22 February 2013

Point: Counter-Point -> Gun Ban Conspiracy Theory?

Some who personally know me, know that I do have some whack-a-doodle conspiracy theories. I don't deny it and many have proven to be true. I recently uncovered what I believe to be another while taking a "How well do you know the 2nd Amendment" quiz.

Below you will see the question asked and the correct answer. I'll admit I didn't know it by the evidence of the big red box.
But wait, there's more. So I did some investigating around Mr. Heller's latest complaint, or rather his second motion. They can be found on the Heller Foundation website.

What I found made my brain spin for a moment because, as the photo shows, Mr Heller wanted to use a Bushmaster XM-15-E2S as his example. I knew because of the police report at Sandy Hook this was the supposed weapon Adam Lanza used. I didn't know about William Spengler in Webster, NY or the specifics around John Allen Mohammed and Lee Boyd Malvo weapons. For the sake of this argument we will eliminate the last two as it occurred in 2002. They may still have bearing in this argument though.

HOWEVER, Mr. Heller, had two appointments regarding the gun ban. One on January 31, 2012 and then the post of June 29, 2012 which you see on the foundation website. Both of these appointments were prior to the December 14th and 24th killings using the same weapon. (You are starting to see where I am going)

The push for the gun ban continued to grow stronger near the election and the strongest just before the inauguration of our current president. There has always been controversy on what Adam Lanza supposedly used for his crime and Spengler set fire to the house where the weapon was supposedly found. How convenient.

I am all about letting people draw their own conclusions but this time, I'm just going to say it. The two incidents listed above had a mighty convenient tie-in to what is trying to push through for a gun ban. The Bushmaster is a good weapon, I won't argue that. There are many like it as well. My next statement/question may make me a target for harassment or something else, but I've got to say it. The question is, am I out of line for saying the two incidents had those weapons planted to push through another agenda?

That's where you have to draw the conclusion. Coincidentally, I scored 80% on the quiz because one was a judgement call and one I didn't see the "All of the above" answer.

Until then,
Use your instincts to survive

21 February 2013

Operational Security - Guest Post

I was honored that I was able to feature a great writer for a guest post on the blog. I gave liberty with the understanding that I would review the article. I have to say, there was no disappointment. Great article by Plan and Prep. Enjoy!

Until then, 
Use your instincts to survive


Operational Security
Most preppers love to talk about OpSec, “Operational Security”.  At book signings and prepper events whenever a conversation gets started you can pretty much guarantee that this subject is going to come up.  The surprising thing is just how often people will invalidate their own OpSec, usually when talking about OpSec!

At a recent book signing I was talking to a gentleman and his wife that had come in from central Illinois.  They were there to shop and get a copy of my book signed and hopefully to have a little discussion about prepping.  When I asked where they were from the man said “Central Illinois” and the woman interjected “South of <town name>”.  Well, unlike the majority of Americans I am actually familiar with the area so I said “Really?  I have a friend on Pine Crest Rd there” to which the lady replied, “Oh yeah?  We’re further south, off of highway 3, just north of <town 2>”.

At this point the man broke in with questions about bunkers and stored foods and we talked for a few more minutes.  When the discussion came back around to their available resources the man mentioned that his neighbors were real quiet, “dead quiet” as a matter of fact and he and his wife shared a laugh.
The rest of the day that conversation kept coming up in the back of my mind.  I had a very good idea of the layout of the man’s homestead from his descriptions, I knew what kind of truck he drove because he offered that information to me, and I knew roughly where he lived also from his wife’s descriptions.  When I got home I jumped on Google Maps and zoomed over to their town.  After about 5 minutes of searching the map views I had a real good idea of where this couple lived, right down to the satellite photo of his truck in the driveway.

I knew quite a bit about this man’s preps, I knew a good deal about his security and I knew when he wasn’t normally home because he told me where he worked.

Now this couple was having a simple conversation, and a lot of the information they offered was buried in a pile of words and questions that some people wouldn’t pick up on.  Being an ex-cop I hear these details and they just sort of file themselves away so I can call them up later to rebuild the conversation in my head.  It is a skill that some people have and some don’t.

Generalizations Are Good
When you are discussing your preps be general.  You don’t own a Ford F-150, you own a truck.  The truck isn’t Black its “dark colored”, your car isn’t red it’s “bright colored”.  You don’t live on a two-lane blacktop road; you live on “a county road” or “a country road”.  Don’t tell people what town you live near; give a regional description like “central Indiana” or “western Kentucky”.  You don’t have two rivers on either side of your property; you have “localized freshwater resources”.  You don’t live in a large, two story country home with white painted paneling and blue shutters; you live in “an older home, but it’s comfy”.

Details narrow down searches and can make it very easy to locate you if necessary.  If someone knows you live in a small town they can focus their search for you there.  If they know you drive a late model white Ford F-150 pickup truck you have just narrowed down their search dramatically.  Imagine the difference between staking out a busy intersection for “trucks” versus “late model, white, Ford F-150 trucks”.  If the person knows your race or general appearance they could easily find you and recognize you.

Don’t Discuss Security
So many people at my signings want to tell me about their security setup.  They tell me what type of firearms they have, how many, how much ammo and which members of the family are proficient with them.  I have had people tell me about their early warning systems as well as full descriptions of their fail safe plans.  Usually they do this to get to a question, but they feel that I need to know everything about what they have so that I can narrow down some advice that will be useful to them.  Meanwhile a small crowd standing nearby now knows everything about your home security.  Not only that, you have just told a military trained, ex-police officer exactly what he would need to get past to invade your space.  Not a good idea.

Anonymity Rules
Purchasing bulk supplies or even small amounts at regular intervals gets noticed.  Perhaps not to the point of causing trouble, but if you see the same sales people every month for two years they will remember you, and if asked they’ll offer anyone a theory as to why you need all of the stuff you have been buying.  To counter this you need to locate multiple outlets to purchase supplies and ensure you utilize different carriers for delivery, rotating them regularly.  The guy down at the firearms store that feels the same way you do and happens to be a prepper may not be the best guy to talk to about all of your preparations.  Remember, if the time comes when he needs something he will remember where to get it.

Have a Cover Story
Treat your Operational Security like you are a cold war spy.  Develop a secondary personality and identity that you can use when people ask you questions.  Obviously I do NOT mean to get a fake identity or lie to authorities; I am talking about general conversation when people ask you questions.  For instance, I often talk about my family homestead property in Michigan.  Some people at my book signings are from Michigan and ask where it’s at, so I say “Near Mason”.   That will usually quell their curiosity, and I am safe because my homestead is not, “near Mason”.

It’s An “All the Time” Thing
A lot of preppers make their biggest OpSec mistakes outside of their prepping activities.  Telling someone at work about your prepping is as good as advertising it because it becomes a funny story that gets told to spouses over dinner, and then over the phone the next day when the spouse is talking about that “prepper” guy at her husband’s job.  In large cities this isn’t so terrible but in small to mid-size towns that can lead to a lot of people knowing more about you that you would like. 

I am sure most people do this, but please make sure your preps are either put away or hidden when you aren’t actively working with them.  Neighbors stop by, kids bring friends over and sometimes people are just a bit too dang nosey for their own good, so hide those preps and keep them safe.

Another big OpSec fail is when you are practicing your “bug out” procedures.  In order to make it realistic many preppers will wear tactical gear and act in a way that is contrary to the norm.  This gets noticed REAL fast.  Try finding tactical clothing that doesn’t look tactical but still has functionality.  Most of the better tactical clothing companies offer clothing lines that fit these criteria and the prices aren’t too bad.  If you can’t find what you want in the tactical arena try normal work wear; cargo pants, safari shirts, etc.  It isn’t the same as a set of tactical BDU’s but will get you through a bug out drill.  Being un-noticed is a HUGE tactical advantage and will do wonders for your OpSec.  For more info on that, research “Grey Man” tactics and “hiding in plain sight”.  I had an article on my site for a while regarding this, I will repost it later if I can dig it up.

Don’t Be Too Cool
Situations change quickly in life, especially when you are dealing with events that preppers are preparing to weather.  Ensure that you are flexible in all of your planning while still maintaining proper OpSec.  This means having multiple plans, backups and redundancies.  What this also means is that you will probably react much differently than other people around you, which can bring notice onto you.

If the world is reacting in chaotic fashion and you are in the middle of it looking calm and cool then you have a couple of problems.
  1. )      You aren’t worried enough, get your guard up.
  2. )      People will notice your cool head and gravitate to you.

To avoid this you will need to avoid these situations where you are near crowds, which is always a good idea in the first place.  However, if that cannot be avoided then you will need to manufacture a sense of overwhelming fear, on the surface at least, in order to fit in with the crowd.  Keep it in check and make sure that if you have children, they are aware of this and don’t get overly frightened by it.  It shouldn’t be hard to do, just make sure to keep it in check and remember that you are in control of your situation and this is a means to an end.

For more information on this topic and others, please visit my website.
Plan and Prep
“Ready for Anything”

09 February 2013

Survival Instincts and other updates

I did not want a week to go by without giving you some updates including the latest venture and possible futures.

The latest was the decision to create a newspaper. I know, there are a lot of different papers out there and makes it easy to create one as a front end portal to all other articles and posts.

However, what makes Survival Instincts different is I am doing most of the work. What does that mean? A lot of papers are doing a good job of gathering information from other sources based on hashtags and pointing to different resources. With Survival Instincts I am doing the reading and researching of articles and posts to determine what I feel is best for the reader. This means that when you look at the paper you will see my name associated to many of the articles posted not for an egotistical boost but I think they serve the purpose which helps you, the reader, use your instincts to survive.

Check it out when you get the chance and let me know your thoughts either on the paper site or here.

I've been busy following, retweeting and mentioning on Twitter as well. Make sure you check out the #preppertalk hashtag. The #bushcraft and #survival hashtags provide great information for you too.

Regarding the future, we will continue going down the same path that we are going now. In addition, I am comparing blog sites to see if I need to move to provide more and better functionality for you, the reader. Another option is to use this as the main site and use the Tumbr account as a "micro-blog" for updates. No decision has been made at this time, so who knows.

Lastly, I want to just say THANK YOU. You are a great community and friends both virtual and physical. You have been great for a laugh and the tips you give are fantastic. I certainly couldn't have done this without you.

Until then, 
Use your instincts to survive

02 February 2013

Do Your Part?

I was going through a checklist several weeks ago and really started to feel overwhelmed. I had to check all the medical supplies, sanitation supplies, food storage and supplies, defense supplies, supply supplies and the list went on. Yes, I have them divided into sections but I decided to take a section and give it to someone else.

What do I mean? I mean, there is more than just me preparing for things. My spouse and children and even a couple of others that we have vowed to “save”. I am but one person and if something happens to me, then what? Until that day, everything would have fallen apart.

Now I have delegated some of the major tasks and asked them to start learning and if they have questions, ask me. Now my medical officer is learning what to store and why and is looking into taking a CPR class as well as Emergency First Aid.

My Security Officer, well second in command, is learning how to shoot efficiently and effectively as well as what to store and why.

The Food Storage officer is learning what else needs to be bought when they go to the store and what we are low on in order to build up the preps.

And again, the list goes on. 

However, this time we are all doing our part and we do cross tasks. No one takes the full weight of the task but they are the “officer” is the one responsible when we need something and it’s not there.

All I am saying is you are not alone. Delegate where you can or at least get someone to help you. It is not you against the world but the world against you and yours.

Short and sweet...kind of.

Until then,
Use your instincts to survive