Tagged: Novel

Guns

Up until now I’ve tried to keep the topic of firearms out of this blog. I’ve never really felt it was applicable to having a 72 Hour Bag. I don’t think there will be an apocalypse suddenly calling for the need to arm yourself like in the movie The Road or The Road Warrior… It just ain’t going to happen. And during an earthquake or in the aftermath of a disaster those first 72 hours typically have shown one of unity, so I remain completely impartial on how any individual feels about packing a gun in their 72 Hour Bag.

The Orlando shooting has prompted the gun control issue to the fore front of the national debate. Because of my experiences during the weeks after Hurricane Katrina it became abundantly clear that there were people who owned guns and gained power and those who didn’t. I never owned a gun till I moved back to Los Angeles and looked critically at my surroundings, we live in a disaster prone area – and here too there will be a power vacuum when disaster strikes. After I made the choice to purchase a gun, I told myself that if I were to own a gun, I wanted to become very proficient with it, like obsessively good. I sought out training, and probably because of the line of work I am in I had access to people who used weapons in the most hostile situations and several of the people I worked with were some of the most elite warriors of their time allowing me to gain insight into how a highly proficient shooter operates. I practiced and I practiced on my own and taking classes – classes that were typically not available to civilians. I learned quickly that going to the range with 1,000 rounds of ammunition for one single day of shooting was just barely scratching the surface to become proficient. When I hear of someone caught with 1,000 rounds of ammo I generally laugh for two reasons. One, I have friends who typically drive around with close to 10,000 rounds and two, the same people who scream in horror at the though of a person having 1,000 rounds are the same who feel you should have to pass a marksmanship test to own a fire arm. What do you think you just pick a weapon up and can actually hit the side of a barn. I can tell you, it ain’t that easy.

For those of you who have never purchased a gun or shot a gun I can tell you this: this myth that you can walk into a Walmart and walk out with a gun is ridiculous – at least here in California. The are background checks, there is finger printing, there is a test. Every time I purchase ammunition I am finger printed. Period. If you peer into the looking glass you will see just how difficult it is to acquire a weapon legally. With every law the legislators create they make it more difficult for legal owners to purchase and it does nothing to prevent criminals from owning a gun. I have been critical of the NRA not stepping up and helping solve the problem of criminals getting guns, as well as figuring how to stop a psychopath from gaining possession of any weapon. The need to become more proactive in solving those two issues.

Today there are four pieces of legislation going up, I have no issue with any of them. You can read about them here. They propose the following:

1. Tighten the background check system. (Republican lead)- Great, go for it.

2.Expand Background checks. (Democrat lead) – Great, sounds like the same thing but what ever.

3. Prevent terrorist from buying guns. (Republican version) – WTF? Are you serious, sounds like a no brainer.

4. Prevent Suspected Terrorists from buying guns. (Democratic version) – Same as above. Just do it.

Here’s the problem with most gun legislation that bans a specific type of weapon. Most legislators couldn’t tell the difference from a AR15 to a magazine or a clip. A friend of mine who was law enforcement in Los Angeles said that when trying to prevent gang shootings in South Central during the 80’s the legislators reacted by banning the Uzi. Those weapons had unarguably caused some high profile shootings but my friend argued that if they really wanted to prevent a large number of homicides they would have banned the Saturday Night Special. He claimed the Saturday Night Special was the gun of choice during that era and more homicides had been committed by that weapon than the Uzi. I know what you are going to say, but the Uzi is an automatic weapon and can spray bullets killing a greater number of victims. Here’s the rub. There is already a law on the books banning that weapon, the National Firearms Act of 1934. Automatic weapons are illegal and have been since 1934, the sale or purchase of any weapon must be regulated by a person with a Federal Firearms License. So getting back to banning specific weapons, a friend recently said there is no reason for a person to own a weapon such as the AR15 (which wasn’t the weapon used in Orlando), it’s only purpose is for killing people. Well I say that is it’s only purpose if that’s what you do with it. But mine is locked up in my safe and I like shooting at paper targets with mine, so I guess there’s one other use. Or perhaps if you go hunting with it, that could be another use. And if you don’t think it’s a good weapon to hunt with, why is it called a Varmint Gun? Just watch an episode of Life Below Zero and you’ll see there is another use for that weapon. Why use it for hunting? Well it’s pretty darn accurate and really reliable.

Listen, evil people do evil things, and they will always find a way to do harm to their fellow man. I’m not saying there aren’t crimes committed with a gun, but there are a lot of crimes committed with a knife. Point being mere hours after the Orlando shooting 29 people were killed by attackers in a subway in China with knives. We had a saying when training with knives – if a person has a gun, take it away. If a person has a knife, run. The knife is far deadlier than the gun. A gun takes skill to use, a knife doesn’t. In the United Kingdom they banned possession of all handguns. And now? You guessed it, they have one of the highest incidences of knife attacks in the world (probably second to the Philippines) and as a result? They are discussing the possibility of outlawing knives over a certain length. This highlights one of the issues with people who know nothing about what they are legislating. The large knife looks really scary, but in fact a small blade is far deadlier. With a large blade you gain distance, good in a knife against knife fight, but a small blade gives you stealth and it makes it all the more difficult to take away from the attacker.

So I say instead of legislating against an object figure out a way to change behaviors, Canada has more weapons per capita than the US, but has a far lower homicide rate… Why? Answer that question and we might get some where.

Enough of my rambling, here are some infographics I fin applicable to the conversation, especially the one on Kennesaw GA.

 

 

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Toyota Land Cruiser Emergency Network

Toyota has announced it has created an emergency network on Land Cruisers in Australia. It’s a device I would love to see implemented here in the US. It works by connecting vehicles within a 15 mile range to leapfrog messages from vehicle to vehicle until a message is able to get to a beacon and then passed on to rescue personnel. It’s a brilliant system explained in the video below. Why TLC’s? Well in other parts of the world, especially Australia, Land Cruisers hold up to a 90% market share for offload vehicles.

The only aspect to the system I am unclear of is if your vehicle is within range and someone is in need of assistance are you notified of the call for help – say your phone connects to the device via bluetooth allowing you to read any communications? In cases of the outback, you could be closer than emergency personnel in terms of time to respond and even though you are not an emergency responder it could be the difference between life and death. If your smart phone would connect it could allow you to coordinate rescue efforts with other Toyota Land Cruiser owners. I fully realize it opens a can of worms – if you attempt to respond and render aid then get yourself messed up, well now there’s two people who need to be rescued instead of just the one. However, I have a feeling more positives than negatives would come out of it.

I don’t know who I have to contact but I volunteer to be a part of a test program here in America in my Toyota FJ Cruiser.

 

Willet Chapter 8, Part III

If you are new to this series here is the link to Chapter 1 Part I.

 

Chapter 8, Part III

Mack looks up. “Yeah, here.” In his a canteen pouch on his hip he has about 10 v40 mini-frag grenades packed in there. Pulling one out and grabbing my med kit I make my way back to the U Haul. While finding a good line of sight from the Bug to the fuel tank I unzip my med kit pouch. Rummaging through I found the spool of dental floss. Carefully jamming the grenade under the grating between the side step and fuel tank I align it so the pin will pull out in the direction of the Bug making sure the spoon will fly off the grenade when the Zombies trip the line. I tie the knot on the round pin and leave the dental floss pack next to the grenade.

At the Bug, Mack is trying to start it. Tinker Bell is still acquiring targets and burning through ammo, there are shell casings littered all over the hood of the car and on the ground around her with four empty magazines. The Bug can be heard straining to crank over. Because it ran out of gas the fuel lines are probably empty and need to be primed.

“You going to get that thing running?!?” I yell. I could see him nodding through the windshield. Picking up targets Tyler is moving closer to Tinker Bell. Her suppressor is smoking and you can see the heat coming off the upper receiver.

Just then the Bug fires up coming to life. Mack gave a loud long blow of the horn. Tinker Bell rolling off the hood and gathers her empty mags in one motion. Not something you had to worry about in years past but it’s not a bad idea now to conserve assets like that nowadays.

“Get the Bug past the sedan and I’ll run this trip wire.” The Bug crept gingerly along the the shoulder past the abandoned vehicles. Turning back towards the U-Haul I step off some uneven pavement and my back gives out. Collapsing to my right knee and in intense pain I gasp for breath. The moans are louder than the sound of the Bugs engine, they’re getting closer. Using one of the bumpers I manage to get to my feet and stumble to the U-Haul. Grabbing the floss I make my way back over to the first car in the pile up. I see the tops of the heads of the Zombies coming up the road. Tying it off I make sure the floss is tight, but not piano wire tight. Carefully stepping over the wire I go back once again to the fuel tank.

This is the trickiest part. With my knife I carefully pry the ends of the safety to make the cotter pin a straight piece of wire with only the slightest of bends on one side giving it just enough tension to hold but allowing it to pull through when the zombies get there. If there’s too much of a bend in the pin the floss will just break and not trip the grenade. Making sure the whole thing is precariously balanced I peel off and try to make my way to the Bug. On the way my hip make solid contact with a quarter panel sending an explosion of pain up my spine and I drop again. This time I go all the way down landing flat on my back. I can’t move. My spine is in spasm and immobilizing me. Laying there I wonder if the blast radius will get me or will there just be a loud bang then I’ll burn to death from the cars catching on fire. As I pondered this, the sound of suppressed shots coming from the direction the Bug began to get louder.

“Are you on vacation or did you want to get back to work? Do you need a minute to take a nap? Cause I’m not sure we have that kind of time.” Opening my eyes Tinker Bell is standing over me with her hand extended.

“No, I said. I can’t get up that way. Help me roll over.” Pulling on my belt and shoulder she rolls me on to my stomach.  Slowly pulling my knees under my chest and using a car as a crutch I begin to rise.

“A little quicker please.” Looking back to the horde she begins firing off some rounds. “They’re about ten meters from your trip line.”

I take a deep breath while rising, I can see the Bug just ahead. “Fuck it, let’s go.” I say wincing with pain.

“Tyler! Let’s move!” Tinker Bell yells to Tyler as he zips past us getting into the Bug. Falling into the back seat I let Tinker Bell take shotgun.

Flooring the little Bug it responds with an aggressive acceleration faster than any Bug, ever. Mack is working through the gears bouncing from second to third and back down again. The engine screams in that German sputtering as we are making our way up Decker Canyon towards the peak of the Santa Monica mountains. Thirty seconds later we hear the explosion from the mini frag go off. Looking back I can see the U-Haul explode. The truck rises into the air and lands with a crash. The fireball grows and in a chain reaction other cars in the pileup begins to catch on fire and their fuel tanks begin exploding, taking the horde of Zombies with them. Turning forward I slump down in the seat. The glow from the fire illuminates the white interior of the bug from a half mile away.