victims of family violence often suffer repeated problems from the same person for months or even years, and if not successfully resolved, such incidents can eventually result in serious injury or death. A study conducted by the Police Foundation showed that 90% of all homicides, by whatever means committed, in volving family members, had been preceded by some other violent incident serious enough that the police were summoned, with five or more such calls in half the cases.

Circumstances which might suggest “crimes of passion” or “spontaneous” arguments, such as a lover’s triangle, arguments over money or property, and alcohol-related brawls, comprise 29% of criminal homicides, according to FBI data.

Professor James Wright of the University of Massachusetts describes the typical incident of family violence as “that mythical crime of passion” and rejects the notion that it is an isolated incident by otherwise normally placid and loving individuals. His research shows that it is in fact “the culminating event in a long history of interpersonal viole nce between the parties.”

Wright also speaks to the protective use of handguns. “Firearms equalize the means of physical terror between men and women. In denying the wife of an abusive man the right to have a firearm, we may only be guaranteeing he r husband the right to beat her at his pleasure,” says Wright. 11

11 Wright, “Second Thoughts About Gun Control,” 91 [The] Public Interest, 23 (Spring 1988).

MYTH 7:”Semi-automatic firearms have no legitimate sporting purpose, are the preferred weapon of choice of criminals, and should be banned.”

Use of this myth by gun prohibitionists is predicated purely on pragmatism: whichever “buzzword” can produce the most anti-gun emotionalism–“Saturday Night Special,” “assault weapons,” and “plastic guns”–will be utilized in efforts to generate support for a ban on entire classes of firearms.

Examples of this anti-gun legislative history abound. A Saturday Night Special” ban bill enacted in Maryland establishes a politically appointed “Handgun Roster Board” with complete authority to decide which handguns will be permitted in the so-called “Free State”– any handgun could therefore be banned. Federal legislation aimed at the nonexistent “plastic gun” would have banned mil lions of metal handguns suitable for personal protection. In the 1994 crime bill, Congress did ban semi-automatic “assault weapons,” based on their cosmetic appearance. After passage, however, not even the virulently anti-gun Washington Post pretended the ban would have a crime fighting effect, labeling it “mainly symbolic.”

Criminals and law-abiding citizens both follow the lead of police and military in choosing a gun. Criminals generally pick as handguns .38 Spl. and .357 Mag. revolvers, with ba rrels about 4″ long and retailing (an unimportant matter for criminals) at over $200. Only about one-sixth fit the classic description of the so-called “Saturday Night Special”–small caliber, short barrel and inexpensive. While criminals are unconcerned with the cost of a firearm, the law-abiding certainly are. A ban on inexpensive handguns will have a disproportionate impact on low income Americans, effectively disarming them. This is particularly unfair, since it is the poor who more often must live an d work in high crime areas.

As more and more police departments, following the lead of the military, switch from revolvers to 9 mm semi-auto pistols, criminals and honest citizens will both follow suit. Indeed, semi-auto pistols have risen from one -fourth of American handgun manufacturing in the 1970s to three-fourths today. Criminals rarely use long guns and, when they do, are more apt to use a sawed-off shot- gun than a semi-automatic rifle, whether military style or not. In America’s larg est and most crime ravaged cities, only about 1/2-3% of “crime guns” are military-style semi-autos. As military establishments adopted medium-velocity rifles with straight-stock configuration, target shooters, hunters, and collectors have acquired the sem i-automatic models of these firearms.

While not all guns incorrectly attacked as “preferred by criminals” are popular for hunting, many are, but hunting is not the only valid purpose for owning a firearm. Small handguns, which may be ill-suited for hunting or long-range target shooting, are useful for personal protection, where the accuracy range rarely needs to exceed ten feet. Semi-automatic rifles and shotguns are suitable for hunting a variety of game. Semi-automatic, military and military-sty le rifles, including the M1 Garand, Springfield M1A, and the Colt Sporter, are used in thousands of sanctioned Highpower Tournaments each year and the National Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio. Hundreds of thousands of individuals use these rifles for recreati onal target shooting and plinking.

The Second Amendment clearly protects ownership of firearms which are useful “for the security of a free state” and semi-automatic versions of military arms are clearly appropriate for that purpose. It was the cle ar intention of the Framers of our Constitution that the citizenry possess arms equal or superior to those held by the government. That was viewed as the best deterrent to tyranny, and it has worked for over 200 years. It was also the intention of the Fou nding Fathers that citizens be able to protect themselves from criminals, and that doesn’t necessarily require a gun suitable for hunting, target shooting, or plinking. All modern firearms may be used for such protective purposes.

MYTH 8: “The righ t guaranteed under the Second Amendment is limited specifically to the arming of a `well-regulated Militia’ that can be compared today to the National Guard.”

The Second Amendment reads: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the se curity of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” In contrast to other portions of the Constitution, this Amendment contains no qualifiers, no “buts” or “excepts.” It is a straightforward statement affirming t he people’s right to possess firearms.

The perception that the Second Amendment guarantees a “collective right” or a “right of states to form militias” rather than an individual right is a wholly inaccurate 20th-century invention. Historically, the term “militia” refers to the people at large, armed and ready to defend their homeland and their freedom with arms supplied by themselves (U.S. v. Miller, 1939). Federal law (Title 10, Section 311 of the U.S. Code) states:

“The militia of the Unit ed States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age….” Moreover, historical records, including Constitutional Convention debates and the Federalist Papers, clearly indicate that the purpose of the Second Amendment was to guard against t he tyranny that the Framers of the Constitution feared could be perpetrated by any professional armed body of government. The arms, records and ultimate control of the National Guard today lie with the Federal Government, so that it clearly is not the “mi litia” protected from the federal government.

The Supreme Court recently affirmed this virtually unlimited control of the Guard by the federal government in the case of Perpich v. Department of Defense (1990). The Court held that the power of Congr ess over the National Guard is plenary (entire, absolute, unlimited) and such power is not restricted by the Constitution’s Militia Clause. The Second Amendment was not even mentioned by the Court, undoubtedly because it does not serve as a source of powe r for a state to have a National Guard.

In The Federalist No. 29, Alexander Hamilton argued that the army would always be a “select corps of moderate size” and that the “people at large (were) properly armed” to serve as a fundamental check against the standing army, the most dreaded of institutions. James Madison, in The Federalist No. 46, noted that unlike the governments of Europe which were “afraid to trust the people with arms,” the American people would continue under the new Constitution to possess “the advantage of being armed,” and thereby would continually be able to form the militia when needed as a “barrier against the enterprises of despotic ambition.”

A 1990 Supreme Court decision regarding searches and seizures confirmed that the right to keep and bear arms was an individual right, held by “the people”–a term of art employed in the Preamble and the First, Second, Fourth, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments referring to all “persons who are part of a national community” (U.S. v. Verdu go-Urquidez, 1990).

The case of U.S. v. Miller (1939) is frequently, though erroneously, cited as the definitive ruling that the right to keep and bear arms is a “collective” right, protecting the right of states to keep a militia rather than the i ndividual right to possess arms. But that was not the issue in Miller, and no such ruling was made; the word “collective” is not used any place in the court’s decision.

While such a decision was sought by the Justice Department, the Court decided o nly that the National Firearms Act of 1934 was constitutional in the absence of evidence to the contrary. The case hinged on the narrow question of whether a sawed-off shotgun was suitable for militia use, and its ownership by individuals thus protected b y the Second Amendment.

The Court ruled that: “In the absence of (the presentation of) any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a `shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length’ at this time has some reasonable relati onship to the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument. Certainly it is not within judicial notice–common knowledge, that need not be proven i n court–that this weapon is any part of the military equipment or that its use could contribute to the common defense.”

Because no evidence or argument was presented except by the federal government, the Court was not made aware that some 30,000 short-barreled shotguns were used as “trench guns” during World War I.

The Supreme Court has ruled on only three other cases relating to the Second Amendment–all during the last half of the nineteenth century. In each of these cases, the Court held that the Second Amendment only restricted actions of the federal government, not of private individuals (U.S. v. Cruikshank, 1876) or state governments (Presser v. Illinois, 1886, and Miller v. Texas, 1894). The Court also held, in Presser, that the Firs t Amendment guarantee of freedom of assembly did not apply to the states; and in Miller v. Texas, it held that the Fourth Amendment guarantee against unreasonable search and seizure did not apply to the states, since the Court believed that all the amendm ents comprising the Bill of Rights were limitations solely on the powers of Congress, not upon the powers of the states.

It was not until two generations later that the Court began to rule, through the Fourteenth Amendment, that the First, Fourth, and other provisions of the Bill of Rights limited both Congress and state legislatures. No similar decision concerning the Second Amendment has ever been made in spite of contemporary scholarship proving that the purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment was t o apply all of the rights in the Bill of Rights to the states.12 That research proves that the Fourteenth Amendment was made a part of the Constitution to prevent states from depriving the newly freed slaves of the rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights , including what the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision referred to as one of the rights of citizens, the right “to keep and carry arms wherever they went.”

The only significance of the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear a challenge to the hand- gun ban imposed by Morton Grove, Illinois, is that the Court will still not rush to apply the Second Amendment to the states. The refusal to hear the case has no legal significance and, indeed, it would have been very unusual for the Court to make a decision involving the U.S. Constitution when the Illinois courts had not yet decided if Morton Grove’s ban conflicted with the state’s constitution.

12 Halbrook, That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitutional Right (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1984).

MYTH 9: “A person in a public place with a gun is looking for trouble.”

Gun prohibitionists use this myth to oppose legislative proposals to allow law-abiding citizens to obtain permits to carry concealed firear ms. In spite of this opposition, numerous states have adopted favorable concealed carry laws over the past few years. In each case, anti-gun activists and politicians predicted that allowing law-abiding people to carry firearms would result in more deaths and injuries as people would resort to gunfire to settle minor disputes. Shoot-outs over fender-benders and Wild-West lawlessness were predicted in an effort to stir up public fear of reasonable laws.

This tactic–seeking to frighten people into s upporting desired positions–is employed more and more frequently by gun prohibitionists. Prof. Gary Kleck explains the reasoning thus: “Battered by a decade of research contradicting the central factual premises underlying gun control, advocates have apparently decided to fight more exclusively on an emotional battlefield, where one terrorizes one’s targets into submission rather than honestly persuading them with credible evidence.”13

When the concealed carry laws were passed and put into pract ice, the result was completely different from the hysterical claims of the gun prohibitionists. In Florida, since the concealed carry law was changed in 1987, the homicide rate has dropped 21%, while the national rate has risen 12%. Across the nation, states with favorable concealed carry laws have a 33% lower homicide rate overall and 37% lower robbery rate than states that allow little or no concealed carry.

Gun prohibitionists have also acted to penalize and discourage gun ownership by imposing mandatory prison terms on persons carrying or possessing firearms without a license or permit, a license or permit they have also made impossible or very difficult to obtain. Massachusetts’ Bartley-Fox Law and New York’s Koch-Carey Law are premier exampl es of this “gun control” strategy. Such legislation is detrimental only to peaceful citizens, not to criminals.

By the terms of such a mandatory or increased sentence proposal, the unlicensed carrying of a firearm–no matter how innocent the circum stances–is penalized by a six-to-twelve month jail sentence. It is imposed on otherwise law-abiding citizens although in many areas it is virtually impossible for persons to obtain a carry permit. It is easy to see circumstances in which an otherwise law -abiding person would run afoul of this law: fear of crime, arbitrary denial of authorization, red-tape delay in obtaining official permission to carry a firearm, or misunderstanding of the numerous and vague laws governing the transportation of firearms.

The potential for unknowingly or unwittingly committing a technical violation of a licensing law is enormous. Myriad legal definitions of “carrying” vary from state to state and city to city, including most transportation of firearms–accessible o r not, loaded or not, in a trunk or case. And out-of-state travelers are exceedingly vulnerable because of these various definitions.

One need only examine the first persons arrested under the Massachusetts and New York City “mandatory penalty” law s for proof that such laws are misdirected: an elderly woman passing out religious pamphlets in a dangerous section of Boston and an Ohio truck driver coming to the aid of a woman apparently being kidnapped in New York City.

In New York City–prior to the enactment of the Koch-Carey mandatory sentence for possession law–the bureaucratic logjam in the licensing division, combined with a soaring crime rate, forced law-abiding citizens to obtain guns illegally for self-protection. In effect, citizens admitted that they would rather risk a mandatory penalty for illegally owning a firearm than risk their lives and property at the hands of New York’s violent, uncontrolled criminals. Honest citizens feared the streets more than the courtrooms.

By contrast, the city’s criminal element faces no similar threat of punishment. A report carried in the March 1, 1984, issue of the New York Times says it all: “Conviction on felony charges is rare. Because of plea-bargaining, the vast majority of those arrested on felony charges are tried on lesser, misdemeanor charges.” In one year, according to the Times, there were 106,171 felony arrests in New York City, but only 25,987 cases received felony indictments and only 20,641 resulted in convictions, with impr isonment a rarity. This condition persists, the New York Times reported again on June 23, 1991: in 1990 felony indictments were resolved by plea bargains in over 83% of cases. Only 5.7% of cases ended with a trial verdict, with only 3.8% ending in convict ion. Not surprisingly, with just 3% of the nation’s population, in 1992 New York City accounted for 12% of the nation’s homicides.

In championing New York’s tough Koch-Carey Law, then Mayor Ed Koch said contemptuously of gun owners, “Nice guys who own guns aren’t nice guys.” No such rancor was expressed about the city’s revolving-door criminal justice system where the chances of hardened criminals being arrested on felony charges are one in one hundred. Later, the Police Foundation study of New Yor k’s Koch- Carey Law found that it failed to reduce the number of guns on the street and did not reduce gun use in rape, robbery or assault.

Such legislation invites police to routinely stop and frisk people randomly on the street on suspicion of fi rearms possession. In fact, the Police Foundation has called for the random use of metal detectors on the streets to apprehend people carrying firearms without authorization. In disregarding the constitutionally guaranteed right to privacy and against unreasonable searches and seizures, police would be empowered under the Police Foundation’s blueprint for disarmament to “systematically stop a certain percentage of people on the streets… in business neighborhoods and run the detectors by them, just as yo u do at the airport. If the detectors produce some noise then that might establish probable cause for a search.”

While admitting that such “police state” tactics would require “methods… that liberals instinctively dislike,” government researchers James Q. Wilson and Mark H. Moore called for more aggressive police patrolling in public places, saying: “To inhibit the carrying of handguns, the police should become more aggressive in stopping suspicious people and, where they have reasonable grounds for their suspicions, frisking (i.e. patting down) those stopped to obtain guns. Hand-held magnetometers, of the sort used by airport security guards, might make the street frisks easier and less obtrusive. All this can be done without changing the law.” (The Washington Post, April 1, 1981) Note, they said “people,” not criminals.

13 Kleck, “Reasons for Skepticism on the Results from a New Poll on: The Incidence of Gun Violence Among Young People,” The Public Perspective, Sept./Oct. 1993.

MYTH 10: “Gun control reduces crime.”

This is perhaps, the greatest myth that is perpetrated today by national gun ban groups. No empirical study of the effectiveness of gun laws has shown any positive effect on crime. To the dismay of the prohibitionists, such studies have shown a negative effect. That is, in areas having greatest restrictions on private firearms ownership, crime rates are typically higher, because criminals are aware that their intended victims are less likely to have the me ans with which to defend themselves.

If gun laws worked, the proponents of such laws would gleefully cite examples of reduced crime. Instead, they uniformly blame the absence of tougher or wider spread measures for the failures of the laws they 
advocated. Or they cite denials of applications for permission to buy a firearm as evidence the law is doing something beyond preventing honest citizens from being able legally to acquire firearms. They cite Washington, D.C., as a jurisdiction where gun laws are “working.” Yet crime in Washington has risen dramatically since 1976, the year before its handgun ban took effect. Washington, D.C., now has outrageously higher crime rates than any of the states (D.C. 1992 violent crime rate: 2832.8 per 100,000 resi dents; U.S. rate: 757.5), with a homicide rate 8 times the national rate (1992 rate 75.4 per 100,000 for D.C., 9.3 nationally.) No wonder former D.C. Police Chief Maurice Turner said, “What has the gun control law done to keep criminals from gettin g guns? Absolutely nothing… [City residents] ought to have the opportunity to have a handgun.”

Criminals in Washington have no trouble getting either prohibited drugs or prohibited handguns, resulting in a skyrocketing of the city’s murder rate. D.C.’s 1991 homicide rate of 80.6 per 100,000 population was the highest ever recorded by an American big city, and marked a 200% rise in homicide since banning handguns, while the nation’s homicide rate rose just 11%. Since 1991, the homicide rate has remained near 75 per 100,000, while the national rate hovers around 9-10.

Clearly, criminals do not bother with the niceties of obeying laws–for a criminal is, by definition, someone who disobeys laws. Those who enforce the law agree.

In addition, restrictive gun laws create a “Catch-22” for victims of violent crime. Under court decisions, the police have no legal obligation to protect any particular individual. This concept has been tested numerous times including cases as recent as 1993. In each case the courts have ruled that the police are responsible for protecting society as a whole, not any individual. This means that under restrictive gun laws, people may be unable to protect themselves or their family from violent criminals.

T he evidence that restrictive gun laws create scofflaws is evident to anyone willing to look. In New York City, there are only about 70,000 legally-owned handguns, yet survey research suggests that there are at least 750,000 handguns in the city, mostly in the hands of otherwise law-abiding citizens. In Chicago, a recent mandatory registration law has resulted in compliance by only a fraction of those who had previously registered their guns. The rate of compliance with the registration requirement of Cali fornia’s and New Jersey’s semi- automatic bans have been very low. The same massive noncompliance–not by criminals, whom no one expects will comply, but by people fearful of repression–is evident wherever stringent gun laws are enacted.

FACTS WE CAN ALL LIVE WITH

Laws aimed at criminal misuse of firearms are proven crime deterrents. After adopting a mandatory penalty for using a firearm in the commission of a violent crime in 1975, Virginia’s murder rate dropped 23% and robbery 1 1% in 15 years. South Carolina recorded a 24% murder rate decline between 1975 and 1990 with a similar law. Other impressive declines were recorded in other states using mandatory penalties, such as Florida (homicide rate down 33% in 17 years), Delaware ( homicide rate down 33% in 19 years), Montana (down 42% 1976-1992) and New Hampshire (homicide rate down 50% 1977-1992).

The solution to violent crime lies in the promise, not the mere threat, of swift, certain punishment.

Our challenge: To reform and strengthen our federal and state criminal justice systems. We must bring about a sharp reversal in the trend toward undue leniency and “revolving door justice.” We must insist upon speedier trials and upon punishments which are commensurate with crimes. Rehabilitation should be tempered with a realization that not all can be rehabilitated, and that prisons cost society less than the crime of active predatory criminals. NRA is meeting that challenge with its CrimeStrike division, establish ed to advance real solutions to the crime problem while protecting the rights of all honest citizens. Working in states across the nation, Crime Strike has worked for passage of “truth in sentencing laws” which require that criminals actually serve at leas t 85% of time sentenced, “Victim’s Bill of Rights” constitutional amendments, and “Three Strikes You’re Out” laws. The job ahead will not be an easy one . The longer “gun control” advocates distract the nation from this task by embracing that single siren song, the longer it will take and the more difficult our job will be. Beginning is the hardest step, and the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action has taken it.

Join the NRA. Support ILA. Work with us. We need your help.



FINAL WORDS FROM THE FOUNDING FATHERS ON THE RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS

“I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people…. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them…. ” –George Mason

“No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. ” –Thomas Jefferson

“Arms in the hands of citizens may be used at individual discretion . . . in private self-defense. ” –John Adams

“The Constitution s hall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms. ” –Samuel Adams

” . . arms discourage and keep invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. … Horrid mischief would ensue were [the law-abiding] deprived of the use of them. ” –Thomas Paine

“[The Constitution preserves] the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation…[where] the government s are afraid to trust the people with arms.” –James Madison

“A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves…and include all men capable of bearing arms…To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike…how to use them.” –Richard Henry Lee

“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.” –Amendment II, Constitution of the United States



Copyright October 1994, NRA Institute for Legislative Action. This is the electronic version of the “10 Myths of Gun Control” brochure distributed by NRA. To obtain paper copies of this brochure, please call NRA Grassroots at 800/392-8683.

Surviving the Summer without Air Conditioning

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This article has been contributed by Anne Marie Duhon. Anne Marie is a wife, mother of six and a full time off-gridder. She and her husband currently live in a totally off grid 200 sq foot “tiny home” and are in search of (again) that elusive perfect spot to call home. Besides being a wife and mother she, and her family, have raised many different animals on their various homesteads and have lived and loved being off the grid and many miles from the nearest paved road. She would like to share her first hand experiences and help others to learn to live and love living off grid and being as self reliant as possible.

keeping cool in summer without acYes, believe it or not, it can be done.

No, it won’t be an easy thing but it has and is being done all over the world for a lot longer than air conditions have been around.

I remember when I was a very young girl my parents putting in our first air conditioner and us kids laying on the living room floor basking in the cool air. Air conditioning as we know it now has only been around for like 40 years or so. Man has always looked for a way to stay cool in the summer.

Low-Tech Tips on Keeping Cool in the Summer

Here are some ideas and tips to make your air conditioner less summer more bearable:

  • If you can switch up your work schedule. Put the outside chores for early in the morning or later in the evening and leave the hottest part of the day for inside the house or just sitting around.
  • Wear cool clothes but do cover up. I find I am cooler in my skirts than in my shorts! Always wear a hat or a bonnet when working outside. Clothes make shade for your body and protect it from the direct rays of the sun.
  • Drink a lot! Water or Gatorade is better than soda for you but really it is all about the cool drink cooling you off from the inside.
  • Don’t eat a heavy meal during the hottest part of the day. The body creates heat digesting food and will just make you hotter.
  • Seek shade just like animals do. Find the coolest place in the house; a basement, the north side of the house, the part of the house that is under a tree and shaded things like that.
  • Try getting wet if only your feet (I’m soaking my piggy’s in a bucket of cool water right now as I write this and it helps!) Dampen your head/hair and put a cool wet rag on your neck. You will be surprised at how much that really does help.
  • If it is really hot hit the library and enjoy their air conditioning! Or go to the city pool (not me I’m WAY too shy!) or walk the mall.

And Some More Involved Tips…

Those ideas are low tech and cheap! Here are a few that are a little more involved:

  • Fans! The moving air will help dissipate your sweat making you feel much cooler. Try putting a big block of ice (like what you would get for a cooler) behind the fan so the air gets sucked over the ice and it will drop the temp in a small room noticeably.
  • If you live in a dry hot climate try “swamp coolers” or evaporative fans. These are fans that have little hoses and nozzles on them that spray a fine mist in the air.
  • Cover south facing windows during the day to keep out the sun and open windows on the cooler north side or ones that are located under trees. This is just the reverse of what you would want to do in the winter.
  • Open windows at night to bring the cooler night air in and close them during the day to retain the cool air for as long as possible.

Tips on Building a “Summer-Proof” Home

If you know in advance of building your home that you are not going to be having air conditioning here are some ideas that you can incorporate into the build:

  • Make for sure that there are large deciduous trees shading the south and west sides of the house. Trees release water vapor from their leaves when they “breathe” and it is much cooler under a tree!
  • Build your house out of rock, stone or concrete. Works great for both winter and summer by storing heat in the walls and keeping the inside cooler/warmer.
  • Heck build your house underground! Even just the depth of a normal home deep will keep the house cooler in the summer because of the mass of earth around it on all sides. Go real crazy and build your home in a cave!
  • If you are building a “normal” stud frame home bulk up on insulation in the walls and ceiling and situate the windows and doors for maximum air flow throughout the home.
  • Put awnings over the very necessary south windows to shade out the high hot summer sun but allow the lower cooler winter sun in to passively warm the house in the winter. Make all windows insulated or double-paned.

Summer is not an easy time for man or beast but we all can make it as long as we think and take precautions.

That and you will become accustomed to not having air conditioning it is called acclimating and when you go to an air conditioned place you will find it uncomfortably cold! It usually takes about two weeks of dealing with the heat and sweating like a horse before you are acclimated but after that you will see your spoiled friends gasping and sweating while you just motor on!

Enjoy the summer it does not last forever!

Finding Direction Without a Co

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Preparation and carrying the ten essentials is vital to any outdoor trip.  Map, compass and GPS make up my navigation kit.  Still, the unplanned happens and the magnetic compass may be broken or left at home.  Knowing a few common practices can make a difference.
How can you determine direction without a compass or when the compass is broken?


There are a few viable techniques that can be used to determine direction.  But first, let’s eliminate two methods that are not practical.


Let’s eliminate the old axiom of moss growing on the north side of a tree.  It is just not reliable.


Secondly, dismiss the concept that deciduous trees (e.g., oaks, maples) develop significantly more vegetative structure on a southern exposure.  Generally, one would expect more branch development and canopy on the southern side because of the amount of sunlight received.  This is getting a lot of attention on the internet.  In the Pacific Northwest the Forestry professors that I have discussed this with tell me not to depend on such an observation.


The following are a few methods that are worth remembering.



Perhaps the most accurate method to determine direction is to use the North Star (Polaris). For the backcountry hiker consider that Polaris is fixed in position over the northern pole.  Unique from other celestial stars and planets, Polaris is very closely aligned to the earth’s axis.  Stars and planets rotate around Polaris.  And like the sun, rotation is from east to west through the sky.  Polaris will be found approximately half way between the northern horizon and straight overhead.  In the northern hemisphere, Polaris can found in our northern sky and is never more 1° from true north – the North Pole.  A clear sky without a lot background glow from the light from a city is essential.  Polaris is not the brightest star in the sky. Using the North Star when it is high above the horizon is a challenge.  



Most of our compass navigation deals with sighting objects fairly close to the horizon.  For example, when orienting the topo map to true north, the map is held between waist and chest high and then observing what lies before us.  In such a situation we scan in front and compare visible terrain features to the map.  Most of the time, the hiker is looking straight out not 45° above the horizon.  When pulling the true north bearing (from Polaris) “down from high in the sky” it takes a bit of practice and patience to align the bearing to the horizon where it can be useful.



I recommend taking your compass with you on a clear night and attempt to find Polaris. 

For more information about Polaris read my post  http://outdoorquest.biz/a_star_to_guide_us.htm


The Sun provides an excellent means of direction finding too.  The ideal situation is one where the sky is bright and relatively free of clouds. 


The first method is called a “shadow stick compass.” In an open area, clear away forest debris and duff.  Place a stick or trekking pole (extended about three feet – longer is better than shorter) into the ground as deep as possible (see image below.)



Notice the shadow moving out from the trekking pole.  At the furthest point of the shadow, place a marker such as a rock, stick or tent peg in the ground.



Twenty or thirty minutes later, place another marker at the end of the moving shadow. 





The markers shown above were placed over a period of one hour, each thirty minutes apart.  A piece of baling twine (yellow) was laid adjacent to the markers to provide reference.  The line of markers runs east west.





To find north, I simply put the toes of my boots next to the markers with my body perpendicular to the yellow line made by the twine.  Facing away from the trekking pole, north is straight in front of me. 

A traditional analog watch (one with an hour and minute hands) can be used to locate north.  Again, a bright sunny day is ideal.



The following is quoted from the US Army field manual FM 21-76 (page 20.)


“An ordinary watch can be used to determine the approximate true north.  In the North Temperate Zone only, the hour hand is pointed toward the sun.  A north-south line can be found midway between the hour and 12 o’clock.  (See image below.)  This applies to standard time; on daylight saving time, the north-south line is found midway between the hour hand and 1 o’clock.  If there is any doubt as to which end of the line is north, remember that the sun is in the eastern part of the sky before noon and in the western part in the afternoon. On cloudy days place a stick in the center of the watch and hold it so that the shadow of the stick falls along the hour hand.  One-half of the distance between the shadow and 12 o’clock is north.”



Figure 1:  Image from Army FM 21-76

A topographic map balances the methods discussed above.  Once north is determined (discussed above) orient the map to north and compare terrain features on the map with the actual contours and features on the ground.  Identify topographic handrails such as rivers, trails, and dominant land features (e.g., mountains tops.)  These features will help guide the hiker’s travel during the day.



Such study of a map and its features builds a mental map of the area.  A mental map and terrain association is great step to determine and maintain direction.

Using Polaris and the “stick compass” can, with practice, provide good direction information.  In my opinion, using a watch to determine direction provides a trend of direction at best.  Trend of direction would be where the hiker is heading in a generally northerly direction rather than a specific bearing.

There are a few more techniques available but these three are easily remembered and don’t require more gear.  It is a fine place to start.



For more information consider:



1.    US Army Field Manual – FM 21-76

2.    Staying Found by June Fleming

3.    The Natural Navigator  by Tristan Gooley

Mom Arrested For Leaving Kids, 8 & 9, Alone TO GET THEM FOOD

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Mom Arrested For Leaving Kids, 8 & 9, Alone TO GET THEM FOOD

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REHOBOTH BEACH, Delaware – A mother who was enjoying a vacation with her 8- and 9-year-old children was arrested last week after she left them at a vacation rental in order to go buy food.

The story of Susan L. Terrillion, 55, of Olney, Maryland, has sparked a debate over whether the arrest was necessary – and a quick glance on social media and in the local newspaper’s section shows that most people believe it was outrageous.

“That poor woman. When I was seven I rode public transportation to school and walked home,” one person wrote.

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A witness reported the mom to local police, who said she was gone for about 45 minutes while getting food at a restaurant, according to The News Journal newspaper.

“Shame on this neighbor for calling the police absolutely ridiculous!” another person wrote in the newspaper’s comment section. “They are 8 & 9 and she wasn’t even gone that long and they were not hurt. … I feel so sorry for this mother! That man should be ashamed of himself.”

She was arrested and released on $500 bond, charged with endangering the welfare of children.

Police, the newspaper reported, had responded to a “report of two young children left alone at a residence.”

“A witness told police that he made contact with the children when their dogs ran into Country Club Drive in front of his vehicle,” the newspaper reported. “… The witness stopped to help the children get control of the dogs and learned they were alone.”

Lenore Skenazy, author of the book Free-Range Kids, wrote sarcastically at Reason.com: “So really, you have to blame the dogs. Or a guys who calls the cops simply because he came into contact with unsupervised kids and felt the knee-jerk compulsion to get the authorities involved. Or the authorities, who feel compelled to arrest moms for trusting their kids to take care of themselves for a little while. … What a lovely vacation.”

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Harness The Power Of Nature’s Most Remarkable Healer: Vinegar

Natural, Off-Grid Cures For Spider Bites

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Natural, Off-Grid Cures For Spider Bites

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Feeling sore and chilled, I awoke to find numerous large welts on my right arm, which was slightly swollen and hot to the touch. For the next 24 hours a fever raged, peaking late afternoon at 103.2 degrees. It was obvious I was experiencing a severe reaction to multiple spider bites on my arm.

My throat began swelling and my sinuses were inflamed. To get my reaction under control, I turned to basic natural health care. Alternating topically applied essential oils with mineral salt soaks, the swelling and redness were gradually reduced. Warm herbal teas soothed my irritated throat, while an oil diffuser calmed my inflamed sinuses.

There are many different ways to treat spider bites naturally, especially if you are in a survival situation where no other health care is available*. First, if possible, identify the spider, although this may be impossible if the bite occurs while you are sleeping. All spiders are venomous, meaning that they inject venom when biting another subject, but how individuals react to the spider’s venom varies greatly. In North America, the most severe reactions are caused by the venom of a black widow spider or that of a brown recluse spider, but any type of spider venom can cause painful symptoms.

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If ice is available, apply it to the location of the bite while waiting to begin alternative treatments. Ice will decrease the amount of swelling at the site. Wrap the ice or ice pack in a thin cloth to avoid further irritating the skin surrounding the bite.

Applying a poultice or paste that draws out the venom is the next step in naturally treating a spider bite. There are many herbal poultices that are useful in natural healing. Below are a few of the best for healing venomous wounds.

Activated charcoal, or active carbon, has numerous pores that trap chemicals inside of them. When a paste of active carbon and water is applied to a spider bite, it will trap the venom and allow it to be washed away while contained in the carbon. Creating a thick paste that is applied to the affected area for up to four hours is the most effective way to use activated charcoal.

Natural, Off-Grid Cures For Spider Bites

Image source: Pixabay.com

Bentonite clay can be used in a similar manner as the active carbon. Bentonite clay, made of volcanic ash, absorbs toxins, heavy metals and other impurities when used in conjunction with a liquid. Create a poultice with plain water and bentonite clay. Apply to the location of the bite and gently bind it with a damp piece of gauze. Change the dressing every two hours.

A plantain poultice is also helpful in treating spider bites. Since plantain grows readily in most areas, it is the most likely ingredient to have available in an emergency. Whether ground in a mortar and pestle, or shredded and crushed by hand, the liquid found in the plantain leaf will draw out toxins, such as spider venom, by constricting the cells affected by the toxin. Apply the poultice to the affected area and loosely wrap the area with gauze or cover with a large bandage. Replace the plantain regularly for the greatest effect.

Used as a standalone poultice, as part of an herbal poultice, or as a medicinal wash, slippery elm is valuable in treating spider bites naturally. The inner bark can be used to create a poultice to reduce swelling and help manage pain. In times past, Native Americans would soak thin strips of the inner bark until the bark was pliable, and then they wrapped a strip of bark around wounded areas until the bark dried out again. In addition to poultices, slippery elm bark can be decocted into an antiseptic wash, useful for bathing infected bites.

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A natural antibacterial agent, honey, added to any poultice or as a pack itself, will encourage the healing process to begin. Additionally, peppermint oil, when properly diluted with a carrier oil, also speeds up the healing process by increasing circulation in the area to which it is applied.

Between applications of poultices, it is helpful to soak the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes in a mineral salt bath. The mineral salts will continue to draw out the venom and soothe the affected area.

You can lessen the effects of the spider’s venom on your overall health, as well. Echinacea, taken in capsule form or as a tea, will bolster your immune system and has long been used to treat venomous snake bites; it also works well on spider bites. Keep taking Echinacea until the wound is completely healed.

*This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or cure any particular health condition. Please consult with a qualified health professional first.

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If You Like All-Natural Home Remedies, You Need To Read Everything That Hydrogen Peroxide Can Do. Find Out More Here.

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Stuff that works: My Buck 371 folder served me well for decades

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Us equipment users find good gear and use the hell out of it. That’s what happened to the Buck folder I bought 40 years ago this month.

by Leon Pantenburg

In the summer of 1976, I was a new Iowa State University graduate, completely broke and unemployed with no real prospects of landing a high-paying job. But I had world traveler plans and was wild to experience the wilderness and mountains of the western United States.

I bought my Buck folder in 1976, and it served me well. (thefloridasteampunker.blogspot.com photo)

I bought my Buck folder in 1976. (thefloridasteampunker.blogspot.com photo)

That summer, I backpacked several hundred miles in Wyoming and several parts of the Sierras in California. Hiking the complete length of the John Muir Trail fanned my backpacking interest and curiosity into a complete and uncontrollable addiction. (Read my trail journal.)

I had to invest in gear. Balancing needs with my budget meant some serious comparison shopping had to happen. (FYI: Minimum wage in Iowa at the time was $1.60 an hour.)

I spent $105 on a Kelty Tioga backpack and $85 for a hollowfill sleeping bag. My boots cost $25 (as best I recall) and came from the War Surplus Store in Powell, Wyoming.

There was a lot of shopping around before I bought a new Buck 371 folder for $25 on August 31, 1976, at the Ace Hardware Store in Lovell, Wyoming. That knife was carried and used extensively until I opted for a rigid blade and bought a Cold Steel SRK in 1991.

I wore out the boots and the sleeping bag. But a good knife, properly cared for, is virtually impossible to wear out or screw up. Before it was honorably retired in 1991, that Buck was my indispensable tool.

That folder went on backpacking trips in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains, the Pryor and Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming, the Thorofare Creek Trail loop in Yellowstone, numerous hikes in California, and on countless canoe trips, including one through the Okeefenokee Swamp in Georgia.

A much younger Leon at a silver mine in the Beartooth Mountains in Montana.

A much younger Leon at a silver mine in the Beartooth Mountains in Montana.

That Buck was my everyday carry knife on my 1980 six-month, end-to-end Mississippi River canoe voyage. (Check out the river story.) The blades stayed sharp, despite being used for virtually everything a canoe knife can be used for.

The knife rode in a leather sheath on my hip, and I put it on with my pants in the morning, and removed it when I crawled into my sleeping bag at night. Along the Mississippi, a knife sheath on a belt didn’t get a second look.

The next year, the Buck became my hunting knife when I became addicted to whitetail hunting in Mississippi. It was used on many deer, and was frequently loaned out at deer camp because I kept it razor sharp.

Then the Buck accompanied me on backpacking and bicycling trips and deer hunts in Virginia and upstate New York.

Though the knife was used constantly and never let me down, it was replaced with a Cold Steel SRK when I took up backcountry big game hunting in Idaho in 199o.

Here’s the specs of the Buck:

This Cold Steel SRK has served me well for more than 20 years.

This Cold Steel SRK served me well for more than 20 years.

Steel: Buck’s standard blade material, according to the Buck Company, is 420HC because it combines “excellent wear resistance of high carbon alloys with the corrosion resistance of chromium stainless steels.” An exclusive heat-treat process for superior corrosion resistance, the company claims, creates “excellent tensile strength, hardness and wear resistance.”

Handle: The injection molded black valox handle fit my hand well.  Even though it frequently got bloody and slimy, the handle didn’t get slippery and unsafe to use.

Blade points: The clip and drop point on the blades proved to be excellent choices. The clip was used most often, with the most common task being slicing apples and spreading peanutbutter on crackers. The drop blade was kept razor sharp and was used mostly for cleaning fish. Over the years, that blade got thinned down a lot from constant sharpening.

No lock blade: In the early 70s, the Buck 110, with a lock blade, was really popular. Deer hunting buddies of mine still use theirs. It’s an excellent knife, though a little heavy for my tastes. I understand that a lockblade MIGHT be safer, but otherwise, I didn’t really see the need.

I don’t trust the safety on a firearm or the lock on a folder’s blade. Use any lockblade like it doesn’t have a lock.

Size: The Buck was too big and thick to carry comfortably in a pocket, but I didn’t care. I always carry my pocketknife in a belt sheath if at all possible. My Swiss Army Knife Tinker rides on my belt every day, and it’s not a big knife.

Blade length: Both blades were about 3-1/2-inches long, which is about the ideal size for a do-it-all knife. I’d prefer a shorter blade for small game processing and whittling, and a longer blade for butchering. The best blade length depends on what you’ll be using the knife for.

While the Buck worked very well in the southeast, I had some reservations about it continuing as my western hunting knife. Here’s why I went to a rigid blade hunting knife.

Backpack hunting in the Idaho backcountry requires pack weight be kept to an absolute minimum. Kill a deer or elk several miles back in the mountains and you’ll have a real job getting the meat out before it spoils.

You need a lightweight, but sturdy knife,  with the most efficient design possible. Any butchering gear must also double, if necessary, as survival tools.

Folders are more fragile than rigid blade knives. If a folder is going to break, it will do so at the hinge. Murphy says that will happen at the worst possible time.

And chances are, if you’re ever going to get into a survival situation, it will be in the backcountry, and you may need that knife desperately.

So the Buck was retired with honors, and for several years, it remained in a box with several other retirees. (These included my Mississippi River fillet knife, a Shrade lockblade folder and several others.)

And then it disappeared, somehow. I don’t have a clue where it went, unless the Buck got lost during a move.

I’d give a lot to find that grungy, well-used pocket knife. You don’t want to give up on stuff that works.
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What’s In Your Emotional Backpack?

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What's In Your Emotional Backpack via The Survival Mom

All of us have dealt with a backpack at some point in our lives. Remember loading up that crisp new back pack in fall, with anticipation for another school year. Backpacks are used to pack up emergency supplies as demonstrated in this article, camping gear and they are even popular to use as a diaper bag.

One backpack we may not realize we carry is an emotional backpack. What is an emotional backpack? Picture yourself carrying around an invisible backpack, every day. Inside that backpack are all of your life’s experiences. Some of these items are positive and light, while others are negative and heavy. What is in your backpack and how heavy is it? This is a particularly important consideration when it comes to survival, since a big percentage of surviving is mental. This lesson really hits home in one of my favorite survival books, The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes — and Why.

If you picture life as a long journey, your emotional backpack is right there, hanging off the back of your shoulders every day, no matter where you go. Your responsibility is to keep the backpack light enough for you to keep moving and progressing. Easy enough right? Not always so. We encounter personal setbacks, illness and death of loved ones, difficult co-workers, rude neighbors, unforeseen disasters and struggles in relationships. These things tend to weigh us down if we do not handle them when they happen, as my family did a number of years ago when we hit rock bottom. It seems easier to stuff them down in the backpack and worry about them later. This makes our packs heavy and our journey slow and miserable. We are not able to help ourselves or others if we are overloaded and miss out on the everyday joys of life.

To keep moving and be prepared for anything life throws at you, a light backpack is a must. Let’s look at what you should have in your emotional backpack.

  • A good support system. Friends, a spouse, family or pastor. Surround yourself with people that share the same values that you do. These people should be someone you can confide in when needed. Their advice would aligned with your beliefs and they would have your back in a crisis. If you have a hard time making and keeping friends, this book by one of my favorite psychologist authors, John Townsend, may help. Making close friends isn’t an easy thing for most adults.
  • Healthy habits. Getting proper sleep and nutrition keep your body and your mind running in top shape. Find an exercise or activity that you enjoy doing. Some examples could be nature walks, biking or yoga. This will clear your mind and give you energybut are also vital components of being a prepared person. Get as healthy as you can and as quickly as you can before any type of disaster strikes. By the way, a sound night’s sleep is a vastly under-appreciated component of being survival-ready.
  • Uplifting books and music. Have some reading that is positive, educational, and enjoyable — not just survival and prepper manuals! Reading can be a healthy escape from the stressors of life. Science has proven that music can alter our moods and brain activity. Upbeat music can give motivation and momentum, tranquil music can calm when anxiety creeps up and the simple act of singing will lower blood pressure, reduce pain and give a boost to the immune system.
  • Develop an attitude of hope, in all things. Life may not work out the way you wanted it to, but it will work out and will get better. Many find hope in God and through prayer. Go back to the basics of your belief. Lean on your faith. Look at the positive things working around you. Focus on what is going right and the opportunities that are around, then build your hope on that. One wise pastor said, “When nothing in your life is making sense, go back to what  you know for sure.” Is that the love of your husband or wife? The close relationship you have with a friend? The fact that God loves you? Whatever it is, go back to what you DO know for certain and spend time deeply appreciating those facts in order to get grounded so you can move on. Spiritual resiliency is a huge factor in who survives and who doesn’t.
  • Have hobbies. Whether it is cooking, crocheting, shooting or fishing. Discovery an activity that relaxes you and makes you feel a sense of accomplishment. Not only will you have a skill to lean on, but you can teach others. Invite family, friends to do the hobby with you or join a group that participates in the same activity. The Survival Mom Skill of the Month page will give you dozens of ideas, if you’re not sure where to start with choosing a hobby that is both fun and practical.

You cannot avoid heavy items in your backpack from past, deep hurts, rejection, and traumatic events. They are a fact of life and will be dropped into your backpack, sometimes when  you are least prepared for them. If you do not put them there, someone or something else will. The goal is to not let them stay there.

  • Take any heavy item you are dragging around and analyze it. What do you need to do to make this light? Some things we have control over, others we do not. Be careful to only invest emotion and time in something you have some control over. After Hurricane Katrina, thousands of families moved to other states. Many of these families embraced this move as an opportunity to go back to school, learn a new trade, create a new start or be closer to extended family. In one instance, a refugee from Katrina founded an incredibly successful business in Houston, his new home. They could not control the hurricane, they could control how they viewed their opportunities. Show kindness to those who offer help you. Teach your family to look and acknowledge the good that is around.
  • Accept and adapt. Be willing to take a look around at your new reality and just accept it for what it is. This is where you are now. How can you make the best of it? Survival Mom liked this saying so much that she created a t-shirt just to remind herself how to handle tough situations!
  • Bless and release. There will be people and situations that bog you down because of a past experience. In one case, a former friend suddenly cut off her contact with me. I never knew what had happened, reached out once or twice but got very curt responses. So, I played and replayed in my head what I wanted to say to her and how I would defend whatever it was that had caused the distance. After a few months, I decided enough was enough. I wrote a short email, wishing her the best and letting her know, nicely, that I was moving on, and guess what? She hasn’t crossed my mind since — until I was writing this article! We can bless and release those in our lives who bring nothing but negativityand pain. We no longer have to be the monkey in their circus.
  • Dumping a heavy item might require you to mend a relationship, apologize or forgive someone. The relationship may not be as it was, but you have done your part to make it better. Just forgiving a person, even if it just in your heart, is healing. Sometimes the heavy item that needs to get dumped is a person. Toxic and negative people can be one of the heaviest items you drag behind you. They have little regard to your emotions and their influence in your life. In fact, one author calls them “emotional vampires.” If a person is continually causing emotional turmoil, it may be time to decide if that person should be in your life.
  • Bad experiences. We have all laid in bed at the end of the day and played out in our mind what we would do or say differently, if given another chance. Unfortunately we cannot go back in time, but we can learn. To lighten your load, take tough experiences and make it your best teacher. Learn everything you can from trials and stumbling blocks. Journal about it, share what you learned with a close friend, glean as much knowledge as you can from the experience. Try to compare it to other times in life where you have been given a lesson and did not learn it the first time. It is so much easier to learn from the mistakes of others, but if you are going to make your own, and you will, you might as well learn all you can from it. The knowledge you gain will be beneficial in your future, and you can pass it on to your kids. Maybe they’ll listen!!
  • We are all subject to stress, it is the overwhelming stress that does us in. Learn how to recognize it when it shows itself. Note the physical reactions you have and pay attention to the thoughts that go through your mind. Some people carry stress in their lower backs, some in their necks, shoulders, or stomachs. Most daily stress can be worked off at the gym or by other means. It is the larger stressors and circumstances in life that require more effort. When the big stuff happens, you will need to rely on the positive items in your emotional backpack. They are what is going to get you through. Call a friend that you feel comfortable talking with or read about people that have gone through a similar circumstance. Have your backpack full of “tools” to help you deal with the big pressures of life.
  • Develop a list of personal priorities. Determine what is important to you. Picture yourself on your death bed. What would your thoughts be about? Who or what would you want to be surrounded by? That is your priority list! If something isn’t on your list, it is probably not that significant. This list is a guideline for your and where your priorities are. The items on the list are where you put your time and energy. Don’t spend your effort on things that don’t give enjoyment or benefit back to you.

Remember, this backpack is yours, not anyone else’s. Protect yourself by protecting your pack. Do not allow anyone else to dump their anger or nastiness into it. Handle issues when they first happen. Look to others for help if needed. As you travel through life, if you keep your backpack light and care for it, you will develop self-reliance and a resiliency that will help you with the heavy items that will certainly come along.

What's In Your Emotional Backpack via The Survival Mom

Some Basics on Living a Self-Reliant Lifestyle, Part 2

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 ReadyNutrition Readers, we explored some precepts in the first part of this Self-Reliant Lifestyle Series a few weeks ago.  Part 1 covered a major component of such a lifestyle: identifying the needs of your family before you “jump into the water” and begin the lifestyle. This rule holds true in Part 2, as well, and I’ll repeat these major points I wrote in Part 1 that need to be kept in mind:

  1. Self-reliant lifestyles are going to have a different definition for different people.
  1. Self-reliance means you must provide for and take care of each family member’s needs, especially from a medical/caregiver standpoint.
  1. You must correctly assess what your needs are and realistically pursue a course of action to fulfill those needs in order to be self-reliant.
  1. Self-reliance is still going to leave you reliant on someone.
  1. We can return to the basics of living, and do it in a manner that does not inflict severe pain upon ourselves or our family members in the process of doing it.

These things having been mentioned, we can keep them in mind with this piece.  Now comes a time of some important decisions to be made.  There are too many resources on this site alone to tell you how to develop the most self-sufficient cabin and storehouse for all of your supplies.  Miss Tess Pennington has provided a plethora of resources for you to use in the information you will need to make a plan of action for home canning, gardening, and the like.  I have done pieces on survival medicine and for water procurement that you can research on ReadyNutrition’s archives.

Your Homestead/Retreat Should Provide These 9 Essentials

So really, what you need is an outline to go about planning in accordance with your geographical location, family’s special needs, seasons and times of the year, and the developing situation in your immediate location as well as nationally.  This last part, the situation, you can use this phrase to guide you:

            In order to prepare, you must first be aware.

The economy, and federal, state, and local laws are going to affect a great deal of what you do.  In order to camouflage your activities, you must not so much conform, but you must blend in so that your activities are unnoticed.  In this manner your preps are undiscovered by potentially hostile neighbors and you maintain a proper level of OPSEC, or Operational Security.  We’ll go into this more, as we begin our list.

  1. What kind of home/retreat do you have or are planning to have?  How are you going to provide for heat and fuel to do things such as boil water, cook food and can or preserve your foods?  You must take into account how long your growing season lasts, as well as how long the winter is in your locale.
  2. Each person requires about one acre of land to produce food for one year, times two. The “times two” factor involves rotation, because after one year of growing and harvesting, you must have a year that the land lies fallow and can be conditioned (with composting and other methods of fertilization) to be able to produce again the following year.  Micro gardening and terraced gardening along with greenhouses are your solution to this.
  3. Protein. Are you going to raise a whole lot of cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens, and other livestock?  Do you have enough forage and arable grazing land to sustain them?  Do you have the capabilities of slaughtering, preserving the meat, and replenishing your stock?  What are your family’s food needs in terms of protein?
  4. Hunting for your protein. Hunting and fishing may play a major part in your family’s sustainment if you are not going to raise livestock, and if you are going to raise it and cannot sustain it with arable land after the SHTF.  Are fish and game abundant in your area, and do you know their seasons and migratory patterns?  All of these questions are “food for thought” in order to help you plan for your family’s food needs.
  5. Solar/Geothermal/Wind/Water. What will be your heat and power sources?  Have you assessed what is within your budget, and how long you will be able to use your system?  Montana is a good example, because solar power goes out the window (literally) at times when there is little sun and a ton of snow and ice that need to be cleared from your panels during the winter months.  Geographical location and severity of the winter are factors that are crucial to determine your plan of action in this regard.
  6. Herb Garden. Do you have an herb garden that is not just for a savory meal, but for medicinal herbs?  This must be grown especially with the needs of any medically-dependent family members with special needs.  Do you have mugwort, Jerusalem artichoke, and juniper that is growing that can be used to make homeopathic solutions for a diabetic in the family?  Do you have Echinacea, oregano, lomatium, garlic, and other herbs for viral and bacterial infections growing in a controlled environment?
  7. Water. This is a biggie, because I outlined a rain catchment system for your use in previous articles.  This is where you have to know all of your existing laws in your locale.  Is it illegal to take the rain?  Well, guess what?  The way around this is to have the system in place and operational but not operating.  When it hits the fan, you probably won’t need to consult with a lawyer, and you can begin to harvest the water.  There needs to be a plan for obtaining water during the summer months and during the winter, because temperature doesn’t change the fact that each person needs 1-2 gallons per day, and don’t forget about any animals that you have, either as pets or as livestock.
  8. Waste. Human and animal waste (with the exception of the latter being cats, as they carry Toxoplasmosis in their stool) can be composted.  Once again, if you live in an area that prohibits such activity, you have to take this into account…and perhaps have a system ready to go at a moment’s notice after the SHTF.  The same for garbage.  It needs to be either recycled (such as aluminum foil, plastic bags, plastic bottles, steel cans) or used as fuel in a woodstove, or if it’s biodegradable then into the compost bin it must go.  The legal consideration exists until the SHTF, so know your local laws.
  9. With whom?  Who can you trust?  This is part of self-sufficiency, because the tenet “No man is an island” holds.  You will be self-sufficient to a point: we are a social creature with needs of interaction with others.  It would behoove you to develop your network of those who are trustworthy now.  I stress one point that may sound mean, but it serves a purpose, that being your survival:  Don’t just link up with people because they’re “nice” people: they have to have either some skill or something they produce that can contribute or be exchanged for your skills or products…or else they’re just a liability…or worse.

Regarding this last statement, I highly recommend watching “The Shelter,” an episode of the old “Twilight Zone” series, where a family builds a bomb shelter, and an air-raid comes about.  Watch the reaction of the neighbors and how things “morph” into a very bad situation indeed.  Having served in some very nasty areas of the world with the military, I have seen firsthand how these situations develop in the blink of an eye, so be forewarned that they can and will occur!

Skills, skills, skills.  You need skills…to develop the ones that already exist, and learn new ones that you don’t yet have.  Gunsmithing.  Can you reload?  Can you fix the firearms that are in need of repair?  Basic Mechanics.  Can you change the brakes on your vehicle?  Change your tires?  Put in a new battery?  Change the fluids?  Put in a new alternator or distributor?

Medicine.  Do you know how to give an IV?  Can you diagnose a life-threatening condition such as ectopic pregnancy?  Can you give CPR?  Do you know how to treat a patient for shock, as well as the injury he or she has sustained.  Herbalism.  Do you know how to dry and tincture herbs?  Do you know how to find herbs (wild-craft) that are medicinal in nature in your own backyard?  Do you know what herbs are nutritious and edible?

I could go on, but the point I’m trying to impress is that in order to live a self-sustained lifestyle, you have to be the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker.  You must be a jack of all trades and a master of all.  You must wear many hats, and assume the role in each hat, and take up another hat when another role comes along that you must fulfill.  In order to be self-sufficient you must prepare.  We had a very good saying that a First Sergeant in the 82nd Airborne Division used to say all the time that holds true, and it can serve you well here:

            How you train in peace is how you’ll fight in war.

Very true, and I know I’ve mentioned it before.  It is true, and it is important for us as preppers and survivalists.  In order to live a self-sustained existence, you must prepare, and practice what it is that needs to be done…so that you can actually do it and not just have it stored away in a book or in your files.  Hope this piece helps you to organize, and we welcome any comments or suggestions you may have.  Keep up the good work, and have a great day!

 

JJ

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

21 Things To Do Before and After a Flood

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Recently I was reading about the flooding in Louisiana (which is now considered the worst US disaster since Hurricane Sandy), and it occurred to me that my site doesn’t have a single article about how to deal with floods. Well, I’m fixing that right now. There are bound to be plenty more disastrous floods in […]

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When the Lights Go Out

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This article came from a mainstream source – The Finance Section of Yahoo.
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/lights-inevitable-failure-us-grid-230000502.html
Delta Airlines recently experienced what it called a power outage in its home base of Atlanta, Georgia, causing all the company’s computers to go offline—all of them. This seemingly minor hiccup managed to singlehandedly ground all Delta planes for six hours, stranding passengers for even longer, as Delta scrambled to reshuffle passengers after the Monday debacle.

Where Delta blamed its catastrophic systems-wide computer failure vaguely on a loss of power, Georgia Power, their power provider, placed the ball squarely in Delta’s court, saying that “other Georgia Power customers were not affected”, and that they had staff on site to assist Delta.

Whether it was a true power outage, or an outage unique to Delta is fairly insignificant. The incident was a single company without power for six measly hours, yet it wreaked much havoc. Which brings to mind (or at least it should) what happens when the lights really go out—everywhere? And just how dependent is the U.S. on single-source power?

When you hear about the possible insufficiency, unreliability, or lack of resiliency of the U.S. power grid, your mind might naturally move toward the extreme, perhaps National Geographic’s Doomsday Preppers. Talks about what a U.S. power grid failure could really mean are also often likened to survivalist blogs that speak of building faraday cages and hoarding food, or possibly some riveting blockbuster movie about a well-intentioned government-sponsored genetically altered mosquito that leads to some zombie apocalypse.

But in the event of a power grid failure—and we have more than our fair share here in the U.S.—your survivalist savvy may be all for naught.

This horror story doesn’t need zombies or genetically altered mosquitos in order to be scary. Using data from the United States Department of Energy, the International Business Times reported in 2014 that the United States suffers more blackouts than any other developed country in the world.

Unfortunately, not much has been done since then to alleviate the system’s critical vulnerabilities.

In theory, we all understand the wisdom about not putting all our eggs in one basket, as the old-adage goes. Yet the U.S. has done just that with our U.S. power grid. Sadly, this infrastructure is failing, and compared to many other countries, the U.S. is sauntering slowly behind many other more conscientious countries, seemingly unconcerned with its poor showing.
According to the United States Department of Energy, the American power grid is made up of three smaller grids, known as interconnections, which transport energy all over the country. The Eastern Interconnection provides electricity to states to the east of the Rocky Mountains, while the Western interconnection serves the Rocky Mountain states and those that border the Pacific Ocean.

The Texas Interconnected System is the smallest grid in the nation, and serves most of Texas, although small portions of the Lone Star state benefit from the other two grids.

And if you’re wondering why Texas gets a grid of its own, according to the Texas Tribune they have their own grid “to avoid dealing with the feds.” Now that’s true survivalist savvy—in theory.




When you look at the layout of the grid above, it’s easy to see that a single grid going offline would disrupt a huge segment of North America.

Wait—make that all of North America.

To give it to you straight, our national electrical grid works as an interdependent network. This means that the failure of any one part would trigger the borrowing of energy from other areas. Whichever grid attempts to carry the extra load would likely be overtaxed, as the grid is already taxed to near max levels during peak hot or cold seasons.

The aftermath of a single grid going down could leave millions of residents without power for days, weeks or longer depending on the scope of the failure.

So although on the surface it looks like the U.S. has wisely put its eggs into three separate baskets for safer keeping, the U.S. has in essence, lined up our baskets so that if one were to drop, or if the bottom were to fall out, the eggs from basket #1 would fall into basket #2. Which would break from the load, falling into basket #3—eventually scrambling all the eggs. Sorry, Texas.

And sorry for all you out there, likely 300 million of you, who have no idea or have no plans on how to live without power. Or how to live without trips to the local grocery store. Or how to live in a society where most people will ignore social norms and respect for law or even lives. Sorry for you but not everyone can survive the coming collapse.

15 DIY RVs, Converted Buses & Tiny Houses

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15 DIY RVs, Converted Buses & Tiny Houses If you are anything like me you will LOVE these 15 DIY RVs, Converted Buses & Tiny Houses. I literally can’t get enough of them. There are so many awesome homes to look at it will leave you wanting more. My favorite is a tiny house with a …

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DIY Four Station Home School Or Craft Table

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DIY Four Station Home School Or Craft Table If you are like my family and home school your kids this DIY table is a must for you. It seats 4 people so the kids can have friends over and work all at the same table. Don’t worry though, if you don’t home school you can build …

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How To Make Pineapple Weed Tea

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How To Make Pineapple Weed Tea If you are like me you may not have even heard of pineapple weed. It is mostly found in the western parts of the US but it still grows in the east. Pineapple weed likes to grow in poor soil, that’s why it favors the western US. I have …

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CoffeeBoxx – The Coffee Maker That Will Survive SHTF

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CoffeeBoxx – The Coffee Maker That Will Survive SHTF If you have been following me on Facebook for a while you may know I have a little coffee addiction. Oh sweet black nectar of the gods. Well, that being said, I found probably the best coffee maker that a survivalist/prepper could ever buy! It is called …

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Why You Should Put Onion Slices In Your Socks While You Sleep

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Why You Should Put Onion Slices In Your Socks While You Sleep Ok, I have seen this floating around the internet for years now. I saw it a few days ago in my newsfeed and actually decided to click through and take a look at why everyone seems to be doing this. I am so glad …

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