Friday, May 27, 2011

Why I need weapons on campus

As a health professional, I frequently attend classes at a local community college, to keep up my continuing education requirements. The college sent out the following email this morning:

This is to let you know that an incident involving a weapon occurred on West Campus today which was quickly contained resulting in no injury and no threat to students or staff.

Shortly after 1 p.m. today, there was a scuffle in the rotunda of Building 3 during which a male student was seen being attacked by several others. During the scuffle, a gun was knocked to the ground. The gun was never discharged but was immediately recovered by a staff member.

The alleged assailants then fled campus in a vehicle. Orlando police responded to the scene and the student victim, who knew the alleged assailants, cooperated with police to identify them off campus. Two arrests were made within an hour of the incident.

We have learned that in addition to the victim, three of the alleged assailants were current or former students. The college has petitioned the Orlando Police Department to issue trespass warnings to each of those involved. This means that none of them are allowed on any Valencia campus for any reason.

Because the gun was immediately confiscated and the suspects fled the campus, there was never a danger to students or staff. As such our emergency communications procedures did not need to be implemented.

I did however, want to inform you of the incident. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact campus security
What we have here is proof that people with criminal intent will carry firearms on college campus, even when it is illegal to do so, meaning that the only thing that laws against weapons on campus accomplish is to ensure that the armed criminals have defenseless victims to prey upon. Of course, anti gun forces frequently like to claim that a shoot out between criminal and armed victim will kill others in the crossfire, all the time ignoring two facts:

- If only the criminal is armed, I will admit that there is no chance of "crossfire," only a massacre.

- A mass shooting only ends one way- a person with a gun resists the shooter. Whether that is a licensed, armed student now, or an armed police officer an hour from now will decide how many people the shooter kills.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

What a difference 70 years makes

In May of 1931, Al Capone was sent to the Federal Penitentiary in Atlanta for the capital crime of tax evasion, which today can get you made secretary of the treasury. Al Capone was made famous as the mafia boss who became rich by illegally circumventing alcohol prohibition, a law that is widely recognized as a mistake, as many Americans ignored the law, and in the process created powerful crime syndicates that engage in murder, bribery, and other crimes, corrupting the legal system in the process.

Of course, we learned our lesson and declared that we would not repeat that mistake again. 70 years later, the prohibition on drugs is going well, and history is busy not repeating itself.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

You don't have to read this

I am going to take this opportunity to vent a little. If you do not care about people complaining, you can stop reading now. This post is for me to vent, and may be a little boring.

My wife and I have shared the cooking and cleaning duties around the house, or at least we did until she lost her job last summer. When she lost the job, I told her that she would have to take care of the housework and not just lie about the house, and she replied that she did not want to take advantage of me, and that she thought she was getting the better end of the deal. That lasted about a month.

So far this week, I worked a 24 hour shift on Sunday, and got off work at 0730, and drove directly to my second job. I had time to eat breakfast in the employee cafeteria before that job started at 0900. I worked, wandering around a local theme park delivering Band-aids and Tylenol to tourists until 1800, whereupon I returned home, after stopping at the Taco Bell drive through for dinner. I got to watch a Hockey game on television until 2300, and went to bed for my 0530 wakeup call.

I stopped at a McDonalds drive through for breakfast and was at work again at 0700. I worked until 1530, and had to come home to do my homework for college, so I stopped at Subway on the way home and got the wife and I a sub for dinner, and I was in bed by 2100, exhausted. I took vacation today so I could go to the Hockey Game tonight, and I get up to get breakfast and see that the dishes from last night were left for me to take care of.

You can see where this is going. I am not eating at home, I am working two jobs, full time college student (I have taken 55 credit hours in the past 12 months) and I still have to come home and help with the dishes, even though the wife has no job, and does very little. It is frustrating.

Anyway, thanks for reading this, if you have gotten this far.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

No response

I sent an email to the Florida Republican Party ten days ago. They didn't even bother to answer. How anyone can believe that the Republican party cares about gun owners at this point boggles the mind.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Winning hearts and minds through logic

There are many people out there who actively oppose gun ownership by private citizens, themselves and their security details excluded, of course. They are not the ones that you can convince that the antigun position is silly and illogical. The ones that you can convince are the ones who only say that they oppose guns, but do not run around and try to force the issue.

When I first start dating (or even when I first meet) people, I rarely mention being a gun owner. In fact, in many cases I fail to mention that I routinely carry a gun, because I believe that opening a friendship or relationship with, "I have a gun in my pocket" is boorish and a sure sign of a lonely chronic masturbator who spends his Saturday nights looking for midget porn and playing World of Warcraft.

About nine years ago, I dated a woman who was from a typical south Florida Jewish family. Many of these south Florida Jews are fresh from the New York area, and the Liberal bias displayed down there is pretty strong, as demonstrated by the number of blue counties down there in the last election. She was of the opinion that gun ownership should be restricted.

When, a month or two into our relationship, I finally told her that I carried a gun, she was mildly horrified. One day shortly thereafter, we were entering a bank when she told me that she was surprised that people with concealed weapons were allowed to enter a bank. I replied, "Yes, all bank robbers would get jobs and stop robbing banks, if only we made it illegal to enter a bank with a gun."  She conceded my point that a person willing to rob a bank was willing to ignore a law against carrying a gun, and how silly such a law would be.

This was the beginning of her epiphany. She eventually came around to a more logical way of thinking, and changed her mind on guns. This is how we win, through logic and reason.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Supervisor doesn't know the rules

Today's post is another EMS post. I recently had a call to a local nursing home for difficulty breathing. When I entered the patient's room, she was in agonal respirations, known as "guppy breathing." We began bagging her, and I then checked pulses, and found no radial pulse, and her carotid pulse was less than 40. Applying the monitor, she was in a sinus brady at 34 beats per minute, so I began pacing.

I was waiting for help in moving the patient to the stretcher because she weighed over 500 pounds. By the time help arrived, we had lost capture and she was in PEA. Because she had a valid DNRO, efforts were discontinued and she was determined to be deceased. I was later told by an EMS supervisor that since we had initiated ALS, we were bound to continue after the patient coded, and that he (the supervisor) would be referring this call to the medical director for more action. I disagreed, and sent him the following:

Section 64J-2.018 of the Florida Administrative Code (PDF alert) specifies that an emergency medical technician or paramedic shall withhold or withdraw cardiopulmonary resuscitation upon the presentation of an original or a completed DNRO. (emphasis added)

Note that the word "shall" means that a paramedic has no choice in the matter, cardiopulmonary resuscitation must not be initiated, and if it has already begun, must be withdrawn, as soon as you are presented with a valid DNRO. The supervisor is clearly wrong in this case, and I will await more word on how that goes.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

An open letter to Florida Republican legislators

I just sent this email to the Republican Party of Florida:

I am writing this to express my dismay at the actions of Republican party members with regards to Senate Bill 234, the bill that would have allowed people with concealed weapons permits to carry their weapons openly and on college campuses throughout the state.

As a 42 year old college student who has a concealed weapons permit, I cannot understand how it is that I can be trusted to defend myself wherever I go, until I cross the line to enter campus. It was my understanding that the Republicans were defenders of the Second amendment, but the gutless stripping of this bill by Republican legislators has shown me that this was merely lip service, simply a way to fool me into giving my vote to the moderate wing of the Democratic Party, which it seems that the Republican party has become.

As of today, I am no longer a registered Republican. My campaign contributions and my votes will be going elsewhere.


Hurricane season approaches. Hard times are coming. As we discussed in our last post, the government advises us all to have three days of supplies, so that we can be self sustaining until the cavalry arrives. I have a disaster plan, and I keep updating it as I change my opinion or as my needs change.

This is not about being a survivalist or about surviving. Surviving is a part of living, but surviving is not the main goal, it is merely a path to our goal. This is about being able to survive a disaster and being able to recover as much of your life as possible. We must survive, recover, and rebuild.

Recovery is the area where most people spend the least effort, but where a little preparing goes a long way. You need to safeguard the documents and other things that we need to live in the 21st century: Documents, family photos, licenses, certifications, and other important records. We also need to have meeting places (rally points) and other essential details worked out in advance. For more on that, see this post.

Now we can start thinking about supplies and kits. Remember that preparedness is not a kit. Don't think you can put a kit together, and you are all set. The kit is a means to an end. Here are the categories that I recommend for a kit:

Records: The aforementioned documents, photographs, and other needed items. I include a moderate amount of cash on hand ($300 or so) in this category.
First Aid: Medications, drugs, bandages, disinfectants, etc. Nothing elaborate. Simple is better here.
Heat and cooking: You can live on cold canned goods and MREs, but they are simply not tolerable for more than a day or two. Hot meals are best.
Light: Flashlights, lanterns, fire, batteries for them, chemlights, and other ways of creating light.
Tools: People are tool users. Screwdrivers, knife, hammer, hatchet, etc.
Communications: There are many ways to communicate. Cell phones, radios, flags, spray paint, chalk or grease pencil markings left on buildings, signs stapled to telephone poles, etc.
Food and water: Obvious. From half liter bottles of water to reverse osmosis, MREs to farming, we need to consider short and long term food and water needs.
Shelter: Tents, homes, hotels, tarps, even your vehicle. Any way to get out  of the weather.
Security: Weapons, cameras, sensors, rotating watches.
Energy: Solar, fire, electric, generators, etc. Anything that helps us power our equipment or our selves that is not cooking or heating related.

The exact contents of those categories will vary depending on the length of time we are to be self sufficient, our finances, the amount of space we have for storage, and the disaster we want to be prepared for. My two week hurricane kit is in yesterday's post.

Friday, May 6, 2011


The government advises us all to have three days of supplies, so that we can be self sustaining until the cavalry arrives. From my personal experiences during my responses to various disasters, I can tell you that three days is a minimum. If you are further away from a distribution point than average, it may be more like 4 or 5 days. More if the disaster is more serious.

So, I have put together a bunch of supplies to get me through a disaster. Here is what I have come up with:

Food: I have 8 cases of MREs, and 2 cases of Mountain House freeze dried meals. I also have 3 cases of freeze dried meats and eggs. Round that out with a couple of cases of canned goods (tuna, soup, veggies) and I have enough non perishable food for 172 people meals. That is enough food for 6 people for 9 days. Two weeks if I stretch it.

Food prep: I have propane cooking equipment and enough propane to cook 3 meals a day for a week.

Shelter: Other than the house, I have 3 two man tents, and tarps to make more lean-tos.
Communications: In addition to cell phones, I have 4 FRS radios and 2 HAM radios in the 2 meter band.
Power: I need to work on this. I am thinking about solar chargers for the radios and flashlight batteries. I don't need to run the whole house just yet.
Water: I have 30 gallons (at one gallon per person/day, this will last 6 people for 5 days) of water containers, and we can and will fill 2 bathtubs for non drinking water. We can boil that water for cooking if needed. 
I have ample firearms for security, and plenty of ammo.
There are also medical supplies, lights, and other supplies. 

Even though there are only two of us here, I have enough to supply 6 people for two weeks. Longer if I want to cut it down to subsistence rations. Living in hurricane country, it is just prudent.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Radio Installation

I recently got my HAM radio license. I spent the day last Saturday installing a Yaesu Ft-7900 in my pickup. I went out this morning and I was able to hit a repeater that was 30 miles away. Excellent radio. It is a dual band radio that transmits in the 2 meter band and the 70cm band.

I put the radio body under the passenger's seat, the control head on the center console, and I mounted the antenna on the roof with an NMO mount. Being under the seat, it was a little hard to hear, so a mounted a speaker to the back of my console. I can hear it just fine now.

I also have a handheld radio in the 2 meter band. I want to get one or two more, and at $120 each, they are quite affordable. Add a base station to that, and another item is checked off my list of things I need for the zombie apocalypse. More on that later.