Archive for the ‘crime control’ Category

Situational Awareness

01 October, 2017 is a day that will go down in the history books as just another day that brought temporary shock and awe to the people of this great nation. I say temporary simply because the horror of the moment has passed on into memory for most people. On that day, one Stephen Paddock opened fire upon a massed crowd of concert goers some 490 yards away from the Mandalay Resort hotel in Las Vegas Nevada.

Firing from the 32nd floor into a concert venue some 490 yards away, the concert goers at the annual Harvest County music festival would have been like fat juicy fish in the bottom of a barrel. Paddock allegedly fired hundreds of rounds into the crowd at a rapid rate of fire, assisted by what is called a “bump stock”.  This device allows a semi-automatic rifle to be fired at speeds comparable to a fully automatic weapon.

The poor souls attending the country music concert didn’t have a clue as to what was in store for them that day, and as the shooting continued, blended into one solid mass of pure panic. But I’m not here to dissect the shooting and give my two cents worth on it; I’m here to talk about something called “situational awareness” or SA.

SA is often hyped by many gurus in the pepper/survivalist world as a skill that takes months if not years to develop. This however is not really true. SA is something that is innate in most humans. Unfortunately, we have become so urbanized and lazy that skills like this one have become buried into the farthest reaches of our memory banks. This is too bad because many of our trips into other places besides our home can be enhanced and made more enjoyable, as well as safer if we could only awaken this hidden skill.

The skills of SA become more acute as we use them more and more. Without going into a long drawn out textbook discussion of this mental exercise, let me simply say that situational awareness simply means being mentally and physically aware of the situation you are in.

How do we do this? In the greater aspect, we need to take a position that when we are going to any given site, we examine the place we are going to for any and all possible threat potential. Smart preppers and security minded people will take the added step of pre-reconnaissance of any event venue for additional information that can help you determine threats as well as ways to avoid and escape from any given threat.

Most event flyers and websites will provide you with a seating plan which helps you decide how much ticket to buy and where you will be sitting with that ticket. These diagrams also give you an idea of where the entry and exit doors are and sometimes other architectural elements that you will need to be aware of. Use this knowledge to develop a way of escaping from and lessening and threat factors. Try to be seated as close to an exit path as possible for quick egress from a situation.

Learn where any safety barriers might be placed as these barricades may be useful to hide behind. One of the things we saw in the many shared videos of the Vegas Massacre was images of people trying to find cover. Granted, due to the angle of fire in this situation, it was a difficult to actually find full protection, but in more cases than not, these shootings occur from a ground level, and therefore the barricades make better protection.

Try to be constantly scanning the area you are in for suspicious looking people. When at the mall, especially in food courts, this is very important.  The threat you face may not be a shooter, but a simple pick-pocket. People that are up to no good are always also scanning the area they are in. The exception here is they are not looking for a threat from someone intent on harm, they are looking for security personnel that may be there looking for a criminal.

Know where the doors are to any building you visit. Entry ways can also be exits in an emergency, even though the doors may be physically marked or built to only allow traffic in one direction. One tip here is that all modern building codes require doorways to be opened to allow for exiting any building in the event of a fire, even without power. Usually, you just need to push on a closed door to open it, even if the crash bar is locked. All commercial doors must open outwards, one way or another.

When in a restaurant, sit in such a way that you can observe the entryways and other doors. Don’t choose a table that may be in an alcove, cozily hidden away for a discreet meal. Such a choice may well trap you and prevent escape should some nut case open fire where you are.

The list goes on and I’ll cover more in another post, but just remember that public places make for welcoming venues for these glory seeking shooters. These people are generally interested in taking out as many people as they can, and go into these events with the intent that they will themselves be shot. To some people, there is glory and recognition in death.

Situational awareness is a key factor in our potential for survival in the long term. More often than not we are actually practicing SA, and aren’t even aware of it. Become aware of it and develop this skill to its fullest extent. Till the next time, be prepared and survive the times!

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gun crimeAs we are all aware, the fairly recent mass shooting at a school in Newtown Connecticut has placed the nation into an uproar over the issue of gun rights verses gun controls. As usual, instead of addressing the core issues at hand, the socialist minded leftist politicians, democrat and republican both, have decided to glam onto the anti-gun bandwagon and push for stricter gun laws.

Is this really what we should be doing in response to such an horrific act as a mass shooting?

The issue at hand should not be addressed as gun control, but more properly as an issue of crime control. The problem is not that a gun or guns were used to kill a bunch of innocent people, but that a person decided to commit that shooting. Why is no one addressing the problem of the person, instead of the tool used to commit the crime?

Why was the crime committed? At this point, I really have no idea, and neither does the majority of America, but is the weapon of choice really the problem? In a word, no it is not the problem. The problem is that a crime was committed.

Look at the issue of assault in this manner:

Let us say a person, man or woman, gets angry and wants to assault their partner in life. There is no gun in the house, so what does the person do? Does this person simply walk away because they cannot succumb to their emotional need to attack someone and cause injury? Of course not. If this were true, then we would have no issues of domestic abuse and the resulting crime rate from that ill named crime.

The person would either use their hands to attack, or grab whatever is handy. Let us say that a vacuum cleaner was nearby, and the person grabbed an extension wand to beat the crap out of their partner. Should we then ban vacuum cleaners because the extension wand was used to beat someone?

Maybe we should just ban vacuum cleaners that have extension wands? Alternatively, we could ban vacuum cleaners with multiple extension wands. That way the victim might have a chance to escape while the perpetrator reloads. Sounds pretty stupid, doesn’t it?

Of course it is stupid, and so is the argument over gun control. We do not need gun control, and neither do we need people control, but the end result is that people control is the only possible end result of gun control.

Banning high capacity magazines, or clips holding more than ten rounds will not eliminate the potential for gun crime. In fact, in some ways it retains the probability of an increase in gun crime, especially as time goes by.

More and more people will simply comply with the rules, and eschew their constitutionally endowed right of self-defense, thus exposing themselves, and their property to those who wouldn’t give a rats ass for the lawful requirements of gun owners.

Further, surrendering our right of self-defense also decreases the possibility of defending ourselves against a corrupt political establishment, should the right parties attempt to subjugate us to a certain form of dictatorial regime, which may well happen given the current trend of affairs.

The question we have to ask here is; is gun control really meant to control gun related crime, or is it really intended to control the larger part of the law abiding gun owning population through a series of bans on certain firearms, clips and ammunition, registrations, and publicly administered oversight of gun owners?

It hasn’t happened yet, but it’s bound to in the near future. Earthquakes are part of life along our southwest coastline here in the US and hardly a day goes by without several reports are posted from the region on what they consider minor events. In looking at the USGS’s California-Nevada Fault Map this morning, I see 95 reports from the last week. While this doesn’t signify a major tremblor for the area, or an indication that an 8.0 or greater will occur, there also is no way to tell that there won’t be one, either.

Will there, or won’t there be a severe earthquake in the LA area soon? I can’t tell for sure, nobody can. But I can speculate on what will occur to the area if it does happen. And by LA, I mean the area stretching from Indio on up through San Bernardino and then to Santa Monica. It’s a big area, and while there seems to be more minor tremblors in the Indio area, there isn’t much recorded around the heavier populated LA to Riverside stretch. Could it just be a long nap along the fault lines, or are the plates getting ready to crack?

We’re all still fixated on the Haitian tragedy of a year ago when Port au Prince was devastated by an earthquake, and we still see today the effects of poverty and government corruption have had on the population. It’s a year later and people are still living on handouts and living in tent villages. Will that be the outcome of a major event here in the US?

It’s unlikely we will see the magnitude of poverty that Haiti has suffered from after their quake, but I believe there will be some similarities in the aftermath of such an event. For one thing, the LA area has a greater population spread out over a larger land area, but the infrastructure is significantly greater, and in a far better state than what Haiti had at the time of their event. Simply put, LA is better built after having learned from their experiences. Whereas Haiti had little resources to commit to rebuilding, we have significantly greater resources, and less corruption to channel those resources away from rebuilding the area.

But there will be some things happen that we have never seen before in an earthquake of any sizeable magnitude in the US. I believe that FEMA will attempt to build upon the mistakes made in the Katrina aftermath and impose some of the controls on the area that many in the conspiracy theater seem to feel the government can’t wait to try.

For one, I think we will see federal agencies flock to the disaster in record time, no matter the severity of destruction. We will see federally imposed Martial Law placed upon the affected area almost from the get go. I also believe we will see forced evacuations and quickly erected tent cities used to house those evacuees. The area will in effect become a ghost town, populated by lone holdouts, looters and gangs. Evacuated persons will not be allowed to return to the area, and the military will be used to patrol the area. I see little being done to actually control the resulting looting, however. The reason for that is the Posse Comitatus act of 1878. Originally intended to prevent out federal troops from being used in local law enforcement duties, we have seen that act become basically useless over the last couple of decades or so.

As disasters have seemingly increased as federal government power and autonomy has increased, we’ve seen an increase in the militaries use in providing disaster relief. Where we once would see local volunteers and the Red Cross handing out food and blankets, we now see uniformed soldiers performing the task. In Katrina, we saw a limited engagement of military patrols in the flood ravaged community. Next time around we will see a greater presence of troops involved in that duty. However, we are still a ways off from being able to stomach the idea of an armed soldier gunning down a gang-banger looting a 52″ television. The press would have a field day with that one, both liberal and conservative.

But still, the troops will be utilized to force innocent people from their homes and evacuated to what will be considered by FEMA to be a safe haven, namely the tent cities. It will be a grand exercise to test the will of the people of this nation, as well as to further de=sensitize us to the presence of what should not be in this nation. Government intrusion at its worst.

A page from DHS’s collection of pages has a piece by Major Craig T. Trebilcock called The Myth of Posse Comitatus, written in 2000. I’ve shared his conclusions here, and this conclusion seems to be the policy of the DHS when confronted with the possibility of using the military on our own soil.

Is the Posse Comitatus Act totally without meaning today? No, it remains a deterrent to prevent the unauthorized deployment of troops at the local level in response to what is purely a civilian law enforcement matter. Although no person has ever been successfully prosecuted under the act, it is available in criminal or administrative proceedings to punish a lower-level commander who uses military forces to pursue a common felon or to conduct sobriety checkpoints off of a federal military post. Officers have had their careers abruptly brought to a close by misusing federal military assets to support a purely civilian criminal matter.

But does the act present a major barrier at the National Command Authority level to use of military forces in the battle against terrorism? The numerous exceptions and policy shifts carried out over the past 20 years strongly indicate that it does not. Could anyone seriously suggest that it is appropriate to use the military to interdict drugs and illegal aliens but preclude the military from countering terrorist threats that employ weapons of mass destruction? For two decades the military has been increasingly used as an auxiliary to civilian law enforcement when the capabilities of the police have been exceeded. Under both the statutory and constitutional exceptions that have permitted the use of the military in law enforcement since 1980, the president has ample authority to employ the military in homeland defense against the threat of weapons of mass destruction in terrorist hands.

The government has weaseled in the usage of the military of some aspects of our security; will they go all the way and turn the military into a nationalized federal police force of sorts? Hard to tell for sure, but I do know there are those in power today that would love to see this come about. But if we do soon see an 8.0 in Commiefornia, we’ll be paying close attention to the results.

 Be sure to turn to Survival 101 to hear my broadcasts on preparedness planning!

There are a lot of things we have to consider as we prepare to survive the coming times, including our own safety and security. We make plans to guard our property and our lives by buying guns and ammo, installing heavy duty security hardware on our doors and windows, buying safes and more, but there is much more to consider as we degrade into the next phase of humanity as a nation. For instance, do you know who is watching you prepare?

Everybody is aware of the fact that people with evil intent practice the fine art of surveillance upon their intended victims, often resulting in great harm to the victim, and great profit to the perpetrator of the crime. We also know that we are being watched by our internet providers and advertising, but did you know that everyone from your bank, your favorite retailer and even the government is keeping an eye on all that we do?

How are they doing that? In lots of ways, actually. Most of which we have no idea of when it occurs. Online shopping, even just window shopping can be incredibly detrimental to your security health. When we stroll around the web we can leave cookies as we look at various advertisements and visit various websites. Most people are not aware of the fact that these cookies can be used to develop a profile of your online life. Targeted advertising uses these profiles to load the screen with advertising based upon what sites and advertisements you visit while web surfing.

Based upon these profiles, a fairly good picture of who and what you are can be developed, and with that picture you could become a target by various entities. Those entities could be advertisers trying to sell you a 72 hour go bag, a crook intent upon cleaning out your bank account, or a government agency that thinks you pose a risk. But there’s more bad news at hand too. That news comes from above.

I don’t mean God here; I mean the government agencies that are more and more turning to aerial surveillance to keep an eye on what you are doing. We’ve grown up under the false impression that everything law enforcement and other government agencies do is for our safety, for our own good. That may have been true in Mayberry USA, but not in today’s world of terrorism and corruption. Today, there are some people in power that believe people who live the prepper and survivalist lifestyle are a threat to this nation, in spite of the fact that most of us can be viewed as nothing but patriots to our country.

You might remember a few months ago that a furor arose over one community’s use of aerial photography to spot and fine violators of the towns zoning ordinances. Photos were used to document the existence of swimming pools and outbuildings on properties where permits were never obtained to do the work. There is a growing use of aerial photography to keep tabs on what we are doing on our own property. Law enforcement claims they are looking for criminal activity, but what is really happening is an invasion of our privacy, and that can mean some serious problems may lie ahead for those of us adapting out property for long term survival of the coming times.

Secrecy needs to be part of your overall preparedness planning. Why? If you are truly prepared for the long haul, then you have a veritable department store ripe for the picking on one hand, and on the other you have a source of irritation to those who prefer the government be the provider of all things, including what you have accumulated as part of that planning. Along with the growth in government sponsored surveillance of us the taxpayer we also see an increasing number of officials that consider our planning as nothing more than selfish and immoral hoarding. They see your long term food storage plan as something to share with the rest of civilization, and they will take your resources whether you like it or not.

For those of you that live in the Miami-Dade area, that reality is on your doorstep. According to a WSVN report, MDPD purchased a drone named T-hawk from defense firm Honeywell to assist with the department’s Special Response Team’s operations. The 20-pound drone can fly for 40 minutes, reach heights of 10,500 feet and cruise in the air at 46 miles an hour. “It gives us a good opportunity to have an eye up there. Not a surveilling eye, not a spying eye. Let’s make the distinction. A surveilling eye to help us to do the things we need to do, honestly, to keep people safe,” said Miami-Dade Police Director James Loftus. (Article and video here.)This is just the beginning. Eventually, as costs come down and more communities get on the bandwagon, we’ll see drones that can stay aloft for days snapping shots and taking video of the local goings on.

The DHS is already utilizing the Predator B Drones to patrol the Mexican border and want to expand their use to the Canadian border and both coastlines as well, forming a visual fence that can see everything we are doing in those areas. But even though drones are a ways off from today, many community agencies use helicopters and planes to keep an eye on us. So, word of warning, when you adapt your property, make sure you do it right, and make sure it is unobtrusive.

And don’t forget that as we move closer to being a cashless society, it will be easier and easier for those in power to keep tabs on where we shop, what we buy, and how much.

Headlines from today’s papers are all hyping the Obama’s administration’s decision to move the terrorist detainees to a prison in Illinois from Guantanamo next year. Makes me wonder when the revolution will begin. But in real terms, I see it as just another slick move designed to show that the Great B.O. is really the “one” as Oprah seemed to like calling him. Another promise kept, no matter the cost. I suppose at some point and time somebody will decide to let Obama know that he won the election, and that he can stop campaigning anytime.

So, to get to the meat of the matter, I see this as a tragedy waiting to happen. Possibly even an engineered tragedy, as a way for the government to finalize its control over the taxpayers of this once free nation. But whatever happens, it’ll be a hoot!

Apparently the 1,600 bed prison was offered for sale this past October to the Feds. Not surprising that this offer comes from Obama’s home state of Illinois. Holding around 200 minimum security prisoners at the moment, it does seem like the facility is wicked underused, but is it really a good idea to plop these detainees, who would just as soon slice our Christian throats in our sleep? I mean c’mon now people, wake up and smell the burning toast! A promise is made to close Guantanamo by a presidential contender. That contender also promised to bring our families home from the Middle East conflict as well, and look how that turned out.

Anyways, he has a couple of choices here. We could close the center and farm off these detainees to other countries. Been there, done that, and nobody wants them because of the danger they pose. So Obama can’t make good on his promise that way. Another choice would be to close the center and simply let everyone free, depositing them into their home countries. Can’t do that either because of the threat they pose to the nations of the world. So, to make good on the promise, the center in Guantanamo has to be closed. He never promised to release them, just close the prison.

Aha! Here comes an offer from the Presidents own state of a very fine prison that is currently underutilized. A perfect solution. But wait, first, this prison has to undergo some major upgrades to make it more secure, and it won’t be available for at least six more months after that work starts. Hmmm. Job creation in Illinois, but nowhere else during the construction period. Speaking of construction, this prison was built in 2001 for around 120,000,000 bucks. I wonder how much the feds are gonna give Illinois for it? Not that they have any money to appropriate for it. Going by some articles, the money may come from the 2010 military appropriations to be voted on next year. So no matter how we look at it, Guantanamo isn’t closing anytime soon.

No big surprise there, however. Another lame promise from yet another lame politician un-kept. The promise was that Obama would close Guantanamo within a year. Not gonna happen, is it? It’s nearly the end of December, and short of just opening the gates and simply letting the few dozen (about 200) of detainees free there is no opportunity to move these people. But an even bigger problem with this scheme is that before these detainees are moved onto US soil, the government has to pass a law allowing prisoners to be held even if they are not awaiting trial. And let’s take that one step further. Should such a law be passed, who is to say that it will not be used to detain US citizens that disagree with the current administration? Suppose you get tossed in the clink because you were at an anti-Obama rally. What then? There need be no trial planned because you could legally be incarcerated, and denied your constitutional rights we now have. After all, these same congressmen passed a law earlier this year prohibiting moving these prisoners onto US soil unless they were being tried here, didn’t they?

With 1600 beds, the Thomson Correctional Facility looks like an interesting place. I checked it out on Google Map, and from the sky it looks like one of those vacation condominium resorts. It also has some strategic pluses, as well as some big negatives as well. But I won’t go into those as I’d rather not help anyone out here. I will say that there is ample opportunity for the facility to come under attack by unfriendly forces, and that attack could easily be successful. It will be interesting to see what happens to the mix of prisoners. For one thing, there are only a few dozen at Guantanamo, which means the rest of the facility will be dedicated to regular federal inmates.

The question here is how would these prisoners be guarded? Will the facility be surrounded by troops? Or will the normal cop wannabe looser security staff be put in place. You know the type, lazy, with an air of superiority, and an inflated opinion of their own abilities. Or better put, will they be capable of repelling an attack from the outside? And if the facility is in fact breeched, what about all of the other inmates, let alone the terrorist population within?

Dick the turban Durbin seems to believe the new federal prison will provide 3,000 new jobs for the area. Another hmmmm. Three thousand new jobs in Obama’s home state of Illinois. The whole idea stinks, especially when you place military security side by side with regular prison security issues and needs. I say keep these people in Guantanamo where they belong, and give them a military trial as they truly deserve. After all, they were captured from military units weren’t they? At least for most, they were. That makes them enemy combatants in my book.

So here’s an idea; let’s just quietly slip off the island one night, leaving the prisoners behind. Then we can through the keys over the fence and say, “Here ya go Fidel, enjoy!”

Here are a couple of stories on the issue;

U.S. to announce transfer of detainees to Ill. prison

U.S. Said to Pick Illinois Prison to House Detainees