Sunday, March 11, 2018

Unfortunate but necessary...

By: Sebastian Berry

Friends, I write this after our blog has been on hiatus for a while. Unfortunate events caused us all to be out of commission for a while as we regrouped and reset. I sincerely hope that absence truly does make the heart grow fonder.

It is my personal goal in writing to be able to better prepare people for emergency situations. My forte is medical however I have military and some outdoors experience that help guide me. In light of the recent cultural and political climate this post will probably be divisive but I will put it out there anyway.



The above is the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. It has been hotly debated for as long as I can remember. Tax stamps, papers, ATF, BATFE, assault weapons, magazine capacity, bullet buttons, etc. 

I personally like firearms. I have use for them, like other tools that I own. Like any of my tools that I own, they need someone to use them. I would love if the vacuum ran itself or the snowblower for that matter. I do not believe that the issue with guns lies in the gun itself. Guns do what we want them to do.

I own an AR-15 style rifle. Never once has it gone out and shot another person, albeit I have killed many paper targets and melons with it. I believe the AR style rifle is being targeted because it is what is popular. I have asked the question several times to people on both sides of the issue, why the AR? Answers vary from it looks scary to no one should be able to own that kind of rifle to it shall not be infringed.

Which leads me to my main point. The second amendment was written in a time and by people who were very distrustful of government. The founders (of our country) believed that government should be limited and that is why they came up with the constitution, and then the amendment process.

In my opinion the second amendment might have been transcribed in error. I believe there was supposed to be a period after the words free state. I personally think the framers (of the constitution) had two separate thoughts. I believe the amendment should read as follows...



The reason that I think this is simple. The people were and still are the militia. This is not the National Guard or Reserves. The militia are lay-people as opposed to professional soldiers. Think about it, people who served in the militia brought their own arms and ammunition. If our country called for a militia again, who would serve? Those who are already armed. The same principle of olden time applies to our time.

A friend of mine made a statement thus, "It seems like there is nothing that can be done constitutionally to stop people from shooting up children, given that law enforcement will fail again."
His position was to eradicate the AR-15 style rifle, in all its variants. I asked him how it could be done and he answered with confiscation. But how? I asked. He took maybe a half second and said that the AR would have to be illegal. But what about the second amendment? I asked. I would have to be done away with. How? I asked. He couldn't answer!


The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate2.

Folks, there is a way to change our constitution. It is by amendment. It has been done 27 other times and can be done more if needs be. Allow me to be very clear, I am not suggesting elimination of the second amendment. I am also not suggesting the outlaw and confiscation of firearms. I believe the founders saw a time where the people (all of us) would be called upon to defend our country. In order for the people to be able to do that we must be able to be armed.

I heard a statement on the radio from the Cato Institute about the constitution last week, it went about like this- The constitution set up a government, no one ever said that it set up an efficient government.

Let's hear from you in the coments. Do you own an AR style rifle? Support gun control or bans? Tell us!


Friday, February 16, 2018

6 Essential Things For Your Survival Backpack

Education Articles | March 28, 2012
Premium Author Justin Mountford

It sounds a bit dramatic but a survival backpack could mean the difference between life and death. In this article I share my 6 essential survival backpack ideas covering everything from food and shelter right through to essential first aid things.

Life and death-It sounds a bit dramatic, but a survival backpack could mean the difference between life and death. In a critical situation where you have to flee your house, workplace or local area, a backpack filled with survival gear transforms from being a "nice to have" and becomes your life in a bag. Imagine running for your life with your family only to discover you have no food, no water and no shelter. Not a good situation. Now imagine you have some basics, it could just be enough to get you through until help arrives.

Forget Armageddon-Armageddon is not really the reason I prepare. I like to be prepared for things like massive bush fires (really common where I live), floods, and man made disasters. I live in a quiet part of the world and it's easy to think "It won't                                                      happen to me"…..

6 Essential Ideas-I'm a survival enthusiast and love researching survival related ideas, theories tips and tricks. After extensive research, my own experimentation and years of camping I've created my own "essential survival backpack" checklist.

Checkout my 6 essential survival backpack ideas:

Water-To put it bluntly we need water to survive even for 1 day. For this reason, water is top priority. If you don't want to carry water you need ways to purify it, or boil it.Ideas:-Way to boil water e.g. portable stove -Purification System-Mechanical Filtration System like a Pocket Water Microfilter

Clothing-While you can certainly live with the clothes on your back, it's morale boosting to put on a fresh pair of socks while you clean the others. Pack a spare set of everything, you'll really appreciate this when the time comes. Ideas:-Waterproof coat with hood-Spare socks-Long sleeve shirt with quick dry- Quick dry pants

Shelter-Shelter is part of our basic human needs. Shelter can often be made from rubble, forest or natural features however, you can make things easier on yourself if you have a basic tent at the ready.Ideas:-Basic lightweight tent-Sleeping System-Mummy sleeping bag-Sleeping pad

Food-Not as important as water, however the morale effects of a little snack cannot be underestimated. It's easy to throw in a few MREs and some energy bars. Go for food that doesn't require much water to prepare.Ideas:-Energy bars- MRE- Freeze dried foods

Essentials-Many experts agree that the ability to make fire is extremely important. With fire you can cook, boil water and signal help. For this reason I suggest you pack a sparking device in your survival backpack. While multi tools (the plier type) a pocket chain saw and a flashlight (the wind up type) may not be considered critically essential, it will definitely help you in your survival attempts.

First Aid-Kit Nothing can assist a genuine survival situation more than a fully trained medicComputer Technology Articles, however since most of us don't get around with one of these we have to make do with a first aid kit. Ideas:- Bandaids- Insect repellent- Cloth Tape- Bandage- Large Safety Pins- Large Gauze Pads A survival backpack could make the difference between life and death. Keep one in your car and at home and be ready no matter what life throws at you.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Chimney Trap System 1

By:Stephen M. Vantassel

     It was a beautiful Saturday Summer day in Western Massachusetts. I had lined up three chimney raccoon jobs and thankfully I was able to get my wife to come along and help. I am not very good on roofs and chimneys, let alone handling so many fireplaces in one day. Some of my colleagues talk about handling these jobs in an hour, I can only wish to be that fast. My chimney raccoon removal method at the time was Rich Daniotti’s Chimney Trap System 1. This is the trap system without the chimney brushes. You are supposed to set the trap and come back the next day. I never felt confident enough with that method, so I would just drive the female up the chimney and catch her the same day.

Chimney Trap System 1 hanging by bungee cords. Photo by Stephen M. Vantassel.

     The first two jobs went okay despite being rather long. The sun was shinning and the temperature was beginning to rise. I felt good about the money I was making but I was beginning to feel rather tired. The last job of the day was two floor house in a nearby town. We didn’t start there till after 3:00 pm. Already the sweat was pouring out of my body and it was not at all comfortable. After greeting the client and checking out the fireplace, I accessed the roof and installed the chimney trap. The roof was a little more pitched than I like and the tiles were beginning to get soft. I knew I had to move quickly in order to finish the job today. With the trap installed, I began to harass the mother to get her to climb the chimney and enter the trap. She was a little stubborn at first but in a couple of minutes, I heard the pleasant sound of the metal trap door closing. I thought it was a bit strange that it sounded so loud. I am partially deaf in my left ear, but I figured the acoustics were right. Feeling kind a proud of myself, I exit the building looking for the chimney to see my trapped raccoon. I was a bit surprised that I didn’t see the trap. I guessed that the roof line was blocking my view, so I stepped further away from the house to get a clearer ground view of the chimney. My stomach sank when I saw the top of the chimney with no raccoon and worst of all no trap. I felt even worse knowing that the chimney was surrounded by building so if my trap fell it would not fall harmlessly to the ground. I started getting worried about the cost of potential damages. By the way, did I mention that the client was a lawyer?

     I swung around the building looking for my trap. I passed a corner, looked up and there was my trap and trapped raccoon hanging by the bungee cords against the chimney. On the roof below, urine and feces were sprayed. It seems that the trap wasn’t stabilized enough or she flew out of the chimney so fast that the trap lifted up dislodging it from the chimney. Feeling that she was falling, she literally messed herself she was so scared. Thankfully, the bungee cords stopped the trap from falling on the asphalt shingled roof below. The house wasn’t damaged by the impact either because the trap only hit the side of the brick chimney. Thank God, I had truly dodged a bullet on this one. The client didn’t even notice my mistake. He was just glad that the job was getting done.

About the Author

Stephen M. Vantassel is a Certified Wildlife Control Operator (CWCP®) who helps individuals, businesses, and agencies resolve wildlife damage issues through training, writing, expert witness, and research. He has written the Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook, 3rd edition. Reach him at wildlifecontrolconsultant at gmail dot com.