Kneeling to the Mob

The violent mobs in the streets have been able to force concessions from states, counties, and cities, and have even gotten federal legislators to propose legislation to appease the mob and try to stem the violence.

But should we be bending the knee to these protests?

The Department of Defense Dictionary defines terrorism as:

Terrorism – The unlawful use of violence or threat of violence, often motivated by religious, political, or other ideological beliefs, to instill fear and coerce governments or societies in pursuit of goals that are usually political.

Department of Defense Dictionary

These protests and riots certainly meet that definition, since they involve the use of violence against anyone who disagrees with their demands or positions.  They’ve gone so far as to get people fired from their jobs for simply not mouthing the words they demand.  THAT’S SCARY.

However, many people claim that appeasement will get the violence to stop and that it’s worth it.

I find a lot of guidance in God’s Ultimate Tactical Handbook.  In Proverbs 25:26, it says this:

A righteous person who yields to the wicked

Is like a muddied spring or a polluted well

Well, that seems pretty unambiguous…don’t yield to the violent rage-mob, or the cancel-mob, or any mob.

If you study the results of the current protests, every single time that a jurisdiction has yielded to the rioters and gave in to a demand, it has immediately led to more demands, which are usually even more extreme than the previous ones.

As an example, once one jurisdiction agreed to drop charges against the arrested rioters, thinking it would stop further protests, the next night they had even more violent protests with the new demand being release EVERYONE from the jail. 

It will never stop, now that they’ve gotten a taste of victory.

The President missed an opportunity to shut this all down with the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.  As I wrote previously, the proper response would have been the immediate application of federal force to end it immediately.  Instead, he relied on the local governments to resolve it to try and win points from them.  The situation ended with 2 dead and 5 wounded from lawlessness that the Mayor, Governor, and President all had a duty to stop, by force if necessary, but none did.  It also gave a huge strategic win to the organized revolutionaries who are leading this.

And what did the President gain from letting the Mayor handle it?  She blamed the entire debacle on him.

In Atlanta, the Prosecutor caved to the rioters within hours, but what did he gain?  A wide lawless zone, many deaths, a 400% increase in shootings, and a police force that is afraid to do their jobs (rightfully so).

When a small child was killed there by armed revolutionaries (call them what they are), the Mayor vowed to make the area safe immediately.  Exactly 24 hours later, there had been 2 more shootings with 3 victims within feet of the location of the girl’s murder.

In Portland, every night for a month ANTIFA forces have tried to barricade the police inside a police station and light it on fire.  The police rush out and battle them, arresting dozens.  Every morning, the prosecutor caves to the crowd and orders all rioters released without charges.  The violence starts again the next evening.  It’s like Groundhog Day in Portland, every single day.

Has appeasement and yielding to the violent mobs gained us any safety?  Do you feel like this is getting any better?

So, since this is Tactical Wisdom, what can we, as ordinary citizens, do in this situation?  A few things.

First, be vocal with your elected representatives, letting them know how you feel about appeasement.  I know, they probably won’t listen (mine is Rashida Tlaib, so I get it).

Second, communicate your support to local law enforcement, every chance you get.  They get precious little positive reinforcement and these days they’ll appreciate it.  They may even remember it when you need their help.

Third, build a local mutual aid group.  Find a tribe of like-minded individuals who can work together should any unrest come to your neighborhood.  This is vital, because of the issues the McCloskey situation highlighted.  

The McCloskey’s rushed out and confronted a massive crowd alone, which could have went bad, but the aftermath was worse.  Their neighbors immediately turned on them, offering an appeasement letter to the rioters (think a surrender note), saying that they disagreed with the McCloskey’s and essentially begging the rioters not to come back.  Did it work?  Nope, the rioters were back the very next day, in larger numbers.  Had the McCloskey’s set up a mutual aid group ahead of time, they would have had people to call on to help defend their property and not been left alone.

Fourth, and it’s a common theme on this site, BE AWARE.  Don’t just watch the news for information; they only report what’s already happened and most of it isn’t true anyway.  Scour the internet for posts about protests in your local area.  Most local police departments produce a local crime map, updated regularly, so that you can see where hotspots are.  If your employer has a security department, stop by and ask them for information.  Many security departments are part of working groups with federal or local authorities that share non-public information about local threats.

Fifth, carry emergency supplies.  See any of my posts for more information on that area.

Lastly, understand that, as my friend Ivan Throne says in his philosophy best-seller book, The Nine Laws, Concealment is The Second Law.  Not everyone needs to know every detail of your day.  Not everyone at work needs to know your political leanings.  Your vehicle doesn’t need bumper stickers about the guns you own, your favorite candidate, what you think about their favorite candidate, or your support of causes.  These things can cause you to be targeted.  

Now, I’m not saying hide or cower in fear.  Not at all.  I’m just saying don’t make yourself a target by proclaiming everything to the world, every minute.  As an example, let’s say I’m a thief, considering going through cars in the parking lot.  Will I pick the car with the “peace” symbol sticker or the one with the “Glock” sticker?  I think we know.  Also, if you’re at work and a protest group passes your building, and sees your 5 Trump/MAGA stickers on your car, what do you think will happen?  And how much investigation are the police going to do?  Be smart about it. 

When the time comes, do not yield in the face of wicked people.  Be firm, stand fast, and make your stand.  Just make sure it’s on your terms, with your mutual aid group and your gear, not on their terms, with you alone and unprepared.

Every single time a prepared group has stood up to these people, they have moved on to other targets.  Saint Louis still stands on his pedestal.  The Minneapolis businesses that the Oath Keepers stood in front of are still there.  Teddy Roosevelt has not fallen to ANTIFA (Although he may to the Mayor).

The key point is this….When we decide to stand up, do so with a strong group, fully prepared, and never, ever yield.  

Just make sure you don’t ever let the enemy decide when or where that will be.   As Sun Tzu said, “If you know yourself and know your enemy, you need not fear the result of 100 battles”.

Stay safe, and stay prepared.

Be Alert

What are you doing RIGHT NOW, to prepare yourself for increased civil disturbance or a major upheaval?  No, not what you ARE GOING TO DO, I mean what are you DOING RIGHT NOW?

It’s time for a little tough love.  So many people talk about their plans, and what they are going to do, but when you challenge them to show you what they’ve done or to describe their current readiness, they’ve actually done very little.

You are never more than 72 hours from a complete collapse of society.  Let me say that again….Our entire system can go from status quo to absolute anarchy in less than 72 hours.

By all accounts, in February of 2014, the Ukraine was a modern Western nation.  The morning of February 18, 2014, a large group of protestors began advancing on the Parliament.  By the morning of February 21, 2014, the government had been overthrown, Russian troops had invaded and seized an entire region, and two separate groups had set up independent nations in Donetsk and Luhansk.  At the end of the three days, there were at least 113 dead and 1,300 wounded.  The nation is a failed state with open warfare and people scavenging for food to this day.  

Many people point to the capitol, Kyiv, and tell me I’m wrong, but everywhere outside of the capitol is a dystopian nightmare, with people scavenging in the woods for food, negotiating minefields and passing through checkpoints at the constantly changing front lines.

Only the areas under direct Russian control, Crimea, are stable.

In late July 2008, while relations were strained, the South Ossetia region and the Republic of Georgia were stable.  The first shelling began on 1 August, and full scale war broke out on 7 August.  By 12 August, just 5 days later, 350 troops were dead, alongside at least 500 civilians and unspeakable atrocities had been committed.  Just 5 days.   (For a great telling of this story, watch 5 Days of War).

At this point, I usually get the tired, old response, of “Yeah, but that’s in Europe, not here”.  I’d challenge that the average Ukranian Interior Ministry police officer felt the same way on the morning of February 18, 2014.  Widespread civil unrest is increasing in the US.

The truth is, you don’t know what’s going to happen, and neither do I.

I can point out that there are larger forces at play and the same person who is alleged to have financed a group called the “Right Sektor” in the Ukraine, is alleged to be financing ANTIFA, and the flags of ANTIFA and Right Sektor are nearly identical.

One of the most common phrases in the Bible is “Be Alert” or “Be Aware”.  There is a reason for that….There is evil in the world.

Here’s my favorite:

Be alert, stand firm,

Be courageous; be strong.

1 Corinthians 16:13

Being alert means being ready for whatever happens.

What things should ALREADY be in place for a prepared person?

There is no reason that you shouldn’t already have at least 96 hours of food and water ready.  That means food that doesn’t require refrigeration and is simple to prepare.  I keep MRE’s or camping food rations always ready.

You should have an EDC (Every Day Carry) bag with you, an emergency/get home bag in your vehicle, and a 30-minute bag ready to go at home.

As you all know, I’m a huge believer in having first aid kits stocked and ready.  I have several, fully stocked, and put where I can get my hands on them quickly.  Note…a first aid kit should always be something you can pick up and manipulate with one hand.  I’ve seen some people with full-sized EMT bags, but what if my left arm is severely injured?  I need to be able to treat it with my right, including manipulating the first aid kit.

If firearms are part of your personal safety plan, at the current risk level in our country, there is no reason that your personal defense firearms are not fully charged and ready for use, and within arms reach at all times.

A guy I follow, Viking Preparedness (Pastor Joe Fox), mentioned his idea of the “MinuteMan Bag”…it’s a small bag that contains spare ammo, a light, a first aid kit, and some optics that you can throw over a shoulder in less than 10 seconds and walk out the door ready to fight.  I’ve added a couple of items to mine like a fixed blade knife, a multi-tool, and some emergency rations.  Not a bad concept for immediate defense.

You should be keeping your vehicle fully fueled and maintained.

Most importantly, you should be GATHERING INFORMATION.  Every morning, before I even jump in the shower, I do these three things:

  1. Check the 48 hour weather forecast (forecasts beyond 48 hours are wishes).
  2. Search for protests in my local area via the internet.
  3. Check the social media of known agitators in the local area.
    1. If you haven’t identified these people, why not?
    2. They’re very vocal and easy to find.

Armed with this information, I’m much better prepared to plan my day and know what extra risks the day may carry.

There may come a time when you don’t have the vast information powerhouse that is the internet, but that’s not today…use what’s available while it is.

If you haven’t already conducted an area study, why haven’t you?

If you haven’t already done a paper map recon of alternate routes to and from work, for emergency use, why haven’t you?

We are living in period of normalcy bias, where even those who KNOW something bad is coming, for some reason believe that they will have plenty of notice before the next bad thing happens.  WHY?

Start acting as the risk level dictates.  Doing otherwise puts you in jeopardy.

Be alert and of sober mind;

Your enemy the devil prowls around

Like a roaring lion,

Looking for someone to devour.

1 Peter 5:8

First Aid Skills

Too often in the preparedness community, everyone wants to talk about guns and gear, but not skills.  When they do talk about skills, it’s usually firearm skills.

I’ve had firearms and firearm skills just as long as I’ve have first aid supplies and first aid skills.  Guess which one I’ve used the most?  Like almost every month of my life?

Most people figure that buying a tourniquet and a pressure dressing is enough first aid supplies and that the ability to apply both is sufficient first aid skills.

All of the tacti-cool gear in the world won’t help you if you die from a cut you didn’t properly treat and let get infected.

What does God’s Tactical Handbook say about first aid? (I bet you thought it’s not mentioned….it is)

He went to him and bandaged his wounds, 

Pouring on oil and wine…

Luke 10:34

Now, we’ve come a long way in medical skills and knowledge since Jesus told the Parable of the Good Samaritan, so let’s discuss a baseline level of skills and gear that you should possess.

Obviously, any first aid kit should contain bandages.  My kits contain a large assortment of band aids, as well as gauze bandages and 5×9 combine pads for major trauma, trauma pressure bandages, and wrap-type bandages.

When stocking your kit with band aids, get multiple sizes and don’t overlook knuckle & fingertip bandages; they are essential items.  I place bandaids of similar sizes inside zip-lock bags.

Gauze pads of various sizes are great for use in bleeding control or covering wounds.  3×3, 4×4, and 5×9 sizes should all be stocked.

A pressure bandage is designed for major trauma, like gunshot or stab wounds and generally has a large gauze pad attached to a bandage that can wrapped around the wound, to apply pressure and stop bleeding.  They are a must-have item.

I keep a few different sizes of ace bandage-type wraps, because they are excellent for holding a gauze pad on a wound or for bandaging sprains/strains.  I try to keep mine stocked in darker colors.  Understand that self-adhering bandages can rarely actually be re-used.

Another excellent bandage to keep on hand is a triangular bandage.  It has tons of uses, including bandaging, being used as a sling, or a bandana, or even as a tourniquet.  Again, I go with dark colors (green or black).

Owning bandages is not the same as knowing how to bandage wounds.  Take a serious, legitimate first aid class and then PRACTICE the skills.  First aid classes can be found with the local community education department, your local Red Cross, or your local Fire Department.  Take a CPR/AED course as well, to include infant CPR; you never know who you might be able to help.

I keep packets of Cellox or Quick Clot in all my kits, for the control of serious bleeding.  Spend the money…it may save a life, including your own or someone you love.

When I was younger, tourniquets were considered a last resort, but recent studies indicate that early use of a tourniquet saves lives.  They are relatively inexpensive and every kit should have one, preferably either a CAT tourniquet or a SWAT-T tourniquet.  Both can be applied with one hand, but the SWAT-T can be used on people with very small limbs.

Triple anti-biotic cream is included in all of my kits to apply to wounds to prevent infection.  Alcohol wipes are also a good cleaning item to keep stocked.

For medication, I keep a small supply of OTC anti-inflammatory/pain reliever and fever-reducing medications in the kit, as well as anti-histamines in case of an allergic reaction.

A small roll of duct tape is absolutely invaluable in a first aid kit.  Duct tape can used for many things, and most importantly, it will stick to wet surfaces, creating an air-tight seal.

A small notebook is an often-overlooked item.  I use small Rite-In-The-Rain notebooks because they, well, write in the rain, and they are virtually indestructible.  You can note times and information such as when a tourniquet was applied or when medications were given for later use.

Other items in my kits include EMT shears, tweezers, hemostats, nitrile gloves, a CPR mask, and a 14 gauge needle (for the relief of tension pneumothorax, an advanced skill – do not attempt untrained).

They time to acquire the skills and gear is well before an emergency occurs.  It seems like a lot of stuff to buy, but if you are on a limited budget, buy the items one or two per week and eventually, you’ll have a fully-stocked kit.

After you’ve built the kit, keep acquiring supplies and build up a reserve.  That way, as you use things from the kit, you can re-stock it, and not run into a situation where you’ve used up things from the kit.

Another note on this is that if you have a home kit and a car kit, don’t borrow items between kits.  What I mean is, don’t stock them from each other, stock them both from the reserve and keep them both fully supplied.  Otherwise, when an emergency comes, the car or home kit might be empty when you need it full.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to go out and get real first aid training, and then practice it.

It’s also vital to know that of all your survival and preparedness skills/gear, first aid is the one you’ll use most often.

In a true grid-down/Without Rule of Law situation, you won’t be running to the doctor or ER; you’re all you’ll have.  In that situation, a broken arm or leg can become deadly.  Get trained, get supplied.

Please leave a comment below with any items you think I’ve overlooked; I’d love new ideas.

Training in Kicks

In training for real life self-defense, a common question that comes up is, “Should I train in kicks or not?”.  Many schools of thought claim that being left on one leg is something to be avoided, but it’s also telling that those same voices advocate taking every fight to the ground and going for a “submission”…so, draw your own conclusions.

In my opinion, kicks are absolutely invaluable in your self-defense skill set.  There are several reasons for this:

  • Your quads are your biggest muscle group
  • Legs have much longer range than hands
  • I may need my hands to do something else (open the car door, draw a firearm)
  • Legs are more resilient than fingers

That having been said, relying mostly on kicks (Tae Kwon Do, we’re looking at you) is also not a good strategy.  You need a well-rounded skill set.  Any real-life self defense program should encompass a 50/50 approach, 50% hands, 50% feet.

Bruce Lee once said, “I do not fear the man who was practiced 10,000 kicks one time, I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times”.  Learning a large number of kicks is not necessary. Doing a very high number of reps of the basic kicks is far better and much more realistic.

What basic kicks do I recommend mastering?

  • Front Kick
  • Side Kick
  • Roundhouse Kick
  • Knee Kick
  • Back Kick

When learning these, learn all the variations, such as front leg, rear leg, fade in/fade out, step forward/step backward.

These are the kicks that will give you the most benefit for self-defense training.  Every training session, no matter the belt rank, should include some repetitions of these kicks to develop MASTERY, not just SKILL.  

At PKSA Karate (www.pksa.com), where I train, we say “Practice, Practice, Practice, leads to mastery”.  It’s not just a fancy set of words we make people learn, it’s a true philosophy.  Everyone wants to learn the “next kick” or the “next form” or the “new weapon” before truly mastering the basics.  It’s VITAL to do thousands of reps of the BASIC kicks.  That way, the skill will be there when you need it.

“How high should I practice kicks?”, is another common question.  That’s an interesting question.  When doing general repetition training, I recommend kicking as high as possible, head level.  This is to develop flexibility, endurance, strength, technique, and (most importantly) CONFIDENCE.  When practicing self defense combinations, I recommend kicking no higher than the solar plexus.

A great kicking drill that is common at PKSA Karate is using one leg to kick at all three levels before setting the foot back down.  For example, let’s take the front kick.  Chamber, then kick at knee level, re-chamber, kick at solar plexus level, re-chamber, then kick at face level, setting the foot back down after re-chambering.

Notice I mentioned chambering between each kick.  Many in the real-life self-defense community teach not to chamber on kicks.  That’s silly.  Yes, always chamber.  Chambering allows you to generate maximum power.  I know that they say it telegraphs the kick and that they say it’s slower.  If you’ve trained properly and with enough repetitions, it’s not any slower.  If the attacker notices a chamber, all they really learn is that A KICK is coming, not specifically what kick or where.  Always chamber for maximum power and effectiveness.

If you stand there with a kick chambered like Daniel-San in the All-Valley Tournament in The Karate Kid, you deserve to have your leg caught or your kick blocked.

The reason for tactically practicing at the lower level is that there is less risk of falling on the uncertain ground you will be defending yourself on.  It’s easy to kick high in the dojang (or dojo) on soft mats; it can be deadly on pavement, icy or uneven ground.

Kicks that have limited real life application, but should be trained on are:

  • Crescent Kicks (both inside and outside)
  • Ground Front/Side/Round/Back Kicks (kicking from the ground)
  • Spin Hook Kick 
  • Spin Back Kick
  • Front Push Kick

The reason why I say limited application is that in each of these kicks, there is a trade off of risk for potential benefit.  On the spin kicks, it’s turning your back on the attacker.  On the crescent kicks, it’s balance.  Ground kicks, it’s the loss of mobility.  For the front push kick, it’s the fact that it can be grabbed because it’s obvious from the start (although I have, in recent history, used it for self defense to keep someone away).

Any kick with the words “jump”, “jump spinning” and “flying” have exactly NO real world self-defense value.  (I can already hear Sabomnim Prosch handing out 500 push-ups to me for that comment and Sabomnim Lisa would just kick me for it.)

Nothing that requires you to leave the ground has any real-life application for defending your life.  Yes, Jet Li made it work in the movies, but those were MOVIES filmed in a controlled environment on level ground.

Now, I didn’t say don’t train on them.  They are valuable for learning coordination, developing flexibility, developing strength, and overall athletic ability; as well as honoring the tradition.  What I am saying is realize that while they have training value, they have no real life value, and when you have limited training time, the first thing to remove is the Super Flying Jump Spinning Dragon Tornado kick, which probably was never really part of the traditional martial art to begin with.

In firearms training, there is a saying, “Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast”.  The same principle applies to learning kicks.  Spend a lot of time doing the kick very slowly, learning & developing muscle memory perfect the kick.  You will notice speed developing on it’s own.  Once you’ve mastered the technique, speed it up.

As with every physical skill, learning something isn’t enough.  Training and practice are required to retain physical skills.  Devote time every single week to training in your martial arts skills.  Yes, even on vacation.  

Get out, find a qualified instructor (www.pksa.com has schools all over), and TRAIN.

Train as if your life depended on it, because it does.

Normalcy Bias Will Kill You

Normalcy bias is the tendency to not believe that an event is occurring, because “It couldn’t happen to me”, or, on a larger scale “it can’t happen here”.

We’ve all heard stories of people standing still while an active shooter begins attacking, or people not defending themselves during a home invasion, because “that won’t happen to me”.

Every time we see it, we log on to Twitter or FaceBook and give all the things we would have done and ridicule the people involved for not taking action.

And yet…

Our nation is falling quickly down the path to either Balkanization or total socialist control, and we’re all sitting here saying “just wait it out, that can’t happen here”.  They thought that in South Ossetia, Yugoslavia, and the Ukraine, too.  Inevitably, despite overwhelming evidence of the danger, we are waiting too long to react.

I recommended an immediate law enforcement or military response to CHAZ, because it was direct challenge to the sovereignty of the United States and would lead to more autonomous zones.  I was told by virtually everyone, “No, too soon.  Just wait it out”.  There have now been 5 people shot, 2 killed, and autonomous zones keep popping up everywhere.  

People said “let them starve”, but the vast majority of the people inside CHAZ aren’t there voluntarily…they live there and are being denied the equal protection under the law that the US Constitution guarantees via the 14th Amendment.

We’ve been told, “these protests are scattered and disorganized; they’ll die down”.  They aren’t; they are getting worse and the police aren’t engaging.

For the last few weeks, I’ve decided to take a more active role and get out and observe the protests.  What I’ve witnessed first hand is detailed in several of my blog posts, but I have a few more observations from today that complete the picture.  Despite appearing decentralized, I keep seeing the same key personnel everywhere I go, no matter what “group” puts on the event, there are designated HEAVILY ARMED security teams, they employ professional counter-surveillance, and are given free reign by local government (police stand down).

Today, openly armed personnel took up positions on the grounds of the state capitol, which I have no issue with, given the Second Amendment.  Where the situation took a turn is when those heavily armed personnel began intimidating anyone that they thought wasn’t from their group and they began following people, openly brandishing their arms as they did so.  

At the protests to open the state back up a few weeks ago, while armed protestors were present, they didn’t try to force anyone else away from the capitol.  See the difference?

These people went the extra step of using heavily armed personnel to follow people all the way to their cars and then visibly writing down their license plate numbers.  The implication was that the group would track you down.  Every citizen has an equal right to be on the capitol grounds, without fear of intimidation.

We’re seeing this kind of behavior all over the country.  

We’re seeing these formations of protestors, some of which are openly armed, travel out into the suburbs and marching down our streets, with police nowhere in evidence or just clearing traffic for the protestors.

What happens when the police do happen to make arrests?  The protesters threaten violent action and the charges get dropped, so there is absolutely NO CONSEQUENCE for rioting.

Rioters in Portland have TWICE tried to barricade the police inside their station and set the station on fire.  That’s not protest, that is WAR.

They are trying to stage additional incidents to further inflame their base into open rebellion.  Last night, in Detroit, one of the groups I monitor surrounded some Detroit Police scout cars, and began beating on the cars.  When the officers drove through the crowd to escape, the “protestors” (instigators) immediately took to social media with the video of the incident to proclaim their victim status and accuse the police of trying to kill them.  Not one of them mentions what would have happened to the police if they hadn’t driven away through the crowd.  The intent was obviously to provoke a violent reaction from the police, but the left’s base doesn’t care about that.

I’ve been saying for a few days that the left has been waging a civil war for weeks and the right is not showing up.  “Being the bigger person” isn’t going to win us any points, it’s going to get us a socialist regime with almost no resistance.  

Normalcy bias can kill you.

Our politicians are tripping over each on both sides of the aisle to offer as many concessions to the protestors as they can, just to be seen as “woke” or “understanding of their plight”, but that only leads to more and more demands from the protestors to push our system of government further to the left and to erase more and more of the Constitution.

Yes, it CAN happen here.  Yes, it REALLY IS happening here.

Normalcy bias will kill you, if you let it.

What does God’s Ultimate Tactical Handbook have to say about normalcy bias? Alot.  You don’t remember the Bible mentioning normalcy bias?  Let me give you a direct quote about normalcy bias:

The prudent see danger and take refuge,

But the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

Proverbs 22:3 & Proverbs 27:12

It was so important that David put the exact the same wisdom in the Proverbs twice.  It’s directly speaking about normalcy bias.

The question then becomes, what do we do about it?

First, look to your own safety:

  • Ensure that your vehicle has emergency supplies in it
  • Ensure that you have 72 – 96 hours of food and water at home
  • Develop a communication plan with your friends and family that doesn’t rely solely on cell phones
  • Develop an emergency plan and a home defense plan
  • Develop a tribe – a group of like minded individuals that will mutually support each other
  • Decide RIGHT NOW what you willing to do to defend your life and property
  • Sign up for Nixle or whatever local emergency notification service is in your area

Then, look to your community:

  • Call your elected representatives and let them know how you feel about concessions
  • Speak to your local law enforcement and let them know your expectations
  • Get out and find out what is going on in your community and what the opposition is saying/demanding
  • Let your government representatives know where you stand on those issues.

I know, many of you will say that talking to government representatives does you no good…but that’s exactly what the other side is counting on.  Why are we letting them only hear what the protestors want, which has nothing at all to do with police brutality, and everything to do with a leftist agenda?  Let them hear you, too.

Most importantly, understand that normalcy bias will kill you, and GET PAST IT.  

It can indeed happen here, and it is.  Choose to see reality.

Hope is not a successful strategy.

Be safe.  Be aware.

Gray Man Tactics

Based on some of my other articles, I have had a few people either ask me what the Gray Man principle is or people give me their interpretation, which isn’t the same as mine.  Ask 10 people, and you’ll get 10 different answers, but I thought I’d give my take on it here, and explain how I apply it professionally.

The Gray Man concept owes it’s roots to the intelligence and counter-intelligence community, as well as the executive protection world.  The way best to protect someone is not be seen until you need to be seen.  As an example, watch the video from this week when Andrea Mitchell was nearly attacked by a transexual activist and her executive protection team swooped in out of nowhere and dealt with the threat.

Another historical reference for the Gray Man is the Apostle Paul of Tarsus, the Original Gray Man:

To the Jews I became like a Jew…

To those under the law, I became like one under the law…

To those not under the law, I became like one not having the law…

To the weak, I become weak…

1 Corinthians 9:21-22

I say that a bit tongue in cheek, but think about it…in order to move freely among people who could immediately turn him in if he was found, he blended in to every sector of society, and at it’s heart, that is what the Gray Man principle is.

Study the area and people you want to blend in with, and then make yourself as nondescript as possible among them.  The current pandemic requiring masks in public is a Godsend for this kind of cover. The masks also hide our surveillance radio earpieces.

To illustrate it, let me just give an example of how I do it, as I enter the current protests and crowds to gather evidence and conduct risk assessments for my clients.  Everyone has seen the protests on media, so black clothing is a must.  When venturing out among a crowd like that, I wear a black hoodie or pullover type shirt over a black t-shirt with some kind of writing or logo on it (that’s important, I’ll explain in a second).  I also wear blue jeans because pretty much anywhere in North America, blue jeans fit in. I throw on a baseball cap with a logo on it, and wear a mask and sunglasses.  At this point, the only thing that can be described is the clothing and skin color.  I wear a black backpack, because black is the most common backpack color.  Inside the backpack (in addition to bulletproof panels from www.premierbodyarmor.com), I keep a solid color baseball cap with NO LOGO, a different color face mask, and a different color hoodie, along with a packable jacket.

With these changes, if I was noticed by someone and knew they were watching for someone matching my description with a certain ball cap on, I only need a few seconds behind a tree or around a corner to remove the first hoodie, switch masks, switch ball caps, and remove the sunglasses.  Already, I am a completely different person than who they are looking for. And I can do it a few time with just a couple of extra items.

The T-Shirt should have a logo or writing on it, so that it doesn’t appear that you are wearing just an undergarment, because you took off another shirt.

The hat with a logo is because in our modern society, everyone keys on logos.  They’ll be looking for someone in a Michigan State ball cap, but I’ll be in a plain tan one by then.

I know that a lot of guys in the preparedness/tactical community swear by their 5.11 pants or their Tru-Spec pants, and I’m no exception, I wear them daily.  But…when I’m operational INSIDE a protest, I have “to become like one not under the law…”, as Paul put it so well.

How Not to be a Gray Man

It doesn’t have to be elaborate…and more importantly, DON’T OVERSELL IT.  I’ve seen people try to look like a homeless guy because “nobody looks at the homeless guy”….believe me, EVERYONE looks at the homeless guy and unless you are indeed homeless, you will stand out.  I can’t stress enough to not try too hard to “fit in” (Think Justin Trudeau and his antics literally everywhere he goes).

Another area of being a gray man is behavior.  Certain behaviors are immediately apparent as proof that you are watching people.  Being too visibly aware (guilty) of your surroundings is a sure giveaway.  Move slowly, stand often, and most importantly, respond exactly like everyone else.  The left DEMANDS 100% ideological agreement and if you fail to clap, or nod your head, and chant along, you WILL be spotted.  Don’t write notes, use your phone.  Everyone else will have their phones in their hands, making videos and taking photos, so fit in, but don’t make it readily apparent what or who you are filming/photographing.  Use a note app on your phone. LOCK YOUR PHONE.

Let me be blunt….ANTIFA has a VERY STRONG counter-surveillance and security program.  They may not take any action in the beginning, but may follow you to your car.  I’ve noted them recording license plate numbers and taking lots of photos.  They are a VIOLENT organization.  You DO NOT want to be identified.

If you are confronted by their people, resist the temptation to argue or jump into a political discussion “since you’ve been made anyway”.  Remember your ultimate goal…gathering information and evidence (more on that in a few) and not being detected.  If they ask you to leave, act disappointed, but agreeable.  Leave immediately (but don’t go straight to your car).  Leave them with a nagging doubt about whether or not you were actually gathering information.

Understand also the legalities of where you are.  Are you somewhere you have a legal right to be?  Generally, at a protest the answer is yes, but don’t follow people inside to film them looting a store, because you would then first be committing burglary, and second putting yourself in a position where it would not be legal to defend yourself.  

This matters, because just the other day, ANTIFA/RevCom security asked the police to make a person taking photos of them (it wasn’t me, I have better Fieldcraft than that) leave the area of the protest, and the police told them squarely that they had no legal right to ask anyone to leave, since they were in a public area.

A side note….Just last night, Steven Crowder (louderwithcrowder.com) had his people identified within the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest Zone because they were livestreaming; resist the temptation to stream or post, until after you’ve left the area.  They monitor that.

Your vehicle should also be made as “gray” as possible.  I’ve never put political or other stickers on my cars because I’ve always done this kind of work and I want my car to be as nondescript as possible.  Take care with what is visible through the windows.  I drive an SUV, so I cover up the bags in the back and take care not to leave clipboards or surveillance equipment/radios on the seat.  Park a long ways away and walk in; I’ve watched ANTIFA/RevCom security people do sweeps of parking lots looking for occupied cars or signs of surveillance.  When parking, always park front end out, facing the parking lot entrance, not necessarily the event.

Several people asked me, so why even do this?  First, before you can fight an enemy, you must know them.  Sun Tzu said that if you know yourself and know your enemy, you need not fear the result of a thousand battles.

Second, I’ve been involved with a project for three years tracking these groups and developing video evidence and stills from live-streams and photos to tie people to criminal events.  The natural extension of that is to get out and make videos of attendees before the ever put their masks on and begin destroying property or assaulting people.  We’ve had success at tying people back to photos taken earlier.  Below is the current wanted poster for people involved in trying to take down the Andrew Jackson statue.  Some are clear screen grabs from surveillance systems, but others are clearly photos taken from people circulating among the bad actors, gathering evidence to later turn over to the police.

If the police won’t get out and do it, it’s incumbent upon the citizens who still care about our nation and our system of government to get out and gather the evidence.

If you want to read a fun set of books that give a bit more detail, check out the Gray Man series (soon to be a movie) by Mark Greaney (markgreaneybooks.com).

I hope this article helps explain some of the basics of the gray man principle, which really boils down to just not standing out at all.

News from the Front

My biggest complaint with those who want to preserve our nation, is that we are completely ceding the ground to the anarchists and leftists who want to destroy our nation.

It’s time for us to get out in the streets as well, and take smart action to preserve the Republic.  I’m not saying get out and destroy things, but I am saying that everywhere that citizens have shown up to defend a business or a statue, they’ve been successful without much trouble because the left is counting on zero resistance.

I don’t advocate initiating violence at all, but I do advocate smart responses.  

The key to a smart response is to study the opposition and gather intelligence.  I began this project locally here in Detroit a few days ago, and I reported on the first operation the other day.  Here, I want to share key findings from two other protests I attended.

First, it’s important to give a few ground rules.  I didn’t show up in a USA t-shirt, wearing a MAGA hat, and draped in a Trump 2020 flag, nor did I arrive dressed as super tactics-man in all my tacti-cool gear.  I wore just jeans, a t-shirt, hoodie (for quick change), a basic ball cap, and a face mask. 

Yes, I wore a face mask, despite my feelings about it.  Here’s why…try positively identifying a guy in a face mask, ball cap, and sunglasses.  You can’t.  I assumed a completely different profile simply by removing the hoodie and sunglasses, switching ball caps, and putting on a different color face mask.  Total gray man.  Backpacks are so common now, that you can carry a couple of complete profile changes, some defensive tools, and first aid supplies unobtrusively.  I also used the backpack strap to carry my hidden surveillance camera.

On Saturday, I attended the Black Lives Matter march and Juneteenth celebration in downtown Detroit, and developed some good information, some of which points to a need for further research.

My first observation was that you shouldn’t believe the media hype about hate.  The media would have you believe that racial tensions have everyone hating each other.  It’s untrue, and before the march even arrived, God proved it to me.  I had positioned myself at Campus Martius Park, because there is a Civil War memorial there.  As the march approached, three young black men approached me, and formed a circle around me.  One of them walked right up to me and said “excuse me sir, there are protesters coming, you might want to move.”  These young men were worried about my safety, and the MSM would have you believe that that would never happen.  Out of respect for their concern, I moved a bit away. 

Second, unlike in Ann Arbor, Detroit BLM had their own security provided by a group of older men from the local Masonic Lodge.  In Detroit culture, older men who belong to the Masons are a bedrock of the community and are respected by even the most hardened thugs.  This was a smart move.  These guys walked on both sides of the crowd, mostly looking inward to watch for agitators.

The same medical staff, provided by the local RevCom group (ANTIFA), that were at Ann Arbor were present.  The exact same staff.  I also noticed that some of the ANTIFA security team from Ann Arbor were present in Detroit, but not handling security, they were among the crowd, but they were closely watched by the Masons.

The only active agitator started yelling because the group was cooperating with police and he was quickly removed by the Masonic security team.

One person fell to a heat casualty, so I got to see the ANTIFA medics spring into action, which consisted of yelling “medic” and forcing the person to drink lots of water (which is actually contra-indicated in heat cases…small sips only). 

I noticed as the march entered the Hart Plaza at the end of the route, all of the ANTIFA/RevCom personnel had Baofeng radios.  That was a very interesting piece of information to develop.

As I moved throughout the crowd, I noticed a man trying very unsuccessfully to secretly record me.  His picture is below, I’ll let you make your own commentary about his shirt.  Almost immediately I noticed that standing right next to him was one of the ANTIFA/RevCom guys I had seen at Ann Arbor the day before.  This tells us that the opposition was doing counter-surveillance, and I admit my own field craft error in visibly appearing to be situationally-aware.

Once I noticed the attention, I went around a corner, stripped off the hoodie, took off the sunglasses, and changed my ball cap and mask, reappearing at the other side as a completely different profile.  The switch worked, because they never looked my way again.

The crowd was completely peaceful and friendly and I interacted with several of them.  The only issue I had was that the speech by the local NAACP President ended up not having anything to do with George Floyd or police brutality and was pretty much just an anti-Trump rally.

Today, I attended a protest against the Canton Police Department.  The organizers said that they were protesting the violent arrest of Sha’ Tenia Grady-El by the Canton Police.  The only problem with that is that she wasn’t arrested by the Canton Township police, she was arrested in the next county over by the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office in Ypsilanti Township, but why let facts get in the way of outrage.

I arrived before the rally began, and was actually surprised to see the EXACT SAME RevCom/ANTIFA security and medic team that I had seen at the last two protests.  At this event, as with the Ann Arbor event, the RevCom/ANTIFA personnel were in charge of security and organization for Survivors Speak, who held the rally.  What surprised me was watching the security team inspect occupied vehicles in the grocery store parking lot where they held the rally.  They openly recorded license plate numbers and stared at vehicle occupants, apparently to intimidate them.  At one point, a man was walking around them taking photos, and they tried to get the police to make him leave or stop recording.  One of my police contacts let me know that they told the security team that they had no legal standing to ask anyone to leave or stop recording, since this wasn’t their parking lot.

This protest had the smallest turnout so far, less than 100 people.  After a few speeches about the usual topics of police brutality, income inequality, and the ever-popular educational racism (holding all students to equal standards is somehow racism), the group then proceeded onto Canton Center Road and blocked the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Canton Center, arguably the second busiest intersection in the township, for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, with the police assisting with traffic control. 

The group then continued on to Walmart, where they decried low wages and employment discrimination, despite Walmart having a very diverse workforce.  They then marched back the two blocks to the starting point, where they held a dance party. Total march distance: 4 blocks.

The most interesting learning is that three different protest groups in three different cities used the same RevCom/ANTIFA security & medical group.  At the two protests in which they handled security, the same man led the RevCom/ANTIFA group while wearing Interceptor Body Armor.  At the Detroit Protest, I noticed that he was present, but was wearing a full face mask to prevent identification, but it was clearly him.

My point is this…the opposition is in the streets, far more organized and prepared than we are led to believe, and there is apparently some central authority pointing groups to the RevCom/ANTIFA teams that I’m seeing.  It’s not coincidence and it’s not advertising.  They are also clearly prepared for and willing to engage in violence, although none has occurred at the protests. 

It’s also very telling that while they want the police to recognize their right to peaceably assemble, they are completely unwilling to allow differing viewpoints to do the same, to the point of intimidation and/or forcing them to leave.  If there hadn’t been a large and professional police presence, I believe they would have acted against the man videotaping them. They do serious counter-surveillance.

My advice to you is to get out and learn what the opposition is doing.  

As it says in the Ultimate Tactical Handbook, the Holy Bible:

The prudent see danger and take refuge,

But the simple keep going and pay the penalty

Proverbs 22:3

If you don’t get out and learn what the opposition is doing, you are being not prudent, and you won’t see the danger because of normalcy bias. 

Be prudent….get out there.

What I Learned Gathering Intelligence

Intelligence gathering is the process of developing information that you can use to make decisions and/or be aware of your local situation.  It’s an exhaustive topic that I’m not going to get into here, other than to describe how I accomplished today’s mission.

It’s one thing to watch the news and listen to what they are reporting about protests and happenings; it’s quite another to go and observe events yourself.  Which do you think will give you the most reliable information?

Today, I attended the Black Lives Matter Juneteenth Celebration and March in Ann Arbor, Michigan to observe first hand what the other side is saying and doing, rather than just believe what the media says.  I highly recommend the exercise and I plan on it doing it again soon.

It’s important to note that I didn’t go as a counter-demonstrator or to oppose anything, just to observe and listen, which is important, as the right to free speech is equally valid for both sides.

To conduct this exercise, don’t show up in your super -cool guy tacti-cool wardrobe, or in your American flag T shirt, or your silly “Boog Boi” Hawaiian nonsense, you want to approach this from a gray man perspective.  I wore jeans and a plain polo shirt, with a basic (non-tactical looking) ball cap.  When wearing a face mask and sunglasses, no one could possibly have described me or picked me out from the rest of the crowd.

Backpacks were very common, so wearing one fit in.  My backpack, however, had my bulletproof laptop sleeve from Premier Body Armor in it, just in case (check out premierbodyarmor.com).  I also had a hoodie, a different color ball cap, and a different color face mask so that if needed, I could change my total appearance in seconds.

While I was not unarmed, there was not a handgun on me or in the backpack, because I was not there to counter-protest, or defend, but to observe.  Having a firearm would have just raised my own stress level while walking among potentially hostile actors, so it would have done more harm than good.  There are plenty of other defensive options.

Let’s get on to what I learned.  

First, while the protest was indeed Black Lives Matter themed, the group leader quickly pointed out that ANTIFA was indeed present to “organize and provide support”.  To hear someone openly say that, was a bit shocking.  I had already noticed several of them in their all black gear and red & black bandanas.

They had “Skyler”, the ANTIFA “coordinator” speak.  He said that they were there only in a support role.  He pointed out that they had medics with red and green crosses on their arms for any health issues, and then he ominously said “our security staff is circulating through the crowd, observing, for your safety”.  The left hasn’t even seized power and they’ve already got their secret police in place.  That should scare you all. I must have done alright, because they didn’t throw me out.

Next, a series of speeches began, and I was appalled at the amount of disinformation spread by leaders in the movement as well state, local, and federal elected officials.

A speaker claimed that the Emancipation Proclamation was signed in 1867, despite us being there to celebrate the day that people in Galveston, Texas heard about it on June 19, 1865.  I guess Galveston is just way ahead of it’s time.  That same speaker claimed that the Proclamation only freed slaves in the Confederate States, not all states.  While that is technically true, it’s dishonest, as the northern states had already abolished slavery.

Then we got to Debbie Dingell, a United States Representative, whose family has held that seat for 87 consecutive years, but NOW she’s ready to do something about racial injustice.  She misquoted Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and not one person called her out on it.  She said that her favorite quote of his was that “Darkness cannot defeat darkness”, which is crazy, because if it was really her favorite she would know that he actually said “Darkness cannot drive out darkness”.  Rep. Dingell then got the crowd all worked up by shouting that Donald Trump shouldn’t be going to Oklahoma City this week, and that Oklahoma City is where the Tulsa Massacre occurred (it didn’t, it occurred, surprisingly, in TULSA).  You’d think that her staff would have prepared her remarks with truthful information.  I do have good news for Rep. Dingell, I can confirm that Donald Trump is NOT going to Oklahoma City this week.

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed took a few minutes to spread more provable lies.  He claimed that the Flint Water Crisis was done intentionally to poison black children, and was proof of systemic racism.  Never mind the fact that the Flint City Council who made the vote that caused the crisis was made up of 8 black members and 1 white, and 100% Democratic Party.  The crowd cheered on his lies, without bothering to fact check a single bit.

There was a speaker from the local school board who discussed “Educational Racism”.  I thought that holding everyone to the same set of standards, regardless of race, was equality, but today I learned that THAT was Educational Racism.  Apparently, students of color should be held to lower standards.  Fighting Educational Racism sounds to me a lot like, well, racism.

Several of the day’s speakers shouted about defunding and abolishing the police, who despite all the hatred spewed at them, made a Herculean effort to keep the protestors from being ran over by average citizens as they took to the streets.  

The group of about 2,000 then began to march.  Rather than waiting for the police to secure the end of the street, they jumped out into traffic, walking into oncoming traffic, trapping three vehicles inside the protest, and surrounding them.  While there was no violence, can you imagine having been inside one of those vehicles?  That’s one reason that I advocate checking every single day for protests in your local area, so that you can plan to avoid this exact situation.

At each intersection, the ANTIFA security had the entire procession stop and block from all directions for a few minutes before moving on.  The lead ANTFA security person was interesting….he was wearing an Interceptor Body Armor vest, which indicated to me that they had some intent to potentially engage in violent behavior.  Several other ANTIFA personnel were wearing helmets, also indicating a potential for violence.

Once the procession reached the Washtenaw County Justice Center, the crowd knelt and paused for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.  

All in all, the crowd was peaceful, although there was an undercurrent that seemed to be wanting an excuse for violence to break out, but the crowd returned to the Diag at the University of Michigan without incident.

I did notice that the lead and follow vehicles were the exact same two vehicles that I observed at another protest in Wayne County, proving that these are indeed NOT spontaneous or grass-roots efforts, but a well-organized  campaign by a central group.

I’ll be doing this again, looking for the same outlier personnel and vehicles, and identifying who they are, to increase my knowledge of the local threat. 

It wouldn’t be my blog without tying the principles back to the Ultimate Tactical Handbook, the Bible. As far as just keeping quiet in the face of people who refuse to listen to reason, I have two pieces from the Book of Proverbs that will keep you safe when among those who are looking for a fight:

Those who guard their lips, preserve their lives,

but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.

Proverbs 13:3

A fool’s mouth lashes out with pride,

but the lips of the wise protect them.

Proverbs 14:3

I highly recommend you do it too, just make sure you keep quiet and unnoticed, these people are not interested in rational debate.

The Tactics Of Joshua

The book of Joshua is a great story, full of epic battle scenes, spies and spy-hunters, life and death chases, and even evil kings being impaled in front of their cities.  The question we ask here is: Can the tactics that Joshua employed in war thousands of years ago, still be relevant today?

Let’s look at two particular tactics from Joshua.

After an all night march from Gilgal,

Joshua took them by surprise.

Joshua 10:9

Joshua marched a massive army under cover of darkness into position to completely surprise an alliance of kings attacking an allied town.  These tactical principles can still be applied today to someone looking to be prepared for whatever may come in our troubled times.

  • Use darkness to move past potentially hostile forces.
  • Take unexpected routes that might not be watched or guarded.
  • Appear where least expected.
    • Ironically, Sun Tzu also taught this same principle.
  • When traveling any distance in potentially hostile territory, movement at night is imminently better.
    • Natural patterns of human activity are lower at night, so you are far less likely to encounter anyone else.
    • Thousands of years of conditioning has trained the human mind to rest at night, rather than be outside and watchful.
    • It is cooler at night, and this will prevent heat injuries.

Joshua was also known throughout the book to use darkness to set ambushes for his enemies.

Darkness is definitely your friend and it’s just as valid today.

As resources for those who want to be prepared, I have a few suggestions that might help.

  1. Invest in your ability to navigate at night.
    1. That doesn’t mean spend a lot of money.
    2. Buy a luminous compass; I personally have a US government issue one.
    3. Buy paper maps and a flashlight/filter combination that allows you to read them at night, while maintaining light discipline (your 1000 lumen Tacti-Cool light isn’t it).
    4. A GPS with 24K topographic maps is a good SUPPLEMENT to paper maps, NOT A REPLACEMENT.
  2. Invest in your ability to see at night.
    1. Purchase some type of night observation device.
    2. Again, this doesn’t mean spend $5,000 on the latest Cool Guy night vision, just get something that works.
  3. Invest in your ability to NOT BE SEEN at night.
    1. Many people in the preparedness community love their MutliCam uniforms, or Army issue ACU’s, but these are too light in color for nighttime use.
    2. Similarly, dressing in all-black is too dark for nighttime use.
    3. I have both midnight digital gear and ATACS-LE gear.  These incorporate black, gray, and dark blue, truly making you blend with the dark.
  4. Take the time to actually train in the dark and use movement techniques IN THE DARK and learn to use your nighttime equipment IN THE DARK.
  5. Invest some time training in how to shoot in the dark.

…You are to hamstring their horses

And burn their chariots…

Joshua 11:6b

Now, that’s a bit harsh, and we are going to have to translate that today’s context.  At the time Joshua was written, a horse was the most common vehicle for moving forces and supplies, and the chariot was the most advanced infantry fighting vehicle available.

If we are to put that into today’s context, it means destroy the hostile force’s ability to move troops and supplies.  That’s definitely applicable today, maybe even more applicable, as we’ve become more reliant on transportation.

In Joshua’s context, he not only defeated the enemy in the field, but by destroying their mobility, he eliminated their chance to ever wage war against him again.

In today’s context, we can prevent a hostile force from taking action against us or pursuing us if we destroy their mobility.

It’s also a way to take the initiative away from an enemy, forcing them to pause and reconsider their own security and resupply, giving a smaller force an opportunity escape or take whatever other action they need to.

Outside of a military context, what does this mean for people into preparedness?  First, understand the risk that a loss of mobility might cause you.  Second, it gives you a tactic to handle a larger force.

On the first point, if all of your preparations rely on your ability to load up a vehicle and drive away, what will you do if someone “hamstrings your horses and burns your chariots”?  All of your careful planning is gone out the window.

My plans involve being able to leave the city in a vehicle, but I also have alternate plans (see my other articles) that enable me to leave the area on foot (or by bicycle) if I have to.  The point is to consider the possibility and devise a plan to mitigate the risk.

As for the second point, in a without rule of law situation, such as those seen after Hurricane Katrina and being seen in some of the current rioting, groups of looters will be mobile, and the police will not be responding.  Having a plan to “hamstring their horses and burn their chariots” might save lives and property and allow time for law enforcement to eventually respond.  How you do that is beyond the scope of this article, but it’s something to consider.

As you can see, these principles can indeed apply today by those interested in preparedness.  

The Bible is indeed the Ultimate Tactical Handbook.

Review – Highland Tactical Med Kit

When you talk to people about preparedness and readiness, they always want to discuss guns and ammunition, and maybe food.  The preparedness item you will use the most, almost daily, is a first aid kit and you will use it long before any major disaster hits.  As such, it’s often overlooked.

A while back, in another post, I discussed the bags from Highland Tactical that I use to carry my gear.  A staffer from Highland Tactical reached out about the article, and let me know that they have a dedicated medical kit bag, that I might want to check out.

You know me….the bag was ordered immediately.

The bag, shown below, is the Highland Tactical Rip Away Med Pack (hltactical.com).  The bag is very sturdy, has MOLLE attachment straps on the back, and MOLLE webbing on the front.

A great feature is the rip-away panel, shown below.  I keep the bag attached to another bag in the rear of my SUV, and the rip away panel allows me to undo one buckle and rip the bag away from the velcro backing in an emergency and take it with me.

When you unzip the bag, there are two sides and a center panel that folds out.  In the center panel mesh compartment, I keep band-aids of every imaginable size.  A note when making your own first aid kit, you’ll need knuckle and fingertip bandages more than often that any other, and most people overlook them.

The bag is roomy and has many compartments and elastic bands that can hold a large amount of gear, far more than it looks like it should.

Here’s what I keep inside:

  • Tweezers
  • Hemostat
  • EMT Shear Multi-Tool
  • Black nitrile gloves
  • CPR mask
  • Various size gauze rolls
  • Triangular bandage (green, of course)
  • Space blanket
  • Various size gauze pads
  • ABD pads and sterile wound pads
  • Trauma Dressing (for gunshot or other major trauma)
  • Medical tape (clear)
  • Conforming bandage (black)
  • Triple Anti-Biotic

There is a drain hole in the bottom, although I’ve never gotten the bag wet.

However, because I believe in redundancy, I keep most of these supplies in either snack or sandwich size ziplock bags, to keep them from getting wet.  When storing medical items in plastic bags, use only clear bags and make sure that the label side of whatever is inside is facing outward ON BOTH SIDES, so that in an emergency, a quick glance will let you put your hands on the item you need.

I’ve only found one feature about the bag that I don’t like, and it’s the strap that holds the bag to the rip-away panel.  It comes down the center of the front of the bag, rendering most of the MOLLE webbing on the front irrelevant, because to quickly remove the bag, you can’t attach anything to the front.

I overcome this by attaching a tourniquet on one side of the front.

All in all, it truly is an outstanding pack, well-made, and at $24.99, an outstanding value for the price.  It’s available at www.hltactical.com.

As a reminder, first aid skills are critical.  In a true grid-down, without rule of law situation, a simple cut can quickly become fatal, as can broken bones.  Learn first aid skills; they are just as vital as shooting skills, maybe even more.  Taking a class one time isn’t enough.  I take every first aid and CPR class that presents itself, not because I need more skills, but because practice is what keeps skills fresh.

Buy some small first aid item every week, and add it to your stockpile.  There will come a day when you won’t be able to readily find them.  I keep mine not in one large stockpile, but in several full first-aid kits kept in several places.

Another point on first aid kits, every time you use an item from it, even a simple band-aid, REPLENISH IT.  The tendency is not to worry about it when you just use one or two band-aids, but the day you need it the most, the item you need will be the one gone.

Stay safe, get trained, get aware.