Friday, December 22, 2017

The Twelve Days of Christmas...for Preppers

No, we aren't singing.  You're welcome.

On the first day of Christmas Santa brought to me....

 1.  Guns...all the guns.
 2.  Medical Gear
 3.  Mountain House and MRE's
 4.  Nalgene bottles and canteens, water filtration
 5.  A camp stove/rocket stove
 6.  A bug out bag or ruck sack
 7.  A tent and sleeping bag
 8.  Training classes - firearms, medical, and survival skills
 9.  Tactical Wall/Gun safe
10.  High Capacity Magazines
11.  A crate of ammo
12.  The Matter of Facts Podcast!!!

Merry Christmas to everyone, we'll see you around after a short break to enjoy the holidays.  Don't forget to come look for us on Facebook, check out some videos on our YouTube channel, and check out the other articles we've posted on this blog.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Winter Weather Preparations

I don't care if it's extreme heat or extreme cold.....they both suck. I have lived in Michigan basically my entire life and I have experienced some pretty cold winters. Now, I know there are places that get colder but when I can walk outside with a boiling pot of water, throw it up and watch it turn to ice......I'd say that's pretty cold. One thing I have learned in my years on this ball of life is that mother nature is a bitch and the only way to deal with her temper tantrums is you prepare for them.

Your vehicle and your home are at least two places that everybody should keep weather preps. Shelter, fire(heat), water and food. Those four things are what keeps us all going. Take one away and you can turn the strongest person into a helpless child.

First let's talk about the home. You think because you have a roof over your head, blankets, food and running water that you are safe? On the perfect day I'd say yes. Being that I have lived in both rural and city I have learned many things, one being in the city the power hardly goes out. I have lived in Grand Rapids for almost ten years and I have only lost power twice (both were due to cars hitting a ground transformer). When I lived with my parents up north we lost power almost every year (some years multiple times) due to weather. When the power goes what else goes? The furnace, well pump, and refrigerator. One of the biggest things you need to worry about in a snow/ice storm is the temperature. I have spent a few nights in front of the fireplace because we didn't have power. Do some research and find a good generator. You don't need one that runs the entire home but one that can run the furnace and If you need water you can turn the breaker off to the furnace to run the well until you need to run the furnace again. What's nice about the refrigerator is it will keep food for a good day or two as long as you limit the number of times the door is opened. If the power is out longer than a few days stick stuff into a cooler and stick it outside where (you guessed it) it is cold. Nature may be kicking your ass but as survivalists we need to adapt.
Be sure to have plenty of flash lights and batteries. One thing that my mom always had around the house was oil lamps. She had as least one in almost every room and they were always full of oil. When I moved out one of the first things I bought was an oil lamp. They work great for light and they give off a little heat. Just make sure that you are not in a small area due to the carbon monoxide that is given off. If you have a gas stove you are in luck! Natural gas will continue to flow during a power outage, all you have to do is light the flame. However, if you are stuck with an electric stove then get the camping stove out.

Now let's talk about vehicles. I read at least a couple stories a year where people get stuck, lost or ran out of gas. You spend a good chunk of your life in your vehicle (besides work) and this should be as set up for a disaster as your home. Besides your home you will not do any better than your vehicle for shelter. In a winter storm it will keep you out of the worst of it. The only thing you have to worry about is staying warm. In Episode 42 I stressed layering and that concept applies here. A list of items you should keep in your car kit are:
- Blanket(s) - FIRST AID KIT - Cyalumesticks
- MylarBlank(s) - EmergencyCandles - Flashlight(s)
- Heavy Jacket - Energy Bars - Batteries
- Heavy gloves - Water - Kitty litter, sand or salt (for traction)
- Winter Hat(s) - Extra Food - Shovel
- Woolsocks - Lighters, Matches - Car phone charger
- Sleeping Bag - Sweatshirts - Heavy Winter Boots
Now this list isn't perfect, I'm sure I am forgetting something and please let me know if I am. This list is meant for your vehicle, it should stay in your vehicle. Almost everything here you can use year around and it should be tested. If you go camping take the container out and use some of it, get familiar with it. All of this stuff can be bought on amazon or in almost any store. If you use something, replace it. Your water will eventually freeze being in your vehicle, keeping it in a separate cooler will keep unfrozen a little longer than normal.

Whether you are at home or in your car, surviving a winter storm is pretty straight forward black and white. It's up to you to be prepared and take care of yourself and your family. Figure out where you are lacking and fix it. Don't wait on others to help you, be self reliant. Be an asset to your family. - Andrew

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Is limiting gun rights "common sense"?

Not too long ago, I got involved in quite a conversation with someone intent on proving that limiting gun rights was not only lawful and in keeping with the Constitution, but that it wasn't that far off legal precedents already established.  He sited two examples: freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly.  His argument was that since we place limitations on these two basic freedoms, and they have withstood challenges, then limitations on gun rights (the 2nd Amendment) should be a no brainer.  The problem is, his examples weren't apples to apples, as often happens when you skipped logic and rationality on the way to making your decision, and only try to make the facts work out AFTER you've arrived at your conclusion.

Freedom of speech is a distinctly American and closely held right, but it is not without it's limitations.  Shouting "FIRE" in a crowded theatre is a common example.  Libel and slander are other examples of speech that are not protected.  So, gun rights can be limited likewise right?  Not quite.  The problem is, "FIRE" is not merely speech, it is a call to action (to evacuate the building).  Libel and slander are both obvious or intentional falsehoods (often called malicious) that cause injury (monetary, social, etc.)  So in both cases, speech that provokes action and speech that causes injury is limited, not speech for speech's sake.

Freedom of assembly, the right to commune with others and demonstrate/preach/protest is an important right in our society, one which has provoked great social change and righted wrongs, but it is limited by law.  One has the right to peacefully assemble, but one is not allowed to riot.  For those that are paying attention, rioting has nothing to do with peaceful assembly, rioting causes damage and injury.  So once again, the freedom of assembly is curbed at that point which it causes injury to people or damage to property.

Likewise, gun rights are ALREADY limited to the same standard.  I can carry a firearm (openly or concealed, I live in an open carry state and have a permit for concealed carry) in public all I wish, but drawing that firearm or using it brings with it consequences.  My simple possession, or my carrying, is not that which causes injury or damage to property, only it's employment (intentional or negligent discharge) has the potential to cause injury or damage property.  So, why then do I keep having to justify to people my right to own a magazine fed rifle, or carry a firearm on my person, or own firearms at all (and yes, those nutjobs that demand full disarmament have finally shed their disguise)?

Common sense dictates that we each have the freedom to engage in whatever behavior, speech, and action we choose based on our own personal priorities.  Common sense dictates that I, a military veteran and law abiding citizen, decided to carry a firearm to defend myself and my family and do so safety EVERY DAY:  In grocery stores, walking with my family, going to friends and neighbors' houses, you can't see it but rest assured I'm armed just about wherever I go.  Common sense dictates that someone not force their beliefs upon me, or demand I live according to their opinions.  You have your right, I have mine.

Respect mine, and I'll respect yours. - Phil Rabalais