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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Terrorism and Violent Attacks: What YOU Can Do!

In my “other life” outside of my job as a cyber-security operations supervisor, I am involved in a number of activities that revolve around community emergency response, institutional safety, and preparing for such things as what happened in Orlando and other previous attacks in places of worship.  Having previously performed physical (armed) security duties at my church and in the military, I still keep in touch with security efforts, and still attend constant training in this area.  My background in this area comes from being a firearms instructor, a member of the Fort Collins Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and The Counterterrorism Education Learning Lab (The CELL) in Denver, as well as serving as an emergency communications HAM radio operator.
 Recently, I had the privilege of attending an Institutional Safety Conference (often referred to as a “Sheepdog Seminar”) presented by LtCol Dave Grossman, Carl Chinn (one of the responders at the December 2007 New Life Church shooting), Jimmy Meeks, and Northern Colorado’s own former Navy SEAL Mark Hotaling.  Less than a day after that seminar, we all learned that the Orlando massacre happened.  Little did I know that LtCol Grossman's words would turn out to be extremely prophetic.  In that seminar, Grossman, Meeks, Chinn, and Hotaling all told us that horrible attacks like this one would begin in America on a larger scale, and very soon.  Grossman took us through the Beslan Massacre as an example of what kinds of terrorist attacks could happen here.  In fact many in the extremist circles have stated that the Beslan Massacre was their dress rehearsal for what they had planned for America.

I need to be very blunt here:  As was stated several times in the presentation, and as I firmly believe, many people are still in denial and have their heads in the sand on the issues of violence and terrorism in America.  September 11, 2001 woke us up to the fact that terrorism on a large scale can happen in America.  But then, we went back to sleep.  We have been living the “it can’t happen here” lie for quite a while now.  This has only been worsened by the endless bombardment of political correctness in our society.  Well you know what?  It’s high time we start calling these threats for what they are, face them head on, and declare that we as Americans will not put up with the tactics of fear and terrorism in our land.
Protecting my family, friends, community, and co-workers is a responsibility that I don't take lightly.  LtCol Grossman was emphatic in his belief that more attacks would happen soon.  No sooner does he say that, and then one happens less than 24 hours after making his remarks.  I firmly believe in being prepared, and will accept nothing less from my fellow citizens.  By all of us being prepared, we send a strong message to the bad guys, and present a formidable deterrence against their actions.

So here are some things that YOU can do, and will hopefully find helpful in your own preparations:


  • Attend a “Sheepdog Seminar.”  This is some of the best information you will ever receive on this topic of preparing for, and responding to, violent attacks.  If you can’t attend, they offer the seminars on DVD. http://www.sheepdogsafetytraining.com/ 
  • Meet with your family, neighbors, and friends.  Form a group.   Discuss preparedness, neighborhood watch activities and crime prevention strategies.  Your local law enforcement will have some great resources for you to use.
  • The Counterterrorism Education Learning Lab (The CELL) in Denver – has some great information on recognizing the signs of terrorism.  See if your community offers a similar program. http://www.thecell.org/cap/
  • Attend a law enforcement Citizen’s Academy or similar program in your area.  Not only do these sessions give you great insights into the inner workings of law enforcement, but they can give you some great information on community specific threats and disaster preparedness initiatives.
  • Attend training presentations in your local community on general emergency and disaster planning.  Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training is a great place to start.  You can take online CERT training at the FEMA Independent Study Institute here:  http://training.fema.gov/is/courseoverview.aspx?code=IS-317
  • As part of the “See Something, Say Something” program, you can install the “SeeSend” app on your smart phones to help facilitate video, pictures, and alerts to the appropriate authorities. Here, for example, anything we send goes to our Fusion Center (Colorado Information Analysis Center – CIAC) in Denver.  I’m sure you have something similar where you live.
  • Other SmartPhone apps that you may find useful for receiving emergency notifications from emergency response organizations, family, neighborhood watch groups, etc:
  • CodeRed
  • Emergency Alert
  • FEMA Mobile App
  • ICE Blackbox
  • NOAA Weather International
  • PulsePoint
  • PulsePoint AED
  • Silent Beacon Emergency Alert

Oh, and by the way:  This is NOT a gun control issue.  I do not want to hear the argument that “if the Orlando killer didn’t have an AR-15, he wouldn’t have been able to do this!”  Bull!  The semi-automatic rifle did not kill all those people.  A dark and evil heart killed all those people.  The rifle was a tool.  He wanted to kill people.  He would have found a way.  Most killers do!

I’m not trying to insult you, frighten you, or be overly dramatic.  I just care about my loved ones, community, and co-workers, and I need you all with me on this.  We “Sheepdogs” are the new “Civil Defense” in a dangerous new era.  I just want everyone to be prepared, be aware of their surroundings, and be able to WIN in an emergency situation rather than become a victim.


Friday, November 6, 2015

Designed to Kill Large Numbers of People Quickly?!

This NRA-ILA article speaks to the rabid and incredible misunderstanding (and fear) possessed by the left of firearms. It also speaks to their complete lack of knowledge about firearms and their refusal to understand firearms usage facts, which leads to their inability make sound decisions when it comes to the legislation of firearms.

In the article, the lawmakers of Wisconsin say they want to ban so-called "assault weapons" and most other types of firearms because they deemed them dangerous because they are “designed to kill large numbers of people quickly.”

 In fact, it appears they are taking a shotgun approach (pun intended) to just ban any and all firearms they can think of. I am not sure they even know enough about firearms to know what kinds of guns can perform what actions, to be honest.

Hmmm.... well what d'ya know? I looked through all of the owner's manuals for all of my firearms, and in NOT ONE of these documents does it say that the firearm was designed for the explicit purpose of killing large numbers of people quickly.

A firearm has one, and only ONE purpose: To allow an operator to pull a trigger that actuates a firing pin that activates an ammunition cartridge and sends a projectile out of the barrel towards an intended target. THAT'S IT! That intended target may be a piece of paper, game being hunted, a home invader, or an invading enemy.


https://www.nraila.org/articles/20151106/dem-gun-ban-would-require-confiscation-ban-most-pistols



Killing large numbers of people is the intent of the heart of the operator of the firearm. The state of the heart may be that of a deranged and criminal mind who wants to kill as many innocent people as possible. Or the state of the heart may be a law abiding and decent citizen who wants nothing more than to protect loved ones and other innocents from a home invader or active shooter. Perhaps it's the heart of a hunter who wants to put food on the table. Or even just the heart of a sportsman who is competing in a shooting match.

The firearm itself does not have the ability to make these decisions, nor was it designed explicitly for any of these purposes.

Now I will tell you also what the 2nd Amendment was designed to do: It was designed to protect the individual RIGHT to own firearms for the purpose of protecting them from tyrannical governments and invading armies. And if it ever came to this, a firearm of the same type and action of those possessed by the invading entities was the idea of the framers when they wrote this amendment. In other words - possessing military style weapons was the intent of the framers, and is the RIGHT of individuals.

I'm not sure we're dealing with people of stellar intellect in these attempts to ban guns based solely on their perception (not knowledge) of the firearm's appearance, use, or purpose. The only thing I see in play here are people who act based on "feelings" (not knowledge) and the need to show others that they "are doing something."

Monday, July 13, 2015

CAUTION: Shameless Commercial Plug!



In these uncertain times, it is very important to get your emergency planning and emergency supplies up to date as soon as possible.  With all the chaos going on in our country right now, I have even increased my own level of awareness and sense of urgency to potential crises coming our way.  Given the number of threats currently facing us, it is so hard to tell exactly what to prepare for.  But regardless of the crisis, certain needs will be consistent:  Food, water, shelter, self-defense, and medical/first-aid.  Now that I have everything transferred to the “Gonzo’s Garage” website, I have had the opportunity to update the emergency preparedness  and firearms pages, which now includes a variety of articles, links, and YouTube Channel suggestions to help you meet your emergency planning goals and at least get the basics of your plan in place.  


Gonzo's Garage - Emergency Preparedness Page




There is a new “supplies” page as well, to help you easily shop online for your food and emergency gear needs.  Here, you will be able to find offerings for emergency preparedness supplies from reputable sources, such as Brownells, Police Store, Wise Foods, and various others.   And to be honest, this is a more an exercise in offering emergency preparedness awareness for my loyal readers, as well as learning a little bit about online marketing so that I can keep myself busy when I retire ;)

I do not handle the transactions; I simply receive a commission through my affiliate relationship with these vendors.  All payments for these products will be made through the secure websites of the vendors offering them.  Below are some examples of the types of emergency preparedness gear available.  Please visit the supplies page, however, to see a wider selection.  I am adding new vendors all the time, so please check back often.





One of the other areas I am concentrating on in this section of my website is alternative methods of firearms training.  Given the high price of ammunition, there are many aspects of training that can be performed with AirSoft and laser training devices to build up muscle memory.  Then, you can go to the range and use these new skills with live ammunition to make better use of your live ammunition, and be more proficient with your live fire.  I am offering various products to help with training, including AirSoft equipment.

 



The firearms section and the AR-15 Tech section of Gonzo’s Garage now include various selections of AR-15 uppers, lowers, parts, and ammunition.  The AR-15 parts are mainly from Brownells, and the ammunition comes from Brownells and Sinclair’s.  Stay tuned, as I will be posting some reloading supplies in the very near future.






Please take a look and see if any of the emergency preparedness articles and supplies can meet your needs.  If you have any questions, please be sure to ask!



Gonzo's Garage - Emergency Preparedness Page