02 April 2023

The War on Christians

Most of us agree that there has been an ongoing war on Christians for quite awhile. There have been exceptions, but for the most part, it has been relatively non-violent. Christians have been denied certain services or entry into establishments or groups. Anti-Christian graffiti is becoming more frequent and at times, churches have been vandalized. Unfortunately, this war is taking a turn for the worst.

If you attend church, and you should, it would be highly advisable that you take whatever precautions that you deem necessary to ensure the safety of yourself and your family, not just now but always. If you are a member of the clergy of your church, your congregation's safety is your responsibility. Implement building security measures as necessary. 

This not going to just disappear.

Trannies had declared 1 April as their "Day of Vengeance", which come and gone without major incident but watch this video...

31 March 2023

And the Wall Came a Tumbling Down...

There are a great many people, even some family, that have long since concluded that I belong in the loony bin for my opinions on the direction this country and our way of life is going. Maybe that's true, but until they put me there, I will continue to try and push people to understand the gravity of our current situation and push them to work harder on their preparedness and spend less time and money on things that are less important. With current events being what they are, I'm beginning to see some folks waking up and reconsidering their ideas on our current dilemma. I'm happy for that but others still have a very long way to go. I pray that my children will heed the warnings that I inundated them with while they were growing up!

I am most disturbed by those that either claim nothing is going to happen or say, "Well, whatever is going to happen is going to happen and there's nothing I can do about. I will just keep living my life and doing what I want until I can't anymore." On the one hand, I kind of understand that mindset but on the other hand, I think it's a cop-out. I think these people belong to one of 2 groups. Either they don't really believe that anything will happen in their lifetime, or they are not willing to accept that it actually might and by not preparing, they are somehow postponing the event.

I have been confident that things were going to get very bad for a very, very long time. Preparedness and the principles of self-preservation are inherent in my nature. I do not remember EVER not being concerned or involved with some idea or project that I thought might help me or someone else to more easily endure hardships. It's safe to say that I am consumed by the idea, probably to a fault. Maybe it comes from my extensive pioneer background, I don't know, but I have written many articles and have conducted my life around what I see as being inevitable. 

OK folks, here it is in a nutshell. It's a big, very long nutshell, but considering the overall picture, it's still a nutshell. Think of me what you will, but I hope you will at least read this and think about it...

Dave Ramsey is going to be very disappointed. Cash will not be king much longer! More banks will collapse soon and the American dollar is going to be nothing more than toilet paper as hyperinflation overcomes our economy. This has happened in many countries. Unfortunately, it looks like it's our turn. In post-WWI Germany, the German mark had become so worthless that cash was sold by the pound. They literally threw bricks of cash into furnaces for heat. Kids constructed kites out of bank notes.  In 1922, a loaf of bread cost 163 marks. By September 1923, during hyperinflation, the price crawled up to 1,500,000 marks and at the peak of hyperinflation, in November 1923, a loaf of bread cost 200,000,000,000 marks. Count the zeroes, that's not a mistake.

Watch this!

In my classes and in my book, "Dying... is NOT an Option", I devote quite a bit of time to the subject of bartering. Now would be a great time to start thinking about that! 

To top it all off, we are on the brink of two wars, which, conceivably, could happen simultaneously -- WW III and Civil War 2.0. 
Keep reading. This is not just one crazy guy's opinion. 

I posted a very long article on my blog, in November of 2018. It was something that I wrote long before I ever had a blog, probably around 1996.

In that post, I used numerous quotes from the Book of Mormon and several from various Elders and Presidents of the Church. There are MANY that talk about the coming times, but here are a couple that really sum it up...

President Heber C. Kimball described it as being like a curtain which would drop between the church and the United States...

"Lay up your stores, and take your silks and fine things, and exchange them for grain and such things as you need, and the time will come when we will be obliged to depend upon our own resources; for the time is not far distant when the curtain will be dropped between us and the United States. When the time comes brethren and sisters, you will wish you had commenced sooner to make your own clothing. I tell you, God requires us to go into home manufacture; and, prolong it as long as you like, you have got to do it."

Elder Orson Pratt tells us why, when he explicitly described the conditions that would sweep this nation to it's destruction...

"......it will be a war of neighborhood against neighborhood, city against city, county against county, state against state, and they will go forth destroying and being destroyed, and manufacturing will, in a great measure, cease, for a time, among the American nation. Why? Because in these terrible wars, they will not be privileged to manufacture; there will be too much bloodshed -- too much going forth in bands and destroying and pillaging the land to suffer the people to pursue any local vocation with any degree of safety......."

This exceedingly long post is not just for my LDS friends and family. If you subscribe to my blog, you'll see it again. If you're on my email list, you'll see it again. If you feel like I do about this and if you think this message has any merit, feel free to share it.

For what it's worth to you, in closing, I testify to each of you that I sincerely believe that the above is upon us and it is part of the Lord's plan for us. We are about to witness the ultimate test of our obedience. 
 I say this in Jesus' name, amen.

30 March 2023

You're Not Automatically a "Good Guy"!

This is excellent information from Greg Ellifritz and I have taught this exact thing for 17 years. Just because you feel you are in the right and legally carrying a weapon, doesn't mean that cops, or even other armed citizens, will automatically see you as a "good guy"!


19 March 2023

99 Red Balloons...

Eerily coincidental...

This was a very, very popular song while I was in Europe in the early 80's. I probably heard it a thousand times just in the couple of years that I was there. However, I never REALLY listened to it, I just liked the catchy little tune. Not to mention, probably over half the time I heard it, it was being sung in German, so there is that...

For whatever reason, I was looking for something on YouTube one day and I came across this video. I had never listened to the song on video and, since I hadn't heard it for a few years, I thought I'd give it a listen. As luck would have it, it was sub-captioned in English. 

Now, this was more than a little bit interesting to me. I want you to watch this video carefully and read the lyrics as she's singing it. Don't miss any of it and think about the events of last February and all the Chinese (or whoever) ballon activity over our country.
What do you think?

Note: For whatever reason, the video link is not active but you can copy and paste it and it works fine. Please do, and listen to it.

Here is the story behind the song...

15 March 2023

Plumb Stupid Plumbing...

OK folks, kick back and let me tell you a little story.  Some of you will be able to relate to it better than others but I'm pretty sure all of you will appreciate the overall meaning of it. It is funny, frustrating and infuriating, all in one.

To start with, there's a reason that professional electricians, plumbers, roofers and other tradesmen charge what seems to be a ton of money sometimes. That seemingly exorbitant hourly rate includes specialized tools, insurance, vehicles, helpers and more. But mostly?...  You're paying for experience. When you or your neighbor or your brother-in-law are willing to do it, but lack the experience, sometimes the job can be much, much, much more costly than just calling a professional to begin with. Such is the case with the poor lady that is the victim in this crime story. It's important to know that she purchased this house and the resultant headaches, the following is not her fault...

I have a dear friend in a nearby town that I help with certain things when she needs me. She texted me this morning in a bit of a panic saying that she had a pretty serious water leak at her rental house. So, I dropped everything and headed over there. What I found was water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink. Yeah, this had been leaking for a WHILE! Talking to the neighbor lady across the street, it had been running for about 10-12 days. My friend's water bill is going to be approximately $116,289.42... give or take $25,000.

So, T-bo and I started tracking down the culprit which took over an hour. We finally found that it was actually coming from inside a shop where there is a pressure tank for the well, AND where the city water ties in for back-up. The tank and the outgoing 1" PVC line are well insulated and encapsulated in wooden structures. So I started tearing into the structures looking for clues while T-bo was doing something else. (For some of you, this story is about to get interesting...)

About 12' or so from the pressure tank, I found the damnedest thing I had ever seen before as far as plumbing goes, and I've been doing this for a very long time.

The aforementioned 1" line comes out  of the pressure tank just above floor level. It's wrapped with insulation batting and tied with baling wire. There is a 6" batt under it and 2 layers of 6" batting on top of it. It couldn't have frozen if it had gotten down to 67 below zero.  HOWEVER, and this is important, whoever installed this pipe thought that the added protection of a heat tape was necessary (it wasn't). Fortunately, (or not) the heat tape burned in two at some point in the past (Picture #1) but the damage was already done. When I pulled the 3rd cover off of the wooden box that this was all encased in, I saw something that took me a few minutes to process. The pipe was obviously separated but it looked like it took a sharp turn upwards from the floor (Picture #2) and it was broken at the apex of this upward sweep. At this point, I'm still tying to figure out just what in the hell I was looking at. All the insulation, mold, rat poop and spider webs made the deciphering a little difficult. Then I saw it... an abandoned 2" line came through the wall from outside, came up the wall a foot or so, then crossed path of the 1" line. 

Now then, understand what I'm saying here, it's going to be important in a minute. The 1" line is traveling along the floor, headed for the far wall. The 2" line came in, up and across where the 1" line was running, about 14-16" above the floor. Are you with me so far? 

The next part of the story will be submitted to Unsolved Mysteries. 

Instead of letting the 1" line just continue on its merry way along the floor, some genius thought it would be a great idea to run it OVER the abandoned 2" line! Now, in and of itself, that's not a deal breaker. No reason in the world to do it but, if that's what blows your dress up, knock yourself out. The problem was Mr. Super Plumber, whoever it was, didn't use any fittings to do this. He just laid across the top of the 2" line then let it droop down to the floor again and continue on its way. No rhyme or reason. The only thing I can figure is that it was intentional sabotage, resulting in a delayed action. I don't know. When I saw the upward attitude of the insulation, before I exposed the pipe, I figured that maybe they had switched to PEX or black poly tubing or something more flexible than PVC. Who, in their right mind, would do that with PVC?

Remember I told you about the heat tape earlier? Well, let me tell you a little bit about heat tape, if you don't already know. Not all heat tapes are created equal. Some are not suitable for PVC pipe. Heat tapes that are to be used on PVC should have a built-in regulator, or thermostat that prevents the temperature from getting over about 140°. It appears that the heat tape in our story may not have been the correct flavor. Anyway, back to our pipe crossing... the 1" pipe was quite obviously in a little bit of distress from crossing over the 2" and going back down. In addition to that, the heat tape was on the bottom of the 1", between the 2 pipes, ensuring that it was tight against the 1". Now get this picture - over a period of time, the tape has heated the 1" pipe up warmer than it should have been, probably keeping it that way for an extended period of time. The pipe gradually softened, ever so slowly. As it softened, the internal water pressure began to expand the pipe. I have no clue how long it has been swelled to the bursting point because the tape has obviously been out-of-order for some time. But, alas, it finally gave up the ghost and burst a week or so ago. The pipe swelled to about 1.5" or so before it popped (Picture #3). Picture #4 shows the difference in the thickness of the walls of the swelled pipe at its thinnest, and the same pipe wherenitnwas at normal diameter. A crack ran from the apex of the hump, over 2 feet back down the pipe. I was astonished by the time I figured it all out! I assembled all the pieces in the bed of the truck to show what it did (Picture #4).

03 March 2023

The History of "The Shooting Bench"

Guess what!?
After being dormant for 3 years, the Shooting Bench is coming back!

TSB is unique in its content and there's nothing like it anywhere in the Southwest. Topics are primarily centered around firearms and everything that surrounds them such as shooting, training, reloading, self-defense, concealed weapons, hunting, gunsmithing, competition, etc, etc. Other topics will include disaster preparedness, survival and the gear and supplies that pertain to them along with communication, knives, current events, trivia, humor and probably some politics here and there! Another passion of mine is freedom, liberty and constitutional issues. I might even throw a song or two in from time to time. The 1-hour show will be aired weekly on one or more of White Mountain Radio's stations beginning sometime in March of 2023.

The History of The Shooting Bench

The Shooting Bench was a radio show that I hosted, uninterrupted, for about 15 years before I finally shut it down in 2020. It started as a 30-minute show, once a week, on a FOX Sports AM station in Farmington, NM in late 2005 or early 2006 if memory serves. Due to the irrational behavior and unprofessionalism of that station, I quickly pulled up stakes and moved to another, much larger and more professional station. The show immediately went to one hour, once a week and shortly after that went to two hours. Life was good! 

Then, sometime in late 2006, a traveler on a highway about 40 miles away was listening to the show and decided that he wanted to meet me and see the store. He was impressed with the content of the show and suggested that I do a podcast. I said, "OK... um, what's a podcast?". Well, we had a lot to talk about and we quickly became good friends. Mike helped me get the podcasts started and a whole new audience presented itself! It took some time to realize that I was now talking to the world and not just northern NM and southern Colorado. 

In November of 2009, I was introduced to internet radio and another change took place. For a little while, I tried to do both but due to a some other changes that were taking place, I went all internet and podcast and abandoned the AM radio show. 

In early June of 2011, The Shooting Bench went to two hours a night, five nights a week on Just Measures Radio Network out of Indiana. The show and the network grew together and it was a lot of fun but I can tell you, doing 2 hours a day, every day, began to tell on me. It takes a lot of preparation to do 10 hours of broadcasting every week, 52 weeks a year, year in and year out!. That continued until November of 2014 when the show went back to one hour, five nights a week. A month later, just before Christmas, I obtained full rights and ownership of the network and The Survival Circle Radio Network was born. Most of the old hosts and their wealth of information came with me from JMR and the network was in full operation again. On 21 June 2013, with no thought or prior planning at all, I just did a show one Friday night that included no news or current events or gun talk or anything! Just classic country music. WOW! It was wildly popular and Liberty Lounge was born. Every Friday after that, I put the world's trials and tribulations on hold and entered into the weekends on a lighter note. I strayed off into classic rock from time to time but for the most part, it was all classic country. Liberty Lounge continued for two hours, every Friday night until I finally shut it all down.

Archived podcasts of The Shooting Bench podcast can be found at www.tsb.podbean.com

19 February 2023



I'm not the first one to write about this subject by a long shot but I'm the first one to put the thoughts of Cope Reynolds down on paper about it (believe it or not, it actually was on paper many years ago).

Between my Christian friends and family and some of the students that have been through my classes, this question has been presented to me many times; "How can a good Christian justify carrying a gun for self-defense, especially in church?", or words of that nature. In the beginning, it kind of caught me off guard and all I could do was pretty much just voice my opinion and use a little common sense but that wasn't nearly enough for some of them so I started digging. I believe that I have come up with enough scriptural evidence to support my actions and those of of my gun-totin', Christian friends. See what you think...

Let's start at the beginning... the VERY beginning!

In Genesis 4:8-12 we read about the first murder. It can be speculated that Cain may have used a weapon of some type as the Lord mentions a couple of times that Abel was bleeding. What did God do? He did not institute club control or rock control or knife control or whatever it was. He punished the one who committed the crime, as it should be.

Exodus 15:3 says “The Lord is a man of war; the Lord is his name." That God is not a pacifist is evidenced throughout Scripture. Even Jesus Himself, drove the money-changers out of the temple with a whip and turned their tables over (John 2:15). What does Revelation 19:11 tell us? It tells us that the Rider of the white horse does what? "... he doth judge and make war".

In Exodus 20, God implemented the 10 Commandments. There is no mention of weapons, just killing (murder)

In Exodus 22:2 God tells us that if a thief is found breaking into your house “and he be smitten that he die, there will be no blood shed for him”, meaning you are not guilty of murder. This is one of several passages that makes it clear to me that we have, literally, a God-given right to defend not just ourselves and our families, but our HOMES.

Likewise in Luke 11:21 & 22 we are told... 21 When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace and, 22, But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.

While we're in the Book of Luke, let's skip on down to Chapter 22, verse 36... Then said he unto them, "But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one".

A person's garment was a precious thing and not to be given up lightly but the possession of a sword (gun) was important enough to Jesus to tell them that if they have no sword, they should sell their garment and get one!

Deuteronomy 22:25-27 deals with rape. Now, what do you think is meant by the words "but there was no one to save her" at the end of verse 27? The implication here is that had someone been around to hear her cry out, they had a moral duty to intervene and protect her. We not only have a God-given right but in my mind, we are directed by God to defend not only ourselves, but others as well.

Numbers, chapter 1. Is this not what the Founding Fathers of America envisioned for us? An armed citizenry, the militia; not a standing army.

I Samuel 13:19-22 is a very interesting passage indeed! After the Philistines had disarmed the Israelites, no ‘smiths were allowed so that the Israelites could not make weapons for themselves, hence the first sword control had officially been instituted! So what did they do? They did the same thing that the Japanese and Chinese people did in later years. Out of necessity, they fashioned weapons from tools and farm implements.

Psalm 82:3 says that we should defend the poor and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and the needy.

David said in verse 1 of Psalm 144, "Blessed be the Lord my Rock, Who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle". What do you think he was talking about here? Surely, David was confident that warfighting was justified in the Lord's eyes in certain instances. 

Many, many people take that part of Isaiah 2:4 that says "they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks," and try to say that God wants us to disarm. Isaiah is prophesying the Second Coming of the Lord here. It is exceedingly clear to me that the "swords will be beaten into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks" when God Himself returns to rule on the earth, NOT when some other form of government tells us to.

Vengeance is mine” sayeth the Lord... or some such verbage can be found in several scriptures (Romans 12:19; Deuteronomy 32:35; Proverbs 20:22, et al). If we witness the commission of a violent crime, we have a God-given right and responsibility to deal with it. If it’s already happened, we have no God-given right and no responsibility to seek revenge and execute judgment upon the perpetrator. If He deems it necessary, God (or the civil authorities) will judge and avenge.

Matthew 26:51-52 Some try to say that this passage proves that Jesus was a pacifist and against guns (or swords). Quite the contrary. Where does Jesus tell Peter to put his sword when he lopped of the ear of the Roman soldier? He said put it "in its place." John makes it clearer, Jesus said to Peter "Put your sword into the sheath" (John 18:11). Jesus didn’t take it away from him or tell him to beat it into a plowshare. Rather, he told him to put it "into the sheath." The sword has its proper place. In and of itself, it is not evil. But Peter was wanting to use it in an improper manner. Jesus came to earth to die. Peter would be interfering with God's plan if he were to be allowed to intervene with the sword.

The same people that say that you should beat your swords into plowshares also say that if someone lives by the sword, they will surely die by the sword, as Jesus says. What that statement actually means is that he who uses the sword for improper purposes will likely die by the same. What Peter did was wrong. He acted on emotion. A criminal or a tyrant who uses the sword improperly, should rightly die by it. But the use of the sword in a proper fashion, to defend one’s person or one’s family or one’s country, is not condemned by Scripture, rather Scripture upholds it repeatedly.

God, nor Jesus, were or are pacifists. As Jesus said in the very next verse, Matthew 26:53, "Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and He shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?" Jesus didn’t need Peter's help. The use of force simply wasn’t appropriate for the situation at the time. He was supposed to die. He did not use force because He had to facilitate the plan of our Heavenly Father.

In closing, there are some who say that "we should not have guns; we should just trust in God." My response to those who say this is "let me ask you, do you have a lock on your front door?" They always say "yes." I then ask "Do you lock it when you leave or go to bed at night?" Those who live in the city always say, "Yes." I then ask "Why do you have a lock on your door? Why don’t you just trust God?" The same could be said for motorcycle helmets, seat belts, fire extinguishers and life insurance.

Just because we have a lock on our door or a gun in our closet does not mean we are trusting in either of them to protect us in the same manner in which we’re to trust the Lord. Rather, we simply see the wisdom and prudence of having these tools in order to be good stewards of what God has trusted us with; our lives, our families, and our country, just as He intended.

Cope Reynolds

29 June 2014

In Liberty, Cope Reynolds (@Desertscout1)  

Colts and Kimbers are what you show your friends.  

GLOCKS are what you show your enemies!

28 January 2023

"On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs"

I have referred hundreds, if not thousands, of people to this piece by Col. Grossman, primarily my students. I don't know why it has taken me so long to put it on my blog but here it is. While a very few people in the self-defense industry will disagree with it, there are a few. In my experience, the ones that disagree are self-aggrandizing and think they have a better analogy that will bring their disciples closer to them. Personally, I don't know how it could possibly be described any better! 

Read it, think about it and read it again. Then use it to help analyze your own ability and willingness to stand up to the wolf. 

Train like your life depends it, because it very well might someday!


 "On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs"

By LTC Dave Grossman (RET), author of “On Killing.”

Honor never grows old, and honor rejoices the heart of age. It does so because honor is, finally, about defending those noble and worthy things that deserve defending, even if it comes at a high cost. In our time, that may mean social disapproval, public scorn, hardship, persecution, or as always, even death itself. The question remains: What is worth defending? What is worth dying for? What is worth living for? – William J. Bennett – in a lecture to the United States Naval Academy November 24, 1997

One Vietnam veteran, an old retired colonel, once said this to me:

“Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident.” This is true. Remember, the murder rate is six per 100,000 per year, and the aggravated assault rate is four per 1,000 per year. What this means is that the vast majority of Americans are not inclined to hurt one another. Some estimates say that two million Americans are victims of violent crimes every year, a tragic, staggering number, perhaps an all-time record rate of violent crime. But there are almost 300 million Americans, which means that the odds of being a victim of violent crime is considerably less than one in a hundred on any given year. Furthermore, since many violent crimes are committed by repeat offenders, the actual number of violent citizens is considerably less than two million.

Thus there is a paradox, and we must grasp both ends of the situation: We may well be in the most violent times in history, but violence is still remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are kind, decent people who are not capable of hurting each other, except by accident or under extreme provocation. They are sheep.

I mean nothing negative by calling them sheep. To me it is like the pretty, blue robin’s egg. Inside it is soft and gooey but someday it will grow into something wonderful. But the egg cannot survive without its hard blue shell. Police officers, soldiers, and other warriors are like that shell, and someday the civilization they protect will grow into something wonderful.? For now, though, they need warriors to protect them from the predators.

“Then there are the wolves,” the old war veteran said, “and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy.” Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.

“Then there are sheepdogs,” he went on, “and I’m a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf.”

If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen, a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero’s path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed

Let me expand on this old soldier’s excellent model of the sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. We know that the sheep live in denial, that is what makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their kids’ schools.

But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police officer in their kid’s school. Our children are thousands of times more likely to be killed or seriously injured by school violence than fire, but the sheep’s only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their child is just too hard, and so they chose the path of denial.

The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, can not and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheep dog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours.

Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn’t tell them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our airports in camouflage fatigues holding an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, “Baa.”

Until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog.

The students, the victims, at Columbine High School were big, tough high school students, and under ordinary circumstances they would not have had the time of day for a police officer. They were not bad kids; they just had nothing to say to a cop. When the school was under attack, however, and SWAT teams were clearing the rooms and hallways, the officers had to physically peel those clinging, sobbing kids off of them. This is how the little lambs feel about their sheepdog when the wolf is at the door.

Look at what happened after September 11, 2001 when the wolf pounded hard on the door. Remember how America, more than ever before, felt differently about their law enforcement officers and military personnel? Remember how many times you heard the word hero?

Understand that there is nothing morally superior about being a sheepdog; it is just what you choose to be. Also understand that a sheepdog is a funny critter: He is always sniffing around out on the perimeter, checking the breeze, barking at things that go bump in the night, and yearning for a righteous battle. That is, the young sheepdogs yearn for a righteous battle. The old sheepdogs are a little older and wiser, but they move to the sound of the guns when needed right along with the young ones.

Here is how the sheep and the sheepdog think differently. The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day. After the attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is, most citizens in America said, “Thank God I wasn’t on one of those planes.” The sheepdogs, the warriors, said, “Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference.” When you are truly transformed into a warrior and have truly invested yourself into warriorhood, you want to be there. You want to be able to make a difference.

There is nothing morally superior about the sheepdog, the warrior, but he does have one real advantage. Only one. And that is that he is able to survive and thrive in an environment that destroys 98 percent of the population. There was research conducted a few years ago with individuals convicted of violent crimes. These cons were in prison for serious, predatory crimes of violence: assaults, murders and killing law enforcement officers. The vast majority said that they specifically targeted victims by body language: slumped walk, passive behavior and lack of awareness. They chose their victims like big cats do in Africa, when they select one out of the herd that is least able to protect itself.

Some people may be destined to be sheep and others might be genetically primed to be wolves or sheepdogs. But I believe that most people can choose which one they want to be, and I’m proud to say that more and more Americans are choosing to become sheepdogs.

Seven months after the attack on September 11, 2001, Todd Beamer was honored in his hometown of Cranbury, New Jersey. Todd, as you recall, was the man on Flight 93 over Pennsylvania who called on his cell phone to alert an operator from United Airlines about the hijacking. When he learned of the other three passenger planes that had been used as weapons, Todd dropped his phone and uttered the words, “Let’s roll,” which authorities believe was a signal to the other passengers to confront the terrorist hijackers. In one hour, a transformation occurred among the passengers – athletes, business people and parents. — from sheep to sheepdogs and together they fought the wolves, ultimately saving an unknown number of lives on the ground.

There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men. – Edmund Burke

Here is the point I like to emphasize, especially to the thousands of police officers and soldiers I speak to each year. In nature the sheep, real sheep, are born as sheep. Sheepdogs are born that way, and so are wolves. They didn’t have a choice. But you are not a critter. As a human being, you can be whatever you want to be. It is a conscious, moral decision.

If you want to be a sheep, then you can be a sheep and that is okay, but you must understand the price you pay. When the wolf comes, you and your loved ones are going to die if there is not a sheepdog there to protect you. If you want to be a wolf, you can be one, but the sheepdogs are going to hunt you down and you will never have rest, safety, trust or love. But if you want to be a sheepdog and walk the warrior’s path, then you must make a conscious and moral decision every day to dedicate, equip and prepare yourself to thrive in that toxic, corrosive moment when the wolf comes knocking at the door.

For example, many officers carry their weapons in church.? They are well concealed in ankle holsters, shoulder holsters or inside-the-belt holsters tucked into the small of their backs.? Anytime you go to some form of religious service, there is a very good chance that a police officer in your congregation is carrying. You will never know if there is such an individual in your place of worship, until the wolf appears to massacre you and your loved ones.

I was training a group of police officers in Texas, and during the break, one officer asked his friend if he carried his weapon in church. The other cop replied, “I will never be caught without my gun in church.” I asked why he felt so strongly about this, and he told me about a cop he knew who was at a church massacre in Ft. Worth, Texas in 1999. In that incident, a mentally deranged individual came into the church and opened fire, gunning down fourteen people. He said that officer believed he could have saved every life that day if he had been carrying his gun. His own son was shot, and all he could do was throw himself on the boy’s body and wait to die. That cop looked me in the eye and said, “Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself after that?”

Some individuals would be horrified if they knew this police officer was carrying a weapon in church. They might call him paranoid and would probably scorn him. Yet these same individuals would be enraged and would call for “heads to roll” if they found out that the airbags in their cars were defective, or that the fire extinguisher and fire sprinklers in their kids’ school did not work. They can accept the fact that fires and traffic accidents can happen and that there must be safeguards against them.

Their only response to the wolf, though, is denial, and all too often their response to the sheepdog is scorn and disdain. But the sheepdog quietly asks himself, “Do you have and idea how hard it would be to live with yourself if your loved ones attacked and killed, and you had to stand there helplessly because you were unprepared for that day?”

It is denial that turns people into sheep. Sheep are psychologically destroyed by combat because their only defense is denial, which is counterproductive and destructive, resulting in fear, helplessness and horror when the wolf shows up.

Denial kills you twice. It kills you once, at your moment of truth when you are not physically prepared: you didn’t bring your gun, you didn’t train. Your only defense was wishful thinking. Hope is not a strategy. Denial kills you a second time because even if you do physically survive, you are psychologically shattered by your fear helplessness and horror at your moment of truth.

Gavin de Becker puts it like this in Fear Less, his superb post-9/11 book, which should be required reading for anyone trying to come to terms with our current world situation: “…denial can be seductive, but it has an insidious side effect. For all the peace of mind deniers think they get by saying it isn’t so, the fall they take when faced with new violence is all the more unsettling.”

Denial is a save-now-pay-later scheme, a contract written entirely in small print, for in the long run, the denying person knows the truth on some level.

And so the warrior must strive to confront denial in all aspects of his life, and prepare himself for the day when evil comes. If you are warrior who is legally authorized to carry a weapon and you step outside without that weapon, then you become a sheep, pretending that the bad man will not come today. No one can be “on” 24/7, for a lifetime. Everyone needs down time. But if you are authorized to carry a weapon, and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to yourself…


This business of being a sheep or a sheep dog is not a yes-no dichotomy. It is not an all-or-nothing, either-or choice. It is a matter of degrees, a continuum. On one end is an abject, head-in-the-sand-sheep and on the other end is the ultimate warrior. Few people exist completely on one end or the other. Most of us live somewhere in between. 

Since 9-11 almost everyone in America took a step up that continuum, away from denial. The sheep took a few steps toward accepting and appreciating their warriors, and the warriors started taking their job more seriously. The degree to which you move up that continuum, away from sheephood and denial, is the degree to which you and your loved ones will survive, physically and psychologically at your moment of truth.


In Liberty, Cope Reynolds (@Desertscout1) 

Colts and Kimbers are what you show your friends.  

GLOCKS are what you show your enemies!

25 January 2023

Assault Weapons?

OK, it's time to clarify something here... What is an assault weapon? 

People are constantly trying to correct others over the use of the term, "assault rifle" or "assault weapon". I think some of them are desperately trying to make themselves look more knowledgeable than they really are or, maybe they are just trying to make a political point that really doesn't exist. Either way, they are making way too big of a deal out of it. The point is, it's starting to make them look silly.

Their big argument is that a rifle cannot "assault". They say assault is verb, not a noun. OK, fair enough, I get it. However, when you carried that rifle onto the beach at Normandy to conduct the assault on the enemy thereon, did your rifle not become the tool to facilitate that assault? An assault rifle, so to speak? Even your bolt-action rifle?

Others use the example of the German StG 44 or "Sturmgewehr 44" to make their argument, saying that it was the first actual assault rifle. Why? Well, because "sturm" means to storm or assault in German and "gewehr" means rifle or shotgun. Over the years, it has kind of become the standard term for military-style rifles. So, Sturmgewehr literally means assault rifle. Why? Because it was used to assault. Was it the first assault rifle? No, it wasn't, but it was the first to be named as such. Additionally, since the StG 44 had full-auto capability, the nitpickers claim that in order for a firearm to earn the title of "assault weapon", it must also have full-auto capability.
It doesn't matter if a firearm is short, long, heavy, light, convenient, full-auto, semi-auto, high-capacity or has a folding stock, forward pistol grip or a heat shield. What matters is what it is used for. Daniel Boone's Kentucky rifle was an assault rifle, at times, as was the 1873 Springfield and the Remington '03-A3.

Golf club is a noun. It's used for golfing, that's why they call it that. Do you know what they use a cutting board for? Yep, it facilitates the cutting of meat and potatoes. How about a punching bag? Anyone want to hazard a guess as to what those are used for? You got it! Punching! This noun's only job is to hang there and let you punch it. How about a shooting rest or a fishing pole? Butcher knife? And so it is with the assault weapon.

Oh, and guess what a "hunting" rifle is used for. But hunting, is a verb. How can that be?