Wednesday, August 9, 2017

August 9, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

"10 Items for a 'Hand Out' Survival Kit"--Sensible Prepper (11 min.)
The idea is to have one or more small, inexpensive kits that you could hand out, for instance, to someone that you are hiking or camping or hunting with that forgot some of their basic equipment. One of the comments suggested marking each of the items with a label about what it was supposed to be used.

Firearms/Self-Defense/Prepping:
  • Elitism in the shooting community: I came across a couple articles today that stood out because of the elitism that one frequently sees or hears in relation to use of a firearm for self-defense. The first article is from Shooting Illustrated that begins by noting "[a] couple of trainers have fairly recently started to use the word 'hobbyist' to refer to, well, the sort of people they claim they don’t cater to." The author proceeds to use the word "hobbyist" as someone that gets heavily involved in shooting, but I have to wonder if that is what the trainers are discussing. I suspect that they are, instead, talking of "professionals" (law enforcement or active military) versus those where using a firearm is not part of their vocation; or the person that has taken a multitude of classes and/or regularly shoots in competitions versus those that have only dipped their toe into the shooting sports.
       In any event, if it isn't clear in the prior article, it is blatant in this article about whether you should carry a backup gun (BUG). The author (a former SEAL according to the short bio) begins his article:
Sorry to break the bad news, but you’re not good enough to carry two guns. To do so effectively, you have to be proficient with both. In concert. Have you been through a training program putting rounds downrange with both your primary and your backup? Did you master integrated combatives to counter an ambush? (Emphasis in original).
       I'm sorry, but what? Using a firearm is not rocket science, and being able to draw a second weapon if the first one comes up empty or stops working does not require months of training at the feet of a commando. It is true in the martial arts or in sports/athletics (including shooting), a coach or teacher will impart a new technique or assist with refining or correcting a technique already known to the student. But most of the training comes from practice ... practice that the student can do on their own time. Obviously, some sports or martial arts require a great deal more learning/teaching than others. For instance, hand-to-hand combat requires the student to learn a relatively large number of maneuvers, techniques, stances, and so on. But other sports, not so much. I see firearms usage as something on par with playing basketball or tennis or golf where mastery comes not so much from learning new techniques but from practice and refinement of the basics. Being able to drop one weapon and draw a second one is not anywhere near the top of the list of complex physical actions one might be called on to use in your life. 
  • "Why Penetration is too Important to Ignore"--The Firearms Blog. Key point: "the problem isn’t penetrating a few short inches of soft tissue, the problem is that a bullet might have to pass through six inches or more of soft tissue and possibly bone before it even reaches the torso. And then it has to contend with more bone, and it may also hit the torso at an angle that requires even deeper penetration to reach the heart and pulmonary blood vessels."
  • "How to Properly Interpret Ballistic Gel Test Results"--The Firearms Blog. The author begins by noting that:
[P]roperly prepared and calibrated 10% ordnance gelatin does produce penetration, retained weight, and expansion/fragmentation results that correlate very strongly with wounds observed in actual bodies. It is near perfect for simulating those measurements in living muscle tissue and the results in other soft tissues do not tend to deviate significantly. It is also homogenous and easily reproducible so variables can be controlled and results compared.
But he adds: 
The tears seen in the gel block are roughly indicative of the general size of the temporary stretch cavity and can give an indication as to how early a bullet began to expand, yaw, or fragment. But real tissue (with the exception of brain, liver, and spleen) tends to stretch much farther without tearing. There is some disagreement among the experts, but a 2,000 fps impact velocity is often held as the threshold where the temporary stretch cavity becomes large enough to contribute to wounding through tearing. 
Read the whole thing.


Other Stuff:
           But believe me, if you’ve seen a total solar eclipse—when the moon passes directly between the sun and the earth—you’ll never forget it.
             Part of what makes a total eclipse so breathtaking has to do with invisible light. During the “moment of totality”—the minutes when sun is completely blocked—observers experience the exquisitely odd and wondrous sensation of solar emissions, both visible and invisible, vanishing right in the middle of the day.
      • Liberals: "You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy." On point: "Male prostitute, 26, dies of meth overdose at Hollywood home of high-profile Democrat donor"--Daily Mail. According to the article, Ed Buck--"a high-profile political activist and wealthy contributor to the California and Los Angeles County Democratic Party"--not only was the client of the male prostitute, but also liked to watch other gay men get high on drugs.
      • "We’re Not Out Of Time On North Korea. Here Are Our Options"--The Federalist. One of the points the author makes is that because of the complexity of developing a nuclear warhead that is capable of surviving the trip on a ballistic missile, it is unlikely that North Korea could successfully deploy a nuclear warhead. He writes:
               A bomb without a ride to its destination is just a really dangerous paperweight, and the North Koreans have made progress on testing an ICBM, the acronym for an inter-continental ballistic missile, a rocket that throws a warhead—the bomb—into space, after which that warhead falls back to earth at many times the speed of sound.
                 This is different from short-range rockets or artillery, or even Saddam Hussein’s infamous SCUDs, which are fired at short range and go relatively smaller distances. Those are easy to make; Saddam’s missiles were of 1960s vintage. ICBMs are a different game entirely. ICBMs are like the rockets that sent men to the moon, capable of traveling huge distances and landing close to a designated target.
                    A crude nuclear bomb isn’t that hard to make, if you have enough uranium and don’t care how big it is. (The first nuclear bomb was the size of a small automobile and had to be shoved out of an airplane in 1945.) A nuclear ICBM is a lot tougher to manufacture, because a small, reliable bomb is a lot more complicated, and placing that warhead on top of a space-capable vehicle is yet more of a challenge.
                     This is because a nuclear ICBM requires a small enough warhead to fit on top of a big, wobbly missile and withstand the pressures of launch, traversing space, and re-entry into the atmosphere. Nuclear bombs are not hand grenades; they are delicate and finely engineered weapons that will not explode if their machinery is destroyed while plunging to earth at Mach 20.
                Of course, while that means that the ICBM threat is overblown, it doesn't prevent North Korea from driving one into South Korea or using a ship or submarine to transport one somewhere and detonate it.

                (Source)

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