Ammunition

FBI, DHS Warn Syria Airstrikes May Embolden ‘Homegrown Violent Extremists’

When I heard last night that the U.S. and its allies had initiated airstrikes against Muslim extremists in Syria, I wondered how long it would be before a retaliatory attack was attempted. It’s nice to see the Feds anticipating the same from the jihadists and/or their sympathizers. From an Associated Press piece today on the FOX News website:

There is no indication of advanced Al Qaeda or Islamic State group terror plotting inside the United States, but airstrikes in Syria may have temporarily disrupted attack planning against U.S. or Western targets, according to a security bulletin Tuesday from the FBI and the Homeland Security Department…

In a five-page Joint Intelligence Bulletin obtained by The Associated Press, the government warned that airstrikes targeting the Al Qaeda-linked Khorasan and Islamic State groups could also embolden homegrown violent extremists inside the United States who already have grievances about the U.S. because of military action in predominantly Muslim countries.

While the intelligence community hasn’t viewed Islamic State an immediate threat to the U.S. homeland, officials have been very concerned about Khorasan operatives plotting attacks against the U.S.

The Khorasan group is a cadre of veteran Al Qaeda fighters from Afghanistan and Pakistan…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

If “homegrown violent extremists inside the United States” do in fact strike, how will they carry out their assault? Bombing, mass shooting, poisoning some restaurant salad bar? Who knows? But keep the following in mind- something I blogged back in April 2011:

Consider what Gabe Suarez, a decorated veteran of Southern California law enforcement and president of the personal safety training outfit Suarez International, wrote in his blog Warrior Talk News on May 6, 2010:

Put yourself in the enemy’s shoes….err, sandals…..which option would YOU pick? Which offers the easiest implementation, least chance for detection, greatest chance for success – bombs or bullets?

The mass shooting and not the improvised and unsuccessful bomb is the “easy button”, and that fact cannot be ignored by us as it will not be overlooked by the enemy.

So what do we do?

1). We must identify who the enemy is. Please go back and peruse the list of events above, both failed and successful. What is the common thread connecting the attackers?

2). Carry your gun everywhere…..a REAL fighting gun….not some sissy “suitable for CCW” 5 shot “self defense gun”. The times are not such that concern over a mugger is the issue anymore. Carry extra ammo with you. It is not difficult at all to carry a full sized pistol with a couple of extra magazines. I have done so since 1983.

These are not the times to be seeking political correctness over public safety. It is not the time to fear false labels created and assigned by the mass media. The Israelis learned that lesson long ago. After all is said and done, it is better to be a live “intolerant racist” (as the MSM would call us) than a dead “co-existing”, tolerant “paragon of political correctness”. I suspect that had Shahzad’s bomb been successful, lots of tolerant, “co-exist” types would have died right alongside us “intolerant racists”. The times call for careful profiling and suspicious curiosity as well as daily preparation.

Dress everyday as if you had a business meeting in Mumbai on 26 November 2008 with a bunch of Jews, Christians, and atheist Americans at a cafe right across the street from the Jihad School Of Terrorism.

Be ready or be a victim.

“Be ready or be a victim.” Great words to live by.

Add to readiness a healthy dose of situational awareness, and I suspect those practicing both are leaps and bounds ahead of most Americans in being prepared to anticipate and react to the violent acts of some jihadist or sympathizer the Feds are warning about in that latest security bulletin.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

“DHS says Syria airstrikes may have temporarily ‘disrupted’ terror plotting.” Associated Press. 23 Sep. 2014. (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/09/23/dhs-says-syria-airstrikes-may-have-temporarily-disrupted-terror-plotting/). 23 Sep. 2014.

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1992 Los Angeles Riots: ‘There Are No Atheists In Foxholes; There Are No Liberals In Riots’

I haven’t really thought about the 1992 Los Angeles Riots since I put together a piece that appeared on the shooting sports news website AmmoLand.com back at the beginning of May 2012- the twentieth anniversary of the “Rodney King Riots.”

And then racially-charged protests and looting occurred in Ferguson, Missouri.

Last night, I was looking over some of the L.A. Riot-related material I had gone through over two years ago. A couple of news articles of the time stand out as the Missouri National Guard take their turn patrolling the streets of Ferguson tonight:

The police tolerated armed citizens. Jonathan Lovitt reported in the May 4, 1992, edition of USA Today:

Many hundreds of people, alarmed by law enforcement’s inability to control the chaos, took up weapons throughout the riots.

Police were grateful. “You get a guy standing over you with a gun and you’re not going to loot … and that’s fine with us,” said Sgt. George Wright of Los Angeles Police Rampart Division.

Anti-gun types quickly “saw the light.” Lovitt added:

The rush to weapons began almost immediately after the riot’s first vivid images went out over TV.

Shopkeepers said some gun buyers were lifelong gun-control advocates, running to buy an item they thought they’d never need – only to find themselves blocked by gun-control legislation that requires Californians to wait 15 days.

“The customers were angry about the waiting period but they bought the guns anyway,” says Barry Kahn, who owns B&B Sales, one of the region’s largest gun outlets. “These people were different from my usual customers. They were definitely first-time buyers.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

American ingenuity shone. Lovitt wrote:

But many buyers beat the restrictions, purchasing exempt “antique” firearms, made before 1941…

Others employed different tactics. Black-owned shops hung signs saying “Black-owned and operated: Do not Loot” with the name of a prominent gangster, an enforcer, below. Along trendy Melrose Avenue, store owners boarded up windows and hung “for sale” or “for lease” signs, hoping looters would search for visible booty.

Some Los Angeleans prepared accordingly. Phil Sneiderman wrote in the Los Angeles Times on April 9, 1993:

Still, some residents are concerned that police would not be able to halt widespread violence. Area gun shop owners said they have noticed an increase in people buying guns over the past few weeks, well before the federal King beating case neared an end.

“They knew the trial was starting and that there would be a verdict eventually,” said Steve Cotter, whose family runs Hilldale Sales, a Simi Valley gun shop. “They knew about the 15-day waiting period, and they started buying early.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

A memorable quote was born. Ron Soble wrote in the Los Angeles Times on August 17, 1992:

Part of the rush for weapons was caused by police inability to initially control the riot, said her husband, Steve Cotter, who waits on customers with a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson stuffed into his holster.

That spawned a public perception that “if the police can’t handle it, we’ll handle it ourselves,” he said.

Such emotions even motivate liberal advocates of gun control to buy a weapon for the first time, he believes.

“There are no atheists in foxholes; there are no liberals in riots,” he said.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Ammo sales were banned in L.A. Soble added:

On top of the waiting period was an emergency order issued by Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley on April 30, which banned ammunition sales in Los Angeles until May 20.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The California National Guard initially had no ammunition. I blogged on September 14, 2012:

Watch for yourself the following news segment where then-California Governor Peter “Pete” Wilson admits California National Guard troops weren’t initially given bullets:


“LA Riots the GOV explains that the Guard has no ammo”
YouTube Video

Governor Wilson revealed:

There was some hesitation on the part of the Guard officers. I gave the order that they should take the ammunition that they had distributed as I would think they should in any case to those who are platoon and squad leaders making it available as needed.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Finally, guns saved lives and property. According to self-described “anti-gun feminist to armed feminist” Katherine von Tour in 1999 on KeepAndBearArms.com:

One day, just before the riots exploded, I was driving in downtown LA in a scary part of town. It was dusk. As I was stopped at a stop-light, with one car in front of me, two men who had been watching me began quickly and menacingly approaching my car from the sidewalk. One of them was carrying a tire iron.

I grabbed the pistol, which I had laid on the seat beside me, and held it up so they could see it.

The look in their eyes changed in an instant from threatening to fearful, and they immediately turned around and ran in the opposite direction. The light changed. I drove away.

No one was hurt, but a gun in my formerly liberal hand had, I believe, probably saved my life, or at least prevented me from likely injury…

Within a week, the very street where this incident happened had erupted in rioting, looting and killing.

I watched on television as the Korean grocers defended their property with AK-47’s and AR-15’s, and thus prevented it from being torched and looted. The police couldn’t stop the violence and killing.

I had friends who worked in the garment district in LA who barely made it out alive, and who told tales of pulling out pistols and having would-be attackers turn tail and run away.

Guns were saving lives and property.

As the riots threatened to spill over into Beverly Hills, myriad Hollywood types stormed gun stores to arm themselves, only to be told that there was a 15-day waiting period; radio talk shows boiled with people calling in and screaming about how unfair this was, and how the law was leaving them helpless.

Some of them even admitted that they had previously supported the waiting period, and that they were now furious that it had left them unarmed.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Real insightful stuff, much of which I wouldn’t have known about without the Internet even though I watched the riots live on television while attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign a little more than 22 years ago.

And seeing that history never repeats- but often rhymes, as Mark Twain said- how much of the above will ring true in the next major riot on American soil?

We may find out as early as later tonight.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

Lovitt, Jonathan T. “Survival for the armed.” USA Today. 4 May 1992. (http://www.jonathanlovitt.com/usa/SurvivalForTheArmed.htm). 18 Aug 2014.

Sneiderman, Phil. “Police Agencies Rehearse Riot Response Plans : King case: Authorities vow to back up one another if disturbances occur. Some area gun shops report brisk sales.” Los Angeles Times. 9 Apr. 1993 (http://articles.latimes.com/1993-04-09/local/me-21047_1_gun-shop). 18 Aug. 2014.

Soble, Ron. “Going Great Guns : Security: The L.A. riots trigger a firearms-buying spree in the county. First-time owners drive the boom in sales.” Los Angeles Times. 17 Aug. 1992. (http://articles.latimes.com/1992-08-17/local/me-5096_1_gun-sales). 18 Aug. 2014.

von Tour, Katherine. “My Transformation From Anti-Gun Feminist To Armed Feminist.” KeepAndBearArms.com. 1999. (http://www.keepandbeararms.com/information/XcIBPrintItem.asp?ID=635). 18 Aug. 2014.

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22 States Now Recognize Illinois Concealed Carry License

After several years of researching and blogging about personal safety topics, I’ve noticed a number of companies selling firearms, ammunition, and other self-defense products refuse to do business with potential customers from Chicago, Cook County, and/or Illinois, even though what they’re selling can be legally-purchased and possessed by residents of those areas. From what I understand, the thinking is:

If you’re going to elect politicians that are anti-gun and anti-personal defense, then we’re not going to sell our products to you until you vote said politicians out of office.

I’ve wondered if a similar train of thought might carry over to their state’s recognition of the new Illinois Concealed Carry License.

The jury’s still out on that one.

But there are a number of states that already do recognize the Illinois concealed-carry permit. And the outlook for more doing so seems positive. Kevin Craver reported on the Northwest Herald (Chicago, Illinois, northwest suburbs) website yesterday:

Since becoming available to the public in January, 22 other states recognize the Illinois permit, meaning it authorizes the holder to carry there. The list includes all of Illinois’ neighboring states, much of the Midwest and portions of the West and South…

The list of states that recognize Illinois’ permit likely will increase as states review their agreements, [Illinois State Rifle Association Executive Director Richard] Pearson said. Gun-friendly Texas, for example, honors permits from most other states but not yet Illinois…

States that honor the Illinois permit besides its immediate neighbors are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and Vermont.

Good to know. Especially for those with Illinois CCLs or interested in acquiring one and looking to carry concealed out of state.

For more information on the Illinois Concealed Carry License, visit the Illinois State Police website here. As I mentioned in a different post last week, much of the processing hiccups and initial backlog look to have been dealt with by the ISP already.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Craver, Kevin P. “More states recognizing Illinois concealed-carry permits.” Northwest Herald. 17 Aug. 2014. (http://www.nwherald.com/2014/08/15/more-states-recognizing-illinois-concealed-carry-permits/ad8bxlo/?page=1). 18 Aug. 2014.

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Comprehensive Anti-Gun Legislation Introduced In Illinois

Last night, I received the following e-mail from the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA):

Illinois: Anti-Gunner “Wish List” Legislation Introduced

This week, Senate Bill 3659, misnamed the “Illinois Public Safety Act,” was introduced by notorious anti-gun state Senator Dan Kotowski (D-28). SB 3659 seeks to ban the possession, delivery, sale and purchase of many semi-automatic firearms and accessories, as well as .50 caliber rifles and cartridges unless the items have been previously owned and registered within an arbitrary period of time. SB 3659 would also amend the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act to require background checks for private transfers of firearms, except those between family members, and would restrict magazine limits to those with a capacity of 15 rounds and smaller.

SB 3659 embodies the anti-gunner “wish list” in Illinois. This legislation is a comprehensive anti-gun package which echoes the unconstitutional legislation passed in New York and Connecticut last year. The laws passed in those states are currently subject to lawsuits due to their significant infringement on Second Amendment rights.

With the 2014 legislative session winding down, this bill has not yet been assigned to a policy committee. However, your NRA-ILA will continue to keep you updated when more information is available on this legislation.

Stay tuned…

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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5.56 NATO And .223 Remington Lethal Enough?

Anyone read that article on The Washington Times website about the Russian military’s new gear that’s being “shown off” in the Ukraine? It’s quite interesting. Rowan Scarborough wrote on April 20:

“They’ve got better equipment than they had five years ago,” said Scott Traudt, an executive with Green Mountain, a Vermont gun manufacturer. “They’ve got new grenade launchers that are awesome. The helmets are better than our helmets. The body armor is better than our body armor. They’re doing a lot of things right. I’m pretty amazed at it.”

However, it was something said later in the piece which really grabbed my attention. Scarborough added:

U.S. soldiers have complained that their main rifle and round, the M4 carbine and its 5.56, lacked lethality in Afghanistan against a Taliban enemy that does not often wear body armor. Without a shot to the head, the enemy could take several 5.56 hits and keep going, soldiers said in surveys…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

5.56 x 45mm NATO or 5.56 NATO was originally chambered for the M16 rifle and is a standard cartridge for NATO and many non-NATO armies. It’s similar, but not identical to, .223 Remington. Both are used extensively by American shooters, including preppers/survivalists.

Now about that part in the article where U.S. soldiers are complaining about 5.56 NATO and its “lethality”- should preppers/survivalists and others using the same or .223 be concerned their ammunition also won’t be lethal enough when it matters most?

Here is some more insight on 5.56 lethality from people who know a thing or two about the subject in a combat zone…

First, there’s this from a U.S. Marine scout/sniper who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq and submitted the following to The Truth About Guns website regarding a firefight in Fallujah, Iraq. He was using an M-16A4 with a heavy barrel, improved trigger, and scope- as well as standard 5.56 ammo- in the following action:

This bad guy took a knee and started to aim his RPG at our building. I fired once, hitting him square in the chest. The man stumbled a bit but regained his balance and steadied his weapon. I fired again, again hitting him. But this time, it did not faze him and he was able to touch off that grenade. The explosion rattled the building and injured a Marine below me on the second floor.

The bad guy dropped the RPG once he fired it, got up, and ran down the alley away from me. He still had the AK on his back. I fired again, twice, both times hitting him in his upper thoracic region. He was not phased. My L-T was shooting at him while yelling at his sniper (me) to kill him!

The man started pushing himself up a short wall near the end of the alley way. The wall was maybe 4 1/2ft tall. I decided to take a head shot at about 125yds. I centered the cross-hairs, and squeezed. JUST as the round broke, the man ducked his head, the bullet entered his brain housing group just at the base of the skull, effectively removing the back portion of his dome. I skull capped him.

He stumbled over the wall and fell down behind it, out of my view in the dead space. For a split second, I thought “there…” until I saw him RUNNING away from me, brains leaking from his head! As soon as I saw him, he fell down and did not get up again. It took 5 well aimed rounds to put this guy down. Granted, he was most likely on something, but it still took 4 in the chest, and one head shot to stop this guy. I was not the only Marine to be involved in something like this. Who is to say that an attacker in the U.S. is not “on something?”

Now, is the .223 (5.56) a deadly round? Absolutely! A .22lr is deadly in the hands of someone who knows what they are doing. Is it effective? In this Marine’s opinion, no. The .223 is a varmint round, meant to kill targets no larger than a rabbit or coyote…

Then there’s this from the Daily Mail (UK) website from just over a year ago that talked about Britain’s Special Air Service (SAS) jettisoning the 5.56 NATO cartridge. Mark Nicol reported on March 16, 2013:

The rounds currently issued as standard to SAS troops for their rifles are 5.56 mm calibre. In future, the troopers will be given 7.62 mm rounds – which are almost twice as heavy and designed to kill with a single shot.

Last night, a regiment insider said: ‘The shoot-to-wound policy was based on the assumption that once he was wounded an enemy combatant would stop fighting, and so would his comrades to give him first aid.

But this backfired against the Taliban. The 5.56 mm rounds did not take a big enough chunk out of them, allowing fanatical insurgents to keep on fighting despite their wounds. As a result, more SAS soldiers were shot and badly wounded.

‘The need for a heavier round was highlighted in the regiment’s post-Afghanistan report. Tests are now taking place on at least three rifles specially designed to fire the 7.62 mm rounds.

‘The difference in killing power between 5.56 mm and 7.62 mm is startling – the heavier rounds pack so much more of a punch.’

Nicol added later in the piece:

Tory MP Patrick Mercer, a former Army commander, said: ‘The 7.62 mm round is a good, meaty bullet and will drop your enemy with a single hit. The 5.56 mm cannot compete with it for stopping power and, according to many soldiers, the round has fallen short in Iraq and Afghanistan.

‘Insurgents who would have been fatally wounded by a 7.62 mm have been able to continue fighting and endanger the lives of our soldiers.

‘This is a positive step and I hope other regiments give consideration to returning to 7.62 mm rounds in the infantryman’s standard rifle. It could save lives and win battles.’

So should preppers/survivalists and others using 5.56 NATO or .223 Remington be concerned their ammunition lacks lethality?

In the past, I understood these calibers were- if anything- at least adequate in lethality. I also thought firearm proficiency and shot placement skill had a lot to do with stopping the threat as well.

I don’t think I’m wrong in believing the latter (user ability) is still important.

Readers- care to add your two cents?

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

Scarborough, Rowan. “Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear.” The Washington Times. 20 Apr. 2014. (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/apr/20/tactical-advantage-russian-military-shows-off-impr/?page=all#pagebreak). 29 Apr. 2014.

Farago, Robert. “Marine: .223 May Not Be Lethal Enough for Civilians.” The Truth About Guns. 9 Jan. 2013. (http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2013/01/robert-farago/marine-223-may-not-be-lethal-enough-for-civilians/). 29 Apt. 2014.

Nicol, Mark. “SAS to use bigger bullets to kill enemy outright after claiming ‘shoot-to-wound’ policy put their lives at risk.” Daily Mail. 16 Mar. 2013. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2294631/SAS-use-bigger-bullets-kill-enemy-outright-claiming-shoot-wound-policy-lives-risk.html). 29 Apr. 2014.

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Statewide Gun Registration, Ammo ‘Control’ Bill Introduced In Illinois

The following Illinois gun/ammo “control” legislation made headlines in February, but it’s making the rounds again this week (probably due to its outrageousness?). From a press release on the website of Illinois State Representative Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago):

CHICAGO, IL – State Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) introduced a bill requiring the registration of firearms in the State of Illinois.

“We’ve dealt for too long with gun violence in our neighborhoods, most often perpetrated by individuals who acquired the firearm through illicit means,” Cassidy said. “Registration is a common sense policy that ties the weapon to its buyer, preventing the types of straw purchasing that put guns into criminals hands. According to a University of Chicago Crime Lab Report, 45% of firearms used in crimes in our state were purchased legally in Illinois and then illegally transferred. Registration creates a safeguard against these transfers and significantly hinders the ability for criminals to acquire firearms.”

HB 4715, the Firearms Registration Act, would require registration of firearms upon purchase, and for firearms owned at the time of passage. The registration process would include a background check, and transfer to an individual without complying with registration would be a Class 2 felony…

Not only is Illinois House Bill 4715 calling for a gun registry, but also ammunition “control” as well. From the bill’s status page on the Illinois General Assembly website:

Creates the Firearms Registration Act. Provides that every person in the State must register each firearm he or she owns or possesses in accordance with the Act. Provides that a person shall not purchase or possess ammunition within this State without having first obtained a registration certificate identifying a firearm that is suitable for use with that ammunition, or a receipt demonstrating that the person has applied to register a suitable firearm under the Act and that the application is pending

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Since February 5, the bill has been with the House Rules Committee.

My guess is that it will emerge shortly after the next high-profile mass shooting.

You can view the current status of Illinois HB 4715 on the Illinois General Assembly here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Resource Of The Week: Slickguns.com

Any readers looking to buy a firearm, ammunition, or related product during the holiday season? Sometime in the near future perhaps?

This Friday’s “Resource Of The Week” is Slickguns.com, “Best deals on guns and ammo posted by users.” From their website:

This is an index of best deals on guns and ammo posted by users like you. We do not sell any of the products listed on our website. Deals are posted by us and our visitors throughout the day.


“Slickguns Discovery”
YouTube Video

Categories of deals are listed across the top of the home page and include:

-All Deals
-Black Friday (at least for now)
-CA Legal
-Handguns
-Rifles
-Shotguns
-Ammo
-Reloading
-Knives
-Accessories

Additionally, there’s a Coupons, News, and Forum section, as well as a query tool if you’re looking to score a discount on a particular item you have in mind.

Slickguns.com is incredibly easy to use. Click on a deal and you are taken to the Slickguns description page for the item(s), which includes information, photos, price comparisons, comments, and the all-important “Go To Store” button.

That’s it!

Best of luck finding a great deal on that gun-related item you’ve been looking to purchase.

Slickguns.com

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: Link added to “Resources” page)

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Advertiser Spotlight: Airsoft Megastore

The final “Advertiser Spotlight” post for today is for all the “airsofters,” prospective airsofters, and those looking to purchase an airsoft gun for firearms training out there. Enter Airsoft Megastore, “the #1 Fastest-Growing Airsoft Retailer in the nation.” From the Southern California-based company’s website:

As the #1 Fastest-Growing Airsoft Retailer in the nation and one of the TOP-referred Airsoft Retailers by Airsoft enthusiasts around the country, Airsoft Megastore is dedicated to providing you, the customer, with the best service and the best airsoft products in the Western Hemisphere We realize that Airsoft is a growing sport that can be very expensive to start playing. Therefore, it is our goal and our passion to “BRING AIRSOFT TO THE MASSES” with our full line-up of airsoft guns, gear, and accessories that are affordable, yet do not compromise power, quality, or durability. This can be seen in our commitment to bringing the best products onto the market at the absolute lowest prices, backed by our 125% Lowest Price Guarantee. We are confident that our quick, professional, and customer-friendly service along with the lowest prices on the market for everything airsoft will provide you, the customer, with a one-stop airsoft shopping experience.


“Airsoft Megastore Tactical Gear Loadouts and Accessories- Tips”
YouTube Video

Concerning customer service and satisfaction, Airsoft Megastore has something called “The Airsoft Megastore Promise.” From their website:

What is the Airsoft Megastore promise?

At Airsoft Megastore, we believe in providing the best service, the most knowledgeable support team, and the easiest shopping experience at the lowest prices, guaranteed. The Airsoft Megastore Promise is what makes us The Most Trusted Airsoft Retailer in America.

1. Lowest Prices- Every product we carry is backed by our 125% Lowest Price Guarantee to ensure that you will always pay the lowest price when shopping at Airsoft Megastore!
2 Free Shipping- Unlike other airsoft retailers, Airsoft Megastore offers blazing fast, 100% free shipping to the continental US on all orders over $149. No hidden fees, no fine print, just free shipping.
3 45-Day Warranty- Airsoft Megastore stands behind most products we carry with our industry leading 45-Day Product Warranty. Our no-hassle return policy makes it easy to return a product.
4 Customer Support- We have the most highly trained and knowledgeable support staff in the industry. When you have any issues or questions, just contact us and we will always be happy to help you!

Unfortunately, the Better Business Bureau does not have a rating for the company right now. From the BBB website:

BBB is currently updating its files on all businesses in the Greater Los Angeles area and pending that review, a BBB rating is unavailable.

That being said, I made a purchase from the California company this past summer, and the experience was terrific. More on that in a future post.

One last thing, Airsoft Megastore has a big clearance sale going on right now. From their website:

BLOWOUT CLEARANCE! 20%- HOT BUYS & COOL PRODUCTS! Offer expires Oct 31st

Click on the banner ad below and see what Airsoft Megastore can do for you. Please note that by clicking on the ad and purchasing a product, I receive a commission from the sale.


Airsoft Megastore - Limited Time Savings, Save Up to 20%

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Advertiser Spotlight: Brownells

You may have noticed I’ve added a couple of new banner ads on the blog’s sidebar from some affiliate programs I’ve joined lately. Today, I’ll be publishing some “Advertiser Spotlight” posts for these companies, whose products you might be interested in purchasing. First up is Brownells, the “World’s Largest Supplier of Firearms Accessories and Gunsmithing Tools.” From the Montezuma, Iowa-based company’s website:

Three generations ago Bob Brownell founded our company on three words:

Selection, Service, and Satisfaction.

More than seventy years later our strong foundation still rests upon those words (read about our history)

For over 70 years, Brownells has been providing quality Gunsmithing tools, gun parts and service to the firearms industry. For all but two of those years, there has been a consistent brand image, the oblong horizontal shape of our catalog and the graphical design of our Brownells logo. For all of those years, these two uniquely, identifiable products have stood for our promise of service, selection and satisfaction.

Selection- Over 80,000 gun parts, tools, and supplies; everything you need all in one place.

-Factory parts from fifteen of the industry’s leading firearms manufacturers
-Rifle, shotgun, and handgun parts, tools & accessories
-Bluing & refinishing materials
-Books, videos, & references
-Sights, scopes, & mounts
-And much more


“Brownells First Light”
YouTube Video

Brownells’ “promise of service, selection and satisfaction” is reflected in their policy regarding products shipped to customers that don’t quite work out for them for some reason or another. From their site:

No Hassle Return Policy and No Authorization Numbers – Just Send it Back

No Restocking Fees – Just Send it Back

Although Brownells is in the middle of an expansion, having announced a large warehouse and office facility expansion in nearby Grinnell, Iowa, that’s scheduled to open in late 2013, their customer service doesn’t appear to be compromised. The company has been a Better Business Bureau “Accredited Business” since February 2008, and currently maintains a rating of “A+” with the organization.

Click on the banner ad below and see what Brownells can do for you. Please note that by clicking on the ad and purchasing a product, I receive a commission from the sale.

(Brownells no longer an affiliate marketing partner)

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Back To Blogging

It’s back to work over here at Survival And Prosperity this dreary Wednesday morning in the Chicagoland area. I had planned on publishing new material Monday, but decided to extend my “vacation” out a little bit longer. I apologize if you were checking for new posts earlier this week.

During my time away from the blog, I was able to attend to a number of tasks that needed my immediate attention. But it wasn’t “all work and no play.” I got the chance to spend a couple of days at my family’s place in southeast Wisconsin near the end of the break. The weather was terrific, the locally-brewed beer plentiful, and the Northern Pike and Largemouth Bass were biting. My cousin and I managed to haul in some really nice-sized fish. Which is why I extended my stay longer than originally planned.

Two things come to mind now when thinking about that long weekend in Wisconsin:

First, I noticed the gun section at the local hardware store had a lot more ammunition on the shelves from the last time I was there. Another sign the ammo shortage is easing up?

Second, it was nice to “Escape to Wisconsin” and breathe in some “freedom.” In my opinion, Wisconsin is heading in the right direction. Illinois… not so much. As each day goes by, the “Land of Lincoln” continues to be transformed into a Big Government Nanny State, highlighted by more/higher taxes, more/higher fees, and increasing controls forced upon the populace. Sadly enough, many of my neighbors seem to be okay with this. Especially here in the Chicago area.

Coupled with the huge financial woes facing the City of Chicago, Cook County, and State of Illinois- an ugly ending looks to be in store for us. At the very least, Illinoisans will be busting their wallets out en masse to deal with the debt debacle.

And while our nice new house in the Chicago suburbs that I worked on quite a bit the last two weeks is fine and all, I continue to warn my girlfriend that our future permanent residence looks to be outside of the state.

It’s a real shame it might have to come to that.

Back to our regularly-scheduled blogging. And wondering if incompetency trumps political theater in causing a national debt default in the coming hours.

Christopher E. Hill
Editor

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On TV: Doomsday Preppers ‘Whatever It Takes’ Review

Yesterday afternoon I watched the third episode of the “summer season” of Doomsday Preppers, “Whatever It Takes.” From the National Geographic Channel website:

Could an explosion on the surface of the sun cause mayhem on Earth? Jason and Jacob are a father-son team from Alabama who are prepping for exactly that: a global solar flare with the potential to wipe out power grids around the world. Jason was almost stranded for good in the wilderness when he was 19, but that will not stop him from prepping in those very same woods by molding his own ammunition and preparing his 20-piece bug-out pack.

The show also introduced Brian and Sheila Moffatt and their seven kids out in Arizona who are prepping for an economic collapse, and Grayson Smith and Mike Umberger out in Maryland who are prepping for the next world war.

Here’s what went on in “Whatever It Takes,” along with some of my thoughts about the episode:

Part 1: Prepper “rite of passage”

Season 3, episode 3 of Doomsday Preppers opened with a segment about Jason, who grew up and still lives in a charming wooded area of Alabama. He told viewers:

We’re preparing for a solar flare, and the civil unrest that follows.

While the part of Alabama where Jason lives is quite scenic, the nearby forest is also where he almost died from exposure when he was 19.

Jason is a family man now, and lives with his wife and 18-year-old son Jacob.

He fears the nation’s electrical grid is going to get fried from a coronal mass ejection (CME) along the lines of the 1859 Carrington event, which the show called the “biggest geomagnetic storm in history.”

(Editor’s note: Back on August 1 I noted that reports had surfaced about the Earth just missing getting clobbered by a “Carrington-class” CME in July, with some experts saying it could have led to an electromagnetic pulse “catastrophe” on the planet)

As a result, Jason has been doing some serious prepping. From the show:

To get ready for the life without grocery stores, running water, and electricity he fears, Jason stocks more than twice as much food as he thinks he needs, and at least two of every survival item he owns. He believes having backups is essential to survival.

It’s revealed the Alabama prepper has 1,000 meals and 300 gallons of water socked away.

And on the topic of redundancy, Jason hammered home to viewers the oft-heard prepper saying:

Two is one and one is none.

Meaning, always try to have two of an important item, because when one breaks or goes missing, without a replacement you’re left with nothing.

Son Jacob has joined his dad in ramping up the family’s preparedness, taking time off from school to do so.

In this segment, the 18-year-old underwent a prepper “rite of passage,” participating in a scenario concocted by Jason where the family’s 6-month food supply had been exhausted, and they had no choice but to leave the house and bug-out to the woods, taking only the gear and supplies they could manage to carry on their backs (or Jacob’s back if you bought that “old man” comment of his). From the show:

Tonight, Jacob will be expected to complete all the tasks he’d need to survive in the woods on his own.

About their bug-out bags and their contents? According to the show:

Each pack holds 20 items, 2 of each basic tool Jason believes is necessary for wilderness survival. He calls them his 10 “Cs.”

Those 10 “Cs” are:

-“Candleing” device (headlamp)
-Canvas needle
-Cargo (duct) tape
-Combustion device (fire starter)
-Compass
-Container (steel water bottle)
-Cordage (paracord)
-Cotton bandana
-Covering
-Cutting tool

Jacob performed a number of survival tasks using a variety of the above “Cs.” He fabricated animal traps (choking snare, “twitch up” trap), built a tree branch hut, started a fire out of rope match, flint, and steel. He successfully completed his rite of passage, making dad real proud.

Two things stood out for me in this segment:

First, at the conclusion of the “rite,” Jason gave his son Jacob a lead bullet the two of them fabricated earlier in the episode. I don’t know about you, but I thought that casting process was pretty cool.

And black powder guns as an alternative to semi-automatic firearms WTSHTF? That’s an idea I first came across when Frank Belcastro of Independence USA-fame demonstrated their worth (acquiring ingredients for and making black powder and bullets may be quite feasible during TEOTWAWKI, as opposed to getting ammo for more “modern” guns) when the show was still Apocalypse PA.

Man, I miss that TV series. I sure hope it’s reincarnated soon.

Second, Jason and his family received the following assessment concerning water from Practical Preppers:

Water: Your stores and proximity to fresh sources are excellent. 19 out of 20 points.

It was revealed that the family of three had 300 gallons stored, or 100 gallons of water per person, in addition to those “fresh sources” somewhere nearby. 19 out of 20 is one of highest scores in this department I’ve ever seen on Doomsday Preppers. Nice job, especially as water often plays second fiddle to more “sexy” preps like firearms.

Part 2: Doomsday academy

In the second part of “Whatever It Takes,” viewers were introduced to Brian and Sheila Moffatt, both self-defense instructors, along with their seven kids. This family lives on a 15-acre Arizona homestead.

The Moffatt family revealed they were prepping because of their concerns over run-away inflation and an eventual U.S. economic collapse.

Brian explained:

My kids, my wife, are the best preparation that a guy could have.

He wasn’t kidding. In addition to homeschooling their children in reading, writing, and arithmetic (arithmetic- now there’s a word I hardly hear anymore), as episode 3 said:

Their curriculum is customized for doomsday.

A day in the Moffatt’s “doomsday academy” looked like this:

-1st period: Self-defense (children practiced Krav Maga hand-to-hand combat)
-2nd period: Camouflage and Evasion (kids played hide-and-go-seek in ghille suits)
-Field Trip: The family fired handguns at the local range

According to the show:

Brian said he educates all his children in firearm awareness. But only allows those 10 or older to fire handguns.

And boy could his two oldest girls shoot. 13-year-old Gabriela and 11-year-old Mariah practiced handgun quick draw drills for speed and accuracy. From the show:

Brian teaches his kids a technique that’s been called the modified Israeli Mossad draw in which weapons are carried without a round in the chamber until the gun leaves the holster, creating an opportunity to assess a threat before deciding to destroy it.

The segment ended with a practice home invasion drill to test a perceived lack of perimeter defense skills among the children, and in which Brian was the home invader. The Moffatt kids, putting into practice what they’ve been taught, excelled in the exercise.

From the episode:

All the different skills and tactics the Moffatt children have been taught are meant to be brought together for one purpose- the defense of the family home against desperate people following an economic collapse.

Brian Moffatt confided:

My greatest fear is having to actually put to use what we practiced. I hope that we all have plenty to eat. I hope that we all have plenty of water. That we’re all happy. And have more children.

Wild yet impressive stuff, and considering the ages of the children involved, a segment I’m sure the National Geographic Channel will be hearing about from certain viewers for quite some time. But consider what Steve H., the leader of that Washington prepper group which includes his young son Steven James, said in the prior week’s episode:

My mother says that our prepping is a negative influence on our 8-year-old son. But I say it’s a positive influence on my son. Reality is what reality is. And the sooner that we face reality, the sooner that we’re going to be able to do something about it. I don’t want to lose anybody in our family. I don’t want people in my family to be hungry. I don’t want people in my family to be discomforted or in pain. And so I’m taking these steps beforehand, to see to it that that doesn’t happen to us.

Part 3: The “Odd Couple” preppers

In the last part of season 3, episode 3, of Doomsday Preppers, Grayson Smith and Mike Umberger, skateboarders from Maryland-turned-preppers were introduced. They told viewers:

We are preparing for World War 3.

These two guys predict China will replace the United States as the world’s next superpower, which will eventually culminate in a blockade of America’s coasts and another World War. Therefore:

Fearing a global war over oil and other natural resources, Mike and Grayson packed up their city apartment, and moved to 100 acres of land owned by Mike’s father, Larry. They plan to turn this traditional farm into a self-sustainable ecosystem providing 100 percent of their survival needs…

50 percent of the fresh fruit, and 20 percent of the vegetables eaten in the U.S. come from other countries. Mike and Grayson fear a global war could cut off all these imports, leaving it up to every American to grow their own food.

The funny thing about Grayson and Mike is, they are very much polar opposites when it comes to a number of things. Grayson is a pacifist who spent time in a Zen Buddhist monastery. Mike, on the other hand, served in the U.S. Navy in the Shore Patrol.

Yet, both are preppers and each brings something different yet valuable to the table. At the farm, Grayson spends a number of hours every day building self-sustaining agriculture preps. Mike works on security and provides weapons instruction to Grayson.

Still, the two young men are newbies at preparedness. From the show:

But after 6 months of prepping, all these two have to show for it is 20 jars of preserved vegetables, and only 1/16 of an acre of productive farmland.

And since Mike is still unsure about Grayson’s weapons skills, he decided to utilize “booby traps” as part of the farm’s security features. Grayson and Mike were shown constructing a “mace trap” (swinging log with spikes) in the episode.

That’s not all the two fabricated in last week’s show. In their efforts to achieve a self-sustainable ecosystem at the farm, the preppers built a cold frame ( a transparent-roofed enclosure built low to the ground used to protect plants) and a chicken tractor (portable chicken coop for fertilizing the soil). Neat stuff.

The segment ended with Grayson and Mike throwing a party at the farm for the purpose of meeting local people and possibly building a prepper network from these folk.

Bust out the botas, crank up the music, and assess partygoers for prepping potential. Check, check, and check.

A really good episode- one that focused on preppers from different areas of the country and in different life situations.

For more information about Doomsday Preppers, visit the show’s web page on the National Geographic Channel site here.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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On TV: Doomsday Castle ‘A Stone From the Sling’ Review

I was impressed by the premiere episode of the National Geographic Channel’s new TV series Doomsday Castle.

As such, I was very curious to see if episode 2, “A Stone From the Sling,” would be just as solid, or if there would be a noticeable drop-off in quality.

Airing last week, the episode focused on the problem of the castle inhabitants having a sustainable food supply once TSHTF. From the National Geographic Channel website:

With only MREs to eat, Brent Sr. challenges the kids to start looking for other food alternatives. Heading to a local chicken farm, Lindsey and Ashley attempt to catch their own chickens, a great renewable resource providing eggs almost daily. But tempers flare as they start working on building a chicken coop to house the newest members of the family. Meanwhile, Brent Sr. and Dawn Marie build a catapult to be able to defend the castle from intruders.

My thoughts about “A Stone From the Sling”:

The show began with Brent Sr. busting out a bunch of MREs (meals, ready-to-eat) for the kids. It’s revealed dad has only enough of them to last one year.

Brent Sr. said:

I guess my children don’t realize- I’m not going to feed them anything but MREs until they can come up with a food supply that they can provide.

They realized it soon enough. Michael and Brent II went hunting- but not before Michael instructed Brent II on how to use a crossbow. Ashley and Lindsey went to acquire egg-laying chickens and fabricate a coop. Dawn-Marie joined Brent Sr. is constructing a trebuchet to defend against attackers using the road leading to the castle.

Trebuchet?

A kind of catapult that uses a counterweight to harness its energy, according to the show.

While Michael instructed Brent II on using a crossbow, I found what the twin said about the device most interesting. Michael explained:

Most hunters use guns. But when you’re prepping, it’s dangerous to depend on anything that’s mass-produced, like bullets. A crossbow would be a great weapon to hunt with, because one bolt can be reused for years. It’s highly accurate, and extremely quiet. Which means we can hunt around these woods without giving the position away of the castle.

I can see preppers/survivalists finding significant utility (food procurement/self-defense) in the crossbow.

After some practice, the two sons decided they’d hunt for wild boar. Brent II convinced Michael that, based on the Vietnam War-related movies he’s seen, they should try building a camouflaged pit with sharpened stakes in it and food on top of it to bait and hopefully catch their intended prey.

Ashley and Lindsey got some chickens, but while constructing the chicken coop, tensions flared over Ashley’s idea for collecting the future eggs. Lindsey eventually stormed off.

Welcome to “reality” TV.

Brent Sr. and Dawn-Marie figured out that it took only 17 seconds for a speeding vehicle to get from the lower gate to the castle drawbridge. Before beginning work on the catapult-like trebuchet, the two identified an intruder “kill zone” and proceeded to test a blockade to pen-in potential aggressors using toppled trees detonated by explosives. Dad said:

That was the perfect test. When I detonated the device, the tree came crashing down, and stopped Dawn-Marie dead in her tracks.

“Dead in her tracks.” That’s for sure, from what viewers were shown.

Alas, at the end of the day, there was no boar meat or eggs to be had by the family- just more MREs.

(Editor’s note: I don’t know about you, but I like MREs. Although, I have heard horror stories from one ex-Marine/now a civilian police officer of how they can make you constipated if you eat enough of them and only them.)

Later on in the episode, it was revealed that Ashley’s egg collection system, while not perfect, actually worked.

The two feuding sisters were shown coating eggs with mineral oil. According to the show, this preserved the eggs for up to a year.

Not only was Ashley “vindicated” in the second episode, but so was Brent II. A wild boar actually fell into the pit (although it looks as if it climbed out, eventually succumbing to a deadly combination of a crossbow bolt/handgun bullets).

The oldest son remarked:

That size of that boar really showed everybody. You know what? Maybe I’m not the biggest pansy, pussy they think I am.

Remember what I blogged back on August 15? I wrote:

The jury’s still out on Brent II and Ashley though. Brent The Younger’s got this sinister Jeff Goldblum thing going on (should be cast as his younger brother in an upcoming film), and then there’s Ashley, who came away looking somewhat like a prima donna in the first episode. Still, both of them could be revelations down the stretch.

Based on what I saw in episode 2, there’s hope for those two.

The last part of the show really focused on the construction of the trebuchet. While it looked to be completed and fully-functional, a number of test fires proved otherwise. It was only until Dawn-Marie suggested a tweak- twig, actually- that the simulated destructive payloads started flying with altitude and distance. Brent Sr. remarked:

The catapult is like any other weapon. It has to be calibrated. We’ll have settings marked on the arm so we know exactly how far to pull it back. We’ll know exactly how to hit the kill zone over and over and over.

At the end of “A Stone From the Sling,” the present “laird” of the castle shared some more observations with viewers. Brent Sr. pointed out:

We’ve got our first start on food. The next thing is making sure we have an unlimited supply and no dependency on anyone but ourselves.

And each day, castle is going to get stronger and stronger.

And it’s going to be impenetrable by the time we’re all done.

As a family, we’re two vital steps closer to being ready for the end times. We have food coming in, and we have a way to keep the invaders out. But that’s really just the tip of the iceberg. We don’t have a reliable water supply. We don’t have any combat training. We don’t even have a roof over our head. I hope these kids are enjoying tonight. Because tomorrow, it’s right back to work.

A good episode with plenty of interesting information that was shared. The drama (headbutting between Ashley and Lindsey, Dawn-Marie’s close call with a falling tree, Brent II’s fixation with proving himself to Sr. and the rest of the clan) was escalated up a notch, but it wasn’t a turn-off (literally and figuratively) for me. I’ll keep watching and reviewing new episodes as they’re aired- at least for now.

For more information about Doomsday Castle, visit the National Geographic Channel website here.


“Doomsday Trebuchet”
YouTube Video

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Democratic Congressmen Push For 20 Percent Federal Excise Tax On Firearms, 50 Percent Tax On Ammo

Back when Danny Davis (D-IL) was my congressman, I don’t recall hearing too much from him- unless he was coming up for re-election.

Well, November 4, 2014, is fast-approaching, and he and another Democratic congressman- William Pascrell (D-NJ)- whose seat is up for election have both decided to take it upon themselves to remind Americans that Democrats stand for gun “control.”

You see, Representatives Davis and Pascrell introduced HR 3018- the “Gun Violence Prevention and Safe Communities Act”- last week, which would hike federal excise taxes on firearms from 10-11 percent up to 20 percent, and hike taxes on ammunition from 11 percent to 50 percent.

I’m guessing a number of pro-gun Democrats, especially those holding office whose seats are also up for election in 2014, are livid right now.

From GovTrack.us this evening:

A BILL

To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to increase the excise tax and special occupational tax in respect of firearms and to increase the transfer tax on any other weapon, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ‘Gun Violence Prevention and Safe Communities Act of 2013’.

SEC. 2. INCREASE IN EXCISE TAXES RELATING TO FIREARMS.

(a) In General- Section 4181 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended to read as follows:

‘SEC. 4181. IMPOSITION OF TAX.

‘There is hereby imposed upon the sale by the manufacturer, producer, or importer of the following articles a tax equivalent to the specified percent of the price for which so sold:

‘(1) Articles taxable at 20 percent:

‘(A) Pistols.

‘(B) Revolvers.

‘(C) Firearms (other than pistols and revolvers).

‘(D) Any lower frame or receiver for a firearm, whether for a semiautomatic pistol, rifle, or shotgun that is designed to accommodate interchangeable upper receivers.

‘(2) Articles taxable at 50 percent: Shells and cartridges.’.

HR 3018 would also increase the transfer tax on firearms covered under the National Firearms Act (“machine guns,” for example) from $200 to $500 and the transfer tax on all other guns from $5 to $100.

Other blogs/websites are reporting that besides ammo, this legislation hikes just handgun- not long gun- taxes, but based on the following- “Firearms (other than pistols and revolvers)”- I take this to mean rifles and shotguns as well.

Consider the following analysis of the gun “control” legislation by Michael Cohn over at AccountingToday.com:

The bill, known as the Gun Violence Prevention and Safe Communities Act, is co-sponsored by Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr., D-N.J., and Danny Davis, D-Ill. It would increase the excise taxes on firearms from the current range of 10 percent to 11 percent and raise it to 20 percent. The bill would also increase the excise tax on ammunition from 11 percent to 50 percent. It would also increase the Special Occupational Tax on firearm importers, manufacturers and dealers; include assault pistols in the definition of firearms covered under the National Firearms Act; increase the transfer tax on all weapons (except antique guns) covered under the National Firearms Act (excludes most common guns) from $200 to $500 and index to inflation; and increase the transfer tax for any other weapon from $5 to $100 and index to inflation.

All government agencies would be exempted from the tax, including federal, state and local agencies, such as police departments.

Here’s my analysis. The legislation won’t become law. And I think Congressmen Davis and Pascrell know that.

But it did get them some valuable face time for next year’s election.

You can read the entire text of HR 3018 on GovTrack.us here.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Cohn, Michael. “Congressmen Introduce Bill to Increase Taxes on Guns and Ammunition.” AccountingToday.com. 27 Aug. 2013. (http://www.accountingtoday.com/news/Congressmen-Introduce-Bill-Increase-Taxes-Guns-Ammunition-67848-1.html). 27 Aug. 2013.

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On TV: Doomsday Preppers ‘Don’t Betray The Colony’ Review

“As long as nothing happens, preppers are idiots. The day after something happens- we’re geniuses.”

-Tony C., prepper featured on National Geographic Channel’s Doomsday Preppers episode “Don’ Betray the Colony”

In addition to watching the premiere of National Geographic Channel’s latest prepper/survivalist-themed project, Doomsday Castle (blogged about here), I caught the latest Doomsday Preppers episode, “Don’t Betray the Colony.”

Question- Was Tuesday night’s airing the start of season 3 of the show (making this episode 1), or is it a continuation of season 2 (making this episode 31, according to Wikipedia)?

Moving on, from the Nat Geo Channel website:

Some preppers believe in safety in numbers — as is the case for Jeff Mann, who leads “the Colony,” a community of 25 preppers unified with the single purpose of surviving doomsday. Watch as he prepares his son, Colten, to take the reins by having him hunt down live boar in the Florida swamps and builds the Colony’s very own gallows — an important message that there are laws to be upheld, even in times of chaos.

Actually, there was more to the episode than just Jeff Mann- “We’re preparing for an economic collapse”- and the prepper “colony.” The show also introduced Tony C.- “I’m preparing for a space-borne disaster”- and Cheree- “We’re preparing for a mega-earthquake.”

My thoughts about “Don’t Betray the Colony”:

Part 1: The prepper “colony”

When I heard this new episode would be featuring a “colony,” I wasn’t sure what to expect. Actually, I came away pretty impressed with the 21-year-old son Colten Mann. Fearing the worst, I reluctantly kept watching, suspecting the culinary school student might flounder (remember, this is “reality” TV, where drama plays a big role in the genre). I was relieved when Milandred and Hennessey put Colten through the paces and he managed to show a good deal of promise (got to give him a lot of credit for gutting and getting all up in that wild boar like he did).

But then there was that part with the gallows. Just prior to that, there was talk of a “city council” and “laws.” Now, I don’t see anything wrong with discussing a post-apocalyptic judicial system. “Post-apocalyptic” being the key words here. But throwing up that gallows on private property these days might have raised the eyebrows of authorities. If not local- higher up. And if these authorities are anything like the ones I know and have worked with in the past, thoughts of “Waco” probably crossed their minds. I’m just saying.

Personally, I would mothball the gallows until a situation exists without the rule of law. But as much as I might be inclined to agree with Milandred on just banishing the guilty parties, Hennessey may have been on to something here. You see, in a hypothetical societal collapse, banishing a colony member could mean unintentionally providing hostiles with intel about any vulnerabilities the setup may have. I suspect Hennessey was aware of the potential for this happening.

Last point about the prepper colony. They received an assessment score of 89, or a “19 month initial survival time.” That’s got to be one of the highest scores (highest?) ever given by Practical Preppers to a prepper individual or group. I’m impressed.

Part 2: The underground RV shelter

WTSHTF, some people will bug out in their recreational vehicles. Others, to an underground shelter. But Tony C. and his family, an underground RV shelter. I’m intrigued. Not only because it’s something I don’t come across too often (the Vivos Survival Shelter & Resort in Kansas notwithstanding) but also because it sounds like something that might be more affordable than building out an underground bunker with utilities. According to the episode, Tony dug a hole in the Indiana woods 52 feet long, 40 feet wide, and 12 feet high, and then parked his RV in there, constructing an underground compound with 1,200 square feet of living space. Tony explained:

The reason for that is everything’s done in the RV. You have all the comforts of home, and all the systems- the wiring, the plumbing, pressure pumps, inverters. Everything’s in an RV because it’s designed to be self-contained living.

I’d be curious to find out how much it cost him to build his shelter, minus the RV and supplies.

One other thing. That homemade filtration system Tony C. “MacGyvered” up- I wonder if he’s put it to the test yet? And if so, was it effective? It’s just as cool a contraption as that hand-held water pump in the final part of “Don’t Bertray the Colony.”

Part 3- The pacifist prepper camp

In the last part of Tuesday’s show, viewers were introduced to 27-year-old Cheree and her parents Jessica and Carl. They own and operate a 21-acre Christian camp in the foothills of the California’s Sierra Mountains. Cheree is concerned about a mega-earthquake striking the area, and wishes to follow in Christ’s footsteps and take care of disaster victims after the event. Very noble.

While hosting friends and family from the Bay area for a disaster aftermath dry-run, viewers are informed that Cheree adheres to a strict policy of non-violence and no weapons. The problem is, one of their group, Garry, wants a firearm for protection. He explained:

In a critical scenario, where you have people scrambling for food, for water, for shelter, for whatever. If they want it, and they have weapons, they’re going to take it. So, in that respect, I have to take appropriate action.

Cheree sticks to her guns, and “Garry is voted out of the group, and asked to leave the premises.”

Cheree later said:

I think that my faith brings me peace. And it may not necessarily better equip me physically prepping, but mentally and emotionally, He’s the one I turn to. I realize that whatever’s going to happen is going to happen, and God’s in control.

Hmmm. Two things come to mind here. First, this is a situation that has come up before in Doomsday Preppers. Specifically, in season 1 episode 2, “I Hope I Am Crazy.” I blogged back on February 8, 2012:

Firearms- Which brings me to my next thought, which is about guns. One prepper said in episode 2:

It’s easy to feel a little left out of the prepper community if you live in New England and if you’re not fairly right-wing and conservative politically. But I just don’t spend my time worrying about storing guns and ammunition. Because our security comes not from stockpiling weapons but from having a community that respects each other, supports each other, and we have each other’s backs.

While the right of the law-abiding individual to keep and bear arms is enshrined in the Bill of Rights under the Second Amendment, I understand that owning a gun may not be right for everyone. However, keep in mind that in a SHTF situation, there are individuals/groups this prepper and her community could very well come into contact with who have come out and said (future post) they don’t bother stockpiling food, water, and other supplies because they intend to take these items away from others under threat of force (guns). Firearms are without a doubt one of the most effective tools for self-defense, and with the proper training and tactics, our prepper and her beloved community might actually have a chance of keeping their preps safe against these roving bands of human parasites.

By the way, that future post about human “parasites” is here.

And the other thing that comes to mind when the “Pacifist Prepper” said “whatever’s going to happen is going to happen, and God’s in control”? Consider the following…

It rained for days and days and there was a terrific flood. The water rose so high that one man was forced to climb on top of his roof and sat in the rain. As the waters came up higher a man in a rowboat came up to the house and told him to get in. “No thank you, the Lord will save me!” he said, and the man in the rowboat rowed away.

The waters rose to the edge of the roof and still the man sat on the roof until another rowboat came by and another man told him to get in. “No thank you, the Lord will save me!” he said again, and the man rowed away.

The waters covered the house and the man was forced to sit on his chimney as the rain poured down and a helicopter came by and another man urged him to get in or he’ll drown. “No thank you,” the man said again, “The Lord will save me!”

After much begging and pleading the man in the helicopter gave up and flew away. The waters rose above the chimney and the man drowned and went to heaven where he met God.

“Lord, I don’t understand,” he told Him, frustrated, “The waters rose higher and higher and I waited hours for you to save me but you didn’t! Why?”

The Lord just shook his head and said, “What are you talking about? I sent two boats and a helicopter?!”

The moral of the story? Help God help yourself.

Otherwise, you may just succeed in teeing the Almighty off.

After getting yourself killed just prior to that accomplishment, of course.

For more information about Doomsday Preppers, visit the show’s web page on the National Geographic Channel site here.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Chicago-Area Laws Concerning Self-Defense Tools

(UPDATE: Revised to reflect City of Chicago’s passage of Substitute Ordinance SO2013-6015 on September 11, 2013, regarding personal safety tools)

From my research, I’ve noticed that quite a few Chicago-area residents wanting to find out more about the legality of their personal safety tools in their communities, county, and the state of Illinois often have a difficult time locating that information on the Internet easily.

Which is a shame, considering the amount of changes that have been made recently to state and local laws concerning firearms and other self-defense tools. For example, not only is concealed-carry now on the books at the state-level, but the City of Chicago and Cook County have tightened their gun “control” measures and there are a number of new “assault weapon” bans in effect in several metro-area communities.

So, in my “local” post for the day I thought I’d share with Chicagoland readers some links on the Internet where a bunch of this info can be found.

In my opinion, I’d approach general queries from the state level down to the municipal level. No use trying to find out if something is legal in your community if the state bans it and they supersede local laws in a particular area.

State of Illinois

Criminal Code of 2012 (720 ILCS 5/24-1)- Firearms, Chemicals, Electric
Criminal Code of 2012 (720 ILCS 5/33A-1)- Knives
Criminal Code of 2012 (720 ILCS 5/33F-1)- Body Armor
Public Act 98-63, Firearm Concealed Carry Act (430 ILCS 66)- CCW

Cook County

Cook County Ordinance No. 07-O-36, Blair Holt Assault Weapons Ban- Firearms
No info found on knives, body armor

DuPage County

No info found

Kane County

No info found

Lake County

No info found

McHenry County

No info found

Will County

No info found

City of Chicago

Municipal Code of Chicago, Title 8, Chapter 20- Firearms, amended 9/11/13 by SO2013-6015
Municipal Code of Chicago, Title 4, Chapter 144- Ammunition, amended 9/11/13 by SO2013-6015
Municipal Code of Chicago, Title 8, Chapter 24- Knives, Chemicals, Electric, Amended 9/11/13 by SO2013-6015

Chicago Suburbs

Query the municipality in question in a search engine with the name of the town and state plus “ordinances” and proceed from there. If you can’t find any local ordinances on the town’s website, there’s a good chance the municipality outsources their codification and public display. In which case, check the Illinois municipal client catalogs of the following codifying companies below:

American Legal Publishing Corporation
Municipal Code Corporation
Sterling Codifiers

Hope this comes in handy!

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: Links added to “Resources” page)

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Christopher E. Hill, Editor
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