Letter Re: Doug Carlton’s Article on Concealed Carry

Letter Re: Doug Carlton’s Article on Concealed Carry (SAs: CCW, Holsters, Survival Guns, Survival Mindset, Firearms Training)

Greetings Jim,
Thanks for an outstanding blog–it is on my “must read” list everyday. Doug Carlton’s article on concealed carry is right on target. One of his best points is to practice the way you carry. I try to do this often to hone my skills. Being a practicing pharmacist I am exposed to all kinds of people. The ones that concern me are the thugs/pill heads/stop-‘n-rob types whose desperation has risen to new heights. But, I do have the luxury of wearing a white lab jacket while working, which nicely conceals my carry piece from prying eyes. I routinely practice drawing from concealment with my lab coat on to simulate a work-place encounter of the worse kind. I’ve never had to unholster my weapon, but you just never know. My philosophy is “They need only be right ONCE, I have to be right EVERY TIME”. One other point I might add is to keep the fact that you carry concealed (especially in the workplace) to yourself. No one else needs to know. Keep up the fine work! – S.P.

Jim’s Quote of the Day:

“Our institutions were not devised to bring about uniformity of opinion; if they had we might well abandon hope. It is important to remember, as has well been said, ‘the essential characteristic of true liberty is that under its shelter many different types of life and character and opinion and belief can develop unmolested and unobstructed.”
– Justice Charles Evans Hughes

Note from JWR:

Please pray for all those living on the Gulf Coast of Texas. Hurricane Rita looks fearsome! Most of you have surely already done so, but don’t neglect to stock up on fuel. (Fill your gas and diesel storage tanks, fill all you car/truck tanks, and order a “top off” of your propane and/or home heating oil tanks.) I predict that there will be widespread fuel shortages after Rita does her damage. OBTW, the PRI-G and PRI-D stabilizers are available from Ready Made Resources (RMR) and several other vendors.

Today, I’m covering Utah, the 17th of 19 western states in my rankings of states by their retreat potential.

State By State – Utah

Population: 2.23 million.
Population Density: 26.2 per square mile (Rank 11 of JWR’s top 19 states).
Area: 84,900 square miles (rank 11 of 50).
Average car insurance cost: $718/yr. (rank 32 of 50).
Average home insurance cost: $378/yr. (rank 43 of 50.)
Crime Safety Ranking: 14 of 50.
Boston T. Party’s State Firearms Laws Ranking: 76%.
Per capita income: $23,436 (rank 44 of 50).
ACT & SAT Scores Ranking: 7 of 50.
Plusses: A great state to live in if you are a LDS (Mormon) Church member. On average Utah has the best prepared families in America. (By church doctrine, one year of food storage is considered mandatory.) That is commendable. The norm for home construction in the state is to include an extra large pantry to accommodate storage food. (Commonly called a “fruit room” in LDS parlance.) Nearly every LDS ward has its own food storage cannery. Fairly low crime rate. (Utah has two of the safest metropolitan areas in the country: Orem, ranked #7, and Provo, ranked #9.) The only significant street crime is on the west side of Salt Lake City. Low car insurance rates.
Minuses: Ground water is scarce in parts of the state, so check on well water before buying. Utah might be a poor retreat/relocation choice if you are not a LDS Church member. Non-LDS members of any religious persuasion are derisively called “gentiles.” If you are not LDS, you might be ignored or perhaps even seen as conveniently expendable when push comes to shove. In practice, many LDS families do not have a true full year of storage food. Highly regulated home schooling.
JWR’s Combined Retreat Potential Ranking: 6 of 19.

Letter Re: Idaho and Montana

Dear Mr. Rawles,
Having read your retreat advice I’m planning a road trip through Montana and Idaho for November to scout around for a new home and maybe a new job (I’m a high school history teacher). Still, I can’t help but wonder: with the increasing profile of the blog and its ever-greater circulation, won’t greater numbers of survival-minded people moving to the ID/MT area degrade its qualities and reduce it to the same mess we’re all trying to escape/avoid? I got to thinking that when an Idaho resident & survivalist online told me, “Don’t come here, we don’t want you people. Idaho is full.” Anyway, love the blog and now two other teachers in my department read it, too. Take care and may our God bless you & your family. Sincerely yours, – S.P.

JWR Replies: I seriously doubt that more than a few hundred or perhaps a thousand people will ever make a move based on what they read at SurvivalBlog. (Most folks are 99% talk and 1% action.) But even if a substantial number do make the move, they will be the kind of folks that you will want as neighbors. With deep larders, copious heirloom variety gardening seed, extensive first aid supplies, advanced commo gear, livestock, and plenty of useful tools, they will be valuable assets to the community.

Letter from David Crawford Re: EMP-Proofing and Other Nuke Preparations

Dear Mr. Rawles,
Congratulations on your successful Web Log. I suspect that you will soon be counting your unique hits by the million instead of the thousand. I was very pleasantly surprised to see the mention of my novel, “Lights Out”, on your Blog today. It was fitting that you reviewed Texas, my home state, as well on this day. I must tell you that my writing was largely inspired by “Patriots“. I have two copies and the first has been read so many times that it is now held together by rubber bands. “Patriots” is the ultimate ‘How-to’ novel and an absolute must have for the serious survivalist. I look forward to the next edition with the additional chapters. I started writing “Lights Out” in August of 2002. It has been a labor of love. I am working on the last two or three chapters right now and hope to have them posted in the next few weeks. The link you provided only contains the first twenty chapters of the novel. All of the current 73 chapters are available in Frugal’s Forums in the Patriot Fiction section. However, each chapter is a separate post and it is difficult to track them all down. For a new reader, I would suggest this site: http://www.giltweasel.com/stuff/LightsOut-Current.pdf This reader is graciously hosting the story in both PDF and text formats. I appreciate comments, good and bad, from readers. At this point, feedback is the only payment I receive for the work. Please send them to dcrawford@email.com and put “Lights Out” in the subject. Once I finish the first draft, I plan to go back and clean up the story line and then look for a publisher. I realize that publishing is a long shot. Any advice you can give me would be greatly valued. Thank you. – D.C.

Letter Re: Which Guns for Barter?

Having extra food and water and other goods to barter with is a good idea, but do you think bartering with your guns and ammo is. During a TEOTWAWKI scenario, I think the last thing you need to do is to put more guns and ammo out in the streets, no matter if you know the people you bartering with or not. The same ammo and guns you barter with may be the same guns and ammo that could be turned against you and your family. There are only a handful of my friends and family that has even fired a firearm let alone train with them and really know how to handle a gun. Where do you draw the line on who you barter guns and ammo with and who you don’t. I am not a heartless person but I am going to be damn limited on who I arm with my ammo and guns. – S.D.

JWR Replies: If your planned retreat is in an area where you cannot trust your neighbors with firearms, then you might want to re-think that retreat location! Look more along the lines of Montana or Wyoming, where virtually everyone knows how to shoot. Guns in the hands of your neighbors shouldn’t be a potential looting problem–they should be the solution! I would not sleep well in a YOYO situation. Instead, give me a few trustworthy neighbors that are within line of sight–for mutually-supporting fields of fire. If they don’t already own capable battle rifles, then I’ll gladly provide them!

Letter From “Mrs. Golf” Re: South Dakota

Having just left South Dakota after 16 years there, I might add concerning the cold and short growing season: 20 below for weeks on end, pretty hefty wind on top of that, and a 90 day growing season if you are lucky. One year I had to replant beans 3 times, the last after they were snow killed in June. Another drawback for the state is lack of potable water. My well put out 5 GPM and was considered a good well and at it was 300 feet deep, to boot. The majority of the water there is very alkaline, or from natural hot water underground sources and extremely heavy on the minerals. That really plays havoc with water faucets and water heater elements. Lastly, there is no wood in the state to speak of for heating purposes either except pine, in the very western part of the state. Best, – “Mrs. Golf”

Letter From “Gung Ho” Re: Holster Recommendation


Check out the “NWS Tactical Thigh Holster” from LBT. It is the one I use for carry in the woods. It can be used in a couple different configurations, but it’s main plus is that used as shown, your handgun WILL be there when you need it. (And not laying in the rocks at the bottom of some canyon…don’t ask.) IMHO LBT makes some of the finest products around, and they are made to last and last. See: http://www.londonbridgetrading.com/main.html – “Gung Ho”

JWR Replies: I agree that London Bridge is a great gear maker. OBTW, I prefer hip holsters to thigh holsters. I find the latter fatiguing on long hikes.

State By State – Texas

Population: 20.8 million.
Population Density: 77.9 per square mile (Rank 4 of JWR’s top 19 states).
Area: 266,800 square miles (rank 2 of 50).
Average car insurance cost: $759/yr. (rank 25 of 50).
Average home insurance cost: $880/yr. (rank 1 of 50).
Crime Safety Ranking: 41 of 50.
Boston T. Party’s State Firearms Laws Ranking: 82%.
Per capita income: $27,752 (rank 24 of 50).
ACT & SAT Scores Ranking: 47 of 50.
Plusses: Has a high rating in “education freedom” (ranked #6 of 50), since Texas has relaxed home schooling laws, but the public schools are far below average. Texas is just plain huge. The population density figure cited above is skewed by the Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston metro areas. A lot of Texas out in the hinterboonies is very lightly populated.
Minuses: High population density (by western U.S. standards.) Major population centers. Very high crime rate. Hurricane prone (ranked #1 of the coastal states.) Coastal Texas and +/- 50 miles inland is in the hurricane zone. Extremely high home insurance rates. (Average of $880 per year–ranked #1 in the country for 2005–but probably soon to be surpassed by Louisiana.) High ratio of illegal aliens. Some rural parts of the state are recommended, with reservations.
JWR’s Combined Retreat Potential Ranking: 13 of 19.

Mutation of Asian Avian Flu (H5N1) Could Result in a Global Pandemic with the Deaths of “Tens of Millions”

I’ve mentioned the Asian Avian Flu (H5N1) several times since I launched this blog in August. The risk of mutation of the virus into a form that could be transmitted from person to person (P2P) is relatively small. However, if that were to happen, it would be catastrophic. The folks at WorldNetDaily (one of my daily “must reads”) just posted a story that quotes a WHO official that said that a species-jumping P2P mutation of H5N1 could cause a global pandemic that would likely result in “the deaths of “tens of millions”. Take the time to read this article, and plan accordingly.

EMP-Proofing and Other Nuke Preparations

Recently North Korea and Iran have both made overtures about dismantling their nuclear programs. Frankly, I’m dubious. The following may be evidence of the”free floating anxiety” that I was accused of having by one of my televised debate adversaries, but I feel convicted to mention it. I believe that the risk of a nuke going off in CONUS is now greater in the post-Soviet era than it was back during the height of the Cold War. There are at least a dozen “backpack” nukes from the former Soviet Union that are still not accounted for. And of course there are several international terrorist groups that would love to get their hands on a nuke and touch it off in downtown New York City. Whether they buy one on the black market or they build one of their own, I am convinced that the odds are 60%+ that a nuke–or at least a sub-critical dirty bomb–will go “bang” somewhere in CONUS within the next 10 years.

Assuming that the foregoing is a reasonable possibility, you should protect yourself. Unless you live in a major metropolitan city and have very bad luck, the odds of being in the blast/flash/thermal effects radius of a terrorist nuke are very small. There are greater odds of being down wind of fallout. But there is an event higher likelihood that you could end up in an EMP “footprint.” If the terrorists are really clever, the most effective way that they could use a nuke would be to detonate it at high altitude (either suspended from a balloon or in a jet aircraft flown to its absolute ceiling–something over 35,000 feet.). They could do this over New York or Los Angeles. Here are the physics in a nutshell: The higher the altitude means the broader the line of sight (LOS), and hence the larger the EMP footprint. An nuclear air burst creates an EMP surge that will couple with all metallic objects that are within LOS (phone lines, power lines, railroad tracks, and so forth) and instantly fry any unprotected computer chips–billions of chips, all at once. The economic effects would be devastating. The corresponding societal impact is almost too much to imagine. (For one man’s view of the latter, see the web novel “Lights Out“, available for free download at the Frugal Squirrel’s web page–just scroll down to bottom of the main page. BTW, there are several other pieces of survival fiction there as well. They aren’t all epic fiction, but they are thought provoking)

Specific Nuclear Threat Countermeasures Recommendations:
, study up on fallout protection. If you don’t already have a copy, get a copy of Nuclear War Survival Skills–available for free download from the folks at the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine. If you might be downwind, build yourself a fallout shelter. Buy yourself a radiation dosimeter, rate meter, and charger.

Second, unless you have vehicles that are pre-electronic (see my previous posts on this subject for details), buy one or two spare set of ignition and fuel injection electronic components for each vehicle. Keep those stored in Faraday Cage enclosures such as milsurp ammo cans.

Third, put any radios, computers, night vision equipment or other electronics that you don’t use regularly in similar Faraday protected storage.

Fourth, buy at least one older fully “EMP Proof” radio that uses all vacuum tubes. (No, chips, transistors, or even SCRs.) That will be your designated radio to leave out for everyday use during times of international tensions. OBTW, I currently have an auction on eBay running for one of my spare radios. It is a Hallicrafters 38C (an AM/HF receiver) that was built in the early 1950s. It has all vacuum tube circuitry, so it is virtually invulnerable to EMP. Similar radios often come up for sale on eBay, or can be found at garage sales if you look around. Garage sales in predominantly retirement communities are best for that. (Old people = old radios.)

Fifth, stock up on Potassium Iodate (KI) to protect against thyroid damage in the event of a nuclear incident. Do a search through my archives for details. KI tablets are sold by Ready Made Resources (RMR) and several other vendors. Tangentially, I heard today that RMR just got in a fresh supply of Polar Pure (iodine crystal) water purifying bottles. With another hurricane currently plowing toward the Gulf Coast, I don’t think that they will keep those in stock very long.

Sixth, pray. I’m serious: Get right with God, and pray for His guidance, providence, and protection.