Best Survivor’s Torch: Streamlight Sidewinder Compact II

Hey Fernando,
I bought this on your recommendation. It is light enough to counter any size and shape issue for EDC and is my go to, primarily for the battery options.
I tested the IR light with my unit and found no light emitted. Have you tested with yours? Let me know.
Thanks for your work. I have a long history with you and am glad to see some relatively speaking recent additions who have taken your ideas mainstream. Good for everyone. But you have the respect.
Last one – I recommend your listeners learn Spanish. I saw how the little I knew helped me in mediating court disputes in the inner cities. Spanish speakers are our neighbors. I recommend pimsleur.
Jon

The Streamlight Sidewinder II can use either AA, AAA or CR123A. That’s versatility.

Hey Jon, glad you liked it.
No, the IR is not supposed to emit any visible light. You will see that there’s some visible when you look at it through a camera like I do in the video review. Keep in mind that the IR LED is supposed to be used along with night vision gear.
The Streamlight Sidewinder Compact II has certain capabilities that, in my opinon, make it hands down the best survival and preparedness flashlight.
Its tough as nails, and bright enough for most tasks. You have the choice of LEDs, white, red, blue and IR, as well as strobe. All LEDs have four output modes up to 80 lumens. 80 lumens sounds pretty low, but it is comparable to other brands that claim 100-120 lumen output. The plain reflector also focuses the light a lot more, giving it greater throw and better practical use at longer distances.
So far it sounds as if there’s dozens of better lights out there, but what makes this one so special is that its capable of running on a single battery cell, either AA, AAA or CR123A, and it does so effectively without any glitches. This ability to practically eat any battery you come across is priceless during emergencies and disasters, especially long term ones when you may find yourself scrounging for batteries.

Streamlight 14512 Sidewinder Compact II Military Model $75.14

Wrapping up the system, the Sidewinder Compact II comes with a helmet attachment and a very sturdy headband so as to use it as a headlamp. The flashlight has a rugged spring steel clip, which combined with the 90º angle of the reflector allows you to clip it to gear, even shirts, or lay it on the floor at an angle.
This is a pure-breed military torch. Its dust proof, waterproof and even clicking the rubber mode to turn it on is silent (the clicky makes no click sound). Being tough as nails is a big advantage in my opinion.

The only disadvantage I see to the flashlight is that it’s a bit bulky (though vey light weight) and it doesn’t fit as well in smaller jean pockets. I did carry it as my EDC light for a few weeks, still do every once in a while, but it does feel blocky compared to the roll of mint sized Eagletac D25C that I carry more often. This is purely personal. As you say yourself, you can EDC this light with no problem if you feel like doing so.
If I could only have one, I feel the Sidewinder Compact II is the best light you can have when things go wrong.
FerFAL

Gun Control: Defensive Gun Use (Part II)

This is the second submission of a multi-part essay by Jim V on Gun Control. Thanks Jim for the interesting read! Its nice to see how so many anti-gun people are lucky to be able to pay others to hold (and use in their defense) those nasty guns for them.
FerFAL

Defensive Gun Use

In part 2 of my series on gun control, I would like to examine defensive gun use. Could it be, as former gun control advocate turned gun rights supporter Dr. John Lott of Univ. of Chicago maintains, in his eponymous book More Guns, Less Crime, that we are safer with more guns? The young boy who drove off two home invaders in Houston in 2012 – reported at Houston’s KHOU TV – with his father’s AR-15 “evil” assault rifle would certainly agree. See www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-q2zHIovOE.  And here’s another story of  an“evil” AR-15 used to drive off intruders: New York Resident Scares the Hell out of Intruders” – video at http://www.thedailysheeple.com/ar-15-defense-weapon-new-york-resident-scares-the-hell-out-of-intruders_012013; story also found at http://www.kfiam640.com/pages/MoreStimulatingTalkRadio.html?feed=104668&article=10729296   And then there were the young students in Rochester, NY who thankfully were able to use an AR-15 to protect their lives during a break in – see http://www.13wham.com/news/local/story/Homeowners-Scare-Off-Burglars/7yaLSXAvCUGBkwgAZpGO4g.cspx. Finally, another story of an AR-15 used to save lives, this time in Detroit, where armed robbers retreat when they realize they are outgunned by a single guard with an AR-15: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwRoXIk1H3Q&feature=player_detailpage#t=33s. As a matter of fact, as the non-stereotypical gun owner Dan Baum – who is a Jewish Democrat who wrote for the New Yorker-  noted, while “Joe Nocera at the Times runs a daily tally of gun killings. He’s not running a daily tally of how many people defend themselves with guns. For one thing we don’t know about it most of the time. David Hemenway at Harvard is very pro gun-control and he thinks it happens about 80,000 times a year. If that’s true, that means that guns are saving 10 times as many people as they’re killing.” http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/03/what-liberals-need-to-understand-about-gun-guys/273736/

Similarly, as Aubrey Blankenship and Celia Bigelow told Piers Morgan (video and story at http://www.wnd.com/2013/01/22-year-old-schools-piers-morgan-on-guns/#yi5kmq2Ub6bbVgmH.99), there are very good reasons, particularly for women, to have not only guns, but specifically AR-15s. Stated the two ladies in a companion column in the National Review, “One, they’re lightweight,” the 22-year-old Bigelow responded. “They’re quite accurate. I can shoot them much more accurately than a handgun or a shotgun. And three … I want a gun that can hold a lot of ammo, because if I’m faced with an intruder or multiple intruders that come into my home, I want to make sure I have enough ammo to get the job done, especially if they’re armed. … I don’t have to take the time to reload… We saw a situation in Georgia just a couple weeks ago where a mom was hiding in her attic with her two children when an intruder entered her home. She had a handgun that only had six rounds in it. She fired all six rounds, missed the intruder once, hit him five times in the face and in the neck. And he still lived.”

And given that there are around eight thousand home invasions per year (and not one conducted by well-mannered, non-violent Boy Scouts), with at least one in five households experiencing a break-in at some point, the people above are just the tip of the iceberg.

But returning to Dr. Lott, here is Exhibit A: scarcely one week before the Colorado tragedy, a similar situation had an opposite ending in Florida, where 71 year old Samuel Williams stopped an armed robbery when two masked men entered the Palms Internet Cafe around 10 p.m. Friday, July 13, 2012. Make your own conclusion from the surveillance camera, which captures it all: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZNC2VwyaPU&feature=player_embedded#t=0s . Exhibit B: Scarcely a month after the Colorado theatre shooting, on the opposite side of the country, an Orange County, CA. jewelry and coin dealer thwarted and armed robbery – and possible employee deaths – by defending herself with her pistol. Video surveillance footage at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjXJBpV9YRI  And as if this wasn’t enough, the Oregon Clackamas Town Center Mall mall shooting – which was overshadowed by the Connecticut school shooting a few days later – was stopped by a citizen, Nick Melti,  exercising his right of concealed carry. Full details of this incident – not reported by the lamestream media – are at http://www.examiner.com/article/media-blackout-oregon-mall-shooter-was-stopped-by-an-armed-citizen.  At the risk of overkill (pun intended), here’s another video of a 65 yr. old woman thwarting FIVE armed robbers with her pistol in her store: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoDNJQtNVoc&feature=player_embedded#t=0s. In fact, it appears to be the case that, as ex-gangsta rap artist turned Christian rap singer Travis Tyler, known as Thi’sl notes, more gun restrictions are not the answer, as this will not stop criminals from getting guns. But listen to Thi’sl in his own words: http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2013/January/Ex-Gangsta-Rapper-More-Gun-Laws-Not-the-Answer/ (note that Thi’sl also identifies fatherlessness as a “huge role” in gun violence, as well as the issue of mental illness). Interestingly, Mark Mattioli, who lost his six year old son at Sandy Hook, also stated before a gun violence task force shortly after the shooting that guns are categorically not the problem – rather, it is mental health issues, issues that stem from media violence, lack of personal integrity, lack of parenting, etc. A Mattioli video speaking to this issue is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqpzOSYqX3c&feature=player_embedded#t=8s. Ann Coulter speaks to the Mattioli video at http://www.humanevents.com/2013/04/10/coulter-liberals-go-crazy-for-the-mentally-ill/, noting that the one critical piece missing from the leftist analysis of gun violence is that they refuse to deal with that fact that the vast majority of gun violence is caused by mentally ill. Says Coulter: “Mass shootings don’t correlate with gun ownership; they correlate with not locking up schizophrenics” and “For most of the 20th century, from 1900 to 1970, there was an average of four mass public shootings per decade. Throughout the ’70s, as the loony bins were being emptied, the average number of mass shootings suddenly shot up to 13. In the 3.3 decades since 1980, after all the mental institutions had been turned into condos, mass shootings skyrocketed to 36 on average per decade. And as exhibits for this exact issue, see Adam Lanza, Seung-Hui Cho at Virginia Tech, James Holmes, Jared Loughner, paranoid schizophrenic One L. Goh, who murdered a number of people at a Christian college in 2012, Nidal Hassan, and others. For a complete list of mentally ill committing crimes, Coulter directs readers to E. Fuller Torrey’s book, The Insanity Defense: How America’s Failure to Treat the Seriously Mentally Ill Endangers Its Citizens. Fox News also does a concise expose of the issue at http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/04/10/it-not-knives-it-not-guns-it-mental-illness-that-kills/

But returning to the issue of the deterrence and such things as concealed carry, it turns out that the leftist Mother Jones article claiming to have produced its own study of all public shootings in the last 30 years, which concluded “In not a single case was the killing stopped by a civilian using a gun,” is an outright fabrication – in looking at just the most recent Oregon episode. And as Ann Coulter pointed out in an article shortly after the CT shooting, found at http://www.humanevents.com/2012/12/19/ann-coulter-we-know-how-to-stop-school-shootings/  Mother Jones, in typical leftist fashion “…reaches its conclusion by simply excluding all cases where an armed civilian stopped the shooter: They looked only at public shootings where four or more people were killed, i.e., the ones where the shooter wasn’t stopped.”  Don’t try this trick in a stats 101 class, or you will be flunked. Coulter’s article provides some extremely enlightening examples of mass murders stopped by an armed bystander: 

– Mayan Palace Theater, San Antonio, Texas, same week as the CT shooting: Jesus Manuel Garcia shoots at a movie theater, a police car and bystanders from the nearby China Garden restaurant; as he enters the movie theater, guns blazing, an armed off-duty cop shoots Garcia four times, stopping the attack. Total dead: Zero. (More details on this theatre-shooting-that-wasn’t because the shooter was stopped by someone with concealed carry  is at http://freedomoutpost.com/2012/12/the-theater-shooting-the-main-stream-media-didnt-focus-on-why/ )

– Winnemucca, Nev., 2008: Ernesto Villagomez opens fire in a crowded restaurant; concealed carry permit-holder shoots him dead. Total dead: Two. (I’m excluding the shooters’ deaths in these examples.)

– Appalachian School of Law, 2002: Crazed immigrant shoots the dean and a professor, then begins shooting students; as he goes for more ammunition, two armed students point their guns at him, allowing a third to tackle him. Total dead: Three.

– Santee, Calif., 2001: Student begins shooting his classmates — as well as the “trained campus supervisor”; an off-duty cop who happened to be bringing his daughter to school that day points his gun at the shooter, holding him until more police arrive. Total dead: Two.

– Pearl High School, Mississippi, 1997: After shooting several people at his high school, student heads for the junior high school; assistant principal Joel Myrick retrieves a .45 pistol from his car and points it at the gunman’s head, ending the murder spree. Total dead: Two.

– Edinboro, Pa., 1998: A student shoots up a junior high school dance being held at a restaurant; restaurant owner pulls out his shotgun and stops the gunman. Total dead: One. (Coulter neglected to cite some other cases, such as the high school shooting by Luke Woodham in Pearl, Miss., or the New Life Church shooting in Colorado Springs, CO., where armed volunteers stopped the mayhem immediately.

Not included in Coulter’s article was a shooter who opened fire two weeks after the Sandy Hill massacre. Unfortunately, he did it in a place where people were armed – the Gloucester Township Police HQ – and, while people were wounded, no one was killed except the shooter. http://news.yahoo.com/3-cops-shot-nj-police-station-143541945–abc-news-topstories.html

There’s one more gunman incident Coulter also missed: On Aug. 29, 2010, and armed gunman, Thomas Richard Cowan,  entered Sullivan Central High School in Blountville, TN., and pointed his gun at the head of the school principal. This may well have ended up another Sandy Hook event – except for the fact that a Sullivan County Sheriff’s Deputy, Carolyn Gudger, was stationed at the school, and confronted the gunman with her own gun. Cowan retreated from this confrontation, and was later killed when he pointed his weapon at other police who had arrived since the initial confrontation. No Sandy Hook here. That’s because there was armed resistance.

The Marc J. Victor article cited elsewhere in this paper adds several more incidences to the list above, where an armed populace prevented a Sandy Hook massacre. Victor cites  a 1997 high school shooting in Pearl, MS., stopped when the vice principal retrieved a handgun from his truck; a 1998 middle school shooting ended when a man living next door heard gunfire and apprehended the shooter with his shotgun; a 2002 terrorist attack at an Israeli school was quickly stopped by an armed teacher and a school guard; a 2002 law school shooting in Grundy, Virginia came to an abrupt conclusion when students carrying firearms confronted the shooter; a 2007 mall shooting in Ogden, Utah ended when an armed off-duty police officer intervened; a 2009 workplace shooting in Houston, Texas was halted by two co-workers who carried concealed handguns. What part of “guns saved lives” don’t leftists get?

Let me answer the question above, if I may. Here’s what leftists don’t get – and which illustrates they really don’t ultimately care as much about each precious life lost at Sandy Hook as they do their precious agenda (and yes… please do use your best Gollum voice from Lord of the Rings when you say the word  leftist “precious agenda”; and no, our guns are not precious to most gun owners – rather, our freedom and liberty are precious, and guns are simply a guarantor of that). One story – which represents thousands of other unreported stories every year – with the headline of Woman Hiding with Kids Shoots Home Intruder Multiple Times, illustrates the point very simply: A quick précis of the story will suffice. A woman hiding in her attic with children shot an intruder multiple times before fleeing to safety Friday… The incident happened at a home on Henderson Ridge Lane in Loganville around 1 p.m. The woman was working in an upstairs office when she spotted a strange man outside a window, according to Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman. He said she took her 9-year-old twins to a crawlspace before the man broke in using a crowbar. But the man eventually found the family. The perpetrator opens that door. Of course, at that time he’s staring at her, her two children and a .38 revolver,” Chapman told Channel 2’s Kerry Kavanaugh. The woman then shot him five times, but he survived, Chapman said. He said the woman ran out of bullets but threatened to shoot the intruder if he moved…” http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/woman-hiding-kids-shoots-intruder/nTm7s/

This story has more than meets the eye. Suppose it was not just a single home invader, but three or four – and she was a resident of shot capacity limiting New York or another state banning those evil assault rifles that carry too many rounds? What if she – like many of us – wasn’t such good shot, under duress (and possible darkness), and missed with her six rounds? Then what? While she may have to abide by the round capacity laws, the criminal – who is already a criminal and thus doesn’t care – can carry a high capacity weapon on his side, making the law even more dangerous for the law abiding citizen – not safer.

Pam Loman of Shawnee, OK. went through the same experience a few weeks later, scaring off three men trying to break into her home. http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/01/13/Oklahoma-Woman-Stops-Robbers-With-Her-Gun reports: “She was cleaning her home on Friday when a man knocked on her front door, while two others stayed in the car. When she did not answer the man resorted to banging on the door. Mrs. Loman got scared and went for her gun.“So my instinct was to go get a gun. I don’t know why, I never in my life felt like I needed to go get a gun,” said Mrs. Loman. She had both hands on her .32-caliber pistol when the man knocked down her door. “And just all of a sudden, with one kick, he knocked the door completely in. The frame came flying down. Things came flying everywhere,” she said. “And he saw that I had the gun, and he grabbed the door handle and pulled the door shut.” Mrs. Loman said if he did not run away and came into the house she would have shot him.”

At the risk of – pun intended – overkill, here are ten other stories cited by John Hawkins that you may review to understand how guns saved the lives of men or women, stopped rapes and saved the lives of children:  http://townhall.com/columnists/johnhawkins/2013/02/02/10-stories-that-prove-guns-save-lives-n1503549/page/full/. Another similar story of a woman saved from being beaten – possibly to death – by a concealed gun carrier who protected her is here: http://fox6now.com/2013/03/12/marine-with-concealed-carry-permit-stops-man-from-beating-woman/ .  And here’s a few more for the road in the event the above is not enough to convince you of the utility of guns to save lives:

·         A convenience store clerk and an immigrant defend themselves against attackers in Florida. The attackers fired first and were aiming to kill, these men defended themselves and protected the innocent. http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/01/15/3183760/two-robbers-shot-dead-in-hollywood.html

 

·         A man in San Antonio walks out to find a man going through the contents of his locked vehicle. He confronts the man and lawfully defends his life and his property. http://www.kens5.com/news/SAPD-Car-thief-killed-another-wounded-outside-Stone-Oak-home-186923501.html

Thankfully, something like the above would never happen to gun grabbers Dianne Feinstein, Chuck Shumer or any of the Hollywood glitterati, as they are surrounded by guards, who are armed. In fact, Obama signed a bill Jan., 2013 that rolls back a mid-1990s law that imposed a 10-year limit on Secret Service protection for former presidents. The bill, which will cost American taxpayers millions of dollars will have Obama (and other presidents) protected for life as well as their children up to age 16, by armed guard.  Hypocritically, during an ABC Nightline interview recorded before the Sandy Hook shooting, Obama said one of the benefits of his re-election was the ability “to have men with guns around at all times,” in order to protect his daughters (see http://www.bizpacreview.com/2012/12/29/obama-admits-to-wanting-men-with-guns-guarding-his-daughters-12581 ) The Sidwell Friends school attended by Obama’s daughters in Washington D.C. has no less than 11 armed security guards on duty at all times (http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/12/23/School-Obama-s-Daughters-Attend-Has-11-Armed-Guards-Not-Counting-Secret-Service ). Of course, the NRA suggestion of arming trained school staff for the poor unwashed masses at the common public school has been derided by the elite – that’s only for the “special” people! Or as the Washington Times put it, As The Washington Times put it:

“It is important to remember that while they are talking about disarming you and me, they are not talking about disarming themselves. They will still be coddled in their fortresses. The closer you get to the Capitol the more armed guards there are. Up close, there are bomb proof guard shacks, literally, on every street corner. Squads of machine gun-carrying guards dot the magnificent marble buildingscape at all times. Leaders in Congress ride around with escorts of huge armed men. Is that because what they do every day is more dangerous than what you and I do every day” Cited from http://www.ammoland.com/2013/02/washington-times-gun-free-zones-are-only-for-the-little-people/#ixzz2JlOzSVO7 . Meanwhile, what happens to the average citizen who – as in the case of post-Katrina New Orleans – is disarmed by the “authorities?” Hear for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVyV9ojTA_I . Better, listen to real police themselves tell you that “you are on your own” until they can get there – whenever that is. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=1AQ1WBb81BE#t=14s

Below: Sidwell Friends, another gun free school – NOT

Sen. Diane Feinstein, who wants “Mr. and Mrs. America” to “turn in” their guns,(see http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=blXkl9YVoHo#t=2s where she states this ) admitted to availing herself of concealed carry for her own protection at one point – see http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=B1EObqM9Z0s#t=2s . Of course, our aforementioned gun control nut NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg has armed bodyguards at all times, and, in personal communication with a friend and neighbor who is a recently retired senior staff member from the Illinois State Police, he noted that at least up to 2009 when he retired, Bill Ayers, the leftist, Obama crypto-crony who was co-founder of the communist  Weather Underground (that conducted bombings of public buildings, including police stations, the U.S. Capitol Building, and the Pentagon), whenever he was in a classroom teaching at Univ. of Illinois Chicago, was always assigned to have armed state police in his classroom for protection. It’s just you, dear reader,that are left to your own (unarmed) devices when you are threatened.

And let’s not forget the ever-hypocritical  gun controller Michael Moore, who also maintains armed bodyguards, one of whom was arrested for carrying an unlicensed weapon at New York’s JFK airport back in 2005. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,144921,00.html#ixzz2FnQC65J3 . Yes, this is the selfsame Mikey Moore who owned shared of Haliburton (see Peter Schweizer’s book Do As I Say, Not as I Do: Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy) and has both an extremely expensive penthouse in NY, as well as a massive, multimillion dollar mansion on Torch Lake, MI., as seen below.

(Of course, the ultimate example of hypocrisy was illustrated by NY Governor Cuomo who stated after Sandy Hook, in granting permission for Learjet leftist Hollywood  to bring AR-15s to New York, that “There’s no reason not to make a change … to give an industry comfort, especially … [one] we want to do business in the state.” Apparently, Cuomo didn’t desire to hinder any of those uber-leftist, gun-control fanatics Hollywooders  from making movies that glorify the criminal violence he’s claims he’s trying to end.)

In contrast to the heavily defended Sidwell Friends school, or the latte leftists protected by gun toting guards,  the shootings in gun-free zones invariably result in far higher casualty figures — the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis. (six dead); Virginia Tech, in Blacksburg, Va. (32 dead); Columbine High School, Columbine, Colo. (12 dead); the Amish school in Lancaster County, Pa. (five little girls killed); a public school, Craighead County, Ark. (five killed, including four little girls).

And here’s one more question: What if it is not “only” a half dozen people killed, but rather something like the horrific Beslan School massacre in gun control-happy Russia in 2004? 334 people were slaughtered – over half children – by Chechnyan Islamists. Good thing everyone in the school was unarmed – right?

One might consider – dare I quote him? – Michael Moore, in perhaps the single lucid comment of his entire career. Regarding the Sandy Hook massacre, he wrote in the Huffington Post: “The killer only ceased his slaughter when he saw that cops were swarming onto the school grounds — i.e, the men with the guns. When he saw the guns a-coming, he stopped the bloodshed and killed himself. Guns on police officers prevented another 20 or 40 or 100 deaths from happening. Guns sometimes work.”  Of course, Moore goes off on another deranged tangent after this, but in this case he actually got one paragraph right. And perhaps, with the direction our society is going, a properly secured firearm on school premises, wielded by fully trained school staff, may be what is needed. Why should there be a wait be for the police to arrive as more death occurs?

In fact, police themselves, as a rule, support civilian use of guns, and not just high profile cases such as several sheriffs in Colorado, Utah, or the sheriff of Milwaukee, WI. Here’s what police, themselves, think, per a questionnaire submitted to 15,000 law-enforcement personnel, asking about civilian gun use:

“When asked what the likely outcome would have been at Aurora and Newtown had a legally armed civilian been there, 80 percent said there would have been fewer casualties; 6.2 percent said it would have prevented casualties altogether. Only 5.5 percent thought it would have led to greater loss of life.

When asked what could be done to prevent future mass public shootings, the most popular answer — picked by 28.8 percent – was for more permissive concealed carry policies for civilians. More aggressive institutionalization of the mentally ill was the choice of 19.6 percent. More armed guards were favored by 15.8 percent. Of course, none of these solutions are acceptable to the gun grabbers. Improved background checks were in fourth place, the choice of 14 percent of the respondents, followed by longer prison terms when guns are used in violent crimes (7.9 percent). What did the law-enforcement professionals have to say about about the left’s favorite solutions? A meager 1.5 percent put tighter limits on weapons sales at the top of their list. While legislative restrictions on “assault weapons” and larger magazines didn’t even get a nod from one out of 100 of the boys and girls in blue, it was the choice of .9 percent.

When it comes to making the public safer, including our children, “the only professional group devoted to limiting and defeating gun violence as part of their sworn responsibility” has the right answer: Get more arms in the right hands. And do a better job of getting the truly crazy off the streets.” (Cited from http://personalliberty.com/2013/04/19/a-huge-defeat-for-the-gun-grabbers/)

Dr. Lott, the former gun control advocate turned gun supporter, documents many thousands of similar situations where civilian guns saved lives, but here is one woman, in her own words, discussing after the fact how her gun saved her life: http://bcove.me/zgbghtxu. As a matter of fact, Gun Owners of America, at http://gunowners.org/sk0802.htm, cites statistics indicating guns are used 2.5 million times a year in self-defense, or around 80 times a day (other statistics estimate this number could range as low as 1.5 million, but either number is a lot!). This includes 200,000 women a year using guns to defend themselves against sexual abuse – in fact, here is the actual 911 recording of some woman doing exactly that: http://www.therightscoop.com/holy-crap-911-call-of-woman-defending-herself-against-stalker-who-broke-into-her-house/. It is precisely these situations that the gun grabbers would make worse!   As a matter of fact, as of 2008, armed citizens killed more violent bad guys than the police (1,527 vs. 606).  Overall, guns in the United States are used 80 times more often to prevent crime than they are to take lives (http://thetruthwins.com/archives/you-wont-believe-the-crazy-things-that-are-being-said-about-gun-owners ). Cato Institute has a complete article on this topic for your further reading, Tough Targets: When Criminals Face Armed Resistance from Citizens,” In fact, renowned author and poet Maya Angelou is a poster child (make that “elder”) for using guns in self-defense, telling Time Magazine in 2013 she once stopped a a presumed attempted burglary at here home by firing her gun. Said Angelou: “I do like to have guns around… I don’t like to carry them, but I like – if somebody is going to come into my house and I have not put out the welcome mat – I want to stop them.”  http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2139706,00.html

Interestingly, during the composition of this paper, during a radio broadcast on WMBI radio, April 23, 2013, at 1:15 AM,  a caller who identified himself as George, the owner of a limousine company, stated something very interesting, that corroborates the above. He noted that, as airlines at one point prohibited people from transporting guns, criminals in Florida would follow people who took out rental cars at airports to rob them, knowing they would be unarmed. Just a small tidbit, lost to history, and ignored by the politically correct – but for those murdered during these crimes, including children – the gun grabbers are complicit.

And what happens when people are not able to arm themselves? Just ask the citizens of Hungerford, England, where twenty years ago Michael Ryan went on a shooting spree, killing 16 people. As no one in the town was armed, he took over eight hours before anyone with a firearm was alerted and able to stop the rampage. While Obama used children a stage props, including plaintive letters from children asking him to ban guns in his January, 2013 anti-gun dog and pony anti-gun sales pitch, he forgot to discuss the recent cases of Kendra St. Claire, who used a gun to protect herself from a home intruder, a mother who shot an intruder to protect her two young sons, or an 18 year old widowed mother who shot two intruders to protect her baby.

Argentine Stock Market and Ammo after the Economic Collapse

MERVAL Index is the most important index of the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange.

 

Hi Ferfal,

I have been following you blog and videos for a couple of years now. Also, I am reading your new book and enjoying it immensely. I would like to add that I loved your first book too.
I have a couple of nagging questions and I am hoping you might be able to answer them. First, I notice that you never mention the financial markets in Argentina. When Argentina had its’ financial collapse over a decade ago, were there ANY areas that thrived? Or was it too risky to be in the markets? I hear people recommend this stock, bond etc. as being a good form of protection against financial collapse, however, I tend to be very skeptical. I have purchased some gold/ silver, but is there anything else you recommend (especially in the financial markets). Please understand, I am not looking for a “hot stock pick”, or a way to get rich, just added ways to protect myself.
Also, I have a question about ammunition. If a large economic event were to occur in the US, what is likely to happen to self defense ammunition (JHP’s). Were they scarce in Argentina? Were they too expensive to buy? Did the government limit their use? The reason I ask is that I tend to favor the 9mm and the .45ACP and if hollow points are hard to find, I will eventually run out of my 9mm hollow points. Are the 9mm fmj’s as bad as many people say? I figure that if it happens that they are hard to find, I can use .45 fmj’s. What do you recommend?

Thank you for all of your no nonsense advice. It is truly appreciated.

-Matt
Hi Matt,
Regarding your first question, the Argentine market did get hit because of the economic collapse of December 2001, but it wasn’t as serious as you would expect. In fact, if you look at the chart, it seems to have been doing rather well ever since. Here, he have to keep a couple things in mind. First, the argentine stock market wasn’t that big to begin with. There was no bubble to burst, so the drop due to the crisis wasn’t as significant as you might expect. Second, you have to keep in mind that as you consider the rising graphic, you must take into account that after 2001 the Argentine peso is no longer pegged to the US dollar and in fact inflation is likely bringing that chart down much more than it would initially seem, especially these last few years. I’m not stock exchange savvy but for the most part its understood that the stock exchange in Argentina is small, messy and you’re more likely to end up losing money. My advice would be to go for land, brick and mortar. Real estate has always been considered a safe, stable investment when buying smart and not falling for some developer’s scam.
Regarding ammunition, you already know that when things get tough, ammo gets pretty scarce. This is especially true for the more common calibers such as 22LR, 9mm ad 45 ACP. In the case of Argentina ammo was hard to find at times and it sure was expensive. The problem was that premium JHP ammo for defense was expensive to import after the devaluation, so there wasn’t that much floating around. Still, with some patience and a bit of money you did find it, especially in the more common calibers.
My advice here is to have plenty of ammunition. Start buying as funds allow but try going for 1000 rounds of pistol ammo. 5000 rounds would be even better, but 1000 should do as your first goal to go for. I know ammo is expensive but there’s just no way around it: Without ammo a gun is just a fancy paperweight or a poor club. If you buy a box here and there it will eventually pile up. Make sure to keep your emergency supply and not use it. I would go for quality JHP, in the case of 9mm I like 124gr +P. FMJ is not as bad as it sounds though. Granted, stopping power is pretty bad compared to JHP, but ball ammo kills people every day. Indeed, hardball FMJ .45 is superior to FMJ 9mm, but 9mm hollow point premium ammo will perform better than FMJ 45. Just make sure to buy ammo now for a rainy day. Even with ten boxes of ammo, not many people go through 500 rounds of ammo in defensive shootings during their entire life. Heck, most people will go their entire lives without firing a single round in self-defense, few will go through 50 rounds, let alone 500 or 1000.
FerFAL

*NEW* Kershaw Lifter: Bargain EDC Knife at $18.99

Kershaw 1302BW Lifter Folding Knife with SpeedSafe

Knives have always been our quintessential survival tools and little has changed in that regard since man first picked up a sharp piece of rock. Everything from repairs and rescue operations to self-defense, a knife allows you to perform an endless amount of tasks. No one argues the usefulness of a blade. While a fixed blade knife is always preferable, the reality is that its impractical to carry one in your pocket. The key to having a knife with you when you need it is to carry one every day and here is where folding knives enter the equation.
The Kershaw Lifter
In a market saturated with great choices, the Kershaw Lifter has some interesting attributes. The first thing to catch your attention is its price. Currently its 18.99 on Amazon, although that’s likely to change soon. You don’t find many good folding knives for that money. The second thing you notice once you hold it is how solid and well put together it feels. The design is very appealing, esthetically pleasing. The blackwash finish looks rugged and functional, in harmony with the 3.5” recurred tanto blade

 

In spite of the small size, the Lifter fits the hand well.

Pros:
Price. Not many good knives for under $20
Design. The recurved edge is one of the most effective shapes for slicing and the tanto style tip should be robust enough for most utility and defensive uses.
Ergonomics. The handle feels comfortable, the flipper works as an effective finger guard. The handle provides plenty of real estate for medium/large hands in spite of the small size.
Esthetics. It’s an interesting, fine looking knife that looks more expensive than it actually is.
Speed. The Speedsafe system deploys fast and smoothly after a short break-in period.
Locking system. The framelock is well executed, and it includes an overtravell stop which is more often seen in much more expensive knives.
Cons:
Mystery steel. I’m not expecting high end steels for $20 but I’d still like to know what steel I’m getting even if when heat treated correctly, an ordinary steel should perform well enough.
Clip. The clip is intended for right handed pocket carry only.
If you’re looking for a sub $20 folder, give this one some though and consider some of the other, more traditional offerings by Kershaw in the Blackwash line. Should make some very nice Christmas presents too if you’re doing some early shopping.

FerFAL

Brace yourselves for another financial crash

Ebola, combined with dropping oil prices, have caused stock markets to drop around the world. With questions about the European economy and an uncertain American growth many are wondering if another economic crisis is just around the corner.

Opinion: Brace yourselves for another financial crash

(CNN) — The stock market’s recent jitters have made many investors wonder whether there’s a new financial crisis just around the corner. Well, of course there isn’t — because we’ve never really left the last one.

Financial crises of the scale of the 2007 crash only really end when their causes are unwound by debt repayment, bankruptcies, debt write-offs, and inflation.

In the 1930s, there was plenty of all four. The end result was that US private debt fell by almost 100% of GDP from its deflation-spiked peak of 130% in 1933, to a low of 35% at the end of WWII.

By comparison, the debt cutting we’ve been through so far in this crisis is trivial — a fall of under 20% from a far higher peak of 175% in 2010.

We’re attempting an economic revival from a debt level that exceeds the worst level reached during the 1930s….

Ebola: Could virus’s spread cause financial market turmoil?

The spread of Ebola beyond West Africa could lead to turmoil on international financial markets on a greater scale than the SARS outbreak a decade ago, economists have warned.

Analysts at Barclays warned that the continued spread of the deadly virus would hit global growth and “have a significant impact on global financial markets”….

Fears of global slowdown spark fall on European and US stockmarkets

Fears of a worldwide economic slowdown and anxiety about the spread of Ebola reverberated around stock markets Wednesday, driving shares around the world sharply down and pushing the price of oil to a four-year low.

After falls in London and New York on Wednesday, Asia extended the selloff in global equities on Thursday as heightened concerns about world economic growth sent Japanese stocks tumbling and U.S. Treasury yields down…

U.S. Hospitals Prepared for Ebola?

Hi Ferfal,
I was just looking through your site. Looks like there has not been much on ebola. You may recall I am a licensed healthcare person, although not a nurse. I have a personal intellectual interest in infectious diseases, so I get this email digest from the International Society for Infectious Disease.
http://www.promedmail.org/ They had a period when it seemed like no messages were going out, but they seem back in the game now.
As a result, I guess I have been following the ebola outbreak since pretty close to when it started. I also just have kept an eye out for other articles about it. I distinctly remembered in the summer reading that the people who purport to study this kind of thing were heavily implying that it could be transmitted by droplets. The CDC et al. always go out of their way to insist ebola is not airborne. That is technically true, but to the layperson I think they don’t make a distinction between droplet transmission and airborne. Already at the beginning of August, the health authorities were giving guidance that was clearly intended to avoid droplet transmission.
Anyway, you know the CDC now has been going on and on about we have such a great healthcare system in the US, etc etc. I think anyone who actually works in the industry would be quick to tell you differently- including me. Last winter we were constantly running short of simple masks during flu season. So it was not hard to figure that they would not have a good supply of space suits for ebola care.
Just because I have been keeping an eye out, I have seen a few memos go past in the work email since the start of the outbreak, but they all have been beyond superficial. There has been no education, no drills, no stocking up that I can see, no designating areas to care for suspected cases, nothing like that. The vague, ebola related emails were just mixed right in with employee parking spot winners and foolishness like that.
Just yesterday morning we got an email ‘[Our hospital] remains prepared to deal with Ebola’. It was almost like a pep talk for people who already worked there. The only substantive bit was to tell people to look at the FAQs on the CDC website. There was nothing like ‘personal protective equipment can be obtained from so-and-so’ or ‘please put any suspected ebola cases in room 2′ or anything that would be immediately useful.
So last night the emergency department had someone come in who fit the profile for a potential ebola case. Guess what? No one knew what do to. They were calling around to see if anyone knew what to do, looking on google to find out what kind of PPE they should be wearing and how to isolate the patient.
I was surprised to learn that the people working didn’t even know about the potential for infectious droplets, because I had thought that was already established back in the summer. So basically, it sounds like it was a big clusterf*k. This is at a community hospital, so maybe they didn’t think it would be a problem for them.
I am on the email list from another hospital I used to work at- i.e. a ‘big city hospital’, and they were doing a training session today on PPE apparently. It says ‘ebola overview, resources, donning and doffing of PPE’. I only got the email first thing this morning which leads me to believe it was probably put together at the last minute.
I personally have not heard of anyone, anywhere, saying anything like, ‘Wow, we have done so much training for ebola,’ or ‘wow, my hospital is really on top of this.’ Everyone is like, ‘What’s going on?’
Just thought you might be interested.

– JM

Hi JM,
As you know I have a very practical, no-nonsense approach to modern survivalism. I especially try to keep a level headed attitude and avoid fear mongering. Having said that, I just cannot believe how irresponsibly ebola is being handled.
“NOT EASY TO CONTRACT” this is literally what cnn has to say about ebola. Of course then it goes on to say in the same video presentation that it is carried in bodily fluids, blood, saliva, tears, mucus, feces, urine, sweat, semen and vomit. How can we say on one hand that direct contact is needed to get infected, but on the same video clip they say that saliva and mucus carries ebola and it can get into your body through your nose, mouth and even your eyes. Cant anyone makes the elemental connection between saliva and the thousands of droplets flying after a patient sneezes or coughs? Just yesterday I saw CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta argue with ebola expert David Sanders. Sanders was explaining the possibility of ebola being spread through aerosol transmission (sneeze, cough, vomit) but Gupta cut him short claiming the chances of such a transmission were so small, it was not worth talking about while other things were more important…??? You’re talking about ebola, and you don’t think its important to learn how you can actually catch it? I can’t believe relatively smart grown persons are either a) so stupid b) so irresponsible. The only option left I see is that these claims we see on the press are very misguided attempted to keep people calm. In any case, it is very concerning to still see talking heads in the media claiming ebola can’t be transmitted in such a way.
Thanks for sharing your experience JM!

FerFAL

Example of Hyperinflation and “Shrinkflation” at Work

I recently found this bus ticket in one of my jackets. This is a minimum fee bus ticket from Buenos Aires back in 2011. Notice that is says “Subsidised by the National Estate”. Today, that same minimum fee, one ride ticket paid in cash costs 6 pesos, an inflation of nearly 600% in 3 years.

Also notice how small the bus ticket is. As the economy got worse in Argentina, everything suffered “shrinkflation” so as to cut cost and expenses wherever possible or even hide inflation by making food and other consumable goods in smaller “new” packages and bottles. As months went by, bus tickets kept getting smaller and smaller, up to the point where it was hard to read them for some people.

FerFAL

 

The Truth About Gun Control (Part I)

This is the first submission of a multi-part essay by Jim V on Gun Control. It’s well researched and packed with information. Looking forward to the following chapters by Jim!
FerFAL

Quemadmoeum gladuis neminem occidit, occidentis telum est.” (A sword is never a killer, it is a tool in the killer’s hands.)
–    Lucius Annaeus Seneca, circa 4 BC – 65 AD

Americans [have] the right and advantage of being armed, unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust their people with arms”
 James Madison, considered the father of the US Constitution

“[T]he people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full possession of them.”
-  Zacharia Johnson, speech in the Virginia Ratifying Convention, 1788

During World War II, six million Swiss had guns and six million Jews did not.”
     –
Author unknown

“…sort of like the people who repeat foolish slogans like “guns kill” – as though guns sprout little feet when no one is looking and run around shooting people all by themselves.”
–  Doug Casey, financial columnist

“If you don’t have to give up your car because others drive drunk with theirs, then why do you have to give up your gun because others commit crimes with theirs?”
– Anonymous internet wag

When a crime is committed, does the gun go to jail?”
- From BrotherJohn.com   

“Let’s stop playing games. The problem is people, not guns. Our society suffers from a deficiency of personal responsibility – not from an excess of personal freedom.”
– Star Parker, African American writer and commentator    

The horrifying truth is this: we live now in a culture that not only does not respect life, but discards it like trash — not only at the beginning of life, but also at the end, and every place in between. What has happened to us?”
–  C
atholic Deacon Greg Kandra

“…we’re also going to make it clear that when a pig gets iced that’s a good thing, and that everyone who considers himself a revolutionary should be armed, should own a gun, should have a gun in his house.”
–  
Bill Ayers, leftist activist and confidant of gun control happy Barack Obama, in A Strategy To Win, appearing in New Left Notes, September 12, 1969

‘The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.'” 
|     
- HL Mencken

“No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government
–  Thomas Jefferson, 1 Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

 

INTRODUCTION

The utterly horrific Colorado and Connecticut shootings, among others, are still being processed into the collective conscience of America.  Clearly, everyone of good conscience will grieve for the lives that were lost and damaged. But it is time now to reflect on what has caused tragedies such as these, and others. Here are some preliminary thoughts that may be worth reflecting on as you consider the gun control issue, that is sure to surface again in the near future:

First, is it guns, or is it people, that kill? As the old saying goes, Teddy Kennedy’s cars have killed more people than all the guns of 99.999% of all gun owners in America.  And this true around the world.  My brother lived in ultra-safe Switzerland for years. Why is Switzerland so safe? Is it because guns are outlawed?

Hardly.

Wikipedia notes: “If you were a Swiss man, you would be a soldier as well. Every able-bodied Swiss man must go to the army in Switzerland for 90 days (Rekrutenschule-Ecole de recrue) and then every 2 years until the age of 42, he must return for practice for 19 days. This allows the government to raise an army of 400,000 men, fully armed, within 24 hours, as every soldier has an assault gun in his house, complete with ammunition.” http://switzerland.isyours.com/e/swiss-business-guide/swiss-army.html “; moreover, “Each individual is required to keep his army issued personal weapon (the 5.56x45mm SIG 550 rifle for enlisted personnel or the SIG 510 rifle and/or the 9mm SIG-Sauer P220 semi-automatic pistol for officers, medical and postal personnel) at home with a specified personal retention quantity of government issued personal ammunition (50 rounds 5.56/48 rounds 9mm…)
http://en/wikipedia.org/wiki/gun_politics_in_switzerland.” Switzerland which has had three times the gun ownership as, for example Germany, has also had a much lower murder rate. And statistics like this ring true throughout the world. A short 3 minute video is here, for those that wish to see a short report on the Swiss and their guns http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WFUu7cfa7k&feature=player_embedded#t=22s

Indeed, Thomas Sowell notes countries with stronger gun control laws than the US, such as Russia, Brazil and Mexico (Mexico basically bans firearms completely, yet has a higher gun homicide rate than the US), have much higher murder rates, while there are many countries with high rates of gun ownership but low murder rates, such as Israel, New Zealand and Finland. In fact, in Mexico, the murder rate is 22.7 murders per 100,000, whereas the global average is ~7 homicides per 100,000, and the gun happy US is 4.8 murders per 100,000. http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2013/01/how-to-end-gun-debate-forever.html.  That is correct – the US, which has the widest gun ownership in the world, is below the worldwide average in homicides.  Of course, in the US, approximately 90 million legal owners of guns, owing 300 million firearms; murdered zero people last year. Contrast that with the approximately 170 million Prof. R.J. Rummel of Univ. of Hawaii, in his book Death by Government, says were killed in the last century, the majority of them after their governments disarmed them (Stéphane Courtois, author of the highly regarded Black Book of Communism estimates 94 million were murdered by Communists alone).  An hour long, very sobering summary video documenting what happens when the population has their weapons removed can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDivHkQ2GSg&feature=player_embedded#t=8s  Or perhaps one might wish to contrast this to the 32,000 people who lost their lives – including thousands of youth – in car accidents last year (see http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s1103.pdf or http://www.nhtsa.gov/NCSA to get the latest exact figure). And for those of you who correctly answered the  “cars are necessary, but guns are not” objection, a gold star, for indeed you are correct – an armed population, as the Founding Fathers repeatedly noted, is the sine qua non of a free country and a free population. “Free” as in –  as historical records show – comparison to a  country like the USSR, Cuba or China that end up murdering millions – including children (just google “Ukrainian Kulak” and look at the photos of millions of children who were murdered by Stalin’s government.  As the saying goes, “Free men have guns; slaves do not.”

An interview in The State Journal of West Virginia, regarding guns and the 2nd Amendment, is illustrative of the rabid anti-gun attitudes of the politically correct cadre. Predictably, the media talking head, who is of course anti-gun, interviews Keith Morgan, president of the West Virginia Citizen’s Defense League. The reporter tried to push the old canard that a national debate on guns is long overdue. (Yes… apparently leftist media reporters all get their same talking points from the same, lame “LeftistTalking Point Depot!”), to which Morgan replies “I have to take issue with the immediate premise that we started out with that it’s a long overdue discussion.  The discussion is as old as the country itself.  The Framers set everything up and settled that discussion pretty well with the wording and language of the Second Amendment…”

Mr. Morgan has it 100% nailed on the head!

HOW EFFECTIVE IS GUN CONTROL?

A 2000 study by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms revealed that 47% of guns used for crime are obtained via a straw purchase, while another 26% are stolen. So, how effective is firearms control in practice? In gun-control happy Chicago – which has banned guns for all practical purposes – the city has become the leading “alpha” city for gun murders in the world. 2012 ended with around five hundred murders in the city. http://news.yahoo.com/chicago-reaches-500-homicides-fatal-shooting-145951769.html – sixty of which were children! In fact, “gun free” Chicago had more murders than the entire nation of Japan in 2012. For comparison, drug war ridden Mexico City has 8.0 murders a year per 100,000 population, Moscow 9.6, Sao Paolo 15.6 and Chicago 19.4Similarly, Washington DC, which has banned concealed carry since 1975, has one of the highest rates of murder in the U.S. And of course, one might also have the temerity to ask why there are no theatre, mall or school shootings in Israel, where a goodly percentage of the population is armed, including fully automatic weapons. (Picture from http://janmorganmedia.com/2012/12/why-you-dont-hear-about-any-school-shootings-in-israel/ )

Let’s examine Chicago and a similar size city, Houston, which has concealed carry. Details are from 2012 – and do note that Chicago just recently  was forced to adopt more lenient gun laws in the past year – during which time the homicide rate dropped.  Those facts are not indicated in the chart below. How did formerly gun control happy Chicago and Houston compare?

 

  Chicago , IL  

   Houston , TX  

Population

  2.7 million

   2.15 million

Median HH income

  $38,600

   $37,000

% African-American

  32.9%

   24%

% Hispanic

  28.9%

   44%

% Asian

  5.5%

   6%

% non-Hispanic White

  31.7%

   26%

A reasonably similar matchup -until:

 

Chicago, IL

Houston, TX

Concealed carry gun law  

No

Yes

# of gun stores

0


84 dedicated gun shops,
1500 places to buy guns
(Walmart, etc.)

Homicides, 2012

506

207

Homicides per 100k

18.4

9.6

Average January
high temp, F

 31

63

Presumably the leftist conclusion from the above is that cold weather causes shootings!

OK, so what about New York City?  Yes, there was a reduction in gun shootings in 2012, but there were still 414 homicides in 2012. Notwithstanding the fact that NYC is almost becoming a police state, a one year drop could be attributable to many things, and as Frank Zimring, professor of law at UC Berkeley told NPR, “”If you’re gonna make the assumption that changes in crime rates always are responding to policies then why shouldn’t we be blaming the police for the slight increases [in New York's murder rate] in 2010 and 2011?” No word from Mr. Bloomberg on that… nor why Mr. Bloomberg has changed his tune from “al Qaeda hates us for our freedoms” to the situation today, where the NYPD conducts unconstitutional stop-and-frisk searches all over NYC.  And the reality is that the general trend in NYC has been a general trend of a drop in murder rates in NYC since the 1990s.

As a matter of fact, Dr. John Lott spoke on the Piers Morgan show shortly after the Connecticut school shooting, and noted that since 1950, in almost every public mass shooting in which three or more people died, it was in a setting where guns are banned, such as schools. Of course, relative to the Sandy Hook tragedy, Connecticut already had banned “assault weapons,” and the Newtown school was already a gun free zone. There also is already a total ban on guns in the possession of mentally unstable in Connecticut. A lot of good that did.  And if the shooter didn’t get it from his mother in this case, do you really think he wouldn’t have gone to the black market to get one, or turned to other tools, such as the bombs the leftist Unibomber or Timothy McVeigh used?  Were people any less dead because those two men used bombs instead of guns? On a personal level, when I was a student teacher in Illinois, a young high school student set a bomb right outside my classroom – it was found before it went off, but could have killed many students if it hadn’t been found in time. Are we next going to ban intelligence so that people can’t make bombs out of various materials? As a matter of fact, perhaps we already have banned intelligence – or at least wisdom – from our schools. But that is a story for another day…. along with some enterprising researcher conducting a study correlating the number of school shootings with the number of teachers having sex with their students.

Meanwhile, hidden from public view by a leftist media, school shootings are indeed occurring in countries with strict gun control. Former psychology professor and Army Ranger Lt. Col. David Grossman noted in Dec., 2012, on his Facebook site atwww.facebook.com/LtColDaveGrossman, that gun control poster child Germany has had two mass murders in their high schools that had body counts surpassing those at Columbine, while Dunblain, Scotland had a massacre in a kindergarten class, and just down the road from where I used to live in Alberta, Canada, the town of Taber experienced a school massacre. Handguns are outlawed in Canada. Finland has had three school massacres, and of course there was the Anders Breivik massacre in Norway, which also has restrictions on gun ownership. And if it isn’t guns, it’s knives. Grossman notes in gunless Belgium, a sicko dressed as the Joker from Batman got into a day care centre and hacked a dozen babies in their cribs, injuring them. Two more babies were killed, as well as one daycare worker.  If leftists want schools and other areas as “gun free zones,” perhaps we should make those who created gun free zones liable for the murders that occur there? And at the same time, may we ask why government buildings in Washington DC are “gun free zones” – or is it  that the “let them eat cake” ruling class gets armed security everywhere they go in the town (not to mention exemption from ObamaCare), while the rest of us poor, unwashed masses have to trust our safety to luck? In fact, there is a formal petition to the White House to have the Secret Service protecting the president and others in Washington made a gun free zone – remember, it is guns themselves that are the cause of crime. (Article at http://www.examiner.com/article/white-house-petition-demands-secret-service-be-replaced-by-gun-free-zone?cid=Editorial-NearYou-HP-RecentArticles

But, in case you don’t believe Lt. Colonel Grossman or Dr. Lott, perhaps you might believe the man running lead for Obama’s gun control task force after Sandy Hook, Joe Biden? Here is Biden in his own words, explaining that gun control will not stop a potential mass shooting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTyoppK_aDM&feature=player_embedded#t=2s

The top ten school massacres are listed here, for your reference: http://listverse.com/2008/01/01/top-10-worst-school-massacres/, the worst being the Beslan school massacre in Russia, with 386 dead, and over 700 injured by Chechen militants. In the US, one of the first US school massacres occurred, as Mark Steyn notes, on July 25,1764, when “…four Lenape Indians walked into a one-room schoolhouse in colonial Pennsylvania and killed Enoch Brown and ten of his pupils. One child survived, scalped and demented to the end of his days” (no assault rifles were recorded as being used in this attack); and the worst massacre in a US schooloccurred May 18. 1927, in Bath, Michigan, when school board treasurer Andrew Kehoe used a bomb to blow up the Bath Consolidated School, killing 44 people, including 38 children. Again, much to the chagrin of the left, no assault weapon was used.

And the comments from the left that masquerade as “fact,” such as the post-Sandy Hook Bill Clinton statement: “Half of all mass killings in the United States have occurred since the assault weapons ban expired in 2005. Half of all of them in the history of the country.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=or-inV1KKDE#t=0s  are not even close to reality.  Leaving aside the definition of what “is” is, what are the actual facts?  Unfortunately – similar to the ClimateGate revelations – someone actually did the research in a 2007 book entitled Mass Murder in the United States” A History, authored by Grant Duwe, director of research and evaluation at the Minnesota Dept. of Corrections. Here’s what Duwe found, as summarized from http://freedomoutpost.com/2013/01/bill-clinton-caught-in-lie-over-mass-shootings-fact/ :

In the past 100 years, there have been 156 mass killings where at least four people were killed publicly with a firearm in under 24 hours, where the killings did not include robbery, drugs or gangs. As of Jan., 2013, there have been 32 mass public shootings since Clinton’s assault weapons ban expired on Sept. 13, 2004, with seven in 2012.  Here is the tally by decade:

1900s : zero
1910s: 2
1920s: 2
1930s: 942
1940s: 8
1950s: 1
1960s: 6
1970s: 13
1980s: 32
1990s: 42
2000s: 28
2010s (three years): 14

Data from Boston.com, using data extracted from official police reports to the FBI, shows mass shootings in the US over the past 30 years have not increased. (See http://boston.com/community/blogs/crime_punishment/2012/08/no_increase_in_mass_shootings.html or as below)

Mass Shootings 1980-2010.jpg

Of course, the vast majority of these were not committed with semi-automatic rifles; rather, they were committed by handguns. Why no outcry re. handguns? Is it because they look less “scary?” Or might it really be because rifles could be used by a free people to defend themselves against totalitarianism? Perhaps the left should lift all restrictions on long guns, and legislate against handguns if they honestly wanted to make a dent in the death toll. (And while they are at it, perhaps they could pass legislation against “Fast & Furious” Eric Holder being anywhere within 100 miles of any gun at all.)

On the other side of the school shooter equation, in 2008, the isolated Harrold Independent School District in Texas, noting the damage done in the Columbine shootings, among others, decided the 20 minutes it could take police to arrive could lead to a horrific disaster, trained school staff were allowed to carry firearms in school.  The result? Dead students? Mayhem?  Actually… nothing, except a safe school. School district superintendent David Thweatt simply stated “We’re the first responders. We have to be. We don’t have 5 minutes. We don’t have 10 minutes. We would have had 20 minutes of hell” if the school was attacked. In fact, Evan Todd – who was shot and wounded at the Columbine massacre – makes this exact point (and a few more!) in his open letter to President Obama of Feb., 2013, found at http://chicksontheright.com/posts/item/23858-have-you-read-evan-todd-s-letter-to-obama-yet . Todd elucidated on his points in a further interview found at http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/02/19/being-shot-gave-this-columbine-survivor-strong-views-on-gun-control-heres-why-he-opposes-more-restrictions/

But lurking behind the school shooting question is the issue of “never let a crisis go to waste,” per Rahm Emmanuel. Is it really guns, or is it rather the gun grabber agenda that is in the dock here? If the former, why no comment from the leftist media that every month after the Sandy Hook shooting, on average 40 juveniles will be murdered with something other than a rifle? Or doesn’t that meet with the agenda du jour? (And I’m just waiting to hear some leftist claim that rifles cause global warming!)

And finally, if gun grabbers are so “concerned for the kids,” why then this story that came out just after Sandy Hook:

“Amid all the hubbub surrounding Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s “assault weapons” ban, there are still everyday stories of average law-abiding citizens using firearms to defend themselves and others from evil — or in this case, serious harm. An 11-year-old boy was riding his bike in a Washington, DC, neighborhood when he came upon three pit bulls. The dogs pounced, mauling the boy. Fortunately, a neighbor saw what was happening, grabbed his handgun and rushed out to shoot one of the pit bulls. A DC police officer patrolling nearby on a bicycle heard the shot, and came to the boy’s aid as well, shooting the other two pit bulls. The boy’s injuries were severe, but he will survive, thanks to the quick action of this neighbor. However, the hero is under investigation for violating local gun laws — discharging his weapon while not on his own property. No word yet on whether charges will be filed, but DC’s gun laws are what put children at risk.” (Source for this story not retained, but published week of 21 Jan., 2013)

This story clearly illustrates that for many on the left, it is not about the kids. It is about their agenda.

There is more to come, but this should get you started on your reflections on the issue.

Deal Alert: Kershaw BlackWash Series

Kershaw 1302BW Lifter Folding Knife with SpeedSafeKershaw 1301BW Starter Folding Knife with SpeedSafe

Kershaw 1303BW Manifold Folding Knife with SpeedSafe

Every now and then a knife comes out that provides outstanding value. The Cold Steel Bowie machete at 15 Usd was such a knife. So was the Spyderco Tenacious and the Schrade SCHF9 Extreme Survival I reviewed some time ago. (Updated review coming up soon)
Now, Kershaw has recently released three high value knifes in their BlackWash series. The Design and esthetics are what you can come to expect from other knives of the same company but with an extra zero on the price tag. That black-oxide BlackWash finish looks great on all three models, each with their own character.
These’s knives are currently selling in Amazon at around 20 usd. Expect the prices to go up as soon as the videos and reviews start rolling. The price should really be around 30 usd. I already placed my order, will do the reviews as soon as possible.
If you’re looking to get a solid small/medium EDC blade that gets the job done seriously consider one of these three for 20 bucks while you can.
FerFAL