- "Missile Defense 101: N. Korea could hit with little warning"--ABC News (warning: video plays automatically). Depending on the method of attack, there would be little to no warning. The article notes that North Korea has significant amounts of artillery aimed at targets in South Korea, including Seoul. There would probably be no warning of such an attack, and no real defense to such attacks. The article also notes that while Seoul has Patriot defense missile batteries and, most recently, THAAD, these would not protect against short range SCUD missiles. In addition, North Korea could attack South Korea using chemical or biological weapons (the assassination of Kim Jong-nam using VX nerve agents show not only that North Korea has such weapons, but is more than willing to use them). The article also mentions that:
One nuclear scenario that has been raised is an attack on the city of Busan, a major port sometimes used by the U.S. Navy. That's an option Pyongyang might consider if it believed it was under immediate threat of attack and wanted to make a show of overwhelming force to keep Washington from committing further.
In any event, South Korea would have 0-6 minutes warning of an attack (absent intelligence data of impending attack, such as troop movements). Japan is within reach of the intermediate range ballistic missiles that North Korea possesses, and would have 10-11 minutes from launch to time of striking. However, Japan also has Patriot missile batteries and, probably, Aegis ship based missile defense systems which could intercept such missiles. However, the article notes that it is questionable whether North Korea has an actual nuclear warhead: there is a big difference between a test device tested in a tunnel, and one mounted on a missile. I presume that since we have not attacked North Korea that there is no current evidence that they have a workable nuclear warhead.
- "Should You Act? - Get Involved Or Run Away?"--Gabe Suarez. There is a perhaps natural impulse to "ride to the rescue" if you see someone being attacked--particularly a woman. Suarez notes, however, that in most cases you probably will want to not get involved in breaking up a fight. He notes:
So I am not saying to default to doing nothing, merely that you should have sufficient information on what is happening before reacting. Lacking sufficient information, minding your own business may be a better option. Your decision will be based on three factors – location, companions, and information. Let’s discuss it.
By location, he means whether you are in a location (no gun zone, city or state) where you could be criminally charged for possessing a weapon, presuming that you are carrying in a "non-permissive" environment.
By companions he is discussing who you are with. He notes an example of an off-duty police officer who decided to intervene in a robbery while accompanied by his daughter. His daughter was killed during the altercation. On the other hand, if he was having lunch with a bunch of his fellow instructors, and they were all armed, he would be more willing to interject himself into a dangerous situation.
By information, he means what you know about the situation and what the situation entails. The lack of information is probably the most critical factor because without information, you don't know who the attacker is, whether it is justified, whether they are armed, whether they have compatriots. For instance, you see two men fighting, or even a man striking or threatening a woman, but know nothing more, you don't have enough information to intervene. And don't bother playing the "white knight" expecting that some pretty woman will be gushing all over you after you help her--you aren't going to get to even first base.
I'm reminded by an account that Mas Ayoob has mentioned of a truck driver in New York City that saw a man rough handling a woman, who was screaming "rape," and decided to play the white knight. Unfortunately for our would-be hero, the woman turned out to be a prostitute, and the "rapist" was a plains clothes vice squad officer attempting to arrest her. I am also reminded of the story from a couple years ago of one of the Americans who helped stop a terrorist attack on a train in Paris, who was stabbed while trying to break up a fight between a man and a woman in L.A. And, as any police officer who has had experience in responding to domestic disturbances can tell you, a woman being beaten by her husband or boyfriend may very well attack you should you get physical with her "attacker."
Anyway, read the whole thing.
- Related: "Self-Defense Tip: Stay Out of Domestic Disputes"--The Truth About Guns. Echoing the same advice, the author of this piece cites to an article that reports that "[a] young father and Air Force veteran was the man shot and killed outside an IHOP restaurant Sunday morning. Police said he was murdered while breaking up a domestic violence incident."
- "The Wave: Bugging Out? Some Things To Think About"--Lizard Farmer. The author relates some friends of his son that thought it might be a good idea, in the event of SHTF, to head over to the author's retreat. However, some quick questioning found that none of them had any skills or materials to contribute, or even sufficient physical fitness to be a good farm hand, so he made sure they knew they would not be welcomed. Just something to keep in mind.
- "Why a Handout Gun?"--The Survival Blog. I guess this is somewhat related to the article immediately cited above, In any event, the author suggests having some extra, bare-bones weapons on hand to give "to someone who arrives at your home during societal collapse without one." The general justification is to make sure that you have enough armed people to keep 24/7 guard shifts during a SHTF situation. He goes into the roles for which you will need people for good, overall security, and some of the characteristics of a good weapon: reliable, standardized, and nothing special in way of triggers or sights.
The immediate thing that strikes me about this idea is expense. I suppose that it might have been doable, at least to some extent, back when you could pick up an SKS or Mosin-Nagant rifle for less than $100 dollars, and a 1,000 rounds of the appropriate ammo for about the same price. Today, however, an AK or a very basic AR is probably going to run at least $500, not including the cost of magazines or ammunition; and even Mosin-Nagant rifles are selling for well over $200 or more each.
The other thing that strikes me is that if these people don't have weapons, there is a good chance that they don't know how to use the weapons either. The midst of SHTF is not the time to be learning how to use a firearm.
I agree that a few extra weapons might be useful, although perhaps people might have to share weapons (i.e., while their on "duty" they get the weapon, and then pass it one to the next person that comes on "duty"). Ideally, however, unless it is your immediate family members, people expecting to hang out at your retreat after TEOTWAWKI should provide their own weapons and ammunition.
- It depends. "How Many Firearms Do You Really Need?"--Modern Survival Online. But no more than you can afford the time and ammunition to be proficient.
- They are looking for a few good rifles: "USMC Releases RFI for New Infantry Rifles, Uppers, Optics, Suppressors, Targets"--The Firearms Blog. No caliber is specified, but the weapon better have a free floated barrel.
- "7.62x39 vs. .300 Blackout"--Shooting Illustrated. A 2015 article discussing the differences and similarities between the two cartridges. Ballistically, the two are similar (at least when considering the super-sonic .300 BLK loads). But the .300 BLK is intended to work with standard AR lowers and bolts. The 7.62x39 has sufficient case taper that it requires a bit more curvature in the magazine, and thus may not feed reliably through the magazine well for the standard AR.
- "Sprouting - Growing your own vitamins"--All Things Provident. The author explains how to grow wheat, lentil, and alfalfa sprouts in wide-mouthed Mason jars.
- "How To Grow The Perfect Peppers: Survival Gardening"--Survival Life. Besides spicing up foods and dishes, peppers provide more vitamin C than most citrus fruits. The article discusses the three general categories of peppers, considerations and instructions for planting and caring for them, pests (and how to deal with them), and good companion plants.
- "Experts’ 10 Best Home Remedies—Using Stuff Around Your House"--The Survival Doctor. Some of the tips, such as using super-glue for small cuts or crack in your skin, I'd hear about before. Others, such as using duct-tape to treat warts, were new. Check it out.
- "SouthOrd PXS-14 USA-Made 14 Piece Lock Pick Set Review"--More Than Just Surviving. The author really likes SouthOrd brand lock picks, and this is his favorite set of the sets they offer. These picks are stainless steel, and, the author writes:
The SouthOrd PXS-14 is what I would define as a “full” kit for beginners. It doesn’t have a crazy amount of tools (and it’s missing specialty picks for dimple locks, amongst others), but what it does have is a solid foundation to learn lockpicking and deal with the majority of locks you will encounter in day to day life. It’s well made, durable (more on this later) and in my opinion features all the high quality tools you need at a price that is extremely reasonable – especially compared to other brands like Sparrows.
Interestingly, although it does not appear to be available on Amazon (in the U.S., it is listed on the U.K. site), Walmart lists it on their site.