DHS Policy Is Criminal

If someone breaks our immigration laws and is in the United States illegally, he is a criminal.

It’s always bizarre to me when I hear people talk about wanting to deport only those illegal aliens who are criminals. The Department of Homeland Security said it will start focusing on deporting illegals with criminal records and leaving alone illegals without criminal records.

Call me crazy, but if someone breaks our immigration laws and is in the United States illegally, he is a criminal.

Keep in mind that my in-laws immigrated to the United States. I’m not anti-immigration. I’m anti-illegal immigration. I would like to either see open borders (not my first choice) or I would like to see the border locked down and the creation of a simplified process for non-residents to be in the United States legally.

But this current in-between system that we have in which laws are selectively enforced and ignored isn’t good for anyone. It teaches both immigrants and our kids that laws don’t necessarily mean anything. If someone’s breaking the law by being in the United States illegally, why should he obey the law and get car insurance? Why should he worry about breaking the law by drinking and driving?

Most countries have streamlined processes to let people stay in their countries long-term if they obey the law and are productive members of society. I’m good with that. At one point in the 60s, when my in-laws immigrated to the United States, they had to have a job lined up, a place to live lined up and $500 cash before they could get into the country. They didn’t have $500, so they pooled money with other friends who wanted to get into the United States. Once my in-laws got into the United States and on their feet (my father-in-law was working three jobs by the end of their first week in the United States), they sent $500 back to their friends so that the next family could immigrate.

What does this have to do with preparedness? The connection, in my mind, is that when you become known as being a place where unproductive people can come and live comfortably, you create a form of adverse selection, attracting non-producers and repelling and penalizing productive members of society.

In Central Texas, there is a mass migration every spring and fall. Illegal aliens who do landscaping come up in the spring when the grass starts growing and go back to Mexico to work for the winter when the grass stops growing in the fall. They want to work, and I would love to have many of them as neighbors in a survival situation.

But when illegal aliens aren’t productive members of society, it strains budgets during good times and creates large groups of helpless people who don’t know how to take care of themselves in a disaster situation — like what we saw at the Super Dome in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

So this is just one more factor that I keep an eye on — both to gauge strain on government budgets and to anticipate what the general response of the people around me will be to adversity in a survival situation.

National Right To Carry Reciprocity Act passes the House!

On Nov. 16, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 822, the National Right to Carry Reciprocity Act by a vote of 272-154. The bill, if left intact by the Senate, would cause concealed carry permits issued by any State to be recognized by any other State that issues concealed carry permits — similar to the reciprocity we currently have with driver’s licenses.

H.R. 822 would not create a national registry, despite what many emails floating around claim. I received several warnings from readers saying how bad H.R. 822 supposedly was; but, fortunately, the claims made in the emails didn’t match up with the content of the bill.

As a concealed carry permit holder in multiple States and a frequent traveler, I’m excited about this. It has been frustrating over the years to visit the same place a few times per year and have the laws randomly change between visits. Nevada was one particular example of this for me. I’m also excited to see how this pans out in places like California, Hawaii and Maryland — States that technically have concealed carry permits but who make it difficult for travelers with out-of-State permits.

The next steps are for it to pass the Senate, for differences to get ironed out in committee, if necessary, and then for it to be sent to the President. If it gets vetoed, there’s a chance to override the veto. I’m not sure how long the bill can be stretched out, but I wouldn’t mind waiting until late January 2013 for it to go to the President’s desk.

One objection to the bill is that it doesn’t give residents of Vermont reciprocity, since the bill requires a physical license. Frankly, I’m OK with that. This is my opinion, and I welcome comments and criticisms on it.

Right now, the requirements to get a concealed carry permit in most States are fairly lax. In my mind, this is the worst of all worlds. Permit holders get an official-looking document giving them a false sense of ability, and the 2nd Amendment is usurped to a certain extent.

I would much rather see concealed carry recognized as a 2nd Amendment right and for the requirements for concealed carry permits to go up considerably, or for there to be two tiers of concealed carry permits. The first tier could be a criminal background check and whatever is necessary to waive the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives waiting period for buying firearms, but would include no training. I see the possibility that this could also double as a “preferred traveler” document for flying, but it wouldn’t be necessary for concealed carry since that is covered by the 2nd Amendment.

The second tier carry permit would be much closer to an armed security license, and I see it including advanced training as well as continuing education. I see this as being a certification to which people would naturally aspire. It would not be required, but it would be a standard of training that firearms schools, shooting leagues and security companies across the country could use.

Since the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are coming up, I want to tell you quickly about how I travel with a firearm.

I’ve flown with at least one firearm a few times a month for several years. This means that I’ve had hundreds of interactions with the Transportation Security Administration in numerous airports involving taking guns on planes. To date, I have not lost a firearm or been detained or harassed in any way. I have had only one snarly interaction because I put my declaration form inside of my gun case (where the ticket agent told me to) instead of on top of my gun case inside of my luggage. Here are a few of the things that I do. This isn’t necessarily what you should do. Policies vary from airline to airline and from airport to airport and change over time, so make sure to verify on the TSA website and your airline’s website that what you’re planning on doing is legal.

  1. When I’m talking to the ticket agent, I never say “gun.”  I say either “I need to declare” or “I need to declare my sidearm.” Sometimes, I just open my bag with my gun case visible inside and ask for a declaration form.
  2. I used to carry ammo in an ammo box, but I don’t do that anymore. I simply load two magazines with ammo and put them in the case with my sidearm. If I need more ammo, I buy it where I’m going.
  3. I used to run a length of 550 cord through my firearms so that it was poking out of both the breech and the end of the barrel so that it was obvious that there was nothing in the firearm. I don’t do that anymore.
    I simply disassemble the firearm and put it into the case. With my Glock, that means that I’ve got the lower, the slide, the barrel and the spring assembly in the case. The difference is that many ticket agents used to look at the gun in the case with a little bit of fear from not understanding what they were looking at. With the disassembled gun, the look is more curiosity along the lines of, “What are all of those parts? That’s what a gun looks like?” In short, I haven’t felt even a slight bit of conflict or disdain since I started disassembling my firearms for flight.
  4. I try to make sure that I have either a military or law enforcement shirt on the top of my luggage that the gate agent will be likely to see when I’m declaring my sidearm. I’m always very clear to say that I’m not an officer or soldier if they ask, but I want to give them every possible assurance that I can that I’m one of the good guys.
  5. Depending on the airport, you might have to take your luggage to a TSA agent or wait a few minutes until TSA searches your luggage behind closed doors. I’ve gotten into more gun conversations with these TSA agents than I have at ranges during the same time period. These have never been the full-body patdown goons. They are often retired military or law enforcement. I’m not saying this to defend TSA. I’m just letting you know that things will probably go more smoothly if you go into a conversation about carrying a gun on a plane with the mindset that there is a good chance that the person you will be interacting with is a fellow gun owner. Things generally go more smoothly with law enforcement when you’re kind and happy than when you’re snarling, defensive and apprehensive.


Thursday is Thanksgiving, and I’m really looking forward to it. We’re not going anywhere or having any guests that we know about yet, but Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays.

Revisionist history says that the original Thanksgiving was a celebration of Indians saving a bunch of stupid white men from starvation. Original documents tell a different story: It was more of a celebration of the abundance of crops that the Pilgrims had after embracing free enterprise and abandoning Communism. The first three years of experimenting with communal living resulted in a lack of productivity that almost killed them. The difference was stark and the resulting abundance was seen as a gift from God for which they were very thankful.

One of the things I’m going to do is to smoke a turkey. While I’m smoking the turkey, I’m going to be smoking cured pork belly right above it to turn into bacon. It ends up being a good combination, with the juices from the pork butt dripping down onto the turkey for the first few hours.

Here’s a trick for you if you like to “cheat” on your barbeque and use injections. Store-bought injectors always seem to break, so I went to a livestock supply store and bought the biggest-gauge needles it sold and a big syringe. Unlike the store-bought injectors, this setup is bomb proof.

If you aren’t familiar with barbeque injectors, it’s a way to inject oil, marinades, beer, citrus juice, etc., into meat before you smoke it. This helps the meat stay moist during the cooking process, so the flavor is consistent throughout, and help make the meat more tender. Many serious barbequers see this as cheating, because it allows you to get away without tending your meat as often as you need to if you’re basting it to keep it moist.

I’m not a purist and am mainly trying to get the best end product to put on the table, but I do still try to use progressively less injection each time I smoke a particular cut of meat. Keep in mind that this is the exact opposite of what you want to do if you’re trying to preserve meat. When I cook meat, I try to keep it as moist and juicy as possible; but when I’m preserving meat, I’m trying to lower the moisture level so that the moisture/salt level is too low to support bacterial, mold, fungus and virus growth.

In the early stages of a breakdown of the grid, I’d cure/smoke/jerk as much meat as I could to preserve it as long as possible.

What are your Thanksgiving plans? My prayers go out to people who are planning Thanksgiving Day conversations with friends and relatives about preparedness (both Earthly and spiritual).  Remember, some will get it and some won’t; keep trying. What are your thoughts on the National Right To Carry Reciprocity Act? Is it a camel-under-the-tent scenario, or is it as good as it looks?

Also, give a shout-out by commenting below if you were at the LaRue Tactical Day At The Range last Saturday. It was a great event in Liberty Hill, Texas, with at least 1,000 gun enthusiasts spending the day together shooting tricked-out LaRue OBRs (Optimized Battle Rifles). More on the OBRs in future newsletters…

-David Morris




Personal Liberty

David Morris

Since 2008, “Survival Dave” has taught over 10,000 people how to survive long term breakdowns in civil order in urban areas-without having to run away to a fully stocked rural retreat. His students range from lifelong SpecOps operators & paramedics to newlyweds & retirees just waking up to preparedness. They all share a common desire to “be the solution” when disasters happen rather than depending on government to save the day. He is the creator of the SurviveInPlace.com Urban Survival Course, the author of the “Urban Survival Guide,” and his Urban Survival Playing Cards were recently featured on Glenn Beck’s Christmas Special as a “must have” gift for 2010.

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