Tag Archives: freedom

Eating Out

This week we are going to highlight a few useful plants that are native to the pacific northwest.  You have no doubt encountered these in the mountains and forests already.  If you forage for mushrooms, pick huckleberries, or just like to hike be on the lookout for these.  If you make a habit of identification then you will be able to find these plants with ease should the need ever arise.  As with any foraging of wild edibles DO NOT consume without being 100% certain you have identified it correctly.

 

Bear grass

looks like a giants q-tip and easy to identify.  Always find these at high elevation.  The root can be boiled and eaten like a potato, but is very stringy.  The most useful part is the leaves.  They are super strong and can be used for cordage, natives used this often to weave baskets.

 

Fireweed

Can be found in burnt areas and clear cuts.  Young leaves and shoots are high in vitamin C and can be eated raw or cooked, treat it like spinach.  In early stages of growth when the leaves are still pointed upward the whole plant can be cooked like asparagus.  The unique vein in the leaves can help with identification.  Can have a laxative effect if eaten in large quantities.

 

Pineapple weed

I always found this in heavily trod areas like rock driveways, but it can be found in the wild.  Often referred to as “wild chamomile” it has a very pleasant smell when crushed.  The dried flowers can be used to make a tea just like chamomile.  The leaves are edible as well, but are slightly bitter.

 

Wild Ginger

Found in dark forests with plenty of shade.  Look for it in our old growth cedar stands.  Treat it just like commercial ginger.  Although in the wild variety the leaves have a stronger flavor than the root.

 

We tried to pick a few that are not widely talked about, but are plentiful here in the pacific northwest.  Again do not pick and use any wild plant or fungus without being positive you have identified it properly and understand its uses.  Have fun looking for these plants and shoot us some pictures if you find these while out foraging.

 

 

 

 

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USCCA SHIELD vs. NRA CARRY GUARD

Anyone who carries a firearm every day of the week is well aware of the responsibility that it entails. Whether or not someone is a Law Enforcement Officer (LEO), or a private citizen, people who EDC carry for defense, but they also realize the liability involved when it comes to use of deadly force. EDCer’s have spent countless hours researching the best firearm to carry, the best ammunition for their pistol, and the most comfortable holster to wear. After procuring the perfect setup that fits their style (which also includes other accessories such as a flash light, a monkey fist, or a knife) many more hours are spent practicing their shooting skills and utilizing the tools they EDC. People who practice EDC do it because it is the inherit right of every living creature on the planet to protect itself. As I like to say “Even a bunny rabbit has sharp claws and teeth”.  Remember, you are your own first responder. 

As I stated above, there is a liability in legally carrying a firearm. Any person who decides to EDC needs to ask themselves a very important question: What happens to a person who EDC’s when, God forbid, the unthinkable occurs and one has to use their firearm to defend themselves, possibly leading to the death of an assailant? What’s next? Will they be greeted by LEO’s and be given a pat on the back for subduing a dangerous perp? Or will the next step turn into one of the horror stories we’ve all undoubtedly heard about where people were arrested after defending themselves? Could you imagine legally defending yourself and the being placed in handcuffs, your firearm is confiscated, and you are thrown in jail facing murder charges? What does someone do if a frightening situation like this befalls them? Most “regular people” (not rich) would be screwed for lack of a better word, but there is an answer. 

There is a service that comes highly recommended and offered by the USCCA, or the United States Concealed Carrier Association. The USCCA offers the self-defense SHIELD which is a subscription membership program of varying degrees of legal and financial protection in the event that you have to use deadly force. They also offer lots of training and access to instructors that teach skills that are vital to know if you’re going to EDC. 

This “EDC” insurance is offered at different monthly subscriptions depending on how much protection you want to give yourself. They give an example that if you are charged with homicide, no credentialed homicide trial lawyer will even begin representing a potential client without at least a $50,000.00 retainer. Who has that much cash lying around to give an attorney even if a person was in the right in defending themselves? I know I don’t. But this is where the USCCA comes in. 

When one subscribes to one of their monthly subscriptions, the USCCA SHIELD will cover your attorneys fees in the event of a homicide charge against one of their members. They will also post bail, and cover any lost monies from missing work. It’s a fantastic program offered at an affordable rate by the USCCA. In comparison an NRA membership only offers insurance on firearms, but doesn’t cover members in the event of a criminal charge or other inconveniences that are paired with such a situation. Or do they? 

Recently the NRA issued a video regarding their brand new offering of the same type of legal protection. Link is below and I recommend watching it: 

https://www.facebook.com/NRATV/videos/10154599844907898/

As seen in the video, the NRA is now offering legal insurance in the event that a member has to defend themselves, and also offering training just like the USCCA SHIELD program.

That being said, which is the better choice? USCCA SHIELD or NRA Carry Guard? Lets find out!

Both USCCA and NRA offer three levels of subscription. 

USCCA                     NRA

Platinum  $30.00    Gold     $31.95

Gold         $22.00    Silver    $21.95

Silver       $13.00     Bronze  $13.95

As you can see they are about neck and neck as far as price goes. Now lets compare the main features:

Platinum vs Gold:

USCCA offers $1,000,000.00  in civil suit defense, civil suit damages, and firearm theft. NRA offers the $1,000,000.00 under the umbrella of “Civil Protection”

USCCA offers $125,000.00 immediate attorney retainer. NRA offers $150,000.00 under the umbrella of “criminal defense”. 

USCCA offers $10,000.00/$100,000.00 immediately for bail/bond if a member is jailed. NRA says that members have “IMMEDIATE ACCESS AS NEEDED TO SUPPLEMENTARY PAYMENTS FOR: Bail, bonds, legal retainer fees, legal, referrals, lawful firearm replacement, compensation while in court, psychological support and clean-up costs”. The NRA doesn’t expound upon how much is allotted for each one. For the remainder of this article we will call it “As Needed”

USCCA offers $500.00 a day compensation while in court. As stated above the NRA says members have “as needed” access to compensation while in court but doesn’t clarify how much.

Gold vs Silver:

USCCA offers $500,000.00 in civil suit defense, civil suit damages, and firearm theft. NRA offers $500,000.00 under the umbrella of “Civil protection” 

USCCA offers $75,000.00 immediate attorney retainer. NRA offers $100,000.00 under the umbrella of “criminal defense”. 

USCCA offers $5,000.00/$50,000.00 immediately for bail/bond if a member is jailed. NRA offers “as needed” access to funds. 

USCCA offers $350.00 a day compensation while in court. NRA offers members “as needed” access to compensation while in court but doesn’t clarify how much.

Silver vs Bronze:

USCCA offers $250,000.00 in civil suit defense, civil suit damages, and firearm theft. NRA offers $250,000.00 under the umbrella of “Civil protection.

USCCA offers $50,000.00 immediate attorney retainer. NRA offers $50,000.00 under the umbrella of “criminal defense”. 

USCCA offers $2,500.00/$25,000.00 immediately for bail/bond if a member is jailed. NRA offers “as needed” access to funds. 

USCCA offers $250.00 a day compensation while in court. NRA offers members “as needed” access to compensation while in court but doesn’t clarify how much.

Both companies offer 24/7 access to a member hotline to “call for help”. They both also offer a training video course and a monthly magazine. NRA goes on to offer a 1 year membership to the NRA (not sure if this renews every year if you have a subscription or not). NRA goes one step further and offers the same coverage for your spouse at no additional cost.

So to me, at a glance, they both seem to be pretty comparable. The prices vary slightly between the two services and member levels. The coverages seem to be on par between the two. However I have only covered the main differences in key features of the subscriptions, and there are more details that you will need to research before you decide on which direction you will go. Either way you choose, you will be covered in the event that you have to defend yourself. Below are links to each program.

https://www.usconcealedcarry.com

https://www.nracarryguard.com

Watch your back…

Contrary to popular belief,on January 20th 2017 the next battle for gun rights began. With a Republican rule of the House, the Senate, the majority of Governor’s, and the next Supreme Court pick, a considerable portion of gun owners let out a collective sigh of relief. I mean after all, the potential of another Brady bill/AWB/Clinton fiasco was surely over right? Pardon the pun but, “WE” can now ramrod anything “WE” want straight down the barrel of the court system and straight into law right? When you have the power that’s what you do, or is it?

“We The People” are in charge, we are the ones that govern decisions that have to be made by electing officials that we believe are most like-minded to ourselves. To an extent we have ourselves to blame for what we consider “wrong doing” that has been done to us. If we are to make change, first we have to determine what changes have to be made, Then organize them from highest priority to lowest,and gather support from those that believe the same. As a collective, unified body, you then make public what you stand for and hope that others will agree, thus lending their support to a worthy cause. With enough support, voices, and a correct corse of actions, concerns, fears and want for change reach the ears of the right individuals in local government. In turn those local government officials, keep working those issue further up the ladder, hopefully gaining steam and followers (such as other county’s, states, or even country’s) Finally those well-organized ideas that have come about through correct measures, hard work, and research, are taken before the ears and eyes of our highest ranking elected officials. They are discussed, then voted upon. Pretty simple huh? No place in there did I say start a riot, or grab your rifle and head to the bell tower or nothin’, I also never said just ram em’ through, it doesn’t matter what other people think (we have checks and balances for a reason). The correct way to achieve change, right wrongs, or establish new standards and laws, is to use the ground work that has been laid out before you since the drafting of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. So what does this have to do with me personally (and since its not hunting season, you know that I’m going to start talking about guns!)? Whether you want to believe it or not, we are all falling victim to a huge invisible problem called “back door gun control”. No I’m not sitting on a bean bag chair inside my underground bunker, wearing my tin-foil helmet, listening to Rage Against the Machine, with a Che Guevara black light poster in the background. I am actually speaking more from a potential business stand point then anything else. I like to paint stuff, usually stencil work on items that I personally use,  rifle stocks, coffee mugs, Nalgene water bottle’s and the like. Which got me thinking about how I could blend a couple of things that I love together and actually make a living doing it. Cerakote seemed to be the answer, selling firearms (I have gunsmith certs, albeit with a bit of a key-holed wheel house (application wise) as for variety past hunting firearms and the usual suspect pistols, plus I have sold firearms before) and making them personalized would be a ton of fun, if not entirely  lucrative. So I started looking at what it would take to become a certified Cerakote application specialist. Well it’s 2 days process, in Oregon, there is a hotel relatively close, you have to bring your own material to paint (I.E. firearms, metal coffee cups, etc.) and you must have a type 07 ffl . That’s just to have them show you how to sand blast material, cook it off, mask it down, spray it, and bake it. Up until July 22nd, 2016 you had to pay $2,250 to ITAR as well just to be able to throw paint at a receiver. Add in the cost of a decent cure oven, material, Hvlp gravity feed spray gun, blast cabinet and a ventilation system and you quickly have $15,000-$25,000 tied up with nothing to paint on and no place to do it. If you want to actually “acccurize” firearms you must have tools, and insurance, and you are going to have to pay ITAR. Unless you want to roll the dice on a $250,000+ fine and a 10 year felony charge! If you manufacture or modify any part of the firearm, you have to register with ITAR. The government wants their share, one way or the other. The more it cost you to have modifications or repairs done to your firearms (even if the up-charged cost are justified due to increased licence fee’s, and registrations) the less likely you are to have those things done.(also the less number of working firearms in circulation). “But the Government, isn’t taking your guns”, some will say. That’s Backdoor gun control at its finest.  Anyway that you can put limits on firearms without taking the firearm directly out of the owners hand, is backdoor gun control. We have all seen it before and we have also seen that fallout from it also. The easiest way to control firearms is to regulate their ammunition. Lead is still one of the main components in a bullet. Lead is harmful and potentially deadly, so the government states that since lead is so dangerous, then it has to be closely regulated, and will be outlawed in some jurisdictions. New specialized projectiles have to be created, and they cost much more to produce so the cost of the ammo reflects those inherent cost.computer chipped firearms, and micro stamped ammo, it all serves the same purpose.  In 1993 New York Senate Democrat, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, proposed that taxes  be raised to 50 percent on most handgun ammunition and 10,000 percent on 9mm hollow points. Talk about a fast talking fly-by-night dirty way to directly control what the consumer is able to buy. It is called legislating something out of existence.  If ammo cost more, you buy less, and you shoot less. Its pretty cut and dry.

So in being conscientious gun owners like we are, what can we do? First of all we can actually be knowledgable about whats going on. Here are just a few items that will (hopefully) be going to vote this year:

Separation of Powers Restoration and Second Amendment Protection Act. (H.R.4321)

This legislation blocks any executive actions that violate the Second Amendment or infringe on Congress’s Article I responsibilities.  The bill also allows for civil action to be initiated in district courts to challenge such executive actions.

National Right to Carry Reciprocity Act (H.R. 402)

This commonsense legislation allows individuals with a concealed carry permit in one state to have that permit honored in another state that allows concealed carry.

The Second Amendment Defense Act

 This commonsense bill rejects the Obama Administration’s unacceptable violations of the Second Amendment and prohibits any new executive orders that restrict the Second Amendment.

The Lawful Purpose and Self Defense Act (H.R. 2710)

This bill is endorsed by the NRA and prevents ATF from arbitrarily reclassifying popular rifle ammunition as armor-piercing ammunition.  This legislation also allows for lawful non-NFA firearm and ammunition to be imported and sold in the U.S.  This bill also prevents shotguns, shotgun shells, and larger caliber rifles from being arbitrarily reclassified as destructive devices.

The Hearing Protection Act (H.R. 3799)

This legislation removes the current unreasonable restrictions on the purchase of silencers under the National Firearms Act.  Instead, the bill requires that sound suppressors be treated as ordinary firearms and subject to the typical NICS check.

Ending Operation Choke Point

H.R. 1413, the Firearms Manufacturers and Dealers Protection Act and H.R. 766, the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act.  Each measure makes conducting or facilitating Operation Choke Point illegal. Operation Choke Point was an unconstitutional program created by the Obama Administration that put pressure on banks and payment processors to shut down industries that President Obama and Attorney General didn’t like.

Right now the ball is in our court. But if left unchecked, and untested, those values that we speak so highly of can still be taken away and the clock is ticking. If you feel strongly about the hearing protection act, speak up now why you still have the opportunity. There are currently 3 years, 11 months, 7 hours and 45 left on Our 45th President’s term. Now is the time for you to use your voice, if there are things that you don’t like or that you would like to change, organize your thoughts and speak up, write a letter to your congressmen, start a petition, do things the right way. The worse thing that you can do when placed in an advantageous situation is to grow complacent. No one can make the decisions for you about what matters, you are crafting not only your own future, but the future of every generation to come. Hold fast to your values, don’t be taken advantage of, and always watch your back.

-Grant Willoughby 2/19/2017-

 

…And the truth shall set you free…

I have said it before, and I will probably state it thousands of more times before it is all said and done… People suck! Not you or I of course, But a lot of people that we allow to share the same planet and oxygen with us. Every day a new “Johnny-come-lately” shows up on the scene and tells us something that we already know, so that we can more easily relate to them, then they will try to fill your brain with their psychobabble, As you accept and believe, they feel better, they feel powerful. Who cares how you feel or what it does to you? (Listen to “Liar” by Henry Rollins. Talk about the groundwork being laid…)

The latest and greatest “Snake Oil” scheme has everything to do with “PREPPING”, as soon as shows start coming out on the discovery channel, you can just about bet that ship has already sailed. So what do these shows do? Sell product. Period. Why else would otherwise logical people start buying shipping containers and filling them with God-knows what? Am I saying that prepping is wrong, hell no! I base most of my life on the ideals of prepping. But my theories are based of personal experience, and catered to my skill set. If given the opportunity to share my experience and theories with someone who has questions, I will gladly, by no means would I ever tell anyone I am an expert, How can someone ever be an expert in something that has no set parameters for its inception? The industry has banked on the fear of their consumers. I call it “prep-aganda”, they feed people full of extremist ideas, and show them the 1% of hard-core prepping. They make people question why they don’t have a bunker buried with enough food to feed Coxey’s army until the next apocalypse? Why don’t you have 15 crates of Mosin-Nagants, and 2 “spam can’s” of ammo for each of those rifles? Do you have a few extra 55 gallon drums lying around full of fuel that you use and replace in a piecemeal fashion? How big’s your bunker bro? People get so caught up watching how the lunatic fringe conducts business, they become worried,  thus creating “prep-paranoia”. Some people (like you and I) can see through the garbage, and sift the good out of it. But to someone who is new to the idea of self-reliance, these shows may not only overwhelm them with their over the top force feed, it may even turn them away all together. Pushing someone to a mindset where they will rely on any one other than themselves in a survival situation is  not something I want on my conscience. We as the “informed” need to give reliable information, and be helpful. We all had to start some where, and without help from those that had already learned those lessons, we would all still be in the dark and unprepared. I think one of the biggest things we can do is “de-bunker” some of the prepper myths.

  • “We all need to prep now, because  (the ozone is depleting, solar flares are coming, EMP’s, zombies, the government is corrupt… You get the picture, pick one insert it after “because”)” Prepping is not a new idea , it even talks about it in the bible: I Timothy 5:8 says. “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”, and Proverbs 21:20 states. “In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has. “ The term “prepping” is the only thing that is new. We use to call it “being a grown up”, you don’t need a have a pig farm where you harness methane gas to run your stove, or a M35 deuce and a half that runs on canola oil, the basis of the whole thing is the ability to survive with only what you have on hand. Some can survive with less, while others need more. What is truly important is having the ability to understand your potential situations, and being honest enough with yourself to plan accordingly.
  • “Buy tons of guns in common calibers, 5.56, .308, 9mm,40 s&w, 45 acp, that way you will be able to scavenge ammo if you find places where people have left. Plus the military/police pick those cartridges because they are the best…) Hell, I will be the first pot to call the kettle black on this one, I sold firearms for a living for pete’s sake. I even sold firearms during the last Obama election and the 2013 ammo shortage, And I sold a lot of guns. I may have learned quite a things also. Lets say you own all 5 calibers I mentioned above, and you are left in a world that has gone to shambles… You happen upon a house and the doors are open, you decide to walk in and look for supplies. What will you find? My bet is nothing! There are 2 reasons why a person would abandon their home, 1: They decide to leave and travel towards some destination. 2: They were looted, and probably worse. Either way you’re not going to find ammunition. If you leave under your own free will and have firearms, you will pack all that ammo with you come hell or high-water. If the house was looted, you can bet that the culprits will take whatever has value, including the ammo. When the ammo shortage set in, it was pretty safe to say that those 5 calibers mentioned above were the first to be sold out (lets not talk about .22 long rifle, that is still a point of contention for me.) 25 different slots for 9mm, and all of them empty. What was on the shelf? .327 Federal Magnum, you know why? Because no one owned one, yet. I ended up selling a few for that reason alone, there were cases of ammo, it was less than a .357 magnum, more than a .38 spl. and you get 6 shots out of a revolver, not 5. The problem really levered on people knowing that there was a shortage, and hoarding like crazy. Common calibers were first to go, but it touched every round the same. Ammunition companies had to shut down some calibers for a period of time to keep up with demands of the popular ones, either way there were a lot less boxes of ammo on the shelf. So what is the answer? For me, it is to buy a caliber that you like to shoot, that you can afford to shoot, that you can find components to reload with , and learn to reload. Look at systems like the Lee loader pistol kit, or rifle kit, they are simple small kits that allow you to reload ammunition in about 30 seconds a  round. You won’t be breaking any speed records but you will be able to reload live ammo without having to haul you reloading bench with you. Bullets, powder, primers, a small mallet and a kit that is about the same size as your favorite Jetro Tull  8-track tape.Also take a look at Trail boss powder by hodgdon, it will work in just about everything. Another great option is to buy common calibers that aren’t really in the lime-light. 30-06 is a great one, plenty of ammo options, and every place that sells guns or ammo will have it. Other good options are, 30-30 Win, 7mm Rem. Mag., .300 win Mag, .270 Win., .243 Win… and the list goes on and on.
  • “Prepper’s are anti-government, and are all preparing for the collapse of civilization.” Sure, some maybe, I however am not. I do take the stance of liking smaller government, but I thoroughly appreciate our military, and law enforcement officials. They fight to keep our country free, and our family’s safe when we can not do it for ourselves. That is heavy burden, that comes with a lot of responsibility. They deserve much gratitude. And what will cause the collapse of our civilization anyhow? Will the infrastructure just totally collapse, and the whole land will fall into complete disarray and anarchy? Will the Government decide to eradicate the whole population? I refuse to believe either. We, when placed in stressful situations, push forward into a structured society, creating laws, protecting those that need it, and crafting civilization. We did it back in 1776, and we can do it again if be, it’s the American way.

So what is the correct answer? Take care of yourself, take care of your family, perpetuate better living through knowledge, understanding and practice. If the sun burns out, what does it matter if you have 500 gallons of gas? It doesn’t! If the power goes out and the gas pumps don’t work, whats important is to have your vehicle full, and enough spare fuel to last you through the pinch, thats being practical. Practical prepping is what our forefathers did.  Living in North Idaho the potential of losing power for 3 days at a time is pretty likely (it happened last year), there for I have enough food, water, dog food, medication, gasoline and cooking fuel to keep my family (including my parents who live a couple of miles down the road) going for at least 72 hours, without experiencing any sort of real discomfort.I have enough ammo to keep me busy for a while, and enough books to keep my wind working, and learning. If we can’t continue to learn, then we are completely lost. When you learn a new trick or skill, practice it until it is perfected, then share it with others that you care about, once they have it perfected, ask them to do the same to those they care about. Share fact, not misguided opinion, be honest and be truthful. Share that truth, and the truth shall set you free.

-Grant Willoughby 01/29/2017-

 

127,872,000 Seconds….

127,872,000 seconds. That is how far your clocks have been set back. If you would rather hear it in other terms: 35,520 minutes,  or 1,480 days, or roughly 211 weeks. 4 months and 20 days. In 20 days we will have a new President of the United States.But this isn’t about him, it is about you, and I… We the People. Why then do I say that your clock has been set back 127,872,000 seconds,?

Whenever new leadership comes into office, there is always an uprising of sorts, no matter what the ballot count really is. Look at the election of 1800. John Adams vs Thomas Jefferson or should it have been Aaron Burr? Remember, Jefferson and Burr, were actually in a tie, and the House had to vote to figure out who would be the representative for the Republican Party. They dead locked and thus exposed a flaw in the early system of our young  nation (remember that the United States was shy of 4 years old at this time). Tempers flared and there was talks of disunion and civil war, even going as far as to have 2 states rise there militias and prepare to battle the Government if Jefferson didn’t win. Needless to say we were a work in progress, and in a lot of cases still are. Watch the news, look at the riots that are going on all over the country. We still have a lot of learning (and growing) to do.

Trump is not the answer to all of our questions, nor is Clinton the root of all our evils. Our candidates were just a living embodiment of there Nations people, 2 sides to the same coin. If you believe that Trump is going to be able to come in and completely fix our economy, eradicate the war on terror, and completely clean up our government in 4 years?.. Well, lets just say that we have been over-promised and under-delivered before. Do you really believe that Clinton could have outlawed all firearms, reclaimed them all and destroyed them all without a little resistance? All while single-handedly rebuilding the ozone layer, unionizing the whole United States, and providing LGBT equality and racial justice?.. I’m not saying that its impossible, but I would consider highly unlikely the biggest understatement in documented history. These are all problems that go deeper then one persons decisions.  Out of the 318,309,524 people who are currently living in the United States (as of 8:20 A.M. pst on December 31st, 2016) these were the 2 best candidates that we could muster? These were the best?  Really? We voted them in, that being said, that must be what we believe right? I think more so we came to a “T”, in the road and had to make a choice. We had to look past the people, and look at what the potential ramifications would be from our choices. We American’s (as a collective body) have become 10 ply toilet paper (soft), as opposed to making a stand, saying enough is enough and drawing a line in the sand, we hunker behind a figure that we believe will save us from ourselves. All the while forgetting that out future, our destiny, and our salvation is in our own hands and no one else’s.

In 127,872,000 Seconds… 35,520 minutes… 1,480 days… or 4 years and 20 days, where will you be? Remember 8 years ago? how about 4? The Obama administration? Were you running out to Cabelas to buy all the AR rifles and ammunition that you could find? Often times spending 2 or 3 times what retail cost were just so that you would have the opportunity to own something that you feared would become illegal. Were you scared? Did you feel helpless, and feel that you were not being represented? Right now your clock has been set back 4 years and 20 days. This is borrowed time, You have 1,480 days to prepare, not for the end of the world, but for the potential that our freedoms may once again be challenged. Do not fall victim to the scare tactics, but also don’t be blinded by time. Take an active stance about your future and your rights. Between now and then, if you get payed bi-weekly, you have roughly 105 paychecks that will come into your possession. If you alternate between rifle and pistol, and buy one box of ammunition every time you get payed, you will find that  you will have 52 boxes of one and 53 boxes of the other at the end of this time frame. That would be 1,040 rounds of rifle and 2,650 for your pistol. If you put away one dollar a day, you can afford that AR-15 that you always wanted. Were not talking that budget model that you don’t really want, but its the only one that you think you can afford. With $1,480 cash you put yourself in the market for a tricked out standard brand, or even something in the class of a Larue tactical or Daniel Defense. All for just $1 a day.  1,480 days works out to be 208 weekends, or 416 days that fall on the weekend. 416 opportunities to be outdoors, to be hunting, or fishing, or shooting. 416 opportunities to get someone new involved in your passions, and 416 chances to change someones mind about what gun-toting conservatives are really all about. Be apart of the solution, and quit being part of the flock, don’t succumb to the hysteria. We have the control, and we grant that power to them. We make the choices. 35,520 minutes and each one is precious. Spend them wisely, grow closer as a community, and tighter as a family. Use each moment to become informed about what is going on in your Country, and learn about the issues that may effect your life and livelihood. Take charge  of your destiny, and hold true to your values. Its your time, and the time is now, all 127,872,000 seconds of it.

Happy New Year.

-Grant Willoughby 12/31/2016-

Can you feel the nip in the air?

The icy wind tares at your jacket, the corners of your eyes well up with tears. “how can it be this cold, and still be raining? Shouldn’t this be snow?” You mutter quietly under your breath, no one can hear you complain, even if they could, you would receive no sympathy. Wishing for snow makes you feel like a child, you escape to your youth,waiting through late November, just hoping that it would snow. ..

You remember seeing the first few specks of those soft white crystals descending to the earth. At once you were to your feet, throwing on last years too small snow pants, that match perfectly with this years too big, hand-me-down jacket. Without tying your sorrels you were out the door and running towards the wood shed to grab your sled. There wasn’t even enough snow on the ground yet to cover the dog-doo in the yard, but you were hell bent on being the first kid in town to make a snow angel and build a snow man. You remember coming in tired and wet, shedding off the layers of wet polyester and nylon for Mom to hang around the wood stove, (we all had a pair or two of snow pants that got just a smidge too close to the fire, and we learned that not only were snow clothes warm, but also flammable 😉 ) The smell of your clothes drying (everyone remembers the smell of snow mixed with sweat that fills the house after a good snow day), the taste of hot cocoa, the warmth… oh the warmth of the wood stove, nothing has ever compared with the assurance of a tamarack stoked wood fire. No matter what was for dinner, it was  the tastiest thing that you had ever eaten. Everything about snow felt like a new beginning, it made everything look fresh and untouched, and even as a small child you started to understand what beauty actually is. Like miniature diamond that covered the land and twinkled just for you…

But there is no escaping this rain, it soaks down through your clothes and into your soul. It permeates your whole existence. You can feel your bones start to chill, and your muscles tighten like steel cables coiled too tightly, You need to get up and move, “get the juices goin again”, but you know that it won’t help, Maybe the lack of circulation from being hunkered down, blocks out the shivers you know will surely be setting in shortly. Plus standing up and walking around just isn’t an option, you haven’t been out here since 0’dark-thirty, wet and freezing, to give up now. You hear the faintest whisper,”30 minutes”. The excitement is short lived, as you try to go through your mental check-list… check, check, check, check, check… You are as ready as you will ever be, but now what to do with the other 29 minutes. Don’t think about how cold you are, or how the wind slices through your already soaked jacket like Boreas’ straight-razor. Don’t think about how you could be wrapped up in a warm blanket, cozy in your own bed.”15 minutes, load em up” False dawn has already been on you for 20 minutes, and you know that within the hour the sun will be creeping above the dark timber on the far ridge, “5 minutes, good luck”. No more words are spoken, only nods given with grease smeared faces. All eyes fall to the mud, and all thoughts go to the task at hand. At once the world comes alive, where before you only heard wind and rain, and all you saw was black. Now you see silhouettes, the darkness isn’t black at all. Dark greens, blues and purples explode into your peripheral. “What is that noise?” Its almost deafening, its coming from the left, But you dare not turn your eyes to the sky. “Relax” you keep telling yourself. “Take em boys!” All at once you can no longer feel the cold, the rain seems to stop and everyone jumps to their feet. Orange plumes erupt from the end of camo barrels,  12 gauge shotgun shells  welcoming the morning Sun. You snick off the safety as you notice one flying low that some how has survived the volley of fire. With the first round you tear the water apart a full yard behind him. “If they fly fast, you have to swing faster” you remind yourself. Even before  you touch off the second round, you know that your aim is true, and look to cover the next one in line. “3 o’clock headed away” you hear the call and swing to meet it, squeezing the trigger before you even catch up to the target “follow through, follow through” pounds into your brain as you watch the shot string overcome the second  target. Before the third shotgun hull hits the mud at your feet, you can see both ducks, feet up, peddling towards the sky, as smoke rises from your barrel. The Dogs excitement is uncontrollable, as you loose them from their leads, at full speed they jump into the 40 degree water bawling with enjoyment. “fetch em up boys, fetch em up” as the birds come to shore, and the labs shake the frigid water out of there coats, many high fives and congratulation are exchanged. You lay the birds onto the shore and admire them closely with many thanks, smoothing their feathers and admiring their beauty. You look up just in time to see the sun break cover, then look back down at your harvest. What just landed on that mallards beak? The first lone snow flake, like a miniature diamond twinkling just for you…

-Grant Willoughby 10/29/2016-

Suns out… Guns out…

I apologize that there wasn’t a blog last week… Last weekend we were all out and about at the gun show  in Post falls. Thanks to all the members that came out and chit-chatted with us, and a big thank you to all the new friends that we made. It is always fun when you can spend a little time talking all things freedom with some good, like minded people. While I am at it, there won’t be a blog next week either, Kris, Brad , Ellen and myself are headed down to elk camp for the weekend in hopes of putting a little meat in the freezer, and were going to try to get some new videos done for you guys too, a lot of that just levers on how good the hunting is.

With that being said I will try to keep this short.

What I learned at the gun show:

  1. It is stupid to have a gun show where vendors are not allowed to carry. If you haven’t been to one in a while, they may surprise you.Some vendors will have literally $150,000-$200,000 in firearms on display, not to mention countless amounts of ammo and accessories, The fact that event organizers will not allow them to carry there side arm seems a little strange. Even though we brought no firearms to sell this time, (remember PWP now has a class 7 FFL, we will be building some AR’s. And remember by joining PWP Kris will do FFL transfers for $15 cheaper then anyone else out there. Yet another perk to joining.) we still had our cash box for decals, shirts and memberships. That’s a couple hundred bucks that is just sitting there, and by the rules of the gun show, any firearm that entered the building had to be unloaded and safety checked. I understand there reasoning, and with Kris and Brad’s affinity for all things fixed blade, I never felt vulnerable, but it just didn’t make sense to me.
  2. There are plenty of guns out on the market, and there are deals to be had if your  patient. We had a table right across from us that had a Windham Weaponry SRC carbon 15 new in case (if you don’t know much about Windham rifles, read up on them a bit, its a pretty cool story, and each of there rifles comes with a 30 round PMAG, Hard case and a lock. On top of that if you buy a Windham at Cabelas, both companies donate to the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) for their Outdoor Recreation Heritage Fund (ORHF).  The ORHF provides for many different programs that take disabled American veterans hunting, fishing, recreational shooting and more.) Any way, these rifles can be had for right around $850 (cheaper on-line) every day. That being said, that rifle sat on the table across from us for a whole day with a price sticker of $585 on it. By Sunday they decided to sweeten the deal a bit with an extra G.I. mag, and 3 boxes of P-TAC ammo. They also dropped the price to $500. It still sat there until the end of the show when someone offered him $450 cash. Am I saying that the cost of firearms has dropped across the board? Hell no. But on some firearms, if you are willing to be patient, there are still some deals out there.
  3. Keep your guns! My Dad bought the 7 1/2″ Ruger Super Blackhawk .44 Mag that I woods carry, around 20 years ago for $230. The retail on them now is $850 dollars, the cheapest ones at a gun show are 500 bucks, with most riding between $550-$700. The same can be said for all of the classic rifles and side-arms. Have you seen what a Smith and Wesson 629 goes for? How about a pre-64 Winchester model 70? It will make your head spin. Should you buy up any old gun that you see for cheap because it will be worth a ton of money? It’s your money and you can do with it what you will, but I think it doesn’t hurt for a guy to be a little research and have a few cards up his sleeve when he goes to any event where firearms may be seen. Check out books like the “Blue book of gun values“, and for those of you that have smart phones (I know, I know, I’m the only person still rocking the flip phone) you can download an app like “New Gun Digest” it cost you $20 a year, but it will instantly put correct information at your finger tips. Notice I said any event where firearms may be seen, some of your best bargains on firearms don’t come from gun shows at all, they come from garage and estate sales, next time your out with the fam and pass by a garage sale where you see outdoor stuff, stop and talk with the people, within minutes you will have a pretty good feel for them, and just ask the simple question “are you guys selling any firearms, or anything like that?” A lot of times, you will get the reply, “well we weren’t really thinking about it, but yeah we have a couple that have just been collecting dust for years.” You never know what they may have, or what they may want for them. But the best thing you can do is not sell your firearms, I know that its tempting to thin the heard a bit, and recoup funds to finance something else, but just be really picky about what you are willing to part with, shortly down the road you may wish you had it back, or be kicking yourself when your trying to replace it.
  4. You really don’t need to wear your tac-vest and mean mug to the gun show. Seriously! Its one thing if you buy one at the show, and put it on because you don’t want to carry it around the whole time. Its another when you walk in off the street with more gear on then most swat teams are issued. Double leg rigs, 6 extra mags, taser, a Scottish claymore mounted vertically on molle locks, and God knows what else. Then to top it off, you walk around all smug faced turning your nose up at everything. That isn’t cool man, and you aren’t impressing anyone. If you want to impress me, turn the machismo down a bit, and use your “expertise” to help somebody else, if someone is trying to get a drop leg rig and looks a little confused, ask if you can give a little advise. Smile, laugh, and enjoy the company. If you,  don’t like to be in the company of others, or feel that you need enough tactical gear to fight off an oncoming hoard of zombies, stay at home, or in your shipping container, or wherever it is that you “combat nap” at.

In all seriousness though, The gun show was a lot of fun. And thanks to all of you who came out, you meet some of the coolest people at social gatherings like that. Not only do you make friendships, but you also make contacts and connections, its networking face to face, not over the internet.And maybe what we should start going her at PWP, is to start a (now I’m really going to be dating myself) a Rolodex of information for companies that we use. If you are too young to know what a Rolodex is ill try to explain it.It was pretty much a trial size ferris wheel that sat on your desk, and you used it to organize business cards in alphabetical order, each card had the name of the business, there address, and phone number, and a lot of times people would pen in the name of who they talked to at the company, as to be able to personalize better with them when the called again. (think the contacts area in your smart phone) No apps, or avatars of anything. kind of lame by today’s standards, but hey it works. We have contacts from all over that we use on everything from gun projects and  sheath making, to plumbers and dog breeders  They are companies that we trust.  For example, if you are in need of a good gunsmith, or reloading supplies (this guy has TONS of powder, primers, brass, you name it, he has it) go see Hunter at Brown Dog Gunsmithing, hes a hell of a nice guy and his shop is in Athol. If you need some leather work done, custom holsters to dog collars, give Barbed Wire leather in Pinehurst a call, she can make just about anything that you can imagine, and she is affordable.Looking for a waterfowl dog, look no further then Northwood Retrievers (based out of Athol), Will and Brandy are great people and they breed and train the best dogs that I have ever hunted over. These are just three examples of people that I have built relationships with, If you have companies (especially local ones) that have done you right, send us a link and maybe we can post and share that info, theirs nothing worse then being in a time of need and not having someone that you can trust. Take care everybody,and if your headed out for opening day, be careful and may all your shots find there mark.

-Grant Willoughby 10/9/2016-

today…

Thursday morning I was thinking about what I was going to write for you guys this week. Should I do that story I had been planning about suburban horticulture and how you can utilize your back yard as a grocery store? Should I go off on a crazy tangent about how cooking with cast iron is the only way to go, and how no non-stick pan ever created can give you the elegance of 50 year old cast? What about a write up about the AR-15, and its potential to be one rifle with infinite uses? How about the correct way to site in a rifle, or sharpen a knife, or how to get in shape for archery season? All ideas seemed valid, They could be informative, funny and most of all, they could give you and I an escape from the world outside our window’s. But then I woke up Friday morning and turned on the news… Any hopes of escaping the outside world have disappeared. This issue has been growing for along time now, and we have all seen the writing on the wall. People have decided which side of the fence they wish to stand on. That is our right, and I am not going to speak to that point… Per se. But I am going to talk about the facts though, in all there gory details. We need to be informed, and we have to be smart with our actions. Let’s see how this one works out, If I offend you with what I have written, I am truly sorry, and if you want to leave a comment, I will do my best to address whatever the problem may be. But lets get down to the nitty gritty.

Racism is wrong. Mass shootings are wrong. Living in fear is wrong. We are currently living in a situation where all three of these wrongs are totally acceptable, every one believes that they are more important then the man sitting next to them. We have lost the ability to stand as one united front. But why? Well lets just take those three wrongs and see what happens when we give them a closer look.

Racism is wrong.  We all know this, and for the most part, we all live by this. We as human beings, and citizens of the United States of America, are all granted protection EQUALLY from discrimination, no matter what our race, color or creed. Know how I know? Its in the Constitution, The 14th amendment to be exact. You know, That same historical doctrine that is constantly trying to be dismantled. Its truly a shame too, because that “piece of paper” is the basis for our freedom, It single-handedly draws a line in the sand, that separates us from the rest of world. Our side is freedom, tolerance, and hope… Then there is the other side. People have no problem trying to take out the 2nd amendment, but there is no way that they would even consider doing it to the 14th. I guess “shall not be infringed upon” only counts if its something that you personally believe in huh? Not this guy, Our Forefathers wrote them all down for a reason, because they work, and because they are ALL needed to insure Our freedom. “But Police officers all over the country are discriminating against African American’s daily. There were 2 officer involved shootings just this week”. Yes there were two shootings this week, Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, and both of those losses are tragic to say the least, and without having personally witnessed either I will keep my opinion’s to myself. Were the law enforcement officials acting exactly correct in both situations? Like i said before, I don’t like to give opinions without more information then what I have. Could the officers have made a mistake? Sure, in the heat of the moment, with an ultra-high stress situation taking place, it is possible. But like I said, I wasn’t there and I don’t know all the details. Did you know that a white unarmed male was shot by police in Fresno, his name was Dylan Noble, and he was 19 years old? I didn’t either, because the news didn’t cover that one, its the same situation, I was not there and in so I don’t know what could have been done or if the situation transpired correctly or not. What I do know are some facts. In the last week,  Americans lost there lives to gunfire, and that is truly heart breaking. I, as a responsible firearms owner, hate to see guns used in that manner. It sounds weird to some, but I have reached a true balance with my firearms. They have as little meaning, and as much meaning as I am willing to put into them. They are only a tool, a tool that allows me to provide food for my family, to protect them, if God forbid, something happens, and to provide me with recreation and fellowship with those in my life that share the same feeling. Many people own pens, and with those pens they have written hateful, horrible things. But others also own pens, and have done beautiful things. A Bad craftsmen always blames the tool right? So here are the facts about officer involved shootings brought to you by Heather Mac Donald, from her book  “Are Cops Racist”.

  1. Cops killed nearly twice as many whites as blacks in 2015. Wait a minute here, we don’t see this on the news at all. 50% of all cop shooting victims are white. 26% are African American. Those are actual stats for the year 2015.
  2. More whites and Hispanics die from police homicides than blacks. Whites and Hispanics account for around 12% of the homicides due to officer shootings. African American’s account for 4%. Percentages are just numbers, every life matters and is important. White, black, brown ,color doesn’t matter,but the lives do.
  3.  Unarmed black men are more likely to die by the gun of a cop than an unarmed white man. But if you look at what else the report shows you might be surprised at what constitutes  “unarmed”.  If an assailant tries to wrestle the gun away from a police officer, or has taken the officers night stick and is using it against him, he is technically “unarmed” If they didn’t enter the conflict with a weapon, they are classified as unarmed. Stray bullets also count against this total, in situations where an officer was justified to take a shot, and a bullet either passed through or struck a bystander, it also counts towards the unarmed statistic.
  4. Black and Hispanic police officers are more likely to fire a gun at blacks than white officers. This statistic was actually discovered by a criminologist at the University of Pennsylvania by the name of Gary Ridgeway. He concluded that in Philadelphia, according to the Department of justice in 2015, a black officer was 3.3 times more likely to fire his service weapon then any other officer at the scene.
  5. Blacks are more likely to kill cops than be killed by cops. According to the FBI, 40% of cop killers are African American. In fact a police officer is 18.5 times more likely to be killed by an African american, then he is to kill one who is unarmed.

What else has happened, that hasn’t gotten much media publicity, is what has been termed “the Furgusen effect”. The Furgusen effect states that law enforcement official have become reluctant to police certain areas for fear that they will be labeled racist.There fear for there own lives, as well as the lives of there own family’s,  has made it so that they cannot do the job that they were sworn to do. TO SERVE AND PROTECT. In 50 of the largest cities in the US, the murder rate has spiked 17%, and you can’t tell me that  has nothing to do with the absence of a police officer presence.

What is really important to remember is that racism isn’t just an action that take place where a Caucasian treats someone of another race poorly, racism is the action of treating someone of a different race differently because they are different then you. If you don’t believe it go to another country, or even a different area in the United States. In Mexico were “gringos”, in Hawaii were “haoles”, in the south, (and strangely enough in Canada) we are called “Yanks” or “Yankees”. Technically that is being racist. Even if you treat someone nicer then you need to just because they are different then you, that is racism too.  It’s pretty sad, but it is the truth. And we have to remember that police officers are just like us, some of us are nice polite individuals that have nothing more then the best of intentions at heart. Others do not. But, law enforcement officials deal with a different assortment of people then most of us do. Can you imagine going to your job everyday, knowing that 95% of the people you are dealing with are going to lie to you? As soon as you get pulled over you immediately start calculating your story. “well I was late for this or that”, or “I got new tires and they must cause my  speedometer to be off”, no one just says, “yep I know that it is a 35 mph zone, but I just felt the need to do 47 mph, my bad”. To me ,that would be pretty hard to deal with on a day to day basis.  That doesn’t even take into account the risks that they face everyday just doing there job. If you work at a machine shop, you have the potential to have mill or lathe slip, and potentially you could be injured, but you can use the safety clamps and tilt the scale in your favor . I work at a beer distributor, yes I could have a keg fall and potentially crush me, but there is a safety cage that covers our forklifts, so in the rare occasion that a keg falls the potential of bodily harm is very unlikely. If you are a police officer, your job is filled with potential for bodily harm or death. A routine traffic stop can become anything but routine quickly, all it takes is someone not paying attention, or taking there eyes off the road for a second and you could be struck by there vehicle, or worse, someone could have something inside the vehicle that they feel the need to protect (I.E. drugs, weapons, they fact they have been drinking etc.) and they decide to use there weapon, (be it hand held or the vehicle itself) to take the police officer out of the situation, in order to save themselves. That is a true worry, and completely terrifying to me. The stress level would have to be incredible.

Mass shootings are wrong. I shouldn’t even have to type that. The idea of going on a “shooting spree” is so foreign to me that it is really hard for me to wrap my head around it. So far this year, according to the mass shooting tracker, there have been 229 multiple shootings, accounting for 841 injuries and 337 deaths. What in the Hell is this world coming to? When did it become common practice for someone to feel like they had been slighted by the system, or to get there feelings hurt, and instantly go directly to the idea of inflicting death and destruction upon others? Call it what you want, but I call it terrorism, and in all reality, how far away is the idea of racism and the idea of terrorism? They seem like one in the same to me. Both are loosely based, one way or another, on the idea of invoking fear or “terror” by means of threatening, or actually using violence, as a way of achieving  religious, political, or ideological goals. What a sad existence it is where people have to live in fear that someone is going to be so fragile and so broken that the only way that they feel they will be heard is to start popping off rounds at a peaceful protest, or a school, or into a random hotel or mall. If that is the way that our civilization is going, I don’t want to be a part of it any more. If you feel that you have been mistreated, do something about it. I am sure that you are not the only one. Stand up, and use your words not your bullets. Build a better world for those that feel the same way you do. Get help, unite, and stand strong together.

Living in fear is wrong. I really believe that this one goes without saying. People should be able to walk down the street, or spend time with there family’s without having to have an escape plan for all of there activities. I make a personal choice everyday to be more observant of my surroundings then I probably need to be. My feeling is that I like to know whats going on around me at all times. In the words of Jeff cooper, I go about my day in condition “yellow”, which pretty much means that my eyes are always surveying, and my ears are always alert. Since I make the choice to carry, I also have to be more aware of my surroundings . But I don’t do all this because I live in fear, I do it because I strive to be prepared. We as Americans, should be able to live our lives without fear, our Constitution grants us liberties that no other country has. Our ground work was laid so that we could venture out into this beautiful country, free of the burden that other country’s have to endure. Living in fear, is really not living at all. We, even in times of hardship, must stand tall as a nation. We must walk proudly, banded together, knowing that we can conquer all things, But only if we do it together. Each one of us important, each one of us is special, and each one of us is an integral component in this super machine that we call freedom. I want to make this world a better place for my family, my Son,and for you. Will you stand with me?

-Grant Willoughby 7/10/2016-