Changing Times

Growing up as a kid I never really thought the world was all that bad of a place. I mean essentially I mainly grew up in small mid-western towns, spent some time in southern California (SOCAL), and in and around Spokane Washington.  My brothers always took me on long road trips across country when ever they got the bug to go to SOCAL for the summer. I can honestly say that by the time I was a young teenager I had seen most of the Western states albeit through a windshield of a old van or VW bug. Not first class sort of travel but better than a covered wagon drawn by oxen.   There were a few times that I thought an old wagon would have been faster, and more reliable. But I digress.

Through out all those adventures, and at times, just being a kid, I would wander off on my own and to go explore some new place that we happened to stop for gas, but more times than not our vehicle had over heated or broke down. Not once did my brother(s) or future sister-in-law ever freak out about me going missing. It was just a different sort of time. In the 70’s people still looked out for wayward children or others in distress. I would always find my way back to the vehicle and off down the road we went for a few more miles until something else on the vehicle broke. Nobody was worried about being “jumped” or abducted, or anything absurd like that.

Tonight the GF and I went to the movies, We saw Skyfall the new James Bond movie. Not a bad flick, standard Bond film with all the intrigue we have grown up expecting from such a flick. But what caught my eye instantly was at the beginning of the film, a theater employee came in and checked the emergency exit door and initialed a small notepad hanging on a clipboard attached to the wall. As the movie progressed, every 15-20 mins until the end of the show a employee would go to the emergency exit, check the door, mark the pad, and walk out again. I have never seen that before in my life, at any theater, anywhere in the world. Two words: Aurora Colorado. It is amazing how one person or one person’s act can change the habits of an entire society. I understand why they are doing it, not for our safety as a patron, but for liability.

GF leaned over and whispered her observation of the exit door event that had been unfolding the past hour . I am glad some of me has rubbed off on her in that she is picking up on paying attention to her surroundings. We both agreed at what we were witnessing, and GF continues with “I have my stun gun in my purse if needed” (good girl!). I whispered back, that if anyone comes through that door or a gunshot sounds she needs to hit the floor first. Get the stun gun out and we will assess from there.

Who would ever thought not a year ago, let alone 30-40 years ago that we would need someone to check the emergency exit door at a theater? That we need to be mindful that a door that was designed to save lives in the event of a fire, or other event would become a portal to allow just the opposite to happen?  In a sense it is a innocence lost for all of us. Sad.

When I have traveled in the past to other countries, I have seen heavily armed security at jewelry stores in Mexico, shotgun carrying guards outside of bars in the Philippines, and some pretty intimidating looking “security” types in the middle east. What was always refreshing was coming back to the safety of home. I think as more time passes, we as American’s need to be cognizant of our surroundings more and not be shocked at the very real possibility of seeing more and more security at what we consider innocuous  places or events.

This brings up another thought. Just because there is a security dude, with a flashlight, pepper-spray, a radio, and making $10 an hour, do you really think he or she is going to stop ANYTHING from happening? Paul Blart: Mall Cop springs to my mind. Let us not be lulled into a false sense of security just because a quasi uniformed guy is standing there with his new flashlight hanging off his belt. I have to honest here, if I was a Paul Blart, I would be hitting the ground if the bullets were a flying. Knife or ax wielding crazy? different story.

We have changed and so has our society, we are influenced more by outside events and individuals then ever in the past. Our little insular worlds are quickly fading. Those innocent days of wandering off to “explore” are also quickly going away whether you are an adult or a child. And for those that want to argue about firearms? Firearms have pretty much stayed the same the last 40 years. Its the window lickers that have changed. We tolerate more of their behavior and when they can’t “cope” its always a headline that follows.

As preppers, we need to keep our surroundings in perspective. OPSEC, personal security, family, enough gas in the vehicle, enough cash on hand, etc, etc……. Sorry to preach.

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IFAK Part two

Had some time off this weekend and went to another gun show with the GF and some good friends Saturday. Not seeing any deals out there in the gun show world. As a matter of fact this particular show really didn’t have anything but a large crowd squeezed into a to small space with to many vendor tables.  Another disappointing experience.

Here is a visual, I’m elbowing my way down an isle to look at some surplus military gear and I see two IFAK‘s sitting on a table. In my mind I am thinking about the last encounter I had with a vendor over a IFAK. Maybe I was a dick last time but I hate when people state ignorance as fact. But I will give the guy credit this time. He was pretty cool, I asked if the tourniquet was still in the kit and he said take a look. Sure enough, it had one. As I perused the table I saw a tourniquet still in the original wrapped and asked the price, $20. The IFAK? $35 easy choice in my mind.

Here is what I bought

The same vendor had a full on medic kit, CLS type, brand new in the original assault pack and all the expiration’s where still in date. I just didn’t have the 400 bills to buy it. I still would love to have this piece of gear vice the GI IFAK.

 

Ignorance??

I have tried (very hard ) to keep this blog a-political, prepper oriented and just generally a place to give you food for thought. I am going to try and maintain those same thoughts with this post.

What is your first impression after seeing this image?

The article implies Ms. Lindsey Stone was just being a carefree young adult just having fun!

Ms. Stone quotes:  “Whoa whoa whoa … wait,”  “This is just us, being the douchebags that we are, challenging authority in general. Much like the pic posted the night before, of me smoking right next to a no smoking sign. OBVIOUSLY we meant NO disrespect to people that serve or have served our country.”

Ms. Stone may not have meant any disrespect, but in reality? she did. And, she is probably for the first time in her life being held accountable for her actions. I can only imagine that in her mind challenging “authority” is they way to go, to be in, to be free, a way to express her individualism. Why that is what she was taught, grew up that way, its not her fault.

Really? Look I am the first to challenge authority, and question to it. I do not blindly march to the fascist military establishment, I am part of that said establishment, better than twenty years of my life.

I learned from a strong woman very early on in my life, I always looked up to her even when I grew past 6′ and eventually to my (non slouching) 6′ 2″  that you respect what others have given for this country. Never question their sacrifice, their devotion, and their duty. The flag is not something to wrap yourself in without earning the right to have it draped over you in the end.

This picture Ms. Stone took is a perfect example of disrespecting those that cannot defend themselves. If this was someone poking or making fun at the mentally or physically challenged there would be all kinds of main stream media outcry, liberal (sorry progressive) lynch mobs. But these people are just dead. No outcry. Its just challenging authority.

In the end? Ms. Stone will be handed a director position of some non profit (ala Anita Hill) that sucks as much public money as it can from the general fund and made to be a hero, someone who herself made the ultimate sacrifice to her individualism and was just ignorant and not responsible for her actions. The dead? Ah well they are dead, they don’t deserve anything beyond, death. After all it isn’t progressive to think about those kind of things anyway.

That women that I looked up to? she was my grandmother, 5′ 3″, never finished 2nd grade, raised 4 children through the depression, lost her father in a coal mine fire, traded sugar for flour during WW2 to make bread, raised chickens and geese to trade eggs. Had a garden, canned vegetables, made soap, fed everyone in the neighborhood that couldn’t feed themselves, always had an open backdoor that was never locked (never had a key remade after the original was lost).

She was the ultimate challenger of authority, never looked for a handout, never asked the government for anything other than to leave her alone and live her life.

Finally

I finally got off my buttocks and joined the NRA last month. I know, I know this is something that I should have done years ago. I just never had a real reason to or felt a political need. Now that I have become more passionate about my hobby and my 2nd amendment right I thought I better participate.

I was looking over the NRA website last night and ran across some pretty good instructional videos.  This particular one deals with shooting from the ground. Pretty good information. When I went to ESI this past spring, we did a few variations of the same exercise. We shot on our sides, around a corner while laying on or sides, on our backs while shooting over our heads.

One of the students asked why it was important to shoot on your back. The instructor gave a real world example, when he was a police officer he was caught on a two way shooting range and behind a vehicle, by rolling on his back he was able to shoot under the vehicle and return aimed fire.  We practiced this quite a few times shooting at steel plates. Now I don’t know if this is a true story or not but made good sense and I have followed up by practicing and passed along this tip to a few friends and GF.

Here is a flip side of that train of thought. The Army teaches us that you stay away from a vehicle because vehicles are bullet magnets, but if you are pinned down, stay behind the tires and more importantly the engine block area. And bullets skip under vehicles, which would lead back to what I wrote a paragraph ago. Laying under a vehicle returning fire.

What I am trying to articulate is be open to all types of training, every situation is different, learn what you can.

Oh and lastly, join the NRA!