Friday, April 30, 2021

The Psychology of Deterring Attackers–Part I from the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network, Inc


An Interview with William AprillWilliam 2

Interview by Gila Hayes

Self-defense aims to stop victimization before an attack can start. Although widely endorsed, little training is given in verbal deflection, de-escalation, and deterrence. Mental health clinician and self-defense instructor William April of New Orleans, LA, has contributed much to our understanding of avoiding and interrupting violence. He provides a bridge between armed citizens and mental health professionals, two communities that often fail to recognize the other's value.

Aprill describes himself as having a foot in both worlds, commenting, “Both think that their side of the fence is terribly important, and they both overestimate their ability to opt-out of the effects of the other. I can’t tell you how many times I have worked with mental health professionals, even those who work with violent offenders, who don’t really think anything bad, particularly violence, is ever going to happen to them. That just strikes me as bizarre. At the same time, I run into armed citizens who don’t really think that mental health will ever impact their world one way or another. They think that they’re squared away on the gun and on the self-defense side of things, and that is all they really need to think about,” he told me recently.

Aprill worked in law enforcement as a local sheriff's deputy and a Special Deputy US Marshal in the Eastern District of Louisiana before completing graduate, post-graduate, and fellowship training in mental health. He has over 20 years of experience as a licensed professional across the spectrum of care, from institutional management and program development to long-term individual therapy, from addictive disorders to his current private practice focus on post-traumatic stress and depth psychology.

I first heard April speak at a Rangemaster Tactical Conference. His knowledge and very diverse experience yield instruction that is extremely applicable to situations Network members may face. First, Aprill is an insatiable learner. Starting from his first private sector training with Massad Ayoob decades ago under the Lethal Force Institute curriculum, he has continued training across a wide spectrum of defensive skills to this day. As a result, his advice blends psychology and good self-defense tactics so that as a student, his lectures always provided immediately applicable skills and strategies.

Good fortune allowed me to ask Aprill why armed citizens need to be concerned with the mental state of attackers and questions about the practical application of techniques to manage others' behavior who may pose us a danger. We switch now to question-and-answer format so readers can learn from William Aprill in his own words.

eJournal: As an armed citizen, I am conflicted about investing much time to learn about the role mental illness plays in the risks that caused most of us to go armed in the first place. Why does understanding mental illness make a difference to practitioners of self-defense?

Aprill: Most important, understanding mental illness lets you go backward. The diagnosis of the person who is presenting a violent threat doesn’t really make a difference where the rubber meets the road–or perhaps I should say where the tire iron meets the head–but understanding mental health disorders help you understand criminal assault paradigms and that lets you move backward in time because it gives you the chance to see what the assault will be like and to start taking action beforehand to defuse it, defeat it and avoid it. That is unbelievably important because every fight that I don’t have to have, I win.

Let’s be very honest about the fact that the tire iron coming towards the head is the smallest minority of events that are going to happen. A much more common but dangerous spectrum of events is what we call managing unknown contacts. That is Craig Douglas’ term and the name of one of his classes.

It is imperative to manage people’s behavior, especially if it overlaps into the pool of people who might be subject to a mental disorder that could be dispositive of their behavior, making it more dangerous for us. That is incredibly important in winnowing down who I have to be worried about and manage effectively and who I can manage interactively.

eJournal: Still, my concern is whether I know enough to predict impending physical attack without living in fear and avoiding blissful ignorance. Where is the middle ground?

Aprill: Actually, our detection skills are one of our strengths. Although we are not a very impressive animal, we rule the planet because we are good at a very rarified set of skills that is incredibly useful: behavior prediction and threat detection. We are extraordinarily good at threat detection, primarily based on our understanding of the human face. Animals fight with their face; their face is a weapon. Claws hold on so animals can fight with their face. Because the face is a weapon, it gets an incredible amount of attention.

We are biased to see faces everywhere. That is why clouds look like faces, right? We are biased to recognize people that we’ve seen before with a really high level of accuracy. Even babies can follow the changes in their mothers’ facial expressions. We are biased to see deeply into faces, and facial micro-expressions tell us a lot.

We are quite good at not getting bitten by strange dogs. We have learned a funny little subroutine where you enter a dog’s space carefully and judge its reaction. It becomes clear as day whether you can pet this dog or not. If I was to say, tell me the things that made you not pet that dog, perhaps you could identify them: his ears were flat, his eyes were wide, he seemed to be panting a little bit, so I avoided petting him, but most of the time, we reach a global decision: “If I pet that dog, he will snap at me.” We are good at reading these subtle signs.

The real limitation on behavior prediction and threat detection is that we ignore them or, more accurately, hear them and dismiss them. I hate expressions like “picked up on that feeling,” “heard that little voice,” or “women’s intuition.” I hate those sayings because there’s nothing mystical about this. Behavior prediction and threat detection are evolutionarily-gained skills that got us to the top of the food chain and keep us there.

eJournal: Why do you think we dismiss internal warnings?

Aprill: Sometimes we hear it, and we dismiss it. We wish that it was not happening, so we act as if it was not happening. There is some pretty impressive magical thinking going on if you think, “If I just act normal, maybe they will act normal, too.”

To put it crudely, you have got a new, evolved brain, and you have got an old brain that works with your oldest learned skills. The old brain is heavily conservative. Its only interest is to be safe. It might be overly protective sometimes. The message it sends out is, “I don’t know about this dog,” but then your new brain kicks in and says, “But my buddy Ralph has a dog just like that,” or “But I love Rottweilers.” The new brain and the old brain are in tension.

The new brain will pose a counterargument that seems more compelling. The new brain is ultimately stronger, but the old brain is faster. The old brain will always get the feeling of concern faster. It says, “Oh, I am not sure that I would do that,” but the new brain is a compelling advocate. Think of the new brain as a compelling, young lawyer, and it can argue you down until you say, “Well, OK, it does seem like a friendly dog after all,” and that is when you make a mistake.

The arguments posed in this dynamic tension start with, “But…” When people tell stories about grotesque victimization, the stories start with “but.” “There was something about that guy that made me nervous when he showed up right at closing, but he wanted to buy a new car.” “I just didn’t trust something about that woman, but she’s a friend of so and so.” The “but” allows us to overwrite what we already know.

eJournal: The old brain doesn’t give any rationale. It only says, “NO!” and we want to know why.

Aprill: The oldest, most basic trigger mechanisms are the equivalent of a football referee throwing a flag. You don’t know what the penalty is, but something is wrong. It tends to send a global warning that’s blunt, “I don’t like this” or, “This isn’t right, or, “This isn’t safe.” That is why you can walk into a room and know something is wrong before knowing what is wrong.

eJournal: It is so hard to back out of that room without first ascertaining the “what.” We want reasons.

Aprill: That is a demand imposed by our newer, “smarter” sensibilities: we want a good reason. If we don’t see a good reason for the fear, then we think we don’t have to act on it. In most cases, we would be better off hearing and accepting it as something real. Does it really cost you to find out what it is?

It is a little bit like sitting in your house and smelling smoke, but saying, “I do not see any flames, so there can’t be a fire.” Like with a fire, the earlier attention is paid to the warning signs, the more options you have. We did not get to the top of the food chain by noticing things that do not exist. Whether or not it is dangerous is a secondary concern. Usually, you don’t have to be concerned about whether or not it is real. It is.

eJournal: When we talk about warning signs, we generally recognize that we can’t judge based on appearance, so reliable threat detection must analyze behavior instead. If we propose to avoid fights, it would be helpful to know what we are looking for before it starts.

Aprill: Appearances are a pretty tricky metric, to begin with. It is interesting because we are in the middle of the COVID-19 lockdown, and appearances really are a problem. People are wearing masks all the time, but it’s no different in winter when people’s faces are concealed. We are not looking at appearance; we are not looking at demographics; we are looking at our behavior and demeanor.

Behavior is obviously the things you see; demeanor is the feeling that is transmitted. Someone can have a hostile demeanor while they’re standing perfectly still. They may not be doing anything, but there is something about them, right? Behavior and demeanor are far more important than appearance.

Recognize that if a presumptive threat is detected by your very ancient early detection system, you might not even consciously see the action. Your subconscious is processing something that you have taken in visually that didn’t yet rise to your consciousness level. Something can catch your eye and be processed as a threat before you are consciously aware of it. That is good–that is one reason we rule the planet.

You asked about the level where something has reached our conscious awareness. We see that guy and feel the warning bells going off. Well, what was he doing that set off the warning?

I first want to know if his behavior and demeanor are naturalistic. Is it appropriate for where he is and what he’s doing? Think about the rule of opposites. Somebody doing the exact opposite of what would be appropriate in space should get your attention: someone standing when everyone else is walking; someone walking when everyone else is standing. Someone heading to the right when everyone else is heading to the left.

These are things that automatically deserve your attention, not necessarily because it translates into a threat, but it translates into something that is out of the ordinary. That is the first, grossest characterization that we have got to get to: Something about this isn’t the same.

What is that person’s projected relationship to you? It is not natural for us to stare at strangers, which applies to a stranger’s attention. A stranger’s fixed attention on me feels like the sun, and I need to notice someone noticing me, paying attention to me.

That is the second level of the filter: is that person at all interested in me? If they are not, then it is pretty easy to ignore people who are ignoring me.

The third level of filtering is vectoring. Is that person moving in a direction that makes them relevant to me? Someone who looks at me for an extended period of time but walking away at a normal clip; well, maybe they just liked my tie. The combination of things narrows down our interest.

I call it a “failover.” Presented with a test, is that person’s behavior unusual? If it is, he has “failed over” to the next level of testing. Enough “failovers” mean you now have a situation that you get to do something about.

eJournal: Ah, the decisions! Now you have identified the hard part.

Aprill: Not necessarily! Decisions are easier than you think! Let me rephrase that. I don’t mean it is simple; I mean it is largely automated. We would like for people to be responsible for their own safety, so you can’t exclusively count on automation.

Recognize that parts of our minds and brains think modern people have moved beyond violence. Well, we haven’t! The world is still a dangerous place. Dangerous things do still happen.

We also have to unlearn the habits of ignoring and overlooking automation. We want to leverage our automated abilities to make a rapid transition from the automated to our motivated functions–the things that we can choose to do. We want to have a good, robust set of things that we know how to do once triggered by the old brain system that we don’t control but are just lucky enough to have been given.

eJournal: What, if any, concerns over the actor’s mental state do we weigh at this point?

Aprill: As I said, this person got my attention somehow, which was through an unconscious process. Now I ask, is it typical? Is it suitable? Does it seem to fit where it is? Those questions are much more important.

eJournal: We’re taught if we recognize a predator’s steps in setting us up, we may be able to derail the attack by communicating we know what they are up to. In your work with violent offenders, do you believe that is realistic?

Aprill: Yes, but it hinges on one thing: the less in contact with reality someone is, the less well that will work. We don’t really have much access to what runs folks that are sometimes called “other-directed,” meaning that they are being driven by something internal, by their own mental state. Maybe their perception is that the gods or the aliens are speaking to them and guiding their behavior. Other folks are more rational. That doesn’t mean that they are normal and nice and logical, but rational means they are driven by inputs from the world, so we have more influence.

A street-level offender is not looking for a fight. No street-level offender ever said, “Who is the toughest person in this room? Let me try and rob that person.” “Who is the most likely armed citizen in this room? Let me try to start a gunfight.” In the famous words of Claude Werner, the bad guy is there for the shooting, not a shootout. Well, when they look around the room, they are looking for a suitable target.

If you’re looking for the bellhop in a hotel, you look for the guy with the hat and the jacket—that is how you know he’s a bellhop. When someone’s looking for a suitable target, they find other signs. Our job is to communicate the signs that we are not suitable. You would be surprised how quickly you can get deselected.

It is not a matter of scaring anyone off. I think that is very important. The notion that you will scare off-street criminals by looking like a badass is really kind of silly and is really more about the ego.

Your goal is to look unsuitable. The street criminal’s job is to look for a suitable target, yield what they want with a minimum amount of effort. They do not have time to sort. They have to look at us and know whether we will be a good target or not. They need to do what they are going to do or move on very quickly.

eJournal: How do we communicate that we are unsuitable?

Aprill: Well, I hate to define things in the negative, but if you look at the things that make someone an obvious victim—they are pretty obvious [laughs]. One of the most egregious is spending too much time locked inside yourself. I mean that people do not seem to be in the world as they move through it. People who are unaware of their environment, just walking through. You can tell because they are usually trying to multitask. They need to walk from point A to point B, but they will also have some lunch on the fly, talk on the phone, and look up something on their Palm Pilot. That detachment from the world is the first thing that stands out.

If you walk down a busy city street, you will pass dozens of people that you could just walk up and kiss on the forehead before they even noticed you were in their physical space; for a violent criminal actor, that is a free pass. It is not at all hard to pay attention to what you are doing, and frankly, I think it is a good thing to turn off the phone, put it in your pocket. Switch to an earbud if you absolutely have to be talking! Actually, take part in what you are doing. If you are walking down the street, look around. Maybe there will be cake! So that is the first baseline stuff that people can do. It doesn’t cost anything, and it actually has a real effect. If you have a choice of victims, would you choose someone who knows you’re there or someone who does not? Who is the best victim?

eJournal: That baseline is great because it does not require specialized skills or equipment. We can teach it to our kids; we can teach it to our grandmas. How good is that?

Aprill: If people just took an interest in what they’re doing, they would be safer. If you are walking down the street, pay attention to walking down the street. To put a finer point on it, the most powerful self-defense intervention people can make–and they’d never have to spend a penny on it–is this: never make a meaningless transition from space to space again. Look into space before you walk into it. Before you get in your car, look inside. Before you walk out your front door, look out a window. All these things cost nothing!

I personally know someone who was murdered on her own front porch by her husband with an ax. It is such a grotesque example that it sounds like it is made up, but it is true. If she had looked out her front window and seen her estranged husband standing on the porch with an ax, I’ll bet you anything, she wouldn’t have opened the door. That is the cost that can be exacted by just not knowing what you are walking into. Stop making meaningless transitions from space to space to space–that is all I ask.

eJournal: Let’s take a break here because your instruction so far has raised a lot more questions I’d like to discuss in-depth with you. A big challenge when publishing online about complex topics is losing readers before covering all the important elements in what you have to share with us, so I would like to continue this discussion in the July edition of this journal.

Readers, there is a lot more to learn from William Aprill, and in fact, he teaches a class entitled “Unthinkable” that covers a lot more about the topics we have only been able to introduce here. Please return next month for the second half of this interview when we discuss breaking off contact with those who would like to set us up to be victims of a crime. He has great, down-to-earth steps that will prove helpful to all of us.

While you wait for next month to roll around, don’t miss the “ripped from the headlines” lessons Aprill offers in the blog section or Instagram: @aprillriskconsulting and don’t miss his Facebook page’s regular “They Are Not You” clips at

To read more of this month's journal, please click here.

Thursday, April 29, 2021




Attorney General Josh Shapiro is living up to his well-earned reputation as an anti-gun bully.

As you may recall, AG Shapiro wrote the blatantly unconstitutional 80% lower ban opinion in December of 2019, which would have reclassified unfinished receivers as firearms.

Fortunately, that opinion was blocked by a Pennsylvania judge in early 2020, but the case is still pending review.

This time, Shapiro has taken his bullying tactics to a new level by harassing Pennsylvania gun show promoters to stop selling P80 firearm kits.

Polymer 80 (P80) Kit

Several prohibited persons were caught intending to resell assembled P80 firearms at a recent Morgantown, PA gun show which precipitated the AG’s wrath upon the show promoter, Eagle Arms.

According to WHYY,  the AG’s prosecutors struck a deal with Eagle Arms to stop show vendors from selling P80 kits. The deal adversely affected the show vendor, JSD Supply, in particular.

Unfinished receivers are legal to purchase without any background checks. It is also perfectly legal to make your own firearm. The actions of a handful of criminals should not affect the rights of law-abiding citizens.

But that’s not how Attorney General Shapiro sees it. Josh Shapiro uses the incredibly spooky term, “Ghost Guns,” to refer to any unfinished receiver or firearm kit, like the P80. And he believes they should be banned!

So, AG Shapiro and Philadelphia Representative Amen Brown (D-190) teamed up to start their crusade against “Ghost Guns,” the latest scapegoat to blame for criminal activity.

In response to the pressure, Eagle Arms decided to stop allowing P80 kits to be sold at their gun shows.

While billed to avoid the push for a ban on unfinished receivers, the effect of the Shapiro-Brown alliance will likely have the opposite result. It will be used as a reason for advancing bills to ban 80% lowers, pointing to the fact that a “pro-gun” organization considers unfinished receivers “a problem.”

Cam Edwards of Bearing Arms agrees.  In a recent article about the compromise, Cam said:

I fear that Koehler’s decision [the owner of Eagle Arms] will not only put more pressure on other gun show promoters and gun store owners to also ban the sale of unfinished frames and receivers, but will add more weight to the argument of anti-gun politicians that the sales of these items should be forbidden by law, not just by dealer’s choice. I truly hope that Koehler’s decision to exercise his freedom to choose what items are sold at his gun shows doesn’t result in less freedom for the rest of us.

But that is exactly what is beginning to unfold!

Almost immediately after the compromise, AG Shapiro praised the “commonsense step supported by responsible gun owners, whom we worked with to get this done.” [see photo]

Shapiro was also quoted in the video saying, “Responsible gun owners know this, responsible gun show promoters know this, and these folks want to take ghost guns off our streets, and so we met them as we worked with them, we came up with a solution that’s going to save lives.”

Folks, this terrible outcome is a direct result of the compromise between a “pro-gun” group and Philadelphia's anti-gun forces.

And the betrayal has not gone unnoticed by the wider gun rights community. You can read about it in AmmoLand and The Truth About Guns. Nationally renowned YouTubers like Jared Yanis of Guns & Gadgets and Hank Strange have also chimed in.

The stage is now set for a push to ban unfinished receivers at all gun shows across America since this news is getting national attention.

There are bills in both the House and Senate to ban 3-D printed guns and unfinished receivers right here in Pennsylvania.

  • SB 413/HB 271 – bans 3-D printed guns.
  • SB 414 – bans unfinished receivers (i.e., “Ghost Guns”)
  • HB 414 – bans “undetectable” firearms
  • Future bill by Rep Michael Driscoll (D-173) to ban unfinished receivers

Given the political climate after the compromise, I am very concerned that the above legislation may get traction, particularly the Senate bills.

That’s why I need you to take action now by filling out the form above. Let your state legislators know that you are against ANY attempt to regulate your ability to make your own firearm, whether by 3-D printing, purchasing an unfinished receiver, or buying a gun kit.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Questions and Answers


A group of friends regularly go to the shooting range. Many believe that the SKS is very dependable and more fun on the range than an A.K. What is the mainline opinion?

-From Otis W.

Answer: When it comes to the SKS vs. the AK-47, they are both fun guns. However, the SKS has not earned the same reputation for reliability as the AK-47. On the other hand, most shooters will say the SKS is more accurate compared to the A.K., but just slightly so.

The SKS used to have a considerable price advantage over the average A.K. rifle. Nowadays, a shooter will still pay more for an AK-47, but the SKS is not as cheap as it used to be.

Overall, the AK-47 will have a cheaper cost of ownership, better aftermarket accessories, and marginally better ergonomics. If someone is looking for an inexpensive, dependable rifle,- go with the A.K.


The wife and I are both turning 85 years old this month. We need to purchase a new vehicle because ours has quit for good. We also thought about not buying a car and using an Uber or Lyft to get around as we do not go out very often. What is a safe option?

-From Willard O.

Answer: Never used the Uber or Lyft app, and I do not recommend it. They are more dangerous than taxis, and it is a lot easier for a criminal to sign up as an Uber Driver.

Uber claims they do background checks, but they must be using only the $9.95 type of background checks that are a complete joke. The taxicab industry is heavily regulated and monitored by local governments, so the drivers are screened better.

Uber does not have this same scrutiny; therefore, it is easier for drivers to have criminal backgrounds. Just google "Uber Attacks," and you will see what I mean.

Also, get a vehicle, just in case you need to flee your house during some emergency.


In one of your books, I read that even if you are expecting a delivery, you don't answer the door? Only answer if you are expecting a specific person? What is the best way to handle not ignoring the door if it rings and it is unexpected?

-From Kyle C.

Answer: I do not receive any mail or packages at my home, only at a P.O. box in town, so a delivery person should never be home.

However, if it is a stranger, I do not simply ignore the door because they think the house is vacant and try and a break-in.

Instead, talk to them through the door and let them know you are not interested in what they are selling, or they can leave the package on the step.

Socially awkward, but it works. There is no need to open a door when you can talk to someone through it.


What secure search engine do you recommend for browsing the internet? It is scary to think that a hacker could read everything I search online.

-From Olivia P.

Answer: Check out both DuckDuckGo and StartPage. For instance, StartPage uses Google's search results but removes all the tracking and logging of your information.

You are getting the expertise of a Google search without all the ads and other information getting in the way.

StartPage does not collect your information or share it with advertisers. Plus, since they do not collect the information, there is no way to get it stolen. There is nothing for hackers to target.


With the recent tragic events in Boulder, Colorado, I wanted to know how you would stop a randomly shooting man at people? What do you do?

-From Mike S.

Answer: You have to rush him and take him down. Study how the Israeli troops and police always rush and take down one of these threats.

There is no magic answer that people want to hear, but every second costs life, so you have to move in and disarm and tackle them. (If you have a gun, obviously, shoot the guy.)


I have never gotten a concealed carry permit for the simple fact that I do not trust the government. A permit is like painting a target on your back. What if Congress repeals the Second Amendment? Everyone with a concealed carry permit will be the first targets the cops will go after-What is your opinion?

-From Russ L.

Answer: I agree that obtaining a concealed carry permit puts one's name on a government record, but the good thing is, no one will know precisely how many guns you own and their location.

I carry concealed every day, and it is not worth the risk for me to take the chance of getting caught illegally carrying a gun, so I do have my permit. Nevertheless, I also have guns that do not exist and are well hidden, and nobody will ever find the location. 

Train Safe- Train Honestly 

Source: Jason Hanson

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Woman shoots intruder armed with knife in her Mesa home



 MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- A Mesa woman shot a man who broke into her home and threatened her with a knife.

Mesa police say a man, later identified as 29-year-old Elijah Jones, broke into a woman's home in Mesa near 1st Place and Alma School Road around 3:30 a.m. last Friday.

The woman told police that she was working on yard work when she heard a loud noise from inside her home. When she went to check it out, she discovered Jones in her home armed with a knife. Jones threatened her with the knife before she shot him once in the chest. 

Jones was taken to a hospital. Once discharged, he was charged with first-degree burglary and aggravated assault. In addition to these charges, Jones also had two outstanding arrest warrants, according to police. 

Source: The Armed Citizen 

Monday, April 26, 2021



BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation is applauding a ruling by a Boulder, Colorado District Judge striking down a Boulder city ordinance that outlawed possession, sale, or transfers semi-automatic sporting rifles and magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds.

“This wasn’t our case,” noted SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “but it was the right decision by Judge Andrew Hartman. He ruled against the city ordinance because it violated Colorado’s state preemption law, which prohibits such local ordinances as the one in Boulder. Anti-gun politicians and organizations target such laws because they require uniformity in state gun laws and prevent the creation of legal minefields designed to trip up law-abiding citizens.”

Gottlieb is also delighted that the media alluded to a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June 2010 that incorporated the Second Amendment to the states via the 14th Amendment. This was a SAF case known as McDonald v. City of Chicago, which nullified that city’s long-standing ban on handguns.

Judge Hartman’s ruling is another victory for state preemption, Gottlieb noted, coming soon after a Washington State Court of Appeals panel ruled unanimously in a SAF lawsuit that the City of Edmonds acted illegally when it adopted a so-called “safe storage” requirement a few years ago. SAF and the National Rifle Association challenged that restriction and a similar one in the City of Seattle. Washington has one of the earliest preemption statutes, which has been used as a model for similar laws in other states.

In Colorado, Judge Hartman wrote, “The Court has determined that only Colorado state (or federal) law can prohibit the possession, sale, and transfer of assault weapons and large-capacity magazines…the State of Colorado has passed laws that are effectively a scheme preempting local governments from enacting municipal firearms and magazine possession ordinances.”

“This is the way state preemption laws, which we wholeheartedly support, are supposed to work,” Gottlieb said. “Our hats are off to the plaintiffs in this case, Robert Chambers and James Jones, Gunsport of Colorado and the Colorado State Shooting Association. Their victory is a win for all Centennial State gun owners.”

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Don't forget to shower- our survival depends on it!



Waking up in the morning and taking a shower is a routine for many people - but not David W.

David claims that he hasn't showered in over 12 years.

But it's not because he's homeless or lives deep in nature and away from civilized society.


David is a chemical engineer in Boston who believes that humans don't need to shower.

He even claims that using soap daily may remove healthy bacteria from your body.

But there is zero evidence that bacteria gained from not showering is beneficial to your skin.

David first stopped showering after talking to a friend about horses.

They discussed how horses roll around in the dirt.

He believed that the horses did this because something in the dirt made them feel clean.

He concluded that horses do this to cover themselves in bacteria not found on human skin.


The specific bacteria found on the horses work to break down other types of bacteria.

And he speculated that humans didn't have the good bacteria on their skin because of the obsession with soap and hygiene.

On the other hand, Dr Cameron Rokhsar doesn't recommend skipping showers.

The doctor says that if you don't shower, you will begin to smell due to bacteria and dead skin on your body.

Besides, if you don't shower, your skin will become oily and dry.

And over time, it could become infected with fungus and bacteria.

And it is leading to possibly warts and other skin conditions.

And this is why, when you cut your hand, you wash it with soap and water.

If there was a buildup of bacteria on your skin, you could suffer a soft tissue infection from even a tiny cut.

Also, don't forget about dandruff.

Your head would become extremely itchy if you never washed your hair.

Essentially, you need to consider all the areas of your body that would buildup fungus and bacteria.

Areas like your groin and in between your toes can develop fungus that could cause painful burning.

So, showering every day isn't necessary, but it sure is nice to do it as often as possible-

When you are bugging out, or camping, or even during an extended power outage-

You may not even have the option to shower.

And your only choices might be a sponge bath or using a river or lake.

But, you probably shouldn't go more than 3-4 days without showering.

You could begin to accumulate a buildup of bacteria and fungus on your skin.

So, here are three showering options you may want to add to your survival gear in case you are stuck without utilities.

Zodi Extreme:

The Zodi Extreme is a more excellent option for portable showers because it has so many features.

First, it has an adjustable pressure, which is not in other showers.

A hand pump controls the pressure with an on/off lever.

It also has a kink-proof hose that is 6 feet long.

The canister that holds water can be set directly on top of a stove until the water reaches the temperature you want.

It also has a temperature gauge and typically heats to 100 degrees in 5-10 minutes.

The Zodi Extreme is one of the heavier portable showers, and it's not very compact, so it's not ideal for bugging out.

But it is a good option for your bug-out trailer or even in your survival stockpile in case your home shower fails.

The Zodi sells for $180 new.

NEMO Helio Pressure Shower:

The Helio shower is a combination of function and portability.

It has a foot pump that creates pressure without taking your hands away from whatever you're cleaning.

It has a 2.9-gallon capacity that provides about 7 minutes of continuous water.

The showerhead looks like a kitchen sink sprayer and has a 7-foot-long hose.

It weighs 1.5 lbs empty and folds up, so it's compact.

The Helio has no way to heat the water, so you would need to add the water to the shower.

The Nemo Helio sells for $100 new.

Sea to Summit Pocket Shower:

If space is your primary concern, then this is the shower for you.

The Sea to Summit comes in a bit of 6-inch by 3-inch case.

But it opens into a 2.6-gallon shower and only weighs about 5 ounces.

The top of the shower opens so you can quickly fill it without spilling.

And the bag is made from black nylon to soak up the sun and provide some warmth to the water.

There is no pump for the shower, so you must secure it in a tree or above you for it to work.

The shower provides about five minutes of continuous water flow.

When space matters, this is the perfect option.

It can fit in your pocket and sells for only $35.

During a disaster taking a shower might not be your biggest priority.

Yet, for children, the elderly, or those with medical issues, not showering can lead to more health problems.

Not to mention-

Even though David W. claims that he doesn't have body odour...

If you stop showering, your family members might let you know the (smelly) problems with his theory.

Source: Jason Hanson


Saturday, April 24, 2021

General Austin Miller's pick - Colt-1911


You may not recognize the name, General Austin Miller-

But, he's currently the commander of the war in Afghanistan.

He's a stern son-of-a-gun who's a very decorated soldier.

Some quick facts about him include-

-Graduate of West Point

-Army Ranger

-Delta Force

-He's fought in Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia, and Somalia

To this day, he's always got a pistol strapped to his hip even though several bodyguards surround him at all times.

One of the pistols that he carries is Colt-1911.

According to an Army spokesman, Colt-1911, the General carries is an Army issue to him in 2009.

I'm a massive fan of Colt-1911, and I own several of them.

They are such a natural pointing gun that it's no wonder so many elite units have carried 1911s over the years.

Springfield makes the Colt- 1911 that you'll find on my hip.

The second gun that the General sometimes carries on his hip is a much more modern gun, the Glock.

Everyone is familiar with Glocks and how durable they are.

I believe it was Larry Vickers who said something such as, "If you treat your gun like you treat your lawnmower, get a Glock."

In other words, the Colt- 1911 does require a bit more maintenance than a Glock.

But either way, you can't go wrong with either of these guns that the General carries.

I own both 1911s and Glocks and think they should be a part of your gun collection.

Whatever guns you own or buy, do take care of them, even if it's a Glock

Source: Jason Hanson

Friday, April 23, 2021

Attorney Question of the Month- from The Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network, Inc



We’re starting to hear questions from Network members who are planning cross-country summer vacations. Naturally, they’re particularly concerned about the potential for violating weapon restrictions and self-defense laws once they leave home, where they are familiar with the law. Their concern extends beyond guns and includes worry about restrictions on pepper spray, Taser®s, knives, and other non-gun self-defense tools, too.

In hopes of aiding these intrepid travelers, we presented the following question to our affiliated attorneys:

When armed citizens vacation in your state, what weapon and self-defense laws are they most likely to be unaware of and may inadvertently violate?

If a Network member is planning to vacation in your state, what advice would you offer about their self-defense weapons and provisions?

Our Affiliated Attorneys responded with interesting and varied commentaries of such length that we will run the first half this month then wrap up in April’s edition.

Alan J. Schwartz
Law Offices of Alan J. Schwartz, P.C.
840 Franklin Avenue, Garden City, NY 11530

Far too many innocent mistakes place law-abiding citizens in the criminal justice system – mistakes as innocent as not cleaning out your gym bag.

There are many applications for gym bags. Gym bags are typically known to store gym clothes, your gym lock, workout powder, water jugs, and so on. Those same gym bags are also optimal for transporting clothes and items for other activities, such as transporting your lawfully-owned firearm and ammunition to and from your home to a local gun range.

This is where the innocent mistake comes in, which has landed numerous people in the criminal justice system after being arrested for violating New York State gun laws, whether a New York state resident or not.

If you are one of those people who use your gym bag to transport  your firearm and ammunition, as responsible as you may be, ask yourself, “How easy would it be for one ammunition shell to fall out of the box and end up in a crevasse of the bag without your knowledge?”

Now think about this – that same gym bag is also optimal for traveling. How many times have you used your gym bag for a weekend trip or as a carry-on with your luggage?

In New York, if you fly through one of the two airports in New York City, you are subject to both the New York State gun laws and the even more strict New York City gun laws.  For a mistake as innocent as unknowingly going through airport security with one bullet in your gym bag, you can find yourself being arrested, facing criminal prosecution, a criminal record, and penalties as serious as jail time. Several of our clients, well-established wealthy businessmen and proud (legal) gun owners, who have never had any issues with firearms, ammunition, or law as a whole, found themselves arrested and need a criminal defense attorney after the gym (travel) bag was found with a bullet inside while going through airport security. Ultimately in their cases, we were able to get them resolved with a dismissal. Still, there was no guarantee these cases would be dismissed for this innocent mistake, which is why it is important to retain an attorney who knows both the criminal justice system and the New York State gun laws.

As an attorney for the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network, Inc. for over 10 years, I am happy to offer free consultations for anyone charged with a new gun-related offense in the New York metropolitan area.


Brian Craig
Law Office of Brian Craig, PLLC
95 West 100 South, Suite 106, Logan, UT 84321

With great ski resorts and national parks, Utah is home to many tourists. Visitors to Utah should be aware that with a blood alcohol content limit of 0.05 percent, Utah has the strictest driving under the country's influence (DUI) laws. An individual who is arrested for DUI who has a weapon, such as a firearm anywhere in the vehicle, can also be charged with a separate offense for carrying a dangerous weapon under the influence of alcohol or drugs in violation of Utah Code 76-10-528, a class B misdemeanor, punishable up to six months in jail. Often prosecutors will request forfeiture of any firearms in the vehicle as part of sentencing. Even one alcoholic drink can put a person over the 0.05 level. While most states have a 0.08 BAC level, Utah has adopted a 0.05 BAC level, which some Utah visitors may inadvertently violate. Visitors to Provo, Utah, should also be aware that a city ordinance prohibits throwing a snowball. Throwing a snowball, or any other projectile, resulting in bodily injury to another person or property damage is a misdemeanor.

Make sure not to drink and drive, especially with a firearm in the vehicle. If you are going to carry a weapon, do not drink any alcohol. If you are going to drink alcohol, do not carry or possess any type of weapon. If visiting a bar or restaurant to drink alcohol, consider leaving your weapon secured in your hotel room.

John I. Harris III
Schulman, LeRoy & Bennett PC
3310 West End Avenue, Suite 460, Nashville, Tennessee 37203
615-244-6670 Ext. 111

Tennessee has a law found in Tenn. Code Annotated Section 39-17-1351(r) provides that Tennessee will honor a permit issued by another state-provided; however that Tennessee only honors such permits concerning handguns. Thus, if a permit from another state is a “weapons” permit or a “firearms” permit, Tennessee will not honor it for long-arms. Under this statute, there is no concealment requirement, so a nonresident permit holder may carry in Tennessee openly or conceal. Tennessee does have a law addressing vehicle transport which will allow someone who is legally in possession of a motor vehicle and also legally in possession of a firearm to transport that firearm, including long arms, loaded or unloaded in the vehicle. See TCA 39-17-1307(e). 

Tennessee, unfortunately, has created a lot of confusion about where a permit holder may carry a firearm. In some instances, such as public parks, the possession of a permit is a “defense” to a charge of illegally possessing a firearm. There are similar complexities and risks related to public buildings, courtrooms, schools, public parks/greenways, campgrounds, waterways, state wildlife management properties, lake property controlled by the Tennessee Valley Authority or the Corps of Engineers, etc. Tennessee also allows any property owner to post the property as a gun-free zone. TCA 39-17-1359. Violations of private property posting can result in misdemeanor charges or worse, depending on the circumstances.

On the issue of the use of deadly force, Tennessee only allows the use of deadly force to the extent determined by a criminal court to be reasonably necessary to protect against an imminent risk of death or serious bodily injury to a human. TCA 39-11-611. In Tennessee, a person cannot use deadly force to protect real or personal property, protect their home, protect their business, aid in making a citizen’s arrest, or terminate a trespass. Further, Tennessee is partially a “no retreat” state. Whether there is a duty to retreat before using deadly force depends on the facts of each case and, in some instances, will turn on facts that have no connection to why the threat of death or serious injury arose.

The simple advice is that if you are in Tennessee as a nonresident with a permit from your home state, you are OK on most public roads and most public sidewalks. Beyond that, the needlessly confusing and inconsistent Tennessee prohibitions on where you can carry and when you can use deadly force create a risk of being charged with a crime.


Ralph D. Long
Attorney at Law
120 County Road 230, Florence, AL 35633

Alabama is generally “gun-friendly.” It is a “SHALL ISSUE” concealed carry state. There are approximately five million residents over the age of 18. There are over a million (22% plus) concealed carry permits issued by the sheriffs of the 67 counties. Only qualified military non-residents can obtain an Alabama Concealed Carry Permit.

Alabama’s concealed carry law (See Ala. Code 13A-11-52 through 85) honors the concealed carry permits of at least 48 other states (including New York State-BUT NOT New York City).

Anyone over 18 years of age who may legally possess a firearm may OPEN CARRY in the State of Alabama.

Though Alabama is an open carry state, a handgun concealed in the passenger compartment of a motor vehicle is considered a concealed weapon. So, if one does not possess a concealed carry permit in their state of residence, a handgun possessed by “non-permitted” visitors should be kept unloaded and in the trunk or other locked storage compartment.

Any place one spends the night, including a motel room, RV, or camp tent, is considered a dwelling to defend a dwelling. There is no duty under Alabama law to retreat from one’s dwelling.

Concealed carry permits are honored in highway rest areas, state parks, and wildlife management areas. This is a fairly recent positive change to the law. There is a state preemption law, so municipalities cannot enact more restrictive laws in their parks. 

Firearms may NOT generally be legally carried in courthouses or the office of the local district attorney, public schools, or psychiatric facilities. They may not be carried in state trooper posts, sheriffs’ offices, and police stations without the senior law enforcement official's explicit permission of such a facility.

While concealed firearms are allowed in bars and restaurants, they should be kept concealed. Owners of such establishments may, by law and generally do, forbid open carry in their businesses. Honor all posted notices by private businesses.

Under Alabama Criminal Code 13A-11-9, it is a misdemeanor (loitering) to remain in a public place while wearing a mask. This is not being enforced currently, but the legislature has not made any provision for those wearing COVID-19 masks. It is recommended that firearms be concealed in public places at all times, so there is no confusion about the motive of those legally carrying.

Some common sense thoughts for those carrying firearms for self-defense in the State of Alabama:

Make sure your Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network dues and membership are current. Rule No. 1 of Murphy’s Law is “If something can go wrong, it will go wrong ... and at the worst possible moment.”

If you have a concealed carry permit from your state of residence, make sure it is current before leaving home. Bring it with you.

Be thoroughly familiar with any self-defense firearms you bring with you. Make sure they are working properly. If you can “qualify” with them, do so.

There are no Alabama state laws governing magazine capacity or self-defense ammunition/bullet types for firearms possessed by private citizens in Alabama. All federal firearms laws do apply and may be enforced by super-vigilant officers.

There is no duty under Alabama state law to inform officers that you are legally carrying concealed. However, do not surprise an officer by suddenly displaying a firearm if he investigates a crime or a complaint about improper use of firearms.

If police officers are called to the scene of a domestic dispute or other suspected criminal activity, it is better to not greet officers with a gun in hand if it can be avoided. So, if you are not holding a suspect for arrest, holster or render safe and lay your firearm down when officers arrive.

Guns and alcohol (or illicit drugs) do not mix. The best way to get police officers' negative attention is to misuse either while in possession of firearms and believe it is going unnoticed.

Discretion is the key to not interacting with law enforcement when they are not needed. There are private citizens in our state who are not accustomed to firearms or have had a negative experience with guns. It is recommended that you not display, brandish, “accidentally” point firearms at others in public and semi-public areas. It is easy for “concerned citizens” to dial 911. If they lodge a complaint, expect to see troopers, deputies, or local police arrive to investigate the complaint. Minimally, it will impede any activities you have planned for that day.


We send a hearty “Thank you!” to our affiliated attorneys who contributed comments about this topic. Reader, please return next month for the conclusion of this discussion.

To read more of this month's journal, please click here.