Massachusetts Paul Delegates Challenge GOP Ouster

BOSTON, (UPI) — Sixteen Republicans elected to represent Massachusetts at the Republican convention have formally challenged the state party’s decision to oust them.

In a letter to the national committee, the 16 delegates — all supporters of Texas Rep. Ron Paul — said the Massachusetts Republican Party “changed the rules” when it disqualified them, the Boston Globe reported Monday.

The delegates were elected in April caucuses when they defeated many of Romney’s chosen delegates.

The filing starts a formal process for the would-be delegates, who hope to convince national GOP officials they were unfairly disqualified from the Republican National Convention Aug. 27-30 in Tampa, Fla.

An RNC committee is expected to consider the challenge by mid-August, the Globe said, but a decision isn’t expected until the week before the convention. Any appeal could be considered by the convention’s credentials committee when the event begins.

Supporters of Paul, who has stopped campaigning for his party’s nomination, said they still hope for a large presence at the convention.

In their letter, the “Liberty” delegates say they were properly elected in April, but disqualified after they didn’t provide timely affidavits pledging their support to Romney. They argue that the affidavits were not included in state or federal rules and that they got them “less than one week before an arbitrary deadline” to return them notarized, the Globe said. While some met the deadline, others missed it and some filed an affidavit in which they promised to follow the state’s rules, not pledging to support Romney by name.

The state GOP determined it had just cause to disqualify the delegates, replacing them with 16 others, the challenge said.

One national Republican leader knowledgeable of the situation told the Globe he thinks the Paul supporters don’t intend to support Romney, but cause trouble at the convention.

“If they’re not willing to say that, that’s their prerogative,” the official said. “But clearly they’re not Mitt Romney delegates.”

“It’s a really awkward situation. A lot of them are trying to get guest passes with the other Liberty delegates,” Brad Wyatt, one of the disqualified delegates, told the Globe. “We’re cautiously optimistic that we’ll get some good decisions.”

Britain Hangs On To AAA Credit Rating

LONDON (UPI) — Standard and Poor’s said it was maintaining Great Britain’s AAA credit rating in anticipation of an economic upswing.

The ratings agency said that while the British economy had dipped into a recession earlier this year, the second half was looking better due to progress in controlling the national debt.

“The stable outlook reflects our expectation that the U.K. government will implement the bulk of its fiscal consolidation program and that the economy should recover in the remainder of 2012 and strengthen thereafter,” S-and-P said in a written statement.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne called S&P’s move a vote of confidence in Britain’s economic policy, the BBC said Saturday.

“The deficit has fallen by a quarter; inflation has fallen by half; employment is rising, with British businesses creating over 800,000 new jobs; and the economy is re-balancing, with Britain now exporting more to the rest of the world than Europe,” Osborne said.

The Daily Telegraph said S&P issued its analysis just days after relatively disappointing growth figures that showed a slight economic contraction between April and June.

Dozen Rescued After Theme Park Ride Stalls

VALLEJO, Calif., (UPI) — About a dozen people were stuck mid-air when Superman stopped flying at a California theme park.

Riders on the Superman Ultimate Flight rollercoaster were left 150 feet in the air for about two hours when the ride stopped, the Vallejo Times Herald reported.

The riders, in two cars of six, were upright when Superman stalled about 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

The ride, which opened at Six Flags in Vallejo June 30, travels as fast as 62 mph.

Firefighters were called to assist in the rescue, and a crane with a personnel bucket lifted water to the stranded riders.

At one point, the riders appeared to try to shake the cars to loosen them and get them moving again. However, that action did not succeed.

Fire officials said they were prepared to lower the passengers one at a time in the bucket if necessary. However, a mechanic was able to restart the ride, which traveled backward and returned the riders safely to the ground.

It was not immediately known what caused the cars to stop. Park officials said the ride would be closed until a safety inspection could be conducted.

Prolonged Sun Can Cause Tissue On Cornea

DALLAS (UPI) — The surface of the eye and the cornea are particularly vulnerable to the sun’s rays and that’s why a U.S. eye expert recommends everyone use sunglasses.

Dr. V. Vinod Mootha, a specialist in cornea, external disease, refractive and cataract surgery, said sunglasses should be used by adults and children when outdoors for prolonged periods of time.

“Excessive exposure may increase the risk for the formation of a fleshy tissue over the cornea, some forms of cataract, and possibly macular degeneration,” Mootha said in a statement. “For eyeglass wearers, polycarbonate lenses, which are thin and shatterproof, offer protection from ultraviolet radiation.”

Ultraviolet B — shortwave — exposure is higher on sunny days, especially at noon, and low-ozone days. UVB, the chief cause of skin reddening and sunburn, tends to damage the skin’s more superficial epidermal layers.

It plays a key role in the development of skin cancer and a contributory role in tanning and photoaging. Its intensity varies by season, location, and time of day — during the U.S. summer the most significant amount of UVB hits the between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Mootha says some sunlight is good for people, but common sense should be a guide for limiting exposure time while minimizing the chance of damage to eyes.

Meditation Reduces Loneliness

PITTSBURGH (UPI) — U.S. researchers said they have the first evidence that mindfulness meditation reduces loneliness in older adults.

Study leader J. David Creswell of Carnegie Mellon University also found that mindfulness meditation — a 2,500-year-old practice dating back to Buddha that focuses on creating an attentive awareness of the present moment — lowered inflammation levels, which is believed to promote the development and progression of many diseases such as diabetes.

“We always tell people to quit smoking for health reasons, but rarely do we think about loneliness in the same way,” Creswell said in a statement. “We know that loneliness is a major risk factor for health problems and mortality in older adults. This research suggests that mindfulness meditation training is a promising intervention for improving the health of older adults.”

The research team recruited 40 healthy adults age 55-85, who indicated an interest in learning mindfulness meditation techniques. Each person was assessed at the beginning and end of the study using an established loneliness scale. Blood samples also were collected.

The participants were randomly assigned to receive either the eight-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction  program — noticing sensations and working on breathing — or no treatment.

The study, published in Brain, Behavior & Immunity, found eight weeks of the mindfulness meditation training decreased the participants’ loneliness and reduced the pro-inflammatory response.

Mom-To-Be Diet Tied To Child Hypertension

GALVESTON, Texas (UPI) — The offspring of mothers on a low-protein diet are more likely to develop hypertension as adults, U.S. researchers say.

Drs. Haijun Gao, Uma Yallampalli and Chandra Yallampalli of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston said in rats, the high maternal testosterone levels associated with a low-protein diet are caused by reduced activity of an enzyme that inactivates testosterone.

This increased testosterone reaches the fetus and increases the offspring’s susceptibility to adulthood hypertension.

The researchers hypothesized the increased testosterone levels were caused either by increased activity of an enzyme that produces testosterone or by decreased activity of an enzyme that reduces testosterone, specifically Hsd17b2, which converts testosterone to a less potent androgen, androstenedione.

The team found that Hsd17b2 expression in rats was affected by protein restriction in two parts of the placenta.

The researchers propose the reduction in Hsd17b2 expression might allow more testosterone to reach the fetus and play a role in fetal programming of hypertension.

The findings are scheduled to be presented at the Society for the Study of Reproduction’s annual meeting at State College, Pa.

Britain Begins Formal Libor Review

LONDON (UPI) — One of Britain’s top banking regulators said the process of setting the London interbank offered rate or Libor was under review.

“It is clear that urgent reform of the Libor compilation process is required,” said Martin Wheatley, managing director of the Financial Services Authority.

“Such reform may include amendments to the technical definitions used for Libor, the associated governance framework and the role of official regulation,” Wheatley said.

The New York Times reported that an official review of the Libor by the FSA began Monday.

The Libor, which is the average interest rate banks pay each other for short-term loans, as reported to the British Bankers Association, has been the subject of intense scrutiny and regulators the subjects of harsh criticism since it was announced in June that British bank Barclays would pay a $450 million settlement to end charges that it tried to manipulate the Libor.

Bank e-mails openly discussed various bank officers manipulating the bank’s figures. With a low rate, a bank appears healthier to investors and regulators, an incentive for banks to send in a low number.

But the Libor is an important benchmark rate used to set the rate on an estimated $3.5 trillion in consumer and personal loans.

The FSA said their review would be made public by October.

After the controversy broke, the European Commission said it would outlaw Libor manipulation.

U.S. regulators were also involved in the Barclays settlement. Last week, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was questioned by members of the House Committee on Financial Services on his response to finding out about Libor manipulation as far back as 2008.

“We took the initiative to bring … concerns to the broader regulatory community. I believe we did the necessary and appropriate thing very early in the process,” Geithner said.

Anti-Fracking Rally Targets Washington

WASHINGTON (UPI) — Anti-fracking protesters joined ranks for a march and rally in Washington, ending at the U.S. Capitol, calling their movement a “Stop the Frack Attack.”

“I got involved in the rally because I feel very passionately that fracking is a risk to West Virginia, said Fiona Druge, one of the rally’s organizers, WBOY.com of West Virginia reported.

CNN reported Monday that thousands, gathering at the West Lawn of the Capitol, showed a unified front against the controversial drilling technique for natural gas, that many say is a danger to underground water reserves.

John Krohn, a spokesman for Energy in Depth, which supports fracking, said police told them the crowd numbered about 1,500.

He said, “it seems there is a significant lack of support to limit this technology that is supporting the U.S. economy, creating millions of jobs and is enabling the U.S. to lead the world in carbon reductions.”

Protesters for the weekend rally traveled from North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Texas, Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, Ohio, North Carolina, West Virginia, Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Vermont, Indiana, Illinois, New Jersey, California, and likely more, CNN reported.

“I’ve seen the effects. I’ve grown up with the effects. This started when I was in 6th grade and I just now graduated high school. I feel it’s important I share the harmful effects that happened to me personally,” said Kelly Humphreys, one of the speakers.

Her father, Ricky Humphreys, said the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection granted permits for four wells on his property, despite his opposition to the drilling process.

“My opposition was overshadowed,” he said.

 

U.S. Sesame Seed Allergy Cases Rising

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (UPI) — The most common allergens are peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, eggs, milk, fish and shellfish, but allergies to sesame seeds are on the rise, a U.S. expert says.

“A 2005 study published in Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, named sesame allergy a ‘significant, serious and growing problem,'” said Phil Lempert, a food industry analyst, trend watcher and creator of supermarketguru.com. “It’s the No. 3 allergen in Israel, where children are commonly fed nutritious sesame products for protein and iron. In Australia, it’s considered the No. 4 biggest allergen, and Canada and the European Commission require sesame to be listed as an allergen on all food labels.”

However, in the United States, sesame is not considered one of the top allergens and is not required to be declared on food labels posing.

One possible reason for the sesame allergy increase is that more Americans are eating more sesame products than before; research demonstrated the more common a food becomes in the every day diet, the more people will report an allergy, Lempert said.

“Today sesame is not just found on hamburger buns, but the growing popularity of hummus, falafel, granola, bread sticks, cookies, salad dressing, Asian noodles, some spices and flavorings has pushed sesame into our everyday eats,” Lempert said.

It can also be found in unexpected places such as tomato sauce, hand cream and lipstick, Lempert said.

Since labeling is not required that allergic to sesame seeds should avoid: Benne/benne seed/benniseed, gomasio sesame salt, halvah, hummus, sesame oil, sesamol/sesamolina, sesamum indicum, sim sim, tahini and vegetable oil.

Tick Bite May Cause Red Meat Allergy

RICHMOND, Va. (UPI) — People who have been bitten by a tick, may develop an allergy to red meat, U.S. researchers say.

Dr. Susan Wolver and Dr. Diane Sun of Virginia Commonwealth University said delayed anaphylaxis — a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction — to meat is a new syndrome identified initially in the southeastern United States.

Patients may wake up in the middle of the night, with hives or anaphylaxis — a life-threatening type of allergic reaction — 3-6 hours after having eaten red meat for dinner.

Wolver, Sun and colleagues analyzed three patient case studies and said the reaction might be caused by antibodies to a carbohydrate — alpha-gal — that were produced in a patient’s blood in response to a Lone Star tick bite.

This carbohydrate substance is also present in meat, so when an individual who has been bitten by a tick eats the meat, his or her immune system activates the release of histamine in response to the presence of alpha-gal, which can cause hives and anaphylaxis, the researchers said.

“Where ticks are endemic, for example in the southeastern United States, clinicians should be aware of this new syndrome when presented with a case of anaphylaxis,” Wolver said in a statement. “Current guidance is to counsel patients to avoid all mammalian meat — beef, pork, lamb and venison.”

The findings were published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Music Today Bland, But Louder

BARCELONA, Spain (UPI) — Researchers in Spain analyzed 464,411 songs, including rock, pop, hip hop, heavy metal and other styles, and found music blander, but louder.

Study leader Joan Serra, a researcher at the Institute of Artificial Intelligence Research at the National Research Council, said a computer analysis was performed on songs from a public database of more than 1 million songs recorded from 1955 to 2010, produced by Columbia University.

The latest songs have a lower diversity of timbres, tend to be interpreted with the same instruments and follow predictable paths.

“These musical parameters in the songs are like the words of a text and found that there are fewer different words,” Serra said in a statement.

Instead of complex chord progressions, the musical notes follow an easy progression, making it easy to predict where the song is going, the study said.

In the 1960s, there was more experimentation with chords, rhythm and instrumentation. However, the songs today are louder. Another trend is the gradual increase of the intrinsic volume recorded, Serra said.

“The simple chord changes, common tools and strong volume are the ingredients of today’s music, make these changes on older songs can make them sound new,” Serra said.

The findings were published in Scientific Reports.

Responsible Gun Owners, Obama Nothing Alike

Last week, President Barack Obama was criticized for suggesting that American gun owners would agree with him that firearms such as AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not criminals, during a speech before the National Urban League.

While he did not say it directly, the President’s remarks are indicative of a veiled push by Federal officials to reinstate the assault weapons ban that expired under President George W. Bush. This is not a new goal of the Administration.

From a 2008 Obama campaign document:

As a long-time resident and elected official of Chicago, Barack Obama has seen the impact of fully automatic weapons in the hands of criminals. Thus, Senator Obama supports making permanent the expired federal Assault Weapon Ban. These weapons, such as AK-47s, belong on foreign battlefields and not on our streets. These are also not weapons that are used by hunters and sportsmen.

In his speech last Wednesday, Obama, using the Aurora, Colo. massacre as an opportunity, reiterated his view on assault rifles. “I — like most Americans — believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual the right to bear arms,” Obama said. “I think we recognize the traditions of gun ownership passed on from generation to generation, that hunting and shooting are part of a cherished national heritage.

“But I also believe that a lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers and not in the hands of crooks. They belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities,” he added.

“When there’s an extraordinarily heartbreaking tragedy like the one we saw, there’s always an outcry immediately after for action,” Obama said. “There’s talk of new reforms. There’s talk of legislation. And too often those efforts are defeated by politics and by lobbying and eventually by the pull of our collective attention elsewhere. But what I said in the wake of Tucson is we’re going to stay on this persistently.”

Conservative columnists pounced on Obama’s use of AK-47s — synonymous with rebellions, communists and terror, as well as the chosen weapon of many American enemies — as an example. The American military has little or no tactical use relationship with the mentioned weapon.

It was also pointed out by many gun enthusiasts that of course violent criminals and the mentally unstable should be weeded out in a vetting process leading up to firearms purchases, and they often are. Even with systems designed to keep firearms out of the hands of people with criminal intentions, some people argue that without the ability to read minds anomalies like James Holmes (no serious criminal record, no reason “for him to be on anyone’s radar”) would still exist. Stricter gun laws would still fail at times. The fail-safe prevention, they say, would be the impossible: complete elimination of every single firearm in the world.

For anyone seeking irony in Obama’s remarks, it was likely easily found. Especially so if they consider the recent controversy surrounding the President’s own Department of Justice and its Fast and Furious initiative. Evidently, officials in that Department disregarded the White House memo about AK-47s belonging on the battlefield when they urged gun sellers to disregard the check system put in place to keep guns out of the hands of criminals;they allowed 2,000 Ak-47s and .50 caliber rifles, among others, to “walk” into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. Many gun sellers initially reported to the government suspicious activities like “ordering large numbers of AK-47 variant rifles and other so-called ‘weapons of choice’ used by the Mexican drug cartels, and paying with large sums of cash brought in a paper bag.” But in 2009, they were told to allow the sales and that government officials had it under control and were “tracking” the weapons. On Dec. 14, 2010, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was shot in the back by the member of a Mexican drug cartel with an AK-47 provided through the Federal government’s “gun walking.”

Here are some other results of the initiative from the Justice Department:

One AK-47 type assault rifle purchased by a Fast and Furious suspect was recovered Nov. 14, 2009 in Atoyac de Alvarez, Mexico after the Mexican military rescued a kidnap victim.

On July 1, 2010, two AK-47 type assault rifles purchased by Fast and Furious suspects were recovered in Sonora, Mexico after a shootout between cartels. Two murders were reported in the incident using the weapons.

On July 26, 2010, a giant .50 caliber Barrett rifle purchased by a Fast and Furious suspect was recovered in Durango, Mexico after apparently having been fired. No further details of the incident were given.

On Aug. 13, 2010, two AK-47 type assault rifles purchased by a Fast and Furious target were recovered in Durango, Mexico after a confrontation between the Mexican military and an “armed group.”

On Nov. 14, 2010, two AK-47 type assault rifles purchased by Fast and Furious targets were recovered in Chihuahua, Mexico after  “the kidnapping of two individuals and the murder of a family member of a Mexican public official.” Sources tell CBS News they believe this is a reference to a case we previously reported on: the terrorist kidnapping, torture and murder of Mario Gonzalez Rodriguez. Rodriguez was the brother of then-attorney general Patricia Gonzalez Rodriguez. The terrorists released video of Rodriguez before his death, in handcuffs surrounded by hooded gunmen.

On May 27, 2011, three AK-47 type assault rifles purchased by Fast and Furious targets were recovered in Jalisco, Mexico after having been fired. No other details of the incident were provided, but the date and location match with another incident previously reported by CBS News. On May 27 near Jalisto, cartel members fired upon a Mexican government helicopter, forcing it to make an emergency landing. According to one law enforcement source, 29 suspected cartel members were killed in the attack.

The President doesn’t know that the American military has never used the AK-47 as a primary battle weapon, and he is at the helm of an Administration that allowed thousands of them to be handed directly to violent criminals. It isn’t likely that “a lot of [responsible] gun owners” would agree with Obama or his Administration on much of anything regarding firearms. A responsible gun owner would not talk to large groups of people in authoritative tones about the merits, or lack thereof, of weapons about which he knows nothing. And a responsible gun owner would never hand his rifle to a criminal just to see what might happen.

Building A Sequential Training System

Firing a decisional shooting drill with a laser on a command-training target forces the student to think throughout the exercise.

When someone first decides to acquire a firearm, a natural question is: “How do I learn to use it and what do I learn to do?”

There are many options available to a new shooter. The least viable option is the lucky-charm option: Buying a gun, never firing it, never practicing or training, and hoping for the best. The majority of new shooters will elect to limit themselves to shooting alone on a very sporadic basis, perhaps annually. Others will seek some initial training (perhaps because training is legally mandated) and then afterward shoot a little bit on an occasional basis. None of these options is likely to create competence — and, therefore, confidence — with a firearm.

A progression of pistols during training
A progression of pistols during training: Browning Buckmark .22, Beretta 21A .22, Bersa Thunder .380, S&W 3913 9mm.

As with any physical skill, there is a progression that we have to go through to achieve competence. This progression takes time, requires a commitment of personal resources and necessitates considering what a person’s ultimate goals are. While many people have achieved a degree of competency just by shooting on their own, following a program that is based on intermediate performance objectives can speed the process and reduce the resources required.

There are many tasks associated with concealed carry of a firearm, and it’s helpful to break them out into stages that are manageable for each individual. By identifying the tasks necessary and then grouping them, shooters can develop their skills at the pace that is right for them.

NRA AP-1 target
National Rifle Association AP-1 target used for the Winchester/NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program, one motivational way to measure and improve shooting skill over time.

Stage 1: Develop Basic Familiarity With A Handgun

Firearms, especially handguns, are daunting devices for the first-time user. This is doubly true for those who are not inherently familiar with using hand power tools in general. The deadly potential that firearms possess creates a state of mind in many people that requires a fair amount of instruction to overcome. I have had more than one student tell me that their hands were shaking merely from loading the magazine with ammunition, and it wasn’t because of the physical effort involved.

At this stage, the emphasis is less on performance-oriented training than it is on underlying education. Often, we in the training community take our subject-matter familiarity and knowledge for granted. Projecting that familiarity and knowledge onto students can alienate them quite easily. When I co-taught National Rifle Association Basic Pistol classes, we had great success by using blue guns as the initial tool for teaching grip. There was a noticeable improvement in the students’ first live-fire performance when we began using inert pistols for their initial handling exercises.

The learning objectives in this stage are:

  • Gun-safety principles.
  • Mechanical understanding of pistol and ammunition.
  • Principles of marksmanship.
  • How to grip and hold a handgun.
  • Shooting from a steady, perhaps resting position.
  • Cleaning and safe storage.

The .22 caliber pistol reigns supreme as the training tool for beginning shooters. Many people start out on centerfire pistols, but doing so doesn’t always yield the best results. Experiencing an explosion 2 feet from one’s face instantly followed by a sharp strike to the hands is about as unnatural a situation as can be imagined for most people. Minimizing the effects of concussion and recoil in the beginning helps acclimate new shooters in a more palatable way.

The NRA FIRST Steps and Basic Pistol courses, as well as the National Shooting Sports Foundation First Shots® program, provide a good foundation for new shooters. Many shooting ranges also offer some kind of basic firearms training program that teaches fundamentals. The terminal performance objective at the end of the first stages is for the student to be able to safely handle and shoot a firearm on a controlled range.

Teaching a beginner
Teaching a beginner how to grip with a blue gun helps reduce anxiety and improves early performance.

Stage 2: Build Defensive Shooting Skills

Once a person has acquired some basic familiarity with a firearm, it’s time to apply those fundamentals in the context of personal protection. This stage is where we learn the proper way to handle and shoot firearms when we are not at the shooting range.

One of the most important aspects of defensive skill is not marksmanship, but rather practical gun handling, which is a highly overlooked aspect of gun ownership. We handle guns far more than we ever shoot them, so it’s appropriate to learn and practice safe gun handling in a non-range context. Our golden rule here is to never allow our muzzle to point at anything we are not prepared to have injured or killed. At times, it will be necessary to muzzle sweep property or inanimate objects, but we want to vigilantly keep our muzzle away from people and pets. That includes parts of our own bodies.

The shooting exercises at this stage will come from ready positions rather than from the holster. A significant part of training and practice here should involve making a good first hit on the target. Many people get into the habit of firing multiple shots too soon. This results in walking the rounds onto the target to get a decent hit, eventually. In your home or on the street, errant misses are a luxury we can ill afford. Also, as my colleague Rob Pincus has pointed out, “After the first shot, everyone starts moving.” That means that once the shooting starts the marksmanship problem gets much more difficult. It’s best to seize the initiative immediately by making the attacker “leak” at the get-go.

The learning objectives for the second stage are:

  • Presentation to a ready position from the holster.
  • Engaging a target from a ready position.
  • Stoppage reduction.
  • Shooting a qualification course from ready position.
  • Instruction on legal issues and how they are applied in the context of home defense.

The performance objective at the end of the second stage is for the student to be able to shoot a simple State-level qualification course to a 100 percent standard, starting from a ready position. Shooting a qualification course provides a mild degree of stress for the student that is useful as a stress inoculation. I prefer the State of Arizona Qualification Course from Arizona’s late firearms-safety program, but other simple tests can suffice. Using a State-accepted course has value because, in the event of legal complications, jurors may not grasp the value of the XYZ training company qualification course, but a State-recognized qualification may be more understandable.

Practicing flashlight shooting
Practicing flashlight shooting in reduced light on an indoor range
develops an important physical skill useful in real-life encounters.

 

Beginning from a low ready position
Beginning from a low, ready position helps the student concentrate on defensive shooting skills.

Stage 3: Develop Concealed Carry Skills Holster Work

Learning to work from a holster safely and effectively is a tremendous hurdle in the concealed carry education process. There is a reason why few States that require training to obtain a carry license require demonstration of proficiency from a holster — and some forbid it. The reason is that it is a complex skill with much liability attached. Drawing from a holster is a skill best learned from a seasoned instructor who is competent at performing and teaching the skill. Requisite skills for concealed carry include:

  • Drawing.
  • Reholstering.
  • Manipulation exercises: load, unload, random stoppage reduction.
  • Multiple shots.
  • Garment/purse techniques.
  • Intermediate force options.
  • Awareness and positioning to avoid having to use deadly force at all.

The use of intermediate force options is often overlooked in concealed carry training. Lacking an intermediate force option such as pepper spray implies that the only active response a person is prepared to make in self-defense is to kill someone. That’s probably not a position that reasonable people would wish to be in, given a bit of reflection.

At the end of the third stage, the student should be able to successfully shoot a qualification course from a holster, beginning from a start signal. If the class is taken in a State that has a scored qualification course for a concealed weapons license, that is probably the best option. Otherwise, some other scored qualification course is desirable.

DT 4 series command training target
DT 4 series command training target from Law Enforcement Targets train students to make decisions while shooting.

Stage 4: Use of Deadly Force Live Fire Skills

Most people cease their concealed carry education once they have learned how to draw from a holster and shoot with two hands. However, there are a number of additional shooting skills that should be learned beyond how to draw from the holster. Studying the actual encounters summarized in Concealed Carry Magazine’s “True Stories” shows that skills such as shooting around others, one-handed shooting and reduced-light shooting are sometimes required in the context of personal protection.

At least one additional training task list has been compiled by the International Association of Chiefs of Police in its use-of-force, live-fire training guidelines for law-enforcement agencies. Summarizing that list, it contains:

  • Qualification at least semiannually.
  • Use of deadly force decision making.
  • Night or reduced-light shooting.
  • Shooting at moving targets.
  • Strong-hand or weak-hand firing.
  • Combat simulation shooting.
  • Shooting where others may be present.

Deadly force decision making is a significant weak spot in most concealed carriers’ educational repertoire. Obviously, most people do not have access to the sophisticated training devices used by large police agencies. However, there are command training targets available from target manufacturers, such as Law Enforcement Targets, that can be used for decision-making exercises. Even on an indoor range, these targets can be used by a pair of shooters to train decision-making skills.

Stage 5: Ongoing Practice And Skill-Building Exercises

A huge mistake most people make is to take one training class and at the conclusion assume that they are “trained” and need do nothing else. Nothing could be further from the truth. Gun handling and marksmanship are perishable skills that require regular practice. No one would want to have an ambulance driver who took only basic driver’s education and then had never driven again.

Most initial training will provide only a limited amount of performance-oriented training. It is up to the individual to continue their training and practice, even if it is on an informal basis. There are a number of different informal, yet systematic ways to approach ongoing practice. Among them are:

  • The Winchester/NRA Handgun Marksmanship Qualification Program.
  • Shooting indoor International Defensive Pistol Association matches.
  • Shooting other States’ concealed carry weapons qualification courses, especially States you visit.

Carrying a concealed weapon gives a person more options for personal defense, but also carries with it a great responsibility. That responsibility can be best managed by approaching it in a measured and programmatic method. The famous time management consultant Alan Lakein coined the “Swiss Cheese Method.” Breaking a large task into smaller tasks that can be individually accomplished makes completing the larger task much easier.

Claude Werner

The False Flag Gun Grab

With the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty negotiations ongoing (and going badly for the gun grabbers and elite power brokers), a game-changer was needed. It came in the form of James Holmes, “The Joker” who allegedly shot up a Colorado movie theater July 20.

Holmes is almost certainly a patsy — a term used to describe those used by government agents to pull off their hits or staged false flag events. There are just too many questionable aspects to the whole story — and Holmes himself — for the incident to have gone down as depicted by government authorities.

The shooting has given President Barack Obama the cover he needs to both go after guns and sign the treaty. He was receiving a lot of pressure from his American gun-grabbing constituency to sign the treaty. But he was also receiving a lot of pushback from Congress — no doubt pressured by the powerful and much-feared National Rifle Association lobby — and a growing number of Americans concerned about Obama’s gun-grabbing proclivities.

Here’s what we know: Holmes was operating under a government grant that paid him $26,000 per year to work in the study of neurosciences. He was a medical student seeking a Ph.D. at the University of Colorado. Several agencies of the U.S. government have long funded neuroscience research.

For more than 20 years, beginning in the 1950s, the CIA funded a project called MK-Ultra. The research for those mind-control experiments was undertaken at 80 institutions, including 44 colleges and universities, as well as hospitals, prisons and pharmaceutical companies. This program came to light during the Senate’s Church Committee hearing and the Presidential Rockefeller Commission in the 1970s.

While that program was supposedly suspended in the 1970s, CIA whistleblowers, including 14-year veteran CIA agent Victor Marchetti, have stated in various interviews that the agency routinely conducts disinformation campaigns and that CIA mind-control research continued. In a 1977 interview, Marchetti specifically called the CIA claim that MK-ULTRA was abandoned a “cover story.”

In MK-Ultra, researchers used mind-altering drugs, hypnosis and other methods on test subjects. Many people believe that Robert Kennedy assassin Sirhan Sirhan, Virginia Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho, Arizona shooter Jared Lee Loughner and Jim Jones and the Jonestown cult were part of CIA MK-Ultra operations.

In fact, Holmes is behaving much like Sirhan did after shooting Kennedy. He’s telling guards he has no memory of the shooting and doesn’t understand why he’s in jail. During his court appearance, he behaved oddly, much like someone under the influence of drugs.

Holmes amassed an arsenal of weapons, costing as much as $20,000 by some estimates, even though his only known source of income was the grant. He also apparently was trained in the use of explosives. His apartment was booby-trapped with devices that police called “sophisticated” flammable devices like none they had ever seen.

Eyewitnesses claim Holmes had help. Various news agencies quote witnesses as saying someone opened the emergency door for him and that at least two people were throwing tear gas grenades in the theater. A second gas mask and bloody knife were found on ground at the end of a blood trail on the far end of the theater from where Holmes was arrested. This indicates an accomplice who may have been injured or taken an injured hostage with him. Police say Holmes bought a ticket and propped open the emergency door himself.

Holmes calmly walked through the crowd firing his shotgun, then his Glock, then his rifle. After the shooting, he surrendered to police and told them about the booby traps in his apartment.

The assault was obviously well planned and well financed. But Holmes was described by those who know him as shy and introverted and incapable of pulling off such an attack.

The New York Times reported:

“There was no way I thought he could have the capacity to commit an atrocity like this,” said [Billy] Kromka, who is from Aurora. Mr. Kromka said that Mr. Holmes’s “disposition was a little off” and that he could be socially awkward, one of the quieter people in the lab. He spent much of his time immersed in his computer, often participating in role-playing online games.

Beyond a traffic ticket, Holmes had no criminal history. In fact, it appears he has no history at all. Google searches reveal nothing about him. This is highly unusual in today’s society where personal privacy is nonexistent.

And then there’s the curious incident of the disappearing FBI warning about a possible movie theater shooting issued May 17 but pulled from Federal websites when bloggers brought attention to it.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTj7LZgqu_I&w=560&h=315]

Law enforcement also claims Holmes sent a package to a psychiatrist that outlined his plans. But stories about that are being changed faster than a baby’s diaper: It sat on a dock; it sat in a mail room; it didn’t get there until Monday.

The bodies had not even been removed from the theater before New York City nanny Mayor Michael Bloomberg was calling for stronger gun-control laws and encouraging police officers to go on strike until gun laws were passed. Of course, neither strong gun laws nor police saved movie-shooting victims.

Aurora, Colo., has some of its State’s most stringent gun laws:

  • “Dangerous weapons” including firearms prohibited.
  • Revocation of license for furnishing a firearm to a minor or someone under the influence.
  • Window displays cannot include firearms with barrels less than 12 inches long.
  • Unlawful to carry concealed “dangerous weapon.”
  • Unlawful to discharge firearms, unless by law enforcement on duty or on shooting range.
  • Unlawful to possess firearm while under the influence of intoxicant.
  • Unlawful to have loaded firearm in motor vehicle.
  • Unlawful for a juvenile to possess a firearm.

And, of course, all the explosives Holmes had planted in his apartment were illegal.

The theater had a no-guns policy, ensuring that the shooter would be able to carry out his attack unmolested. The police who Bloomberg wants to be the citizen’s only defense sat outside assessing the situation and waiting on gas masks while shots were heard from inside.

The Aurora theater shooting has all the marks of a false flag operation designed to shred the 2nd Amendment and give impetus to the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty, which Obama has said he wants to sign. Just like Operation Fast and Furious, it’s a concerted effort by the elites to instigate violence against innocent people to further their goal of disarming Americans.

And this government and others throughout history have used false flag events to advance their agendas. Among them the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building, 9/11 and the Gulf of Tonkin incident.

The FBI is known to create terrorists so it can swoop in to save the day. And governments have lied to their subjects from the beginning of time.

More and more, it looks like the American people are once again victims of their own terrorist government.

Man Arrested For Collecting Rainwater On His Property

When it rains, it pours. A man in Oregon has been sentenced to 30 days in jail for collecting rainwater on his property. The government determined he had “illegal reservoirs.”

Guy Harrington of rural Eagle Point, Ore., collects rainwater and snow runoff in three locations on his property. Harrington believes a 1925 law is behind the ruckus. The law established that the city of Medford would hold the rights to all the sources of water in the Big Butte Creek watershed and tributaries.

But Harrington thinks the courts are taking the law of out context.

“It didn’t mention anything about rainwater and it didn’t mention anything about snow melt and it didn’t mention anything about diffused water, but yet now, they’re trying to expand that to include that rain water and they’re using me as the goat to do it,” argued Harrington.

Harrington has three ponds on his 170 acres. According to Oregon laws, one must obtain a permit in order to have a reservoir. Harrington applied for permits and was granted permits in 2003, but a State court reversed that decision.

“They issued me my permits. I had my permits in hand and they retracted them just arbitrarily, basically. They took them back and said ‘No, you can’t have them,’ so I’ve been fighting it ever since,” said Harrington.

The real issue is this: Is the water that Harrington collects public water? Oregon says “yes.” The State believes Harrington is diverting and damming water that would otherwise run into public streams.

But Harrington thinks it is just another example of government overstepping its bounds.

“The government is bullying,” he said. “They’ve just gotten to be big bullies and if you just lay over and die and give up, that just makes them bigger bullies. So, we as Americans, we need to stand on our constitutional rights, on our rights as citizens and hang tough. This is a good country, we’ll prevail.”

Naked Beauty Queen Forced Out Of Bed By Cops

Miss Nevada 2007 is suing the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The department had a warrant for apartment “C” but knocked down the door of apartment “A.” When they entered, Calenche Ranae Manos was covered with only a bed sheet.

The deputies ordered Manos “to get out of bed and then watched as she attempted to do so,” a complaint states. Manos’ fiancé, Eric Otto Ryder, was also in bed.

Allegedly, one of the officers joked that the beauty queen would have a good story to tell at Thanksgiving.

According to KTLA in Los Angeles, Manos has accused the deputies of sexual harassment and is seeking damages for negligence, false imprisonment and civil rights violations.

Manos’ claims, should they prove true, serve as another example of police abusing their power and acting irresponsibly.

Take Possession Of Your Coins

Dear Bob,

I have gold and silver coins in my IRA but you have said that it is best to keep and store your gold and silver yourself. Should I cash it out and get my coins?

A: Yes, take possession of your gold and silver coins! Trust in government, bureaucrats, politicians, bankers, “safety deposit boxes,” etc., are things of the past. Regardless of what the crowd does, survival requires and demands that we become very independent and very private. Do not trust anybody with your gold and silver coins. This is your survival — your very existence — at a time when the system and the rule of law is imploding. The term “segregated accounts” can be gross deception, as was proved by the collapse of MF Global. People like Jon Corzine are big-name crooks who can steal billions of dollars and do not go to jail. Americans have never seen times like we live in now.

Mind Control With Light

Research reported recently in Current Biology says that scientists have successfully developed a method of mind control by using pulses of light to alter behavior in monkeys. The researchers say the method could also be used on humans.

The researchers say the findings represent a key advance for optogenetics, a state-of-the-art method for making connections between brain activity and behavior. Based on the discovery, similar light-based mind control could likely also be made to work in humans for therapeutic and other purposes.

“We are the first to show that optogenetics can alter the behavior of monkeys,” says Wim Vanduffel of Massachusetts General Hospital and KU Leuven Medical School. “This opens the door to use of optogenetics at a large scale in primate research and to start developing optogenetic-based therapies for humans.”

During the process, the researchers make brain neurons respond to light through the insertion of light-sensitive genes derived from particular microbial organisms. Earlier studies had primarily validated this method for use in invertebrates and rodents. But the latest study opens the doors for the process to be used on humans.

The researchers say that the process could have important clinical applications in treating Parkinson’s disease, addiction, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and other neurological conditions. It will also broaden the understanding of human mind control.

Man Pulled Over Twice By Same Deputy

LORAIN, Ohio, (UPI) — Authorities in Ohio said a man was busted for driving under suspension twice by the same deputy in the space of 9 hours.

The Lorain County Sheriff’s Office said a deputy pulled over Roy Pinkston III, 27, for driving under an OVI suspension around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday on state Road 82, and the same deputy pulled Pinkston over again just prior to 4:30 a.m. in Lorain, the Chronicle-Telegram, Elyria, reported Thursday.

“Not you again. What kinda luck do I have?” the report quoted Pinkston as saying while laughing.

Pinkston told the deputy he was driving again because he couldn’t find anyone to drive his car home.

Pinkston received a second citation for driving under an OVI suspension and the car was towed from the scene.