Aurora

New ‘Responsible Body Armor Possession Act’ Legislation Coming?

At the end of last week I pointed out the new “Assault Weapons Ban of 2017” legislation that was introduced in the U.S. Senate on November 8.

Not really surprising considering the recent mass shootings in Nevada and Texas.

Another proposed ban that wouldn’t be shocking is a new “Responsible Body Armor Possession Act” bill, “justified” via initial reports of the Nevada and Texas shooters both possibly possessing ballistic protection at each crime scene. The Associated Press reported back on October 9:

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo says the shooter at a Las Vegas concert who killed 58 people fired at fuel tanks near the Mandalay Bay Hotel from which he was shooting.

Lombardo also says Stephen Paddock had personal protection equipment in his room.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

And from Doug Poppa over on The Los Angeles Post-Examiner website on November 9:

Stephen Willeford was at home less than a block away from the First Baptist Church when his daughter ran in telling him that there was gunfire coming from the church.

Willeford immediately went to his gun safe, removed his AR-15 rifle, a box of ammunition and an unloaded magazine and ran out of the house barefooted, loading up the magazine with several rounds as he headed for the church.

When he approached the church, he said he saw Kelley, who was wearing a tactical helmet with a visor and ballistic armor, heading to his truck with a handgun in his hand.

Kelley opened fire on Willeford who was using a neighbor’s truck as cover.

Willeford, who is an NRA certified firearms instructor said he knew when he saw Kelley’s ballistic armor that he had to aim for Kelley’s side which was exposed between the Velcro straps that pulled the front and back of the ballistic armor together.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

While Paddock’s “personal protection equipment” may not turn out to be body armor (not sure if the American public will ever be privy to that information), taking into Stephen Willeford’s shooting background, it does sound like Devin Kelley could have been wearing a bullet-resistant vest/plate carrier (if what The Los Angeles Post-Examiner reported is true). Even if it turns out neither individual had body armor, the potential remains for a new ban being proposed. Consider the following from the Loadout Room website concerning the push for the original Responsible Body Armor Possession Act of 2014:

In support of this bill, it has been claimed the mass killers who carried out the shootings in Newtown and Aurora were wearing body armor during their crimes. Initial press reports falsely described the shooters wearing body armor. One was wearing a ‘fishing vest’ and the other a mall ninja type load bearing vest. Neither killer had any type of ballistic protection.

Should new legislation seeking to ban “enhanced” body armor be introduced, I can’t say for sure what kind of reception it will get in Congress. The same goes for the “Assault Weapons Ban of 2017” (especially after what just happened in California).

Survival And Prosperity will be watching, however.

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

Sources:

“Las Vegas sheriff: Shooter fired at nearby fuel tanks.” Associated Press. 9 Oct. 2017. (http://www.kolotv.com/content/news/Las-Vegas-sheriff-Shooter-filed-at-nearby-fuel-tanks-450144573.html). 14 Nov. 2017

Poppa, Doug. “Three heroes emerge amidst the tragedy in Texas.” The Los Angeles Post-Examiner. 9 Nov. 2017. (http://lapostexaminer.com/three-heroes-emerge-amidst-tragedy-texas/2017/11/09). 14 Nov. 2017.

Miller, Mark. “My Body Armor, My Choice: Member of Congress Introduces a Bill to Ban Body Armor for Civilians.” Loadout Room. 9 Sep. 2017. (https://loadoutroom.com/thearmsguide/body-armor-choice-california-congressman-introduces-bill-ban-body-armor-civilians/). 15 Nov. 2017.

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Maxon’s Gun Shop, Range Coming To DuPage County?

The last time I blogged about Maxon Shooter’s Supplies and Indoor Range in the near-northwest suburb of Des Plaines, I was congratulating them back in February 2015 on receiving a prestigious Five Star rating from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).

These days, Maxon’s is in the local news for their proposed expansion into DuPage County, Illinois. Erin Hegarty reported on the Chicago Tribune website on November 23:

Preliminary plans have been proposed for an indoor shooting range and gun shop in Warrenville, just across the street from Naperville on Ferry Road.

Naperville resident Dan Eldridge already owns the Maxon Shooter’s Supplies and Indoor Range in Des Plaines. Building a second location in Warrenville was a necessity because he needs more classroom space, he said, but it will also fill a void for this type of business in the western suburbs.

“This would allow us to grow in an underserved area in Chicagoland,” Eldridge said.

The new location on 7-plus acres at 30W255 Ferry Road will serve residents in Warrenville, Naperville and Aurora – a market that lacks facilities for shooting classes and practice ranges, he said. Its proximity to Route 59 and Interstate 88 will allow them to attract shooting enthusiasts from as far as 20 to 30 miles away, he said…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

According to Hegarty, Maxon’s owner figures the new facility would employ about 25 full- and part-time workers.

You can read the entire article on the Chicago Tribune website here. And for more information about Maxon’s, head on over to their site here.

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

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Chicago-Area Shopping Malls Targeted By Terrorists?

Muslim extremists are calling for terror attacks directed against Western malls. From the website of Chicago CBS affiliate Channel 2 Saturday night:

A terror group with ties to al-Qaeda released an online video Saturday appearing to call for attacks on Western malls, including at least one U.S. shopping center.

There is no credible, serious threat to a location in the Chicago region, but CBS 2’s Chelsea Irving reports one area police agency is taking the message seriously.

In the 75-minute video released Saturday, Islamic extremist group al-Shabaab calls for lone followers to attack Western targets.

The speaker specifically mentions the Mall of America in Minnesota. In the last five minutes of the video, the logo of Westfield shopping centers appears. The addresses in the video are for Westfield malls in England, but the speaker calls for attacks on any Westfield mall.

In the U.S., Westfield has 38 malls in eight states. Three are in the Chicago region: in Aurora, Skokie and Vernon Hills…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Specifically, those Chicago-area shopping malls are Westfield Fox Valley (Aurora), Westfield Old Orchard (Skokie), and Westfield Hawthorn (Vernon Hills).

Keep in mind authorities say “there is no credible, serious threat to a location in the Chicago region.” Personally, I’d just as soon visit these three malls as any other these days, maintaining optimal situational awareness during those “shopping sprees.”

You can read the entire CBS 2 piece on their website here.

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

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Glenn Beck: ‘We Are The First Responders’

Glenn Beck, the conservative radio/television host, political commentator, and author, gave the keynote address at the National Rifle Association’s 2013 national convention that just wrapped up in Houston. Beck, who I actually met and spoke to briefly when I was in Dallas at the end of March for the FoodInsurance™ “Ready, Set, Prep” Summit, pointed out the following concerning the term “first responders” as he spoke about different firearms that “tell the story and teach the story of the 2nd Amendment.” From his speech:

9/11- Walter Reaver’s Revolver

September 11th, 2001. A moment in history that will define this generation. While victims were running away, men, were running into those buildings. Amazing men like young Walter Weaver, a member of the NYPD and an NRA life member. He was last seen in the World Trade Center trying to rescue people. He was in the lobby trying to free people trapped in an elevator. A servant fighting for the individual’s freedom until the very end.

After the towers fell and the nation mourned, we sifted through the rubble, this is all that was left as a reminder of Walter Weaver. A silent token of liberty.

Walter Weaver, I’m sure wouldn’t want to be called a hero.

He was simply an American.

He was an example of what we all should be—men, who just do the right thing when time calls our name.

When there is an emergency or trouble we are the ones that should run to help. We must be the action on the other end of the 911 call.

I don’t know, but I believe Walter Weaver would tell you that he wasn’t trained to be hero by the police academy.

But he was raised in a culture that taught him about self-sacrifice and to always do the right thing, even when no one else is watching. He had those things long before he wore a uniform.

How many of us can say that.

Good cops, bad cop, it doesn’t mean you take all the badges. It’s the people, not the badge.

As good as the policemen in our country are. When you are in trouble the average police response rate is 8 minutes; most crimes take less than one.

If a responsible citizen with a gun had been in that movie theater in Colorado, or if members in the audience in that theater were allowed to bring their gun into the theater and not leave them locked in their cars, how many lives would have been saved?

How many of the mourning, children would instead have been able to spend time over breakfast with their mom or dad this morning if someone good was allowed to have a gun?

While our politicians from the local to the federal level have spent us into oblivion, and our public services are being obliterated and our police force is being cut.

I will no longer accept the media falsehood nor reinforce it by calling our brave men and women in blue on our cities and streets first responders. It’s time for America to recognize WE are the first responders.

They are the 2nd responders, we are the first responders.

When there is trouble let us be the first on the scene to help.

Let us be the first responder when someone is sick or hungry or frightened.

Let us be the first to share our bread with the hungry; Let us be the first to open our hearts to the homeless poor; Let us be the first to remove the yoke of injustice.

I don’t know what America will choose. But for me and my family, I choose to stand with courage. I choose to stand with selflessness. I chose to stand with God with Malice toward none and charity to all.

That’s who we are.

Forget what the media says, I know that’s who we are.

You can read Glenn Beck’s entire speech here on GlennBeck.com.

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

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Signs Of The Time, Part 8

In that last post about legendary investment consultant Harry Schultz, he might not have been exaggerating when he declared:

Comparisons with the 1930’s are ludicrous.

While searching the WGN-TV (Chicago) website for material related to a different post, I read the following tonight:

Nearly half of all Illinois children lived in poverty last year.

Not good. However, in light of this situation, one school district located just outside of Chicago is now adding dinner to the discounted/free breakfasts and lunches provided to kids from low-income households. From WGN News’ Marcella Raymond yesterday:

Ask anyone who’s hungry, they can’t concentrate when their belly is empty. Now one suburban school district is making sure kids have enough to eat before they go home to sometimes bare cupboards.

90% of the students at Brady Elementary in Aurora receive reduced or free breakfast and lunch. Now about 50 of them also receive a cold supper, dubbed “a super snack.” It’s a nutritionally balanced, calorie packed meal given after school and before the kids start homework and tutoring.

The Northern Illinois Food Bank provides the meal to all 16 schools in the district.

Five years ago the Northern Illinois Food Bank fed about 1,000 students a day. Now it’s nearly 5,000.

Raymond noted that these “super snacks” were being paid for by both tax dollars and donations. She wrote:

The Super Snack program is only 75% federally subsidized. The rest is made up through donations to the Northern Illinois Food Bank.

The program is not just limited to this particular Illinois school district. In fact, it appears the federal government is looking to expand the initiative. The Chicago Tribune’s Tara Malone wrote on January 26:

This year, 333 schools across Illinois, about 85 percent of them in Chicago, dished up dinner with help from a federal initiative that targets low-income students in an effort to narrow the nutrition gap. Demand spikes in January and February, state records show.

Federal officials plan to expand school dinners as part of the reauthorized Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. Championed by the first lady, the law extends to all states the federal reimbursement for school suppers, a program initially limited to Illinois, 12 other states and the District of Columbia.

Well-meaning program. Not sure if the money to keep it running will be around in the future though.

Sources:

Raymond, Marcella. “Aurora schools adding dinner to school menus.” WGN-TV. 30 Jan. 2011. (http://www.wgntv.com/news/coverstory/wgntv-aurora-super-snack-program-jan26,0,7148491.story). 31 Jan. 2011.

Malone, Tara. “Dinner bell follows school bell for some students.” Chicago Tribune. 26 Jan. 2011. (http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-01-26/news/ct-met-school-dinners-20110126_1_school-nutrition-programs-supper-school-bell). 31 Jan. 2011.

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Monday, January 31st, 2011 Government, Poverty, Signs Of The Time, Spending No Comments

Public Safety Layoffs Continue

Some of you may have heard the following story before in my old blog (Boom2Bust.com), so please bear with me as I share it with new readers.

Back around 2006 or so I was working with a suburban fire department in the Chicagoland area when a battalion chief forwarded me an article about how local governments, in an attempt to save money, might lay off firefighters and turn to private fire departments instead. By this time, it was already clear to me that municipalities and other local governmental entities were going to be in a world of hurt from the coming financial crisis. Anyway, I happened to mention the piece about privatizing firefighter services to the secretary who worked in the fire prevention division. She became very defensive and declared that something like that would never happen as firefighter unions and residents wouldn’t stand for it. Of course, her response was somewhat predictable as both she and her husband were employed by municipal fire departments (her spouse worked as a firefighter in a nearby community). While I hope she and her husband are doing well, a growing number of firefighters, police officers, and other public safety personnel are not these days. Their layoffs continue to make headlines- despite protests from unions and residents. From The Beacon-News (Illinois) on January 4:

The Aurora Police Department began the year with eight fewer officers, as the layoff notices handed out last month became official at the start of the new year.

The eight officers laid off all serve in the patrol ranks and are all members of the Association of Professional Police Officers, the union that represents the rank-and-file officers. While city officials said they are still open to concession talks with the police union, the officers have been let go, chief management officer Carie Anne Ergo confirmed Monday.

From the law enforcement website Officer.com last week:

Layoffs notices officially took effect for 160 Cleveland firefighters, police officers and emergency medical technicians on Monday.

The city’s public safety director said the cutbacks of 67 cops could be rescinded.

“The Fraternal Order of Police, the union that represents all police supervisors will devote tomorrow. And I am hopefully, actually very confident, that they’ll make some contract concessions. Because, if they do, the series of demotions and reassignments that we’ve done can be receded and they can be rescinded very, very quickly,” Martin Flask said.

Seventeen ambulances were on the street Monday and that’s two more than budget cuts called for. Six emergency technicians have lost jobs.

With a $23 million shortfall in the city budget, only concessions by unions can bring back those laid off.

From the Associated Press yesterday:

St. Clair County now has 13 fewer sheriff’s deputies.

The deputies were laid off over the weekend as part of a budget impasse, having earlier this month unanimously rejected the county’s contract offer.

The southwestern Illinois county says the layoffs are the only way it could afford the 9.5 percent pay increases an arbitrator ordered for the deputies.

County Board Chairman Mark Kern has cited the recession and the state’s financial problems as reasons why the county can’t afford to keep all the deputies and give them the raises.

Last, but not least, also from the AP on Wednesday:

Some firefighters turned in their helmets and police officers their badges Tuesday as part of deep municipal layoffs destined to further erode the quality of life in Camden [New Jersey], already one of the nation’s most impoverished and crime-ridden cities.

About 335 workers, representing one-sixth of the local government work force, lost their jobs, according to Mayor Dana Redd. It was worst in the public safety departments, where nearly half the police force and close to one-third of the city’s firefighters were laid off.

Laid-off firefighters walked eight blocks together from the police union hall to Fire Department headquarters, snaking past City Hall, then lined up their helmets in front of the building, picked them back up and started to turn them in along with their other gear.

“It’s one of the worst days in the history of Camden,” said Ken Chambers, president of the firefighters union.

Redd blamed the public safety employee cuts on their unions, saying they have not been willing to make job-saving concessions or accept the reality that the state government will no longer bail out the city as it has for the past two generations.

“Instead of protecting and serving the city, the residents of Camden, they’re choosing to protect their high salaries,” she said.

I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside both fire service and law enforcement personnel over the years, and it’s a shame all this is taking place. If you happen to live in a community affected by such cutbacks, you should probably factor in longer response times from public safety personnel in an emergency plans you might have. You are now left with more responsibility for your personal well-being, whether a situation demands medical attention or defending one’s self. And if your community is pondering such layoffs, it’s probably a good time to remind local leaders how public safety always takes precedent over non-essential services, especially when it comes to slashing budgets.

Sources:

Hanley, Matt. “New year sees 8 Aurora police officers laid off.” The Beacon-News. 4 Jan. 2011. (http://beaconnews.suntimes.com/3143459-417/officers-appo-police-concessions-layoffs.html). 19 Jan. 2011.

“Sixty-Seven Cleveland Police Officers Laid Off.” Officer.com. 12 Jan. 2011. (http://www.officer.com/web/online/Top-News-Stories/Sixty-Seven-Cleveland-Police-Officers-Laid-Off/1$50110). 19 Jan. 2011.

“13 St. Clair Co. deputies laid off.” Associated Press. 18 Jan. 2011. (http://www.bnd.com/2011/01/18/1555306/13-st-clair-co-deputies-laid-off.html). 19 Jan. 2011.

“Deep layoffs take effect in struggling NJ city.” Associated Press. 18 Jan. 2011. (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jbD_xfx6m3W6rE35l564keuPLYDQ?docId=21a3c8c7e6084748ba4640ea820a9ff5). 19 Jan. 2011.

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Survival And Prosperity
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Christopher E. Hill, Editor

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