shotguns

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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Gun Registration Often Leads To Confiscation, As New Yorkers Find Out Once More

Why Gun Rights Advocates Oppose Gun Registration

A centralized registration system is the one usually proposed by gun control activists, and it is the type most feared by gun rights advocates. At the heart of resistance to registration is the belief that it encourages firearm prohibitions and ultimately leads to confiscation. (It is also why many choose not to comply and register weapons already owned.)

Those who favor more gun control often accuse gun owners of being paranoid, but the track record of firearms registration is not a good one.”

-GunCite.com, popular firearms information website, August 24, 2007

Supporters of more gun “control” in the United States routinely push for the registration of firearms.

And, “Don’t worry,” they like to say, “No one is going to take away your guns.”

Problem is, history repeatedly shows otherwise.

I blogged backed on January 14, 2013:

Gun registration often leads to confiscation. From the latest edition of Gun Facts, a popular firearm reference book:

Myth: Registration does not lead to confiscation

Fact: It did in Canada. The handgun registration law of 1934 was the source used to identify and confiscate (without compensation) over half of the registered handguns in 2001.
Fact: It did in Germany. The (before the Nazis came into power) required all firearms to be registered. When Hitler came into power, the existing lists were used for confiscating weapons.
Fact: It did in Australia. In 1996, the Australian government confiscated over 660,000 previously legal weapons from their citizens.
Fact: It did in California. The 1989 Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act required registration. Due to shifting definitions of “assault weapons,” many legal firearms are now being confiscated by the California government.
Fact: It did in New York City. In 1967, New York City passed an ordinance requiring a citizen to obtain a permit to own a rifle or shotgun, which would then be registered. In 1991, the city passed a ban on the private possession of some semi-automatic rifles and shotguns, and “registered” owners were told that those firearms had to be surrendered, rendered inoperable, or taken out of the city.
Fact: It did in Bermuda, Cuba, Greece, Ireland, Jamaica, and Soviet Georgia as well.

Now, you can add the “Big Apple” to that list for a second time. Edmund DeMarche reported on the FOX News website earlier today:

The New York City Police Department is taking aim at owners of shotguns and rifles capable of holding more than five rounds, demanding such guns be surrendered, altered or taken out of the city.

The demand came in the form of some 500 letters mailed out to owners of registered long guns that are in violation of a 2010 city ordinance. The first option for the letter’s recipient is to, “Immediately surrender your Rifle and/or Shotgun to your local police precinct, and notify this office of the invoice number. The firearm may be sold or permanently removed from the City of New York thereafter.”

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

“Surrendered, altered or taken out of the city.”

Sound familiar?

“Question: Why is it, every time I buy and register a gun in New York City, it gets confiscated?

Man, funk dat!”


Sagat, “Funk Dat” (1993)
YouTube Video

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

Sources:

Smith, Guy. Gun Facts Version 6.1. Guy Smith, 2012.

DeMarche, Edmund. “NYPD cracks down on long guns that hold more than five rounds.” FOX News. 5 Dec. 2013. (http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/12/05/nypd-targets-owners-multi-clip-shotguns-rifles/?intcmp=latestnews). 5 Dec. 2013.

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Illinois State Police Gun Ranges Open To Deer Hunters November 16 For Test-Firing Shotguns

Illinois readers looking to test fire their shotguns for the upcoming deer hunting season may be interested in the following press release from the Illinois State Police yesterday. From their website:

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois State Police (ISP) announced today its firing ranges will be open on November 16 to deer hunters for sighting in and test-firing their shotguns in a safe environment for the upcoming deer hunting season.

“The Open Range Program is offered in an effort to promote hunting safety by giving hunters access to ISP ranges for the purpose of sighting in their shotguns,” said ISP Director Hiram Grau. “This will provide an opportunity for shotguns to be checked in a controlled environment, with firearms experts present, ensuring the safe and appropriate use of the shotgun,” he added.

The Open Range Program is a collaborative effort organized every year by the Illinois State Police and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).

“This is a great program for hunters to make sure their equipment is in proper working order before going afield. I appreciate the Illinois State Police and their commitment to promote the safety of our sportsmen and women in Illinois,” said IDNR Director Marc Miller.

The public is asked to call one of the ranges listed below before the scheduled date to make a reservation. Targets will be provided, and there is no charge for use of the range. Participants must possess a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) card, provide their own ammunition and transport the firearm legally by having it unloaded and enclosed in a case. The Open Range Program is not part of the Concealed Carry License program. Handguns will not be permitted at the ISP Ranges.

The following ISP Ranges will be open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on November 16, in Joliet, LaSalle, Macomb, Pawnee, and Pittsfield…

You can read the rest of the press release and retrieve range information on the Illinois State Police website here.

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

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Friday, November 15th, 2013 Firearms, Government, Hunting, Public Safety 2 Comments

White House ‘Fact Sheet’ On New Gun ‘Control’ Initiatives

“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”

-Rahm Emanuel, then-chief of staff for then-President-elect Barack Obama, Wall Street Journal CEO Council, November 19, 2008

While many Americans are distracted by the possibility of American military intervention in Syria, U.S. President Barack Obama has announced new gun “control” initiatives. From the White House website today:

FACT SHEET: New Executive Actions to Reduce Gun Violence

Today, the Obama administration announced two new common-sense executive actions to keep the most dangerous firearms out of the wrong hands and ban almost all re-imports of military surplus firearms to private entities. These executive actions build on the 23 executive actions that the Vice President recommended as part of the comprehensive gun violence reduction plan and the President unveiled on January 16, 2013.

Even as Congress fails to act on common-sense proposals, like expanding criminal background checks and making gun trafficking a federal crime, the President and Vice President remain committed to using all the tools in their power to make progress toward reducing gun violence.

Building on the 23 Executive Actions the President and Vice President Unveiled Last January

• Last December, the President asked the Vice President to develop a series of recommendations to reduce gun violence. On January 16, 2013, they released these proposals, including 23 executive actions. With the first Senate confirmation of an ATF Director on July 31, 2013, the Administration has completed or made significant progress on 22 of the 23 executive actions. The new executive actions unveiled today build on this successful effort.

Closing a Loophole to Keep Some of the Most Dangerous Guns Out of the Wrong Hands

• Current law places special restrictions on many of the most dangerous weapons, such as machine guns and short-barreled shotguns. These weapons must be registered, and in order to lawfully possess them, a prospective buyer must undergo a fingerprint-based background check.
• However, felons, domestic abusers, and others prohibited from having guns can easily evade the required background check and gain access to machine guns or other particularly dangerous weapons by registering the weapon to a trust or corporation. At present, when the weapon is registered to a trust or corporation, no background check is run. ATF reports that last year alone, it received more than 39,000 requests for transfers of these restricted firearms to trusts or corporations.
• Today, ATF is issuing a new proposed regulation to close this loophole. The proposed rule requires individuals associated with trusts or corporations that acquire these types of weapons to undergo background checks, just as these individuals would if the weapons were registered to them individually. By closing this loophole, the regulation will ensure that machine guns and other particularly dangerous weapons do not end up in the wrong hands.

Keeping Surplus Military Weapons Off Our Streets

• When the United States provides military firearms to its allies, either as direct commercial sales or through the foreign military sales or military assistance programs, those firearms may not be imported back into the United States without U.S. government approval. Since 2005, the U.S. Government has authorized requests to reimport more than 250,000 of these firearms.
• Today, the Administration is announcing a new policy of denying requests to bring military-grade firearms back into the United States to private entities, with only a few exceptions such as for museums. This new policy will help keep military-grade firearms off our streets.

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

Source:

“FACT SHEET: New Executive Actions to Reduce Gun Violence.” The White House. 29 Aug. 2013. (http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/08/29/fact-sheet-new-executive-actions-reduce-gun-violence). 29 Aug. 2013.

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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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Free Shotguns For Chicago Residents?

Ever hear of the Armed Citizen Project? From the Houston, Texas-based initiative’s website:

The Armed Citizen Project is dedicated to facilitating the arming of law abiding citizens, and analyzing the relationship between increased firearm availability and rates. We are choosing mid-high crime neighborhoods in cities across America, and offering defensive weapons to citizens that can pass a background check, and that will take our safety, legal, and tactical training. The data that we collect will be used in the completion of a policy study.

According to the CBS Chicago website Saturday night, in reference to an announcement the group made at the National Rifle Association national convention that wrapped up Sunday in downtown Houston:

They aim to give out shotguns to people in fifteen cities including Chicago…

[Group founder Kyle] Coplen says they want to come to Chicago but are checking with their lawyers to make sure any legal concerns are addressed ahead of time.

Chicago has traditionally had more restrictive gun laws, and that’s why the armed citizen project says they want in so they can put their theory to the test here.

The Armed Citizen Project website shows they’re currently active in Tucson, Arizona, as well as Houston, where they have already helped 15 women better protect their families.

For more information about the initiative, you can visit their website here.

Which might be worth your while, as they’re giving away an AR-15- laser engraved with their logo- later in the week on Friday, May 10.

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

Source:

“Group Wants To Give Out Free Shotguns In Chicago.” CBS Chicago. 4 May 2013. (http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2013/05/04/group-wants-to-give-out-free-shotguns-in-chicago/). 5 May 2013.

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Monday, May 6th, 2013 Crime, Firearms, Self-Defense No Comments

VP Biden Says Chicago-Area Democratic Primary Result Sends ‘Clear Unequivocal Signal’ To NRA And Politicians

Before I move away from the topic of firearms and gun rights, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden decided to weigh-in on the victory of pro-gun “control” candidate Robin Kelly in the U.S. Congressional 2nd District (Chicago south suburbs plus more) Democratic primary this past Tuesday. According to Reuters’ Roberta Rampton yesterday, Biden told a group of state attorney generals:

For the first time since Newtown, voters sent a clear unequivocal signal… The voters sent a message last night, not just to the NRA, but to the politicians all around the country. There will be a moral price as well as a political price to be paid for inaction.

I’m going to disagree with the VP here. I’d guess that many observers familiar with “The Chicago Way” interpreted the primary as once again demonstrating that race, gobs of money, and having the blessing of “The Machine” wins elections here in the Chicagoland area. And local politicians screaming about the need for more gun “control” is just one more attempt to distract the masses from the crappy economy and huge financial mess these guys have gotten us into ($9 billion in unpaid bills and a $96 billion pension funding gap in Illinois from what I read yesterday).

By the way, going back to that post I published last week about the Vice President answering gun “control” questions at a Parents magazine event and telling one Facebook user they didn’t need an AR-15 for self-defense, get a shotgun instead…


“Buy A Shotgun Joe Biden Lying AR-15”
YouTube Video

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

Source:

Rampton, Roberta. “Biden says Chicago vote a sign that voters want action on guns.” Reuters. 27 Feb. 2013. (http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/27/us-usa-guns-biden-idUSBRE91Q11N20130227). 27 Feb. 2013.

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Joe Biden, Meet Celia Bigelow And Her AR-15

Back on January 28, I was taking a break from blogging to do some laundry when I turned on Varney & Co. on the FOX Business Network. Celia Bigelow, the Director of Campus Action at the national conservative organization American Majority Action, was a guest on the show that day. Host Stuart Varney introduced this leader in the conservative youth movement in America as followed:

Senator Dianne Feinstein wants to ban assault “weapons” like the AR-15. But our next guest disagrees. She says that pepper spray, Mace, or a 5-round handheld are not going to cut it anymore when it comes to women protecting themselves.

She wants an AR-15 assault rifle with a 30-round magazine to defend herself.

Ms. Bigelow went on to tell FOX Business Network viewers:

These guns are lightweight. They are really accurate- I can shoot these guns far more accurately than I can with a handgun or a shotgun. And these 30-round magazines essentially serve as an insurance mechanism because if multiple intruders, especially armed intruders, are entering my home, I don’t want to have to take the time to reload to get the job done.

Earlier today, I noted that Vice President Joe Biden told readers of Parents magazine yesterday:

You don’t need an AR-15. It’s harder to aim, it’s harder to use, and, in fact, you don’t need 30 rounds to protect yourself.


“Bigelow: AR-15 Easier to Shoot as a Woman”
FOX Business Network Video

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

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Wednesday, February 20th, 2013 Ammunition, Firearms, Government, Gun Rights, Self-Defense 4 Comments

Joe Biden: ‘You Don’t Need An AR-15’ For Self-Defense, Buy A Shotgun Instead

Yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden sat down with Parents magazine to answer questions from Facebook users. A number of the questions were related to the ongoing push for more gun “control” by the White House and Democrats. One response in particular is getting a lot of attention today:

KATE: Do you believe that banning certain weapons and “high-capacity” magazines will mean that law-abiding citizens will be more of a target to criminals as we will have no way to sufficiently protect ourselves?
VP BIDEN: Kate, if you want to protect yourself get a double-barrel shotgun, have the shells at 12-gauge shotgun, and I promise you- as I told my wife- we live in an area that’s wooded and somewhat secluded. I said Jill, if there’s ever a problem, just walk out on the balcony here, walk out, put that doubled-barrel shotgun, and fire two blasts outside the house. I promise you whosever coming is not- you don’t need an AR-15. It’s harder to aim, it’s harder to use, and, in fact, you don’t need 30 rounds to protect yourself. Buy a shotgun. Buy a shotgun.

A lot of Americans might give serious consideration to what the Vice President had to say- if it weren’t for the fact that Biden and his family are protected by the United States Secret Service round-the-clock.

Here’s hoping “Capri” (Mrs. Biden’s Secret Service code name, according to freely-available Internet sources) doesn’t hit one of those agents on the Biden’s property should she ever light off that shotgun.


“Vice President Biden Talks to Parents Magazine about Reducing Gun Violence”
Shotgun segment starts at 6 minute 21 seconds
YouTube Video

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

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Signs Of The Time, Part 59

While I admire U.S. Vice President Joe Biden for his long-time service to our country and the passion he’s brought to the various positions he’s held through the years, I was put off by a tyrannical-sounding comment he reportedly made last night while asking House Democrats to keep fighting for gun “control” during their retreat in Lansdowne, Virginia. Kate Nocera wrote on the POLITICO website yesterday:

He told the members attending the retreat that he was unwavering in his belief that the recommendations the task force has put forward are not in violation of the Second Amendment.

“It is clearly within the right of the government to determine what type of weapons can be owned by the public.”

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Unfortunately for the Vice President, the fact is, it is not “clearly within the right of the government to determine what type of weapons can be owned by the public.”

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution reads:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

First off, there’s that phrase “shall not be infringed.”

Secondly, no mention is made of what types of “Arms” the people could- or could not- “keep and bear.” Handgun, shotgun, rifle. Or for those who like to point out the Founding Fathers had no idea of just how far firearm technology would advance by the 21st century- pistol, blunderbuss, musket, rifle. Not a peep.

“Clearly?” Far from it.

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

Source:

Nocera, Kate. “Joe Biden pushes House Dems on gun control.” POLITICO. 6 Feb. 2013. (http://www.politico.com/story/2013/02/joe-biden-pushes-house-dems-on-gun-control-87298.html#ixzz2KG6FPq00). 7. Feb. 2013.

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‘Summary Of 2013 Feinstein Assault Weapons Legislation’ Calls For Gun Registration Besides Bans

New information about U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein’s promised new gun “control” legislation that seeks to ban “assault weapons” and “high-capacity” ammunition magazines has just been released. The California Democrat shares a summary of her proposed bill, entitled “Summary of 2013 Feinstein Assault Weapons Legislation,” on her Senate website. And by the looks of things, it seeks more than just bans. From Senator Feinstein’s website:

Summary of 2013 legislation

Following is a summary of the 2013 legislation:

Bans the sale, transfer, importation, or manufacturing of:
• 120 specifically-named firearms
• Certain other semiautomatic rifles, handguns, shotguns that can accept a detachable magazine and have one military characteristic
• Semiautomatic rifles and handguns with a fixed magazine that can accept more than 10 rounds

Strengthens the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban and various state bans by:
• Moving from a 2-characteristic test to a 1-characteristic test
• Eliminating the easy-to-remove bayonet mounts and flash suppressors from the characteristics test
• Banning firearms with “thumbhole stocks” and “bullet buttons” to address attempts to “work around” prior bans

Bans large-capacity ammunition feeding devices capable of accepting more than 10 rounds.

Protects legitimate hunters and the rights of existing gun owners by:
• Grandfathering weapons legally possessed on the date of enactment
• Exempting over 900 specifically-named weapons used for hunting or sporting purposes and
• Exempting antique, manually-operated, and permanently disabled weapons

Requires that grandfathered weapons be registered under the National Firearms Act, to include:
• Background check of owner and any transferee;
• Type and serial number of the firearm;
• Positive identification, including photograph and fingerprint;
• Certification from local law enforcement of identity and that possession would not violate State or local law; and
• Dedicated funding for ATF to implement registration

Note that part about “requires that grandfathered weapons be registered under the National Firearms Act.”

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

The discussion of the bill summary can be found on her website here. A .pdf of the bill summary is here.

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

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Handgun Stopping Power Findings May Surprise Many

One podcast I listen to on a regular basis is Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk. The weekly show is hosted by nationally-known firearms expert and television host Tom Gresham. It’s so good I designated it as the “Resource Of The Week” back on July 15, 2011.

The other day, I finally got around to listening to the first hour of his Sunday, May 20, broadcast, where Gresham had Ohio-based Active Response Training President and Primary Instructor Greg Ellifritz on as a guest.

What Ellifritz shared with Gun Talk listeners regarding the stopping power of various defensive handgun rounds and calibers was quite revealing.

Perhaps even shocking to some.

You see, the veteran law enforcement officer (16 years on the job) has been interested in firearm stopping power for a long time. So much so that he’s amassed quite a bit of data on this over the years. Ellifritz wrote on the Active Response Training website back on March 18:

Over a 10-year period, I kept track of stopping power results from every shooting I could find. I talked to the participants of gunfights, read police reports, attended autopsies, and scoured the newspapers, magazines, and Internet for any reliable accounts of what happened to the human body when it was shot.

I documented all of the data I could; tracking caliber, type of bullet (if known), where the bullet hit and whether or not the person was incapacitated. I also tracked fatalities, noting which bullets were more likely to kill and which were not. It was an exhaustive project, but I’m glad I did it and I’m happy to report the results of my study here.

I’m glad he did it too- and happy he’s shared his findings with the rest of us.

Because after analyzing nearly 1,800 shootings, Ellifritz found that while the stopping ability of rifle/shotguns was generally superior to handguns (probably not much of a surprise to many firearm enthusiasts), “there really isn’t that much difference between most defensive handgun rounds and calibers.”

Yes, that even includes .22s.

You can read this entire insightful study on the Active Response Training website here.

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On TV: Doomsday Preppers, Episode 6

On Monday, I previewed episode number 6, “Nine Meals Away from Anarchy,” of the National Geographic Channel TV series Doomsday Preppers. This afternoon, I’ll be doing my review of the episode.

The show focused on three prepper groups this past Tuesday. In order of appearance:

Mike Mester and family, suburb of Atlanta, Georgia
“We’re preparing for civil unrest caused by a global economic collapse.”

Preston White, central Colorado
“Preston believes that a cloud of deadly radiation from Fukushima is heading towards the mainland United States and will soon contaminate food and water supplies.”

Riley Cook and family, Silverthorne, Colorado
“I’m preparing my family to survive a polar shift.”

Here are my thoughts about episode 6 of Doomsday Preppers, broken down by prepper group:

Mike Mester and family

Mike Mester is a contractor who lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife, kids, and dogs. Prepping is a way of life for the entire family, so much so that they’ve been doing it for almost a decade. Mike warned:

The way the United States economy works today is not sustainable. We were once the greatest creditor in the world. Now, we are the greatest debtor. Where will all the money come from? Look at the news, look at the papers. Police departments cut. Fire departments cut. What will we do when there’s no one there?

According to the show:

Mike believes that as the global economy falters, the U.S. economy will fall deeper and deeper into debt. Banks will close. Power will go out. Basic services will grind to a halt.

Which led Mike to ask:

If the grocery shelves are empty, you’re only nine meals away from anarchy. What will happen then? Will you be prepared?

It’s revealed that oldest son Ryan is away at college 250 miles away. Mike declared:

My wife and I, our home is our family. That’s why we want to ensure that we get all our children home when things collapse. We will go to any extent to ensure their safety.

As a result, Ryan’s parents provided him with a “get home” bag full of supplies, including food and water, that will support him for 4 days. In case their son is unable to make it back to the Mester household by himself, his parents have a backup plan in place. Mike explained:

Heaven forbid our oldest boy can’t make it home. That’s why we have plans to retrieve him in 30 days.

From the show:

Mike believes that after an economic collapse, rioting will spread from urban centers in waves, with violence cresting in the first few weeks. So 30 days is a key timeframe for braving the road.

Mr. Mester suspects gasoline will be hard to come by in an economic collapse, so he stores 50 gallons of it out in his garage. He replenishes his stockpile every 3 months to keep the gas fresh. Viewers were also informed in the episode:

He is also teaching his son Kyle methods for stealing gasoline, if necessary.

Nice. How about:

He is also teaching his son Kyle methods for recovering gasoline from abandoned/disabled vehicles in a societal collapse.

It’s just not the humans who are prepping in the Mester household. Their two German Shepherd dogs, Storm and Thunder, both have bug-out bags and were later shown to be receiving training for protecting the home and family.

Putting his logistician background to good work, Mike has amassed and organized an impressive stockpile of food and water. It’s revealed 3 rooms of his 4,500 square-foot house are dedicated to food storage. He estimated they have 2 years of food for 10 people. Viewers are also informed:

Mike stores thousands of cans, sometimes for years past their expiration date. Expired food might not taste good, but Mike knows it could keep his family alive in a crisis.

Mike added:

There’s a difference between shelf life and life-sustaining. In Third World countries, they use rancid cooking oil. Certainly, it will not hurt you.

Another interesting bit of info provided about the Mester family’s preps was the alternative fuel source they were shown fabricating and stockpiling. They collect dead leaves in the fall and combine them with newspaper to create an alternative fuel source. The mixture is soaked in water for 5 days, the slurry is compressed to remove the liquid, and briquettes are formed and air-dried for a week to serve as emergency heating and cooking sources. Very nice.

Like a number of other suburban preppers, Mike and his family recognize the potential threats from living so close to a major American city should a SHTF situation arise- and are preparing accordingly. Mike said:

Security is an important part of the prepper’s lifestyle. If there’s an economic collapse, civil unrest will likely ensue the metropolitan areas, then spread out to the suburbs. Downtown Atlanta is only 45 miles away. We don’t know how fast that civil unrest will get to us, but we certainly will be prepared if it does.

The Mester family possesses a battery of home-defense firearms and a stockpile of ammunition, and trains monthly at the shooting range.

Mike left viewers with this thought:

If you think the government’s going to be there, are you going to sit back and wait for the cavalry? They may never come. So what are you going to do about it? Why don’t you start to prepare? Because it’s your personal responsibility.

In the “Expert Assessment” portion of the Mester segment, Practical Preppers LLC recommended:

You need to put your leadership skills to use in your community. Getting your neighbors aware of, and involved in your prepping, will only make your family more secure in a crisis situation.

Excellent advice. But I’d add, that depends on the neighbors. I’ve lived next to my share of wackjobs over the years. And here in Chicago, where a good number of the residents have bought into the notion of “cradle-to-grave” care and protection by the Nanny State, preppers/survivalists and firearm owners are looked upon with intense suspicion, if not disgust.

Finally, in the “Doomsday Preppers Update” portion, Mike Mester indicated that the family was planning to grow a 1,000 square foot garden in their backyard. Those who lived in Russia in the aftermath of the Soviet Union’s collapse will attest to how important a food garden is when society breaks down.

Preston White

Preston White is a web developer who lives in central Colorado. The recent disaster at the Fukushima power plant in Japan got him prepping. From the show:

Preston believes that a cloud of deadly radiation from Fukushima is heading towards the mainland United States and will soon contaminate food and water supplies.

White said:

People need to know Japan should be evacuated. California, Oregon, and Washington should be evacuated.

Convinced of this radioactive contamination, White makes putting together a seed bank a top priority. From the episode:

Believing that radioactive fallout from Japan will contaminate the American food chain, Preston is creating a seed bank, a store of fruit and vegetable seeds that can be used to grow radiation-free food in a post-apocalyptic world.

White has amassed so many seeds, he is shown displaying 11,000 different types for viewers. He explained:

A non-prepper might look at my supply and say, “Are you kidding me?” But if something happens- I win this game. People that aren’t prepared- they lose this game.

In the episode, Preston White worked with other preppers (Shane Anderson, Richard Dudas) to plant his seeds and create a radiation-free farm. A key component to the farm is the biosphere tent system, which acts as barrier to radioactive fallout while allowing enough light in to grow food year-round. In addition, these tents can be broken down/set up fast and easily transported should the situation call for it.

Besides growing food, these tents were also purchased so people can live in them. At this point in the episode, local Russell Preister brought in and demonstrated an HHO generator/home heater prototype that would hopefully provide energy, clean radiation-free water, and purified oxygen for the plant and human occupants. According to the show:

The HHO generator can turn water into highly-flammable gas by using electrolysis to separate water’s hydrogen and oxygen atoms. It can literally turn water into fire… HHO technology has become increasingly popular, with plans to build home generators readily available on the Internet.

Like the Mester family, White has a battery of home-defense firearms. He said:

If you’re a prepper, there’s 4 guns to have. You’ve got a 30-06 to kill a deer, shotgun, 22 rifle to protect your home, and a 9mm pistol. A sidearm for close contact. The guns I chose, I chose for defense.

Hope he meant to say that 22 rifle is a .223.

After learning a valuable lesson about violating operational security (OPSEC), White remarked:

I was faced with death. Decided I wasn’t going to be a victim. It changed my life the way I live tomorrow. I can affect my picture, and that’s what you do by prepping.

In the “Doomsday Preppers Update” portion of this segment, Preston said:

I’m hoping in the future to pick up a motor home and make it into a really good bug-out vehicle.

I always thought a mobile bug-out location was a neat idea. For those who can’t afford a fixed BOL, it might be worth investigating.

Riley Cook and family

Riley Cook is a welder living in Silverthorne, Colorado, with his wife and four kids. According to the show:

Riley believes that during his lifetime, there will be a catastrophic polar shift, a movement of the Earth’s North and South Poles along the Earth’s mantle. And this drastic geological change will unleash a litany of natural disasters.

The Cook family began seriously prepping 5 years ago. It was revealed they have already spent around $300,000 on prepping.

Prepping has become such an integral part of their lives, the Cook family’s welding shop recently became a disaster shelter building business. Because they construct customized underground bunkers, all sorts of features can be incorporated into a project. Even an incinerator to eliminate pesky intruders. Riley explained:

That’s what you get when you combine a prepper and a welder.

Getting back to the episode:

A bunker buried at a distant bug-out location is only effective if you can get to it. Riley expects that the catastrophic nature of a polar shift will cause severe fuel shortages. So he has used his expert welding skills to solve the problem of transportation. His latest prepping tool is a custom-made Cook original that he hopes will allow his family to carry supplies without needing a car or truck.

Riley designed and built a 100 lb. hand-crafted aluminum cart that allows him to haul almost 9 times his body weight by distributing loads like a horse and cart. In this case, Riley is the horse. It’s also water-tight and can float in a body of water. Pretty cool.

Not surprisingly, the Cook family has an underground survival shelter located at 11,200 feet in the Colorado mountains 10 miles from civilization. During the episode, Riley, his wife Sara(h?), and their kids are shown practicing bugging-out in severe weather up an unplowed, snow-covered mountain pass to the bunker. From the show:

Emergency preparedness experts suggest that you practice evacuating your home at least twice a year, and plot alternate routes in case roads become impassable.

Great advice.

The Cook family eventually made it to their “cabin,” and proceeded to hunker down for the remainder of their stay.

Overall, a really good episode. As I said in my preview earlier in the week, a lot of viewers can probably relate to the Mester family in the suburbs, the Cook family in the small town, and even Preston White out in central Colorado. And this week, a number of ideas (food gardens, HHO generators/home heaters, motor homes, etcetera) were introduced that might be worth looking into.

I wish these three prepper groups success in their endeavors.

New episodes of Doomsday Preppers air on the National Geographic Channel Tuesday nights at 9 PM Eastern/Pacific Time. For more information, go to the Nat Geo Channel website here.

And before I forget, have you seen the new Doomsday Preppers TV commercial yet? When I first heard it, I thought it sounded so similar to the beverage commercials from the late 70s/early 80s it had me wondering if the original crew hadn’t been hired to produce it…


“I’m a Prepper, You’re a Prepper”
YouTube Video

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On TV: Doomsday Preppers, Episode 5

This weekend I got around to reviewing episode number 5 of National Geographic Channel’s new TV series Doomsday Preppers. “You Shall Not Fear,” which aired on February 28, focused on three prepper groups. In order of appearance:

Michael Douglas and family, Augusta, Maine
“I’m preparing for overpopulation to reach critical mass”

Larry Hall, Kansas plains
“I’m building a luxury survival condominium to protect against solar flare, worldwide economic collapse, or anything Mother Nature could throw at us”

Becky Brown, Salt Lake City, Utah
“Because of our nation’s high unemployment rate, Becky believes that the economy will collapse, causing the government to forcibly take over and declare martial law, which would dismantle democracy, and strip American citizens of their basic constitutional rights.”

Here are my thoughts about episode 5 of Doomsday Preppers, broken down by prepper group:

Michael Douglas and family

Michael Douglas is a former U.S. Marine who is now a wilderness school instructor. He lives on a 30-acre farm in Augusta, Maine, with his wife and three kids.

Michael is concerned about overpopulation. According to the Nat Geo Channel:

The global population first reached 1 billion in 1804. In only 200 years, the global population has soared from 1 billion to 7 billion. Researchers believe that the planet can only sustain a limited number of people. And Michael fears, that we are fast approaching critical mass, and will soon exceed the world’s carrying capacity.

The prepper added:

Overpopulation reaches critical mass, soils will be depleted and turn into deserts. Once those deserts establish themselves, it’s irreversible. Giant dust clouds turning the sky red for days will cover the landscape. What’s going to happen? Massive food riots in the streets. Violence. A gallon of water would cost more than a gallon of gas.

Not only has Michael been developing his survival skills for the last 20 years, but he’s also been teaching his three kids to be preppers and to be able to live off the land. He explained:

It’s important to have every family member on board if we are to survive as a family.

Michael predicts food and water shortages ahead. The farm produces food and has 400 gallons of water cached. However, he thinks the key to his family’s survival is to become “hunter-gatherers.”

Instead of utilizing traditional alarm systems, Michael has been teaching his kids to decipher alerts among the local bird population. He believes this gives them around 5 minutes warning of approaching danger. While this sounds good on the surface, what if there are no birds present in an area at a particular time? Or what if another sound (farm equipment, or steadily falling rain, for example) drowns out the birds? Then there’s the evening, when the family retires indoors to bed. The Douglas family might want to consider adding additional layers of alarms, such as a battery of motion detectors, particularly for those times when they’re inside their residence.

On the topic of protection, the show revealed:

Most preppers stock up on firearms for self-defense. But Michael does not possess guns. He believes population would cause ammunition to become a finite resource, and he does not want to become dependent on it.

Instead, the Douglas family uses martial arts, the tomahawk, and the throwing stick to protect themselves.

While I’m glad to hear that the family is paying attention to their personal safety, I wonder about the tools they’ve chosen. Martial arts has a limited effective range, as does the tomahawk and throwing stick. Introduce a firearm like a carbine or battle rifle into the equation and they could have a real problem. Also, in a confrontation, you’re likely talking about one tomahawk/one “stick,” one throw. Advantage, “high-capacity” magazine? Finally, while the family may be able to effectively deal with one or a small number of lightly-armed intruders with what they’re working with, I’m concerned the outcome might be different in other circumstances. The more bad guys, armament, training, and distance of engagement, the more likely the attackers will prevail.

Ammunition availability is a major concern for many preppers. The solution I often come across in my research? Get out there and start buying ammo, and be sure to “stack ‘em high and stack ‘em deep.”

Michael said he conducts self-defense drills every day, multiple times a day, and often without warning. That sounds great, although I hope he doesn’t end up like Cato from the Pink Panther movies some day.

The children are being guided towards a “rite of passage” event in which they are to recognize they have the essential skills they need to survive. In the episode, the middle child, 12-year-old Ryan, was undergoing such a rite. Initially, Ryan was shown as not being too interested in the whole program. The young man even said:

I don’t need to know all the different skills that he teaches me. Like, for the food, pizza. Fire, matches. Water, sink. Not drinking out of moss.

His rite was to require of Ryan to build a shelter and a fire using a blow drill and piece of notched wood. Turns out, Ryan was pretty darn good at doing both.

Michael Douglas is not one for accumulating survival “toys.” He announced:

A lot of preppers get sooo infatuated with new toys. They’re temporary conveniences that will rust, fall apart, break, get lost.

Great point- which is why preppers should obtain the best-quality “toys” they can afford.

Larry Hall

Larry Hall is an engineer turned real estate developer who is building luxury survival condos somewhere on the plains in Kansas. The condos are being constructed out of former nuclear missile silos. The structure is 14 stories deep (175 feet), embedded in up to 9 feet of concrete. It will contain room for 70 residents, including Larry, his wife, and 6-year-old son. He said:

The survival condo project is a one size fits all solution to solar flares and loss of the grid, avian bird flu, a nuclear explosion, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions.

The complex is stocked with a combination of freeze-dried and dehydrated food- approximately 5 years’ worth of food for each resident at 2,500 calories per day. Psychologists were consulted and recommendations implemented (high ceilings, for example) when dealing with potential “cabin fever.” Artificial windows, available with a number of different scenes, are being built into the structure. Redundancy has been achieved for key life support systems.

According to Hall, residents of the complex will perform preventative maintenance and man security details. The structure is almost completely hidden from view. A half-million dollar 4-stage security plan is in place:

• Security Stage One- 7-foot high perimeter fence
• Security Stage Two- Complex surveillance system monitoring interior/exterior
• Security Stage Three- Concrete-encased entrance offers protection for armed defenders
• Security Stage Four- 70 armed, battle-ready residents can be mustered if necessary

Each condo unit will be offered for between $1 to $2 million. A prospective buyer by the name of Sara(h?) visited the complex during filming. From the show:

Many Americans can identify with Sara(h)’s sense of impending dread. A recent poll found that 41 percent of Americans feel that preparing for a disastrous event is more important than saving for retirement. And over half believe some kind of catastrophic event will occur in the next 10 years.

Near the end of the second part of the show, Larry Hall offered up this little nugget of advice to viewers:

Be prepared, because you don’t want to deal with the alternative.

In the “Expert Assessment” section, Practical Preppers suggested:

However, you should think about recruiting inhabitants with advanced skills sets, including those with medical and military training.

Great advice. Larry responded with:

I agree 100 percent with that comment. We attempted to do just that, but given the economic conditions that we have today, that option became overcome by events, for lack of a better term.

I think I get what Hall is trying to say here. If that’s the case, the project leaders might want to coordinate top-notch training with the future inhabitants as soon as they sign on the dotted line.

One last thing. Residents who live some distance from the Kansas complex must figure out how to get to the bug-out location safely and promptly when all hell is breaking loose. Otherwise, their purchase might be for nothing. I wonder if this is something the project assists with (providing armed escort and transportation that is strategically-positioned around the country, for example) or is each party on their own. I’m guessing it’s the latter due to the significant costs that would be involved with the former.

Becky Brown

Becky Brown is a thirtysomething business school student living in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was introduced in the episode with:

Because of our nation’s high unemployment rate, Becky believes that the economy will collapse, causing the government to forcibly take over and declare martial law, which would dismantle democracy, and strip American citizens of their basic constitutional rights.

Brown herself added:

I foresee the government takeover happening within the next year or two. Honestly.

Brown is pretty intense about her prepping. She spends 4 hours a day thinking about prepping. She revealed that she has spent $50,000 on preps to-date- $30,000 in the last year alone.

Brown lives near the Utah State Capitol building. She said:

Having the Capitol right behind me is a constant reminder that the government could declare martial law and take over the city. So, it’s a blessing that I’m living so close to be able to put the clues together.

Then again, one can put the clues together while not living so close to a high-profile government facility. Her proximity to this building might make bugging-in and bugging-out more difficult in a SHTF event. Or it might work in her favor, as the amount of security in the area might provide some stability in a major crisis. I’d still keep an eye out for a good bug-out location though.

Brown dedicates 200 square feet of her 1,800 square foot apartment to supplies and preps. She fears water will be in short supply during a major crisis:

We won’t have a water supply. They’re going to hold the water for the most elite.

Brown owns several bug-out bags. Preppers are often known to utilize a vehicle bug-out bag and an everyday carry bag, or EDC bag, in addition to their main bug-out bag positioned at their residence.

Becky owns a stun gun, but not a firearm. She said:

I’m a girl, I’m feminine. I’m not supposed to love guns.

However, she added:

But you get in a different mentality when you’re protecting your family, and your home, and the things that are most important to you.

Consequently, she is shown receiving firearm instruction from a friend of hers, a “professional contract sniper.” In addition to some handgun training, she is given a scoped bolt-action sniper rifle for hitting targets 1,000 yards away. She explained:

I’m taking sniper training, because then I can keep people as far away as I needed to.

She proceeded to hit targets out to 200 yards with the long gun. That’s great, but I can’t help but wonder if she shouldn’t be concentrating on learning fighting skills in a particular order. Based on her not owning a firearm and living in an urban environment, she might want to consider learning hand-to-hand fighting skills first. After this is done, perhaps training in basic handgun, basic shotgun, and basic rifle should be pursued, possibly in that order. Sniper training might be further down the list of priorities for her, considering her personal circumstances.

In the “Expert Assessment” portion of the segment, Practical Preppers recommended to Becky:

If you have to leave Salt Lake City within a matter of minutes, it will be difficult to carry your supplies.

She responded with:

That’s why I have a big-frame hiking backpack , and so that’s the thing I would take if I were on foot.

Since it appears Becky has a large amount of supplies stored in her apartment, being able to take only a backpack-full of supplies in a “Get Out Of Dodge,” or G.O.O.D., situation seems wasteful. If she hasn’t done so already, she might want to select a good bug-out location (place of refuge in a major crisis) and pre-position supplies there and along the primary/alternate routes to the BOL in supply caches.

Becky recently appeared in a YouTube video with updates on improvements she’s made with her preps:


“National Geo Update.MP4″
YouTube Video

Another good episode. Funny how two of the preppers featured didn’t own firearms- although I wonder if Ms. Brown hasn’t changed her mind regarding that. Not as many good ideas worth looking into this time around- although I was intrigued by those artificial windows. I wish these three prepper groups success in their endeavors.

New episodes of Doomsday Preppers air on the National Geographic Channel Tuesday nights at 9 PM Eastern/Pacific Time. For more information, go to the Nat Geo Channel website here.

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On TV: Doomsday Preppers, Episode 3

On Tuesday, February 14, episode 3 of the new National Geographic Channel TV series Doomsday Preppers aired (I blogged about the first two episodes here). In “Back to the Stone Age,” four prepper groups were assessed. In order of appearance:

Tim Ralston and family, suburb of Phoenix, Arizona
“My major concern is an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP.”

Jason Charles and family, New York City, New York
“I’m preparing for the Yellowstone National Park supervolcano to explode.”

Jules Dervaes and family, Pasadena, California
“We’re prepping for the catastrophic collapse of the modern food system.”

Patrick and Lynette Brabble, small town somewhere in North Carolina
“I’m preparing for the downfall of society through hyperinflation.”

Here are my thoughts about episode 3 of Doomsday Preppers, broken down by prepper group:

Tim Ralston and family

Tim is prepping along with his wife and three kids. Ralston informed viewers that at first, his spouse “really wasn’t on the same page” as him when it came to prepping. This situation is something I’ve come across a number of times in my research. Ralston reacted by doing two things. First, he became a “closet prepper,” taking grocery money and keeping a couple dollars back, for example (probably not the greatest idea- if you get caught, the significant other could wonder what else you’re hiding from them). Second, Tim shared information with his wife. He said:

The more information I started to give to her, then it opened her eyes to the potential threats that are out there.

Gradually taking the time to discuss the hazards that exist out there in the world these days, and explaining how prepping is like an insurance policy that aims to protect your current lifestyle in case something real bad happens, may be a more effective way to get a partner and/or family members on board with the program than bombarding them all at once with scarier-than-hell images.

Tim considers himself a “prepper entrepreneur,” in that he and his business partners invent survival tools. One of their inventions featured on the episode is the Crovel, which combines thirteen different tools into a five pound package. Besides being a multifunction tool, it can also serve as a weapon, as Tim and his partners demonstrated on a deceased pig during the show. The shovel and crowbar multi-tool looks real promising.

Tim and his family are constructing a “secret desert bunker” as a “bug-out” location. He is building the shelter out of shipping containers. He explained:

The reason I chose a shipping container is it’s already got all the reinforced walls. We don’t have much time, so it’s already pre-fabbed for us. All we’re doing is building up the insides.

According to the show, these containers cost around $2,500 each. In addition, they’re also thought to be EMP-proof, which is important to Ralston. Like the Crovel, the shipping container also seems worth exploring.

Every couple of weeks, the Ralston family practices “bugging out” to their desert bunker. In the episode, the Ralstons are shown loading up a trailer behind what looks to be a late-model Jeep Wrangler, and then departing. Should that vehicle be hit by an electromagnetic pulse of the magnitude Tim fears, I’m not so sure how EMP-resistant it will be. Perhaps they’ve had some work done to it, if that’s possible.

Something that plenty of viewers probably weren’t expecting was Tim Ralston suffering an accidental gunshot wound during firearm training in the desert with his sons. Did he shoot himself, or was it the result of a misfire/something else? Ralston said:

It was one of those malfunctions. My thumb went in front of the barrel, and it went off.

Regardless, I wish him a complete recovery. Others might shy away from firearms after an incident like this, but Tim proclaims a prepper/survivalist mentality, as evidenced by the following statement:

As a prepper, the most important tool is your mind. We have a survivor’s mindset. Things like this, you can persevere, you can push through.

Jason Charles and family

Jason is prepping because he believes the Yellowstone National Park supervolcano is going to explode and New York City will be negatively-impacted by the event. He is worried about the resulting ash cloud falling back down to earth in NYC, clogging lungs and the water system, among other things. However, significant ash fallout from such an eruption is not expected on the East Coast. Historic fallout maps from past Yellowstone supervolcano events show the volcanic debris zone stopping just short and west of the Mississippi River.

Jason revealed he has ten bladed weapons. On firearms, the New York City firefighter says:

Why do I have so many knives? Well, you can’t have a gun. So, this is as good as it gets.

From what I understand, since it’s pretty difficult to get a handgun license in New York City, residents take the easier route and apply for a rifle/shotgun permit. As many of you probably already know, shotguns are an effective home defense firearm.

As part of their “bug-in” strategy for their urban apartment, the Charles family is shown dispersing crushed glass in front of their unit’s door. Jason said:

For a bug-in situation, I keep a box of crushed glass by the door for security.

I’m guessing the reason for this is two-fold:

1. The noise made when the glass shards are stepped on will alert the Charles family that someone is approaching the door of their apartment.

2. The broken glass makes it look like their apartment has already been looted.

Am I missing anything else?

The family also fills up a WaterBOB in their bathroom. Looks like a neat piece of equipment. From the WaterBOB website:

The waterBOB is a water containment system that holds up to 100 gallons of fresh drinking water in any standard bathtub in the event of an emergency. Constructed of heavy duty food grade plastic, the waterBOB keeps water fresh and clean for drinking, cooking, washing and flushing.

Jason left viewers with some pretty good advice when it comes to prepping:

My advice for everybody who’s unprepared, to start preparing, for any disaster that might happen. You never know when you’re going to need that food supply, that water supply. And I’ll do what I have to do to protect my family.

Jules Dervaes and family

Jules Dervaes said that he and his three grown children prep because they fear the “catastrophic collapse of the modern food system.” Dervaes talked about farmers moving to genetically-modified crops, which were created to weaken pests that destroy the crop. He thinks this is a “disaster waiting to happen.” Dervaes claimed superpests are adapting to the GM crops, and are becoming stronger. He points to the example of the corn rootworm. Last year, an Iowa State University entomologist Aaron Gassmann reported that Western corn rootworms in four Iowa fields had evolved to resist the natural pesticide in the genetically-modified corn plants. However, Monsanto, the maker of the GM crop, argues there’s no scientific confirmation of pest resistance to its Bt corn and claim less than 0.2 per cent of acres planted with the corn were affected by rootworm damage last year. In addition, some scientists believe the problem could be partly the result of farmers who are planting Bt corn year after year in the same fields.

Regardless, the Dervaes family became determined to grow as much of their own food as possible, and by the looks of their lush backyard food garden, they’ve come a long way. In fact, the show revealed the food the family produces makes up 90 percent of their diet during summer months. Impressive.

Jules said that their Pasadena, California, property is 100 feet from an 11-lane interstate highway. In certain SHTF situations, highways could become jammed with refugees. A number of these will almost certainly try to scavenge food and other items, possibly threatening the garden. I hope the family is taking this into consideration- and preparing accordingly.

Taking full advantage of their suburban garden, the Dervaes family trades flowers, vegetables, and fruit for waste vegetable oil from a local fast food restaurant. They take the used oil and utilize a biodiesel processor to produce clean biodiesel fuel for their diesel-powered Mercedes-Benz station wagon. According to the show, the family saves up to 80 percent on regular gas prices. Something else that might be worth looking into, especially if you suspect higher gas prices are on the horizon.

In the “Expert Assessment” portion of this segment, Practical Preppers recommended the family purchase a diesel generator, “so that in a blackout, you can use the biodiesel you make to help power your home.” Great suggestion, because in a situation where regular gasoline becomes harder to obtain, having both a biodiesel processor and diesel generator on hand allows a family like the Dervaeses to trade for waste vegetable oil, refine it, and use it to power their vehicle and home.

Near the end of the segment, Jules said something that probably struck home with a lot of viewers. He pointed out:

Everybody else seems looking to be dependent on government, dependent on corporations, dependent on the banks, dependent on others. But we are providing for ourselves and living a self-sustaining life here.

Pat and Lynette Brabble

Pat Brabble and his wife Lynette live in a small North Carolina town, prepping for the “downfall of society through hyperinflation.” You may recall that Dennis Evers, the “Godfather Prepper” out in rural Colorado, voiced the same concern back in episode 2 (blogged about here). Some of the same people who predicted the 2008 global economic crisis are warning that the nation is heading for hyperinflation. Recent examples of such rapid inflation include Argentina a decade ago and Zimbabwe.

At one point in the segment, Lynette Brabble asks here husband if he could go to the barn and get her a jar of peanut butter. Pat walks out to another building and proceeds to access a false wall while the show says:

Pat follows the preppers’ rule of operational security. He keeps his preps in a secret location on his property. Only family members, and close friends, know its whereabouts.

I really hope the Brabbles purposely misled viewers as to the actual whereabouts of their preps, because based on the footage shown, some are probably thinking they have a pretty good idea where all this stuff might be located on their property. I’m not saying the Brabbles are guilty of violating operational security, but now is as good as any other time to remind everyone about the importance of OPSEC.

Continuing on, the show asked:

But what would happen if his home, and all of his preparations, came under assault?

Pat responds that the couple has 60 or 70 firearms in their safes. Viewers are then shown a variety of guns the Brabbles own. After watching this, the term “gun nut” might come to the minds of those not familiar with firearms. However, I’ve learned that firearms are considered tools by many gun owners, where a specific tool (gun) is called upon to complete a certain task. For example, you wouldn’t use a sledgehammer to nail two small pieces of wood together. Likewise, a rural property owner wouldn’t (normally) use a .50 caliber Barrett gun for pest control. And with the realities that come with rural living, different types of guns may be carried and used on a regular basis. Keeping this in mind, along with the prepper mindset that “two is one, and one is none,” and 60 or 70 firearms no longer sounds so extreme.

In “The Odds” portion of this segment, the show said:

What are the odds of catastrophic hyperinflation occurring? While the Fed considers a sustained rise in commodity prices a threat in the coming years, they project only modest inflation rates of about 2 percent over the next several years.

Now, the Federal Reserve doesn’t have the best record when it comes to forecasting. The central bank under both Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke didn’t see the U.S. housing bubble, the 2008 financial crisis, or the “Great Recession” coming. In fact, one can argue that the Fed actually helped create the conditions that led to these events by taking the federal funds rate (interests rates) down as far, and as long, as they did after the dot-com crash and 9/11, resulting in people who couldn’t afford to buy a TV set somehow ending up as proud “owners” of a McMansion.

All in all, a real good episode. Plenty of ideas worth looking into. I wish all these prepper groups success in their endeavors.

I hope to have the next review out a lot sooner.

New episodes of Doomsday Preppers will air on the National Geographic Channel Tuesday nights at 9 PM Eastern/Pacific Time. For more information, go to the Nat Geo Channel website here.

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